Posts tagged “smoking”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Blu Develops a Social Networking Device for Smokers [] – [While it's a bit of a weird idea, it seems to fit with the already weird e-cigarette better than the very old-school tobacco experience] The new “smart packs" ($80 for 5 e-cigarettes) emit and search for the radio signals of other packs. When they get within 50 feet, the packs vibrate and flash a blue light. Packs can be set to exchange information about their owners, like contact information on social networking sites, that can be downloaded to computers. The packs also conveniently vibrate when a smoker nears a retail outlet that sells Blu cigarettes. Later versions will be tethered to a smartphone through an app. Adam Alfandary, 24 was skeptical. He said that the social aspects of smoking were a part of the reason he continued to light up, but he scoffed at the idea of a cigarette that would do the social part for him. “I think that’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life. And I’m saying that in full acknowledgment that smoking is one of the dumbest things I can do.”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Vermont's first IHOP gets permission to go beyond standard franchise menu and offer Vermont maple syrup – “You can’t open up a Vermont pancake shop without Vermont maple syrup,” said Sam Handy Jr., who is the restaurant’s general manager and whose family owns the franchis
  • Symbols of pot-subculture on the threshold of the mainstream – The significance of April 20 dates to a ritual begun in the early 1970s in which a group of Northern California teenagers smoked marijuana every day at 4:20 p.m. Word of the ritual spread and expanded to a yearly event in various places. For fans of the drug, perhaps the biggest indicator of changing attitudes is how widespread the observance of April 20 has become, including its use in marketing campaigns for stoner-movie openings (like last year’s “Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantánamo Bay”) and as a peg for marijuana-related television programming (like the G4 network’s prime-time double bill Monday of “Super High Me” and “Half Baked”). Events tied to April 20 have “reached the tipping point in the last few years after being a completely underground phenomenon for a long time,” said Steven Hager, the creative director and former editor of High Times. “And I think that’s symptomatic of the fact that people’s perception of marijuana is reaching a tipping point.”
  • Chinese government database doesn't recognize all the language's characters, creating 60 million edge cases – New Chinese government computers are programmed to read only 32,252 of the roughly 55,000 Chinese characters. At least 60 million Chinese with obscure characters in their names cannot get new ID cards — unless they change their names to something more common. Since 2003 China has been working on a standardized list of characters for people to use in everyday life, including when naming children. A government linguistics said the list would include more than 8,000 characters. Although that is far fewer than the database now supposedly includes, the official said it was more than enough “to convey any concept in any field.” About 3,500 characters are in everyday use.

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Report: Real-world police forensics don't resemble 'CSI' – Even before the popularity of shows like CSI, there was presumably a cultural belief in the "science" behind these techniques. But the report finds that:
    – Fingerprint science "does not guarantee that two analysts following it will obtain the same results."
    – Shoeprint and tire-print matching methods lack statistical backing, making it "impossible to assess."
    – Hair analyses show "no scientific support for the use of hair comparisons for individualization in the absence of (DNA)."
    – Bullet match reviews show "scientific knowledge base for tool mark and firearms analysis is fairly limited."
    – Bite-mark matches display "no scientific studies to support (their) assessment, and no large population studies have been conducted."
  • NJOY electronic cigarette – Looks like a real cigarette, complete with glowing tip on inhale, and exhaled vapor that resembles smoke. Gives an inhaled nicotine experience, while messaging to the rest of the world that you are really smoking a real lit cigarette. Paging Erving Goffman?

    Someone was using one a party last week; someone else got out their simulated Zippo lighter (an iPhone app) and lit it for them.

Japan pictures – part 1 of 3

I’ve uploaded nearly 1300 of my Japan pictures to Flickr. For reasons I’m sure you’ll understand, I haven’t added titles or tags or descriptions proactively, but please add comments or questions on flickr and I’ll gladly offer a story or explanation.

Meanwhile, I’m including some of my faves here, as well as part 2 and part 3.


Familiar categories; different context


In California, gas stations usually show three prices: regular, mid-grade, and premium. Sometimes diesel is shown. Even if there is small text to explain what those prices refer to, we mostly go off of familiarity, knowing what each box in sequence is telling us.

This sign from a Speedway station in western Michigan uses a fourth slot to indicate price for another item: cigarettes. Gas stations and smokes seem to go together better in MI than in CA.


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