Vape Culture Is Real, Oil Rig

Although several dismiss vaping as a approach for douche bags to point out off, others have found a home in the vape community—and worry its bad rap are its downfall.

To vape means completely different|completely different} things to different individuals. To cheap smoke oil rig in states like Colorado and California, it's a method of smoking weed that's typically thought of safer, better, and more acceptable in public. To those in states where grass is bootleg, like New York, it's a method of smoking cigarettes that's typically thought of safer, better, cheaper, and about equally as acceptable in public. To the Oxford English Dictionary, it's the 2014 word of the year, meaning "to inhale associated exhale the vapour made by an electronic smoke or similar device." To the uninitiated all over, it's for douchebags.

Who is right? It's laborious to say. Until terribly recently, I thought vaping was mainly associated with weed, if I thought about it the least bit. When I learned that a lot of of the general public vaping I saw within the trash streets of best quality hand smoke pipe had nothing to try to to with the faster absorption of psychoactive drug into the blood, I thought, So, wait—you're not even getting high? Some workers once vaped in the VICE workplace, which I found distasteful (it has since been prohibited on the premises); in faculty I knew a guy United Nations agency got associate e-cigarette and would put in force victimization it inside, constantly, saying it was "just water vapor" and bragging regarding however he'd taken it on a plane and hadn't been set out. This, too, I found stupid.

But several vapers—the official term for one United Nations agency vapes, not to be confused with the byproduct of vaping, vapor—are passionately advocating for a shift in public opinion, which they believe to be vital in keeping vaping legal. Vape blogs publish articles like "9 Ways square measure} most likely Damaging the Vaping Movement and creating USA Look Like Idiots"; forums like Reddit are host to incensed, frustrated, and mostly cheap conversations like "Facebook friends say vaping is stupid. I'm principally quiet however had to say this." In other words, as vape culture grows, it is starting to feel the pressures of widespread attention.

"Back in 2009, when I started my YouTube channel, there was no 'vape culture'," says Nick Green, who runs the on-line vape store and community Namber Juice further because the vape journal Grimm inexperienced. "There were literally simply a handful of individuals within the us that had even detected of vaping or e-cigs. We had a little on-line community created from individuals from all completely different walks of life. Lawyers, nurses, construction workers, blue-collar workers, and everything in between. We were all learning this vaping issue along, with no real agenda or plan, other than being excited that we have a tendency to did not smoke cigarettes any longer."

Eager to understand additional regarding the growing social group, I visited three "vape lounges" in the big apple town area—one in Brooklyn, one in Queens, and one in Manhattan—and although the ambiance at every was slightly completely different, one thing was clear: The Brobdingnagian majority of individuals begin vaping to prevent smoking cigarettes. Each of the lounges operates each as a look, with vape experts on workers to facilitate you on your vape journey, and as a kind of neighborhood bar; with each new client, there was a familiar acknowledgment, an exchange of pleasantries, and the sense that it had been one big smoky, weird-but-not-unpleasant-smelling family, united in the undeniable fact that they'd all quit cigarettes and now concern future governmental rules would destroy their new habit and hobby.

To the vape community, brick-and-mortar vape lounges operate are kind of just like the brick-and-mortar bookstores to the literary world: costlier, but terribly vital. While it's wide understood that it's cheaper to obtain vape provides on-line, to do so as a freshman would be troublesome, and possibly dangerous. (See recent news stories such as "14-year-old boy blinded when e-cigarette explodes at mall" and "An E-Cigarette Exploded during this Teen's Face.") Although the several adults United Nations agency vape do thus to quit cigarettes, the teenage boys United Nations agency treat vaping like a game, performing stunts and attempting to blow the biggest and coolest vapor clouds they will, risk hurting themselves if they do not knowledge to work their terribly difficult devices properly.

In order to know vape culture, it helps to understand vapes—how they work, the different little and flamable elements they are composed of, what you have to place in them to form them taste and blow smoke the approach you wish. Unfortunately, this is harder than it sounds, especially if you need to create your own vape, which permits you to reach desired effects (bigger clouds, cooler tricks). (Green told Maine he has accumulated tons of of vapes over the years; another "cloud chaser" I met at the vape lounge in Manhattan force no fewer than 10 devices out of his backpack after I asked if he may show me his own assortment.) The vocabulary sounds like physics (because it's physics) and infrequently involves abbreviations: cartridges, coils, wicks, atomizers ("atties"), cartomizers, clearomizers, DNA20, DNA30, 510s, mechanical mods ("mechs"), box mods, RBAs, RDAs, OHMs. There are thousands of "juice" flavors, made up of propanediol ("PG") and vegetable glycerol ("VG"), and different ways in which to vaporize them (you will "drip" or use a "tank"). Vapers can speak endlessly regarding their favorite flavors (a Fruit Loops mix, called "Looper," was all the craze for a while) and setups. Traditional cigarettes ar typically known as "analogs"; the distinction between associate e-cigarette associated a vaporizer is negligible (an e-cig appearance like an "analog" and is mostly disposable), though several vapers can tell you that e-cigs ar not serious and you must very upgrade to a vape sort of a fucking adult. All this is intimidating, and it can produce barriers to entry for several would-be vape enthusiasts.

Many additionally argue that vaping has a "toxic masculinity" problem; the stereotyped vape douche is invariably a person, and on my Wednesday-night voyage to New York's premiere vape lounges I only met 2 girls, one of whom was working behind the counter. Female smokers ar regarding double as possible to strive vaping as male smokers, but as a result of smokers ar additional possible to be men, the bro-y aspects of vape culture persist. "In the past, it made it troublesome for girl to match in, because it is such a male-dominated trade," confirmed Meaghan Cook, who blogs below the name VapeMeStoopid. "Some of the most visible ambassadors involved in support ar a number of the nicest men I actually have ever had the pleasure of meeting. But it is vital to possess a girl's perspective so alternative woman have somebody they will establish with just in case they feel intimidated by the excess of fellows."

I buy this; everybody I met at the vape lounges took fairly constant hits off their devices throughout our conversations, but they were very polite regarding it and initial created positive I did not mind. While the business was principally young guys, other customers defied the vape-douche stereotype. In Brooklyn, one man, apparently on his way home from associate workplace job, stopped by the shop, took a seat at the bar, asked for a couple of recommendations, tried one juice, bought it, and walked away, the same way you may treat your native bar.

Read more: we have a tendency to Asked Teens if They suppose Weed Is Cool

Cook got into vaping by word of mouth, which is common. Most vapers try to get their friends into it, eagerly promoting a cigarette-free life style, but they will typically take it too so much. "The Ways you are most likely Damaging the Vaping Movement associated creating USA Look Like Idiots" list includes the purpose "You Act Like an Ecig Evangelist," criticizing vapers who "constantly bash smokers on social media or... hound [their] friends night and day to try e-cigs." "I lived in England for the last five years, where the culture is additional easygoing," Cook says. "Think old Irish taphouse, with a group of individuals sitting around a table sharing a pint. The US vape culture is immensely completely different. It feels more flashy, fast-paced, and in your face."

Like other objectionable behaviors, such as "You Treat Your E-Cig sort of a Fog Machine" and "You Blow Vapor in Someone's Face," the American tendency to at the same time show off and evangelize promotes the thought that vaping and vapers ar annoying—and it strikes concern into the hearts of well-meant former smokers United Nations agency don't need to be tempted into cigarettes once more. "I definitely do agree that there wants to be regulation, but not as harsh as what some governments ar attempting to impose on the trade," Cook says. "Like with any new industry, there are certain to be mistakes, and I think it's vital that there ar universal pointers, with a set of standards that every one companies ought to be command responsible to. However, certain rules need to create testing and inserting a replacement product on the market nearly not possible for smaller corporations, and even some of the larger businesses wouldn't be able to afford the projected testing or application prices. There needs to be a balance, and it needs to be relevant to the very fact that vaping is deemed a minimum of ninety five p.c safer than smoking. Why penalize the vape trade for creating a less harmful various to smoking?"

The Seattle Water Pipe Club

The Seattle Water Pipe Club has declared that they're going to add 3 new blends to their line-up this year, conveyance the whole count to 6. the initial 3 blends; (Mississippi stream, Christmas pudding, and Seattle Evening - see them here.) created by member Joe Lankford, are long-time best sellers, and receive constant rave reviews.

Well now, Joe has done it once more. I had the prospect to online smoke water pipe shop 2 of the blends throughout The Seattle Pipe Club Annual dinner period agone, wherever I happened to be the keynote speaker. [See the article here.] I totally enjoyed each Deception Pass and Pike Place. I didn’t get an opportunity to undertake Potlatch. All 3 blends are going to be sold-out through

Deception Pass are going to be obtainable on February twenty third. it's a Virginia/Perique with barely of Orientals. the rear of the tin label reads; "DECEPTION PASS …on north Puget Sound recurrent event waters flow dangerous & fast underneath a high bridge. Master liquidiser Joe Lankford retreats here to replicate. Joe’s point vogue Virginia Perique offers the pipesmoker a way of however we tend to savor our marvelous region."

Potlatch are going to be free might first, in time for the Chicago Hand Pipe Show. It contains Cavendish, Burley, Virginias, Latakia, Perique and Orientals.

The back of the tin label reads; "POTLATCH ~ is that the ancient Northwest Indian Celebration of masses. luxurious feasts and ritual ceremonies lasted weeks. Gifts were shared with many elderly and new friends. The Seattle Pipe Club’s Potlatch is simply such a present of our pipe tobacco. relish this lavish mixture of seven rare ingredients: Black Cavendish marries with luxury burley, bright Virginias, Turkish Orientals and Acadian Perique. Crafting the foremost wanted little batch blends in America since 2007."

Pike Place are going to be free Gregorian calendar month first. it's a Balkan mixture of Latakia, Turkish Orientals, Burleys and Perique. the outline on the rear of the tin says;

"PIKE PLACE …our far-famed Public Market could be a real farmer’s market. terrific aromas greet you in an exceedingly hodge podge of outside fruit & vegetable stands, cheese & butcher outlets, oyster bars, even fish mongers moving salmon. galvanized by this abundance, Joe Lankford created our Pike Place mix. Joe’s twist on his common Balkan includes Cyprian Latakia, Spicy Orientals, Luxury Tennessee Burley and Bright Virginias."

Seattle Pipe Club President, Matt Guss asserts; "These square measure deliciously complicated and complicated blends for the pipe man. they need depth and character as they develop throughout the bowl. they're thus sensible, you may simply wish additional."

Economics Daily Digest: No one really needed that insurance, right?

Ricardo Alonoso-Zalvidar speaks to Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Richard Kirsch about the news that the administration is delaying implementation of the employer mandate. Kirsch is outraged about how this will affect employees who expected insurance on Jan. 1, 2014.
Regulators to Beef Up Wall Street Rules…Thanks to Republicans?! (MoJo)
Erica Eichelberger asks Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal why two Republicans on the FDIC want to tighten regulations on big banks' capital requirements. Konczal's explanation? They think it will reduce the blame on the FDIC if there is another bailout.
Murky Language Puts Homes Underwater (TAP)
David Dayen explains how banks are utilizing unclear language to make a loophole that allows them to dual-track homeowners, or continue pursuing foreclosure while the homeowner submits paperwork for mortgage modification. Until we fix this, people will continue to lose their homes.
How to Make Sure a Growing U.S. Economy Helps the Poor (Scholars Strategy Network)
Lane Kenworthy argues that the only way to ensure that economic growth helps the poor is to change the structure of the social safety net and tie benefits to growth. Otherwise, we leave swaths of people behind, which doesn't seem particularly American.
Making $7.75 an Hour, and Figuring There’s Little to Lose by Speaking Out (NYT)
Michael Powell talks to fast-food workers who are involved in the unionizing efforts in New York City. These workers have no fears about annoying their employers: what's the risk when you're making so little money to begin with?
Payroll Cards Are Under Scrutiny by New York’s Attorney General (NYT)
Jessica Silver-Greenberg reports that following Monday's story in the Times on payroll cards, the New York attorney general has opened an investigation. Employees must give explicit consent to be paid this way in New York, and why would anyone choose all those fees?
Hawaii Becomes Second State To Pass A Domestic Workers Bill Of Rights (ThinkProgress)
Bryce Covert discusses Hawaii's new law, which was signed on Tuesday and brings housekeepers, nannies and other domestic workers under the protection of labor laws such as the minimum wage, overtime, and anti-discrimination laws.
Oh, Right, the Jobs Crisis (The Nation)
John Nichols still sees the jobs crisis as the primary problem facing the U.S., and one that needs to be solved before many others. He's especially concerned with the groups that are struggling worst: people of color and young people.

Insurance Firms Warn of the ‘Uninsurable’ Future of Climate Change

It warns that the speed at which global oceans are warming is threatening the industry’s ability to sell affordable policies around the world, with parts of the United Kingdom (UK) and the U.S. state of Florida already facing “a risk environment that is uninsurable.”
And these areas are unlikely to be the last that will experience such problems.
But in the UK, hundreds of thousands of homeowners in areas at high risk of flooding will still be able to insure their properties, after the government struck a deal with the industry.
The deal—introduced as part of the government’s new water bill—comes just weeks before the current agreement is set to expire and follows lengthy negotiations with the Association of British Insurers.
The agreement will cap flood insurance premiums, linking them to council tax bands so that people in high risk areas will know the maximum they will have to pay, while a levy on all UK household insurers will be used to create a fund to cover claims for people in high-risk homes.
The new bill also includes plans to increase competition in the water market and improve drought resilience. Meanwhile the government announced an extra £370 million of flood protection funding for 2015-2016 and committed to increase funding each year to 2020—adding to the £2.3 billion they say is currently earmarked for flood defenses.
There has been rising friction in recent years between the insurance industry and governments around the world who are struggling to shore up flood protection.
The Geneva Association—which is overseen by executives from some of the world’s largest insurance firms—warns that governments will have to step up their action to protect their towns from the effects of climate change.
Warming oceans have already locked-in shifts in climate, even if countries’ attempts to reduce greenhouse gases proved successful.
John Fitzpatrick, secretary general of the Geneva Association said:
Given that energy from the ocean is a key driver of extreme events, ocean warming has effectively caused a shift towards a “new normal” for a number of insurance relevant hazards. This shift is quasi irreversible—even if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions completely stop tomorrow, oceanic temperatures will continue to rise.
 As oceans warm, they expand, contributing to rise sea levels. Melting ice sheets and glaciers are also contributing.
The average global sea has risen nearly 20cm  over the past century—with faster rises seen in more recent years. In its most recent report in 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimated that the sea levels rose an average of 1.8mm per year from 1961 to 1993 and 3.1mm from 1993 to 2003.
As well as rising sea levels, scientists believe warmer oceans contribute to an increase in evaporation from the surface of the seas, leading to heavier rains and the potential for more storms.
Such factors may have contributed to Hurricane Sandy, which hit New York and New Jersey last year, costing the U.S. economy about $65 billion, warns the Geneva Association.
Earlier this month, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $20 billion plan to protect the city from future storms including building flood walls, levees and gates as well as funding for flood proofing measures for property owners and hospitals.
The number of weather catastrophes, including storms, heatwaves and forest fires have risen from around 300 a year in 1980 to around 900 in 2012, according to figures from reinsurer, Munich Re.
The new report calls on governments to invest more in flood defenses and tighten building restrictions in risky locations to mitigate the fallout of extreme weather hazards. They warn of the growing trend for an increasing number, and value, of properties being built along waterways and coastlines—pushing up the cost when disaster hits.

Kidnap and ransom insurance I’m a client… Get me out of here

FOR providers of kidnap and ransom insurance (K&R in the lingo), the past few years have been good. Somali piracy alone generated some $200m in annual premiums at its 2010 peak, according to one underwriter. Abductions for profit or politics have soared from Nigeria to Nicaragua. High-profile cases have helped too: when hundreds of workers were taken hostage at an Algerian gas plant in January, insurers received a flurry of calls, says Henry MacHale of Aspen APJ, a specialist K&R firm.
Most big companies now have some K&R coverage for their staff. Plans typically cover ransoms, the hiring of consultants and negotiators, lost earnings and other costs. A lone businessman in Iraq might pay a premium of $3,000-6,000, while shipping firms have to fork over several million a year to cover large fleets in dangerous areas. All that meant that a market worth about $250m in 2006 doubled in size by 2011.
Now the business is shifting. Somali piracy has dropped off; there have been no documented successful hijackings since May 2012. And although the number of attacks in the Gulf of Guinea overtook those of the East Africa in 2012, quieter shipping lanes there mean fewer potential customers. Yet new markets are opening up. In Africa, India and Latin America the middle class has been growing—and so has the worry about being snatched. For instance, “express” kidnappings are on the rise, negotiators report. Unlike the protracted wrangling more familiar to movie goers, this quicker version involves fast, targeted grabs, followed by shorter periods of detention and smaller ransoms.
At the other end of the scale, says Mark Harris of the Olive Group, a consultancy, some highly professional Mexican bandits now run multiple “cases”, managing kidnaps, negotiations and payments from a single building. Others, such as Terra Firma Risk Management, a negotiation firm, say the most serious cases seem to be getting more protracted, and hardened kidnappers more patient. Trends such as Chinese energy firms moving into West Africa add to the business K&R firms can chase.
To set themselves apart, some are offering “added value,” often aimed at reducing the risk of a kidnapping in the first place. By training clients to avoid trouble, and helping them out when they smell danger, insurers can cut pay-outs. Such measures not only ensure that client get home in one piece, but lower premiums. Governments are fans, too: at the G8 meeting in mid-June, ministers agreed to crack down on the payment of ransoms to terrorists, urging insurers and clients to adopt “good practices” for kidnap prevention.
In an innocuous farmhouse in the village of Remenham, 30 miles west of London, Special Contingency Risks (SCR), a brokerage, has set up an “operations centre” (pictured) to help clients in dangerous places. Manned by ex-special forces soldiers and at least one former spy, it acts as a call centre or crisis room, depending on the situation. Big screens feed news to the staff on duty. Some clients are issued with tracking devices, and their locations are shown in real-time.
If a customer is on business in Libya or Nigeria, says SCR’s Tim Holt, they will be given advice before they leave. If he or she senses trouble brewing while they are abroad, they can call the farmhouse. The team there will then use a network of “black book” contacts, including private security firms, to reach the client in danger. If plans fail and a customer is nabbed, negotiators will huddle with family members and colleagues in a “war room” upstairs.
Doug Milne, SCR’s boss, is cagey about specific cases, but claims about 60 kidnaps per year will be run from the new facility. Extortion and medical evacuation are other orders of business. Insurers include Hiscox, Chubb and Aon, each of which provides crisis management or security to bolster their products. At the outbreak of the 2011 Libyan Civil war, “risk managers”, paid for by K&R insurers, helped co-ordinate the evacuation of hundreds of foreign workers.
The move to a higher-tech approach seems well timed. According to Terra Firma, Latin American kidnappers are getting better at choosing their victims, using intelligence gathered from Facebook and other sources. Crooks who have done their homework tend to pick better targets, choosing those with families or employers who have access to ready cash. Smaller gangs, keen to join in, are learning the tricks of the trade.
Insurance alone does not reduce the chance of being snatched (discussing your policy can see it cancelled—kidnappers will target those with K&R cover). But preparation, and a helping hand when things go wrong, just might improve the chance of getting out alive.

58,000 Californians to lose current insurance under Obamacare

The nation’s largest health insurance company has decided to stop covering individuals in the nation’s largest state.
UnitedHealth Group Inc. said that it will not participate in California’s individual health insurance market beginning Jan. 1, 2014, when Obamacare regulations will take effect, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Last month,  insurance giant Aetna also announced that it will no longer cover individual Californians. Together, the companies’ decision to stop providing individual coverage will affect 58,000 existing customers in California.
The move is a result of new Affordable Care Act requirements for insurance companies to accept all applicants for individual coverage, including those with preexisting conditions. The law also requires insurers provide a bevy of new benefits for their customers.
Problems with implementing the health care law have plagued the Obama administration, despite the president’s oft-repeated assurance that “if you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan.”
UnitedHealth’s announcement last month that it will participate in only twelve state exchanges beginning in January has sparked concerns about whether the insurance markets will be competitive enough for the health care law to work. Both companies will continue to offer health insurance in California through employers, but this may not be a relief to everyone.
Employer insurance coverage has been a sticky issue during the planning stages of Obamacare. The health care law includes an employer mandate that requires companies with 50 or more full time employees to provide health insurance or to pay a penalty — but defines “full-time” as 30 hours per week. Many companies have introduced plans to reduce employees’ maximum hours to 29 per week in response.
Bloomberg reported Tuesday that the Obama administration is delaying enforcement of the employer mandate until 2015.
On Monday, House Republicans introduced the Save American Workers Act — a bill that would repeal the health care act’s redefinition of a full-time work week, instead applying the employer mandate to employees that work 40 hours per week.
Indiana Republican Rep. Todd Young, who introduced the bill, made the case that “Americans are seeing their hours cut and their paychecks reduced as a result of the employer mandate.”
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Administration gives employers until 2015 on health insurance mandate

Patient Joan West (R) receives a check up from Dr. Lisa Vinci at University of Chicago Medicine Primary Care Clinic in Chicago June 28, 2012. (Photo by Jim Young/Reuters)
Patient Joan West (R) receives a check up from Dr. Lisa Vinci at University of Chicago Medicine Primary Care Clinic in Chicago June 28, 2012. (Photo by Jim Young/Reuters)
The Obama administration unexpectedly announced that it has decided to give employers an extra year to comply with a key provision of the health care reform law. In a statement released Tuesday, a Treasury Department official said the administration would give employers until 2015 to start reporting on the insurance coverage they offer to workers.
The Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, requires businesses with more than 50 employees to offer health care coverage that meets basic standards of coverage and affordability. Employers were supposed to start filing annual reports on their compliance next year, and those failing to meet the new standards were facing fines.
Business groups have complained that the reporting mandate is too complicated to enact so quickly, so the administration is extending the deadline—effectively lifting the insurance mandate as well.
“We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively,” Assistant Treasury Secretary Mark Mazur said in the announcement. “We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, and we want to make sure it is easy for others to do so.”
Mazur urged businesses to file voluntary reports in 2014 as a “real world test of [the] reporting system,” but he said they wouldn’t be fined for noncompliance next year. The new policy will be published as a regulation later this week.
Because most large employers already sponsor health insurance plans, the effect on consumers won’t be dramatic. And workers living below 400% of the federal poverty level will still be eligible for subsidies next year.
Republicans reacted predictably. Senator McConnell released a statement:
“Obamacare costs too much and it isn’t working the way the administration promised. And while the White House seems to slowly be admitting what Americans already know, and what I hear consistently in my travels around Kentucky regarding the regulatory burden on employers, the fact remains that Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced with common-sense reforms that actually lower costs for Americans.”
And GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor tweeted:
James Klein, president of the American Benefits Council, said the group applauded the decision to delay. “This provides vital breathing room to implement the law in a more thoughtful and administrable way,” he said.
Josh Barro wrote on Business Insider that if the reason for the delay is that the Obama administration couldn’t “get its act together on the reporting requirements,” that would be an embarrassment–but that “the reporting issue may just be a pretext for the delay.” Calling the employer mandate “a bad policy that will discourage job creation,” Barro speculated that the administration “may be looking for a way to avoid imposing it ever.”
At any rate, the new extension will delay the imposition of any penalties until after the 2014 midterm elections.