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OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…11

Continuing…
That being handled, I leave a wakeup call for 0430 as I want a shower and a couple shower-sunrisers before we leave. It takes me about 10 minutes to pack. I call home to let Es know what’s going on. She’s not in, so I leave a message. Same for my friends Rack and Ruin of the Agency. They’re thrilled so far with my reports.
The security forces here are absolutely going to freak if they reverse-review my phone records once we leave.
Covert? Schmovert. I’m too old for playing such games.
The next morning, after a sudsy shower and a couple of vodka-infused shower-beers; I’m in the lobby with all my kit, checked-out, and waiting on the tour leader. My passport was stamp-stamp-stampity-stamped here at the hotel, which I thought was weird, but after spending time in this here country, not all that unusual.
At 0545 on the dime, the tour bus pulls into the lot. Without a word, bellhops grab near all my kit and escort it out to the waiting bus.
After tipping each extravagantly, I fire up a huge cigar, and wander around outside, loitering by the bus. I see members of my team at the front desk, checking out. Everything’s been paid for already, they just have to sign documents that they’re not secreting hotel towels or televisions or errant nationals in their luggage.
It’s a weird country.
I see them loading box breakfasts for us as well as box lunches on the bus.
Hell, they’re actually doing ‘field trip’ correctly.
If the bus us fueled up, we can go for days at this rate. There are several coolers bearing the hotel’s brand and I sidle over to see what they’re carrying.
Case after case of iced-down beer and a couple of cases of various high-octane potables; and over there? A couple of boxes of mixers…ah, soda…pop…carbonated citrusy goodness.
“OK”, I sigh, “All is as it should be. Now the field excursion may begin.”
My teammates filter outside as does their luggage. I suggest they get out and keep what is necessary for preliminary outcrop excursions; such as a backpack or knapsack, hammer, acid bottles, field notebooks, Brunton compass, lighters, cameras, personal tobacco products, and the like in the bus. That way, we don’t have to go tearing through all the luggage at every stop.
I pull out a bundle of 100 Hubco™ large geological dual-sample bags. That’s right: ‘dual’ sample…
I distribute these to everyone on the team. I ask that they devise their own numbering system and make absolutely certain I have a copy of it when we’re done. I’ll be correlating and curating all the samples when we get back to the world.
I ask that a cooler of drinks are left on board the bus, rather than in the hold. It’s humid, sticky, and muggy today. We must expend valiant effort in remaining hydrated and this will help.
Luckily, the bus has on-board lavatory facilities.
We are seated on the bus, my 10 collective team members, myself, our 4 ‘guides’, ‘Yuk’, ‘No’, ‘Man’, and ‘Kong’; our driver, relief driver, one incredibly shy national geologist, Myung-Dae Soo, and four of the shiny suit clan.
The hotel wheels out a large cart laden with pastries and a huge coffee urn. A bit of a “Bon Voyage” from the casino and bar crowd, as they put this together for us when they heard we were leaving.
“Hey. That’s really nice of them.” Dax notes.
Dax handed over our raw “elevator waiting” funds as we didn’t have time to run it through the casino-machine before we left. We donated over 75,000 won to our friends at the bar, casino, and massage parlor. The ones delivering our going away present assured us it would be divided equitably.
“It best be”, I laughed, “You never know when one of us might be back!”
There was a collective horrified look on their faces for the merest moments. Then they all laughed and said that they hoped we would return someday soon.
“Nice folks”, I thought, “Stupid as shit country, but nice folks.”
We had all separately left tips for the room maids, bellmen, and matrons back before we checked-out.
There was a flurry of handshaking and goodbyes. Not a bad hotel experience here in the so-called land of Best Korea.
Serious dark coffee was passed out amongst the riders, but Ivan, myself, and Dax were already giving one of my emergency flasks a workout.
Ivan smiled and said: “We drink our coffee the Russian way. That is to say we had vodka before it and vodka afterward. HA!”
Ivan and I are cut from the same bolt.
Faux-doughnuts, pseudo-bear claws and fake-long johns all distributed; the bus is fired up, and rumbling. We are exhorted to watch our drinks as we pull away from the hotel and into the wilds of Northern Korea.
I’m humming away:

On the road again -Just can't wait to get on the road again,
The life I love is bashing rocks in the field with my friends.
And I can't wait to get on the road again
On the road again.
Goin' places that we've never been,
Seein' things that we may never see again…
--
“Rock?”, Dax inquires.
“Yes?” I reply.
“Do please shut up.”
“Music hater”, I muse and comply.
We’re rolling down the highway, as it were, headed generally north. We all have cameras of one kind or another; and rather than relieve us of them, they quietly and without much fuss, slowly darken the windows.
They claim it’s to keep the sun out and temperatures down, but just before things go all black, we’re seeing sights and scenes of the true North Korea. They’re trying to keep us from seeing that en route to the outcrops.
This new bus has some sort of electronic tint-control gizmo for the windows. However, if one has a pair of polarizing sunglasses, as all good field geologists do, you see right past that and can view the passing scenery unencumbered.
I return from a quick beer-recycling loo trip and am amused to see 10 Western scientists, sitting in a blacked-out bus, all wearing polarizing sunglasses.
It was just the surreal note this trip needed as we left the confines of the capital city.
We traveled north, and the empties pile began to grow. We had a few trash bags we had liberated from the hotel, but the shiny suits were very insistent that every empty can, bottle, and bag, yes they had beer in bags…had to be repatriated to a box in the far back of the bus.
Evidently, they either were paid a bounty on each container or were accountable for each vessel. They were soon to realize just the capacity for drink that a group of 11 seasoned very Senior Field Geologists, and one stowaway geologist-in-training can amass.
As we ply our way northward, we see the agricultural side of North Korea. The contrast between rural areas and the capital was striking. There were miles of rice paddies being harvested by people with sickles in their hands. And no cars on the highway. It was most destabilizing for this Westerner.
I think we saw a maximum of three tractors, as most of the work was done with ox power, there was very little evidence of rural electrification. Oh, hold on. We saw many more tractors, I should correct that: we saw three running and not rusted into oblivion tractors.
The farmers we see are using equipment that is quite literally medieval - single-share plows pulled by large, cranky bovines; sweeping sickles to bring in the harvest, and twin-engine, bilateral, botanical-fired ox-carts to transport it. It’s hard to believe that this third-world level of poverty exists in the same country that’s capable of building rockets, nuclear weapons, and tall, well-appointed hotels.
But when we stop at a motorway service station for fuel - a bizarre alien spaceship-like building squatting over the empty carriageways - we do encounter a jangmadang, or semi-official market. Here they are selling cans of knock-off Vietnamese Red Bull and Malaysian-made King Cobra™ Cola.
It reminds me of Russia right after the wall fell. Off the Trans-Siberian Railway in Krasnoyarsk, the Gateway to Eastern Siberia. You can buy Chinese hams, Chinese sodas, Chinese knock-off liquor, and those bloody delicious little bullets of Vitamin-C, Chinese mandarins.
Here, it’s similar. You can get most anything you desire, except it isn’t of Korean manufacture. That stuff is even too shitty to pawn off on tourists.
Instead, it’s knock-off Malaysian, Chinese, or Indonesian beer, wine, or soft drinks.
“Tiger-brand energy drink. Now with 40% more real tiger.” Here? I believe them.
Vodka from everywhere not known for its vodka distilling prowess. Rural hotel shops sell nastily stale crisps, gummy gummies, filling-ripping ‘chewy’ taffy or caramel, and biscuits with a severely limited choice. Rural hotels do not have full electricity so beer is warm and often tossed on the table, waiting for tourists to arrive - as is the food. We were warned to be prepared for cold rice, cold fish, cold potato – and plenty of kimchi and tofu.
Back on the road again, we’re passing small burgs that are not on any of our maps; even the ones we traded for back in the hotel that are specially marked: “For Internal Use ONLY!”.
They were amazingly the same. Clean. Bright. Uncluttered. And attended by cadres of prim, uniform-clad, though non-military people. They were all doing a day’s work keeping everything neat and clean.
There were no cars, trucks, forklifts…only rickshaws and ox-carts. However every one of these ‘towns’ were identical, and exactly, as Ivan pointed out, ‘X’ number of minutes apart.
“Watch! Is so!”, Ivan said. We passed one of these villages, and exactly 3 minutes later, an exact copy. Three minutes later? Another one. 3 more minutes? Xerox-city.
“What the fuck?” Dax asked.
“Potemkin village.” Comrade Dr. Academician Ivan replied.
A Potemkin village is any construction, literal or figurative, whose sole purpose is to provide an external façade to a country which is faring poorly. It is for making people believe that the country is faring better, although statistics and data would suggest otherwise.
“Russia pioneered the process,” Ivan noted with no small amount of pride. “During Cold War with West, entire cities were built, moved, raised, and razed. Ever hear of Krasnoyarsk-25? Atomic Research City? Supposed place of weapons study and manufacture. Huge ‘accident’. Entire city demolished, total populace relocated supposedly, after massive nuclear calamity.”
“Is that true? Cliff asks.
“No. Not at all.” Ivan smiles, “Deliberate misinformation. At least for K-25. It was diversion for actual towns where accidents; nuclear, biological, or worse, had happened. West so concerned about K-25 because it was big, near big capital city of Krasnoyarsk and suitably located out in the taiga. Easy to spot, easy to watch. Kept Western satellites busy while real towns of I-33, U-10, and AR-13 out in the forest were quietly demolished and people relocated or mass buried after some horrible, horrible accidents...”
“You think it’s the same here?” I asked Ivan.
“No, Dr. Rock”, Ivan smiled, and helped himself to my freshly constructed, but untouched, Yorshch, “This is all fake and bluster. Make West think everything is all A-OK, is that right idiom?”
“Yep.” I reply, “Precisely.”
“Make West believe all is OK and green”, as he winks at me, “And bustling and growing. Cover up what is real case here. We all see it and we see right through. Shoddy even for Asians.”
We all had to snicker and smirk as the shiny suit squad, who sat up at the front of the bus, and were not supposed to be listening; reacted like every cell in their bodies were just hit with a drop of pure lemon juice.
“Comrade Dr. Academician. Decorum, please.” I snickered.
“Oh, fuck them!”, Ivan replied, “I am old Russian. They try and pull burlap over my eyes? St. Petersburg? Moscow? Krasnoyarsk.? I’ve been there, seen them. They think this display of tawdriness…Even goofy American and Canadian can see the fakes they are. Britisher? I’m not so sure…”
“Damn, Doctor., I said to Ivan, “You’re just making friends all over the planet today.”
We all knew it was in jest; but the shiny suit squad certainly had their feathers ruffled and either didn’t care or wanted us to know we were under their observation.
“Fuck them twice”, Ivan said, “Ask them for bottle opener. I’m too lazy to search for my field jackknife.”
I hand him my pocket Leatherman and he pries the top of another bottle of ‘Budveiser’ beer.
“They can’t even make fake the name correctly”, he smirks and drains the bottle.
‘Town’ after ‘town’ and even that parade gets uninteresting. We’re headed north and finally come to a crossroads.
The bus driver, who must be a regular paranoid-maniac because he actually stopped to look for oncoming traffic, which we have seen precisely none since leaving the capital city, made a hard right. We’re heading back and up into the hills, leaving the bright lights of the big city far behind.
After an hour or so of driving, we pull off to the left-hand side of the road.
“Rock, Ivan, Cliff…holy shit, look at this!” Dax was uncharacteristically excited.
It was an open field that leads to a series of low outcrops of polychromatic, obviously sedimentary rocks. Magentas, greens, purples, rust-reds, browns, blacks, olive greens…holy shit. A real sedimentary pile.
We filed out of the bus with our field gear. The shiny suit squad started in with a bullhorn.
“You will wait for tour guides!”
“You will listen to group leaders!”
“You will not stray from the designated paths set up…”
No one heard them as the group of 11 remaining Western geoscientists were already across the highway and hieing for the exposures like outcrop-seeking multiple-warhead re-entry vehicles.
“You must wait!” we heard from exasperated voices back at the bus. “You must stop!”
“You must piss off!” Cliff said, “This is what we’ve been waiting over two weeks to see!”
“They are very angry with us”, Myung-dae the young Korean geologist said. “I find that just too bad.”
“And you are?” I asked.
Myung-dae Soo, the young Korean geologist, introduced himself.
“Well”, I said, “Welcome aboard. I’m Dr. Rock.”
“They are very, very angry”, he repeats.
“So? Are you tagging along to give them internal reports?” I asked.
“No, Doctor”, he replied, “I too am a geologist. I want to get away from those assholes and see some real rocks.”
“Who are you with?” I ask, “What group?”
“I am 5th-year student at Pyongyang College. I am not officially here. We were told in class that you were coming. I decided to see if I could join you. This morning, I was standing by bus and they thought I was hotel worker or orderly. I was given cooler full of beer and told to find place for it on the bus. I did and after that, just stayed in the back. I am stowaway. I am ashamed, but I had to see for myself. But, I like Western field trips so far!”
“No shit? Well, then”, I said, “Double welcome aboard. None of this ‘I am ashamed’ shit. You’re a geologist, but you haven’t even worked through your first field-evening get-together with us. But this is no pleasure cruise. It’s real work, real geology, real serious science shit. You savvy?”
“Yes, sir, Doctor Rocknocker from Sultanate in the Middle East.” Myung-dae smiled.
“And you fucking stay close to me”, I smirked.
I fired a couple of BLAAATS! from my portable air horn.
“Field Meeting! Field Meeting! Assholes & Elbows!” I called aloud.
Everyone gathered within earshot.
“OK, guys, here’s the deal. We do not know how long we’ve got here. So, let’s split up into teams. Geophysicists, go do your structural thing. Stratigraphers? Field relations. Geologists? Let’s go talk to some ronery-rooking-rocks. No offense, Mr. Myung.”
Myung-dae was laughing up a storm. He got that reference. He later told us all around the campfire he thought ‘Team America’ was a “fucking hilarious movie.”
Oh, we are going to be a real bad influence on this poor kid.
The groups spontaneously broke up into 4 or 5 sub-groups. They headed for areas they thought were important and they were photographing, measuring, pounding on rocks, and arguing within minutes.
“No, you idiot! It’s continental. Look at those adhesion ripples.”
“The fuck you know. It’s only a little low-level eggbeater tectonics. Where the fuck would you get continental collision-size energy around here?”
“Oh, the fuck you say. It’s non-marine. Those are mud cracks. Look at the sandy aeolian infill, fer chrissake.”
Formal? Proper? Detached Doctors of Geology?
Not when you’re in the field. It all goes out the window when different opinions collide like subducting plates.
“The music of my people!” I said to Morse.
“I thought that was the ‘Safety Dance’?” he chided.
“We’re a big family. We can have more than one.” I snickered.
We’re wandering around the site, with individual purpose.
We are looking for or looking at items of interest.
We’re hacking at the outcrops.
We’re all looking at…things.
It’s hard to describe. Get a load of geologists or geology students out of the office, lab, or classroom; stick them out on a bare expanse of heavily weathered rock and it’s simply…numinous.
We’re rebuilding worlds here.
This rock says this.
This rock says that.
And you’re not fluent in that dialect. Here, let me interpret for you…
We’re at each other’s throats, in the academic-metaphorical sense. Tempers have been known to run hot. There has been the occasional bloody nose or rocks sailing down an outcrop without the obligate “HEADACHE!” call. Hammers and Marsh Picks have ended up swimming without the owner’s knowledge.
But once we’re back; settled in the hotel room, tavern, or around the campfire, we’re all a Band of Brothers again. It’s an odd thing to watch; as if you’re not of the clan, you’d need an interpreter. It defies all boundaries: political, sexual, educational, geographical, linguistic, social, et cetera.
We’re all geologists first. We share the common scientific bond of Geology.
That’s why Geology is the First Science.
Plus we tend to drink a serious fucking whole bloody awful lot.
We’ve all been on that ‘crawlin’ home puker’.
We’ve also been to the ends of the earth: the deepest depths, the highest heights, we deal with the greatest pressures, the hottest temperatures; we’ve been to the mountain, we’ve seen the elephant, and we’ve held a bear’s nose to dogshit.
We wear the scars attained in our travels like badges of honor.
We’re God-Damned Scientists.
Back off, man. Geologist comin’ through.
Anyways, I’m looking at the bedding-plane boundaries between the purple unit and the underlying olive-green unit. The upper unit it looks, to me, continental in origin. Fluvial, perhaps. The lower unit is much finer-grained. Marine mudstone, perhaps? But what age?
The cadged Korean Geological maps are worse than useless. They never would go down to the outcrop scale. Consulting them, they don’t even note these exposures in a field sense.
Myung-dae, who is working about 35 meters down-section from me calls out, “Doctors! Sirs! Look here! I’ve found something!”
We all wander over as he is hacking away at the dusty, eroded rock. He stands and dusts off his find.
It’s a very large, nearly 1-meter diameter, coiled fossil cephalopod.
I wander over for a closer look. Dax, Cliff, Morse, and Ivan do as well.
“Blimey! Will you look at that? Outstanding, Mr. Myung!” Cliff says.
“Well, that confirms it. This layer, at least, is marine. Look at that suture pattern”, I say, dusting off an unweathered bit.
“Look at the radius of coiling.”, Cliff joins in.
We’re slowly wresting information out of this silent witness.
“Ornamentation?”, Dr. Ivan asks. “Knobs, bosses, and excrutions?” Oh, yes.”
In unison, we declare: “Hyphoplites!”
Morse adds, “And therefore…these rocks are middle Cretaceous. Marine. Not bad…”
“Need to get some samples for geochemical analysis. Dig deep, gentlemen, we need unweathered samples for TOC (Total Organic Carbon) content.”, Dr. Erlen Meyer notes.
With that, we have a relative age of the rock, a good idea of its depositional environment, and therefore extent, ideas of field relationships, and an indication of some of its fauna.
Could it be source rock worthy?
Samples? Best get diggin’, Beaumont.
That unit is right smack in the middle of this pile of rocks. Dax and I will work up-section and Ivan and Cliff will work down-section. We’re going to see what lies above, what lies below, what trends we can discern, and develop an idea of what happened here some 100 million years ago.
This is what happens when you get geologists out in the field with the proper amounts of field gear, outcrops, and alcohol.
Overall, the deeper down-section, and therefore, earlier in geological time you go, the more marine the rocks are. Conversely, the higher you go in the column, i.e., up-section, into younger rocks, the more continental it appears.
We find fragments of marine fish fossils, sea-crocodile scutes and teeth, heaps of mosasaur coprolites, i.e., fossil shit piles, and other indications that the lower, older rocks are Lower Cretaceous ocean basin-fill.
But up higher; we find mud cracks, rain prints, land turtle shells, land-snails (Bellerophontid gastropods), and what may actually be a fossil feather. All indications of a more continental, i.e., fluvial (river), floodplain, lacustrine (lake), and paludal (swamp) deposition.
That’s my particular bailiwick.
I’m ‘elephant walking’ along the upper outcrops looking for fossils. You basically bend over at the waist and sweep from left to right as you take exaggerated step after step, scanning the ground looking for…well…it takes years, but once you see it, you never forget it.
“Fossil sign”.
A disjunct endemism. Something not in situ. Something out of place. A bit of a different, out of context color. Out of context texture. Out of context size. Out of context context.
Something that looks like it shouldn’t ought to be there.
I’m picking up 1 cm. square hunks of what look like an ordinary rock. I taste them. Well, I stick them to my tongue. If it liquefies and runs away, it’s ordinary mudstone, shale, or the like.
If it sticks…well, it might just be fossil bone.
“PTWTWOO!”
“Damn right, Rock”, Cliff says from behind me, “Fucking North Korea tastes terrible.”
“Still, it’s the best way I know to…” I paused.
“Got something?” Cliff asked.
“Look here.” I said, “Anthill. Big, nasty buggers. Look around the edges. Pieces of flat, cream-colored rock on this gaudy purple stuff. Tongue test? They stick like cockleburs. Let’s look upslope, see if there’s a drainage…”
There it was, a nice little drainage incised about 1.5 meters deep into the nearly horizontal rocks we were walking on.
“Any float?” I asked.
“Not yet,” Cliff said.
We followed the weak, little drainage that was cut into the outcrop, up another couple of meters.
There were very scrappy, very small, very scattered pieces of that same cream-colored rock. Some were ornamented with a scroll-work or some sort of striations. Most un-geological. More biological. We followed the trail, up here, around here, over there.
Cliff noticed it first, a soccer-ball sized lump of completely out-of-place crème-colored ‘rock’ working its way out by gradual erosion of the variegated pastels of the continental rocks upon which we were treading.
I got there first and began to clear the area with my Estwing.
“Careful. Careful”, Cliff admonished.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mind your Mincies. [Mince pies = eyes]”, as I’m swinging away at the reluctant, reticent, rocks.
The excavation grew, slowly. From the rounded dome, we could see small sutures that had developed…
Then condyles, fenestrae, then more ‘bone’. Then a jaw, teeth, vertebrae…
“HOLY DOUBLE-DAMN SHIT!” I tootled my air horn. We needed the group to see this.
It was a skull. A dinosaur skull. A small, non-avian dinosaur skull.
Everyone has crowded around and looked at the small quarry we had just built.
“Whatcha got, Rock? Cliff?” Joon asked.
“Fuck me, but I think we’ve got us a dinosaur skull,” I said.
Professor Doctor Academician Ivan walked over and cleared the area.
As Professor Emeritus, he had pole position priority.
“I agree.” is all he said.
I cleared the area and let others take a whack at opening up the quarry.
We may have been low on power tools, but we had a surfeit of opinions.
“OK,” I said, “Let’s look at the facts…”
  1. Age? Cretaceous. Probably lower to lower-middle Cretaceous.
  2. Continental deposits. That’s very fine sand we’re hacking away. Fluvial, without a doubt. Or, possibly aeolian; there’s no such thing as a geological certainty. Dunes? Ephemeral creeks? Low floodplain? Geo-talk… .
  3. Small size. Potentially a juvenile?
  4. Nope. Not a juvie. Sutures are closed, fused. This is, well was, an adult; perhaps a subadult, given its size.
  5. In situ? In place? Or washed in?
Hard to tell when all you’ve exposed is half the critter’s brain box.
“Look at that!” Myung-dae exclaimed, “Squamosal bones and the inner parietals…temporal fenestrae. It had a frill; a small one.”
“OK,”, I said, looking closely at the exposed scrappy remains, “Fucking-A Bubba. Nailed it.” I said, giving him the thumbs up.
“Ceratopsian. Look at those greens-grinder molars. There’s some small osteoderms on the skull; knobby old bastard. Early critter.” I continued.
Others looked around and confirmed my observations.
“Reminds me of Protoceratops from when I was back in Mongolia,” I said.
Dax chimed in with, “Looks something like Psittacosaurus from back in the Cretaceous Belly River of Canada.”
Drs. Ivan and Morse agree. “Most assuredly. It is definitely proto-ceratopsian. Young adult, as Dr. Rock notes by the cranial sutures. Do they have a record of proto-ceratopsians here?”
Myung-dae replies, “I have read reports of Korean proto-ceratopsian found in South Korea. Not long ago, 2019, it is called…ah… Auroraceratops. It is a genus of bipedal basal neo-ceratopsian dinosaur.”
“Bipedal?” I query. “Well, there’s a fine how do you do. All the proto-ceratopsians I’ve known were obligate quadrupeds.”
“Well”, Ivan, Dax, Cliff, and Morse agree, “That should give the shiny suit squad something to report. That’ll keep them the hell out of our hair for a while.”
We photograph each step as we excavate the critter. It’s more or less in situ, buried where it fell. Probably killed by a sand slip off a dune, or a river sandbar slip and burial. It’s not complete, but we do have the skull and a good portion of the post-cranial elements to about just before the pelvis. A good pectoral girdle, skull, jaw, frill, forelimbs, forefeet…easily half-a cute little herbivorous dinosaur. About the size of a smallish Highland Coo or large Great Dane.
We flag it with the team particulars, it’s GPS position, and carefully rebury the animal. We don’t have any of the equipment nor time to excavate it properly, but we can conserve it. Of course, we’ll be informing the proper authorities of our discovery.
I have an absolutely ancient Polaroid instant camera. Before re-internment, I take several pictures of our “Koreasaurus”, as we’ve dubbed the animal, with items for scale; like a hammer, cigar, and oddly enough, a photographic scale. Then I get a photo of the whole crew standing around, drinking warm beers from their individual day packs, smiling about the find ‘they‘ made.
We hear the melodious tootle of the bus’s horns. We make sure to pack out all our trash and wander back to our terrestrial transport.
“You were gone too long!” the chief shiny suited character goes all ballistic on me.
“Watch yourself, Herr Mac.”, I calmly said, “You’re going to burn your nose on my cigar.”
“You left without your handlers…err…guides!” he fumed.
“Hey, Scooter. Cool out. We’re geologists. We never get lost.” I said.
It sometimes just takes us longer to get back than it took us to leave…
“Your impertinence will be reported.” He smoldered.
“Report this, Mother Chuckler”, I observed and held out the pictures of our newly discovered Koreasaurus.
“Show those photos to your handlers,” I said in a mocking tone. “We found a brand new species of God-damned dinosaur for you geezers. It took us less than two hours. You can spin it that it’s a new, never-before-seen species of very specialized dinosaur found right here in beautiful Korea del Norte. Be quite the scientific coup, don’t you think? Trust us. We won’t say anything.”
He immediately shut up and went into conference with the rest of the shiny suit squad.
“Doctor”, one of the clan covert asked, “This is a new dinosaur?”
I had a thunderbolt of an idea.
“Oh! Yes, it is. I’d stake my reputation on it. You’ve had no concerted search here for the beasts and well, with the normalizing of relations between your country and the world, it allowed your specialists to perform real science. In fact, on the bus is the young North Korean geoscientist who made the discovery.” I said. “Give me a minute. I’ll go and get him. I think he was off taking a shi…ah, using the lavatory. Just give me a minute.”
I did have an idea. A wonderful idea. A wonderfully evil idea.
Back on the bus, I ordered the doors closed.
“Gentlemen! Ears and eyes! Please.” I said loudly.
Continuing…
“The shiny suits have their knickers all a-twist because we don’t want to listen to them; the assholes. Fuck that. I’ve got an idea. Let’s make our young acolyte here, Mr. Myung-dae Soo, a national hero. He would probably get his ass in a crack for sneaking on board the Western bus today the way he did. Well, double fuck that. Let’s all say he found the dinosaur. Let him take the glory for the homeland. No one else will ever need to know.” I said smiling.
“Fuck Yeah! You bet! Замечательное! Ihmeellisiä! Maravilhoso! Geweldig!”
Good to know we’re all on the same page. Geologists. You can always count on them…
“Mr. Myung-dae Soo? Front and center. Time to go and become ‘Hero of Best Korea’.” I smiled.
He was absolutely terrified.
“Doctor…I …don't…wait…no…” he stammered.
Cliff, Dax, Ivan, and I trotted him out to confront the shiny suit squad.
“Don’t worry, Myung. We’ve got your back. Trust us.” I said in a low conspiratorial tone.
The shiny suit squad turned as one and gave Mr. Myung the Stink Eye treatment.
“Here you go. The man of the hour. Mr. Myung-Dae Soo, young geologist and up and coming paleontologist.” I say loudly and with the utmost honor.
They look at him and the Korean erupts in rapid-fire staccato bursts.
Cliff just wanders in and interjects, “Yes. Righto. Top form. Found the float. Tracked down that dino like he was on safari. Highest marks. Good man!”
Dax adds more fuel to the fire. “Like he knew where to go, knew where to look. He’s a natural.”
Dr. Academician Ivan blustered forth: “Excellent scholar. Excellent field man. Banner geologist.”
I couldn’t have added more. The shiny suit squad was gobsmacked.
I asked Myung-dae what they were saying.
“They were talking about reprisals. Reporting to authorities. Then, they stopped. You have them completely confounded.” He said.
“How so?” I asked, quietly.
“Between an international incident where we don’t listen to our handlers and this potential important scientific discovery.” Mr. Myung-dae reported, trying hard to parse the evolving situation.
“Yes”, I added to Ivan’s bluster.
To the shiny suits: “I’ve worked as visiting Dinosaurian Vertebrate Paleontology Curator at all the major American museums. This is a find quite unlike anything known. It is a watershed discovery. It will help unravel the evolution and distribution of the clan Dinosauria for the whole Korean Peninsula. Perhaps, even with international impact on the recent finds in China.”
I laid it on with a trowel.
I hit all the buzzwords.
“Yes. Yes, perhaps.”, the head shiny-suiter said. “I will report this bit of very good news to the proper authorities. Myung-dae, with us. We require more information.”
“Ah, we’d prefer him to ride in back with us if you don’t mind. Scientific courtesy, old man. He needs to be classically de-interviewed after such a find.” I insisted, making certain I stand as tall, wide, and menacing as possible while smiling like a damned Cheshire cat, one smoking a very large cigar.
“Very well. We are not far from our evening stop. We can talk later.” He agreed.
We all moseyed, laughing silently, back to the bus; literally supporting our young hero Mr. Myung-dae as he seemed to have gone all wobbly of late.
Myung-dae was ashen-white. He looked like he had just given birth to a basketball. He was visibly shaking.
We get on the bus and I whip up a stout Yorshch for the young hero of the hour.
“Here! This is for you. If you’re going to be a world-class geologist, you’d damn sure better start acting like one.” I smile broadly.
There were hoots, cheers, and cat-calls.
Beers were popped, bottles uncorked; cigars, cigarettes, and pipes lit.
“Damn Skippy!” some anonymous reveler added.
Myung-dae slurped a good half the drink. I offered him a cigar. He stopped shaking enough to accept the novel offer.
Remember “crawlin’ home puker”? He’s taken his first step into a larger world.
OK, just to recap. Here are the dramatis personae left on the bus…
Bus driver (Kim) and his relief (Won).
My team and I. That’s 11 Western geoscientists: Morse, Cliff, Volna, Ack, Viv, Graco, Erlen, Dr. Academician Ivan, Joon, Dax, and myself.
Then there are our guides: Yuk, No, Man, and Kong.
Our stowaway hero geologist-in-training: Myung-dae Soo, aka, “Mung”.
And the four members of the shiny suit clan: Pak, Mak, Tak, and Jak. At least, that’s the names we used when we addressed them.
The bus was rumbling down the deserted highway. We were headed more or less due east, passing the occasional Potemkin Village. They knew we cracked their code long ago, so they didn’t bother with darkening the windows any longer.
We are passing a series of highway road cut outcrops. We’re only going approximately 35 or 40 miles per hour. Suddenly, Morse jumps out of his seat and runs up to the driver.
“STOP! STOP! Back up! We almost missed it!” he barks in heavily Russian inflected English.
The driver, shaken to the core, just slams on the brakes. The bus grinds to a stop. Good thing there’s no traffic out here.
Or anywhere else, for that matter.
Jak of the suit clan jumps up and asks “What is the problem?”
“How could you miss that?” Morse shouts. “Huge fault. Mineralization. I saw that from a glimpse. We must return to investigate.”
“Is not possible. We have appointment at the hotel.” Jak replies.
“Fuck that!”, Morse shouts. I guess he’s just really into faults…
I wander up and try to defuse the situation.
“OK, guys, cool out. Let’s be reasonable. Do it our way. Go back to that road cut. We spend a half-hour there then we go on to the hotel. The hotel will still be there when we arrive, won’t it? Even if we’re a bit late?” I ask.
Jak looks to Pak, who converses with Mak and Tak. They know they’re outgunned.
The driver shifts the bus into reverse and we back down the luckily deserted highway over a mile to the outcrop in question.
We had to admit, it was a mother beautiful normal fault. In perfect, textbook cross-section.
Morse and Joon were on it like white on rice; given the mineralization along the fault plane. All sorts of implications for the thermal and geological history of the area. But with just one exposure like this, more or less just a real interesting geo-oddity.
We spent precisely 30 minutes at the exposure, and when our handlers requested we re-board and head to the motel, we complied like nice, normal sort of folks.
I believe the appropriate maxim here is: “Lull them into a false sense of security…”
Once more down the road we travel. Beers popped, bottles uncorked; you know, the usual.
Forty-five minutes later, we pull into, I kid you not, a replica US of A 1950s Motor-Inn.
“Mr. Myung”, I ask, “What the hell is this?”
To be continued…
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

I wrote a new, updated, more comprehensive and neutral wiki for the sub, but I guess the mods didn't want it. Here's u/garethom's guide to Birmingham.

I sent this is in a message to the mods a little while back after seeing that the existing wiki was a little out of date, really centric to certain areas and tbh, not very neutral when it came to other areas. It's my no means the end of any recommendations, but considering we have a lot of questions about what to do/see/eat/drink and where to stay or live, I thought it might be helpful.
Anyway, I haven't got a response, and I'm not even sure if any of them are even still active here, so I thought I'd just drop it here and maybe somebody can get some use out of it anyway.
I'll clarify that outside of playing for one of the American football teams currently, and having previously played for another, I'm not affiliated with any organisation mentioned herein.

About Birmingham

Birmingham is the second city (don't listen to anything Manchester says!) of the United Kingdom. It is the largest and most populous city in the United Kingdom, as well as the centre of the second largest urban area after London, with a population somewhere between 1 and 1.3 million people.
Birmingham boomed from a non-descript market town to a juggernaut of a city during the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s/early 1800s, and is called "the first manufacturing town in the world". Although the steam engine is Birmingham's most famous invention, did you know, that amongst hundreds of other things, we're also responsible for the birth of the modern chemical industry, cotton spinning, the Baskerville typeface, building societies, powdered custard, the modern postal system, medical plaster, lawn tennis, plastic, medical use of x-rays, The Lord of the Rings, and the Football League? Well now you do!
Today, we don't manufacture so much, but we're still an important city on the global stage. We're now a centre for both the public and private service industry, and one of the most important centres of finance in the country.
We form the centre of a metropolitan area, spanning from Solihull in the south east, to Wolverhampton and the Black Country in the north west, and we make up an interesting group of people. We're a city of younger than average people, and are the UK's most ethnically diverse city, with large numbers of immigrants from Ireland, South Asia, the Caribbean and China. This make up has majorly shaped the city we live in today.
Whether you're visiting for a day or two, or you're a born and bred Brummie, Birmingham is still a city that can amaze you.
And yes... it's true. We do have more canals than Venice.

Big Name Attractions

  • BBC Birmingham: Visitors can book tours of their working building that take you behind the scenes of their television and radio productions. There is also a visitor centre that doesn't require booking.
  • Botanical Gardens: A 15 acre selection of gardens and greenhouses containing some of the world's rarest (and in some cases, entirely unique) plants. There are also a number of exotic birds.
  • Cadbury World: The world famous chocolate manufacturer was founded in Bournville. There are exhibits on the history of chocolate, the making of chocolate, the story of the Cadbury family, and if you hadn't guessed by now, a massive Cadbury shop.
  • LegoLand Discovery Centre: A newly-opened, kid centric day out based entirely on the world famous, colourful bricks.
  • Library of Birmingham: This striking building opened in 2013 is the largest public library in the United Kingdom, and the largest "public cultural space" in Europe and hosts a number of nationally and internationally significant collections.
  • National Sea Life Centre: Even with our extensive canal network, perhaps not the most appropriate location, but still... A giant aquarium with a range of sea and river life, from sharks, to penguins, to otters.
  • Sarehole Mill: A working water mill that has played a significant park in the history of both the industry and literature of Birmingham. Matthew Boulton, one of the fathers of the industrial revolution performed experiments there, and Lord of the Rings author, J. R. R. Tolkien lived just a stones throw from the mill. It is located in the Shire Country Park, named for its influence on the location of that name in the aforementioned books.
  • Thinktank: A family-oriented science experience with a focus on Birmingham's manufacturing and industrial history. You can see real WWII era aircraft, steam trains, and the world's oldest working steam engine. There's also a planetarium.

Smaller Attractions

  • Aston Hall: The "leading example of the Jacobean prodigy house" has a storied local history, from the Civil War-era onwards.
  • Back to Backs: The "city's last surviving court of back-to-back houses". Get a feel for life amongst the common folk of the city during the population boom of the Industrial Revolution.
  • Blakesley Hall: One of the oldest buildings in the city, and an archetypal example of Tudor architecture, originally owned by the famed Smalbroke family.
  • Coffin Works: A restored factory that historically manufactured brass fittings, and, you guessed it, coffins, including those of famed statesmen and members of the royal family.
  • Museum of the Jewellery Quarter: Step inside a "'time capsule' of a jewellery workshop" and learn about the 200+ year history of the Jewellery Quarter.
  • Pen Museum: The only museum dedicated to the pen trade in the UK, learn how Birmingham became the heart of the world pen industry.
  • Selly Manor: Originally the manor house of Bournbrook, it was acquired by the Cadbury family in the early 1900s and moved to be the heart of their model village, Bournville.
  • Soho House: A large house containing primarily a celebration of the life of famed industrialist Matthew Boulton and his peers in the Lunar Society.
  • Winterbourne House & Garden: A seven acre botanic garden of the University of Birmingham.

Food & Drink

Birmingham is a city quickly gaining a world-class reputation for food, with an exploding independent scene backed up by an enviable selection of fine dining options.
Fine Dining You may have heard that Birmingham has more Michelin-starred restaurants than any UK city outside of London, and that's (sort of, if you're including Solihull) true!
With five (strictly four) restaurants boasting a star, Birmingham has plenty for those desiring a fine dining experience.
Purnell's, ran by regular TV face Glyn Purnell, and Adam's are both located in the city centre. Simpsons is just a mile-and-a-bit outside the centre in leafy Edgbaston, and Carters of Moseley is just a little further out, in, well, Moseley. The most recently awarded star goes to Peel's, located in the Hampton Manor hotel in Hampton in Arden, a quick drive from Birmingham Airport.
But it's not all about those famous stars. There's also several restaurants that make the Michelin Guide. Asha's (Indian), Opus (European), The Wilderness (British/European), Lasan (Indian), Waters (European), The Boot Inn (European/Fusion), Opheem (Indian), Folium (British/European), and Harborne Kitchen (British/European) are all places you're almost guaranteed some good eating!
Street Food & Independents While the Michelin-club get all the plaudits, many prefer Birmingham's proud independent food scene for a cheaper, more relaxed meal.
The jewel in the crown is Digbeth Dining Club. The now three-day-a-week event sees an area in Digbeth in the centre of Birmingham closed off and populated by some of the countries finest streetfood vendors for a festival of food, drink and music. Many of the regulars have been crowned winners of something in the various country-wide streetfood competitions in recent years, and you'll get anything from Indian snacks, decadent waffles, slow cooked BBQ, and mouth-watering cheesecakes to award winning burgers. Additionally, in a very similar vein, is the much more recent Hawker Yard.
Looking for a burger? You're in luck. There's Original Patty Men (who are so renowned, Drake opted to miss out on the Brit Awards to eat their burgers) and The Meat Shack both located in the city centre that make some of the best burgers you'll ever taste, and have a great selection of beers to go with them.
Thanks to the city's impressive Chinatown, you're guaranteed some good authentic Chinese food. Our recommendation? Head to Peach Garden or Look In and order a selection of roasted meats (just look for the hanging ducks in the window, you won't miss them!)
Perhaps Birmingham's most world famous offering to the culinary world is the Balti. Named for the thin-pressed steel dish it's served in more than any particular method of cooking, the Balti is a garlic and onion heavy curry that is cooked over high heat, rather than simmering all day. If that sounds enticing to you, then I've got good news.
Birmingham is famed for the Balti Triangle, an area around Sparkbook, Sparkhill and Moseley that has an eye-wateringly high concentration of restaurants serving Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food, almost all of which serving many variations of the eponymous dish. While the Balti may have spread across the entirety of the UK, it's well known that Birmingham still has the best. Looking for a recommendation? Check out Adil's, the place that lays perhaps the strongest claim to creating the dish in the first place or Al Frash. We're also locked into an ongoing battle with Glasgow as to which city created the creamy, mild curry, the Chicken Tikka Masala. Added bonus? Many of the city's balti houses are BYOB.
Outside of those mentioned, there really is something for those that want something a little different. The Karczma serves authentic Polish food in amazing decor. Bonehead is the place to go for fried chicken. If you're not feeling a full three course balti, Zindiya offers amazing Indian street food. Loaf is a co-operatively ran bakery and cookery school that offer literally the best sausage rolls in the world. Whatever cuisine takes your fancy, you will find a restaurant in Birmingham cooking it to the highest quality.
If there's anything that will force you to make plans to visit Birmingham again, it's the food.
Drinking And what d'you know, it's not just great food here, but great drink too!
In the city centre, you're spoiled for choice. There's a Brewdog bar, serving a range of beers from the eponymous brewery alongside a smorgasbord of guest brewers. Just opposite is Cherry Reds (they also have a location in Kings Heath), serving craft beers in a cafe atmosphere. Located in a former, guess what, the Post Office Vaults invites you to take a look through their "Beer Bible" and select from hundreds of beers from around the world. Purecraft serves beers from the renowned Purity Brewing Company, and the food is amazing too.
Around what was formerly a financial district, you'll find a lot of popular bars in attractive buildings, such as The Old Joint Stock, The Lost and Found and The Cosy Club. In the Jewellery Quarter, you'll find the reasonably priced 1000 Trades (usually with a pop-up dishing out great food) and further afield, the Plough in Harborne.
Cocktails more your thing? You won't miss out. The Alchemist, Fumo, Ginger's and Gas Street Social all serve proper cocktails in trendy atmospheres.
On the same street in Stirchley and Cotteridge, you will find two of the countries highest-rated off-licences. Cotteridge Wines has been voted The Best Bottle Shop in England for five years running, and Stirchley Wines, just a few minutes walk away, is held in similarly high regard. Both have been listed in RateBeer's top four locations in the country.

Sport

Birmingham is famous as a sporting city. The Football League, the world's first league football competition, was founded in 1888 by Birmingham resident, and Aston Villa director William McGregor.
Along with the aforementioned Aston Villa, Birmingham is also home to another of the oldest football teams in the country, Birmingham City. Birmingham City's Ladies play at the top level of Women's football. The football season runs between August and May.
Edgbaston Cricket Ground is home to Warwickshire County Cricket Club, but is also more prominently used for Test matches, One Day Internationals and Twenty20 Internationals. The County Cricket season runs between April and September. The Twenty20 season runs between July and September.
Birmingham and the nearby areas are home to two PGA standard golf courses; The Belfry, which has hosted the Ryder Cup more than any other venue, and the Forest of Arden, a regular host of tournaments on the PGA European Tour.
Arena Birmingham, formerly known as the National Indoor Arena, has hosted a number of World and European indoor athletics championships, and the Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr is the headquarters of UK Athletics, and the home of the Birchfield Harriers, which counts a number of elite international athletes amongst its members.
The first ever game of lawn tennis was played in Birmingham in 1859 and the Birmingham Classic, played annually at the Edgbaston Priory Club is one of only three UK tennis tournaments on the WTA Tour.
There are two professional Rugby Union teams in Birmingham and the surrounding areas. Moseley Rugby Football Club play in the National League 1, and Birmingham & Solihull Pertemps Bees play in the Midlands Premier division. The Rugby Union season typically runs between September and April.
Birmingham is also home to the oldest British American football team, the Birmingham Bulls and the most successful team in University American football, the Birmingham Lions at the University of Birmingham. The Tamworth Phoenix, the current BAFA National League champions, are located in nearby Coleshill, and the Sandwell Steelers are located in the Black Country. The BAFA National Leagues season typically runs between April and August and the University season typically runs between October and January.
The Birmingham Bandits play in the National Baseball League, the top level of competition in the country. The season typically runs between April and August.
Birmingham will host the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Entertainment

Film For those that want to catch a movie, there is, as you might expect, a range of chain cinemas in dozens of locations across the city in which you can catch the latest release.
But if you're looking for something really special? Why not check out The Electric, the UK's oldest working cinema?
Of course, they show the latest blockbusters, but they also show classic movies and special events throughout the year.
Music Whatever your preference, there's a good bet that Birmingham has had an impact.
We have the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra playing at the Symphony Hall for those with a more refined ear.
There are regular jazz festivals across the city and surroundings through the year.
Perhaps you've heard of the small time bands Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin and Napalm Death? Birmingham is the home to metal, and it's an influence that is still obvious today. You'll find local bands playing the full spectrum of metal at music pubs across the city.
If you want to check out a band on tour, we've got arenas that range in size from the huge (Arena Birmingham, Genting Arena) to the more modest (Hare & Hounds, HMV Institute) and those in-between (O2 Academy).
Theatre The Repertory Theatre is the UK's longest-established "producing theatre" and the Alexandra and Hippodrome are the go-to places to see shows on tour.
Those looking for a particularly classy night out can choose from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, resident at the Hippodrome, or the Birmingham Opera Company, known for their avant garde performances in non-typical spaces.
Museums & Galleries Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery is the big one. A notable collection of Pre-Raphaelite work and the Staffordshire Hoard are probably the stand outs that it's known for, but there's a temporary exhibition space that hosts events like student exhibitions from local universities.
The Barber Institute of Fine Arts is located on the campus of the University of Birmingham, and was one of only five galleries outside London to receive five stars for having "Outstanding collections of international significance", and this relatively modest sized gallery hosts works by the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Auguste Rodin and J. M. W. Turner and has one of the world's largest coin collections.
If contemporary art is more your thing, then the Ikon Gallery in Brindley Place is for you, hosting rotating exhibitions throughout the year.
The mac, located in Cannon Hill Park is an art gallery with rotating exhibitions that also hosts plays, concerts and film showings.
For further Museums & Galleries see the "Attractions" section.
Nightlife As a young city, there's plenty of places in the city to while the night away.
Broad Street is Birmingham's most well known area. It's a long street with very popular, relatively "bog-standard" bars and clubs, with large dancefloors and loud, popular music. PRYZM is the largest nightclub in the city, and Grosvenor Casino, open 24 hours, is nearby.
You'll most likely find single 18-25 year olds along this busy street just a few minutes walk from the very centre of the city.
Birmingham's Gay Village is also well established, with Nightingales being arguably the biggest name. Nearby, the Arcadian hosts a number of smaller bars and clubs.
The Jewellery Quarter offers more intimate nightlife options, and you're more likely to find a slightly older clientele sipping cocktails and listening to live bands than on their feet on a dancefloor.
Digbeth is where the cool people go in search of more underground fare. DJs and producers playing House, Techno (including the world famous "Birmingham Sound"), Dubstep, Garage and Drum & Bass congregate in the clubs in this area, catering to those that are happy to go all night. If you want to go even further off the beaten track, check out PST where you're likely to find Listening Sessions, showcasing a range of music from local producers.
Shopping The Bullring is the major shopping centre in Birmingham. It is one of Europe's largest and houses just one of four Selfridges department stores, housed in an iconic building. There are a number of stores selling fashion, cosmetics, toys and gifts and food.
The Bull Ring markets see 140 stallholders offering fresh fruit and vegetables, meats and fish, and basically every non-food item you can think of.
The Jewellery Quarter is Europe's largest concentration of businesses involved in the jewellery trade, which produces 40% of all the jewellery made in the UK.
The Great Western Arcade is a Grade II listed row of shops that cater almost entirely to independent retailers where you're almost guaranteed to find something unique.

Weather

We're a relatively temperate city, in that it rarely gets super cold, and rarely gets super hot. In the summer months, you can expect a twenty four hour swing from around 11°C(52°F) to 23°C(73°F), and in the winter months, anywhere between 0°C(32°F) and 7°C(45°F).
We get roughly 10-13 rainy days per month throughout the year.
Compared to other UK cities, we are relatively snowy, due to our inland position and high elevation, however, it rarely snows to a degree that it causes problems.

Environment

Birmingham is, perhaps surprisingly given its unfair reputation, an outstandingly green city. We have a stunning 571 parks in the city, more than any other European city.
Sutton Park is the biggest park in the city, and is Europe's largest urban park outside of a capital city. Around a quarter of the former Royal Forest is covered by ancient woodlands, and there are a number of large ponds and pools. It is relatively common to see deer and exmoor ponies in the less busy parts of the park. There are several sporting events held in the park throughout the year.
The Lickey Hills are home to a Green Flag awarded country park that offer picturesque views of the city of Birmingham, and are home to several species of deer, badgers and around ninety bird species, and some believe this favoured haunt of J. R. R. Tolkien formed the inspiration for the Shire in his famed The Lord Of The Rings series.
Cannon Hill Park is a 250 acre area consisting of woodland, grassland and several large ponds. There are areas for soccer, boating, fishing, tennis and mini-golf.

Travel

Due to its centralised location, Birmingham is well placed for transport. It is served by the M5, M6 (famed for the Gravelly Hill Interchange, more commonly known as Spaghetti Junction), M40 and M42 motorways.
Birmingham Airport (actually located in Solihull), is an international airport, with flights to and from to many destinations in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Birmingham New Street is the largest railway station outside of London and serves locations across the country. Snow Hill and Moor Street act as the northern termini for trains coming from London Marylebone.
Buses are mainly administered by National Express, and the West Midlands bus route 11, also known as the Birmingham Outer Circle, is the longest urban bus route in Europe at 27 miles, taking around three hours to complete.
Uber operates within Birmingham.

Living In Birmingham

Many times we're asked here on brum "where should I live", "is area X ok to live in", etc. Much like everything else in Birmingham, there is a lot of variety. Houses can range from cheap as chips to pretty expensive, and each area of the city has its own up and downsides. It's not so easy to divide Birmingham by distinct areas of desirability, and some of the most expensive and sought after suburbs border those that aren't as popular.

Central Birmingham

Living in central Birmingham will be similar to living in the centre of any other big city, if you've ever done that. There will always be something to do on right on your doorstep, the social opportunities are immense, and your commute can be but a short walk to the office. Of course, this is often at the expense of a smaller, more expensive property, greater noise and everywhere is pretty busy 24/7. There are a number of distinct "regions" in the city centre.
Brindley Place & Surrounding Areas Likely the priciest part of the city centre to live in, but there are often more than small flats available. Penthouses, townhouses and large apartments are more common in this area.
Average property price: Anywhere from ~£150,000 to £1m+ Brindley Place on Streetcheck
Digbeth An area still undergoing gentrification, but also a focal point for up and coming independents in business, food, arts and culture. Most, if not all, properties in Digbeth will be flats. Most of Digbeth is a five minute walk to the centre of the city.
Average property price: £158,024 Digbeth on Streetcheck
Jewellery Quarter Great for food and drink, the Jewellery Quarter, while still a stronghold in the UK jewellery industry, is fast becoming one of the "cooler" areas to live in the city. Most, if not all, properties in the Jewellery Quarter will be flats.
Average property price: ~£200,000-250,000 Jewellery Quarter on Streetcheck

North Birmingham

North Birmingham has a large swing in terms of lifestyle. Some areas closer to the city centre are more economically deprived, whereas further away, the likes of Sutton Coldfield can boast some of the most expensive and most desirable locations in the Midlands. The transport links are, to some, an attraction to living in North Birmingham, usually being just minutes from several junctions on the M6 and M5.
Aston Aston as a settlement is very old, and has a real mix of history, ranging from the medieval to Jacobean to early 1900s. Most properties in Aston are terraced houses.
Average property price: £107,137 Aston on Streetcheck
Erdington Lying between the city centre and it's more expensive neighbour, Erdington is fast becoming a desirable location for those priced out of Sutton Coldfield. There is a range of properties from detached housing to flats.
Average property price: £163,075 Erdington on Streetcheck
Handsworth An "on the rise" area that can boast perhaps the longest list of famous residents in the whole city. There are a wide range of properties from detached housing to terraced houses.
Average property price: £144,484 Handsworth on Streetcheck
Sutton Coldfield A "Royal Town" and the fourth-least deprived area in the country, Sutton Coldfield is renowned as a very affluent area with many attractions. There are a range of properties from terraced houses to very large detached houses.
Average property price: £314,808 although houses can and do regularly top £3m+ Sutton Coldfield on Streetcheck

East Birmingham

East Birmingham is home to a diverse population, and a relatively green area stretching from the city centre to neighbouring Solihull, and is quickly finding itself a niche as younger folk priced out of Solihull move to a desirable location between the leafy town and Birmingham's centre.
Bordesley Green Traditionally an area popular with immigrants, and mostly consists of terraced houses.
Average property price: £122,712 Bordesley Green on Streetcheck
Stechford Mostly terraced housing with a tonne of local ameneties and is cut almost in two by the River Cole and has a large nature reserve running through it.
Average property price: £150,085 Stechford on Streetcheck
Yardley & Sheldon An historically old suburb of Birmingham, with a dedicated conservation area and many local ameneties. There are a range of properties from detached houses to a small number of flats and apartments.
Average property price: £162,601 Yardley & Sheldon on Streetcheck

South Birmingham

The south of Birmingham is home to some of the "coolest" suburbs that are quickly gaining popularity, seated between the city centre and what you might call "countryside" towards Warwickshire.
Hall Green Encompassing much of the Tolkien trail, this suburb borders Shirley in Solihull.
Average property price: £209,923 Hall Green on Streetcheck
Kings Heath, Stirchley and Cotteridge These three closely related suburbs are quickly becoming seen as an affordable alternative to Moseley.
Average property price: £211,276 Kings Heath on Streetcheck
Moseley With a real "village" feel, there are many renowned drinking holes and eateries, with a large range of property types.
Average property price: £276,533 Moseley on Streetcheck
Sparkhill Home to a large population of immigrants, it's not surprising that Sparkhill is home to much of the famed "Balti Triangle". Most of the properties are terraced houses.
Average property price: £142,394 Sparkhill on Streetcheck

West Birmingham

As you move away from the city centre towards the Black Country, you'll come across some of the city's most sought-after locations for both young and old alike.
Edgbaston A very affluent suburb that is also home to much of the University of Birmingham campus. There are a number of very large houses, but also a large number of flats and terraced houses. Houses can and do regularly go for £1m+
Average property price: £301,851 Edgbaston on Streetcheck
Harborne A Victorian-era suburb with a large amount of terraced and semi-detached housing, located between Edgbaston and Quinton.
Average property price: £278,266 Harbone on Streetcheck
Selly Oak The majority of residents in this suburb are students at Birmingham's universities. As such, it has many transport links to the city centre. Most of the properties are terraced houses.
Average property price: £221,046 Selly Oak on Streetcheck
Quinton This green suburb basically forms the very western border of the city before you enter Sandwell and Dudley. Most properties are semi-detached.
Average property price: £258,077 Quinton on Streetcheck

Outside the city

Birmingham is part of the greater West Midlands conurbation, so it can be used as a hub for exploring the region easily.
Solihull is situated on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Solihull is an affluent town with a mid-sized town centre, and a number of smaller villages located more rurally.
Coventry can be reached via the M6 or A45, and is roughly a half an hour to fourty minute drive from the city centre.
Stratford-Upon-Avon, famed for being the home of William Shakespeare, is located roughly an hour away from the city centre.
Warwick, the home of Warwick Castle, is located near Royal Leamington Spa, and is about an hour by car from the city centre.
The Cotswolds, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, can be quickly reached, anywhere from one to two hours away from the city centre.
Worcester and the Malvern Hills, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, can be reached via the M5, around an hour and a half from the city centre.
On the western edge of the city, the Black Country, consisting of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton can be found.
Further out west, the Shropshire Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can be found.
To the north of the city, Cannock Chase, a large, heavily wooded Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is located.
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MPX Bioceutical Corp. (MPX/MPXEF) - Geographic Footprint and Addressable Markets

MPX Bioceutical Corp. (MPX/MPXEF) - Geographic Footprint and Addressable Markets
https://mpxbioceutical.com/investors/
I wanted to get a better understanding of MPX Bioceutical's U.S. footprint and addressable markets
MPX hasn't updated their investor presentation since November 06, 2017 (Slide 8 for MPX Operations) so I used press releases, old interviews/investor calls, and cursory Google searches.
I suck at formatting so apologies in advance.
Arizona
*MPX Dispensary Distribution: https://imgur.com/Xs3otSd *MPX-Owned Dispensaries: https://imgur.com/bPQutTc *Health for Life Locations *The Holistic Center *Melting Point Extracts - Arizona Locations
Current Market Share in Arizona (March 28, 2018) - 24:12 ~7-8%
MPX Concentrates Dispensary Distribution
  1. Health for Life (Crismon) - Mesa, AZ (MPX-Owned) 9949 E Apache Trail, Mesa, AZ 85207 (Opened April 6, 2018)
  2. Health for Life (East) - Mesa, AZ (MPX-Owned) 7343 S 89th Pl, Mesa, AZ 85212
  3. Health for Life (North) - Mesa, AZ (MPX-Owned) 5550 E McDowell Rd, Mesa, AZ 85215
  4. The Holistic Center AZ - Phoeniz, AZ (MPX-Owned) 21035 N Cave Creek Rd C-5, Phoenix, AZ 85024
  5. Catalina Hills Care - Tucson, AZ 12152 N Rancho Vistoso Blvd, Oro Valley, AZ 85755
  6. Green Hills Patient Center - Show Low, AZ 3191 S White Mountain Rd, Show Low, AZ 85901
  7. High Desert Healing - Lake Havasu, AZ 1691 Industrial Blvd, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
  8. Kompo - Taylor, AZ 600 Centennial Blvd, Snowflake, AZ 85937
  9. Leaf Life - Casa Grande, AZ 1860 N Salk Dr B1, Casa Grande, AZ 85122
  10. Metro Meds - Phoenix, AZ 10040 N Metro Pkwy W, Phoenix, AZ 85051
  11. OASIS - Chandler, AZ 26427 S Arizona Ave #8223, Chandler, AZ 85248
  12. The Good Dispensary - Mesa, AZ 1842 W Broadway Rd, Mesa, AZ 85202
  13. The Mint Dispensary - Tempe, AZ 5210 S Priest Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283
  14. The Prime Leaf - Tucson, AZ 4220 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85712
  15. Uncle Herbs Dispensary - Payson, AZ 200 N Tonto St, Payson, AZ 85541
  16. Urban Greenhouse - Phoenix, AZ 2630 W Indian School Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85017
  17. Yavapai Herbal Services - Cottonwood, AZ 675 E State Route 89A Cottonwood, AZ 86326
  18. Botanica - Tucson, AZ 6205 N Travel Center Drive Tucson, AZ 85741
Relocated Production Facility: North Mesa, AZ
Annual Capacity
*Phase One - 150,000 grams of MPX-branded products (Currently in Operation) *Phase Two - 400,000+ grams (Scheduled for completion in calendar Q3 2018) *Phase Three - 800,000+ grams (Schedule for completion in calendar Q4 2018)
New production facility will increase production capacity 2-4x: 11:31 , 25:11
March 05, 2018 - MPX Signs Definitive Agreement to Expand Its Footprint in Arizona -
  • “This acquisition represents a solid addition to our industry and presence in Arizona, a State that offers MPX one of the best-regulated, yet industry-supportive markets in the country,” said W. Scott Boyes, MPX’s Chairman, President and CEO. “The entities being acquired have recorded trailing 12-month revenues of US$15 million and EBITDA of approximately US$3.5 million and its results will be immediately accretive to MPX earnings. Furthermore, the acquired companies are well-managed and will allow both parties to share best practises and benefit from the ability to share purchase economies. With the pending opening of our Apache Junction dispensary, the addition of the Holistic Center, will bring the number of dispensaries managed by MPX in the greater Phoenix market to four, will more than double our cultivation capacity and will materially complement our management team in the State. Adding to our critical mass of operations, this acquisition will add to MPX’s ability to benefit from purchasing economies, spread the administrative overhead costs over a larger revenue base and provide cash flows to support additional growth.”
April 03, 2018 - Mpx Enjoys Record Monthly Revenue of Cdn$5.2 Million in Arizona
  • Beth Stavola, COO and President of MPX’s U.S. operations, adds “With our fourth dispensary opening soon in the Apache Junction suburb and our expanded concentrate production facilities coming on-stream this month, we expect to see our Arizona revenues continue to expand over the next several fiscal quarters. The Arizona program is well-regulated by AZDHS, the patient count continues to grow, the supply and cost of flower and trim for re-sale and concentrate production is excellent and, while the Phoenix area market is increasingly competitive, retail prices and margins remain attractive. This is a great state for MPX to conduct business in.”
April 09, 2018 - MPX Adds a Fourth Dispensary in Phoenix and Triples Capacity for MPX Concentrate Production in Arizona
TORONTO, April 09, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- MPX Bioceutical Corporation (“MPX” or the “Company”) (CSE:MPX) (OTC:MPXEF) is pleased to announce that the official opening of the its newest “Health for Life” medical marijuana dispensary in the Metropolitan Phoenix area, located at the junction of E. Main and Crimson in the suburb of Apache Junction. This brings the number of dispensaries under MPX management in Arizona’s Sun Valley to four. The Crimson dispensary will meet the needs of patients in this comparatively underserviced southeast quadrant of the region by making available the full spectrum of MPX concentrates, an extensive variety of cannabis flower, and a broad selection of 3rd party, processed cannabis-infused edibles.
The Company also announces that it has relocated the processing and production of MPX concentrates to a new location in North Mesa. Phase one of the build-out at this facility, now in operation, will immediately double the current production capacity of MPX-branded products in Arizona to approximately 150,000 grams annually. The second phase scheduled for completion early in calendar Q3 will increase potential production to over 400,000 grams per year and the final phase expected in calendar Q4 will result in annualized capacity increasing to a total in excess of 800,000 grams annually with a wholesale value (at current prices) of approximately US$18 million.
Arizona Medical Marijuana Patient Numbers:
*- 152,979 (Current through 12/31/17)
*- 162,528 (March 2018) , Reports
Arizona is the 14th most populous state - 7,016,270 (Population estimate, July 1, 2017)
Phoenix is the fifth most populated city
Population: 1,615,017 (2016 estimate) , U.S. Census Bureau , World Population Review
Nevada
*MPX Dispensary Distribution (Nevada): https://imgur.com/l3SoaWl *MPX Dispensary Distribution (Las Vegas, Nevada): https://imgur.com/J9rM7JU *(Greenmart of Nevada - Where To Find Us) *[(Acquired October 13, 2017](https://www.newcannabisventures.com/bcc-finalizes-17-8mm-greenmart-nevada-cannabis-producer-purchase/
  • January 31, 2018 - 4:27 - 30,000 sq. ft. cultivation and laboratory for MPX concentrates
  • March 28, 2018 - 11:46
In Nevada, our production capacity has been limited by the availability of raw material, of biomass. And most of our product produced there has been sold 2-3 weeks in advance.
MPX Dispensary Distribution *Melting Point Extracts - Nevada Locations *(Greenmart of Nevada - Where To Find Us)
  1. Acres Cannabis - Las Vegas, NV 2320 Western Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102
  2. Black Jack Collective Delivery - Las Vegas, NV 1860 Western Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102
  3. Blum - Reno, NV 1085 S. Virginia St. Suite A Reno, NV 89502
  4. Blum Western - Las Vegas, NV 1921 Western Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102
  5. Blum Decatur - Las Vegas, NV 3650 S Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89103
  6. Blum Desert Inn - Las Vegas, NV 1130 E Desert Inn Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89109
  7. Canopi (Southwest) - Las Vegas, NV 6540 Blue Diamond Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89139
  8. Cannacopia - Las Vegas, NV 6332 S Rainbow Blvd #105, Las Vegas, NV 89118
  9. Deep Roots Harvest - Mesquite, NV 195 Willis Carrier Canyon, Mesquite, NV 89034
  10. Essence (Henderson) - Henderson, NV 4300 E. Sunset Road Suite A3 Henderson, NV 89014
  11. Essence (Las Vegas Strip) - Las Vegas, NV 2307 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89104
  12. Essence (West) - Las Vegas, NV 5765 W Tropicana Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89103
  13. Euphoria Wellness, Las Vegas, NV 7780 S Jones Blvd, Ste 105 Las Vegas, NV 89139-6489
  14. Inyo Fine Cannabis - Las Vegas, NV 2520 S Maryland Pkwy #2, Las Vegas, NV 89109
  15. Jardin - Las Vegas, NV 2900 E Desert Inn Rd #102, Las Vegas, NV 89121
  16. Jenny's Dispensary (North Las Vegas) - North Las Vegas, NV 5530 N Decatur Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89130
  17. Jenny's Dispensary (Henderson) - Henderson, NV 10420 S Eastern Ave, Henderson, NV 89052
  18. Las Vegas Releaf - Las Vegas, NV 2244 Paradise Rd. Las Vegas, NV 89104
  19. Nevada Wellness Center - Las Vegas, NV 3200 S Valley View Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89102
  20. NuLeaf (Lake Tahoe) - Lake Tahoe, NV 877 Tahoe Blvd, Incline Village, NV 89451
  21. NuLeaf (Las Vegas) - Las Vegas, NV 430 E Twain Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89169
  22. Oasis Cannabis - Las Vegas, NV 1800 Industrial Rd #180, Las Vegas, NV 89102
  23. Reef Western - Las Vegas, NV 3400 Western Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89109
  24. Rise Dispensary - Carson City, NV 135 E Clearview Dr #119, Carson City, NV 89701
  25. Sierra Wellness Connection (Reno) - Reno, NV 1605 E 2nd St #103, Reno, NV 89502
  26. Sierra Wellness Connection (Carson City) - Carson City, NV 2765 US Highway 50E Carson City, NV 89701
  27. Silver Sage Wellness - Las Vegas, NV 4626 W Charleston Blvd Las Vegas, NV 89102
  28. The Apothecarium - Las Vegas, NV 7885 W. Sahara Ave #112 Las Vegas, NV 89117
  29. The Apothecary Shoppe - Las Vegas, NV 4240 W. Flamingo Rd. No. 100 Las Vegas, NV 89103
  30. The Dispensary (Decatur) - Las Vegas, NV 5347 S. Decatur Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89118
  31. The Dispensary (Henderson) - Henderson, NV 50 N Gibson Rd #170, Henderson, NV 89014
  32. The Dispensary (Reno) - Reno, NV 100 W. Plumb Lane Reno, NV 89509
  33. The Grove - Las Vegas, NV 4647 Swenson Street Las Vegas, NV 89119
  34. The Source (Henderson) - Henderson, NV 9480 S Eastern Ave #185, Las Vegas, NV 89123
  35. The Source (Las Vegas) - Las Vegas, NV 2550 S Rainbow Blvd #8, Las Vegas, NV 89146
  36. Thrive (Downtown) - Las Vegas, NV 1112 S Commerce St, Las Vegas, NV 89102
  37. Thrive (North Las Vegas) - Las Vegas, NV 2755 W Cheyenne Ave #103, North Las Vegas, NV 89032
  38. Top Notch THC - Las Vegas, NV 5630 Stephanie St, Las Vegas, NV 89122
  39. Zen Leaf - Las Vegas, NV 9120 W Post Rd #103, Las Vegas, NV 89148
Population: 2,998,039 (Population estimate, July 1, 2017
U.S. Census Bureau
Nevada Medical Marijuana Patient Numbers:
*- 23,489 (Current through 12/31/17)
*- 21,759 (February 2018) , Reports
Nevada is the 34th most populous state - 2,998,039 (Population estimate, July 1, 2017)
Las Vegas is the 28th-most populated city
Population: 632.912 (2016 estimate) , U.S. Census Bureau , World Population Review
Las Vegas Tourism
Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority - Las Vegas Visitor Statistics *- Year End Summary for 2017: 42,214,200 *- Year-to-Date Summary 2018 (As of Apr 20, 2018) - 10,274,100
Massachusetts
*MPX Dispensary Distribution (Massachusetts): https://imgur.com/pIN0pAA
*MPX Dispensary Distribution (New England): https://imgur.com/wk3e4Hs
  • Dispensaries 2 of 3 dispensaries disclosed: Fall River, Attleborough
  • Production Facility: Fall River, MA (40,000 - 50,000 sq. ft. cultivation and production facility)
  • Dispensaries: 3 (Approved for building, 1 in Fall River, 1 in Attleborough, 1 still being targeted)
  • 3rd dispensary targets:
  • October 14, 2017 - 34:08 - Near Wynn Casino, 34:50 - Third dispensary target: "Near Revere, not right in the city itself"
  • January 31, 2018 - 6:13 - "Right now we are searching for third location. We've got a number of really good prospects there."
  • March 28, 2018 - 16:29 - "I think we're pretty close on number three. It is a great location and I'm gonna refrain from mentioning the town but it's a great population."
MPX-owned Dispensaries
  1. Cannatech Medicinals, Inc.,- Fall River 160 Hartwell St, Fall River, MA 02721 (Under construction) April 11, 2018 - Patch.com
  2. Cannatech Medicinals, Inc.,- Attoboro 220 Oneil Blvd, Attleboro, MA 02703 (Under construction)
The company, which is building a facility to grow and process marijuana for medicine, sold 51 percent of its real estate and management companies to The Canadian Bioceutical Corp., for $5.1 million. The agreement was announced Tuesday.
The company is in the process of building a 50,000-square-foot facility on Innovation Way, next door to Amazon and Mass Biologics, the medical research and testing facility run by the University of Massachusetts.
  • TORONTO, Ontario, June 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Canadian Bioceutical Corporation (the “Company” or “BCC”) (CSE:BCC) (OTC:CBICF) today announced that further to its press release of April 4, 2017, the Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary CGX Life Sciences, Inc. (CGX), has completed the acquisition of a 51% interest in IMT, LLC and Fall River Developments, LLC (“FRD”), Massachusetts registered companies active in the cannabis space.
The marijuana industry has become a popular spot for Fall River.
According to MPX Bioceutical Corp, construction of a 40,000 square foot marijuana cultivation/processing facility on Innovation Way in Fall River, Massachusetts is targeted to be complete in the summer of this year with cultivation beginning in the third quarter of 2018. Cannatech Medicinals, who is owned by MPX Bioceutical Corp, has been working on the facility next to Amazon.
They have also commenced construction on the first of three dispensaries in Massachusetts, including one at 160 Hartwell Street in Fall River near the Applebee’s restaurant. The Hartwell Street location will get their supply from the Innovation Way facility.
CannaTech Medicinals; Hope, Heal, Health; and Northeast Alternatives will all be in the running for licenses to grow and sell marijuana for the recreational market. Recreational sales are scheduled to start July 1.
CannaTech Medicinals is building a 50,000-square-foot growing facility and processing laboratory in the biopark on Innovation Way. It is also building a dispensary off Hartwell Street.
Massachusetts Medical Marijuana Patient Numbers:
*- 45,505 (Current through 12/31/17)
*- 48,265 - (March 31 2018) - Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program snapshot
Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program snapshot
  • Under "RMD information", the current status of all registered marijuana dispensaries and applicants through April 27 2018 - Entries #35-37 - Cannatech Medicinals, Inc.:
*- Only two of three have "Proposed Dispensary Locations" (Fall River, Attleboro)
*- No siting profile has been submitted for the third dispensary yet, invited to submit on December 12, 2017 (same date as Attleboro)
Massachusetts is the 15th most populous state
Boston is the 22nd most populated city in the U.S. and most populated in New England
Population: 673,184 (2016 estimate) , U.S. Census Bureau ,
Not to mention the populations from surrounding states and tourism.
Maryland
*- Managing dispensaries under Health for Life brand
*- MPX-Owned Dispensary Distribution (Maryland): https://imgur.com/KrcT0g4
*- Melting Point Extracts - Maryland Locations (None available yet)
From the press releases below, I gather:
  • 1 production facility in Gaithersburg/Montgomery Country (through Rosebud Organics/Budding Rose, Inc.) (January 8, 2018) - No square footage provided. However,
  • January 08, 2018 - The facility is completely built-out and when fully operational will be capable of producing 825,000 grams of MPX-branded cannabis concentrates per annum.
*- Possibly at: 4909 Fairmont Ave Bethesda, MD 20814
*- Under "Pre-Approved Dispensaries": GreenMart of Maryland (District 6: Baltimore County)
*- Under "Pre-Approved Dispensaries": LMS Wellness BLLC (District 8: Baltimore County)
*- Under "Pre-Approved Dispensaries": Budding Rose, LLC (District 16: Montgomery County)
*- Under "Licensed Processors (as of April 10, 2018): Rosebud Organics LLC (Montgomery County)
*- Under "Pre-Approved Processors": Rosebud Organics, LLC (Montgomery County)
I'm guessing that they will be selling MPX concentrates through these dispensaries as they have done in Arizona and Nevada once their production facility is operational. I'll wait for the press release and theMelting Point Extracts site to update before factoring that into their footprint.
  • MPX Bioceutical Corporation (the “Company” or “MPX”) (CSE:MPX) (OTC:MPXEF) today announced that the Company, through its indirect wholly-owned subsidiary, S8 Management, LLC (“S8 Management”), is entering into a management agreement (the “Management Agreement”) with LMS Wellness, Benefit LLC (“LMS”) which will result in MPX building and managing a full service medical cannabis dispensary in the White Marsh suburb of Baltimore, Maryland.
Photo caption: A medical marijuana company has signed a lease for the space at 4909 Fairmont Ave., next to the mural.
A medical marijuana dispensary is coming to a long-dormant space on Fairmont Avenue in downtown Bethesda.
Rich Greenberg, of Greenhill Capital, which owns the building, said Budding Rose LLC signed the lease for the roughly 1,900-square-foot space about six months ago. He said work is ongoing to fit out the interior to meet the dispensary’s needs, and he wasn’t sure when the shop would be ready to open.
The management agreements with Budding Rose and Rosebud will result in MPX subsidiaries now operating three medical cannabis enterprises in the State of Maryland. The first management agreement with LMS Wellness, Benefit LLC was announced on December 12, 2017. Rosebud is one of only 14 licenses issued to process cannabis derivatives in the State of Maryland. The facility is completely built-out and when fully operational will be capable of producing 825,000 grams of MPX-branded cannabis concentrates per annum.
Budding Rose will operate a dispensary in a high-traffic area of downtown Bethesda, Maryland, in close proximity to the Walter Reed Military Medical Center and National Institutes of Health. Bethesda, Maryland is located within the Capital Beltway and is one of the wealthiest communities in the Capital Region. The dispensary is currently under construction and is expected to be operational in late February of this year.
GreenMart will operate a dispensary, under the “Health for Life” brand, in a high-traffic area of Baltimore, Maryland, situated off of North Point Road in the community of Colgate. The location is conveniently located near Interstate Routes 695, 95 and US Route 40 and a 15-minute drive from Baltimore’s Inner Harbour, Canton Waterfront, Federal Hill, and Fells Point. Within 2 miles of the location sits Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, a teaching hospital within the world renowned John Hopkins Health System. GreenMart has been welcomed and supported by the community leaders of Colgate. The dispensary is currently under construction and is expected to be operational in April 2018 of this year.
Maryland Medical Marijuana Patient Numbers:
*- 18,000+ (Current through 12/15/17)
*- 17,000+ (March 20, 2018)
  • More than 17,000 consumers in Maryland have registered for medical marijuana.
Maryland is the 19th most populated state - 6,052,177 (Population estimate, July 1, 2017) , U.S. Census Bureau
Baltimore is the 30th most populated city
Population: 614,664 (2016 estimate) , U.S. Census Bureau , World Population Review
Training/staffing/spreading themselves too thin:
*- March 28, 2018 - 25:56
Future Targets *- January 31, 2018 - 10:03 *- November 2017 Presentation: Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio
California *- March 28, 2018 - March MPX Bioceutical Q3 Investor Call: March 8, 2018 California 15:53, 33:45
Ohio *- March 28, 2018 - 14:32 - Five applications in Ohio.
New Jersey
*- January 25, 2018 - Beth Stavola, MPX COO is invited by NJ Governor Murphy as a Marijuana Industry Leader during the signing of an executive order which would ease access to medical marijuana in the State.
*- 1:14 - "Beth, this one is for you. You represent not just you but the whole industry"
*- January 31, 2018 - [Beth Stavola MPX Bioceuticals Interview with New Cannabis Ventures - 10:14](https://youtu.be/Mffwj_sP7T0?t=10m14s]
*- March 28, 2018 - 14:54
Keep in mind they're in only four states right now and currently operating in two. There are other U.S operators with multi-state footprints (IAN, CRZ, LHS, MRMD, etc.).
A few private players:
*1) Acreage Holdings - 11 States,
*2) Columbia Care - 9 States + D.C and Puerto Rico,
*3) Green Thumb Industries (GTI) - 5 States,
*4) Cresco Labs - 4 States.
Also, there are the other companies with agreements/operations in both the U.S. and Canada (CRZ, SNN).
Once their RTO (April 30, 2018) is completed, MedMen will have the highest addressable market of the publicly traded U.S. operators (CA - 39.5 million, NY - 19.8 million, NV - 2.9 million, Canada - 35 million through their JV with Cronos). Not too mention the number of visitors each of those markets get annually.
That being said, of the current public companies, I think they give good multi-state exposure in the U.S. in markets with high population density](https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/maps-data/maps/thematic/us_popdensity_2010map.pdf). This doesn't even factoring their Canadian exposure once they get operating. We'll see where they stand in the U.S. market if they're able to execute on the Massachusetts, Maryland, and Canadian operations. Also, remember they're pushing the MPX concentrates brand and are set to get exposure on both coasts.
I can't speak on their capital structure or financials. Some other users can discuss that.
TLDR
Arizona - Operating
*- MPX Dispensary Distribution: https://imgur.com/Xs3otSd
*- MPX-Owned Dispensaries: https://imgur.com/bPQutTc
Nevada - Operating
*- MPX Dispensary Distribution (Nevada): https://imgur.com/l3SoaWl
*- MPX Dispensary Distribution (Las Vegas, Nevada): https://imgur.com/J9rM7JU
Massachusetts - Building/Not currently operating
*- MPX Dispensary Distribution (Massachusetts): https://imgur.com/pIN0pAA
*- MPX Dispensary Distribution (New England): https://imgur.com/wk3e4Hs
Maryland - Building/Not currently operating
*- MPX-Owned Dispensary Distribution (Maryland): https://imgur.com/KrcT0g4
submitted by 170807 to weedstocks [link] [comments]

Veteran's Day: Deals and Steals

If there is something you're aware of, that isn't on this list, mention it below. Make sure you call ahead to make sure the location in your area is participating in these offers.
It's not my fault if you go into a restaurant that isn't offering this deal, and you don't have enough money to pay your tab. Don't forget to tip your server.
The second half of this list is retail offers. There are even things to involve the families.
Food
Retail
submitted by LrankLcean to AirForce [link] [comments]

Veteran's Day: Deals and Steals

If there is something you're aware of, that isn't on this list, mention it below. Make sure you call ahead to make sure the location in your area is participating in these offers.
It's not my fault if you go into a restaurant that isn't offering this deal, and you don't have enough money to pay your tab. Don't forget to tip your server.
The second half of this list is retail offers. There are even things to involve the families.
Food
Retail
submitted by LrankLcean to army [link] [comments]

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