I was thinking about Osama bin Laden a couple of days ago as my wife and I rushed through Penn Station in New York City to board a train bound for Washington, D.C.  He was on my mind specifically because we learned shortly after his death that an American train might be a likely future mass-murder al Qaeda target.

Imagine our surprise when (1) neither of us was required to produce ID at any time, (2) our considerable luggage wasn't scanned or inspected in any way, despite the fact that we inquired several times about railroad security, and (3) our actual tickets were required only after we'd been on the train for about an hour--and then only to double-check our final destination.

You guessed it:  THERE ISN'T SECURITY at Penn Station (and maybe all U S train stations?), even though, according to Wikipedia, "(Penn Station serves) 300,000 passengers a day at a rate of up to a thousand every 90 seconds, (and) it is the busiest passenger transportation facility in the United States and by far the busiest train station in North America. . . . Penn Station saw 8.4 million Amtrak passenger arrivals and departures in 2010."

The route to the nation's Capitol took us through some major cities--Newark, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Wilmington (Delaware)--and a number of smaller ones.  Plenty of easily accessible and highly populated "soft targets," particularly for a militant who'd just like to put some deadly cargo on the train and leave--alive.

So, if the alternatives are planes, trains and automobiles, I think I'll drive, thanks.


The Huffington Post reports that one of the most closely-guarded secrets in U. S. history--the recipe for Coke--has been revealed.  Apparently, the recipe was published on February 18, 1979, in Coca Cola's hometown newspaper:  The Atlanta-Journal Constitution.  It seems that a local reporter discovered it in a handwritten recipe book written by a local pharmacist.  Ready?  Here you go:    


Fluid extract of Coca: 3 drams USP,
Citric acid: 3 oz,
Caffeine: 1 oz,
Sugar: 30 (unclear quantity),
Water: 2.5 gal,
Lime juice: 2 pints, 
Vanilla: 1 oz,
Caramel: 1.5 oz or more for color

The secret 7X flavor (use 2 ounces of flavor to 5 gallons syrup):

Alcohol: 8 oz
Orange oil: 20 drops
Lemon oil: 30 drops
Nutmeg oil: 10 drops
Coriander: 5 drops
Neroli: 10 drops
Cinnamon: 10 drops



Because of its properties and effects, marijuana has been effectively used to treat insomnia, anxiety, depression, rheumatism, gastrointestinal dysfunctions, ulcers, cancer, epilepsy, bronchitis, and asthma.  Here’s more:


1. Cancer.  For years (probably decades!) the opponents of legalizing marijuana—the “anti-dopers”—have claimed that smoking pot causes lung cancer.  After all, you’re inhaling smoke, just like you do with cigarettes.  That’s just wrong!  Researchers at the American Association for Cancer Research have found that smoking marijuana actually works to slow down tumor growth in the lungs, breasts, and brain!


2. Seizures.  Marijuana is a muscle relaxant.  It has antispasmodic qualities that are effective in treating seizures.  Indeed, there are documented cases of sufferers who are seizure-free only because of marijuana!


3. Migraines.  Since the medical use marijuana was legalized in California, doctors report that they have successfully treated 300,000 migraine sufferers that conventional medicine couldn’t help—all because of marijuana use! 


4. Glaucoma.  The best-documented use of marijuana has been the treatment of glaucoma.   


5. Multiple Sclerosis.  Remember Montel Williams, the former talk-show host?  He used pot to treat his MS, which focused media attention on marijuana’s ability to stop the neurological effects and muscle spasms that accompany this dread disease. 


6. Tourette’s Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Just as marijuana effectively combats seizures and multiple sclerosis, its properties slow down the tics in those suffering from Tourette’s and the obsessive neurological symptoms in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder.


7. ADD and ADHD.  A documented study conducted by the University of Southern California concluded that marijuana is not only a perfect alternative for Ritalin but treats the disorder without any of the negative side effects of the pharmaceutical.


8. Crohn’s Disease.  Marijuana has been demonstrated to reduce the symptoms of Crohn’s, which is a chronic inflammation of the intestines, by controlling nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.


9. Alzheimer’s.  Some research suggests that tetra hydro cannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, retards deposits in the brain that cause this horrible disease. 


10. Premenstrual Syndrome.  Marijuana can be used to treat the cramps and discomfort associated with PMS. 

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