Posted on

binge monster – ryn original illustration

binge monster

Stop! and think before you fall prey to this dude and eat that entire chocolate cake. The binge monster is dangerous, leading to sprees of all sorts. Whether it’s eating, shopping, smoking, drinking or repeatedly collapsing your veins with heroin, this guy is often behind it.

Original illustration created by request. Want  you own original art? Contact for pricing and options.

Posted on

Purest cocaine, heroin and meth right here in AZ and other border states, study says

Arizona is smoking when it comes to having some of the purest illegal drugs in the entire nation.

Anger and drug use go hand and hand/Thinkstock image

Boycott be danged – we got ourselves a selling point.

The Grand Canyon State shares this fine distinction with its sister border states thanks to our proximity to Mexico, where we get first dibs on the freshest heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine.

This glorious news comes from a study tackled by an international research team led by University of Arizona’s own James Cunningham. The study was published in the scientific journal “Addication” and highlighted in UA News.

Researchers checked out about 250, 000 seizures of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin across the U.S. from 1990 to 2004.

Thankfully, they did not test drug potency by sampling the wares, but rather with federal data obtained through the glorious Freedom of Information Act.

“They calculated the distance from the location of each seizure to the nearest major city (import portal) on the border and compared that distance to purity, adjusting for factors such as the size of the seizure,” UA News reports.

The perhaps not-so-shocking results indicated that the purity of these three drugs was inversely proportional to the distance from the border – or the closer you were to Mexico the more potent these three drugs would be.

That means unless you have your own meth trailer hidden in the wiles of Tennessee, you’re best off buying the stuff in Arizona or other places closest to Mexico.

While the general purity decrease held true for all three drugs, researchers did note some exceptions.

Northeastern states as far as 1,500 miles from Mexico had some pretty potent meth, thanks to Canadian imports. New York City and other drug portals made for some pretty pure heroin. Researchers also found cocaine stayed the purest across the board, with less dilution of the drug than the other two.

Your brain on drugs/Thinkstock image

The researchers’ hypothesis?

“Allowing for variance by drug type, it seems that traffickers increasingly cut their drugs – decrease purity – as distance from a portal increases, possibly to compensate for added transport costs,” Cunningham told UA News.

Those unscrupulous drug hustling scamps. Based on their formidable fashion statements, like the diamond pinkie ring, we would have thought those in the business of transporting and selling drugs would have a tad more class.

Next thing we know they’ll be giving away free samples to try and get people hooked.

Cunningham said this decreasing drug potency was good news for communities far from Mexico and other portals, as less potent drugs means less chance of overdose or other health problems.

While the results of this study may seem somewhat obvious, at least it’s now official. And at least the study was a bit more involved than one that researched if coyotes eat cats. (They do.)

We also say such results could mean good news for the border states, as it can increase tourism and boost the overall economy. After all, traveling drug hungry thugs still need a hotel in which to crash and a few restaurants in which to eat. They may even buy a tchotchke or two.

Drugs will kill you/Thinkstock image

The title of the study is “Proximity to the U.S.-Mexico Border: A key to explaining geographic variation in U.S. methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin purity.”

NOTE: Although this piece is written with sarcasm, drug abuse is a serious topic. Drug abuse is not only likely to get you arrested, but is also known to wreck – or even end – your life.


What do you think?

Do the results of such a study shock you?

Would you have guessed otherwise?

What other studies do you recall that state something that seems obvious?

Posted on

From dismal drunk to Daddy Rocker

Many of us are suckers for a success story, and we can find one in a flash with Tom Moran.

This Brooklyn boy went from suicidal drunk to Daddy Rocker who just released his second album “Ain’t Gonna Give Up.”

Tom in front of Coney Island's Wonder Wheel/Daddy Rocker photo
Tom in front of Coney Island's Wonder Wheel/Daddy Rocker photo

Success didn’t come easy. The 44-year-old first had to ride the express train to hell and hit a bottom so low he needed to be scraped off it. And he’s not ashamed to admit some of the tough stuff he’s been through.

“I am so proud of my life and my past, ” he said. “I can now help others through my music and by being an example to them.”

Although booze badgered him, bludgeoned him and eventually ruled his life, Moran didn’t even dig the taste of his first drink.

That drink came as a teen and he slowly slid into a life of beer and pining after girls who didn’t pine back. It got worse right after high school.

“That’s when I really got hooked on the juice,” he said.

Other than smashing a beer bottle outside his frequent hole-in-the-wall hangout called the Truck Stop, Moran didn’t get into much trouble drinking – at least on the outside.

Inside, he was dying.

Still in his early 20s, the Canarsie chap moved to upstate New York to live with his sister. But his “good buddy Weiser” came with him.

“I was lost for some time upstate and in my mind,” he said. Thoughts of suicide constantly trampled through his head. “My life was really nowhere. I really did not want to go on anymore with my useless life.”

Waking up was turmoil, pulling himself out of bed a major chore.

“Getting up the next morning was hard to do. After a night out, I remember getting up the next day and wishing I would die and the hangover had my head spinning.”

Moran finally sought help when his sister decided to quit her own drinking.

“I went where she went and got some help,” he said. “That was the best decision I ever made: getting help for my drinking.”

Falteringly at first, Moran finally embraced a life without alcohol – even when that life continued to fall apart.

Married and living in Gerritsen Beach, Moran was working as a teacher, which he still does, with 90 percent of his cash going to fixing up the couple’s refinanced house.

He decided to use the meager 10 percent to record his first album, “Starting Over.”

That may not be the main reason behind the divorce that followed – “She did complain a lot!” – but the result still left him as a single parent raising his son Jonathan.

Tom with son John/Daddy Rocker photo
Tom with son John/Daddy Rocker photo

Move over Budweiser, as his son, now 10, took over as the most important thing in his life.

“When he first called me dad, I lit up,” Daddy Rocker said. “When your kid calls you dad for the first time, it’s amazing and wonderful.”

Working with former drug and alcohol addicts in recovery programs, teaching physical education to special needs children and, of course, spreading his message through his music are near the top of his list, too.

Moran’s first album sold 12,000 copies – not bad for “an unusual bad boy turned good,” as he jokes.

His second album has just hit the market, and I’ve already picked out my three favorite tracks:

1. Kisses & Hugs – An oozy, bluesy tune that soothes, grooves and mentions Santa Claus a la Leonard Cohen.

2. No Big Deal – Rocking number that devotes a whole stanza to the joy of Jonathan, especially watching the Yankees-loving boy play baseball.

3. This Poor Boy – Sweet, soulful song asking for help being put back together.

Even with through the turmoil of depression, alcohol addiction, divorce and working as a teacher in NYC public schools, Moran’s music is uplifting and filled with hope.

It is also infused with a simple innocence that makes you smile, not to mention tap the steering wheel while driving.

Even though Moran no longer longs for death, he easily answered the question I asked about what he would want on his headstone as his final words:

To my son Jonathan: I love you.
Go Out and Enjoy Your Life
Love, Daddy
P.S. Daddy will always be with you.

Full disclosure: I’ve known Tom for about 10 years and he’s one of those sweet, supportive friends that can’t make you mad even if they try. (Tom – that doesn’t mean you should try.)

Check out his album, video and more on his website

Tom gives special thanks to his publicist, DeAlan Wilson.

I’ll be playing some Daddy Rocker songs on my weekly webcast Friday at 4 p.m. (7 p.m. EST) at


My favorite promo shot - love the vest!/Daddy Rocker photo
My favorite promo shot - love the vest!/Daddy Rocker photo

Do you know someone who is a success story?

Maybe you are success story yourself?

Who inspires you?

Posted on

Planet to be named for Tucson high school student

One savvy Tucson student wants to help folks who hear voices, see worms in the couch or steal, maim and kill to feed their drug habit.

Angela Schlegal’s research efforts, which may lead to new medications that treat delusions, addictions and other mental illnesses, nabbed her second place in a recent contest and $1,500. But never mind that, she will also received the honor of having a minor planet or asteroid named after her. Brilliant.

StRATosphere/Ryn Gargulinski
StRATosphere/Ryn Gargulinski

If the rest of us mere civilians want planetary bodies named after us, we are forced to purchase stars from some online service that probably names a single star after 502,000 different people.

While I joke about the worms in the couch, delusions, hallucinations, addiction and other mental illnesses are no laughing matter.

It’s a field that still has much shame associated with it, as if its victims have chosen their lot. Research like Schlegal’s is an important and much-needed step towards helping those who suffer.

Never mind some asteroid, give the girl Pluto.

She graduated Tucson High Magnet School in the spring and conducted her research at the University of Arizona’s BIO5 Institute. Her second place came at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in the Plant Sciences Grand Award category. Read full story: High School Student Conducting Research at UA Earns Intel Honors

What would you call a planet that was named after you?
Do you think Shelgal needs a bigger honor, like Pluto? Yes, we know Pluto has been surrounded by planet vs. non-planet controversy, but that means her name will keep getting in the news.