Medicinal Marijuana Factory for Liberia?

first_imgMedical Cannabis (Image: iStock / tvirbickis)Reports from Liberia’s consular office in New York, quoting reliable sources, say some United States based pharmaceutical companies have expressed interest in establishing a pharmaceutical plant in Liberia to produce medicines from the marijuana plant.Sources further say a business delegation from the US is expected in the country shortly to begin discussions with relevant officials including officials of the National Investment Commission, the Ministry of Health and those of the National Pharmacy Board as well as with officials of the Liberia Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority.Speaking to the Daily Observer under condition of anonymity, a local health official noted that there is a general perception that the large percentage of mentally challenged individuals parading the streets of Monrovia, including “Zogos” are drug addicts. He said while this may be true, it is however questionable whether such addiction is actually from marijuana use or the use of hard drugs such as, heroin, codeine, traumadol and cocaine, especially crack cocaine commonly called “dugee.”The health official noted that first time users of marijuana often experience what he referred to as panic anxiety reactions, which make an individual to act as if he/she is crazy. The official cited the report from Talbott and Teague (1969) of an American registered male nurse in Vietnam with no previous history of mental illness after smoking his first marijuana cigarette, became aware of a choking burning sensation in his throat.He thereafter went to a civilian bar began feeling apprehensive, suspicious and fearful that the North Vietnamese meant to harm him. Feeling terrified, he returned to his quarters. But when examined, he was anxious and disoriented to time, but not to person and place and his anxiety about being harmed by nationals was rising and falling like the waves of the ocean. He said, according to Talbott and Teague, the nurse was treated with sedation and released after 36 hours without any symptoms at all.Experiences of such kind the official noted, is common among first time users and could be reasons why marijuana is perceived as a dangerous drug. A long serving former Police officer (name withheld) also speaking to the Daily Observer, observed that hard drug use is currently on the increase among the youth.He observed that in the past, hard drugs were not commonly available unlike now, where easy availability of hard drugs and drug addiction is contributing to increased criminal behavior. He averred that there is a need, given his experience, to establish treatment centers for addicts and tougher laws on hard drugs and harsh punishment for those who trade in hard drugs.As regards the reported increase of marijuana use among youths, the former Police official noted that dealers of hard drugs always tend to take advantage of smuggling networks established by marijuana traffickers as most marijuana consumed in Liberia is imported either from Sierra Leone or elsewhere in West Africa, including Ghana and Nigeria.Meanwhile, a noted economist (name withheld) has told the Daily Observer in an interview that, based on his observations, Liberia is losing millions of dollars each year to an underground network of marijuana smugglers and middlemen which, he said, is not good for the country. The economist, quoting reports from Mordor Intelligence, said, “there is also an increasing use of marijuana as a functional food, with purported health benefits far outnumbering what consumers can get from kale, turmeric, or kombucha”.The report further adds “with the new generation growing up in the United States, where cannabis is legal, new products are found rapidly entering the market, which is expected to grow rapidly over the forecast period. The growth of the market is also attributed to factors such as the trends of producing edible products with cannabis in selected countries. Therefore, marijuana is expected to be included in the 2018 food trends as the drug and its ingredients have been gradually making their way into the public market.Doctors also prescribe medical marijuana to treat muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis, nausea, poor appetite, and weight loss, caused by chronic illness, such as HIV, nerve pain, and Crohn’s disease. Thus, with the increasing applications, there is a huge opportunity for marijuana for medicinal purposes as well according to the report.As per the scope of the report, “medical marijuana refers to the whole, unprocessed marijuana plant, or its basic extracts, for the treatment of several diseases and other related symptoms. Scientific studies show that chemical cannabinoids could help treat a range of diseases and symptoms, which has attracted several biopharmaceutical companies, globally, over the past two decades. The market is expected to witness significant growth, owing to legalization in several countries and high demand for both medical and recreational purposes” the report concluded.It is against this backdrop that pharmaceutical companies are expressing interest in securing new markets and sources of supply. Liberia, according to observers with plentiful sunshine and adequate rainfall is ideal for the cultivation and processing of the marijuana plant into medical products, the economist concluded.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Was Baby Lucy Someone Else’s Kid?

first_imgJeffrey Schwartz (U of Pittsburgh) thinks the “child” skeleton nicknamed “Lucy’s baby” celebrated in the news media last month (09/20/2006) was probably not the same species as Lucy.  In fact, he’s not sure if anyone knows what species the skeleton found in Hadar, Ethiopia is.  According to a press release on EurekAlert, without exposed teeth surfaces for comparison, “one cannot tell whether the Dikika child really is the first specimen of Ethiopian A. afarensis or, if not, whether it compares favorably with one of the hominids from Hadar or it represents a different taxon altogether.”  The doubt over taxons underscores the difficulty of drawing distinctions when the only material to work with is bone (05/24/2004).    One problem with classifying this juvenile individual with Lucy is that all the previous Australopithecus afarensis specimens were from Laetoli, Tanzania, thousands of kilometers to the south.  Did they actually extend all over Africa, or were the Ethiopian specimens a distinct population?  Schwartz, co-author of a four-volume work on the human fossil record, said that all the Laetoli fossils differ in detail from those in Hadar.  “This means, of course, that no Hadar specimen is A. afarensis.”It’s kind of fun watching the Planet of the Apes actors fight each other (e.g., 12/21/2004, 09/23/2004).  You saw this latest dispute coming, of course.  After awhile, each new episode looks like a rerun (for the plot line, see 06/11/2003 commentary).  We know it’s all fiction anyway (see 12/30/2004, 11/19/2004, 02/19/2004).(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

In Pursuit of the Crown: Play Your Part Ambassador set to Compete at Mrs. Globe 2019

first_imgBy Phindi MadunaOn 25 November to 8 December 2019, businesswoman and philanthropist, Mrs. Lucia Ochan will represent Africa during the Mrs. Globe 2019 pageant in that will be held in Shenzhen, China.In addition to being the Mrs. Mpumalanga 2017 second runner-up, Mrs. Ochan is also the reigning Mrs. Africa Globe 2019. She was also recently awarded the ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’ award at the 4th Annual Sunrise Women Award 2019 which took place in her home province of Mpumalanga.She uses these esteemed platforms to raise worldwide awareness on work  being done  to advance the rights of the elderly, women and children.Addressing issues around the education, leadership, health, safety and security of the elderly, women and children, especially young girls, is close to Mrs Ochan’s heart. She is committed to making change that allows for  exercising the values enshrined in the South African Constitution.It is noteworthy that her participation in the pageant coincides with the period when South African will be observing the 16 Days of Activism of Violence against Women and Children Campaign between 25 November to 10 December 2019. South Africa has over the years dedicated this period to draw attention to issues on violence against women and children and finding meaningful ways to address it.Brand South Africa wishes Mrs. Ochan well in her endeavor to fly the flag and amplify the voice of the country’s people. This is how she continues to Play her Part.last_img read more

Turn Your Timelapse Videos into Moving Paintings

first_imgComputer Algorithm TimelapseVFX artist and art director Danil Krivoruchko took a different approach to create his Van Gogh-style moving painting of New York. Krivoruchko skipped the Prisma app in favor of a computer algorithm developed at Cornell. Using footage of New York, and with the assistance of artificial neural networks, the final video is beautiful.Krivoruchko used an open source code from Manuel Ruder, Alexey Dosovitskiy, and Thomas Brox. If you want to download the code to use it yourself, Ruder has put the open source utility online. You will need Ubuntu and a pretty serious computer to handle the workflow. After export, you’ll need to use After Effects for some compositing, color correction, motion blur, and to tweak any glitches.Here is a look at the timelapse before being altered.What are your favorite recent artistic timelapse videos? Please share them in the comments below! These stunning timelapse videos are true works of art. See how they were made — and learn how you can make your own.Top image via Drew Geraci/District 7 MediaCheck out these two different approaches to creating a moving painting. Whether using apps or the provided source code, you’ll be creating artistic timelapse videos in no time.Prisma TimelapseDrew Geraci and the crew at District 7 Media are behind plenty of well-known timelapse videos, like the intro to House of Cards.District 7’s latest video is a fantastic look at China through the artistic app Prisma, which is available now for Android and iPhone. Prisma uses artificial intelligence to transform still photos into works of art, done is the style of artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, and Levitan.Using footage of a recent trip to China, Geraci pulled individual frames from a sequence and then sent every image through the Prisma app for processing. In the end, 2500 individual frames were uploaded to the app.Each frame of the 1 minute and 20 second video had to be processed via the Prisma App which took almost 80 hours to complete. The processing/rendering was at the mercy of the servers. Most of the project had to be completed between 11pm and 4am EST because the app would freeze or shutdown due to overloaded serves or too many users on at the same time.The project required a tremendous amount of repetitive work — enough to drive Geraci mad.The easiest way for me to create the video was to physically take a picture of the video (on a 4k monitor) using an iPad and save each photo directly to the iPad. Once all of the photos were taken, I used my PC workstation to directly pull the images off the iPad and onto a local hard-drive to continue the processing.The worst part was the constant repetition of taking the photo, processing the photo, moving 1 frame forward, and then saving the image. Sometimes I would forget to do a step and have to start over completely. It was mind-numbing work to say the least!Here is a side-by-side comparison of the actual footage and the final Prisma output.last_img read more

The First Immutable Truth of Business

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Your business is about serving your clients. It is about making a difference for those clients. That is what a business does, and everything else needs to be aligned around this one idea. Things like “shareholder value” are a distraction.This is an immutable truth of business:The people who know the most about clients are the people who actually serve those clients. They know the most about clients because they spend time with them, they deal with them directly, and they are on the front lines when it comes to the challenges presented by serving those clients. No one knows more.Unless a leader is in front of clients often enough to have that same experience, they think of clients in the abstract.Unless marketing spends time with clients, clients are a collection of demographic and psychographic surveys and research.Your clients aren’t names on a billing or profit report.It doesn’t matter what your title is, and it doesn’t matter how much research you perform, unless you spend time with your clients, you don’t know anything about them, collectively or individually.No one ever says, “We have a major problem with a client. Let’s see if we can get help from the shareholders. They have a lot riding on this.”If you want to know how to produce better results for your clients, go and spend time with them. If you want to understand how you can create greater value for the people and companies you serve, go and listen to them. If you want to know how challenging it is to serve those client, go and spend time with the people who are actually doing the work and trying to live your value proposition.Clients aren’t an abstraction. If you want to improve your performance, go and feel what it is like to deal with the concrete reality of serving your clients.last_img read more

Snowy owls finally heading north after southern mishap

first_imgAPTN National NewsTravelling the country can be an exciting way to spend your summer, but it does come with risk.Two local Inuvik residents found this out when they were injured during their summer holidays in Alberta.What makes this case unique is that these northern residents are owls.APTN National News reporter Wayne Rivers has this story.last_img