Fire in Old Folks Home started in pot plantation

Canadian grayhead
NOT a resident of Forever Young – but still mellow

Police in central New Brunswick are investigating a marijuana grow operation discovered at a special care home for seniors by emergency crews responding to a fire.

Firefighters, who were called to the Forever Young facility on Shore Road in Clarks Corner at about 11 a.m. local time Thursday, noticed what appeared to be a grow-op in the basement and alerted police.

RCMP obtained a search warrant and seized 550 plants — enough to produce up to 275,000 joints, growing equipment and a large quantity of marijuana, Cpl. Brian Villers said in a release.

Investigators believe the fire is related to the grow-op, said Villers.

All residents of the home got out safely, he said.

Giggling all the way, I imagine.

I didn’t think any of the Trailer Park Boyz were old enough for senior care.

The UNiMO tread-tracked adventure wheelchair

UNIMO Adventure

Japanese company Nano Optonics Energy displayed its caterpillar-tracked UNiMO (UNIque MObility) micro EV drive train at the International Robotics Exhibition in Tokyo last week, promising new levels of personal mobility for wheelchair users…

There are two models of the UNiMO: the US$18,000 Unimo Grace which is now available for purchase and the US$10,000 UNiMO Adventure which will be available by the end of this month (November 2013).

Even more importantly, the 400 W drivetrain designated E-001 is being made available to other manufacturers to create their own micro EVs…

There are several other features which set the UNiMO apart from the competition. One is its seat which has a 30 degree power tilt-up function to assist the mobility handicapped to get into and out of the driving seat independently. It also has a lockable trunk.

It’s the Adventure model, which looks likely to generate the majority of retail sales for the company as it will sell for little more than half the price of the Grace, has an identical power-train and marginally better performance. Though the Grace is no misnomer, that elegance comes at a hefty premium.

The 85 kg Adventure model is only a few kilograms lighter than its stablemate, but without the designer panels to get scratched, and without restricted ground clearance due to the low skirts of the Grace, it will no doubt become a beloved workhorse for those outward-bound spirits who are restricted to wheelchairs.

Both models have regenerative braking and use the same 15 Ah phosphate lithium ion battery for a range of approximately 20 km (12 mi) – it’s just the body that is different.

They can can climb kerbs, go through ditches, up slopes, traverse a 15 cm (6 in) gap, tackle open ground, lawn, snow, mud or even take you across the beach to the water’s edge – almost all the places where you wouldn’t go with a traditional wheelchair without a sizeable entourage.

One of these days, this may be just what I need to continue my wanderings on the Caja del Rio mesa.

Catholic Bishop leads conservative freak-out. Plans exorcism while Illinois governor signs law affirming same-sex civil rights

A Catholic bishop in Illinois said…he was planning prayers of “supplication and exorcism” to protest the state governor’s plan to sign same-sex marriage into law.

Next week, Illinois will become the 16th U.S. state to extend marriage rights to gay couples, following Hawaii, whose governor signed it into law on Wednesday. The Illinois law will take effect on June 1, 2014.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield, the state’s capital, said that those who contract civil same-sex marriages are culpable of “serious sin.” He planned the service to coincide with the signing of the legislation by Governor Pat Quinn on Wednesday.

Without naming names, Paprocki criticized Catholic politicians for their support of the measure…

Both Quinn and powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan are Catholic Democrats. Speaking in support of the legislation in Springfield last week, Madigan quoted Pope Francis, who asked “Who am I to judge?” regarding gay clergy.

Quinn had no immediate comment on the planned exorcism, which will be held at Springfield’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Paprocki made news before the 2012 presidential election by warning his flock in a letter of the “intrinsic evils” of the Democratic platform’s support of abortion and same-sex marriage, and that to vote for someone who promotes such actions is to risk your soul.

The funniest thing is that many polls find Catholic voters tend to support gay marriage a wee bit more than other denominations. Maybe their lifetime of experience with leaders who are hypocrites better equip them to deal with the follies of our nation’s fear of progress.

We’re all witnessing campaigns around the United States from sects of conservative Catholics who are upset that the Pope is querying members of the church for their opinions on matters like equal rights for women, civil rights for LGBT folks, all that far-out democracy kind of stuff.

There actually are Tea Party nutballs who say – gasp – the Pope may be a Liberal.