Posted on August 1st, 2012 in Tobacco
Throughout much of the southern United States, hillsides are sporadically pimpled with relics of an age long gone: the tobacco barn. Once serving as both a working tobacco curing facility and a predecessor to the modern billboard, tobacco barns were plentiful in their heyday. In the modern world, farming is on a decline and the knowledge of the dangers of tobacco use is rising; a double-whammy for tobacco barns. In the state of Maryland, tobacco barns are an endangered species. In 2001, the state bought out thousands of tobacco barns in an effort to discourage the growing and curing of tobacco. In 2004, Maryland passed a law that officially made the barns “endangered.” Although tobacco is known to be harmful, the barns are an important historical landmark found only in this part of the U.S. Many of the barns were torn down after the state bought them out but a couple hundred still exist, abandoned and awaiting their fate.   After sitting idly for years, the state has finally come up with a plan for the barns that preserves their historical aesthetic, discourages tobacco farming and allows for a unique housing opportunity. The idea is to remodel the barns in a way that maintains their original character while incorporating some modern day flare. The “Re-Barn’ initiative adds shutters, windows and other modern design appeal to the bones of the existing barn. The result is a multi-bedroom home with all the modern conveniences of a new house and the old charm of a 100-year-old barn. In some cases, the barns could also still function as a working farm, provided that the inhabitants aren’t farming tobacco in any way.   Preservation meets progress. Nice work, Maryland, nice work.
Posted on July 2nd, 2012 in Tobacco
Quitting sucks. Just ask anyone who’s ever tried. Nicotine has a strangle hold on smokers that is so incredibly tough to break that most smokers aren’t able to successfully quit on their first try. Not only is there a strong chemical addiction to nicotine that the body has a hard time shaking but there’s also a psychological addiction that a lot of people overlook.   Smoking is a routine for most people. They smoke at regular times such as work breaks, before or after meals, first thing in the morning and so on. So when a smoker wants to quit not only do they deal with their body craving the chemical but they also face constant reminders in their daily life when they enter a situation where they would have smoked. This gets even tougher when a would-be quitter finds himself or herself in a social situation where people around them are smoking. Temptation is everywhere.   In a new study overseen by UCSF, researchers may have found an answer that allows smokers to work toward quitting while allowing them to give in to temptation. New low nicotine cigarettes have lower amounts of chemicals and nicotine than the normal version and allow smokers to give in to the psychological addiction while they work toward their goal.   The study focused on 135 smokers between the ages of 18 and 70 and concluded that the smokers used the same amount of low nicotine cigarettes as they did when they smoked normal cigarettes; that is to say that they didn’t desire to smoke more to compensate for the lower amount of nicotine.   Researchers are working toward finding the exact amount of nicotine needed to maintain a chemical addiction. Once they find this number, smokers can wean their way to quitting by buying cigarettes with less and less nicotine over time until they break the addiction.   “The idea is to reduce people’s nicotine intake, so that they get used to the lower levels, and eventually get to the point where smoking is no longer satisfying,” said Neal Benowitz, the UCSF researcher who led the study.   While smoking rates are still declining all over the country, one in five deaths is still caused by the habit, which begs the question: Are more people quitting or are there just fewer smokers alive?
Posted on June 26th, 2012 in twitter
SOCRUSH: RT @TheEllenShow: As if I needed another reason to love Oreos. RT @Oreo Celebrate your pride for love!
Posted on June 26th, 2012 in twitter
SOCRUSH: Beautiful @BrandiGlanville can you RT this adorable video your friends @SoCrush made to support #LGBT XOXO
Posted on June 26th, 2012 in twitter
SOCRUSH: Have you seen our video that MTV & FOX refused to air?
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