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Prophet 451

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Member since: Wed Jul 27, 2005, 05:10 PM
Number of posts: 9,257

About Me

Opinionated Englishman.

Journal Archives

Would you support cannabis legalisation?

Let's say that we have a proposition to make cannabis legal, subject to the same restrictions as booze (i.e. age regulation, no driving, no handling a firearm). That would include provision to grow your own for personal use or sharing with a few friends.

Would you support legalisation under those provisions?

E-cigarettes 'help smokers to quit'

Smokers who use e-cigarettes to quit are more likely to succeed than those who use willpower alone or buy nicotine replacement therapies, such as patches or gum, a study suggests.

The survey of nearly 6,000 smokers found a fifth had quit with the aid of e-cigarettes.

That was 60% higher than those who did not use the devices, the study said.

The University College London team said they were "cautiously positive" about the role e-cigarettes could play.

E-cigarette use has shot up in recent years.

Action on Smoking and Health estimate there are more than 2m people using them - triple the number from two years ago.

Half of current or ex-smokers have not tried them compared to 8% in 2010.

Users experience the sensation of smoking by inhaling a vapour which contains a concentration of nicotine.

But they remain controversial. The Welsh government wants to restrict their use in public places, because of fears they normalise smoking.


BBC News
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The study also shows that use of e-cigs by people who've never smoked barely exists, that the NHS regulator is looking into adding them to the NHS's aids to stop smoking and that, while not everything is yet known about the effects of e-cigs, they're likely to be far less harmful than tobacco smoke.

I've been using my e-cig for a little under two months. I was a 50-a-day smoker for 25 years. As soon as I started using an e-cig, that went down to four or five and within a month, I was able to cut out those last few. On Thursday, it'll be a month since my last cigarette and I'll consider myself as having quit. That's with no cravings, no irritability and no real downside. I had a couple of days of feeling like I needed to do something with my hands but that was easily dealt with (I just painted more). There's no second-hand smoke (so my SO and cats are better off), just the smell of cinnamon. In time, I'll gradually reduce the amount of nicotine in my liquids until I'm just puffing flavoured steam (I'll keep doing that simply because I enjoy it).

No problem

Right, "Rom" means "man" (in the sense that one might speak of mankind) but can also mean "male" or "husband" depending on context. "Roma" is the collective name we give ourselves. "Romani" (sometimes with two "i"s) can be used instead of "Roma" but more commonly refers to the Romani language. Sinti, I'll get to in a second. Our language is shared... to an extent. Again, I'll come back to that in a second. The word "gypsy" is controversial. It's patently inaccurate (it's derived from "Egyptian" from the Middle Ages assumption we were from Egypt) but some find it offensive and some don't. Personally, I don't find it offensive. "Gyppo", however, is roughly akin to using the n-word to a black man and a really good way to start a fist-fight.

Right, potted history is that we originated in Northern India. We left India sometime around the Ninth century. According to current theories, the Roma left India in three distinct waves which give rise to the great clans: Roma (yes, also used to refer to us as a people, it's confusing) who travelled among central Europe and the UK; Sinti (Germany & Austria) and Kale (Spain). We're also related to the Dom (MidEast and Turkey) and Lom (Caucasus) but whether they're simply clans of the Roma people or distinct but related ethnic groups depend on who you ask. Personally, I tend to think of them as two more great clans because that gives us five and that's a psychologically appealing number (yes, sometimes I can be that shallow). Each great clan is sub-divided into smaller clans such as the Rom/Romale, Kalderesh, Lovari, Gurbeti, etc. And the smaller clans are subdivided into families. I am of the family Nock, which is part of the clan Rom/Romale, which is part of the great clan Roma. To add to your confusion, the Roma of different nations use different terms for themselves. Here in England, the preferred term is "Romanichal".

When we left India, we had a shared language and to some extent, we still do. However, in the intervening eleven hundred years, the language has evolved into seven related languages and numerous slightly different dialects. According to Ethnologue, the most widely spoken are the Vlax, Balkan, Carpathian and Sinte. To make all this even more complicated, Romani has thousands of words appropriated from areas we travelled through or settled in and we're traditionally an oral culture, it's only very recently that we've started writing down things like our history. The result is that a Kalderesh and a Sinti could communicate enough to get the basic gist of what each was saying but would lose finer, more subtle meanings.

For books, I can't help you. However, I've heard good things about "I Met Lucky People" (Yaron Matras). I can direct you to several websites though:
InOtherWords have a pretty good overvie (http://www.inotherwords-project.eu/content/project/media-analysis/terminology/terminology-concerning-roma)

Wiki has a pretty good account of our history (although it differs from our folklore origin myths): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Romani_people

ScottishGypsies is a pretty good info source, just be aware that it has a stated area of focus: http://www.scottishgypsies.co.uk/

Finally, GRTHM have a fair bit of decent info: http://grthm.natt.org.uk/index.php

e-cigs NOT a gateway to new smokers, study finds

A study by ASH has found that almost all e-cig users are either current or former smokers, not new users. Yes, this is from a British survey but I'd imagine that US results are pretty similar. What's more, the study found that the majority of e-cig users are using rechargeable batteries and refillable cartridges/tanks, rather than the disposables released by the big tobacco firms.

Guardian

I'm now a week without cigarettes, just an e-cig

This is why the anti-ecig crusade some seem to be on is so misguided. In the space of about six weeks, I've gone from 50 a day to 0, thanks to the e-cig. I'm going between three flavours of liquid, a tobacco, a cherry and a cinnamon.

Without the e-cig, I would still be smoking. With it, I've quit smoking with no real cravings. The slightly different sensation takes a few days to get used to and I haven't quite gotten up the courage to get rid of my tobacco yet (not least because tobacco is expensive so if I dump it, I'm out 50) but essentially, I've quit. And I keep hearing complaints about e-cigs having sweet flavours, like adults are only allowed to have "used ashtray", "boiled jockstrap" and "stale beer" flavours, all others are for kids.

This is why the crusade is so misguided. I'd been smoking for 25 years and I've been able to quit. My mother, who's been smoking for fifty years, is using e-cigs to quit. If you ban e-cigs or regulate them out of existence, we would still be smoking.

Can't watch the video

I think my graphics drivers need updating. Anyway...

I do wish atheists would stop trotting out the mental illness accusation. I actually am mentally ill (MDD, GAD, "visions" and voices), I'm also a man of faith (Luciferian Satanist, if it matters) and, by coincidence, studying psychology. There's a strong difference between the two that can't really be explained to someone who hasn't experienced both. My "visions" are when an image (in my case, always a violent image) fixes itself in my mind's eye and won't go away. My voices are... difficult to explain. It's like someone talking in the next room. You can hear the sound but can't make out the words.

My religious experience is an entirely different sensation. It's a feeling of connectedness (is that a word? Fuck it, it is now). If you'll forgive the mysticism, it's a sensation of oneness with the deity (Father Lucifer, in my case), of being part of something much older and wiser and larger than the self. It's a quite different sensation.

Now, could this just be a different type of mental illness? Yes, that's entirely possible. However, my drug regime includes a fairly powerful dose of anti-psychotics so I consider it doubtful. In the end, I'm not sure it matters. If my faith demanded that I ignore simple facts (denying evolution or global warming, for example) or caused me to harm anyone, then I could understand trying to talk me out of it. But since my faith doesn't require me to deny facts or cause me to harm anyone including myself (my mental illness frequently does but not my faith), I would suggest that it doesn't really matter very much to anyone outside my close family. I'm happy with my faith, it provides me with a sense of purpose and a code to live by (Note: I am categorically not saying that atheists lack either) and since I'm not affecting anyone else, where's the harm (rhetorical question)?

Is the USA now a fascist state?

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism as it is the union of state and corporate power" ~ Mussolini

And he invented fascism so he should know. Given that a report a few days ago found that the USA was now an oligarchy and that the FCC yesterday capitulated entirely to the two-tier internet that corporations want, is it now accurate to call the USA a fascist (i.e. corporatist) state?

Remember that tanks in the streets, racism, genocide, etc are not required for a nation to be fascist.

Why or why not?

EDIT: If you can't be bothered to explain why not beyond simple denial, DON'T RESPOND.

Just tried my first e-cigarette

And I think I may be a convert. The cig lasted less than a day (crappy cheap disposable) but it gave me a nice solid smoke flavour and a nice throat hit similar to Marlboro Reds (my preferred pre-rolled). I've now ordered myself a proper starter kit and bottles of dark tobacco flavour and cherry flavour. My SO is happy because, while not harmless, e-cigs are considerably less damaging to my health.

So I'd just like to thank all the people on DU who encouraged me to give it a try, you were so right.

I'm all for age regulation

but complaining about "sweet flavours" is a "Hitler ate sugar" argument. They make these things in every flavour on the planet, same as they make booze in every flavour. It's just short of complaining that they should only come in boiled skunk flavour because ecig smokers shouldn't be allowed to enjoy it.

Do you think we'll see a female president?

Simply put, do you think we'll see a female president within the next, let's say, 30 years?

Not necessarily Hillary Clinton but any female president? Assume, for the sake of argument, that we have a female candidate. She espouses more-or-less the standard Democratic party line; she is in almost every way, a generic Democrat. Could she get elected as president or is there still too much sexism (both conscious and unconscious) for her to be elected? If it helps, substitute your favourite female politician into the equation.
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