| This issue is
dedicated to my mom. The theme, "How High The Moon", was
inspired by a great old jazz tune penned by Nancy Hamilton and Morgan Lewis in the
mid-40's. It was first recorded in 1947 by Ella Fitzgerald and in 1950, by Les Paul &
Mary Ford. Both recordings met with considerable success making the song an enduring
classic. And it was one of my mom's favorites songs. My mom was twenty-two years old when
the song first came out and she was twenty-two (my God, 22!) when the picture at left was
taken. Nothing is forever - a point to ponder in that which follows. The lyrics to the
song begin . . .
To me, the lyrics express the ephemeral nature of existence and point to the efforts one is compelled to make to pose questions, the answers to which seem, at best, elusive. (For Cosby children, the "Why is there air, Daddy?" syndrome). Fact: The human race faces constant threats. For all of time, all species have. It is part of the cycle of life and death, and the balance of consumption versus survival. When one analyzes capabilities, it requires no large leap of faith to realize that humans possess an enormous advantages over other species that came before. But we also have equally enormous inherent vulnerabilities. We are organized literally to death. The same intellectual power that has given rise to advantage has also instilled a desire for safety that manifests itself as a dependency on collective thinking processes and cooperation. These patterns of thinking can lead to near field myopia (can't see the forest for the trees) which could well spell doom for even a species as robust as ourselves. We (the industrialized world in particular) have evolved into a organism that depends on others to provide the very most basic of needs, food and water, and it is safe to say that our relative success with this system methodology has masked the catastrophic potential of system failure. Most, until recently perhaps, felt little risk associated with our collective dependencies.
But risk is part of all creative endeavor and the major constituent of all progress. We in the United States have not had to consider many major threats during our history. No war, since the Civil War has effectively reached our shores and a kind of complacency has permeated our society that manifests itself with not only most of our population having an in-bred aversion to risk taking but extends to suspicion and even ostracization of those who are willing to take such risks. Sure there are many individuals out there blazing new paths and taking risks daily but as a group, humans in general, play it pretty safe and would like other to do the same. So let's play a little history extrapolation game by first starting with a very long journey into the pre-human past. From the best that paleo-science can determine, the following is a reasonable assumption of events:
350 Million years ago, during the Carboniferous and Permian Eras, life on earth flourished. Crinoids, ammonites, corals and fish diversified and flourished in the seas, while amphibians and reptiles continued their invasion of the land. But after more than a 100 million years of relative stability, about 250 million years ago, something went terribly wrong. Known as the end of the Permian Period, the largest extinction event in the Earth's history - far more devastating than the much more famous Cretaceous extinction, when the Dinosaurs died out - was visited upon our planet. It has been estimated that as many as 96% of all marine species were lost, while on land, more than three quarters (75%) of all vertebrate families became extinct. Many causes have been proposed for the Permian extinctions - including fluctuations in sea-level, a change in the salinity of the ocean, extra-terrestrial events, and volcanic activity. However, the most important factor seems to be, during this and all other major extinctions, dramatic climatic change.
It is often difficult to determine exactly when mass extinction events have occurred in the Earth's history - the fossil record is not perfect, and the poorer the record for a particular time frame, the more it is open to different interpretations and extrapolations. Some scientists have suggested that there is a cycle of mass extinctions, with a major die off every 26 million years or so. This would imply that there have been some 23 extinction events since the Cambrian, a figure which is at the upper limit of most estimates. While science remains unsure of the total number, there is general agreement over the existence of 6 major extinction events. They are as follows with the most recent date of each period being the estimated time of the extinction:
Since Luis Alvarez, who won a Nobel prize for his/this research, first proposed the existence of a layer of iridium in strata as evidence of a giant asteroid crashing into the Earth, many further studies have supported his ideas. Tiny crystals of quartz were found at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary with a pattern of cracks, a "fracture pattern", of the type which would have been formed by the huge pressure wave resulting from an asteroid impact. Tiny beads of glass like quartz, which could only be formed under conditions of extreme heat and pressure consistent with an impact, were also found at the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K/T) boundary.
The most persuasive
evidence for an asteroid impact would of course be the crater it produced, but for many
years this crater eluded scientists - despite several suggested sites. Alvarez and his
colleagues had calculated that the asteroid, in order to do the kind of damage proposed,
would have to be about 10 km (6 miles) across, so it would have to be a big crater - more
than 150 km across. Then, in 1981, a huge crater off the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico,
which had originally been thought to be of volcanic origin, was put forward as a
possibility. Research on this crater, named after the nearby village of Chicxulub
(chicks-uh-lube), has since shown that it is indeed the result of an extra-terrestrial
impact which probably took place some 65 million years ago, precisely at the end of the
Cretaceous. So there is outstanding evidence of an impact at about the right time.
However, did it truly CAUSE the mass extinction?
Climate change causes
extinction by altering the type and availability of ecological niches (potential homes for
animals and plants) - resulting in conditions that are unsuitable for previously thriving
species, which must migrate to more suitable areas or adapt to the new conditions. If they
cannot migrate or adapt, they are driven to extinction. *(Editors note: Are you beginning to see a useful parallel to
the issue of smoking and health?) - To
continue . . .
Evidence has been
sought of asteroid impacts at the time of the other mass extinctions, but, to date,
reliable evidence has only been found at the Permian-Triassic boundary. There is also
evidence for several major asteroid impacts that did not cause mass extinctions, so any
general role for asteroids in producing mass extinction events remains unclear.
While it has become popular in the mind of the public, some scientists remain skeptical about the asteroid impact theory as a cause of mass extinction. They argue instead that huge volcanic eruptions (Super-Volcanoes) were responsible, not just for the Cretaceous extinctions, but perhaps for other mass extinction events as well. There is certainly good evidence that the end of the Cretaceous was a time of immense volcanic activity, in particular in the Deccan region of India, where one of the largest eruptions of the last 200 million years took place. The cloud of debris and gas thrown up by this, and further eruptions in North America and the Atlantic, would certainly have had equally (to impacts) catastrophic effects for the animal and plant life of the time. But what about the unusual layer of iridium which inspired the asteroid impact theory?
Recent research has
shown that material from the Earth's mantle, thrown out during eruptions, also contains
high levels of iridium - so the eruptions of the late Cretaceous may be responsible for
the iridium layer. Other evidence suggests that the iridium layer built up gradually - as
we would expect if it was the result of gradually increasing volcanic activity, but not if
the cause of the layer was a sudden asteroid impact. Even the fracture patterns found in
quartz crystals could, scientists suggest, have been caused by volcanic explosions rather
than an asteroid impact.
The problem lies not
only with an incomplete fossil record, but also with problems of dating fossils accurately
enough to produce a reliable result. It may be that the cycle seen by researchers is
simply the result of incorrect information. If there is a pattern to mass extinctions,
then it has important implications - such a cycle suggests that there is a single cause
for all the extinctions. For example, there might be an cloud of comets passing through
our solar system every 26 million years which results in regular collisions with the
Earth. Much more research is needed to determine if there really is a cycle of mass
extinctions - but we should have plenty of time to carry it out. Most of the studies
suggest we are safely in the middle of a cycle, with no mass extinctions due for at least
10 million years!
Luis Alvarez's ground breaking work on iridium analysis of geological layers, started a revolution as to the way we look at our past - and our possible future. His work gives us a clear warning that those that tread water by playing it safe in their quest for conservative, non-evolutionary survival models are ultimately the victims of changing forces they cannot control. Those that limit the scope of development and strive not for Diversity and aggressive attention to new ideas as well as the ability to quickly adapt spell survival. Humans are the first species to inhabit this planet who actually have a chance at controlling extinction level forces and, conversely/unfortunately, at creating just such forces. Extinction can come in many forms and from more than one interrelated cause. Physical, spiritual (the ability to dream/imagination), or intellectual stagnation increases an organism's vulnerability depending, of course, on which of those tools are the organism's mainstay but it seems logical to assume that when the threat arises, only the omnivore who is fleet of foot, quick of mind, forward looking and to some degree, lucky, will survive. However what is more appropriate in the context of this magazine is the similarity of methods of extrapolation where direct evidence must be interpreted rather than simply observed. Even with the prestige of scientists like Alverez and others to help make a convincing case for certain scenarios, we really do not know for sure what was the deciding factor that ultimately caused any extinction event anymore than we really know how tobacco affects the human system. Just as volcanoes, climatic changes, and extra-terrestrial object all may have been co-factors in these catastophic events, there may and probably are many factors in play when someone suffers from tobacco use. To assume any one factor to be the end all solution for our ills - or our successess - is potentially very dangerous as other factors may be overlooked. Humans are prone to look for the THE answer rather than examine a wider spectrum of contributing events and it is that tendency that worries me most of all. One thing is certain. If you want to know the validity of any speculation where humans are concerned, look for the MONEY. If someone or some group is benefitting financially from their postulates, you can bet they are presenting less than all of the facts. Tobacco research to this point has been a cruel joke played upon a group of people who seem worth only as blood money donors. Yes people that smoke cigarettes have more health problems. But is the TOBACCO the only or even primary cause. Considering how many people enjoy tobacco with few or any debilitating effects, should lead any scientifc investigation to look at mitigating circumstance, whether there is much fiscal reward or not in doing so.
I have a passion for tobacco. I have been accused of being eloquent. I suppose both to varying degrees are true. However, it is important to qualify these things with some perspective. Yes I love good tobacco and I won't write about that which I don't find at least passable. Often it takes some time living with certain blends for me to decide if I really like them or hate them. Indifference is aplace I rarely visit. To be sure, smoking is a self-indulgent practice that I internalize no guilt from. Human self-indulgence can be quite a positive thing. Still there are things I am passionate about that go far beyond the rather narrow scope of tobacco, taxation and most other daily human endeavors. In that vein I bow to masters of eloquence far greater than I. Considering the scope of the above scenario which covered nearly 500 million years, what we think and do about tobacco or any of our other personal habits or behaviors seems trivial by comparison. Take for instance the writings of a truly eloquent human being, the late Carl Sagan, who wrote the following in an essay entitled "You Are Here" which appeared in his book "The Pale Blue Dot." Sagan was inspired to write the following after viewing an image taken from the Voyager I spacecraft as it took one last look back at the tiny insignificant speck that is our entire world from a distance of 4 billion miles. (Voyager was leaving our solar system after a fantastic tour of the planets that make up the neighborhood we live in). Carl Sagan wrote:
"Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."
--Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994 - Courtesy of the Planetary Society (http://www.planetary.org)
And in case you're interested - as you should be - Sagan was responsible for Cosmos (the books and the TV series as well as Contact - the novel and the Jody Foster film it inspired which no doubt will be among the classics of our age. And when you visit the Planetary Society's website, you might as well become a member (I have been since the late 70's). You get their magazine which is an incredible source of news concerning the human adventure into the wider cosmos.
So today just as 500 million years ago, the dominant species on the planet remains at the mercy of events and forces beyond its control. The mighty and prolific human race still cowers in caves of mis-information and prejudice, too easily led by every despot or prophet who promises a way out of the darknesses these people often themselves create. It doesn't have to be that way and we at RYO Magazine hope to contribute in what ever way possible to ending the manipulation and fear that those that seek power over others rely on. This magazine will continue to stress issues involving personal responsibility and the power of the individual. We have enormous respect for human capabilities and insist on doing whatever we can to awaken that sense of purpose and empowerment that lives in all of us. For those of our kind who remain mired in the dogma of antiquated belief systems or who remain preoccupied with Victorian ideals of how others should live, we can only say that you are a detriment to civilization and a stronger, more logical, viable and certainly more resilient being will of necessity emerge to replace you. We long for a new "Golden Age", one of reason and serious efforts to seek out the truth for truth's sake not for monetary manipulation or accumulation.
With all of the billions of dollars supposedly available for tobacco research that has been extracted from the smoking public, it is an ethical disgrace that almost NO true comprehensive research has been conducted on the effects and constituent properties of burning tobacco as compared to burning other things. It is a fact that any conflagration produces toxins and carcinogens. No specific data other than tar and nicotine content has ever been gathered on various brand cigarettes and how they differ in output of "dangerous" chemicals and to what extent actual real life dosage effects the user separate from other environmental factors such as diet and exercise. Absolutely no research has been conducted on the moderate use of purer forms of tobacco such as that enjoyed by the make your own enthusiast. Claims of 4,000 chemicals produced by burning tobacco is never balanced with the fact that burning most things produces thousands of chemicals. It is certainly sad to note that effectively, we know far more about life 300 million years ago than we do about the real effects of tobacco and while much of the data regarding things long ago is the result of extrapolations based on a small amount of fossil evidence, nearly all tobacco and health data cannot be dignified as even reasonable extrapolation as it is based on even less direct scientifically developed evidence. Furthermore there is little pecuniary profit in paleo-science while the tobacco regulation machine generates hundreds of billion of dollars. And we still don't know why some people have problems with tobacco while others seemingly have little or none, except the effect it has on their wallets.
Beginning later this year RYO Magazine will become a print publication as well and while we will continue to write about high quality, untainted tobacco products, we are expanding the scope of the publication to include pertinent works of fiction, non-fiction, political essays, political humor (no shortage of material there) and satirical cartoons. We will expand our section on interviews seeking out those with forward thinking philosophies regardless of their particular take on the tobacco issue. We want something cutting edge, something of literary value and something a bit out there and as far from a tobacco trade magazine as possible while still emphasizing the fact that RYO is symbolic for making your own decisions and that will always include YOUR decision to enjoy tobacco.
I suppose that it is as appropriate here as anywhere else in this issue to address the Tisch-Hill and Morgan-Tisch Glass Tobacco Pipes we introduced last time. We are still intending to create this line of smoking tool especially considering the great response we have received for them. They remain one of the finest smoking experience I have yet enjoyed but we have run into a few snags as to their manufacture. Specifically, I refer to the weakness of the pipe shaft. The tubular Pyrex glass that is used in this shaft is simply, in its native form, not strong enough to withstand the torque and pressure applied to the shaft when inserting the pipe stem. Even worse, the normal act of striking the pipe against the palm of the hand to dislodge residual tobacco which has been a practice of briar pipe smokers for centuries also inflicts damage on the shaft. Smokers of clay pipes well know that this practice will damage those but clay pipes tend to be very cheap and most folks realize that they are delicate to a fault. Our intention is to make our glass pipes every bit as rugged as their briar counterparts (except for dropping on hard surfaces, of course), so a little more R&D is going to be necessary to toughen the shaft. We think we know the answer, which is to melt the shaft tubing and reform it into a semi cylindrical object that will enjoy the same strengthening that the bowl does when it is melted before being formed. However, I am not a glass expert and am certainly willing to listen to any ideas from our readers on this subject. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments. We thanks those many of you who have expressed interest and, as we are determined to produce this item as soon as possible, your expertise could be vital.
In the meantime since we talked about these pipes here on the cover last time let us also here introduce another pipe which is manufactured by Falcon of the UK, that is every bit as innovative as we hope our glass pipes will one day be. Falcon pipes, distributed by Music City Marketing, ( www.musiccitymarketing.com ) have been around for some time but only recently did we have the opportunity to examine them. We were frankly quite impressed by both how well they function and by their innovative design. They are basically a component pipe which means they disassemble into sections to include a bowl and shaft. In other words the bowls are interchangeable and you can thus buy one shaft assembly and literally have a large number number of bowl shapes and sizes that will fit. This design also addresses one of the most irritating characteristics of briar pipes - that is, not being able to find a replacement bit for your favorite pipe. Usually it takes only a few years of smoking until one begins to "bite" through the stem of even the most expensive pipes. And no pipe making company we know of stocks and sells replacement bits. We know because our search for bits in general for our glass pipes took a huge amount of time and only then did we find that there are only a couple of bit suppliers in the US and ordering from Europe can take several months at best. And it turns out that, in most if not all cases, one must send their pipe to a master pipe craftsmen to have them build a new custom bit for one's cherished pipe.
The Falcon system is simple. The bit, shaft, and bowl holder (see right) are one piece. A couple of the more expensive assemblies have removable bits but most are one piece affairs. After choosing the look, shape, and feel of your shaft assembly, you can mate any of the bowls, shown above left, to it. The bowls simply screw into the holder. This not only provides a lot of diversity in the pipe smoking experience but the bowl is far easier to clean as it is a separate piece, hollow at both ends. However all of this innovation would be for naught unless the pipe ultimately smoked well. And these do. The draw is perfect and the bowl holder part of the assembly actually keeps tobacco residue from getting into the stem. This residue is instead evaporated as it sits under the bowl in the bowl chamber. The result is a very sweet and clean tasting pipe, with much the same characteristics that we found so enjoyable in our glass pipe prototypes. Retail prices for both stem and bowl range from $20-$30 so for $40+ you can have a truly unique pipe smoking experience. Check with your local retailers as we know of no online sources yet for retail purchase but if we do not find one soon we will consider marketing them ourselves. They are that good.
And now with the theme of "How High the Moon" in mind, let us this time end with just this: The Dinosaurs and other species groups that fell victim to environmental forces beyond their control, seldom looked up. They most likely led a day to day survival pattern of existence, watching their feet and not cultivating their minds in ways that would lead to other options to enhance their survivability. They had powerful physical characteristics that they relied upon much like we rely on government and other group mind organizations to fix all of our problems. They likely became extinct because they were ill-equipped for predicting and adapting to change. We humans have environmental forces to deal with as well and some of the most dangerous, are of our own making. Government, fanatical religions, blind prejudice, and other forms of mass control mentalities must be dealt with proactively by every one of us from a discerning personal point of view rather than as a mob. These entities may pose as much a threat to our survival as asteroids, volcanoes and changing weather patterns. Simply put, forces of nature and forces of man have blurred the distinction between responsibility and fate and for the first time equally affect how we as a species can maintain control over our personal and planet wide destinies. Remember that the MSA (Master Settlement Agreement) against big tobacco resulted in punitive dollar damages TRIPLE of what the entire Apollo Space Program cost that got us to the Moon. We received countless benefits from the Apollo project, from computer science, electronics, robotics, and communications, to environmental and medical breakthroughs. So far we have seen nothing from the MSA save a few organizations getting rich and a lot of careless spending of these extorted funds in every area but tobacco science. We simply must make better use of our mental and physical resources. Whew!! . . . Now I think I'll go get a cheeseburger before the cost becomes prohibitive.- the ed.
For an interesting look at the Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) issue, we once again recommend that you read Junk Science's (http://www.junkscience.com ) Steven Milloy regarding his adventure into the statistical world of EPA studies by clicking here. Our thanks to Fox News for keeping the article available for a while, at least. Also of interest is Steven's elevated ride on the back of the CDC's Public Health Turkeys. Steven Milloy's book "Junk Science Judo" is an enlightening look at the business of Health Scare for Profit. It is available by clicking the book graphic at right. A great read! He also explore the exploitation of the brand new demon that is the food industry. Click here to read an interesting review of a new anti-food industry book that uses wild statistical extrapolations disturbingly reminiscent of much of the anti-tobacco dogma of recent years..
Don Oakley's book, "Slow Burn" is a must read for those who would like a very clear, alternative look at the other side of Tobacco and Health studies conducted over the last few decades and specifically, takes a look at who has gained financially from the results. We have no "fixed" position on smoking and health. We assume that smoking has risk to some unknown degree but have seen far too little responsible data to irrationally fear the moderate use of high quality tobacco.
At times like this, reading can be very therapeutic, and materials, that provide insight as to how issues, that affect us all are manipulated to a certain point of view, are downright fascinating. For instance, a book by a highly respected science fiction author contains a number of interesting essays on subjects as varying as the Ozone Layer to HIV - AIDS. The author, James P. Hogan, is a master storyteller as well as a respected physicist. He is also an avid researcher in the field of exposure of fact-free science. His book (one of many) "Rockets, Redheads, and Revolution" is a combination of fact and fiction that makes for a truly entertaining read. Especially check out the section entitled "AIDS Heresy and the New Bishops". It will provide a sumptuous banquet of foods for thought for those of you who are still convinced that the "Truth Is Out There". It is incumbent for every human being to question the findings of those who have something to gain from their point of view, especially when that gain is pecuniary.
Check out the website http://www.junkscience.com and subscribe to their newsletter. You will be amazed at how much is taken for granted as fact in the world of so called "research." Also visit the CATO Institute's website for an "E" Ride into reality.
Be sure to visit our Buyer's Guide by clicking on the graphic link at left. You will find many new things to enjoy at some great savings. In this special section, you will find all of the bargains and interesting items we come across, or that our readers tell us about. The section will be continually updated as new information arrives and, as there are literally hundreds of unusual, practical and hard to find items in the world of RYO, it is our intent to bring them to your attention with links to make your explorations easier. The Buyer's Guide remains a big hit with our readers and to make it increasingly effective, we need your continued input. So retailers, manufacturers, distributors and readers take notice. If you find any interesting items or bargains that you feel worthy of sharing with your fellow readers (and us, of course), please e-mail RYO Magazine with your suggestions. Everyone concerned will appreciate the benefit derived from the vast resources our readership can provide.
We would especially like to thank all of our advertisers who sell and manufacture a diverse array of high quality accessories and tobacco products, as well as the huge influx of e-mail concerning all aspects of the subject of RYO smoking. This magazine has received little opposition from the anti-smoking forces mainly due to the fact that we, as often stated, are not proponents of smoking but proponents of the public's right to smoke. We recognize the problems that tobacco ABUSE (like any other kind of abuse) can cause, and stress continually our belief that tobaccos in the purer forms found in RYO products contain far fewer, if any, of the additives that increase health assessment risks. We further stress the quantitatively sensible usage of tobacco as an occasional diversion that we, as smokers, can actively manage. There is no physiological reason that the enjoyment of quality tobacco need become an uncontrollable habit. For those who enjoy it, tobacco is a pleasurable substance that has a number of benefits to awareness and mood that, when used intelligently, can provide positives unavailable from other substances. But, if you are a four pack a day smoker (or even two), the sheer irritation to your lungs and cardio-vascular system is likely to cause you grief, much like the reaction your system would have if directly inhaling the equivalent amount of smoke from a campfire or other conflagration. Smoking is not a health-oriented practice, at least physiologically. But many forms of entertainment, which seem crucial for our day to day enjoyment of life, pose risk. Moderation is the key in all such endeavors, including tobacco use. If you are going to smoke tobacco, it seems only logical to enjoy the highest quality, most additive-free products available. We strive to make available information on just such products but remember, if you feel you should quit, then do it. In most cases, it can be done quite easily with a little creative replacement therapy without filling the already huge coffers of the pharmaceutical driven nicotine supplement industry.
Well, there are always lots of new products to look at, so we hope you enjoy your visit here this time and wish all of you an increasingly prosperous and enjoyable 2002. Just remember that all of you have a great deal of control over your future.
Check out the links below and keep abreast what is happening in the tobacco wars. It directly effects you and your right to smoke and other endangered freedoms more and more every day. - the ed.
1. http://www.smokersalliance.org - The National Smokers Alliance
2. http://www.forces.org - FORCES - A national smoker's rights organization
3. http://www.smokers.org - The American Smoker's Alliance
4. http://www.fujipub.com/fot - Friends of Tobacco - A Tobacco and Smoking information clearing house
5. http://www.junkscience.com - A highly entertaining site exposing fraudulent and expensive scientific extrapolations.
6. http://thomas.loc.gov - Current, past, and pending legislative actions, bills, and sponsors - a huge resource.
7. http://tobaccolovers.com - A new and growing resource for tobacco related, history, techniques, and links.
8. http://www.smokerscorner.al.ru - A new Eastern European site with a variety of informational sections & services
9. http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-366es.html - a "White" Paper produced by the CATO Institute covering the Shelby Amendment which requires that all aspects of research whose findings lead to legislation being enacted be made part of the public record available to all. Fascinating reading.
Also, most of the news services (CNN, Fox, ABC, MSNBC, etc.), have extensive archives of smoking related articles both pro and con. They are great resources for both sides of the issue. Their websites are easily found in search engines or by URL (i.e. cnn.com).
Without a doubt, even though we are being redundant, we strongly suggest you read what should be the handbook for the smoker's rights enthusiast, Don Oakley's "Slow Burn" - an incredibly well researched, powerful history of the facts and fallacies (mostly) of the anti-smoking movement from its organized inception in the early 60's to present - is available at Amazon.com (click the book graphic at right to purchase it immediately online from Amazon.com (highly recommended). This book is filled with detailed accounts of the step-by-step conspiracy that has created the anti-tobacco environment we all suffer today as well as many portents of the dangers of attorney driven campaigns to change the ways our basic rights are defined. It's all about money and it will make you angry . . . AND. . . you will be amazed at how much wool has been pulled over the eyes of the American sheep population and the enormous cost of the sheering.
Below are some
additional links to sites with some in-depth information on the colorful
1. Jim Shaw's Burnt
|EDITOR'S NOTE: These reviews are solely for the convenience of people of legal age who already smoke, are trying to cut down on smoking, wish to spend less money on their smoking, want to roll their own cigarettes from high quality tobacco, and, in general, wish to have a far more satisfying, and economical smoking experience when compared with smoking pre-manufactured cigarettes. We, in no way, encourage people to smoke. Further, we prescribe to a sane, more logical approach to smoking that involves common sense as to quantity coupled with a strong desire to manage the habit until it becomes an occasional, freely chosen, diversion, that can be fully enjoyed with minimal health risks. Finally, we strongly encourage those who do smoke to take it outdoors, or to appropriate environments where tobacco can be enjoyed away from those who do not smoke, most especially children. We do not sell tobacco or related products from this site; We distribute information about our perceptions of the quality of what is available and where it can be obtained. If you are under 18, it is illegal to buy tobacco and you should immediately exit this site. If you do not smoke, it would seem illogical to start.|
© 1999 RYO Magazine
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