Coming Out Green

Let's just get it on the table.  I consume cannabis.  I consume it almost every day, not just for recreation but for reasons related to health and general well being.  And guess what?  I do this all while being a very functional member of society, both socially and economically.  

This won't be a surprise to people that know me or most people that are socially conscious but I know for a fact there are many people out there like me who don't feel comfortable admitting and speaking freely about it as I am now.  Because even with all the progress and movement in this space over the last few years, there is still a stigma around this "drug".  There are still people influenced by years of false information that people that smoke weed are lazy and can't get work done among so many other backwards beliefs.  

I'm so excited to decriminalization and legalization movements picking up speed throughout our country, especially today in hearing about presidential hopeful Bernie Sander's bill to legalize on the federal level, that I decided it was time to finally get this out there.  I hope that others like me will do the same and push this movement forward even more.  

Now that this is out there, I'm looking forward to sharing a lot more on how I use cannabis each day and how it helps me in many areas of my life from relaxation, to pain management, to how it has decreased my alcohol consumption, how it helps me be more creative, and so very much more.  For now here are a couple bullet points on my beliefs:

  • Cannabis certainly isn't for everybody just like some people shouldn't drink alcohol, take certain prescription drugs, or consume certain foods.  When approached and managed properly though, cannabis can help enrich many people's lives.  
     
  • If you are a person who doesn't believe in the medicinal value of cannabis, we need to talk.  There are countless scientific studies, cases, and stories from peoples lives that prove otherwise, and the fact that you can go into a store and buy a bottle of alcohol or pack of cigarettes but not a plant that is proven to have medicinal value is absurd.  
     
  • The money and time wasted policing and imprisoning individuals who use this "drug" is also absurd and we could be spending this time and money on many other, much more important things.   

Again, I've got lots more to say and I'm excited to do so now that this is out there.  I really do hope that we can continue the momentum that is growing each day to make real change and I urge all of you out there in #ComingOutGreen as well.

 If you have questions or comments don't hesitate to reach out to me on social media.  

~Matty

 

Darren Wilson's Testimony is Unbelievable: Literally

Great article via Vox which brings up the main point that has me and so many others upset; there will be no trial at all:

Which doesn't mean Wilson is a liar. Unbelievable things happen every day. The fact that his story raises more questions than it answers doesn't mean it isn't true.

But the point of a trial would have been to try to answer these questions. We would have either found out if everything we thought we knew about Brown was wrong, or if Wilson's story was flawed in important ways. But now we're not going to get that chance. We're just left with Wilson's unbelievable story.

I agree with the author, that it is possible that things went down this way, but Wilson's whole testimony reeks of straight bullshit.  And then there are doozies like this, where we find that the medical examiner didn't take pictures of Brown's body because his camera was out of batteries.  The guy has one job; to take pictures of crime scenes and bodies, but didn't because his primary tool didn't have batteries.  This whole case reeks of bullshit from start to finish.  

New Emoji Coming in 2014

I probably use more emoji than I should but it is definitely the easiest way to get my point across.  It lets you say how you're feeling in a few presses rather than telling a story in text and sometimes it can be more powerful than words.  

In the 2nd half of 2014 we'll see a lot more emoji to the already large list.  And while it doesn't seem to have a few I've had on my want list for a while, it's progress.

My one fear is that it's going be harder and harder to find the ones I wan't now, and it's already tough.  Here are a few that I want to see.  Check out the whole list at Emojipedia.org

  • Hot Pepper
  • Weight Lifter
  • Fork and Knife with Plate
  • Camping
  • Beach with Umbrella
  • Hammer and wrench
  • National Park
  • Dagger know
  • Portable Stereo
  • Reversed Hand with Middle Finger Extended

The 75 Skills Every Man Should Master

I am down with most of the items on this list.   Here are a few of my favorites:

11. Swim three different strokes. Doggie paddle doesn't count.
17. Make one drink, in large batches, very well.
35. Jump-start a car (without any drama). Change a flat tire (safely). Change the oil (once).
44. Ask for help.
Guys who refuse to ask for help are the most cursed men of all. The stubborn, the self-possessed, and the distant. The hell with them.
49. Say no. 
75. Negotiate a better price. Be informed. Know the price of competitors. In a big store, look for a manager. Don't be an asshole. Use one phrase as your mantra, like "I need a little help with this one." Repeat it, as an invitation to him. Don't beg. Ever. Offer something: your loyalty, your next purchase, even your friendship, and, with the deal done, your gratitude.


 


 

Is Vine the Instagram of Video?

Short answer: No I don't think so.  

Vine, the social media app that allows you to record video clips that last only 6 seconds has been called a lot of things, and I really have to argue with the "Instagram of video" moniker.  At least up until this point.

Video is hard. It's hard to make it easy to record, and it is harder still to make it easy for people to see.  Socialcam tried and failed. They allowed you to upload videos of any length.  But who wants to see someone babble on via video for lengths at a time?  That is what Youtube is for.  

Yes Vine is cool and it launched with a lot of fanfare but I think the hype has died a lot since.  Perhaps now that is has launched on Android it will get a bit of a boost but in it's current state I just don't see it going as far as Instagram, which was bought by Facebook for a cool one billion dollars.  Here's why:

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  • You can't load a prerecorded video - You must record your Vine right there on the spot.  When I ask people what is the one thing that would make Vine better this is what people say.  Not sure why it isn't an option as similar apps already allow this functionality.

  • No rewinding.  Screw up while making your video and you have to completely start over.  This is difficult for a lot of people.  Especially people like me who obsess over the smallest detail.  

  • No signal, no Vine  - Just like Instagram, if you have no service you can't upload your video.  And if you can't upload it your video could be lost if the app crashes or if your phone restarts.  if you did a stop motion video that took you an 20 minutes to make and you lost it how pissed would you be?

This does not mean I think Vine is useless.  I like it a lot and am trying to find ways to use it more.  I feel it could be a small genre of art in itself but it will take time to get there.  Perhaps if the app adds more features it could help move things along.  

 Right now what I see that seems to work best is comedians using Vine to do short bursts of funny.  There are also some people doing getting really creative with things.  Here are a few of my favorite recent Vines and some people who are a good follow if you use the app. If you're watching on the web be sure to unmute so you get the audio.

Chris Delia has some pretty funny stuff:






Will Sasso of MadTV fame is pretty good. He has this weird running bit with lemons as well as Hulk Hogan.




You can always count on Jake Lodwick for interesting stuff.

Download Vine:

iPhone  //  Android

Can We Please Stop the Whole "Bless You" Thing?

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It is a natural, flat out instinctive reaction because it is deeply ingrained in our past.  Someone sneezes, and no matter your beliefs you feel inclined to say something.  "Bless you" or the German "gesundheit" perhaps.  

There are several thoughts on it's origins of this phrase but they date back as far as AD 77.  Yes nearly 2000 years ago!

Can someone tell me why we are holding on to this?  It drives me crazy sometimes.  Even people who aren't religious say it when this term was born out of catholicism.  The only time you'll hear me say these words is because I don't want someone to feel insulted because I didn't say it.

Starting today I'm done.  I won't be saying it anymore.  It's yet another outdated piece of Catholic that we really need to just let go.  Who is with me?  

Cool Apps: Field Trip

I love information.  I love learning new things about my hometown and the places I visit when I travel.  Whether it is a historical landmark, cool building, point of interest, or nice/interesting place to eat, I want to know about it.  Being into technology helps with all this because we are seeing so many advancements when it comes to social discovery and it makes it a lot easier to find out about cool things around you as you move throughout the world.  That is why I am really liking one of Googles new apps, Field Trip. 

First let me say that Google has really stepped it up over the past 6-12 months when it comes to software design.  Apps that used to be terrible now not only look good, but act as they should and are far less buggy.  Plus they are releasing quality new apps for both Android and iOS which is awesome.  This will force companies like Apple (which has sucked in terms of software lately) to innovate and compete more, which will only be better for consumers in the long run.  Alright so lets jump into the app.

The basic idea of the app is that it monitors your location as you move around, and when you get close to points of interest, it sends you a notification.  By default it wants to tell you about everything it can but you can filter it down to only the things in which you're interested.  You can view via a list view or by map as you travel, and as far as the notifications go, you can get a lot, a little or none at all.  I really feel like Google has thought of everything with this app.  

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What I thought was the most neat was the topics and sources you can choose from to let Field Trip know what to tell you.  You can filter by architecture, historic places, lifestyle, offers, food & drink, cool & unique, and arts & museums.  And if you tap into each one of those categories you can pick from a list of sources and tell each one of those to show you more, less, or nothing at all if you uncheck the checkbox.  Again I really feel like they thought of everything here.  For example, I was driving the other day and got a notification to go to Chipotle. Chipotle? REALLY?  Not only is that place an embarrassment of a food establishment but I don't need an app to tell me to visit one so I was easily able to go into the settings and shut off anything that might tell me to go to food places like that.  

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I've been using the app since it came out just in the area where I live and work and have already found some neat things close to home that I never knew existed.  I can only imaging what I'll find when I take this app on a vacation with me.  

Field Trip is free for iOS, and of course Android.

Download on iOS  //  Download on Google Play