Philadelphia Officially Decriminalizes Marijuana

Philadelphia has officially passed a bill that will decriminalize marijuana. Beginning October 20th, possession of small amounts of marijuana will only be considered a civil offense, and not normally subject to arrest or jail time.

Yesterday morning, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a marijuana decriminalization bill in an official ceremony at City Hall. Councilman Jim Kenney’s decriminalization bill (which goes into effect on October 20th) does not outright legalize marijuana, but instead downgrades most possession offenses to simple fines. Possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana will be subject to a citation and fine of $25; smoking marijuana in public will be a fine of $100. For reference, most pot smokers only purchase up to an eighth of an ounce of marijuana at any given time, whereas 30 grams is more than eight times that amount. Brian Torchin’s Tumblr has an interesting take on this, .

Possession of more than 30 grams or dealing any amount of the drug will still be considered a criminal offense. It’s also been officially stated that you can still be arrested for minor possession/smoking of marijuana if you fail to present your identification to an officer when approached about it.

The City of Philadelphia’s official Twitter account reads, “This comes at a time when many other jurisdictions are re-examining their approach to marijuana law enforcement.” Along with these changes, the city also announced that it would support the Philadelphia School District’s LifeSkills training program, which is meant to “teach students to resist all drugs, alcohol & tobacco”. The mayor also signed an executive order granting an additional $100,000 in funding to Community Legal Services, to help ex-convicts expunge their criminal records.

British POWs Transformed Prison Camp Using Flowers

One can only imagine how dreary and hopeless a prison camp would actually be in reality. As someone who’s never had to be a POW however, I find it incredible that a group of British POWs transformed the experience using flowers and vegetables.

Reminds me of a conversation I had with Paul Mathieson, about how people need to feel useful. That’s something that rings true for everybody. You have to feel productive otherwise you just start to fade away.

Inmates at the German Ruhleben internment camp set up a horticulture society. They were able to get bulbs and seeds from London’s RHS through the Red Cross.

Utilizing the barbed wire to use as trellis, they were able to create their own greenhouses in the prison. They even got so good at growing vegetables, they would sell the fruits of their labors to the Germans.

Providing a unique way to keep their sanity, some semblance of normalcy, as well as remaining productive and filled with hope.

Photographing Flowers for Transparency Weekend Workshop on October 4th.

For everybody that’s interested in flowers, and photography, there’s going to be a great workshop in the San Francisco area this weekend. Hosted by Harold Davis, this will feature insight into photographing floral masterpieces.

Meaning what goes into the proper lighting, angles, to really capture the way that flowers appear in his photography portfolio.

Great for casual lovers of photography, Brian Torchin enjoys snapping a few shots from time to time.

So make sure you check this out if you have the time. You won’t regret the knoweldge that you gain.

2 Great Cocktail Ideas For A Fall Wedding or Party

If you’re planning on getting married in October, then you’re going to need some great Autumn cocktails to serve at the reception. No wedding is complete without the right reception cocktail, and I have a couple ideas that are perfect for the Fall months:

Pumpkin Chai Martinis
Great idea for that pumpkin infusion of flavor, while still remaining a classic reception drink choice. These contain a bit of vanilla pumpkin chai tea, combined with amaretto and a bit of cream to top off the flavors.

Autumn Manhattan
Again, the Manhattan is a classic drink choice for a wedding reception. Adding rye, champagne, and ginger flavors is perfect for giving any Manhattan that Autumn touch.

These help to bring that unique Autumn flavor that Laurene Powell Jobs craves. Providing the seasonal touch that helps you enjoy the weather, the leaves, and the last of the days you can spend outside before winter arrives.

Bacteria in Wine May Provide A Digestive Health Boost

We all know yogurt is good for you, because fermented dairy products provide you with some of the best probiotics for your digestive health. But until a recent study, scientists didn’t realize how healthy wine can be, for the exact same reason.

The fermentation process in wine creates the same type of healthy digestive bacteria, which can actually improve the ability of your intestines to handle food. Meaning, your body will be able to break down what you eat more efficiently. But more importantly, your body will also be able to better make use of the nutrients that you’re digesting.

According to the study, wine could be a perfect option for those that lack many of the necessary probiotics for positive digestive health. Such as people who suffer from lactose intolerance, and other health afflictions.

The way scientists established the conditions for the study, was to test whether or not bacteria from the wine could survive when met with an atmosphere like the human stomach. Therefore, the bacteria was tested against simulated gastric juice, bile and even saliva. Turns out, the bacteria keeps alive just fine.

So remember, that glass of red wine after dinner isn’t your guilty pleasure, you’re literally drinking to your health!

Modern Family Season 6 Premiere Appreciation Post

Modern Family had their season 6 premiere last night, and it was glorious. I didn’t realize how much I missed the Dunphy Family until the show started up again.

Great to see Cam and Mitchell now three months later too. Hopefully the fourth time is a charm for their marriage.

Overall, pretty good premiere, although the show has lost a little bit of that old spark. Modern Family remains one of those programs that I still have to see, but the old reasons to watch weren’t quite firing on all cylinders yet. Was waiting for that killer Phil line to bring everything together, but it just didn’t come.

Still, leaves me excited for next week.