Zach Galifianakis, star of the Hangover I, II and III, has decided to lay off the sauce after "getting into too much trouble with the drinking.” An incident during a recent drunken night out in Manhattan was the final straw for the 43-year-old actor, he related on Conan last week. “I was taking a long walk home, I'd gotten into the whiskey that night, and was listening to my headphones," said Galifianakis, when "this guy in a Jaguar cut me off." The actor drunkenly retaliated by hitting the Jaguar "as hard as I could with my hand." Shortly after, he recalled feeling a tap on his shoulder: "I turn around, it's two huge 6-foot-6 guys [from the Jaguar]. They both, at the same time, spit in my face!" The actor, known for his antics on-screen as well as off, asked if host Conan O'Brien could relate. "I don't know if you've ever been spit in the face non-sexually," said Galifianakis, "But all I remember is being so stunned. I remember reaching into a trash can and grabbing a beer bottle and saying out loud, 'Nobody spits in Galifianakis' face!'" He then threw the beer bottle at the car, but said it did not make contact. “You decided to cut back?” asked O'Brien, to which the actor replied, “...Yeah, cut back.” The Hangover III hits theaters this month.
- Illinois Senate Approves Bill to Legalize Medical Marijuana [Fox News]
- Adolescents Who Start Drinking In Puberty More Likely To Develop Alcohol Problems Later [Medical News]
- Drug Charge for Virgin Islands Environment Officer [ABC News]
- Teens Rewarded For Attending Booze-Free Prom Parties [Reuters]
- Iron Man III's Ashley Hamilton Opens Up About Eating Disorder [People]
- Toronto Mayor: That Wasn't Me Smoking Crack In That Video [Business Insider]
- Zach Galifianakis Quits Drinking After Two Men Spit in His Face [USA Today]
A London art gallery has decided to drop ecstasy—"Ecstasy of Art" that is—upon realizing that some of the exhibit's artwork contained thousands of real tablets of MDMA. The weeklong showcase was set to open with a private viewing today at Art Republic Gallery, but was canceled at the last minute after the gallery consulted with lawyers and decided to avoid the potential legal ramifications of having illegal drugs on site. "We were under the understanding that they were fake," says the gallery's director, Lawrence Alkin, "[The artist] said this week that they're not fake. We spoke to our solicitors and we can't have anything illegal in our gallery." The exhibition involved two artworks created with over 12,000 multi-colored ecstasy tablets: "Love & Death", a six-foot high skull and crossbones, and "Taste the Rainbow", priced at $150,000 and $114,000. The artist, Chemical X, is perhaps best known for designing the Ministry of Sound logo over 20 years ago, and has worked with rapper Snoop Lion and popular brands including Vans, PlayStation, MTV, and Disney. His spokesman, Marc Woodhouse, says he understands the gallery's decision, but defends the use of real ecstasy, explaining that the purpose of the work was to challenge people's perception of the drug. Says Woodhouse: "These need to be viewed as works of art as they stop being drugs from the point at which [they] are permanently sealed into the pieces." The artist is now seeking a new venue to house the exhibition in London, Bristol or Amsterdam.
Equine Assisted Therapy has been used to treat addiction for years, and horses are increasingly being incorporated into treatment by eating disorder programs across the country. Under the supervision of a mental health professional, and often in conjunction with evidence-based approaches such as CBT and DBT, working with horses can help patients feel more comfortable with their bodies, as well as help them hone life skills. "Anxiety, emotional regulation, trust, and body image are all core issues in eating disorder clients," Mark Hobbins, executive vice president of Center for Discovery, an eating disorders treatment center in Bellevue, Washington, tells The Fix. "Working with large animals requires physical movement and body awareness, and provides an opportunity for clients to find empowerment and enjoy an experience in their bodies." At patients are taught to care for the horses by feeding, grooming, and cleaning them. Hobbins explains that these kinds of "experiential therapies" can help "provide insight into subconscious experiences and help clients step away from thinking and step into feeling."
Horses are also "great teachers of assertive communication and setting boundaries," Cheryl Musick, an Advanced Certified EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) group specialist at Rosewood Ranch Eating Disorder Treatment Center tells us. "People must learn to be assertive to lead the horse around, [or else they] will be dragged around by it." Musick has been working in horse therapy for years and is "in awe" of what it can accomplish, such as helping patients overcome fear in the face of a "thousand-pound animal." According to Musick, "Equine therapy helps clients address fear [around past] trauma, or even [of] a plate of food. It allows them to dig deeper and realize that it's not frightening at all." Although working with the creatures can be scary at first, the horses ultimately inject a large dose of levity into the healing process. When the animals hear the "call of nature" and clients react with disgust, Musick will jokingly ask them, "Are you jealous?" (Eating disorders often impact the digestive system's "organic" processes). She says her patients will respond with laughter—sometimes the best medicine.
Researchers at UC Berkeley may have come up with a less damaging use for tobacco. In a video (below), Peggy Lemaux, a UC Berkeley researcher in plant and microbial biology, says her team has been looking for alternative fuel sources and "tobacco was to us a perfect one because its not something people eat, and the infrastructure for growing it, harvesting it, producing it was all there." She says that the use of tobacco for cigarettes is decreasing in the United States, and across the world, and tobacco growers are "excited there might be an alternative use to tobacco that might be looked at in a more positive way than using it for cigarettes." Researchers have already developed an extraction method, and envision that tobacco could be used to make airplane fuel, automobile fuel, and diesel fuel. As an additional bonus, diminishing the domestic tobacco supply would likely lead to a rise in cigarettes prices, which is historically linked to reduced smoking rates.
Mexico's army has taken control of the southwestern state of Michoacan, one of the most drug war-ravaged regions of the country. President Enrique Peña Nieto has announced that an army general, Alberto Reyes Vaca, will take over as the state's public security chief, overseeing military and police forces in an effort to tame violence in the region. According to Mexico's Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, Vaca will have the power to control and coordinate state and federal police, as well as federal troops deployed in Michoacan. "There will be no public security secretary in any part of the republic who will have as much power as he has," said Chong in a radio interview. Michoacan has long been a hotbed of drug cartel violence; in recent months, "self-defense" groups, usually made up of armed masked men, have declared they are protecting their rural communities from the drug cartels. Residents in the city of La Ruana say that the Knights of Templar cartel has taken control of the area by cutting off supplies of food, gas, and medicines. And a month ago, in nearby Apatzingan, 10 farmers were killed by armed men, and residents say the government was doing little to help. Since taking office last year, Peña Nieto has vowed to shift away from the aggressive tactics of his predecessor Felipe Calderon; escalating violence resulted in more than 63,000 drug war deaths in Mexico under Calderon's leadership.