Weekend Thoughts - 8.8.15

  Image by  Lisa Omarali , courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Image by Lisa Omarali, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. There was yet another great piece at Ask The Festival Lawyer this week. This time, the topic is: are drug testing reagent kits technically legal and do they qualify as drug paraphernalia? The bottom line is that testing kits are essentially legal under all federal drug laws, and for the most part are legal for personal ownership under state laws. However, owners of head shops in states where drug paraphernalia laws include the a limitation on devices that "identify, analyze, or test" controlled substances should be wary that they may technically fall on the other side of the law because they are operating a business. All in all, it comes down to something I've talked about a few times on Think Wilder—shouldn't harm reduction practices that enable people to have know the purity of what they are planning to ingest be allowed?

2. Defying a Supreme Court decision, the country of India banned pornography websites and then reversed its decision less than 48 hours later, after worldwide criticism. But ISPs are still going to block the websites anyway. Regardless of your personal opinion about pornography, is it right for an entire country to block access to parts of the Internet?

3. I enjoyed this take on the struggle with social media. Points made include the reinforcement of one's ego when seeking likes and comments, the ability to make connections with strangers who live far away, the lurking possibility of those connections becoming mere distractions, and the balance between honesty and fakery that exists when promoting one's work on social media platforms. As someone who spends a fair amount of time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the Psychedelic Chat on Slack, I can definitely relate to a lot of the points made here. I find that choosing to use social media involves a lot of responsibility, and is not always strictly a fun experience.

4. Speaking of banning things, Los Angeles county is planning to move forward with banning EDM festivals altogether following the deaths of some patrons of HARD Summer Music Festival last week. The deaths have been anecdotally attributed to MDMA, but there isn't any solid evidence to confirm that at this time. It seems to me that improving (and in some cases, simply implementing) harm reduction practices would be a better solution than restricting an entire music genre's ability to put on a music festival.

5. I'm really fascinated by the infographics that have been making their way around the Internet that show what happens one hour after consuming a can of Coca-Cola or Diet Coke. I had a love affair with sodas for a large portion of my life, but gave them up almost entirely a few years ago. Nowadays I only have a soda once or twice a year, and I am glad that I have cut back so drastically from the days when I used to drink 192 ounces of Mountain Dew every day! 

6. A piece on the differences between deliberate mindfulness and effortless mindfulness.

7. New scientific research showing that a diet high in leafy greens, beans, berries, wholegrains and wine can slow cognitive decline. Eat your fruits and veggies!

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.