Runners High: Cannabis-friendly gym set to open in San Francisco (Source rt.com) Cannabis and strength training may not seem like a natural combination, but one San Francisco entrepreneur wants to change that perception by opening the first cannabis-friendly gym, where people can work out and smoke pot in the one place.
Power Plant Fitness will be just like an ordinary gym, except that it will have a cannabis consumption room and special trainers who can advise gym users on how cannabis can improve their workouts. Gym users will be able to bring their own cannabis or purchase some on site. “Cannabis has been part of athletic lifestyles for a long, long time. It’s just been hidden,” gym owner Jim McAlpine explained.
Power Plant Fitness is expected to open in San Francisco’s Mission District in May, with membership costing between $150-$170.
China’s Big Missile Defense Move in the South China Sea: A Game Changer? (Source nationalinterest.org)
Satellite imagery appears to confirm that China has nearly completed construction of new fortification that could be used to house advanced surface-to-air missiles batteries such as the HQ-9. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative, the fortifications are being built on Fiery Cross, Mischief and Subi Reefs. “Eight of these buildings are being constructed on each of the three outposts. Each measures about 66 feet long and 33 feet wide,” the CSIS posting reads. “Unnamed intelligence officials who spoke to Reuters indicated that the roof of each concrete building is retractable. This could allow transporter-erector-launcher vehicles carrying missiles—like “https://amti.csis.org/paracels-beijings-other-buildup/” \t “the HQ-9 SAM systems China has already deployed on Woody Island—stationed within the structures to fire from inside without exposing themselves.”
For the Chinese, the fortified launch positions are an advantage because systems such as the HQ-9—which would normally move as part of their survival strategy–don’t have room to maneuver on the small artificial islands. “Unlike the HQ-9s on Woody Island, which are covered only by camouflage netting, those deployed to the Spratlys would enjoy some protection from the elements, especially corrosive seawater,” the report states. “With the roofs closed, the shelters would also conceal launchers from view, thwarting overhead surveillance and preventing adversaries from knowing how many launchers (if any) are present at any given time. Finally, in the event of actual conflict, the structures could withstand indirect strikes or small weapons fire.”
The islands—while a thorn in the side of the U.S. forces stationed in the Pacific—are quite vulnerable in the event of a conflict. China has been slowly militarizing the area as Beijing ramps up its campaign to claim much of the South China Sea for itself in contravention of international law.
Here’s What Would Happen If Russia and NATO Went to War
(Source nationalinterest.org) How much of a threat do Russia’s emerging 5th-generation stealth fighter, nuclear arsenal, high-tech air defenses, anti-satellite weapons, conventional army and submarines pose to NATO and the U.S.?
Current tensions between Russia and NATO are leading many to carefully assess this question and examine the current state of weaponry and technological sophistication of the Russian military — with a mind to better understanding the extent of the kinds of threats they may pose. Russia’s conventional and nuclear arsenal is a small piece of what it was during the Cold War, yet the country is pursuing a new class of air-independent submarines, a T-50 stealth fighter jet, next-generation missiles and high-tech gear for individual ground soldiers. A think-tank known as HYPERLINK “http://nationalinterest.org/” The National Interest has recently published a number of reports about the technological progress now being made by Russian military developers. The various write-ups include reporting on new Russian anti-satellite weapons, T-14 Armata tanks, air defenses and early plans for a hypersonic, 6th-generation fighter jet, among other things. Russia is unambiguously emphasizing military modernization and making substantial progress, the reports from The National Interest and other outlets indicate. For instance, Russia has “national-security/russia-flight-tests-anti-satellite-missile/” apparently conducted a successful test launch of its Nudol direct ascent anti-satellite missile, according to The National Interest. “This is the second test of the new weapon, which is capable of destroying satellites in space. The weapon was apparently launched from the Plesetsk test launch facility north of Moscow,” the report from The National Interest writes. In addition, The National Interests’ Dave Majumdar reported that Russian Airborne Forces plan six armored companies equipped with newly modified HYPERLINK “http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/russias-first-post-syria-move-stronger-t-72-battle-tanks-15500” T-72B3M tanks.
Russia’s Nuclear Weapons (Source nationalinterest.org)
In every respect, the current Russian deterrent is structured like its Soviet predecessor. ICBMs, launched either from silos or mobile launchers, remain the most reliable weapons and the mainstay of the Russian nuclear force. The Russian submarine force, almost moribund since the Soviet collapse and crippled yet again by a disaster in 2000 aboard the Russian submarine Kursk, has recovered somewhat, and Russian nuclear-missile-carrying submarines are now engaging in more patrols closer to the United States since 2009. Americans don’t think very much about nuclear weapons, and they certainly don’t think very often about their own arsenal, at least until something goes wrong with it, like -Exclusive-Air-Force-sidelines-17-ICBM-officers” the recent scandals involving the U.S. ICBM force. The Obama administration completed a nuclear nuclear posture review in 2010, a document that supposedly lays out the purpose and future of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Like previous U.S. reviews conducted in 1994 and 2002, it sank without a trace. The fact of the matter is that nuclear weapons and their mission simply do not matter much to post–Cold War American leaders. Nuclear weapons, however, certainly matter to the Russians. Nuclear arms have always been the source of superpower status for both Soviet and Russian leaders. This is especially true today: the Soviet collapse left the Russian Federation a country bereft of the usual indicators of a great power, including conventional military force or the ability to project it. Little wonder that Moscow still relies on its nuclear arsenal as one of the last vestiges of its right to be considered more than merely— national-security/obama-dismisses-russia-as-regional-power-acting-out-of-weakness” in President Obama’s dismissive words—a “regional power.” Today, nuclear weapons have retained not only their pride of place but an actual role in Russian military planning. Unlike the Americans, who see little use for nuclear weapons in the absence of the Soviet threat, the Russians continue to think about nuclear arms as though they are useful in military conflicts.