“This record began as an experiment with noise on a laptop in a bus on tour somewhere. That sound led to a daydream about the end of the world. That daydream stuck with me and over time revealed itself to be much more. I believe sometimes you have a choice in what inspiration you choose to follow and other times you really don’t. This record is the latter. Once I tuned into it, everything fell into place… as if it were meant to be. With a framework established, the songs were very easy to write. Things started happening in my “real” life that blurred the lines of what was fiction and what wasn’t. The record turned out to be more than a just a record in scale, as you will see over time.
Part one is year zero. Concept record. Sixteen tracks.
What’s it about? Well, it takes place about fifteen years in the future. Things are not good. If you imagine a world where greed and power continue to run their likely course, you’ll have an idea of the backdrop. The world has reached the breaking point – politically, spiritually and ecologically. Written from various perspectives of people in this world, “year zero” examines various viewpoints set against an impending moment of truth. How does it sound? You will hear for yourself soon enough…”
Seems like the dystopian genre with its brief glimpses into the end of the world (as we know it) continues to pervade the minds of artists. Funny how fiction and reality can be intertwined.
An intense debate concerning America’s foreign policies in the past few years. On Rosie O’Donnell brings up WTC 7 on her show The View giving mystery of the collapsing building further exposure. Besides the naiveté of the younger woman defending this administration’s policies it is also interesting to examine the mainstream media’s response to Rosie O’Donnell’s view. Not even 24 hours had passed and she was already being accused of treason and aiding terrorists.
Can you picture yourself walking into the neighborhood pharmacy with prescriptions for ecstasy (MDMA) and psilocybin?
If MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies) has its way, the days of prescription psychedelics may not be too far away. For those who know the history of psychedelic research, this eventuality has been a long time coming. But others — who may only be familiar with the intense emotions and activities around the “War On Drugs” over the past several decades — may be surprised to learn how much progress MAPS has made.
Jag Davies is the Director of Communications for MAPS, a non-profit research and education organization that assists scientists to design, obtain approval for, fund, conduct and report on research into the healing and spiritual potentials of psychedelics and marijuana. He joined Steve Robles, Jeff Diehl and myself on The RU Sirius Show.
Let it be said that Mr. Davies has the patience of a saint (and a sense of humor). Despite the fact that we were unable to resist the urge to crack drug jokes throughout, Jag managed to convey vast quantities of important information about psychedelic research.
RU: So a while back, MAPS got approval for a study in MDMA (ecstasy) assisted psychotherapy. Where are we at with that?
JAG: It’s almost over. They’ve treated 15 out of 20 patients. It’s very slow. There are lots of pre-conditions for the study because it’s such a controversial substance. But the results are ridiculous. Their CAPS score—(CAPS is the Clinician Administered PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] Scale) is about five times higher than in treating chronic treatment-resistant patients with Zoloft… And there are a whole other slew of studies that are sort of copying this one that we’re doing in a bunch of other places like Switzerland, and Israel, just to be sure.
JEFF: So does it look like MDMA is going to become something that’s used pharmaceutically?
JAG: After careful analysis, we decided that MDMA is probably the most likely of any psychedelic drug to get approved. First of all, it has a very gentle sort of pharmacological profile.
But the other reason is… because it was so demonized by the government in the 1980s and 1990s, there has been hundreds of millions of dollars of research done into its risks. So they’ve done all the work for us!
RU: You mentioned a comparison to Zoloft, the implication being that MDMA could be an effective anti-depressant.
JAG: The difference is that MDMA is not used on a daily basis…
JEFF: What kind of dosage did they use? Was it comparable to a street hit?
JAG: Actually, it’s a bit larger than a street hit. It’s 125 milligrams pure. And then we actually got approval about halfway through the study to make a couple of changes. One of them was to take a booster dose, basically, although we call it a “supplemental” dose. They take another 60 milligrams about an hour and half into it.
A new study helps explain why psychedelic or hallucinogenic drugs like LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) produce unique and different effects in mood and behavior than their chemical cousins, such as lisuride, a treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The answer? It’s not where these drugs trigger neurological activity, but how, a finding that could have implications in developing more targeted medications without the unwanted side effects that often occur in the treatment of drug abuse and neurological and psychiatric disorders, explains study co-author Stuart C. Sealfon, MD, Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, and Pharmacology and Biological Chemistry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The findings are published in the February 1 issue of the journal Neuron.To understand the neurochemical circuitry, the study focused on how these two different, but similar drugs switched on the serotonin 2A receptor, a member of the largest family of receptors. Receptors are proteins located on nerve cell membranes and bind to neurotransmitters, or brain chemicals, such as serotonin, to initiate cellular responses. Altered serotonin levels are involved in many common psychiatric illnesses, including depression. Dr. Sealfon and his colleagues compared the mechanism by which hallucinogenics and non-hallucinogenic drugs like lisuride turned on the serotonin 2A receptor.
“The big mystery has been why drugs like lisuride, which are similar in chemical structure to hallucinogens and switch on the exact same serotonin 2A receptor, do not have a similar impact on mood and behavior” says Dr. Sealfon. “Our tests in mice revealed that once the hallucinogenic drugs turn on the serotonin 2A receptor, they also go on to activate another neurological pathway, whereas lisuride does not take any further action.”
They found that laboratory tests showed the serotonin 2A receptor has two “on” positions; drugs like LSD make the receptor go into one “on” position, whereas non-psychedelic drugs like lisuride activate serotonin 2A receptor in a different way.
In a related finding, the research team also unraveled another neurochemical mystery. Previously, scientists had suspected that hallucinogenic drugs acted on the serotonin 2A receptors by traveling to the cerebral cortex, a key structure in the brain associated with multiple complex brain functions, including memory, attention, language, and consciousness. Using genetically-altered mice developed by their collaborators at the Laboratory of Mouse Genetics and Behavior led by Jay A. Gingrich, MD, PhD, an assistant professor at Columbia University, the two groups found that the serotonin 2A receptor was acted on in the cerebral cortex, but not by cells traveling to the cerebral cortex. “This clarified the pathway so that we could really narrow down where this serotonin 2A receptor activity was taking place,” Dr. Sealfon says.
The next step is to investigate and understand the patterns of serotonin 2A receptor activation. “This could open many doors,” Dr. Sealfon says. “When developing drugs to treat drug abuse or neurodegenerative disorders or psychiatric illnesses, scientists can look beyond just the target or the receptor they want to activate, and start tinkering with how they want to activate the receptor, which would then create very specific responses and results. Instead of prescribing a treatment and hoping for the best, this approach could put scientists and physicians in the driver’s seat, and give them better control, which ultimately will lead to better patient outcomes.”
The Codex Alimentarius is a threat to the freedom of people to choose natural healing, medicine and nutrition worldwide. Ratified by the World Health Organization, and going into Law in the United States in 2009, the threat to health freedom has never been greater.“Codex Alimentarius” means “food rules” in Latin. The organization was born in 1962 when the UN established the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) as a “Trade Commission”. It was created to regulate, and thus control, every aspect of how food and nutritional supplements are produced and sold to the consumer. It is solely about trade and the profits of multi-national corporations.
Codex is unscientific because it classifies nutrients as toxins and uses “Risk Assessment” to set ultra low so-called “safe upper limits” for them. Risk Assessment is a branch of Toxicology, the science for assessing toxins. The proper science for assessing nutrients is Biochemistry. Codex does not use Biochemistry.
Codex is made up of many standards for every aspect of food. One of these standards was ratified in July 2005: the destructive Codex Alimentarius Vitamin and Mineral Guideline (VMG). The VMG can ban all high potency and clinically effective vitamins & minerals. For example, Vitamin C would be restricted to only a few milligrams per dose. Other nutrients, such as amino acids, are also under threat.
Codex Alimentarius allows high levels of 7 of the 9 most toxic pesticides in the world, in our food. These compounds are so toxic that the Stockholm Convention (PDF) was created to eliminate them from the planet! Codex, however, allows them in your food along with 206 other toxic pesticides.
The joint WHO/FAO (World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization) projections for the impact of the Codex Alimentarius’ nutrition and mineral guidelines alone (not including the impact of pesticides), when it goes into global implementation in 2009, will result in a minimum of 3,000,000,000 DEATHS. One billion through starvation and two billion will die from the preventable diseases of under-nutrition.
This is a talk by Dr. Rima Laibow MD from the Natural Solutions Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating people about how to stop Codex Alimentarius from taking away our right to freely choose nutritional health.