Hemp greens, giving FUCKs, thought controllers, hippie candles, and Saturn-ring ETs.

Monday, July 10th - Sunday, July 16th
Stories from Bloomberg, Motherboard, The Sun, the New York Post, and Sunday Express.

FUTURE SALAD

An unlikely duo is pushing forwards New York-grown hemp food.

Mark Justh directed JPMorgan Chase’s Asia branch. Dan Dolgin worked for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence doing counterterrorism work. These days, they’re hemp entrepreneurs, who with Andrew Cuomo’s blessing, are bringing cold-pressed hemp oil and nutty hemp greens to haute cuisine, and now even Whole Foods.

Located 30 miles southeast of Syracuse, JD Farms is the first legal hemp farm in New York in more than 80 years. When Justh purchased the 1,500 acres of certified organic land in 2008, hemp was simply going to be protection against weeds. Then “hemp began to look very interesting,” he recalled.

When the tobacco industry hit rock bottom, states like Virginia realized they needed a new cash crop. The U.S. Farm Bill of 2014 allowed states to conduct hemp pilot programs. So when Dolgin got involved, his government background let them work closely with state senators and Governor Cuomo’s office to pass a number of bills which allowed JD farms to grow, and since this past August, sell hemp products.

As entrepreneurs, the duo sees hemp as the next kale. “Mark and I both live pretty healthy, active lifestyles,” said Dolgin. “We both knew that hemp was on its way to becoming a superfood, in that category of flax and chia seeds. We saw a sustainable long-term play in that market.”

Their edge however comes from the fact that most hemp products are imported from Canada and when they enter the country, the hemp must be sterilized, a process which destroys much of the flavor. JD farms is able to produce fresh, cold-pressed hemp oil. “We look at it like fine wine—you can taste the terroir, can taste the fields, which gives it earthy flavor,” said Justh. “The product is so good, it can be used as a dipping oil; it doesn’t have to hide behind other ingredients.”

On top of that, hemp is a potential new salad green. JD farms has already attracted some top New York chefs. “We are always pursuing new ingredients and flavors,” remarked chef Ignacio Mattos, of Estela and Flora Bar at the Met Breuer in Manhattan. “The leaves have quite a unique flavor profile, they’re grassy and sweet.”

JD farms has also attracted the interest of Whole Foods, and hemp greens are rolling out this summer as part of a Whole Foods gourmet green mix.

NO EXCUSES

Newly minted Ethereum token allows internet citizens to give FUCKs, ending worldwide shortage.

Next time you have no fucks to give, that’s your fucking fault. A new cryptocurrency startup raised $30,000 in 30 minutes to roll out FUCKs, a currency which allows the digital asset to be given and received using the Ethereum blockchain. The FUCK team promises support for social media platforms like Twitter and Slack by 2018, finally allowing FUCKs to be given.

Ethereum is in the midst of a full-blown gold rush with dozens of companies taking investors through ICOs, or Initial Coin Offerings, the cryptocurrency equivalent of a company’s public offering on the stock market. According to the creators of FUCKs, the idea came to them a month and a half ago and their developer has put in a mere two weeks building the service. They do however have a sleek website. “Welcome to a world where everyone gives a FUCK,” it reads.

In an interview with Motherboard, a member of the FUCK team calling himself “shwifteey" calls the ICO market a place full of people “pissing away” millions on company’s with nothing to back up their ideas. He says “Fuck 'em” to those leveling the same accusation against him. “Dozens of ICOs are popping up daily, all with empty promises of how they will change the world,” the website’s manifesto reads. “They spew enticing buzzwords and confusing rhetoric just to make you invest in their idea.”

On Reddit, "shwifteey" has compared FUCKs to Dogecoin, a dog-themed cryptocurrency based-on bitcoin that started as a meme and unexpectedly became valuable once enough people bought into it but Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin, rejects the comparison. "What really sets it apart is that the people getting involved in Dogecoin were technologists who were simply interested in how it worked, and it was voluntary, not pay-to-play," Palmer said. "But with FUCK token, the community is based totally around profit and at the end of the day putting money into the developer's pocket."

"It's peak capitalism, in my mind," Palmer continued. "People are just selling air. It's nuts."

TOTAL TMI (PART II)

Silver dollar-sized mind machinery funded to the tune of $65 million by DARPA.

Now DARPA, Elon Musk and Facebook all want to literally get in your heard. Six DARPA research teams have four years to come up with the technology, likely a vast network of “neurograins” that will be implanted inside the cerebral cortex.

“By increasing the capacity of advanced neural interfaces to engage more than 1 million neurons in parallel, NESD aims to enable rich two-way communication with the brain at a scale that will help deepen our understanding of that organ’s underlying biology, complexity and function,” said DARPA’s Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) founding manager Phillip Alvelda.

The device would allow people to operate machinery with their minds, or send WhatsApp messages with their thoughts alone. The “high resolution” implants must be able to record signals from 1 million neurons at any given time.

The sensors would also detect how the brain processes and decodes spoken language so it can be interpreted and understood by computers.

DARPA’s Neural Engineering System Design (NESD) arm will fund five academic research groups and one small San Jose-based company for the project. Some teams will be focused on improving sight while others will concentrate on hearing and speech.

MAKING WISHES

Small-batch candlemakers in Greenpoint are upping the enchanted candle game.

Hayley Elisabeth Kaufman picks a tarot card before they melt wax and Whitney Huhmann performs reiki over a pile of clear quartz crystals. Trap music blasts through their Greenpoint studio as they meditate and focus on the pour each new and full moon.

The pair sold their first candle just a year ago. Now their brand, the Sphinx and the Priestess, counts among its fans celebrities like Kate Hudson, Joan Jett and Amy Schumer. Candles come in four varieties, each $44 per 12 oz. candle: the Lovers, for manifesting attraction and sexual energy; Pentacles, for prosperity and grounding; the Star, for meditation and inspiration; and best seller Death, for transformation and renewal.

While the candles look like any other high-end option, it’s the meticulous process that makes it stand apart. “We’re really cognizant of how we’re feeling inside when we have a pour scheduled,” said Kaufman. “Sometimes we’ll completely [skip] a pour because we’re not feeling a vibe.”

Not only do they follow the Table of Correspondences, a sort of farmer’s almanac for the occult, but they also harness the power of music. “Instead of listening to Enya, we listen to a lot of hip-hop, a lot of really high-energy music like A$AP Rocky [and] Young Thug,” says Kaufman. “We swear the candles turn out better when we listen to them,” adds Huhmann.

And all the attention appears to pay off, Kaufmann says customers often report glowing stories she can only chalk up to the candles’ powers. “This woman [lit] her Lovers candle before she went to a party, and she had such an epic make-out session, she talked about how she got beard-burn,” from the guy she was with, said Kaufman.

PARKING SPACESHIPS

Former top NASA engineer claims alien spaceships lurk in rings of Saturn.

Dr. Norman Bergrun, who once worked at NASA’s Ames Research Centre alleges that "living alien UFO spaceships” are using Saturn as a hiding spot and are “proliferating” at an alarming rate.

According to Dr. Bergrun, the number of spaceships is reaching “critical” levels and Saturn’s rings are so packed that spaceships are even starting to gather around Jupiter and Neptune.

“Wherever you see some rings, that’s where I see the aircrafts, I call them a ring maker,” said Dr. Bergrun. "I say that it is electromagnetic because I can identify streamline patterns with respect to it that I knew were what we called 'potential lines' and that says it was electrical."

Prominent UFO hunter Scott C. Waring wrote in support of Dr. Bergrun on his alien-dedicated blog UFO Sightings Daily. “Norman Bergrun worked in a top secret area inside the US government and has personally witnessed seeing photos directly from NASA that had UFO near Saturn that make the rings around Saturn,” wrote Waring.

Waring echoed the significance of the alien buildup. “He says he has personally seen an increase of alien ship activity among the rings of Saturn over his career,” Waring wrote. “Something has to be done.”

THE SHORTLIST

Activate your psychic powers by opening your third eye - Cosmopolitan

How A "Soul Tattoo" Changed My Life - Refinery29

Witches, Poisonous Serpents, and the Reclamation of Toxic Evil as Empowerment - Dirge Magazine