Science


I really adore this commercial. It’s propaganda and its very best.

Via the Washington Post, January 26, 2009

“Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient, according to two new U.S. studies.”

UPDATE: The corn industry’s response to the findings.

In addition to…

The University of Bristol Psychopharmacology Unit has made a web-based questionnaire designed to investigate aspects of recreational drug use. The questionnaire takes approximately 25 minutes to fill out. The questionnaire is entirely anonymous although some of the questions are of a personal nature. Your responses will be securely stored and you do not need to give any personally identifiable information.

If you are interested in taking the survey, please click here.

Thank you very much for your kind assistance with this project

Friday, January 9, only 10 days before the Bush Administration leaves office, the DEA has issued a final ruling denying a license to Prof. Lyle Craker, UMass Amherst, to grow marijuana for MAPS-sponsored medical research. The DEA is responding to a February 12, 2007 recommendation by DEA Administrative Law Judge Mary Ellen Bittner who found after extensive legal hearings that it would be in the public interest for DEA to issue Prof. Craker a license. The DEA is determined to protect the federal monopoly on the supply of marijuana that is legal for research that is held by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). NIDA uses its monopoly to fundamentally obstruct research aimed at developing marijuana into an FDA-approved prescription medicine. For example, Chemic Labs has been seeking without success for over 5 1/2 years to purchase 10 grams of marijuana from NIDA for MAPS and CaNORML-sponsored research into the effectiveness of the Volcano vaporizer as a non-smoking drug delivery device.

Via MAPS

“For Matthew Irving, the 21-year-old former North Providence honor student, who has become the focus of so many prayers these days, tonight’s flight from Boston to Germany will be far from routine.

He has reached the point, family members say, where the pain racing up from the base of his spine has been relentless. He has become so sensitive to light, sound and touch, they say, that even the sound of light music is painful to his ears, requiring him to lie motionless in a darkened room.

An experimental treatment in Germany may lead to a cure. The treatment is not allowed in this country, the parents say, because the FDA does not allow patients to be deliberately placed in comas for more than two days. The treatment in Saarbrueken, Germany, involves putting the patient in a coma for five to seven days, during which the body is filled with massive amount of ketamine in an attempt to “reboot” the body system.

Dr. Schwartzman has written that of the 41 patients he has sent to Germany, 14 came back pain free and have remained free for five years, while others have come back with their pain reduced.”

Read on

Synesthesia (or synaesthesia) is loosely defined as “senses coming together.” At its simplest level, synesthesia means that when a certain sense or part of a sense is activated, another unrelated sense or part of a sense is activated concurrently. For example, when someone hears a sound, he or she immediately sees a color or shape in his or her “mind’s eye.” The Synesthesia Project’s website presents an abundance of information about this phenomenon including a thorough FAQ section, which answers questions
such as “How common is synesthesia?” and “Is there any proof that synesthesia occurs?” In addition, visitors can find details about the Vision and Cognition Lab located at Boston University. Finally, the site includes
the opportunity for visitors to participate in two of their web-based experiments.

Visit the The Synesthesia Project

…earth to explode.

Video (Pt.1)

It’s surprising to see such media exposure with this studies. Perhaps it really is the psychedelic renaissance. I would be really interested in hearing Keith Ablow’s scepticism, but it seems he was never given the chance to speak. Did his comments on psychedelics even air?

Video (Pt.2)

In regards to the debate, my personal opinion is that ECT can be an effective therapy for severe cases. I’m not so sure it was professional for Ablow to say “if you’re going to hurt your family, go get it”, because other forms of help (such as medication) may be a less drastic and equally effective. Of course, I’m no psychiatrist.

“A recent survey that found some Florida teens believe drinking a cap of bleach will prevent HIV and a shot of Mountain Dew will stop pregnancy has prompted lawmakers to push for an overhaul of sex education in the state.”

“It would still require teaching abstinence but students would also learn about condoms and other methods of birth control and disease prevention.”

Not to be sensationalist- I wonder how many are “some”. Was it multiple choice? Maybe “some” students just picked random answers because they were bored. Where is this elusive “study” the news speaks of?  What were their methods?

Link: Local News

psilocybin.jpgAnxious and/or depressed cancer patients will receive psilocybin treatment similar to that in Dr. Grob’s study, except that it includes early-stage cancer patients and a different research design.  This study specifically focuses on spiritual experience facilitated by psilocybin as a healing factor in patients suffering from anxiety and/or depression secondary to their cancer diagnosis. It also includes studies of immune system responses to such spiritual experiences, so is also a study about spirituality and physical health. Subject recruiting just begun, and potential subjects can be referred to the study coordinator: See Below.

http://www.bpru.org/cancer/

Alan Moore discusses magic, science, consciousness and the Jumping Jesus phenomenon.

nines_poster.jpg Someone once expressed the opinion that ‘Butterfly Effect’ is comparable in quality to one of my all time favorite films, ‘Donnie Darko’. I disagree and have been waiting for another film to outdo it. Perhaps my hopes were too high for ‘Southland Tales’ and although it is a great film, which I await to see again in better quality, it had failed to capture the same essence of ‘Donnie Darko’. Richard Kelly’s first film will always have a special place in my heart, but I think it may have found a new contender.

‘The Nines’ is sort of like ‘Donnie Darko’ meets ‘The Fountain’ with a modern and quite timely twist. And for those of you who are fans, it’s quite Grant Morrison-esque. Not wanting to spoil the experience too much with my already excessive praise, I must mention that the film also defies genres, leaving the viewer in expectation of what could possibly come next.

This film is executed perfectly! If you like the ideas on this blog then you’ll LOVE this film. Do not read any synopses or reviews… just go out and see the film! Go!

P.S. Look For The Nines (or 23, to each their own)

Update: If the film wasn’t cool enough already…

The director of the hit 2007 movie ‘The Nines’ says he’s been monitoring BitTorrent for its inevitable leak: “Sony, Interpol and the MPAA will do their best,” he says, “but as the guy who made the movie, I honestly want people to see the movie. If the only way you’re going to watch The Nines is illegally, so be it.”

Via Torrent Freak
Download: The Nines Torrent

This supports what a lot of people have been saying for many years. I advocate transparent and unbiased research into these drugs and their effects. This is something that is difficult to do in a medical system that is primarily interested in  profit rather than the well-being of patients. Of course, it would be dangerous to dismiss these drugs based solely on these latest findings. We do not want to throw out the baby with the bath water, so to speak. However, a revaluation is sorely needed.

bestnaturalhealing.jpgMind-altering psychedelics are back—but this time they are being explored in labs for their therapeutic applications rather than being used illegally. Studies are looking at these hallucinogens to treat a number of otherwise intractable psychiatric disorders, including chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug or alcohol dependency.

The past 15 years have seen a quiet resurgence of psychedelic drug research as scientists have come to recognize the long-underappreciated potential of these drugs. In the past few years, a growing number of studies using human volunteers have begun to explore the possible therapeutic benefits of drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, DMT, MDMA, ibogaine and ketamine.

Much remains unclear about the precise neural mechanisms governing how these drugs produce their mind-bending results, but they often produce somewhat similar psychoactive effects that make them potential therapeutic tools. Though still in their preliminary stages, studies in humans suggest that the day when people can schedule a psychedelic session with their therapist to overcome a serious psychiatric problem may not be that far off.

Scientific American via Dose Nation

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