• RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA STATUS IN CALIFORNIA: Starting next January, a state-regulated system – still frantically in development – becomes legally effective and could generate over $1 billion in annual tax revenue. However, before licenses can be issued, regulators must work with local ordinances determined by over 500 cities & counties, many of which have banned weed or edible businesses outright or have dragged their heels on issuing required permits. So far, under 10% of the estimated 40,000 farmers haven’t even signed up for permits, for reasons including: (1) the hassle of securing building permits & water rights; (2) establishing recordkeeping protocols and correlated tax filings; and/or (3) the ambiguousness of Federal legality which “limits the ability of businesses to robust operate normally – including ineligibility for common tax deductions and unwillingness of banks to service” growers, producers or dispensaries. Since less than 20% of the some 13.5 million pounds grown annually get consumed in California, and new rules ban out-of-state exports, growers may also need to downsize. So reality is that “tax revenues could fall short and that a robust black market will continue.” [BLOOMBERG BUSINESS WEEK – Nov 6, 17]
  • 3 DAILY CUPS OF COFFEE PROVIDES LOWER RISK OF MORTALITY, based on the largest study to date involving over a half-million people followed for more than 16 years. Compared to those who did not drink coffee, the “digestive diseases” mortality risk lowered by 59% for men and 40% for women; the “all cause” mortality risk was lowered by 12% for men and 9% for women. Additionally, the study found that “drinking more coffee was associated with a more favorable liver function profile and immune response” for all, plus lower risk of “circulatory and cerebrovascular” diseases mortality for women. [LIFE EXTENSION – Dec 17]
  • SILICON VALLEY IS NO LONGER THE TOP TECHNOLOGY HUB IN THE WORLD. San Francisco now ranks third, behind Beijing and Berlin, based on “average software engineer salaries, how long it takes to get a business up & running, cost of living, growth index and startup output… The study shows how fast-moving and internationally-competitive the tech industry is.” Combined with Shanghai’s hub (which ranked sixth in the Expert Market study), Beijing’s fast consumer adoption rate and rapid business timelines, helped along by the government’s injection of $1.5 billion last year, have made China “home to leading tech companies including Google & Intel… playing a leading role in supercomputers and market influence in security products, messaging apps, ride-sharing services, electric cars and e-commerce… with an industrial incubation plan to improve its innovation ability in artificial intelligence.” [CHINADAILY.COM.CN – Nov 6, 17]
  • “SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORMS EXPLOIT A VULNERABILITY IN HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY… literally changing your relationship with society and with each other… The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first, was all about how to consume as much time and conscious attention as possible… It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to children’s brains.” – Sean Parker, Facebook founder [LEVINE BRIEFING NOTES – Nov 9, 17]
  • WE’RE TAUGHT THAT HUMANS HAVE FIVE SENSES – sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell. Turns out that’s wrong – scientists estimate up to 33 senses including: balance (equilibrioception), temperature (thermoception), pain (nociception) movement (kinaesthesia), and of course the ‘sixth sense’ (extrasensory perception). [FUTURISM.COM – Nov 10, 17]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Arguing with a spouse is safest by treating it as you do a Software License Agreement: in the end, you ignore everything and just click ‘I agree’!!

     Andrea Bocelli & the Mormon Tabernacle Choir magnificently perform The Lord’s Prayer:  https://biggeekdad.com/2010/01/the-lords-prayer

     Illegally crossing the North Korea border gets you 12 years hard labor; in Afghanistan, you’d be shot; in countries like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or Cuba, it’s indefinite jail-time.  But crossing the U.S. border illegally can land you with a job, driver’s license, welfare & food stamps, free health care & education, plus the right to carry your origin country flag while you protest our system; in many cases you also get a social security card with benefits, and/or the right to vote.  Remember Einstein’s comment:  “There is a major difference between intelligence and stupidity: intelligence has its limits!

             Ten astonishing magic & card tricks:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHz2yTHPU8c

             And one more for amazement: https://biggeekdad.com/2011/08/double-fantasy-magic-duo/