Well, we never thought we’d see this coming.
There’s been some odd items put in vending machines before, but crackpipes definitely take the cake.
A vending machine located in downtown Vancouver has become the first to sell crackpipes, but their reasoning doesn’t seem too illogical, since it’s to try and help decrease the spread of HIV and hepatitis.
The Director of DURC stated:
‘For us this was about increasing access to safer inhalation supplies in Downtown Eastside,’
Apparently the pipes that the machine sells are a lot less likely to cut the mouths of the users, which will make it harder for diseases to spread.
The crackpipes are being sold at 25 cents a piece, and is apparently overseen by popular safe drug injecting website, Insite.
Apparently, every new HIV or hepatitis case can cost taxpayers up to $250,000 in treatment, so they see the 25 cents per pipe as much more reasonable.
article: Global Grind
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This week marked the 20th anniversary of the MetroCard—but there won’t be many more such milestones in its future. The MTA plans to supersede the MetroCard with a new form of “fare payment technology” starting in 2019. “[The MetroCard] was revolutionary for it’s time,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan told us. “It’s time has come, and it’s time to move on to the next innovation.”
The MTA wants to switch over to an electronic system that would get rid of the need for separate cards: “It would be a new fare payment system that is based on a form of technology for payment,” Donovan said, “which is technically known as the RFID or NFC for near-field communication type of payment. It’s really common in Europe; you can pay for taxis with it. It hasn’t gotten as much traction here but it has overseas.”
The idea is to install an E-Z Pass-esque system in the subways: instead of swiping a magnetic MetroCard strip, you would tap a credit card, smartphone or keychain (anything with the particular chip embedded in it) and go straight through. D.C. has already adopted a similar technology with SmartTrip, but there’s a key difference between their cards and the MTA’s plan: the MTA doesn’t want to produce any more physical cards.
In D.C., the WMATA produces the SmartTrip Cards embedded with the chip—the MTA’s plan is reliant on credit card companies adopting the new technology.
What we’re looking to do in 2019, or thereabouts, is to reduce the presence of the MTA in selling a particular card that you then carry around with you. What we’re envisioning is the large banks and credit card companies will be moving towards including the RFID chips right in their credit cards. That takes place on a large scale. Customers would just be able to tap their own credit cards at the turnstile, rather than having to go to a machine, insert the credit card into the machine, take out the credit card, and get a new card from the MTA. We’d take away that whole step and say you just tap your own card—debit card or credit card—and then you would be able to see on your bank statement how much you paid to the MTA and when.
The MTA will still have unlimited and pay-per-ride plans—this technology wouldn’t affect fare prices, in theory—but the physical mechanism at the turnstile would be different. The plus sides of this plan: it would reduce wait times on buses, it would end the need to have a separate card in your wallet, it would save the MTA approximately $6 million a year producing those cards, it would save the MTA money maintaining MetroCard vending machines, and it would mark the end of the tyranny of the missed swipe.
The challenge with the plan, assuming they stick to their goal of getting the first new tap machines installed in some subway stations by 2019, is that the MTA will be relying on another industry to implement it. While some companies have already adopted the technology, other credit card companies are still grappling with security risks associated with RFID technology.
The other potential problem: not everyone in NYC has a credit or debit card. According to a study commissioned by the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs’ (DCA) Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) , more than 825,000 adults in New York City—13 percent of all households—do not have bank or credit union accounts. The MTA is hoping that smartphones will also be enabled with apps that can be used to tap as well, and they say there will be a long period of overlap between MetroCards and the new system. But there are still some serious questions to be addressed before any concrete plan is down.
These are all the kinks they are tackling now, as they begin to build a plan to introduce the new system. So NYC likely won’t get more details on the future of mass transit till next year: “We will put flesh on these conceptual bones fairly soon, maybe a year or two from now,” Donovan said. “The actual capital program is a five-year plan and right now we are in the 2010-2014 plan. So in the course of this year we will be putting forward details on the next capital program, 2015-2019.”
Article Credit: gothamist.com
Pic Credit: mr. t in dc’s flickr
New York Governor Cuomo has just officially announced the New York State medical marijuana program.
The program which will be running at 20 undisclosed hospitals in the New York State area.
More details to come.
Not only has Bigfoot been found, but he’s been photographed, examined and DNA tested.
So says a Texas man who claims he killed the mythical creature over a year ago in the woods outside of San Antonio.
Rick Dyer said he plans to tour Bigfoot around the country after releasing a picture of him last week.
“Bigfoot is not a tooth fairy — Bigfoot is real,” Dyer told TV station KSAT in San Antonio. “The most important thing to me is being vindicated, letting people know that I am the best Bigfoot tracker in the world and it’s not just me saying it.”
On his website, Dyer claims he found Bigfoot on Sept. 6, 2012.
“I tracked a creature. I shot it,” he said. “With tears in my eyes, I watched it take its last breath.”
In an account of the incident Dyer, a self-described professional Bigfoot hunter, said people reported a “giant hairy beast” in the wooded area and he bought ribs from a local Walmart that he nailed to a tree to lure the beast.
Dyer said his hands went numb as he aimed the gun at Bigfoot after it ripped the ribs off the tree and walked away.
Dyer chased after Bigfoot and shot him.
“That night Rick Dyer became known as ‘The Best Bigfoot Tracker in the World’ and changed history the way we know it,” the account proclaims.
But this is not the first time Dyer has claimed to find Bigfoot’s body. The National Geographic News reported in 2008 that Dyer claimed to media that he had a Bigfoot body that later turned out to be a rubber ape costume.
But despite his history of past Bigfoot hoaxes, Dyer insists this time it’s real and he has the studies to prove it.
He told the station a lab in Washington state has given the body “every test that you can possibly imagine,”including DNA tests and 3-D optical scans.
“It is the real deal,” he told the station. “It’s Bigfoot and Bigfoot’s here, and I shot it and now I’m proving it to the world.”
Dyer, who did not return a request for comment, has yet to release more pictures and the results of these tests, but he has shown about 130 people the body in a video of their reactions.
Many of the people seemed convinced as they entered the vehicle and looked down at the body, which apparently has been preserved quite well considering it was killed 16 months ago.
“Oh my gosh. Why is he so tall?” asked one boy in the video.
“Because he’s Bigfoot, man!” Dyer explained.
Another woman claimed to have seen the hairy beast before.
“It looks like my ex-husband,” she said with a serious face. “It does. It does.”
Article Credit: www.nydailynews.com
NEW YORK (WABC) — New York City will soon require young children who go to preschool or day care to get flu shots.
The Board of Health voted Wednesday in favor of the mandatory vaccine for children under 6.
Health officials say the measure will save lives. And Dr. Jay Varma, deputy commissioner for disease control, says the measure could keep as many as 20,000 city kids from getting sick.
The initiative takes effect in 30 days. The vaccine will be required for about 150,000 children.
Parents may opt out for medical and religious reasons.
“We estimate that 10 to 25,000 kids won’t suffer the flu because of that vaccine . For every 100 kids under the age of 5, 40 of them will get sick in any year from the flu,” said Dr. Jay Varma, Deputy Commissioner for Disease Control for New York City.
City health officials say it will protect children and slow the spread of the virus in the entire community. Similar mandates are already in place for children in New Jersey and Connecticut.
“We already require children be vaccinated against measles, mumps, whooping cough, chicken pox and this is really adding one vaccine- one we know is important,” adds Dr. Varma.
Adding one more to the list of required vaccines has some parents angry.
“It takes away informed consent from parents and the ability of parents to make the decision as to what may be the best health choice for their family,” said Kim Mack Rosenberg, who is the mother of an autistic child.
“The Bloomberg administration hasn’t demonstrated that it’s meant the burden it needs to enforce a mandate like this. There’s no general public emergency and there’s no imminent threat to the public,” she said.
Dr. Varma says, “The argument that we don’t have legal authority or that the process was flawed is incorrect. There’s a clear and established process to establish rules like this, where public can comment.”
During the public comment period, the city received 249 letters opposing the proposed law, but if finalized the flu vaccine would be required for children as of December 31, 2014.
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