Coronavirus: Random Thoughts

Clueless Red State Governors Georgia -Just found out within last 48 hours that the virus can be transmitted even from asymptomatic people….(been common knowledge for at least two months before that utterance…Who knew?) -South Dakota is not New York. We don’t need these closures, distancing measures, etc. (Tell that to Smithfield packing plant employees, where …

Dihydrogen Monoxide: A Strange Substance

Dihydrogen momoxide (aka Water) is an extremely common substance we all know about – or do we? Some odd properties of water: It has a much higher heat capacity than most substances. Heat capacity is the quantity of heat which must be applied to raise the temperature of a given amount of substance by, say, …

Fentanyl – A Primer

Fentanyl is an extremely potent drug, whose legitimate uses include pain relief for cancer patients. It is one of the most potent drugs in the pharmacopeia. A usual dose of 100 micrograms or less does the trick; it would take about 10 milligrams of morphine to achieve the same result. For those who are metric …

The Seaman’s Exam

Fresh out of 90-day wonder school, I reported to my first duty station, line officer, USS Aeolus (ARC-3). (I always will remember when they passed out these assignments. My company chief told me where I was going, then took a beat “Mr. Canaff, what the hell is an ARC?”) The ship, converted from a Navy …

Caveat Emptor (what you see is (often not) what you get…….)

We seem to be hearing a lot of Latin these days (quid pro quo and all that). In a past career with DEA, I was editor, for a time, of a newsletter and journal we called Microgram. We received a never ceasing flow of mail concerning bait-and-switch in the drug trade (caveat emptor, buyer beware). …

Marijuana Species……..What’s in a name?

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 defines marijuana, in part, as “All parts of the plant Cannabis Sativa L…….”. Many of us learned that biological classification of living things follow a sequence in order of specificity: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species, Variety Skipping over the obvious. Marijuana is a plant, not an animal. …

Chicken of the Sea

Shortly before reporting for duty on my first ship in 1963, she was involved in a collision in San Francisco Bay. According to my shipmates, the captain (a well politically connected naval reserve commander) was heard to say to the exec as collision was imminent,”Well, John, there goes my fourth stripe”. As the Navy cliché …

How “legal” should pot be?

About 21 states have adopted some form of “decriminalization” of marijuana to date. The legality is, at best, confused. Under current federal law, pot is a Schedule I controlled substance (it has a high potential for abuse, and has no accepted medical use). This is stated in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, and is …