mamagaea: (Shocker!)
Cheech & Chong "light up" for new comedy tour
Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:04pm
By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two of the most famous pot smokers of the 1970s, Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong, unveiled plans on Wednesday for their first comedy tour in more than 25 years following their acrimonious split.

"Cheech & Chong: Light Up America ..." will hit 22 cities in the United States starting with Philadelphia on September 12 and ending in Denver, Colorado, on December 20. In between they will play Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, D.C. and other places.

"This is a moment that I've been looking forward to for many, many years because we have such a legacy and history together that we couldn't escape it, even if we tried," Chong told reporters at a news conference to announce the tour.

Cheech and Chong were one of the most successful comedy teams of the 1970s with hit movies and chart-topping records based on their brand of marijuana-influenced humor.

They were potheads who appealed to a youth generation steeped in personal freedom spawned by 1960s-era hippies.

Marin said their humor about doing stupid things while being stoned on marijuana should still appeal to today's youth, as well as Cheech & Chong's older fans.

"We've had the younger audience all along. Every time they get to that certain age, they go through that Cheech & Chong period of watching the movies, listening to the records. So, it's almost like a rite of passage," Marin said.

The comedy duo said the tour will be theatrical and will rely on the sizable budget that Live Nation -- the company behind the tour -- can muster. When they toured early in their careers, the duo's props were a bag of used clothes, but the new tour will have large video screens to flash images on.

As they discussed the tour, Cheech and Chong relied on some props in the form of synthetic marijuana plants to win some laughs, as Chong "watered" the plants with bottled water.

Marin, 62, and Chong, 70, spoke about the tour to reporters at the Troubadour, a fixture on the Southern California club scene. Marin said as budding comedians, he and Chong waited in line outside the club for hours for the chance to perform.

Cheech and Chong gained notoriety in nightclubs in the Los Angeles area in the 1970s and released their first album, "Cheech and Chong," in 1971. "Los Cochinos" in 1973 won the Grammy award that year for best comedy album.

In 1978 their first movie, "Up in Smoke," proved to be a blockbuster, raking in more than $100 million at box offices.

They performed together onstage for the last time in 1981, but continued to make movies and records.

The pair split following the 1985 release of their album "Get Out of My Room." Chong said that their break-up -- which was well-publicized and bitter -- was caused by success.

"What happens if you don't have big problems, like trying to make it -- when that's cured when you've made it -- then your little problems become your big problems," he said. "So you start fighting over stupid things."

Marin carved out a career as a television actor in shows such as "Nash Bridges" and "Judging Amy." Chong also did a lot of TV work, including appearances on "That '70s Show."

Chong has long advocated the legalization of marijuana, and in 2003 was arrested and later imprisoned for selling drug paraphernalia.

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Jill Serjeant)
mamagaea: (Default)
18/04/06

Stress hormone linked to depression

By John von Radowitz

A HORMONE released during period of long-term stress has been directly linked to depression for the first time.


Scientists already knew that many people with depression have high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. But it was not clear whether cortisol caused the condition or was a consequence of it. The new study in mice provides strong evidence that long-term exposure to cortisol contributes to the symptoms of depression.

In humans, ongoing chronic stress, such as caring for a spouse with dementia, has been associated with depression.

The researchers exposed 58 mice to a rodent form of cortisol for both short and long periods of time.

The animals were then tested by being placed in a small dark compartment.

Mice given the stress hormone for more than two weeks took longer to emerge from the compartment into a brightly lit open field. They were more fearful and less willing to explore a new environment a sign of the kind of anxiety that accompanies depression.

The findings, published in Behavioural Neuroscience, fit in with other evidence from human groups.

People with Cushing's disease, in which too much cortisol is released, commonly suffer depression.

The scientists from Harvard Medical School in the US, said that knowing the relationship between physiological effects and behaviour may help researchers design new psychiatric drugs.

http://www.irishexaminer.com/pport/web/world/Full_Story/did-sgNgMM5PT8PUMsgdq-nXlDAyFE.asp
mamagaea: (spidey oscar)
Study claims ice, not water, kept Jesus afloat

University professor attempts to explain miracles with science

MIAMI, Florida (Reuters) -- The New Testament says that Jesus walked on water, but a Florida university professor believes there could be a less miraculous explanation -- he walked on a floating piece of ice.

Professor Doron Nof also theorized in the early 1990s that Moses's parting of the Red Sea had solid science behind it.

Nof, a professor of oceanography at Florida State University, said on Tuesday that his study found an unusual combination of water and atmospheric conditions in what is now northern Israel could have led to ice formation on the Sea of Galilee.

Nof used records of the Mediterranean Sea's surface temperatures and statistical models to examine the dynamics of the Sea of Galilee, which Israelis know now as Lake Kinneret.

The study found that a period of cooler temperatures in the area between 1,500 and 2,600 years ago could have included the decades in which Jesus lived.

A drop in temperature below freezing could have caused ice -- thick enough to support a human -- to form on the surface of the freshwater lake near the western shore, Nof said. It might have been nearly impossible for distant observers to see a piece of floating ice surrounded by water.

Nof said he offered his study -- published in the April edition of the Journal of Paleolimnology -- as a "possible explanation" for Jesus' walk on water.

"If you ask me if I believe someone walked on water, no, I don't," Nof said. "Maybe somebody walked on the ice, I don't know. I believe that something natural was there that explains it."

"We leave to others the question of whether or not our research explains the biblical account."

When he offered his theory 14 years ago that wind and sea conditions could explain the parting of the Red Sea, Nof said he received some hate mail, even though he noted that the idea could support the biblical description of the event.

And as his theory of Jesus' walk on ice began to circulate, he had more hate mail in his e-mail inbox.

"They asked me if I'm going to try next to explain the resurrection," he said.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.





Find this article at:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/science/04/04/jesus.science.reut/index.html

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