Filmmakers Jason Stanfield and Jordan Olshansky visit the studio of Chicago-based abstract painter, Bruce Riley. The documentary is short, but it explains Riley’s resin-pouring process in a hypnotic, eye-candy filled way.
Instead of me trying to explain the process to you, do yourself a favor and just watch the video. It’s relaxing and oh so beautiful.
If you want to see more of Riley’s work, he has a mind-melting page on Flickr with hi-res images.
Before it became a Schedule I controlled substance in October of 1968, there was a not-all-that-brief period in which lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD, enjoyed some respectability among the chattering classes, even benefited from the same type of breathless hype that the technology associated with the moon landing enjoyed.
According to a 2010 Vanity Fair article by Judy Balaban and Cari Beauchamp, at some point in the 1950s, the publisher of Time, Henry Luce, tried LSD and developed a favorable attitude towards it, and that was all LSD needed to receive several years of positive coverage in all the major magazines:
Another early experimenter was Clare Boothe Luce, the playwright and former American ambassador to Italy, who in turn encouraged her husband, Time publisher Henry Luce, to try LSD. He was impressed and several very positive articles about the drug’s potential ran in his magazine in the late 50s and early 60s, praising Sandoz’s “spotless” laboratories, “meticulous” scientists, and LSD itself as “an invaluable weapon to psychiatrists.”
In addition, it was well known that Hollywood luminaries like Cary Grant and Esther Williams were using LSD as a therapeutic tool:
“The Curious Story Behind the New Cary Grant” headlined the September 1, 1959, issue of Look magazine, and inside was a glowing account of how, because of LSD therapy, “at last, I am close to happiness.” He later explained that “I wanted to rid myself of all my hypocrisies. I wanted to work through the events of my childhood, my relationship with my parents and my former wives. I did not want to spend years in analysis.” More articles followed, and LSD even received a variation of the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval when that magazine declared in its September 1960 issue that it was one of the secrets of Grant’s “second youth.” The magazine went on to praise him for “courageously permitting himself to be one of the subjects of a psychiatric experiment with a drug that eventually may become an important tool in psychotherapy.”
Over the weekend a Retronaut page by Alex Q. Arbuckle has been making the rounds with the title “April 16, 1963: Housewife on LSD.” The page, which is light on text, features several photographs taken in 1963 by LIFE photographer John Loengard of a session in which some test subjects—i.e., regular people—were given LSD. The centerpiece of the series is a woman named Barbara Dunlap, identified as a housewife from Cambridge, Massachusetts, as she contemplates a statue of Buddha and a sliced lemon in tripping wonderment. The photos, all black and white, can’t begin to suggest the blazing psychedelic visions Dunlap was experiencing, but anyone who has ever taken LSD can fill in the blanks perfectly well.
One weird note: The Retronaut title contains the date April 16, 1963, but it’s not clear to me that that date refers to anything, actually. Arbuckle’s text mentions April 16, 1943—twenty years earlier—as the date on which Albert Hofmann first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide. Loengard’s photographs were not taken on April 16, 1963, which is abundantly clear primarily because some of the photographs appeared in the March 15, 1963 issue of LIFE, to ameliorate a lengthy article by Robert Coughlan called “The Chemical Mind-Changers.” That article was actually the second of a two-part article—the first part, which appeared a week earlier, was more technical in nature and didn’t focus at all on the test subjects.
Although today he’s perhaps better known for being a fast food kingpin than a musician, country hit-maker Kenny Rogers was once actually a rock and roller. Hell, the undisputed successor to Col. Sanders was even a psychedelic rocker there for a brief minute…
The First Edition were formed in 1967, with Rogers (lead vocals and bass), Mickey Jones (drums) and Terry Williams (guitar ). Mike Settle (guitar) and opera singer Thelma Camacho joined later. They were basically a country-folk band, but they did release the classic psychpop single, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In).”
Written by the great Mickey Newbury, “Just Dropped In” featured in-demand session pro Glen Campbell playing the backward guitar intro. The trippy background voices were fed through a rotating Leslie speaker and re-recorded and the song can almost be called “proto-metal” (listen to that boss guitar riff).
Allegedly, Jimi Hendrix told Kenny Rogers that “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” was his favorite record. The song was later famously featured in the dream sequence from The Big Lebowski.
I think it’s safe to assume that pulling this human centipede pipe out at your next pot party will guarantee that you will get to smoke your stash all by yourself.
While there are sadly no shortages of human centipede homages, this glass pipe appears to be a one-off so consider your hopes in owning one officially dashed according to its maker, Dustin Yunker.
In all honestly, does anyone want to get stoned so badly that they would toke up by putting their lips on the “end” of this pipe (or the front because I’m not entirely sure how this bizarre pipe works)? The answer is of course someone would because, weed. Over the course of my life I’ve but a lot of stupid things in my mouth (and so have you), but this pipe isn’t getting added to the list of things I’m currently working through with my therapist. For now, anyway.
Ecstasy is the only truly postmodern drug, and not just in terms of its place in history, or the completely “I’m so intensely into the many facets of this thing right now”/“I LOVE YOU GUYS” high. Ecstasy has always been produced and marketed with absolutely no aversion to literal branding. Not only are pills produced in pretty colors with cute little logos, the logos themselves are oftentimes the already immediately recognizable icons of corporate giants. It makes sense, too. You might not remember some elaborate little image on the face of a pill after a night of dancing on Molly, but you’ll probably remember the golden arches, the Rolls Royce logo or the Playboy bunny. That Rolls Royce was the best, gotta get more of that, right? See how that works?
A graffiti artist since the age of 14, Dean Zeus Colman now works under his nom d’arts “Zeus,” combining his urban artistic sensibilities with his formal training from Chelsea College of Art. Realizing the obvious pop art potential of ecstasy tablets, Zeus produced these plaster sculptures modeled after actual ecstasy pills to sleek, modern effect. The cheeky chic series is called, called “Love is a Drug,” and you should definitelybuy me the Bart Simpson one.
Lemmy Kilmister of the legendary heavy metal band Motörhead recently announced that he’s abandoned his beloved whisky in favor of vodka. He’s been suffering lately from gastric distress and dehydration, and gigs have been cancelled as a result.
Instead of instead of his customary Jack Daniels and coke, Lemmy now quaffs vodka and orange juice to help keep his diabetes in check.
Personally, for me that would be too high a price to pay. But that’s just my opinion.
As usual, Lemmy’s quotes on the subject were pretty choice.
“I like orange juice better,” he told The Guardian. “So, Coca-Cola can fuck off.”
He also said, “Apparently I am still indestructible.” To which we all say, Amen!
Here’s Motörhead giving Toronto the business in 1982:
After working for a biotech lab in Vancouver, BC, science “nerd” Tania Hennessy, originally from New Zealand, decided to start making jewelry based on the molecular structure of various vices, such as cocaine, heroin, and LSD.
“Overdose” molecular necklace
Hennessy laser-cuts her 3D designer drugs from lightweight stainless steel in various finishes, and the results are quite stunning. In some cases, Hennessy combines the addictive molecules, such as LSD and MDMA (a practice known as “candy flipping” if you’re into that kind of thing), to create a wearable drug cocktail without all the nasty side effects. Hennessy even created a piece called “Overdose” (pictured above) that combines the molecular images of the following drugs: LSD, psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms), cocaine, DMT (the powerful psychedelic dimethyltryptamine), THC (marijuana), and MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly). Trippy.
“LSD” molecular necklace
There are also a few less life-threatening vices in Hennessy’s collection such as chocolate and caffeine, as well good-vibe neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, among others. The pieces in Hennessy’s collection will run you anywhere from $25 to $95 and can be purchased on her website, Aroha Silhouettes. More images of Hennessy’s druggy designs follow.
The slow process of mainstreaming cannabis in the USA is an ongoing source of fascination to me as a former, um, enthusiast. I’m aware of a minor reefer civil war going on between bong-ripping hippies who feel that as long-time champions of the green they’re the soul and standard-bearers of pot-dom, versus hash oil vaping professional types who, with some justification, see themselves as the mainstream face of cannabis that’s going to help win the acceptance of legalization that’s eluded the whites-with-dreads brigades, but whom the hippies see as usurpers of weed culture.
But I’ll score the new-school a point on this one: pipe and bong design has long been associated with juvenile eyesore bullshit for addled heads who evidently can’t function without seeing ALL THE COLORS AT ONCE. And while I’m glad such wares are keeping glass-blowers’ books in the black (my soft spot for the independent artisan transcends my perpetual irritation with both hippie culture and so-called “upscale” dicks), the Aura Water Pipe is an overdue injection of refinement into a marketplace that has long catered mostly to people who think rainbow-hued glass skulls are like, the ultimate, bruh. The reality is that to a great many pot users, pot isn’t the lynchpin of an all-consuming, indentity-defining lifestyle of psychedelic art, jam bands, and 420 culture, it’s just pot.
Aura is designed to provide a cleanable, durable, and user friendly water pipe smoking experience in a form that moves beyond the adverse reaction and stigma associated with traditional bongs. As progressive attitudes toward marijuana use continue to grow in the United States and abroad, water pipes have remained a reminder of the drug’s marginalized and subversive past. A look into existing cannabis products reveals the absence of a brand that connects with the mature, style conscious, and forward thinking market that has emerged in the recent wave of legalization in the United States. Designed to appeal to both existing and new users, Aura evolves the water pipe into a contemporary object that is comfortable in plain sight.
The Aura is a project of Western Washington University’s Mauricio Romano, and it was recently honored as a runner-up in the Consumer Products category of the 2015 Core 77 design awards, cited not just for its appearance—my wisecracking about skull bongs aside, there have of course always been subtler smoking devices—but for its mechanics. (If that stuff interests you, seriously, that link contains more info on bong engineering than I ever expected to read in my life.)
Aura’s form is driven by a simplified user experience created by grouping the touchpoints of smoking (the handle, bowl piece, and mouthpiece) at the top of the device. First time use of a traditional water pipe can be a confusing and intimidating experience given the lack of an intuitive grip and the poor ergonomics of a vertical cylindrical mouthpiece. A holding place for the hand is created by the branches of Aura’s mouthpiece, providing intuitive control and comfort. In addition, the wrist and neck of the user are in a neutral position when smoking thanks to the angle of the mouthpiece. Lost lighters are no longer a problem, as space within the mouthpiece is provided to store one when not in use.
The glass components of traditional water pipes are easily broken, requiring replacement of the entire water pipe when an accident happens because they are fused together. Aura is designed for manufacturing from stainless steel, PCABS plastic, and brass components, ensuring minimal breakability. The cost of manufacturing in these materials is also much less at a large scale than traditionally handworked glass pieces. The resin and particulate matter that accumulate during smoking are difficult to access and clean in traditional water pipes, resulting in a perpetually dirty product. Aura’s main components disassemble to allow access to unclean areas for hand cleaning. The entire system is dishwashable as well, thanks to these durable materials.
Click the image to spawn a readable enlargement
Kinda had to giggle at the informercial-ineptness attributed to smokers in that—using a bong can be “a confusing and intimidating experience”? Come ON. On the other hand, it’s a sign of progress that they can so openly talk about cannabis in their hype. I remember head shop guys—and I assume this is still true where weed remains illegal—constantly and pointedly referring to tobacco and only tobacco when discussing pot accessories with customers, and terminating the conversation and the sale if the customer kept mentioning illegal drugs after a warning or two.
Though its designer claims a patent pending, the Aura doesn’t appear to be available for sale yet. Presumably their Facebook presence and website will spread the word if and when these are actually released to the consumer. In the meantime, here’s more of the bong-porn for which you presumably clicked on this post in the first place.
Suntory is possibly best known to American moviegoers as the client that brought “Bob Harris” to Japan to film a commercial, in Sofia Coppola’s 2003 gem Lost in Translation. It’s Japan’s oldest whisky distillery, and if that causes you suppose that it is in any way dusty or not keeping up with the current trends in whiskeyology, note that just last year its Yamazaki Single Malt Sherry Cask 2013 secured the award for “Best Whisky in the World.”
Not only that, Suntory recently announced that it intends to send some of its delightful spirits to age in outer space. They suspect that the zero-gravity environment may result in nothing less than the smoothest whiskey ever produced.
Suntory will be sending six varieties of whiskey, aged for 10, 18, and 21 years, along with recently distilled beverages, to outer space as part of an experiment. Their theory is that the weightlessness of space will result in a smoother aged whiskey than is possible to attain on Earth. Employees at JAXA’s Tsukuba City Space Center in Ibaraki Prefecture recently prepared glass flasks that will be used to transport the spirits when Konotori Vehicle 5 (HTV-5) launches from JAXA’s Tanegashima Space Center on August 16.
The whiskey samples will be left on the International Space Station for an unspecified number of years before being brought home to be inspected. Unfortunately for drink connoisseurs, Suntory has already stated that they have no plans to sell space whiskey as a product to the general public.
“No plans” is discouraging but that sounds like, if it goes as well as they hope, they’ll be selling it as soon as they can make it work. Now I’m envisaging an Alien or Independence Day-type movie where the first contact with sinister extraterrestrials occurs when they chance upon a satellite full of delicious Suntory product and they invade Earth in order to…... party on a grander scale with the geniuses who developed it.
There are entirely too many times during the day that while doing important “research” for DM, I audibly utter the words “I can’t.” However, after learning of the existence of a GG Allin marionette, I wasn’t even able to muster a sound in protest, and was instead at a total loss for words.
Alex Godfrey, an artist and blogger over at The Guardian, posted blow-by-blow images of his fellow blogger/artist friend Shehzad making a marionette of GG Allin to give to him on his birthday last year. Because nothing says “Happy birthday, scum fuck!” like your very own naked, bloody version of GG Allin that can be controlled by strings. Shehzad’s didn’t skimp on the details—and from the looks of it, few details were spared when it came to making his version of GG look as much like the notorious man himself as possible.
If you want to know why, take a look at the NSFW photos of the GG marionette that follow as well as images from Shehzad’s “creative process.” There are also a few I can’t post, which helps illustrate my point about Shehzad’s attention to detail. If you really need to see them, click here. If you are familiar with GG, then I’m going to assume you’ll know what to expect. I also included a super-short video of marionette GG’s maker putting on a brief show with his most valuable (and possibly possessed) creation. See you in HELL!