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Decarboxylation: What It Is, & Why You Should Decarb Your Weed

Decarboxylation: What It Is, & Why You Should Decarb Your Weed

decarbing

Have you ever wondered why you need to heat cannabis to feel the psychoactive effects? In order to get high from cannabis, you need to decarboxylate it first. But, what is decarboxylation and why should you decarb your weed? We’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting the most out of your herb. 

What is decarboxylation?

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Did you know that raw cannabis is non-psychoactive? The herb only becomes psychoactive when two things happen. First, when the bud dries and ages. Second, when the cannabis is heated. More psychoactive compounds are created by heating the plant than via ageing. In order to release the full potential of marijuana’s psychoactive effects, you must first go through a process called decarboxylation.

 

“Decarboxylation” is a long word for a simple process. To decarboxylate your herb, you just need to heat it. Applying a little heat to dried bud inspires some fascinating chemical reactions in the plant. Namely, you transform compounds called cannabinoid acids into a form that is readily usable by the body.

Cannabinoids are chemicals found in the cannabis plant that bind to cells in the body to produce effects. Sometimes decarboxylation is called “activating” or “decarbing”.

You probably have already heard that the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis is delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is what gets you high when you smoke a little flower or eat an edible. But, you won’t find much THC on a live, growing marijuana plant, if any at all. What you find instead is another compound called THCA, which is short for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid.

THCA is not psychoactive. That’s right, this acid compound won’t get you high. In order to feel the mind-altering effects of cannabis, you need to transform THCA into psychoactive THC. So, you apply a little heat.

Each time you take a lighter to a joint or place your cannabis in the oven, you are acting the part of an amateur chemist. You are converting one compound into another. You’re turning an otherwise non-psychoactive plant into a psychoactive one. To get specific, you are removing a “carboxyl group” from the acid form of THC. Hence the term “De-carboxylation“. Without that carboxyl group, THC is able to freely bind to cell receptors in your brain and body.

Are there benefits to raw cannabis?

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If you want a high, you need to decarb first. However, there are some benefits to leaving your cannabis raw. Keep in mind that “raw” does not mean dried and cured. When you dry and cure your cannabis, a little decarboxylation happens as the herb ages.

Raw, uncured cannabis has a variety of health benefits. Cannabinoid acids are potent anti-inflammatories. The herb is also packed full of vitamins and nutrients found in other healthy greens.

To use the herb raw, you’ll need to use freshly picked buds or fan leaves. You can also store raw cannabis in the refrigerator for a day or two like you would any other leafy green herb. Though, be mindful of mould and wilting. Densely packed cannabis flowers can become mouldy quite quickly when they’re exposed to moisture. You really want to use them as quickly as possible. They also begin to lose potency and denature the longer they sit.

Many medical cannabis patients have success by simply drinking raw cannabis juices or smoothies. You can find more information on raw, dietary cannabis here.

If you’re hoping for some psychoactive edibles, however, it’s best to decarboxylate your cannabis before you begin the cooking process.

Why do I decarb before cooking?

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If you’re cooking with cannabis, it is highly recommended you decarboxylate before you begin making your edible. If you ingest cannabis and want the full psychoactive effect, you need to first decarboxylate before cooking with the herb. Activating your cannabis prior to cooking ensures that THC’s psychoactive potential is not wasted.

If you don’t decarb before cooking, you risk losing potency and are not making the most out of your cannabis.

Do I need to decarb CBD strains?

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The short answer? Yes. CBD is short for cannabidiol, another common cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive. Just like THC, CBD is found in its acid form in raw cannabis. This raw form (CBDA) has health-promoting properties on its own. But, activating CBD makes it more readily available for the body to use.

To use the proper term, activated CBD is more bioavailable. This means that the compound can be put to use by your body right away. When left in its raw form, your body has to do some extra work to break down the molecule and it may use the acid form in a slightly different way.

The same goes for other cannabinoids as well. Their raw form is the acid from. To make them more bioavailable, you need to decarboxylate. Bioavailability is why you need to decarb your weed.

Temperature and terpenes

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When it comes to decarboxylating, the lower the temperature you use, the longer the decarboxylation process is it’s going to take. However, this is not a bad thing! When using a lower temperature, you to lose fewer terpenes throughout the decarboxylation process.

Have you ever wondered why buds of even the same strain can have different tastes and smells? The answer is hidden in terpenes. Simply put, terpenes are the oils that give cannabis plants and flowers their unique smell such as berry, mint, citrus, and pine. There are many medicinal benefits to terpenes; some will successfully relieve your stress while others will promote focus and awareness.

Terpenes also work in tandem with THC and other cannabinoids to amplify the medical benefits of certain strains. For example, one common terpene is linalool. Linalool is the compound that gives lavender its unique scent. Strains like L.A. Confidential and Lavender tend to have high levels of linalool. Research suggests that this may amplify the sedative effects of THC.

The max temperature for terpene expression is 310 to 400°F (154 – 204.4°C). Anything above that will burn off the terpenes, altering flavor and lessening medical effects.

How to decarb before cooking

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Decarboxylation is a super simple process. Before you throw some cannabis into your pasta sauce or some “herbal seasoning” to your next pizza, make sure you follow these easy steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 240° F. / 115° C.
  2. Break up cannabis flowers and buds into smaller pieces with your hands. We use one ounce, but you can elect to do more or less.
  3. Put the pieces in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Make sure the pan is the correct size so there is not empty space on the pan.
  4. Bake the cannabis for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so that it toasts evenly.
  5. When the cannabis is darker in color, a light to medium brown, and has dried out, remove the baking sheet and allow the cannabis to cool. It should be quite crumbly when handled.
  6. In a food processor, pulse the cannabis until it is coarsely ground (you don’t want a superfine powder). Store it in an airtight container and use as needed to make extractions

Watch the video

Fortunately, we’ve created this easy step-by-step video to walk you through the decarboxylation process. It really is not complicated, and taking a little time to properly activate your herb will produce amazing results. Watch the video below to see how it’s done:

 

 

Radiation levels in the Fukushima reactor are soaring unexpectedly

The radiation levels inside Japan’s damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor No. 2 have soared in recent weeks, reaching a maximum of 530 sieverts per hour, a number experts have called “unimaginable“.

Radiation is now by far the highest it has been since the reactor was struck by a tsunami in March 2011 – and scientists are struggling to explain what’s going on.

The previous maximum radiation level recorded in the reactor was 73 sieverts per hour, a reading taken not long after the meltdown almost six years ago. The levels are now more than seven times that amount.

Exactly what’s causing the levels to creep upwards again is currently stumping the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). But the good news is that they say the radiation is safely contained within the reactor, so there’s no risk to the greater population.

The latest readings were taken near the entrance of the No. 2 reactor, immediately below the pressure vessel that contains the reactor core.

To get an idea of the radiation levels inside, the team used a remote-operated camera to take photos of the area – the deepest point in the reactor to date – and then analysed the electronic noise in the images to measure radiation levels.

The technique has an error margin of plus or minus 30 percent, which means that it’s not highly accurate. But even at the lowest end of the measurements, the levels would still be 370 sieverts per hour – and could be as high as 690 sieverts per hour.

These unexpectedly high levels are complicating Tepco’s plan to decommission the nuclear reactor. The most recent aim was to have workers find the fuel cells and start dismantling the plant by 2021 – a job that’s predicted to take up to half a century.

But the levels within reactor No. 2, at least, are in no way safe for humans.

The Japanese National Institute of Radiological Sciences told Japan Times that medical professionals have no experience dealing with radiation levels this high – for perspective, a single dose of just 1 sievert of radiation could lead to infertility, hair loss, and sickness.

Four sieverts of radiation exposure in a short period of time would kill 50 percent of people within a month. Ten sieverts would kill a person within three weeks.

Even the remote-operated camera sent in to capture these images is only designed to withstand 1,000 sieverts of radiation, which means it won’t last more than two hours in the No. 2 reactor.

It’s not yet clear exactly what’s causing the high levels either. It’s possible that previous readings were incorrect or not detailed enough, and levels have always been this high. Or maybe something inside the reactor has changed.

The fact that these readings were so high in this particular location suggests that maybe melted reactor fuel escaped the pressure vessel, and is located somewhere nearby.

Adding to that hypothesis is the fact that the images reveal a gaping 1-metre (3.2-foot) hole in the metal grate underneath the pressure vessel – which could indicate that nuclear fuel had melted out of it.

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On Monday, Tepco also saw “black chunks” deposited on the grating directly under the pressure vessel – which could be evidence of melted fuel rods.

If confirmed, this would be a huge deal, because in the six years since the three Fukushima reactors went into meltdown, no one has ever been able to find any trace of the nuclear fuel rods.

Swimming robots were sent into the reactors last year to search for the fuel rods and hopefully remove them, but their wiring was destroyed by the high levels of radiation.

Naturally, Tepco is reluctant to jump to any conclusions on what the black mass in the images could be until they have more information.

“It may have been caused by nuclear fuel that would have melted and made a hole in the vessel, but it is only a hypothesis at this stage,” a Tepco spokesperson told AFP.

“We believe the captured images offer very useful information, but we still need to investigate given that it is very difficult to assume the actual condition inside.”

Given the new readings, Tepco is now putting their plans to further explore reactor No. 2 using remote operated camera on hold, seeing as the device will most likely be destroyed by the intense conditions.

But they will send a robot into reactor No. 1 in March to try to get a better idea about the internal condition of the structure, while they decide what to do next with reactor No. 2.

One Month Before The Olympic Games in Rio, Everything Is A Disaster

There is always a panic about the state of affairs in the host city in the lead-up to the Olympics, but usually, fears start to abet closer to the Games.

In Rio, however, things are only getting worse. With only a month to go before the Opening Ceremony on August 5, an official state of emergency has been declared.

Vanessa Barber of the New York Times dubbed the Games an “unnatural disaster,” which might sound like an exaggeration, except that when acting state governor Francisco Dornelles announced a “state of public calamity” in Rio, he said that the crisis might lead to a “total collapse in public security, health, education, mobility, and environmental management.”

Related PostLess Than Six Months Out, The Rio Olympics Are A Mess

By officially declaring a state of emergency, the city is now able to receive emergency funding from the federal government, but only time will tell whether it’s all too little, too late.

Five months ago, the biggest concerns headed into the Games were the Zika virus, polluted waters, and unfinished venues. Now, not only have those problems not been solved, a host of other issues — such as a super bacteria, unpaid police officers, and a closed anti-doping facility — have been added into the mix.

Additionally, President Dilma Rousseff was impeached in May and thousands of families have lost their homes due to Olympic construction.

So as athletes spend the coming weeks trying to book their ticket to the Games and doing their last-minute training regimens, it’s important to take a closer look at the city that awaits them when they arrive.

Police Aren’t Getting Paid

Last week, athletes, tourists, and Rio residents were greeted at the Rio airport with a sign that read, “Welcome to Hell. Police and firefighters don’t get paid, whoever comes to Rio de Janeiro will not be safe.”

That’s not exactly a message that inspires confidence.

Seen at the airport in Rio today: First responders welcome toutists. A sign of what’s to come during the Olympics?

Bailout money — approximately $850 million worth — is coming as a result of the state’s emergency status, and back pay will reportedly be distributed to the emergency personnel this week. But some officers are not optimistic that they will receive the support they need to keep up with the increase in tourists for the Games and the rising crime rates in the favelas, the Brazilian slums located in urban areas.

“We have a very common saying here in Brazil — ‘For the English to see,'” one officer in Rio told CNN. “I believe that the politicians here are doing everything for the English to see.”

Increased Crime Rates

Perhaps related to the lack of funds available, there have been numerous high-profile crime incidents in Rio in recent weeks.

Among those, an Australian Paralympic athlete was mugged at gun point; a German broadcasting truck filled with equipment was hijacked; mutilated body parts washed up on a beach near the Olympic volleyball venue; and there was a shootout to free a drug kingpin at the hospital that will service many of the tourists during the Games.

Safety should be a concern to everyone heading to Rio — according to Barber, 76 people have been hit by stray bullets in Rio so far this year, and 21 of them have died. Brazil is also facing an “epidemic” of anti-LGBT violence.

“[Violent crime] is the most serious issue in Rio and the state is doing a terrible, horrible job,”controversial Rio mayor Eduardo Paes told CNN. “It’s completely failing at its work of policing and taking care of people.”

However, Paes said that 85,000 officers from outside police forces, including the army and navy, will arrive in Rio in late July to work at the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Police Brutality

Of course, the answer to an increase in crime is never as simple as “more policemen,” especially considering the history of police brutality in Rio. According to Amnesty International, there has been a 135 percent increase in the number of people killed by police officers in Rio in the run-up to the Games. In May, 40 people were killed by on-duty police officers. Last May, the number of fatalities was only 17.

Related PostPolice Brutality Has Surged In Brazil. It’s About To Get Even Worse.

“The soaring death count ahead of this major sporting event represents an epic failure on the part of the authorities to protect the most fundamental human right — the right to life,” said Atila Roque, Executive Director of Amnesty International’s national office in Brazil.

“It is completely unacceptable that these numbers are increasing despite all the warnings and complaints of Rio inhabitants of the excessive use of force by police. The authorities must act immediately to rein in the worst excesses of the security forces, stem the cycle of violence, and ensure the right to life is assured.”

Most of the people impacted by police violence are young, black men from very poor communities in Rio, particularly the favelas.

The ‘Super Bacteria’

The pollution in Rio’s waterways has been a concern ever since an AP investigation last year found that Olympic athletes would be swimming and boating in waters that were up to 1.7 million times more hazardous than waters on a Southern California beach.

Now, mere weeks before the competitions begin, CNN reports that Brazilian scientists have discovered a “drug-resistant bacteria” that entered the city’s waterways “when sewage coming from local hospitals got channeled into the bay.”

“We are making this alert because, if athletes get infected there is a chance this bacteria is multi-resistant and the physicians should know about this,” lead researcher Renata Picao told CNN. However, Picao did not recommend moving the Games.

There has also been a recent oil slick in the Guanabara Bay, the sailing venue for the Games, which is turning white boats brown.

“The boats were completely brown,” Spanish sailor Jordi Xammar told the AP. “But the worst thing was we saw a lot of dead fish.”

Zika Virus

With all of the above controversies, the Zika virus has become somewhat of an afterthought. However, it is still something that is of great concern for athletes, tourists, and, most crucially, residents of Brazil.

In May, a professor warned in the Harvard Public Health Review that it was “socially irresponsible” for the Olympics to continue, and that because an estimated 500,000 people will come into Rio for the Games and there is still so much unknown about the Zika virus, the games could lead to a “foreseeable global catastrophe.”

Related PostDoctor Warns That Rio Olympics Could Lead To A ‘Global Catastrophe’

The mosquito-borne virus is particularly a concern for women who are pregnant or who are planning on becoming pregnant, but men who are planning families have also been instructed to be careful, since the disease can be transmitted sexually. Recently, MLB pitcher Francisco Rodriguez recounted his two-month battle with Zika, and described how much it zapped his energy and impacted his quality of life.

A few notable athletes, including seven male pro golfers, have withdrawn from the Games in partbecause of Zika.

While the World Health Organization (WHO) insists that as long as precautions are taken, such as mosquito repellent, athletes and tourists should feel confident going to Rio for the Games — with the exception of pregnant women. August is a part of Rio’s winter, so conditions are expected to be less hospitable to mosquitoes during the Olympics anyways.

But unfortunately, fear over the disease is still a factor for many — and it doesn’t help that so many of Rio’s hospitals have been shut down due to the financial crisis.

Welcome, we don’t have hospitals! – “Aviso” na estrada do Galeão. (Foto: Tiago Bla)

No Anti-Doping Lab

To top things off, the Rio anti-doping lab was shut down late last month.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) closed the lab down because of its “nonconformity” to international standards. The lab previously lost its accreditation in 2013 and spent $60 million to get re-certified. Many of those funds came from the government, despite the massive recession in Brazil.

According to the AP, the director of the laboratory, Marco Aurelio Klein, was fired after WADA closed the lab, and the new director, Rogerio Sampaio, is scheduled to meet with WADA in the upcoming weeks to try and get the lab reopened in time. However, in the likely case that Sampaio is not successful and the lab remains closed for the Games, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will have to choose a lab outside of Brazil to test the blood and urine samples collected at the Games. Currently, the IOC is considering labs in Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Bogota, Havana, and Mexico City.

“The Agency will ensure that, for the time being, samples that would have been intended for the Laboratory, will be transported securely, promptly and with a demonstrable chain of custody to another WADA-accredited laboratory worldwide,” Olivier Niggli, WADA’s incoming director general, said. “This will ensure that there are no gaps in the anti-doping sample analysis procedures; and that, the integrity of the samples is fully maintained.”

But with the torch scheduled to be lit in just four weeks, nothing is certain.

David Rockefeller Says Conspiracy About ‘One World Order’ Is True

David Rockefeller Says Conspiracy About ‘One World Order’ Is True

David Rockefeller is a part of American history and the only billionaire in the world who is over 100 years old. The richest oldest man on the planet is due to turn 101 in June.

He is part of a family dynasty whose name is associated with America and has become legend. His grandfather John D Rockefeller who died in 1937 was the founder of Standard Oil and the world’s richest individual.

The name Rockefeller has been associated with wealth, power, politics, finance, diplomacy, philanthropy, marijuana prohibition, aliens, UFO’s and conspiracy theories.

One such conspiracy theory is the creation of a ‘one world order’, according to which a group of ‘Elites’, including David, are milking the system for their own benefits and the benefit of their friends and fellow conspirators against the interest of the United States.

They have been accused of setting up institutions such as the ‘Trilateral Commission’ and the ‘Bilderberg Group’ among others to advance their interests nationally and globally.

Their aim is to create an international world order under a single umbrella, to deal with global issues, initiated and controlled by western countries.

Obviously such a hefty vision could be seen as a conspiracy, by the powerful and the well connected, to dominate and manipulate the weak and the fragmented people of the world.

David Rockefeller, the last former member of the unofficial royal family of America, has admitted in an article by The Independent, that if he is accused of such conspiracies to bring about a ‘one world order’, then he is proud and guilty as charged.

He says: “Some even believe [the Rockefellers] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterising my family and me as ‘internationalists’ conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I’m proud of it.”

Although the name ‘Rockefeller’ still retains its resonance, its influence is fading. Being a Rockefeller these days ain’t what it used to be.

THE INDEPENDENT REPORTS:

David, patriarch of that family and of a vanished Wasp establishment, celebrated his 100th birthday.

These days he is pretty low in the billionaires’ pecking order: 603rd according to Forbes magazine, the chronicler of such matters, with a fortune of “only” $3.2bn.

Even the family’s total wealth, much of it locked away in trusts, is put at a relatively modest $10bn – enough to buy fleets of yachts, private jets and a couple of mansions in Belgravia, but not a patch on his grandfather John D Rockefeller.

When he died in 1937, “Senior”, the founder of Standard Oil and a contender for the world’s richest ever individual, was reckoned to have assets equal to 1.5 per cent of US GDP, about $250bn today. Compared with that, Carlos Slim, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett are distant also-rans.

From almost the moment of his birth, on 12 June 1915, in the embers of the Gilded Age, David was the favourite grandchild: the one, according to “Senior”, who was “most like myself”.

The others of John Rockefeller Jnr’s six children are now long gone. Winthrop, a former governor of Arkansas, died in 1973. Abigail, David’s only sister, died in 1976, followed by John in 1978, and by Nelson – his most famous sibling, governor of New York and Gerald Ford’s vice-president – in 1979.

Laurance Rockefeller, an airline magnate, survived until 2004. David is the last one left. And in his day, Nelson notwithstanding, he was probably the most influential of them all.

David Rockfeller flourished at the intersection of business, high finance and international diplomacy. He was never elected to any political office, but in his heyday, in the 1970s and 1980s, he seemed to know every politician who mattered on the planet.

Part of that went with the job of chairman of Chase Manhattan, which David sought to make a global bank. Part was due to merely being a Rockfeller.

“Having the name can be an advantage,” he once said. “I’m more apt to get through on the telephone to somebody.” Part perhaps also reflected his much-praised work in US wartime intelligence in Europe, between 1943 and 1945.

All of this made him a networker of epic proportions (his Rolodex, in that pre-smartphone age, read like a global Who’s Who); not surprisingly the journalist and former LBJ aide Bill Moyers once called him “the unelected but indisputable chairman of the American establishment”.

From the outset, too, David was a committed internationalist. To that end, in 1973 he set up the Trilateral Commission, featuring the West’s great and good, and soon found himself the butt of conspiracy theorists around the globe.

Today, there’s much hyperventilating about the secretiveness of the Bilderberg Group (another collection of worthies favoured by David). But that fuss is nothing compared with the suspicions once aroused by the Trilateral Commission.

For the right, it was a cabal operating as a global government; the left saw an unaccountable rich man’s club, promoting free markets to the exclusion of all else. Senior’s favourite grandson was accused of being the plotter in chief – and he positively revelled in the charges.

“Some even believe [the Rockefellers] are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterising my family and me as ‘internationalists’ conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I’m proud of it.”

But the globetrotting chumminess had its downside. David Rockefeller, it was said, never met a dictator he disliked.

More specifically, he worked with his friend Henry Kissinger to persuade President Carter to allow another friend, the deposed Shah of Iran, into the US in 1979 to be treated for cancer.

The result was the Tehran embassy hostage-taking and a rupture with Iran that endures to this day.

Most fascinating perhaps is David’s relationship with the domineering Nelson. His elder sibling was tempestuous, ferociously ambitious and a compulsive womaniser. As a child, David was reserved and solitary, with an passion for collecting beetles.

As an adult, he was suave and non-confrontational, a man who loathed scenes above all else. Not surprisingly, the pair grew apart, especially after Nelson’s divorce and remarriage to his mistress Happy Murphy in 1963, a scandal that may have scuppered his presidential aspirations.

Gradually, starting even before Nelson’s death, David became the family head, his image further burnished by philanthropy: over his life, he is reckoned to have given away $900m, including $79m last year alone. In 2002, he became the first Rockfeller to write an autobiography, entitled, simply, Memoirs.

Ultimately, David Rockefeller is a reminder of how even the mightiest dynasties fade. Before the Kennedys, the Rockefellers were America’s unofficial royal family.

But the last Rockefeller to hold public office, David’s nephew Jay, retired last year from his Senate seat in West Virginia. The Kennedys are increasingly history, and, one day, the Bushes and Clintons will be as well.

The younger Rockefellers have gone their own way. Most have to make their own living; some have even changed their names. Being a Rockefeller ain’t what it used to be.

Their political relevance, however, persists. David, like Nelson, was a “Rockefeller Republican”, a well-born moderate endowed with a deep sense of noblesse oblige.

If the GOP is to recapture the White House in 2016, a dash of inclusive Rockefeller Republicanism is essential. And nothing, surely, would more delight the oldest billionaire on earth.

HomeSci-TechArticle Internet mogul Kim Dotcom vows to fight extradition to US

Kim Dotcom. File photo
Image by: NIGEL MARPLE / Reuters

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom vowed to fight a New Zealand court ruling that could extradite him to the United States where he is wanted on piracy-related charges.

After a nine-week hearing Judge Nevin Dawson found there was “overwhelming” evidence to support extradition of the 41-year-old and three other Megaupload founders.

Dawson said the four had 15 days to file an appeal, but Dotcom, who has spent four years battling the case, said outside Auckland’s North Shore District Court that he had acted immediately.

“This is not the last word on the matter. We’ve filed an appeal,” the German national told reporters.

“I’m disappointed. That’s all I have to say and I wish everybody a very merry Christmas. I’m going home now.”

New Zealand Justice Minister Amy Adams, who will have to approve any extradition, would not be drawn on the court ruling.

“As the court’s decision may be appealed, it would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time.” she said.

If extradited and found guilty by a US court, Kim faces up to 20 years in jail for offering pirated content American authorities say cost copyright owners hundreds of millions of dollars.

Dotcom argued Megaupload was a genuine file-sharing site which did its best to police copyright infringement but had 50 million daily users and could not control every aspect of their activity.

He has accused US authorities of pursuing a vendetta against him on behalf of politically influential Hollywood studios.

The judge said Megaupload at its peak was the 13th most popular site on the Internet, accounting for four percent of all online traffic.

In 2010, it is estimated Dotcom earned US$42 million, his co-accused Mathias Ortmann US$9m, Bram van der Kolk $US2m and Finn Batato US$400,000.

Dotcom, who was arrested in a dramatic police raid on his mansion north of Auckland in January 2012, has denied all charges, which in his ruling the judge said were “not trivial in nature”.

“They allege serious misconduct involving approximately US$175 million claimed to be lost by the copyright owners. As a prima facie case exists, it is proper that the copyright owners should be heard at trial,” he said.

In an interview with the New Zealand Herald two days before the decision, Dotcom said the District Court finding would not be the final word and the legal battle could last several more years with appeals from both sides.

“I don’t know how long the whole process will take. A year and a half, two, three years or more. It’s a very complex matter,” he said.

He added that he had fresh legal funding to defend himself in New Zealand and also planned to take legal action in Hong Kong, where he set up Megaupload in 2005, seeking more than US$2.0 billion in damages for the takedown of the file-sharing site.

Earlier this month he won the right to access his US$50m in restrained funds in Hong Kong for legal and living expenses.

“I now have the opportunity to fight back in Hong Kong and take legal action against those who have destroyed what I have built there and that means I can sue, indirectly the US government by suing the Hong Kong Department of Justice,” he said.

“I have had enough of being defensive. I want to go on the attack now and 2016 will bring that opportunity.”

Dotcom is a German national with permanent residency in New Zealand under a government visa scheme for wealthy migrants.

Can you believe this! WTF! Subway removes ham and bacon from nearly 200 stores and offers halal meat only after ‘strong demand’ from Muslims

Nearly 200 Subway branches across the UK and Ireland have cut out ham and bacon, selling only halal meat, in response to demand from their multicultural customers

  • 185 branches across UK and Ireland now sell halal-only meat
  • Halal refers to objects or actions permissible under Islamic law
  • Pork is forbidden and while other meat can be eaten, it must be sourced, slaughtered and processed according to strict rules
  • Subway said all halal meat served in its branches has come from animals that were stunned before being slaughtered
  • Halal-only menu is in response to ‘strong demand’ from Muslim customers

Fast food giant Subway has removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets, and switched to halal meat alternatives in an attempt to please its Muslim customers.

It has confirmed turkey ham and turkey rashers will be used instead in 185 of its stores, where all the meat will now be prepared according to halal rules.

The chain, which has around 1,500 outlets across the UK, explained its decision by saying it had to balance animal welfare concerns with ‘the views of religious communities’.

Nearly 200 Subway branches across the UK and Ireland have cut out ham and bacon, selling only halal meat, in response to demand from their multicultural customers

Traditional halal slaughter sees animals have their throats slit before bleeding to death. But Subway stressed that the meat served in its sandwiches would come from animals that have been stunned first, a practice that aims to reduce any suffering.

In Arabic the word halal means ‘permitted’ or ‘lawful’ and defines anything that is allowed or lawful according to the Qur’an.

It is often used to indicate food – particularly meat – has been prepared in accordance with Muslim principles and techniques.

Muslims are forbidden from eating any non-halal food and meat from pigs and Subway said customers can identify those stores selling halal food by the special ‘All meats are Halal’ sign, which must be displayed in participating branches.

In the halal-only branches ham and bacon has been substituted for turkey ham and rashers.

Many animal charities condemn halal slaughter as being cruel to animals.

Traditionally in halal abattoirs the throats of the animals are cut while they are fully conscious – an act many campaigners say is inhumane and needlessly cruel.

In the halal-only stores ham and bacon have been substituted for turkey ham and turkey rashers, the sandwich chain said. A spokeswoman said all halal meat served in Subway branches has come from animals that were stunned before being slaughtered

In the halal-only stores ham and bacon have been substituted for turkey ham and turkey rashers, the sandwich chain said. A spokeswoman said all halal meat served in Subway branches has come from animals that were stunned before being slaughtered.

In non-halal abattoirs, livestock are stunned before killing to prevent any unnecessary suffering.

Some halal butchers also practise pre-stunning, though it is not permitted by some Islamic scholars.

In Britain, killing an animal without prior stunning is illegal, but the law gives special exemption to Muslim and Jewish meat producers on the grounds of religion.

There are thought to be around 12 abattoirs dedicated to unstunned slaughter in the UK, while hundreds practise stunned halal slaughter.

A Subway spokeswoman told MailOnline all halal meat served in the participating branches is from animals who were stunned prior to slaughter.

She said: ‘The growing popularity of the Subway chain with the diverse multicultural population across the UK and Ireland means we have to balance the values of many religious communities with the overall aim of improving the health and welfare standards of animals.

‘We put a programme into place in 2007 to ensure that the population demographic is taken into account when new store openings are considered in order that we meet consumer demand in each location.

SUBWAY SUBS AFFECTED BY RULES

Subs
Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt
Steak and Cheese
Meatball Marinara
Subway Melt – ham, bacon, turkey breast and cheese
Italian B.M.T. – pepperoni, salami and ham
Spicy Italian – pepperoni and salami
Chicken Avocado

Breakfast subs
Bacon
Mega Melt – bacon, sausage, egg and cheese
Sausage
Bacon, Egg and Cheese
Sausage, Egg and Cheese

All ham and bacon is replaced by turkey ham and turkey rashers and all meat is prepared according to Islamic halal rules.

‘All our suppliers comply with EU animal welfare legislation as a minimum and we require suppliers of halal products to adopt the stunning of animals prior to their slaughter.

‘All halal meats are certified by the appropriate halal authorities.

‘All halal Subway stores have numerous signs stating that they serve halal food.

‘These are situated on the menu panels, nutritional information and in the front window of the store.’

Animal campaigning charity PETA urged people to opt for a vegetarian diet to ensure they have the best interests of animals at heart.

A spokesman said: ‘At the best of times, meat is a product of a bloody and violent industry with no respect for other living beings who value their lives in the same way that we do and experience the same pain and terror that Subways’ customers would if they were killed for a sandwich.

‘Most religions, including Islam, preach kindness to animals, but words are one thing and practice another.

‘As the Dalai Lama said, “My religion is kindness”. And a diet that expresses kindness, is open to all religions and truly respects animal rights is a vegan one.

‘Subway-goers, no matter what their religion, can eat with a clear conscience by opting for the veggie patty, the veggie delight or, heaven forbid, a salad.’

Speaking about the general issue of halal slaughter, an RSPCA spokeswoman added: ‘Scientific research has clearly shown that slaughter of an animal without stunning can cause unnecessary suffering, and the RSPCA is opposed to the slaughter of any animal without first making it insensible to pain and distress.

‘At present, the only legal exemptions to stunning during slaughter exist for kosher and halal methods of slaughter, however, it is important to differentiate between ‘religious’ and ‘non-stun’ slaughter as around 90 per cent of all halal in the UK receives a stun before slaughter.

‘Our concern has nothing to do with the expression of religious belief but with the practice of killing by throat cutting without pre-stunning.

‘We believe that meat produced from animals stunned or not stunned before slaughter should be clearly labelled to allow consumer choice, and continue to press for changes in the law that would improve the welfare of all farm animals at the time of slaughter.’

HALAL DICTATES OBJECTS OR ACTIONS PERMISSIBLE UNDER ISLAMIC LAW

Halal refers to any object or action which is permissible according to Islamic law. The term covers not only food and drink but also matters of daily life.

Halal foods are those that Muslims are allowed to eat or drink under Islamic Shari’ah. The criteria dictates both food which are allowed and how the food must be prepared. The foods most commonly addressed are types of meat and animal tissue.

The most common example of non-halal, or forbidden food is pork. It is the only meat that must not be eaten by Muslims at all, due to historical, cultural and religiously perceived hygienic concerns.

Muslims are forbidden under Islamic law from eating any pork products, any other meat must be sourced, killed and processed according to strict rules

Other meats can be forbidden, depending on their source, the cause of the animal’s death and how it was processed.

To be halal, the food must have come from a supplier that uses halal practises. Specifically the slaughter must be performed by a Muslim, who must invoke the name of Allah prior to killing the animal. Commonly a person will say ‘Bismillah’ (‘In the name of God’) before repeating ‘Allahu akbar’ (‘God is the greatest’) three times.

The animal is then slaughtered with a sharp knife, by cutting the throat, windpipe and blood vessels in the neck without cutting the spinal cord. The blood must then be drained from the veins of the animal.

Traditionally and according to Islamic scholars an animal must be conscious while slaughtered.

However the majority of halal abattoirs stun the animals before killing them.

Muslims must also ensure that all foods, particularly processed foods, as well as non-food items like cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, are halal.

Wormhole Created in Lab Makes Invisible Magnetic Field: Amazing!

magnetic wormhole

A new device can cloak a magnetic field so that it invisible from the outside. Here, a picture of how the wormhole would work.
Credit: ordi Prat-Camps and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Ripped from the pages of a sci-fi novel, physicists have crafted a wormhole that tunnels a magnetic field through space.

“This device can transmit the magnetic field from one point in space to another point, through a path that is magnetically invisible,” said study co-author Jordi Prat-Camps, a doctoral candidate in physics at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. “From a magnetic point of view, this device acts like a wormhole, as if the magnetic field was transferred through an extra special dimension.”

The idea of a wormhole comes from Albert Einstein’s theories. In 1935, Einstein and colleague Nathan Rosen realized that the general theory of relativity allowed for the existence of bridges that could link two different points in space-time. Theoretically these Einstein-Rosen bridges, or wormholes, could allow something to tunnel instantly between great distances (though the tunnels in this theory are extremely tiny, so ordinarily wouldn’t fit a space traveler). So far, no one has found evidence that space-time wormholes actually exist. [Science Fact or Fiction? The Plausibility of 10 Sci-Fi Concepts]

The new wormhole isn’t a space-time wormhole per se, but is instead a realization of a futuristic “invisibility cloak” first proposed in 2007 in the journal Physical Review Letters. This type of wormhole would hide electromagnetic waves from view from the outside. The trouble was, to make the method work for light required materials that are extremely impractical and difficult to work with, Prat said.

Magnetic wormhole

But it turned out the materials to make a magnetic wormhole already exist and are much simpler to come by. In particular, superconductors, which can carry high levels of current, or charged particles, expel magnetic field lines from their interiors, essentially bending or distorting these lines. This essentially allows the magnetic field to do something different from its surrounding 3D environment, which is the first step in concealing the disturbance in a magnetic field.

So the team designed a three-layer object, consisting of two concentric spheres with an interior spiral-cylinder. The interior layer essentially transmitted a magnetic field from one end to the other, while the other two layers acted to conceal the field’s existence.

The inner cylinder was made of a ferromagnetic mu-metal. Ferromagnetic materials exhibit the strongest form of magnetism, while mu-metals are highly permeable and are often used for shielding electronic devices.

A thin shell made up of a high-temperature superconducting material called yttrium barium copper oxide lined the inner cylinder, bending the magnetic field that traveled through the interior.

magnetic wormhole device
A new device has created a magnetic wormhole, in which a magnetic field enters one end and seems to pop out of nowhere on the other side.
Credit: Jordi Prat-Camps and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The final shell was made of another mu-metal, but composed of 150 pieces cut and placed to perfectly cancel out the bending of the magnetic field by the superconducting shell. The whole device was placed in a liquid-nitrogen bath (high-temperature superconductors require the low temperatures of liquid nitrogen to work).

Normally, magnetic field lines radiate out from a certain location and decay over time, but the presence of the magnetic field should be detectable from points all around it. However, the new magnetic wormhole funnels the magnetic field from one side of the cylinder to another so that it is “invisible” while in transit, seeming to pop out of nowhere on the exit side of the tube, the researchers report today (Aug. 20) in the journal Scientific Reports.

“From a magnetic point of view, you have the magnetic field from the magnet disappearing at one end of the wormhole and appearing again at the other end of the wormhole,” Prat told Live Science.

Broader applications

There’s no way to know if similar magneticwormholes lurk in space, but the technology could have applications on Earth, Prat said. For instance, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines use a giant magnet and require people to be in a tightly enclosed central tube for diagnostic imaging.

But if a device could funnel a magnetic field from one spot to the other, it would be possible to take pictures of the body with the strong magnet placed far away, freeing people from the claustrophobic environment of an MRI machine, Prat said.

To do that, the researchers would need to modify the shape of their magnetic wormhole device. A sphere is the simplest shape to model, but a cylindrical outer shell would be the most useful, Prat said.

“If you want to apply this to medical techniques or medical equipment, for sure you will be interested in directing toward any given direction,” Prat said. “A spherical shape is not the most practical geometry.”

So Elon Musk’s Hyperloop Is Actually Getting Kinda Serious

Realtime coverage : Firefighters Missing After Deadly China Blasts, No known cause yet, Looks like a 5K nuke?

Authorities reportedly lose contact with 36 firefighters at the site of two blasts that ripped through an industrial area.

Dozens of firefighters are missing after two large explosions hit an industrial area in the Chinese city of Tianjin, killing at least 17 people and injuring hundreds more.

Authorities say they have lost contact with 36 firefighters at the scene, the Beijing News reported.

Nine firefighters have been confirmed dead. It was not immediately clear whether they were among the 17 people already reported dead.

Map of showing the Chinese city of Tianjin

More than 400 people have also been injured in the blasts, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The first explosion at happened at around 11.30pm local time, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

The explosion, believed to have involved a shipment of explosives, triggered a blast wave that could be felt miles away, CCTV said.

The second blast, which was much bigger than the first, happened about 30 seconds after the initial explosion.

The blasts sent huge fireballs into the air.

The initial explosion also triggered other blasts at nearby buildings, Xinhua said.

Reports say many of those were wounded by broken glass and stones.

Police said the initial explosion happened at a warehouse owned by Ruihai Logistics.

Senior management at the firm have been detained by authorities, state media said.

President Xi Jinping is demanding severe punishment for anyone found responsible for the explosions, reports said.

There has been no indication of what caused the explosions.

Beijing News said the explosions shattered windows and knocked doors off of buildings in the area.

Video: Huge Blast Rocks Chinese City

Tianjin resident Zhang Siyu, who lives several kilometres from the site of the warehouse blast, said: “I thought it was an earthquake, so I rushed downstairs without my shoes on.

“Only once I was outside did I realise it was an explosion.

“There was the huge fireball in the sky with thick clouds.

“Everybody could see it.”

Ms Zhang said she could see wounded people crying, and added: “I could feel death.”

Han Xiang said: “It was like the earthquake back in 1976 with glass breaking.

“But then there was a huge mushroom cloud so we thought we were also in a war.”

The fire has been brought under control, CCTV reported, although it is still burning.

Tianjin, home to around 15 million people, is one of the biggest cities in China.

WATCH THIS STRANGE MULTICOPTER CARRY A GUY

Quadro Multirotor

NOT BAD FOR A FLYING HUMAN BLENDER!

There are some strange relatives in the helicopter family. Small quadrotor drones are the most popular recent addition, but there have been human-carrying cousins for decades. These aborted hoverbikes took the unusual step of putting an exposed pilot safely above the craft’s spinning blades. Not content with those flying human blenders, some human-carrying multicopters aim to sit the pilot almost level with the rotors. Check out this project man-carrying multi-copter from Quadro UAS:

Despite the low flight in the video, this project is hardly haphazard experimentation. The vehicle makers document the math behind the decision. The vehicle uses 16 rotors, arranged in clusters of four, powered by electric engines. A lightweight passenger (no heavier than 134 lbs) sits in the center. Autonomous drone flight software steers the craft. Like other human-lifting multirotors, it’s a work in progress, promising short flights for light people willing to overcome their fear of nearby spinning blades.

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