Surf 'N Hemp: Feel the Power 

Surf 'N Hemp: Feel the Power 
Posted by FoM on December 28, 2001 at 07:58:40 PT
By Steve Kettmann 
Source: Wired Magazine
Waves and cannabis have a long and colorful association, captured memorably on screen by Sean Penn's stoner-surfer Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Now a Republican representing Hawaii in the House of Representatives wants to turn waves and hemp into keywords for responsible cultivation of renewable energy sources. She's already off to a good start. Cynthia Thielen was co-sponsor of a House resolution calling for research into technology that can convert wave action into electricity. 
She says the first use of this technology in the United States will be at a Marine base in Thielen's home district on the windward side of Oahu, the most populous island in the Hawaiian chain. Different technologies are being developed to tap the motion of the oceans. One approach is to convert wave action into electricity through a concrete tube in which an oscillating column of water first compresses and then decompresses air trapped in the column. The motion of the air in turn drives turbines, which generate electricity. Another approach is to rely on large buoys, which rise and fall with the action of the waves, propelling built-in pistons that drive generators on the ocean floor to generate electricity. "We are ideally located for wave surges," Thielen explained in a phone interview. "Ultimately, this technology could power 80 to 90 percent of the island. But that's a long way off. We have a monopoly utility, Hawaiian Electric, and they don't take well to any other energy source. They only want to use fossil fuel. That's why the military base works, because they can do what makes sense." Thielen has worked hard to establish herself in her district as a champion of alternative energy, and that applies also to her advocacy of industrial-hemp cultivation. The local papers dutifully captured her planting hemp seeds last December in a program made possible by another House bill she sponsored. "That was the first time hemp seed had been legally planted," she said. Some might write off talk of hemp's virtues as a little too Woody Harrelson for their tastes. But when a House Republican stakes so much of her credibility on the issue, it's bound to get the attention even of skeptics. "You have a crop that replaces fiberglass and so many other products that require petroleum fuels to produce," Thielen said. "Industrial hemp is an ideal replacement crop. It can produce easily 80 percent of the fiberglass products on the market, and it is fire retardant, it is lighter weight and it is stronger, and it never goes into a landfill. "This is industrial hemp, which is a different variety than your pot stuff. Industrial hemp we're looking at in Hawaii as a replacement for sugar. The sugar plantations have gone belly up, the agricultural land is vacant and we're looking at industrial hemp for a variety reasons. It can be processed locally. It can be turned into building materials." Use of industrial hemp, rather than petroleum-fuel products, also has the benefit of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Thielen says she supports the Kyoto Protocol on reducing such emissions, which President Bush has famously opposed -- but which most of the rest of the world, led by Europe, seems ready to ratify. "What I've been doing with wave energy and industrial hemp ties right in with (Kyoto)," Thielen said. Europe, where environmental concerns have long been more of a government priority, has also emerged as a leader in wave technology. The Oahu facility will not be the first of its kind in the world. That distinction belongs to a power station that has been in operation since late last year on the island of Islay off the west coast of Scotland, across the North Channel from Northern Ireland. The Scottish project, funded in part by the European Union, was a collaboration of Queen's University Belfast and WAVEGEN. The Land Installed Marine Powered Energy Transformer (LIMPET) produces 500 kilowatts of energy, enough for 400 homes. Like many alternative energy sources, wave technology has its detractors. Development costs are high, and no one wants a white elephant on their hands. Many have tried and failed to harness the ultimate power source, all the way back to the wave motor a lumberman and developer named F.A. Hihn tried to install on the Capitola, California, pier in the 1890s, hoping to power an electric trolley. The effort was unsuccessful. But the search for alternate energy sources has gained added impetus with the war on terrorism potentially spreading to oil-producing heavyweights like Iraq, and wave energy has suddenly moved from near-obscurity to interesting-new-idea status. Just last week, the U.S. Senate introduced an energy bill including provisions for developing ocean energy, along with more established renewable-energy sources. Whether the provision makes the cut when the final form of the bill is hammered out and passed, it's clear ocean energy has shown up on the official Washington radar. "It's really exciting," said Debbie Boger, a Washington lobbyist for the Sierra Club. "Usually when the environmental community talks about renewable, they talk about solar and wind and maybe biomass and geothermal. This ocean energy is interesting." But even Boger cautioned about assuming too much about ocean energy until more is known about how feasibly it can be tapped. "I certainly haven't heard that much about it technically," she said. "At first glance it's interesting. There could be environmental ramifications that we haven't studied yet. I think we should take this as an interesting technology, but one that needs to be studied." Source: Wired Magazine (CA)Author: Steve Kettmann Published: December 28, 2001Copyright: 2001 Wired Digital Inc.Website: newsfeedback Related Articles & Web Site:FTE's Hemp Links Hemp Archives Hemp in Hot Peril of Hemp Products to Fight DEA
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Comment #14 posted by Sam Adams on December 31, 2001 at 10:48:34 PT
we actually thought we had found a politician
with some integrity. I guess it's an oxymoron. The herb will probably be legalized by a couple Congressmen representing Kraft Foods and WR Grace on exclusive growing patents or something.Thanks for clearing that up BCGreen! what a great movie. Forest Whitaker was in some movie where he plays a modern day jazz musician in NYC dying of a brain tumor, it's got Jeff Goldbum as his best friend. Really a good movie - actually they burn a few joints at different times in the movie as well. I'm going to look up the name right now....found it, it's "Lush Life", a great one.I'll have to check out "Lost Weekend", sounds interesting...
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Comment #13 posted by Rev Jonathan Adler on December 30, 2001 at 22:44:05 PT:
Cythia Thielen is no hero! The rest of the story!
I am pleased to see the comments about Ms.Cynthia Thielen,
but there is the "rest of the story". From afar it looked like she had championed the cause of industrial hemp and is solely responsible for the legislation and the hemp pilot project in Hawaii! The truth is she was in conflict of interest from the start and did her best to monopolize and isolate the hemp industry from the true hemp advocates who worked tirelessly for years to make it happen, but Cynthia Thielen did all she could to ostracize and eliminate any benefits to those who earned them the most. She represented her SON, Peter, who owns Island Hemp and sells hemp aloha shirts! She bolstered his business and cornered the market with a fictitious grant of $200,000.00 from Alterna Shampoo
,while her picked PHD> grew miniture hemp plants on 1/4 acre, with no plans for community involvement or benefit. 
The ball was stolen from us. We have for the most part focused on medical and religious use now, but don't pat Cynthia on the back for subverting the potential of Hawaii's hemp Industry! The next Governor of Hawaii, will fix that..... Rev Jonathan Adler/ Green Party candidate for Governor 2002.
Hawaii Medical Marijuana Institute
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on December 30, 2001 at 08:13:18 PT
Just a Note
Hello Everyone,I can't find any news once again to post. I will be so glad when the holidays are over and writers are back to writing and we can get on with news. I'll keep looking throughout the day but I just believe it will stay slow through the New Year and probably the whole week but next week we should be up and running again. I hope everyone has a safe New Years Eve. We aren't doing anything but watching tv and staying home and safe. I could post news but I don't really feel there is any that is really that important right now. I feel like a fish out of water during this very long holiday season and am chomping at the bit to get on with it but I will try to relax and enjoy this time as I hope most of you will too. Happy New Year!
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Comment #11 posted by BGreen on December 30, 2001 at 03:28:50 PT:
Their names
Phoebe Cates and Forest Whitaker were the actors Sam Adams was thinking of.
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Comment #10 posted by null on December 29, 2001 at 21:47:50 PT
speaking of alternative energies
Iceland wants to be energy independent. They are exploring using hydrogen for fuel so that the only "pollutant" coming out of an engine would be water!
BBC News: Iceland launches energy revolution:
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Comment #9 posted by ekim on December 29, 2001 at 21:33:23 PT:
Cynthia Thielen gets the ekim award for braveness
Cynthia Thielen was co-sponsor of a House resolution calling for research into technology that can convert wave action into electricity. "That was the first time hemp seed had been legally planted," she said. --Man what a gal mike:)
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Comment #8 posted by CongressmanSuet on December 29, 2001 at 12:27:17 PT
 Dont mind me, Sam Adams....
  My favorite movie of all time is "The Lost Weekend" with Ray Milland, so my taste in movies has been questioned before! Although, seems funny that 2 of the "memorable" characters names seem to elude you right this minute....
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on December 29, 2001 at 08:40:17 PT
Don't sweat the details...
Nice paraphrasing there, EJ, I had actually remembered his exact line saying something about "bogus" and "rules".Suet, what are you thinking? B class movie? Fast Times is a Classic! We don't remember anyone else from the movie? I do. It's chock full of extremely talented actors! Like Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn, Judge Reinhold, and the guy that played Jefferson the football player, I forgot his name. Not to mention the incredibly hot dark-haired girl by the pool, I can't remember her name.If you compare it to the trash that passes for coming-of-age comedies nowadays, it's in a different league.Interesting that this article highlights how our corrupt, status-quo-bound govt is falling behind the rest of the world in another area, alternative energy. Rep. Thielen is a true leader, and we're incredibly short of people like her.
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Comment #6 posted by CongressmanSuet on December 28, 2001 at 20:47:54 PT
Thats a very good point...
   E. Johnson, who here, or anywhere would really have any knowledge of this film if it werent for the Penn-Spicoli thing? Maybe , somewhere there is the only member of the "Ray Walston Fan Club" who would know about this generally horrible attempt at a movie, but as far as Im concerned, without Penn, this movie is almost as bad as "DOCTOR BUTCHER, M.D.[Medical Deviate]". Well, maybe not quite THAT bad, but you get my drift...b movies are b movies.
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Comment #5 posted by Sandino on December 28, 2001 at 18:24:14 PT:
The web-site address that I listed for the: anti-bushlinks is incorrect (comment # 3).
is correct.
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Comment #4 posted by E_Johnson on December 28, 2001 at 18:13:12 PT
The Jeff Spicoli Homepage got the quote wrong. The audio file is here:"What Jefferson was saying was, Hey, you know, we left that England place because it was bogus, and if we don't get some cool rules for ourselves, pronto, we'll just be bogus too."
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Comment #3 posted by Sandino on December 28, 2001 at 10:42:22 PT:
"Happy 2002"
Dear fokes click on over to see a cool New Years card via: KAYhttp://www.pieman.org'T LET AMERIKKKA BECOME A NATION OF SNITCHES
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Comment #2 posted by releafer on December 28, 2001 at 09:34:47 PT:
border patrol
You don't get in unless you have marijuana..these are the only non terrorists in America. Arrest all christmas shoppers and other religious types as religion is all There fighting over! 
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on December 28, 2001 at 09:01:36 PT
Jeff Spicoli -- the pothead Jimmy Stewart
If you look back at fast Times at Ridgemont High, the character of Jeff Spicoli was kind of the high school stand in for the filmic character of the anti-authoritarian American, the funny guy whose humor comes from the very real tension between American Puritanism and the fundamental American instinct that tamed American Puritanism by confining it within the boundaries of a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.His running battle with his world-weary uptight American history teacher played by My Favorite Martian (the real one) is the funniest part of the film, and the only part of that whole film that had any philosophical or intellectual import at all. This heated battle of authority vs. anti-authority ends peacefully on Prom Night when Spicoli finally satisfies his history teacher with his rendering of how the Bill of Rights came to be, that sorta goes like this:So like we fought England because there was no freedom and that was lame, and if we don't have freedom in this new country then we'll be just as lame as they were and that whole war thing was all for nothing.If only every voter in America could have his simple speech engraved upon a plaque nailed somewhere where they could see it every day.In the end, Spicoli graduates from high school, breaks up a convenience store robbery and joins the honor rolls of Mr. Small Town American Hero. And he uses the reward money to hire Van Halen (the real one) to play for his birthday party at the beach, which is a gesture of generosity towards his own surfer community that could match anything Jimmy Stewart has ever done in any of his films.Not bad for a pothead.Sean Penn is a very brilliant actor , and I see now why he took that role. Jeff Spicoli is not a joke. He's the pothead Jimmy Stewart that gives the film its heart and soul and even its mind.And the final proof of this is that Jeff Spicoli is the only character from that film who gives us any reason to ever mention the film again today. 
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