Thursday, February 7, 2008

Horizon: Psychedelic science by Bill Eagles

Link to "Psychedelic Science" video
This is in Google format
47 min 49 sec - May 4, 2007

In the late 1960s, human experiments with psychedelic drugs were brought to a halt. Government reacted to the anarchy of the hippy ... all » counter-culture. The drug-crazed Charles Manson slayings came to symbolise public fear of the street use of LSD. Funding ceased, and the few researchers who battled on were ostracised. But lost in the blanket ban were remarkable research projects in the field of psychiatry that held out new hope for the treatment of schizophrenia and alcoholism. Bill Eagles' extraordinary film tells the story of a handful of dedicated scientists who have struggled to make psychedelic research respectable again. In the USA, psychiatrists Rick Strassman and Charles Grob, and neuroscientist Deborah Mash each quietly began investigations with unknown psychedelic compounds, to avoid the alarm bells of LSD. Strassman pursued the Federal Drug Administration for permission to do safety trials of DMT. Mash works on treating cocaine addicts, achieving success with Ibogaine, a psychedelic derived from a West African plant. Their success hinges on the patient having a 'peak' experience, entering the realm of the mystical or religious. The early researchers had spotted this. Now it was dramatically reinforced by unique new evidence from Brazil. Unable to work in the USA, Grob visited Brazil to track down the ritual use of Ayahuasca, a leaf rich in the powerful DMT. For centuries it has been used amongst the shamans of the Amazon. But today, in urban Brazil, tens of thousands of men, women and children are taking the drug as part of an ecstatic Christian cult experience. The Brazilian Government asked Grob to look at long-term damaging effects of the drug. Instead, he found no evidence of toxicity or brain damage, and also that long-term users functioned better in their community. In 1992 Brazil legalised ritual use of Ayahuasca. The FDA took careful note. Then in the early 1990s, leading lights of the US computer industry began admitting that many breakthroughs in Silicon Valley in the 70s and 80s had been inspired by regular psychedelic drug use. Nobel Prize winner Kary Mullis, and founding father of Microsoft, Bob Wallace, reveal on camera the psychedelic influence on their creativity. This anecdotal evidence raised support for the psychedelic researchers. Now Strassman has received approval from the FDA for research into LSD itself.

Guy in Polar bear suit arrested during Greenpeace protest

A Greenpeace activist was recently arrested for protesting in front of the US Department of the Interior while wearing an awesome polar bear suit. He was trying to draw attention to the Bush Administration’s delay in issuing a final Endangered Species Act listing for the polar bear due to global warming. Link to Greenpeace blog post.

But guess who made the costume? The exceedingly talented artisan Lionel,

... and in this Boing Boing post about how to make an Animatronic Lion Mask with stereo night vision and amplified hearing.

Lionel named this polar bear suit prototype "Snowshine." (thanks, Marianne Shaneen!)

Violets are Blue, Now Roses are Too

Recently we reported on rainbow colored roses from the Netherlands, that were causing quite a craze in Tokyo, Japan. The craze has apparently not worn off, as one Japanese company has developed something quite new and original.

Suntory Ltd., who also produces alcohol, created the world’s first genetically modified Blue roses, which they will begin to sell next year.


“As its price may be a bit high, we are targeting demand for luxurious cut flowers, such as for gifts,” he said. The exact price and commercial name for the blue rose have not been decided.

They created the flowers by implanting the gene that leads to the synthesis of the blue pigment Delphinidin in pansies. The pigment does not exist naturally in roses.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"One got Fat "Part Two

Edward Everett Horton narrates this tale of bicycle safety. What makes this film unique is that the study taken during this film was done with the children riding there bikes while WEARING MONKEY MASKS. Truly an unusually surreal class room film. Made only more weird because of the fact that Eddy Horton would narrate something like this.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

"One Got Fat": 1962 bike safety film uses macabre monkey masks

1963 Bicycle Safety Film entitled "One Got Fat".
A group of monkey-masked kids decide to ride their bikes to the park for a picnic. Along the way, one by one, the kids are knocked out of the ride due to careless or unsafe riding.
Narration by Edward Everett Horton of "Fractured Fairytales" (Old Rocky and Bullwinkle) fame.

Roger says: "Here's a review of an extremely weird vintage bicycle safety film from 1962 in which a group of kids show us the dangers of disobeying bicycle safety rules - all while wearing some of the creepiest monkey masks you'll ever see."

The typeface used in the title is excellent.

Monday, February 4, 2008

From Wonka To Timbuktu - Running on Chocolate Biodiesel

From Wonka To Timbuktu - Running on Chocolate Biodiesel
January 4th, 2008 by Steve Watkins

While this may sound like something out of a Homer Simpson fantasy sequence a group in the UK just made a journey from the UK to Timbuktu in a truck powered entirely by biodiesel made from chocolate; or rather the waste chocolate from a manufacturer.

The expedition will be delivering a biodiesel processing unit to MFC, a Malian charity, which will allow biodiesel to be produced locally form sustainable sources, and the carbon savings from the Malian fuel will help to make this expedition Carbon-Negative, a world first! saving 15 tonnes of carbon emissions in the first year alone.

The expedition left the UK on November 26th and arrived in Timbuktu in Mali, West Africa one month later.

In addition to raising awareness to the benefits of bio-fuels to people in the UK (and elsewhere) Ecotec donated one of their biodiesel production units so that the local women in Mali can use it to re-cycle their used cooking oil into biofuel.

In addition, all the equipment used for this journey was salvaged from scrap yards and will remain in Mali where it will be put to good use. This even includes the chocolate powered truck itself.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Man Paints with His Eyeball

Xiang Chen is an incredible man who can do… well… some incredible things.

Chen, from the Hunan province, can write amazing calligraphy with his eye. He can hold paint brushes, some as big as 4.4 pounds like in the picture below, under his eyelid and literally write and paint with his eye.

34 year-old Chen discovered his eyes were different from other people when he was 16.

He came home one day, from his construction work, and surprised to see that both of his eyes were full of sand and yet he didn’t feel any discomfort or pain.

Chen even tried poking sticks into his eyes but all he felt was a minor itchy sensation and it actually felt relaxing and good to him.

Outside of just painting and writing, Chen can also hold a stick in his eye and play the piano.

Doctors have checked Chen out and say that his eyes are no different than anyone else’s.