The Chapel Feralous

ArcanePerspectives.vs.MundaneTimes

Ready to be a Strangelet?! June 10, 2008

Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.

Hebrews 11:3

So… in a few weeks they’re kicking over the Large Hadron Collider… “What fun!”

Personally, while I’m all for experimentation and humanity’s insatiable lust “to know”, I can’t help but think this is probably THE STUPIDEST IDEA ever put into action.

Wikipedia says:

“The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is a particle accelerator of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) that lies under the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva, Switzerland. The LHC is in the final stages of construction and commissioning, with some sections already being cooled down to their final operating temperature of approximately 2K. The first beams are due for injection mid June 2008 with the first collisions planned to take place 2 months later. The LHC will become the world’s largest and highest-energy particle accelerator. The LHC is being funded and built in collaboration with over two thousand physicists from thirty-four countries as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories. When activated, it is theorized that the collider will produce the elusive Higgs boson, the observation of which could confirm the predictions and “missing links” in the Standard Model of physics and could explain how other elementary particles acquire properties such as mass. The verification of the existence of the Higgs boson would be a significant step in the search for a Grand Unified Theory, which seeks to unify three of the four known fundamental forces: electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force, leaving out only gravity. The Higgs boson may also help to explain why gravitation is so weak compared to the other three forces. In addition to the Higgs boson, other theorized novel particles that might be produced, and for which searches are planned, include strangelets, micro black holes, magnetic monopolessupersymmetric particles.”

BBC put out a documentary a while ago called “The Six Billion Dollar Experiment“…

I also found some fairly interesting stuff about what Nostradamus says:

Leave, leave Geneva every last one of you,
Saturn will be converted from gold to iron,
Raypoz will exterminate all who oppose him,(?)
Before the coming the sky will show signs.
The year that Saturn and Mars are equal fiery,
The air is very dry, a long meteor.(?)
From hidden fires a great place burns with heat,
Little rain, a hot wind, wars and raids.
While I was thinking about all this (I’ve known about the development of the SuperCollider and this one for a while, but a discussion with a mate the other day reminded me of how bloody soon they’re gonna switch this thing on now!) a Bible verse popped into my head…
2 Peter 3:10 (King James Version)
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Now… I’m not trying to be some kinda prophet of doom or anything, but I pondered a bit more, and couldn’t help but wonder if the “thief in the night” bit was actually more to do with the potential “darkness-related” implications (dark matter/black holes etc. “stealing” from our space) rather than the traditional interpretation of the verse. So I popped the phrase into Google and registered that there’s a second very similar verse in Thessalonians…
1 Thessalonians 1-4 (King James Version)1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

I also came across a few interesting bits’n’pieces from folk who had evidently had the exact same thoughts (and not-quite-so-similar ideas):

Probing the Limits to Our Reality by Chuck Missler

Black Holes, Super Colliders and the Bible by Joel Hendon

CERN Experiment May Violate NEPA, Destroy Universe by Dave Loos

Lords of the Ring by SEED Magazine

WordPress blogs tagged LHC or Large-Hadron-Collider (be sure to keep an eye on “Bad LHC Predictions” -it ought to be a cracker!!!)

So, anyway, I’m not gonna turn this blog into some doomsday freak-out or anything, but I will keep an eye on the situation and start transferring this info and any other cool/scary/weird related info onto my Babylon Molatov page… if you’re blogging about this, it’d be cool to get some comments or at least notifications if anything worthy pops up… if not, seeya in the void!

Advertisements
 

The Internet can be Beautiful May 31, 2008

Check this pic out!

FROM WIKIPEDIA:

Summary

I created this small partial map of the Internet from the 200501-15 data found here using a slightly different rendering technique than was used to generate the maps there. Each line is drawn between two nodes, representing two IP addresses. The length of the lines are indicative of the delay between those two nodes. This graph represents less than 30% of the Class C networks reachable by the data collection program in early 2005. Lines are color-coded according to their corresponding RFC 1918 allocation as follows:

  • Dark blue: net, ca, us
  • Green: com, org
  • Red: mil, gov, edu
  • Yellow: jp, cn, tw, au, de
  • Magenta: uk, it, pl, fr
  • Gold: br, kr, nl
  • White: unknown

Big BIG HUGE (probably unusable in articles) version can be found at [1].

 

Cairns Winter Solstice May 25, 2008

The Winter Solstice Celebration & Lifestyle Gathering is a 4 day/3 night outback camping adventure, that will be held from June 20 – 23, 2008 on the Tablelands, 2 hrs drive west of Cairns.

Throughout history, humans have observed this seasonal milestone and created spiritual and cultural traditions to celebrate the rebirth of sunlight after the darkest period of the year. The Winter Solstice demonstrates the enduring cycle of the heavens by an event that has been directly observable, year in and year out, century after century, for millions of years. The New Solar year begins with the turning point of the Winter Solstice, as it has down through eons-an unending cycle of dark and light, waning and waxing, ultimately representing nature’s birth, death, and rebirth. The Winter Solstice is a time to affirm our spiritual ties to nature through celebrations and traditions that are thousands of years old.

With over 80 local, National & International Producers, Dj’s & bands, performing over our 3 stages, The Winter Solstice Festival musical line-up has something for everyone & is not just about the music, we offer a huge array of different forms of entertainment.

The Festival features over 50 site artists including Roving Performances, Installation Art and Site Installations as well as our Children’s space, Dining by the River, an Indoor Cinema featuring Kiddies flicks & Mind expanding documentaries, Art & Music creation Workshops, Market stalls, Swimming Holes, Ice Art creations, The Healing Haven, Open Mic Jam session, Mask Making, Canvas creating, The WizDome, International Food Fair, Roving Markets, Bushwalking and much more.  All of this, combined with hanging out in the great Aussie bush with all your friends makes for a great weekend of fun & adventure.

The Winter Solstice Festival has something for everyone.

Remember – The Winter Solstice Festival is a sustainable event. Please take note of the practices we have in place at the Festival to minimise the impact on our environment.

LIVE
Seb Taylor (UK-Shakta/Digitalis/Hibernation)
Ace Ventura (Iboga, Israel)
The Nomad (Freshaudio, NZ)
Fyah Walk (Nnsw)
Tribalistic Society (Domo Rec – Denmark)
Zennith (Kuranda)
Tom Cosm (NZ)
Spoonbill (Omelette, Melb)
Shadow Fx (Zenon, Melb)
Mystic Beats (Nnsw)
SunControlSpecies (Iboga, Melb)
Positive Thought (UP Rec,Nnsw)
Autonomech (Zenon, Melb)
Grouch (Cosmic Conspiracy, NZ
Hefty Output (Doof Rec, Melb)
Lost Noise (Melb)
Tetrameth (Zenon, Melb)
The Blank Theory (Hunab Ku, Melb)
Merkeba (Syd)
Bent Intent (Hunab Ku, Cairns)
Akin (R.E.G.E.N, Syd)
Daheen (R.E.G.E.N, Syd)
Hedonix (Electric Power Pole, Syd)
Urban Monkeys (Open Rec, Hardplace, Bus Rec – Cairns)
Dabas (Cairns)
Insight (Open Rec, Cairns)
Anatamous Audio (Open Rec, Cairns)
Jekyll (Cairns)
One Tasty Morsel (Zenon, Cairns)
Product Placement (Cosmic Conspiracy, Cairns)
Wow & Flutter (phar psyde,tribe of frog, UK)
Rachael Shields (Lakota, Kuranda)

DJ
The Cook & the Chef (On the sauce, Melb)
Paul Abad (Open, Subterran, Bris)
Seraphim (Zenon, Bris)
Jandalz (Cosmic Conspiracy, NZ)
Huckleberry (Fyah Walk, Nnsw
Shards (Brisbane)
Ketamind (Doof Rec, Nnsw/Israel)
T.D Shagga (Somatica, Melb)
No Msg (D’Psyfa, Syd)
Scott (LAB, Melb)
Gavin Martin (Open Rec, Melb)
Josh Niyama (Bandikoot Concepts, Nnsw)
Launchpad (UP Rec, Nnsw)
Player One (Dooflex, Melb/Cairns)
Ghettafunkt (Gi’iwa, Cairns/Nnsw)
Spliffun (Nnsw)
Rudekat Soundsystem (Rudekat Rec, Bris)
Drewan (Open Rec, Cairns)
Seed (Nnsw)
Dakini (Submerge, OZ/NZ)
Solatek (Freeform Collective/Open Rec)
Psymon (Freeform Collective)
Suspekt (Open Rec, Cairns)
Ian/Woodsman (Zenon, Open rec, Cairns)
Eegor (Open Rec, Cairns/Syd)
Lysdexic (Dada Stream, Melb)
Billy Dread (Dreadagade Soundsystem)
Offer (Nnsw)
Cinii
Deejital
Stampedey/Buffalo Pilot
Kho Fx
Isaiah
Konsoto
Lazarus
Tompletoon
Soljah
Moti
Waltek
Backwards Man
Reseteser
DeanO & Venus
Mojo Rising
A Deadly Creature
Jarno
Phloem

Luna
Jarramundi
Tao
No_request
Psybaba

 

The Risen! May 22, 2008

Stumbled on this one via The Gnostic Friends Network.

The Risen!” by Ristorante Mystica

Några tänkvärda (?) saker från The Risen av Peter Whitehead:

The Greek word psychosis means the “transforming action of the soul“. UR, yes, it does. But dreams are psychotico-mimetic, they tell us… In the Greek Alchemical text entitled KOR KOSMOU: i. e. “The Universe Maiden” (lovely title!), we find; “Taking from himself sufficient pneuma, and by an intelligent mixture uniting it with fire, he brewed it up with certain unknown substances, accompanying himself with certain secret incantations he agitated the mixture, till there boiled up to the surface, a sort of matter, subtler, purer, more transparent than the ingredients of which it was made. This was made translucent and only HE saw it. God called this composition: PSYCHOSIS.” God is psychotic; is a psychosis…

Dreaming so closely resembles being under the influence of such a drug, that the body must create its OWN psychedelic drug, provoking a momentary psychosis. A rare blessing! A drug related to LSD, mescalin, psilocybin, no wonder dreams are often so fascinating! Well, we found a drug produced during REM periods of sleep, and called it HYPNOTAMINE… So why do we think we merely dream useless dreams? Only reason thinks they’re useless. We dream because a chemical called HYPNOTAMINE is released into the blood stream and the mind becomes psychotic, is trance-formed, capable of being transformed by messages, from the R-Field of re-versed time… Eating the crystal confirms that Hypnotamine provokes the psychosis we call dreaming. Ignore them! Unless you’re one of those enlightened people who knows that psychosis leads to a higher form of truth. In dreams are involutes of knowledge worth unravelling, visions of the future, and messages from other beings trying to be reincarnated through your consciousness, from other networks. From the virtual-time reality network!

…but here was another psychotic idea! Was there not a drug that might even be responsible for narrowing consciousness, responsible for the greatest crime of human history, reason? R D Laing tells us about reason: “A consciousness can exist with or without a sense of ego, an identity. We are clear that the ego is a mental construction intimately chemically conditioned. It can be dissolved in two seconds by nitrous oxide…” And we live by it, depend on it, worship it? And ignore the unconscious that took a hundred million years to create us?

 

Tassie Tiger DNA Plugged into a Mouse! May 20, 2008

Filed under: 23,Australia,environmental,fauna,modern history,mysteries,technology — feralbrown @ 6:54 pm
Reviving extinct DNA
In a first for science, a snippet of genetic code from long-gone species is inserted in mice and shown to work
access

Mouse with tiger: Scientists in Australia and Texas have resurrected part of the extinct Tasmanian tiger, or thylacine. A piece of DNA from the thylacine was inserted into mice where it drives production of a marker gene (blue). The thylacine DNA turns on the marker in cells that produce cartilage.

Tasmanian tigers are back. Sort of. A small bit of the extinct marsupial’s DNA is alive and well in the cells of some genetically engineered mice.

Scientists have produced proteins from mammoth and Neandertal genes in cells, but the new study, appearing in the May 19 PLoS ONE, is the first to examine the activity of an extinct piece of DNA in a whole animal.

Scientists from the University of Melbourne in Australia and the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston extracted DNA from alcohol-preserved specimens of the Tasmanian tiger, also known as the thylacine. The researchers then inserted into mice a piece of thylacine DNA that controls production of a collagen gene. The thylacine DNA worked, switching on a marker gene in cartilage-producing cells in a mouse embryo, essentially resurrecting a bit of the extinct animal.

But don’t expect mice to transform into the doglike marsupials, or for scientists to reanimate thylacines through cloning.

“This technology can tell us interesting things about thylacines bit by bit,” says Robin Lovell-Badge, a developmental geneticist at the Medical Research Council’s National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, England. “As far as bringing back thylacines, this is not going to be able to do that.”

“I love the idea,” Lovell-Badge says of somehow engineering mice into thylacines, “but no, not like this.”

As for the cloning the extinct animal, it’s not likely to happen, says Carles Lalueza-Fox, a paleogeneticist at the University of Barcelona in Spain.

“It’s impossible to clone extinct animals like some people claim they will do with frozen mammoths. That’s fantasy, not science,” Lalueza-Fox says.

But the researchers involved in the new study never intended to bring back the thylacine, just to learn something more about its biology and perhaps add to the evolutionary history books. This type of study could teach biologists how species use their genes to create the tremendous diversity in body shapes and sizes.

access

Thylacines: Tasmanian tigers, also known as thylacines, were carnivorous marsupials. They were hunted to extinction in the wild in the early 1900s. The last thylacine died in captivity at the Hobart Zoo in 1936, but now scientists have resurrected a bit of the thylacine’s DNA in a mouse.Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery

“We were very interested in finding out a little bit more about this iconic Australian carnivore, especially since we humans were responsible for its extinction,” says Marilyn Renfree, a reproductive and developmental biologist at the University of Melbourne and one of the authors of the new study. “This study has given us proof that one can ask these sorts of questions and get answers.”

To prove that DNA from an extinct species can still work, the team chose a regulatory element, called an enhancer, which regulates the Col2a1 gene and has been conserved throughout evolution in animals with backbones, says Andrew Pask, a molecular biologist at the University of Melbourne.

Enhancers serve as landing pads for proteins that turn genes on. Only specific proteins are granted landing privileges and only at prescribed times of development in particular types of cells. The Col2a1 enhancer turns the gene on only in chondrocytes — cartilage-producing cells— in mouse embryos. The enhancer works similarly in birds and mammals, so the researchers hoped that the thylacine DNA would also produce a familiar pattern of gene activity.

That hope was fulfilled. Mouse embryos engineered with the thylacine enhancer turned on production of a marker that the researchers use to track gene activity. The enhancer worked only in chondrocytes.

The new study is the first using extinct DNA that does not encode a protein but controls how genes are turned on and off. In previous studies, mammoth and Neandertal genes were used to produce proteins in cell culture, not in living animals.

“This is the next logical step to try to bring ancient DNA into an animal or biological system,” says Stephen Schuster, a genomicist at Pennsylvania State University in University Park. Researchers might use the technique to find enhancers and other regulatory elements that could make a chicken look like a dinosaur or an elephant look like a mammoth, he said. But such methods, even if they could achieve such dramatic results, would not bring back dodos, dinosaurs and mammoths.

“If you had a very hairy African elephant, that would be a first step to looking like a mammoth, but of course it wouldn’t be a mammoth. It would just be a weird-looking elephant,” Schuster says.

Even though the thylacine enhancer seems to work the same way as the mouse enhancer does, that’s no guarantee that the researchers have the correct answer to how thylacine DNA functions. Mice and marsupials are so different that sometimes enhancers might misbehave when placed in a mouse, giving researchers the wrong impression about how such bits of DNA worked in extinct animals, says Lalueza-Fox.

“To use an animal model is always difficult, but to use an eutherian [placental] animal model for a marsupial is really quite risky,” he says.

Other researchers concede that genetically engineered mice might sometimes yield misleading data, but see no alternative way to study gene function from extinct species.

“The problem with extinct animals is that they’re extinct,” says Michael Hofreiter, an evolutionary biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. “Cell cultures or the mouse models are the only possibility we have of learning how non-coding DNA worked in extinct animals. The question is not whether this is the best way forward — it’s the only way forward.”

These kinds of studies are necessary to understand where and when genes are turned on and off in the bodies of extinct animals. That information may be encoded in the DNA of the animals, but predicting how variations between two species changes gene function is not well understood. Such studies could show how the thylacine got its stripes or what made mammoths so woolly.

Even armed with information about how thylacine genes worked, the technology used in the study is unlikely to bring back the Tasmanian tiger, Hofreiter says. In order to re-create the thylacine from a mouse using this technique, researchers would have to replace the mouse genome bit by bit, using about 10 million short pieces of DNA. That would take years and be would be extremely costly, not to mention that at some point, a chimeric animal (part-mouse, part-thylacine) would be unlikely to survive, he says.

Schuster favors a bigger, bolder approach to re-creating extinct animals, one that admittedly is still science fiction. He would stitch together entire chromosomes from an extinct animal and replace a host animal’s chromosomes with the synthetic creations. In that way, an elephant’s genetic material might be replaced with mammoth DNA, essentially reincarnating the Ice Age icon.

Scientists are only just beginning to learn how to create whole chromosomes.

“With DNA we’re very good at reading information, but we’re not good at writing. It’s like we’ve got a computer, but we don’t have a printer,” Schuster says.

Thylacines have no living counterpart. Their closest living relatives are Tasmanian devils, but no one has ever genetically engineered a Tasmanian devil, making it an unlikely host should the technology to clone extinct animals become available.

Re-creating extinct organisms captures the imagination, Schuster says, but it is far easier and less expensive to protect the endangered animals still living on Earth.

 

Belated Respects May 5, 2008

I would like to pay my deepest respects to Dr. Hofmann, who passed away on April 29, 2008 at the age 102.

Trip of a lifetime: How LSD rocked the world

It’s the psychedelic drug that inspired Hendrix and The Beatles – and shaped the music, art and literature of a generation. As the world bids farewell to the bicycling Swiss chemist who created LSD, John Walsh explores his mind-altering legacy…

It was known as acid, blotter acid, window pane, dots, tickets and mellow yellow. It was sold on the street in capsules and tablets but most often in liquid form, usually absorbed on to a piece of blotting paper divided into several squares: one drop, or “dot”, per square. Lysergic acid diethylamide, or C20H25N30 to give it its snappy chemical formula, derived from lysergic acid, and it introduced you to a world of cosmic harmony and all-embracing love, or a black schizoid hell of paranoia and screaming demons.

The letters LSD once denoted English money in pre-decimalisation days: librae, solidi, denarii, the Latin forms of pounds, shillings and pence. From the mid-1960s, however, the letters had only one meaning: they stood for the most powerful mood-altering drug in the world.

Those who experienced the 12-hour “trip” it engendered would report back with all the fervour and awe of travellers returned from mystic lands, desperate to relay the sights and sounds of their wild adventures, but frustrated by the impossibility of making their listeners see or understand their experiences. Sometimes, they’d been on a physical journey (usually no further than the garden or local shops); but mentally, the trip had taken them into a new realm of consciousness that was a) hard to evoke and b) very boring to listen to. They talked about the blinding sensory enhancement, and the synaesthesia of hearing colours and smelling the stars. They saw profound truths in cracks in the pavement and cosmic harmonies in a match flame. They tended to mention God, several times. The man who invented the stuff had a lot to answer for. He was a Swiss chemist called Albert Hoffman, and he died on Tuesday morning.

The fact that he reached the age of 102 seems a tribute to the efficacy of his invention. But its importance to the 20th century isn’t as a therapeutic medical treatment. It may have altered some lives for the better, but its real importance is cultural. For LSD gave the Sixties a brand-new concept to embrace and apply to every area of life, especially the arts: psychedelia. The word was spelt wrongly – it should, strictly, be psychodelia – but its meaning was clear. It meant the making-visible of the soul: opening up your inner, half-glimpsed metaphysical self for inspection while in a state of profound relaxation and pleasure.

The English writer Aldous Huxley had, of course, been there years before, when he experimented with mescaline in the early 1950s. His 1954 book, The Doors of Perception (the title is taken from William Blake – “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite”) argued that altered-state-inducing drugs were good for you, if you were sufficiently clever.

“To be shaken out of the ruts of ordinary perception, to be shown for a few timeless hours the outer and inner world, not as they appear to an animal obsessed with survival or to a human being obsessed with words and notions, but as they are apprehended, directly and unconditionally, by the Mind at Large – this is an experience of inestimable value to everyone and especially to the intellectual,” he said. But LSD was, by 1968, becoming available to all, and seemed, for a time, a thing that could change the world.

In theory, the entire young “counterculture” of the West, the same young people who listened to rock’n’roll, smoked dope, rejected the values of their straight, bourgeois parents and demonstrated against the Vietnam War, could all drop acid, discover their transcendent inner being, forsake their redundant ego and refuse to cooperate with the ordinary forms of society. They could, in the immortal phrase of Timothy Leary, LSD’s greatest fan and most articulate zealot, “Turn on, tune in and drop out.

They could share with each other soul-perceptions that were denied to the straights, the military-industrial complex, the politicians and judges…. It didn’t happen. But, for a few years, it felt as if the doors of perception might budge an inch.

The first acid trip was on 16 April 1943. It was an accident. Dr Hoffman had been conducting experiments with LSD-25, which he had synthesised from lysergic acid in 1938 and was trying to make again, having a “presentiment” that it could possess “properties other than those established in the first investigations”. The doctor got some of the stuff on his fingers. In the afternoon he felt dizzy, couldn’t work, went home to bed and wrote later that he entered a dream-like state. Behind his closed eyes, he saw streams of “fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours” for a whole two hours.

Three days later, with a Dr Jekyll-like foreboding, he put himself through a guinea-pig experiment. He took 250mg (a colossal dose by blotting-paper standards) and went for a bicycle ride. Wherever he looked, the landscape became distorted as if seen through a funfair mirror. Though he was moving fast he felt completely stationary, as though the fields were whizzing by him.

Back home, he experienced the world’s first bad trip. He became convinced that he was possessed by a demon, that his neighbour was a witch and that his furniture was trying to kill him. The doctor was summoned, found nothing wrong beyond a dilation of the pupils, and packed him off to bed. Hoffman’s panic subsided and he started to enjoy the visions and exploding colours, the shifting kaleidoscope of shapes breaking up and folding into themselves. Every noise from the street became a visual event.

He woke next day full of beans, refreshed, reborn. His breakfast tasted delicious. In the garden, looking at birds and smelling the flowers, he described his senses as “vibrating in a condition of highest sensitivity, which persisted for the entire day”.

“Bicycle Day”, 19 April, was later commemorated by acid enthusiasts because it was the first conscious “trip” and it had had – just about – a happy ending. But the doors to perception are, for some truth-seekers, booby-trapped and dangerous. When LSD was co-opted by medical staff for recreational use, two decades after Hoffman’s bike ride, users learnt the hard way how impossible it was to control the wild ride once it had started.

At Oxford in the early 1970s, we were frankly intimidated by the drug’s reputation. We all wanted to try it, but were too chicken. The word in the quad was: if you had any secret hang-ups, mental instabilities, phobias, sexual inadequacies or social insecurities (the kind that surface in dreams,) you were wise of steer clear of acid. We knew when one of us was going to try it. “Tonight,” I’d hear during dinner in hall, “Roger’s tripping for the first time. But he’ll have Will and Ollie with him, so he’ll be OK.”

I’ve always remembered Roger’s first trip (so, I’ll bet, has he). We all knew he’d be fine because he was so perfect: cool, handsome, easy-going, a hit with the girls, a dead ringer, with his corkscrewy curls, for Marc Bolan of T. Rex. And he was rich; he owned a Morgan, which he casually parked in the back quad. We knew Roger would survive the experience and bang on about it, like he banged on about his Bang and Olufsen state-of-the-art hi-fi. And anyway, Will and Olly would look after him.

The evening started well. The three students took a tab each, drank some wine and waited for results. An hour later, they were happily tripping on the college lawn, listening to the grass grow and hearing their voices transforming into harp notes. They went to Olly’s room, smoked, listened to Tubular Bells in a haze of bliss. Then Roger went the gents. This proved a mistake.

After using the facilities, he washed his hands, dried them and looked in the mirror. Something caught his eye. He looked closer. Just below his cherubic lower lip, there was a spot. It’s wasn’t huge or septic, but it was unquestionably a skin eruption, a blemish. As he watched, it grew bigger and bigger until it took on the size and texture of a Brussels sprout. Roger was transfixed. He looked on in horror, as the distended spot grew wobblingly larger, and began to pull his features into its green heart. His nose disappeared, his cheeks and eyes began to twist down, his Marc Bolan curls hung uselessly over his aghast, imploding face.

Roger, you see, was indeed a near-perfect human being but he was as vain as a canary. And discovering a spot on his immaculate physiognomy played straight into his worst insecurity: that he might secretly be unattractive. He ended up imagining his whole head was a great blob of pus; and sat screaming with paranoia for two hours as his friends dosed him with orange juice (vitamin C is the only known cure for bad trips). Other occupants of his staircase, alerted by the noise, called in to discover a scenario straight from the locked unit of Bedlam hospital, circa 1880.

During the Cold War, both the British and the US governments were keen to exploit LSD‘s unique qualities, for “social engineering“. They were convinced it would be useful as a “truth drug” during interrogations – a rather prosaic understanding of the kind of visionary truth revealed by communing with one’s soul.

In 1953 and 1954, scientists working for MI6 drugged servicemen with LSD without telling them what to expect; the scientists told them they were looking for a cure for the common cold. One soldier, aged 19, reported that he saw “walls melting, cracks appearing in people’s faces… eyes would run down cheeks, Salvador Dali-type faces… a flower would turn into a slug.” Not surprisingly, the experiment failed; MI6 reported that LSD was of little practical use as a mind-control drug. It took 50 years for the human guinea-pigs to be compensated for what they’d been put through.

::A LIST OF ALBERT HOFMANN’S WORKS CAN BE FOUND HERE::

~R.I.P. Dr. Hof’~

 

TOP 25 CENSORED STORIES FOR 2008

Well, the folk at Project Censored appear to be running a little ahead of schedule, but last week they popped this out: