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Andre the Giant, boozer of mythic proportions


 
As You Wish, Cary Elwes’ new book about the making of The Princess Bride, came out on October 14—two weeks ago it made the #3 slot on the New York Times Bestseller List for Hardcover Nonfiction (it’s since slipped to #11). Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Patton and Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl were the only books keeping it from the top slot; by comparison, Elwes’ memoir was a far more surprising success. It turns out that people sure do love The Princess Bride. A lot.


The hand of Andre the Giant, cradling a regular-sized can of beer
 
And where The Princess Bride is being discussed, tales of Andre the Giant cannot be far behind. Elwes relates some incredible stories about the wrestler’s mind-boggling capacity for alcohol:
 

André was due to have an operation after he wrapped the movie. But until then the only medication he could take to deal with the pain was alcohol. Now, if you think André could eat, you should have seen him drink. It was legendary. Word had it that even before he developed the injury he could drink a hundred beers in one sitting. According to some estimates his average daily consumption of alcohol was a case of beer, three bottles of wine, and a couple of bottles of brandy. But what I witnessed was something quite different. At meal times, besides the incredible amount of food he ate, I noticed that rather than using a regular glass, André drank from a beer pitcher, which looked a lot like a regular glass in his hands anyway. In reality it was forty ounces of alcohol, which he nicknamed “The American”—usually some combination of hard and soft liquor and whatever else he felt like mixing it with that day. I should point out that not once did I notice any sign of the alcohol affecting him, which made sense given his size. …

It turns out that same night after the read-through André decided he would sample some of the finest vintage aperitifs and liqueurs from the cellars of the prestigious hotel and ended up closing the bar. When it came to last call he got up to leave but never made it to the front door, instead passing out cold in the lobby. The night porter was called, who in turn summoned security, who in turn rang engineering. Manpower was apparently needed. Yet, despite their valiant efforts, there was simply no waking or even slightly budging what could only be described as an unconscious 500-pound Gulliver spread out on their very ornate carpet. A meeting was held and the wise decision was made to leave him there. … For safety purposes, both to protect him and any passersby, they decided to place a small velvet rope barrier around André, who was by now snoring loudly enough to shake the lobby walls.

 
Elwes quotes Buttercup herself, Robin Wright, on the subject: “He was a bottomless pit. I think he went through a case of wine, and he wasn’t even tipsy.” 
 

 
As Richard English wrote in the pages of Modern Drunkard, “No other wrestler ever matched his exploits as a drunkard. In fact, no other human has ever matched Andre as a drinker. He is the zenith. He is the Mount Everest of inebriation. … Consider the number 7,000. It’s an important number, and a rather scary one considering its context, which is this—it has been estimated that Andre the Giant drank 7,000 calories worth of booze every day. The figure doesn’t include food. Just booze.”

English claims that Andre the Giant holds the record for beers consumed in a single sitting, at 119, a feat that took him (only) six hours—meaning that he drank a beer every three minutes on average. According to English, Andre’s bar tab for a month’s stay at the Hyatt in London while filming The Princess Bride came to just over $40,000.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Existential odd couple: Samuel Beckett and André the Giant had a posse

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Cannabis Pharmacy: Vaporizers, science, weed and cancer


 
bOING bOING’s Xeni Jardin, as many of our readers probably know, is a close friend of Tara and mine, and she is also a breast cancer survivor. In a clip posted yesterday, she interviewed another of our friends, brilliant Michael Backes, author of the new book Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana (which has a foreword by none other than Andrew Weil, M.D.) about the latest in medical marijuana:

In this video my good friend Michael Backes, medical marijuana R&D expert and author of the book Cannabis Pharmacy (2014), shares some of his knowledge on the therapeutic power of pot. During my treatment for breast cancer, I learned how powerful medical marijuana truly can be in helping to alleviate some of the serious side effects of cancer treatment, including pain, nausea, and loss of appetite. I was not a pot smoker at the time of my diagnosis, and hadn’t used weed since I was a teen. Backes and my fellow cancer patients shared their experience and knowledge with me, and with the blessing of my oncologist, I found that it could be a very helpful form of relief.

In this video, Backes talks about how to use vaporizers, how to dose correctly for different forms of therapeutic relief, the difference between smoking, edibles, and vaporizers, CBD vs. THC, why the classifications of Indica and Sativa don’t matter as much as most people think, and why temperature is important when vaporizing weed.

Buy Cannabis Pharmacy: The Practical Guide to Medical Marijuana at Amazon. It’s currently the #1 best-selling book in their Pain Medicine Pharmacology department. Check out the five star reviews.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Strange Trip: Artist takes LSD in 1955, while doctor interviews him on film
10.20.2014
06:15 am

Topics:
Drugs

Tags:
LSD
CIA

LSD Bottle
 
The study of the psychological effects of LSD was fairly widespread in the United States and the UK during the 50’s and 60’s producing thousands of pages of research. Cary Grant, Federico Fellini and even Bill Wilson, cofounder of Alcoholics Anonymous, all took LSD under very legal psychiatric supervision in the 1950’s. 

The U.S. Central intelligence agency also conducted thousands of experiments with LSD and other drugs on subjects both willing and otherwise during the 50’s and 60’s through a clandestine operation code named MKUltra. The CIA was testing the effects of LSD in part to find out if the mind-bending hallucinogen could be used as a thought-control substance. MKUltra came the attention of the general public in the mid-1970s. Hearings and a collection of declassified documents have revealed all sorts of insane mental experiments like subjects being observed while tripping for up to 77 straight days and dosing random people without telling them that they were about to have their minds blown and then subjecting them to hours of interrogation.

Is the clip below a “CIA sponsored trip” as the YouTube poster’s title indicates or just one of many psychological experiments conducted openly by U.S. medical practitioners before LSD’s official ban? I’m not sure, but it certainly gives an indication of the bizarre clinical nature of what these government sponsored “psychological evaluations” might have been like. The subject in the video, entitled Schizophrenic Model Psychosis Induced by LSD 25, at least seems to be perfectly willing to go along with the test in this case.  He reveals himself to be Bill Millarc, a 34-year-old painter from Los Angeles. As the video begins, the doctor, Nicholas A. Bercel, M.D. of the University of Southern California Medical School’s Department of Physiology (himself the very first American to drop acid, in 1951), gives Bill a dose of 100 liquid micrograms of LSD and begins to narrate Bill’s trip while conducting an interview throughout the entire experience. (Interestingly, the opening credits state “Material furnished through the courtesy of Sandoz Pharmaceutical Co.” Sandoz is the same Swiss company for which Albert Hoffman was working when he both famously and accidentally discovered LSD’s hallucinogenic effects back in 1943.)

Before long, Bill starts to report a few changes in perception. The rug’s pulsating. He has a very pleasant feeling of nausea. He feels like he’s hearing the singing of angels. It’s a very odd thing to watch as the guy tries to stay focused enough to answer the doctor’s questions as he starts to go further and further into “the zone.”

Many of us have seen the drawing circulating around the Internet where people make art under the influence of various controlled substances.  Here, the doctor does something similar by having Bill draw a charcoal rendering of a person summoned to the room early in the trip. Later, as Millarc seems to be just about flipping his lid, the doctor asks him to draw the same person.  As you can probably imagine, the second picture’s a little different from the first one.

Truth be told, I haven’t done acid in years and, thankfully, all of my experiences were eye-opening ones, but I can’t imagine tripping balls and having the doctor in this clip breathing down my neck the whole time. At one point the doctor claps his hands to snap Millarc out of what seems to be a particularly revelatory moment and Millarc becomes obviously annoyed:

“I was getting somewhere and you interrupted it.  I was sort of getting somewhere I suppose.”

 

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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Finally, a Millennium Falcon made entirely of hash oil!
10.15.2014
08:38 am

Topics:
Drugs
Movies

Tags:
marijuana
Star Wars


 
The Instagram feed of invader_dab is a veritable gold mine for sculptures made purely of “dabs,” a.k.a. butane hash oil and “shatter,” a sort of crystalized sheet of same (thank you, urban dictionary). For reasons unknown to me, “dabbing” is also snonymous with errl.

Invader_dab has also posted pics of LEGO men, a rubber ducky, and a video game controller—all made out of cannabis concentrates. The life span of the sculptures is expected to be limited—if indeed they are still in existence—as eventually someone will want to get totally hooted on part of Han Solo’s rickety space freighter.
 

 

 

 
via Animal

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Shel Silverstein: A compendium of smut and depravity from the creator of ‘Where the Sidewalk Ends’
10.15.2014
07:23 am

Topics:
Drugs
Literature
Music
Sex

Tags:


 
Shel Silverstein was more than just a quirky, kid-friendly poet with whom we youthfully chuckled while leafing through Where the Sidewalk Ends or A Light in the Attic. Indeed, as your perfectly sensible dad choked back tears while reading to you about the relentlessly cruel passage of time lovingly explored in The Giving Tree, he might well have been unaware of the epically debauched lifestyle of the bittersweet story’s wild-man author.

No doubt about it, Silverstein was an amazing guy. Case in point: he won two Grammys and was posthumously inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame on top of being a celebrated children’s author selling over 20 million book copies and counting.  But he also smoked a metric shit-ton of weed, sang obscenely, engaged in legendary partying (often on a houseboat), wrote a lot of fairly bent plays for grown-ups and obviously spent a lot of time thinking, writing and drawing about smut. In fact, some of our readers might remember that Shel Silverstein spent several years as a cartoonist for Playboy Magazine.  They might also recall that not only did Silverstein pen the lyrics to “A Boy Named Sue,” a tune made famous by Johnny Cash, and for which he won one of his Grammies, but that Uncle Shelby also wrote a sequel to “A Boy Named Sue” in which Sue’s dad turns him into kind of a live-in housekeeper/sex slave. The list goes on and on, really.
 
Shel Silverstein: Crouchin on the Outside
 
So allow me, as a primer for the uninitiated, or as a walk down a rather raunchy memory lane for those of you already in the know, to take you on a perhaps enlightening, but by no means comprehensive tour of some of the more explicit Shel Silverstein content available on the world wide web.  The stuff that follows is, of course, all pretty chuckle-worthy and, while fairly tame when judged by the standards of other smut, is in no way safe for work. 

Take for example this passage from Silverstein’s long-form poem “The Devil and Billy Markham,” a Faustian ode to the hustler that pits a down-on-his luck Nashville songwriter (Billy) against the Dark Lord himself. After the devil beats Billy in a dice match, he damns him to your standard eternity of painful hell roasting. After a while though, Lucifer realizes that unending damnation isn’t quite as shitty if people don’t get a reminder now and then about how awesome life used to be. So he sends Billy back to earth for 13 hours during which time he is allowed to lecherously fornicate with anything that walks, “man or woman or beast,” and no one will say no.  To sweeten the deal, if anyone does happen to put the kibosh on Billy’s inevitable sexcapade, Billy gets to return to earth.  Of course, all good things come to an end, and the Devil sends Billy a 30 second last call for banging as it were:

And Billy Markham, he stops. . .and he squints at the Devil. . .and says. . .“Sucker. . .I’ll take you.”

“Foul!” cries the Devil. “Foul, no fair! The rules don’t hold for me.”

“You said man or woman or beast,” says Bill, “and I guess you’re all of the three.”

And a roar goes up from the demons of Hell and it shakes the earth across,
 And the imps all squeal and the demons scream, “He’s gonna fuck the boss!”

“Why, you filthy scum,” the Devil snarls, blushing a fiery red,
“I give you a chance to live again and you bust me in front of my friends.”

“Hey, play or pay,” Billy Markham says. “So set me free at last,
Or raise your tail and hear all Hell wail when I bugger your devilish ass.”

The clippings below come from Playboy Magazine and were created as part of a series in which Silverstein traveled all over the place looking for scenes from the fringes of society. They’re hardly scandalous, but perhaps offer a slightly different take on Silverstein if you’re only familiar with “Falling Up”:
 
Silverstein Hooker
 
More Shel Silverstein after the jump…

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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Satanic panic! ‘El-Diablo’ handblown glass bong mask
10.14.2014
08:06 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs

Tags:
Satan
Bong mask

El Diablo bong mask by Etai Rahmil
“El Diablo” glass bong mask by Etai Rahmil
 
Portland, Oregon-based glassblower, Etai Rahmil is the man behind a new line of handblown glass bong masks. Each fully-functional mask (to all you stoners this means you can toke up while wearing it) comes with an LED light stand, two-hole perc (or “percolator” for you non-stoner types) in the nose, and is decorated with an ounce of moldavite glass. Moldavite is a naturally occurring kind of glass that is formed following interplanetary collisions. The glass is only found in Czechoslovakia and most of the science community believes that it was formed around 14.8 million years ago following the crash of a large meteorite. And while just typing that gave me a contact high, it’s obviously a huge selling point when it comes to the masks hefty price tag of $6,500.

Serious stoners may inquire about the mask by contact Rahmil directly at etaiglass@gmail.com. You can also find the “El Diablo” model at The Cave in San Mateo, and the large and mini-sized “Mask of Moldauthein” (pictured below) at the Peace Pipe Smoke in Santa Rosa, California. More images of the masks follow as well as a video that shows the mask in use.
 
El Diablo glass bong mask by Etri Rahmill
El Diablo glass bong mask
 
The Mask of Moldauthein by Etri Rahmill
The “Mask of Moldauthein” glass bong mask
 
The mini glass bong mask Etai Rahmil
The “Mini” 10mm glass bong mask
 

 
Via the Weedist.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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Calm your rage (or work on your handjob technique) with these stress reducing ‘shrooms
10.10.2014
01:59 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs
Food

Tags:
mushrooms
stress


 
Never feel the need to lose your shit again, just grab your handy rubber mushroom and yank the hell out of it! 

... whether it’s financial pressures, relationship problems or overworking – just squeeze the bejesus out of a realistic rubber mushroom and feel your troubles fade away.

 
The stress reducing mushrooms are by Firebox and come in four different varieties: Enoki, Fly Agaric, King Trumpet and Matsutake.

  • Stretch them, twist them, smash them on the desk
  • Japan’s favourite anger management solution
  • Made from durable rubber, they even feel like the real thing
  • Non hallucinogenic, but more effective than magic mushrooms
  • Four different and slightly phallic fungi to choose from

Each mushroom goes for about $9.50 + shipping. They even feel like the real thing...

As a sidenote: THESE MUSHROOMS ARE NOT EDIBLE!!!


 

 

 
Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Eat your greens! Sumptuous high-end edibles from underground pot dining club
10.07.2014
04:20 am

Topics:
Drugs
Food

Tags:
marijuana
cannabis


Pasture-raised pork schnitzel with overwintered vegetables and Og Kush butter
 
As pot begins its slow (but hopefully steady) move towards legality, we are faced with a wild new frontier of drug commodities. As far as I know, the plant itself has yet to be cultivated into super-costly strains—or at least… so I’ve heard, but that doesn’t mean pot extravagance isn’t springing up everywhere. There’s been an explosion of stealth bongs, vape pens and vaporizers all in the tony price range, but when a pipe can just as easily be made from an apple, “luxury weed” can be kind of a hard sell.

Enter the world of fine-dining edibles! The gorgeous foodscapes below (from photographer Justin Walker) depict the sorts of meals served at Sinsemil.la, an underground fine dining club with chapters across the US that specializes in high-end food expertly combined with pot. From the website:

The meal is a carefully calibrated experience from start to finish. Marijuana varietals are tested not just for their organic qualities, but specifically to balance the flavors of each dish and for their psychoactive properties throughout the flow of the dinner.

Sinsemil.la isn’t about getting high — it is about haute cuisine.

Uh-huh. Sure dude. I’d argue that this concept is about novelty, first and foremost—if not taking care of getting high and the munchies in one fell swoop—but who cares? Enjoy your meal, and enjoy your high (where it’s legal, of course). Be careful though! Edibles can knock you on your high-class ass if you’re not expecting it—just ask The New York Times!
 

Potato gnocchi with White Widow buttered wild mushrooms and fresh Diesel
 

Roasted local ribeye with Maui Waui baked potatoes and spring vegetables
 

Warm Girl Scout Cookies Chocolate Cake with Rhubarb and Grand Daddy Purple Ice Cream
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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Have some coke and a smile: When McDonald’s coffee stirrers became the nation’s coke spoon of choice
09.26.2014
11:32 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs
Food

Tags:
cocaine
McDonalds


 
Many of you reading this site who also lived through the 1970s as an adult probably have share your of wild stories involving cocaine. That subset of readers is probably aware of the quirky way that McDonalds inadvertently created a piece of cocaine paraphernalia and even became almost synonymous with cocaine in certain contexts. The rest of you, maybe not so much.

In the late 1970s, McDonalds introduced a combination coffee spoon/stirrer that had the company’s name on the handle and a tiny egg-shaped bowl or scoop on one end, while the other end was proudly crowned with the company’s double arches logo. Basically this spoon was, quite by accident, absolutely perfect for use as a coke spoon. The scoop could hold precisely 100 milligrams of cocaine, some have claimed, which made it an ideal measuring device in addition to providing an easy way for coke addicts to snort the stuff. And America’s largest corporations had just deposited countless millions of them all across the country. It was inevitable that cheeky cocaine users would adopt it.

Inadvertently, McDonalds had created the People’s Coke Spoon. 
 

 
Remarkably, the adoption of the McDonalds stirrers as a helpful cocaine device was not limited to the product’s user base. Far from it. According to Barbara Mikkelson at snopes.com (which has confirmed the story), “The practice of using these implements in such fashion became so widespread that at least in some cities, a dose of cocaine was dubbed a ‘McSpoon’ because it came packaged in the tiny coffee stirrers from McDonald’s restaurants. ... In 1992 an undercover detective in Columbus, Ohio, said McSpoons were commonly sold ten to a bundle in that town and twelve to a bundle in Detroit” (emphasis added).

Understandably, McDonalds wasn’t thrilled to see their fine name being used as shorthand for one of the most widespread Schedule II controlled substances as defined by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Eventually the McDonalds spoon became a flat coffee stirrer. According to snopes.com, a spokesman for McDonald’s Corp. named Doug Timberlake stated at the time that the fast-food chain had chosen to redesign its spoons because “It has been brought to our attention that people are using them illegally and illicitly for purposes for which they are not intended.”
 

Three of the McSpoons alongside three of the redesigned flat version
 
According to a pretty entertaining reddit thread about the “McSpoon,” it was common for coke users to “break away the long middle section and melt the little spoon end to the McDonald’s logo.” When another user asks why on earth anyone would go to so much trouble, the response given is, “You did it so it would fit in a cigarette box.” If you click here you can see what I believe is a Photoshopped image representing what that would look like, I don’t think it’s a photograph of such a stirrer.

Understandably, the “McSpoon” has become the nostalgia artifact for some people. Right now you can buy a lot of 50 McSpoons for $60 on eBay.

In 2005 the artists Tobias Wong and “Ju$t Another Rich Kid” (founded by Ken Courtney) teamed up to create Coke Spoon 02, from “the Indulgent series,” which is described below. Coke Spoon 02 is a version of the McSpoon made of gold-plated bronze, while Coke Spoon 01 is a ballpoint pen cap made of the same expensive material. You can see pics of these items at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art website. Wong unfortunately died in 2010, but he endeared himself to me by calling his own body of work “postinteresting,” which is hilarious.
 

 
Predictably, McDonalds sent out a cease and desist letter with alacrity.

As Fox News reported at the time:

“The piece was part of the pair’s 2005 ‘Indulgences’ collection, inspired by the luxury goods market and designed to be the ultimate gift for the wealthy bachelor who had it all, said Courtney of Ju$t Another Rich Kid. ‘Indulgences’ featured gold-plated Playboy swizzle sticks, 24-karat gold pills meant to be swallowed, golden dumbbells and another golden coke spoon cast from the cap of a BIC pen.” Wong was quoted as saying, “It’s kind of the pop culture of today with a bling twist.” Philip Wood, the creative director of CITIZEN:Citizen, which had been showing the piece, said, “I think it’s a shame because I don’t think there’s any intent in damning anybody’s reputation. ... It really is a comment on how these objects change shape when they get into culture.”

 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Post-Rave Parking Lot: This 90s answer to ‘Heavy Metal Parking Lot’ is LOL funny
09.26.2014
09:29 am

Topics:
Amusing
Dance
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Raves


 
Here’s a short video documenting the, er, aftermath of a post Fantazia rave event that occurred on December 31, 1993 in Hungerford, Wiltshire. According to Wikipedia, over 16,000 people attended the event.

Much like the 1986 video documentary Heavy Metal Parking Lot, you get a brief—and kinda hilarious—glimpse into the lives of some of the folks who were at the Fantazia rave. Trust me on this, the video is all about the girl wearing the black hat and plaid jacket. She never stops. She’s like the Energizer Bunny on the best E ever!

Interviewer: Are you guys going to stop ever or are you going to keep dancing forever?

Girl: I can keep dancing forever, me. Well, at least till I remember where I put my car.

This is well worth the watch for shits and giggles. I just wish it were longer.
 

 
via WFMU on Twitter

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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