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Magic mushrooms inspired Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’
07.25.2014
07:07 am

Topics:
Books
Drugs

Tags:
Dune
Frank Herbert
magic mushrooms

blueeyesdune.jpg
 
Anyone who has read Frank Herbert’s classic science fiction novel Dune will have pondered on the inspiration for the book’s fictional spice melange—supposedly the most valuable commodity in the universe. This naturally occurring drug can only be found on the planet Arrakis. The spice is much sought after as it can give users heightened awareness, longevity and the ability to see into the future. Melange is also the source of power for the Spacing Guild’s spacecrafts called “heighliners”—the drug allowing users to safely steer the heighliner during a “navigation trance.” It’s a useful drug. The downside? The spice leads to addiction, turning the users eyes a luminous blue. Withdrawal can be fatal.

At the time of publication in 1965, many thought Herbert was making reference to LSD—something director Alejandro Jodorowsky considered when he planned to film the book back in the 1970s, when he claimed his movie:

...would give the people who took LSD at that time the hallucinations that you get with that drug, but without hallucinating.

In fact, Herbert was making a reference to psychedelics in particular his own predilection for magic mushrooms, as Paul Stamets explains in his book Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World:

Frank Herbert, the well-known author of the Dune books, told me his technique for using spores. When I met him in the early 1980s, Frank enjoyed collecting mushrooms on his property near Port Townsend, Washington. An avid mushroom collector, he felt that throwing his less-than-perfct wild chanterelles into the garbage or compost didn’t make sense. Instead, he would put a few weathered chanterelles in a 5-gallon bucket of water, add some salt, and then, after 1 or 2 clavs, pour this spore-mass slurry on the ground at the base of newly planted firs. When he told me chanterelles were glowing from trees not even 10 years old, I couldn’t believe it. No one had previously reported chanterelles arising near such young trees, nor had anyone reported them growing as a result of using this method.” Of course, it did work for Frank, who was simply following nature’s lead.

Frank’s discovery has now been confirmed in the mushroom industry. It is now known that it’s possible to grow many mushrooms using spore slurries from elder mushrooms. Many variables come into play, but in a sense this method is just a variation of what happens when it rains. Water dilutes spores from mushrooms and carries them to new environments. Our responsibility is to make that path easier. Such is the way of nature.

Frank went on to tell me that much of the premise of Dune — the magic spice (spores) that allowed the bending of space (tripping), the giant worms (maggots digesting mushrooms), the eyes of the Freman (the cerulean blue of Psilocybe mushrooms), the mysticism of the female spiritual warriors, the Bene Gesserits (influenced by tales of Maria Sabina and the sacred mushroom cults of Mexico) — came from his perception of the fungal life cycle, and his imagination was stimulated through his experiences with the use of magic mushrooms.

You can find a PDF of the book here.

Meantime, here’s a rare clip of the sci-fi bard on television.
 

 
Via the Daily Grail

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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De Stijl-styled wine bottles inspired by ‘The Simpsons’
07.24.2014
07:44 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Television

Tags:
Piet Mondrian
De Stijl
wine


 
Russian designers Constantin Bolimond and Dmitry Patsukevich have created these awesome wine bottles depicting Marge and Homer Simpson in the style of Piet Mondrian—arguably the most recognizable artist of the De Stijl movement. However, the kitschy appeal of the bottles is part and parcel to the suspicious beverage inside, which is described as “wine, or maybe not?”

The drink was brought to life together with the cartoon characters in 1987. Maybe it is wine, maybe not. We are inviting you to find out yourselves. The contents have been kept secret for already 26 years now. While the ingredients remain the same, their proportions differ from time to time. That is why you will never get bored from this drink! We can assure you that you will not be left disappointed.

No information is given beyond that, but there’s a website given that both leads to nowhere and misspells Marge’s name (www.homer&mardge.com)—mysterious, huh?. Twenty bucks says this is just 26-year-old malt liquor in a cleverly wrapped bottle, but the appeal of the project is the novelty, not the “wine” within.

I’m not above a little gross booze, but I definitely drawn the line at “mystery booze,” Simpsons-themed or otherwise. Besides, wouldn’t beer be the proper beverage for a project like this? Then again, the secret-Simpsons booze is 13% alcohol, and you can’t argue with… efficiency.
 

 

 
Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Gorgeous psychedelic handbills and posters from Detroit’s Grande Ballroom, circa 1967-68


 
Simply stunning vintage handbills for Detroit’s historic live music venue The Grande Ballroom. The majority of these trippy handbills and postcards were designed by Gary Grimshaw (who died in January of this year) and Carl Lundgren. Historically significant, yes, but from a design perspective, these are just jaw-droppingly, face-melting goodness, aren’t they?


 

 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Smoking is ‘The Drag’ in this ultra-groovy 1966 anti-smoking PSA
07.17.2014
08:03 am

Topics:
Animation
Drugs

Tags:
smoking


 
God bless those Canadians and their national arts funding—even their public service programs are some of the loveliest little vignettes ever committed to animation. Take “The Drag,” an anti-smoking PSA from 1966. Sure, it’s a bit of a preachy cautionary tale of peer-pressure, but the swingin’ soundtrack and groovy animation makes for a great little cartoon. The animator, Carlo Marchiori is now a muralist, and you can see how he gravitated toward lush graphics early on.

Funnily enough, as a public service announcement, “The Drag” is actually a bit of a flop. Our nicotine-addicted protagonist (who refers to cigs as “the drug”) avoids lung cancer but instead blows himself up on account of a gas leak? Huh?

Got that kids? If you don’t wanna quit, just make sure you’ve got an electric stove!
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Images of LSD, cocaine, meth and other drugs exposed to film
07.16.2014
10:22 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Science/Tech

Tags:
LSD
cocaine

Fantasy + Ecstasy
Fantasy + Ecstasy
 
Sarah Schönfeld was working at a Berlin nightclub when she decided to try to find out what the various drugs people were ingesting look like. Much like the apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head, perhaps the story of Schönfeld observing an obnoxious MDMA user will someday become one of the formative myths of scientific inquiry… but somehow, I doubt it. And yet it’s awfully apt.

Schönfeld converted her art studio into a lab, and exposed various drug mixtures in liquid form to film negatives and documented the results. The photographs have been collected in a book called All You Can Feel (Kerber Press), which will be available in late August.

The results mostly conform to general predictions—the only thing missing from the LSD visualization are trails. “Fantasy + Ecstasy” looks like a road map of a fucked-up island kingdom, and cocaine supplies a blue bursting-at-the-seams effect. Others are more surprising. Pharmaceutical speed looks like a Mandelbrot pattern, which kinda makes sense. Meanwhile, adrenaline, perversely, has a sluggish feel. And do my eyes deceive me or does the crystal meth photo feature a small chunk of Walter White’s “Crystal Blue Persuasion” in what appears to be a dystopian snow globe?
 
Cocaine
Cocaine
 
Caffeine
Caffeine
 
Crystal Meth
Crystal Meth
 
LSD
LSD
 
Ketamine
Ketamine I
 
Ketamine
Ketamine II
 
Adrenaline
Adrenaline
 
Heroin
Heroin
 
Pharmaceutical Speed
Pharmaceutical Speed
 
via WFMU

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Original DJ playlists from Manchester’s Haçienda glory days
07.15.2014
06:31 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Manchester
Factory Records
Hacienda


 
Maybe you were born in the wrong decade or country to be part of the legendary Haçienda dance club (1982-1997) and its attendant “Madchester” scene in Manchester, England in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Our own Paul Gallagher described the much-missed club, owned by Factory Records and New Order, as the ”night club where you could see Madonna one night and William Burroughs the next…The mix of who played there reads like an A & R man’s wet dream and included, New Order, The Happy Mondays, The Smiths, OMD, The Birthday Party, Husker Du, The Stone Roses, Oasis, James, Echo and The Bunnymen, A Certain Ratio, and Divine, amongst others. Mike Pickering, Graeme Park and Dave Haslam were host DJ’s, and in the late 1980s and 1990s, the club was the catalyst for Madchester - the music and drug fueled Second Summer of Love.” 
 

 
Original photos and videos of that time period are somewhat rare and, well, hazy. Anyone who was even close to a regular there can be counted on for an arsenal of entertaining war stories. However, now original playlists from Hacienda DJ’s like Graeme Park, Daniele Davoli, Lil Louis, and Sasha are available at Mixcloud and, for now, Old Skool Raver’s YouTube Channel.
 

 
More DJ playlists from the legendary Haçienda after the jump…

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
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‘The Executive Coloring Book’ is a vicious satire of post-war America (and self-important jerks)
07.11.2014
03:09 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Drugs
History

Tags:
The Executive Coloring Book


 
I had a pretty good laugh reading The Executive Coloring Book published in 1961 by Marcie Hans, Dennis Altman, and Martin A. Cohen. Even though this book is well over 50 years old, it’s witty, smart and still kinda… relatable? Who doesn’t want to pop a “pink pill” at the end of the day after working at a dull job? That’s evergreen. Timeless!

According to A Hole in the Head blog:

The early 60’s showed the strain on an America post-war populations that were struggling with the idea that they fought for freedom only to be forced to live in glass buildings and conform to the ‘status quo’. It was the age of The Apartment and The Sweet Smell of Success.

While some of its humor is dated, I got a kick out it. Maybe you will too. You may even want to print out these puppies and color them in all grey…


 

 

 

 

 

 
Read the rest after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Does eating mango boost the effects of marijuana?
07.09.2014
01:26 pm

Topics:
Drugs

Tags:
marijuana
cannabis
Michael Backes


 
In an article published yesterday on Alternet with the title “Growing Numbers of Pot Smokers Eat Mango Before Lighting Up,” Clarissa A. León reports about a new trend, if that’s the right word, or perhaps “a growing awareness” is a better way of putting it, among cannabis users that the myrcene molecules found in a mango can “boost” the high, both prolonging and intensifying pot’s euphoric effects.

Myrcene is responsible for the aromas of apricots, walnuts and Valencia oranges and is widely used in the perfume industry. It gets its name from the plant mercia and is also found in lemongrass, verbena, hops and the West Indian bay tree used to make bay rum. Its aroma is much like cannabis as it can be woodsy, citrusy and fruity.

But one of its lesser-known qualities is that the myrcene allows THC to pass through the blood brain barrier much faster. On average, it takes THC seven seconds to reach the brain after inhaling. But if you eat a mango — or a mango smoothie — 90 minutes before smoking, you could potentially halve that time.

I had heard about this for a few years, but never really took it that seriously, thinking it seemed like a stoner superstition. Before running out to the grocery store to buy a few hundred pounds of mangos for my all mango diet, I decided to ask Michael Backes, author of the forthcoming book, Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana, “Is this mango shit true?”

Yes, is the short answer. Here’s what he told me:

Mango contains myrcene, an essential oil that is part of a class of compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are responsible for the strong smell of cannabis and some of its effects. Different varieties of cannabis (and mangoes) produce more myrcene varieties than others.  Myrcene is definitely synergistic with THC, the primary psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

Myrcene is believed to be responsible for sedative “couch lock” effect of wide-leafleted “indica” varieties of high-THC cannabis. Dried flowers of these indicas can contain nearly 2 percent myrcene. It is incorrect to state that myrcene is linked to the euphoric psychoactivity of cannabis, as myrcene is more responsible for the “stone,” rather than euphoria. 

The bad news is that orally administered myrcene is not likely to reach your bloodstream, since it’s not easy for it to be absorbed through the gut and survive liver metabolism.  Plants evolved terpenes like myrcene, in part to discourage grazing animals and attract some insects and repel others. We evolved the ability not be poisoned by these terpenes, by limiting their ability to be metabolized.

But there’s a way around this. It’s kind of ridiculous, but myrcene can be absorbed by the mucus membranes, meaning that if you wanted to hold a puree of mango under your tongue, or in your cheek like Skoal, this will work and from what I understand, it’ll work pretty well.

Still if the notion of carrying around a mouthful of messy mango mush puts you off too much, there are other ways to skin this cat, such as a strong lemonade with lots of black pepper in it, as is often served in Morocco with cannabis. The key is to use a lot of rind, which contains the limonene, which is also a terpene. Black pepper is very high in beta-caryophyllene, which is also synergistic with THC and is actually a cannabinoid. Alternately, you can chew on a bunch of fresh lemongrass (easier than holding a mouthful of mango puree, right?) or make a tincture of that.

Before anyone decides to do this at home, keep in mind that eating a mango can cause some people’s mouths to swell, so who knows what some mango puree snus is gonna do for you in the allergies department…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Pills, thrills and absinthe: Unusual swimsuits for the summer
07.02.2014
09:18 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs
Fashion

Tags:
Swimsuits


 
Because you can never have enough pill-themed swimsuits in your life, right? If you don’t want to sport pills on your bodacious bod, there’s an absinthe-themed suit as well. Don’t mix pills and absinthe, though, you’ll be sorry.

Both swimsuits are by Poprageous and retail for around $109.00 each. I’ve also added the Eazy-E swimsuit by the same company because why not?


 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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‘Yellow Submarine’ style short depicts a jaunty stroll through a bad trip (set to Tiny Tim!)
06.24.2014
08:54 am

Topics:
Animation
Drugs

Tags:
Tiny Tim


 
Whether you find it nauseatingly cheerful or hyperactively sweet (and I’m partial to the latter), Tiny Tim’s “Livin’ in the Sunlight, Lovin’ in the Moonlight” is the perfect backdrop to this ironically dark piece of animation from the Layzell Bros. Our down-and-out protagonist, played by English comedian Adam Buxton, takes a huff off a cheerful cartoon pipe, and is transported to a Yellow Submarine-style wonderland where his antics are rendered childishly delightful—nevermind his wanton destruction of property and growing troubles with the local authorities.

At one point the psychedelic dreamland becomes a little too ominous for our hero, but no matter! His magical pipe friend makes quick work of the darkness! Just say no to drugs, kids! Or just say yes if that’s what you want…
 

 
Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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