Saturday, October 22, 2005


Does marijuana help relieve depression by generating new brain cells?

Canadian University Research Suggests Marijuana Analogue Stimulates Brain Cell Growth

A synthetic substance similar to ones found in marijuana stimulates cell growth in regions of the brain associated with anxiety and depression, pointing the way for new treatments for these diseases, according to University of Saskatchewan medical research published today in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Xia Zhang, an associate professor in the U of S neuropsychiatry research unit, led the team that tested the effects of HU-210, a potent synthetic cannabinoid similar to a group of compounds found in marijuana. The synthetic version is about 100 times as powerful as THC, the compound responsible for the high experienced by recreational users.

The team found that rats treated with HU-210 on a regular basis showed neurogenesis – the growth of new brain cells in the hippocampus. This region of the brain is associated with learning and memory, as well as anxiety and depression.

The effect is the opposite of most legal and illicit drugs such as alcohol, nicotine, heroin, and cocaine.

“Most ‘drugs of abuse’ suppress neurogenesis,” Zhang says. “Only marijuana promotes neurogenesis.”

Current theory states that depression may be sparked when too few new brain cells are grown in the hippocampus. It is unclear whether anxiety is part of this process, but if true, HU-210 could offer a treatment for both mood disorders by stimulating the growth of new brain cells.

Read more at and at

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Sunday, October 09, 2005


Now I'm a Farmer ...

... and I'm diging digging digging digging!

Well, nice to see you all arriving at the party on time! I just finished reading Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugerman, a real must-read for any Jim Morrison or Iggy Pop fans out there. Danny is co-author of No One Here Gets Out Alive, and he was hanging with The Doors from when he was about twelve, working for them (answering fan mail, writing press releases) since he was fourteen. It was all hunky dory until the needle and the damage done.

For there to be interaction there has to be action; from a quick peruse, I'd say you could increase your blog's popularity sevenfold by posting shorter articles, but more frequently. Cut to the flippin chase my friend, and if you don't want the official site to be commercialized, utilize this baby for that porpoise. You know I have four large offspring and cannot pay my freakin' bills right now.

Anyways, there's a Malene Arpe article in the Toronto Star today about a cybercouple from Boston and Toronto who recently married, with wedding coverage on both of their blogs and on their rabbi's blog, VelveteenRabbi Blog .

Here's some of the story of the blogging couple, Joey deVilla of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Wendy Koslow of Boston, Massachusetts, USA:

What blog has joined together ... Blogospheric romance makes something old something new


They promised to love, honour ... and blog.

Wendy Koslow and Joey deVilla got married Sept. 24 in Boston after a year of careful planning, but if you're a reader of deVilla's blog or the couple's mutual blog, you already knew that.

Koslow, 31, of Boston, and deVilla, 37, a Toronto resident, met at a blogging conference. The rabbi, of course, has all the details on her blog.

"Last night I married Wendy Koslow (of now-defunct blog The Redhead Wore Crimson) and Joey "Accordion Guy" deVilla. Their story reads like a fairytale.

They were introduced by Reverend AKMA at the first BloggerCon a few years back. Despite the distance between Toronto and Boston (and between their two families and backgrounds — Wendy is Jewish and American, Joey a Catholic Philippino-Canadian) they fell in love," reads a recent entry from Rachel Barenblat's Velveteen Rabbi blog.

There was no blogging involved in last year's romantic proposal.

"We'd just spent the weekend out on the town (in Boston) celebrating Wendy's 30th birthday. After a quiet romantic dinner, we went back to Wendy's apartment where we were planning to have dessert and watch a movie. While relaxing, Joey decided that this was as good a time as any, and asked, "Wendy, will you marry this big ol' dumb ol' bear?'" the couple says — via email, of course.

"Everyone was expecting the engagement to happen that weekend except for us. Joey didn't plan to propose then. We didn't even have a ring — there was a diamond waiting for us, but it wasn't in town with Joey."

Last October, following the enthusiastic "yes" to the proposal, the couple started posting the ups and downs and minutiae and links of wedding planning on On Oct. 29, Joey, a technical community development coordinator, had this update:

"In case you hadn't heard, our wedding will be both multicultural and interfaith...

More of this story on

Joey's Accordion Guy Blog

Velveteen Rabbi Blog

Friday, October 07, 2005


What Can We Say?

When you can't think of anything to ask, what can you post about on a site such as this? Besides, judging from the gen eral interest level here, did anyone particularly miss me? Especially when you can just surf on over to the Funny Farm and see that I've been busy over there, and struggling with blog burnout. It's been three years since I started trying to write with regularity in this format, and seeing very little input of any kind on this new site would be bad enough. I was hoping for a bit of interweaving commentary between the two of us - some comments on each other's posts, and some interplay within the posts themselves (which has happened to some small degree IMHO). To see little along these lines, much less some real comments from real people (or partners in bloggy goodness), and to see the only kind of comments that come in be for other blogvertising, is somewhat disheartening to boot.

Does this sort of mutual admiration society actually work out to anyone's benefit? Or are our websites merely part of the latest bucket of crabs - with technological advancement, but no improvement in our relative social condition, while we scurry about trying to get each other to buy things that we refer one another to?

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