Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Colbair..Colbert. Whatever. but hey..a little newfound respect.

Can't tell if it's his usual hipster ironic sendoff of conservative commentary, but he does effectively take apart Julian Assange, gets him to admit he's in the propaganda business. A bit too friendly with the guy for my tastes, but there you go..

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USNI blog: "Green. Yellow. Red."

Sheer genius

Green. Yellow. Red.

Notice the Latte' entry. Does that red status go for mimosas too?

My entries;


Dancing with the stars
Soap Operas
Obsessing over the Oscars
Bon Jovi
Jewerly Television
Entire corpus of Sandra Bullock, Meg Ryan
John Cougar Melonhead
Crying during The Sound of Music
Watching TSM on your own recognizance
"Malt beverages" such as Zima
Simply Red (the singer)
Knowing what "mauve" refers to
Soy based meat substitutes


Crying during Brian's Song (Only if you are watching the original James Cahn Billy Dee Williams version, and you are under the age of 17.)

Being familar with Barney the Dinosaur or Sponge Bob (ok if you are parent)

Any entre'e with a French name (only if (a) the main course includes beef, and (b) is served as dinner at a special event attendance at which is required.


Fan of any professional sports team (excepting the Yankees).
Beer (non lite)
Star Trek: Only if the original series, and not obsessed to point of attending conventions.

Tune in Turn On Drop out..what? Again?

The Eternal Return of the Same.

In the early 60s psychologists were experimenting with psychedelic drugs as psychotherapeutic tools in tightly controlled conditions. Then one of them, Timothy Leary, went off his nut, encouraged use in uncontrolled conditions, became a publicity hound, and research was halted.

Now, 40+ years later, researchers are once again working with psychedelics (shrooms in this case). For those familiar with the earlier work, most of this will sound..well..familiar:

From the NYT.

After taking the hallucinogen, Dr. Martin put on an eye mask and headphones, and lay on a couch listening to classical music as he contemplated the universe.

“All of a sudden, everything familiar started evaporating,” he recalled. “Imagine you fall off a boat out in the open ocean, and you turn around, and the boat is gone. And then the water’s gone. And then you’re gone.”

Today, more than a year later, Dr. Martin credits that six-hour experience with helping him overcome his depression and profoundly transforming his relationships with his daughter and friends. He ranks it among the most meaningful events of his life, which makes him a fairly typical member of a growing club of experimental subjects.

Because reactions to hallucinogens can vary so much depending on the setting, experimenters and review boards have developed guidelines to set up a comfortable environment with expert monitors in the room to deal with adverse reactions. They have established standard protocols so that the drugs’ effects can be gauged more accurately, and they have also directly observed the drugs’ effects by scanning the brains of people under the influence of hallucinogens.

Since that study, which was published in 2008, Dr. Griffiths and his colleagues have gone on to give psilocybin to people dealing with cancer and depression, like Dr. Martin, the retired psychologist from Vancouver. Dr. Martin’s experience is fairly typical, Dr. Griffiths said: an improved outlook on life after an experience in which the boundaries between the self and others disappear.

In interviews, Dr. Martin and other subjects described their egos and bodies vanishing as they felt part of some larger state of consciousness in which their personal worries and insecurities vanished. They found themselves reviewing past relationships with lovers and relatives with a new sense of empathy.

“Under the influences of hallucinogens,” Dr. Grob writes, “individuals transcend their primary identification with their bodies and experience ego-free states before the time of their actual physical demise, and return with a new perspective and profound acceptance of the life constant: change.”

The controlled conditions largely prevent horrific 'bad trips' that, in the 60s contributed much to the wise decision to categorize psychedelics as controlled substances. Note that the researchers go to great pains to make sure users are psychologically normal. Why this caution? People that have disorders are at greater risk of bad trips, and lasting deleterious effects of same. Even normal people will, with regular usage, have bad trips, and resulting bad longer term effects. These substances can precipitate or exacerbate schizophrenia and other disorders. This is why these substances should not be used regularly, if at all, nor should they be utilized without some such trained supervision and in controlled conditions.

Tuesday Blues: Blind Willie Mctell, Statesboro Blues