The Practical Radical

Lost in Translation b/w Canada and USA

April 29, 2010
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April 29, 2010 – 11:10 AM

In compliance with the “Timely Notice” provisions of the Federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998, the Auraria Higher Education Center located in Downtown Denver is issuing notice of a violent crime that occurred on the Auraria Campus.

REPORTED OFFENSE: At approximately 10:13 a.m. today (Thursday, April 29, 2010), a handgun was discharged in one of the South Classroom Building’s women’s restrooms. The discharge is believed to have been accidental and no one was injured from the handgun. Auraria Police advise that there is no ongoing threat to the campus community.  The handgun was discharged from a stall in the women’s restroom, approximately four inches above the floor and the bullet lodged itself into the drywall.

I do admit that I often find myself culturally confused, both between Canadian and the US culture, but as well trying to get a handle on Coloradan culture.

Case in point re Canada/US – accidental firearm discharges are not something I have found or heard about commonly on Canadian campuses (not to say there is no violence – Ecole Polytechnique is one example), nor does it happen often in women’s bathroom stalls.

As for Colorado — between the liberal “laws” on marijuana (read my previous post on this) and the conservative gun laws … well, one gets whiplash just trying to keep up. Even for one such as myself who revels in “paradox”.

Signing off … a confused Canadian.

College of Architecture and Cooking

April 26, 2010
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What stands for great education at the University of Colorado? Read on.

One of the most popular courses at the Environment and Design building in Boulder is given by Shawn Edmonds. Why you ask? Well, he is a great teacher, does fun and challenging projects, and … he cooks.

Shawn is a trained gourmet chef and has been able to integrate his skills as a chef with design and architecture. At the last class of his course he cooks his class up a three course gourmet meal. And then he relates it to design.

For example, the final project for the students was to design an urban farm. So, he asked all the students to suggest products that could come from the farm for him to make. So – the ice cream was linked to the cow, the berries as a crop – and so on. He as well gave a mini-lecture.

This is an outline of ingredients and how they relate to
design. Each of the maincourse dishes related to a
principal in design that the students studied.

The appetizer – goat cheese, asparagus, golden beet
and drizzled with balsamic vinegar …


It is quite amazing to meet someone who is so skilled in not one but two professions, and brings those passions to the classroom.

Them’s great eats and great education!

Images may appear blurry from far away … Pot and the USA

April 21, 2010
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Actually, images are blurry close up as well, especially when you try and figure out the US in regards to marijuana.

One would assume that the US, barring a few aberrations like Berkley, is a pretty conservative place. Or at least, the conservative voices hold huge sway within the country. So, in regards to anything to do with the legalization of marijuana, you would think that there is no way this would happen.

Well, you think wrong.

Case in point – Colorado. Seems today was a “pot smokers” holiday in the US. At the University of Colorado in Boulder there was a smoke in – which meant lots of people buying, selling smoking and wearing anything and everything with pot leaf images on them – from t-shirts to frisbees to mardi gras like necklaces.

And there were police – everywhere. Last time I saw that many police was at the Olympics.

So, nothing new here, right? Kids smoking dope at school – been happening since the 60s. What is new is the laws that have gone into place which have basically legalized pot here – this happened in Colorado in 2000 – even though it is still a federal offense to posses and traffic pot. Now you can apply to dispense – as in like a pharmacy dispensary – medicinal pot. So, not a few hundred meters from the police, who were watching over those rowdy pot smokers, was a dispensary.

The Dr. dispensary

So, is it easy to apply to be a dispensary? It is dead simple. Basically you have to what any small business would do – apply for a business license, tax number, etc. Then you find customers and sell.

Are there a lot of dispensaries and users? Well, within a 5 mile radius of where I am staying there are 21 dispensaries according to – click here to see the map. Denver has some 250  and Boulder more than 100. In regards to users, more than 66,000 people have applied and are allowed to purchase medical pot, and currently there’s a six-month waiting period.

All you have to do to use medical marijuana is have a doctor approve your need to use it – basically phone the number on this lovely little brochure I was given, go in for a check-up and that is it.

So whether your close up, or far away, it’s pretty blurry all round. Maybe there something I can take for that ..

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