SO, THE GUY WHO INVENTED ACID LIVED TO BE 102?...HMMM
The day, April 19 1943, became known among aficionados as “Bicycle Day” as it was while cycling home from his laboratory that he experienced the most intense symptoms.
Hofmann was working as a research chemist in the laboratory of the Sandoz Company (now Novartis) in Basel, Switzerland, where he was involved in studying the medicinal properties of plants. This eventually led to the study of the alkaloid compounds of ergot, a fungus which forms on rye.
In the Middle Ages, ergot was implicated in period outbreaks of mass poisonings, producing symptoms in two characteristic forms, one gangrenous (ergotismus gangraenosus) and the other convulsive (ergotismus convulsivus).
Popular names such as “mal des ardents,” “ignis sacer,” “heiliges Feuer,” or “St Anthony’s fire” — refer to the gangrenous form of the disease.
Hofmann’s studies led to many new discoveries such as Hydergine, a medicament for improvement of circulation and cerebral function and Dihydergot, a circulation and blood pressure stabilising medicine.
His interest in synthesising LSD was stimulated at first by the hope that it might also be useful as a circulatory and respiratory stimulant.
But when his molecule, known as LSD-25, was tested on animals, no interesting effects were observed, though the research notes recorded that the beasts became “restless” during narcosis. The substance was dismissed as of no interest and dropped from Sandoz’s research programme.
But five years later, acting on some intuition, Hofmann decided to resynthesise LSD. In his autobiography, LSD, My Problem Child (1979), he recalled that in the final stage of the synthesis, he was interrupted by some unusual sensations.
In a note to the laboratory’s director, he reported “a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination.
"In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed, I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours. After some two hours this condition faded away.”
Hofmann concluded that he must have accidentally breathed in or ingested some laboratory material and assumed LSD was the cause. To test the theory he waited until the next working day, Monday April 19 1943, and tried again, swallowing 0.25 of a milligram.
Forty minutes later, his laboratory journal recorded “dizziness, feeling of anxiety, visual distortions, symptoms of paralysis, desire to laugh”.
Unable to write any more, he asked his assistant to take him home by bicycle. “On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms.
"Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me that we had travelled very rapidly.”
Back home, when a friendly neighbour brought round some milk, he perceived her as a “malevolent, insidious witch” wearing “a lurid mask”. After six hours of highs and lows, the effects subsided.
Sandoz, keen to make a profit from Hofman’s discovery, gave the new substance the trade name Delysid and began sending samples out to psychiatric researchers.
By 1965 more than 2,000 papers had been published offering hope for a range of conditions from drug and alcohol addiction to mental illnesses of various sorts.
But the fact that it was cheap and easy to make left it open to abuse and from the late 1950s onwards, promoted by Dr Timothy Leary and others, LSD became the recreational drug of choice for alienated western youth.
An outbreak of moral panic, combined with a number of accidents involving people jumping to their deaths off high buildings thinking they could fly, led governments around the world to ban LSD.
Research also showed that the drug taken in high doses and in inappropriate settings, often caused panic reactions. For certain individuals, a bad trip seemed to be the trigger for full-blown psychosis.
Hofmann was disappointed when his discovery was removed from commercial distribution. He remained convinced that the drug had the potential to counter the psychological problems induced by “materialism, alienation from nature through industrialisation and increasing urbanisation, lack of satisfaction in professional employment in a mechanised, lifeless working world, ennui and purposelessness in wealthy, saturated society, and lack of a religious, nurturing, and meaningful philosophical foundation of life”.
Albert Hofmann was born at Baden, Switzerland, on January 11 1906, the elder of two children. Having graduated from Zürich University with a degree in chemistry in 1929 he took a doctorate on the gastro-intestinal juice of the vineyard snail.
After leaving university, he went to work for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals where he researched the medicinal properties of the Mediterranean squill (Scilla maritima), before moving on to the study of Claviceps purpurea (ergot).
As a result of the use of LSD as a recreational drug Sandoz found itself bombarded with demands for information from regulatory bodies along with demands for statements after accidents, poisonings, criminal acts and so forth from the press. For scientists unaccustomed to the glare of publicity, it became a headache.
“I would rather you hadn’t discovered LSD,” Hofmann’s managing director told him. In the end the decision was taken to stop all further production.
Hofmann laid some of the blame at the door of Dr Timothy Leary. In his autobiography, he described meeting Leary in 1971 in the railway station snack bar in Lausanne.
Hofmann began by voicing his regret that Leary’s experiments had effectively killed off academic research into LSD and took Leary to task for encouraging its recreational use among young people. Leary was unabashed.
“He maintained that I was unjustified in reproaching him for the seduction of immature persons to drug consumption,” Hofmann recalled, on the ground that American teenagers “with regard to information and life experience, were comparable to adult Europeans” and able to make up their own minds.
Hofmann continued to work at Sandoz until 1971 when he retired as Director of Research for the Department of Natural Products.
In addition to his discovery of LSD, he was also the first to synthesize psilocybin (the active constituent of “magic mushrooms”) in 1958.
He also discovered the hallucinogenic principles of Ololiuqui (Morning Glory), lysergic acid amide and lysergic acid hydroxyethylamide.
In retirement, Hofmann served as a member of the Nobel Prize Committee. He was a Fellow of the World Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the International Society of Plant Research and of the American Society of Pharmacognosy.
In 1988 the Albert Hofmann Foundation was established “to assemble and maintain an international library and archive devoted to the study of human consciousness and related fields.”
He disapproved of the appropriation of LSD by the youth movements of the 1960s, but regretted that its potential uses had not been explored. He had been due to speak at the World Psychedelic Forum in March, but ill health prevented him from attending.
Albert Hofmann was married and had three children.
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
One night, Jackie woke up past her bedtime.
She smelled something funny in the air, so she walked down the hall to her parent's bedroom
FROM "IT'S A PLANT"
“What’s that, Mommy?” asked Jackie. “Are you and Daddy smoking a cigarette?”
“No, baby,” said her mother. “This is a joint. It’s made of marijuana.”
“Mar-a-whahh?” asked Jackie, sleepily.
“Marijuana,” smiled her dad, “is a plant.”
“What kind of plant?”
“Well...” said her mom, “how about we go on a bicycle ride tomorrow, and I will tell you all about it. Okay?”
“Okay,” said Jackie.
Farmer Bob walked Jackie and her mom through his garden, stopping to point out the different plants.
He grew many! There were avocados, with ruddy skins like an alligator. They also saw a cactus, figs, pumpkins and even mint growing by a strawberry patch. Mmm!
Finally he reached a pot with a sweet, skunky smell.
“This,” said Bob, “is a marijuana plant.”
“This plant lives all around the world,” he said.
“It can grow very, very tall with long green leaves. Or, it can be short, fuzzy and purple! Marijuana has been cultivated for thousands of years just like fruits, beans and grains.”
“Is marijuana a fruit?” asked Jackie.
“You could say it is,” said Bob. “It grows flowers to make its seeds. I pick the seeds to make food and oils. Then I clip the flowers and dry them.”
“What do you do with the flowers?” asked Jackie.
“My friends eat them,” said Bob, “and smoke ‘em.”
“They smoke flowers?!”
“Yep. Doctors, teachers, artists, actors, even mayors and presidents. Marijuana makes some people feel happy. Other people say it’s ‘dreamy.’”
“Why do you use it, Farmer Bob?” asked Jackie.
“I don’t,” he said. “It just puts me to sleep!”
NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Forget avocado, evening primrose oil or other exotic ingredients, the latest facial to hit New York is a mask made with bird excrement.
The Geisha Facial, available at Shizuka New York for $180, about $100 more than the shop's other facials, contains nightingale excrement.
The Japanese powder, also known as uguisu no fun, is rich in the amino acid guanine, said to brighten and cleanse skin. In the 18th century geishas and kabuki actors used the powder to clean heavy white makeup off their faces.
"I'm always trying to bring Japanese culture and tradition to my spa," said Shizuka Bernstein. "I heard my mother talk about this treatment when I was a little girl."
The Japanese manufacturers of the powder treat it with ultraviolet light to kill bacteria. Bernstein mixes the substance at her spa with finely-ground rice bran to neutralize its slightly musky odor.
She claims the mask helps women achieve a porcelain white quality to their skin.
"I was a little tentative at first," said Andrea Nieto, who recently received the treatment. "But there was no smell. It was creamy and rich."
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
THE DOLPHINS TOOK AN OFFENSIVE TACKLE NUMBER #1 (THE SAFE PICK) THE RAIDERS GOT THAT RB FROM ARKANSAS, THE JETS TOOK A DT WHO DOESN'T ALWAYS PLAY HARD (CLASSIC JETS)THE PATRIOTS DID NOT GET A PICK BECAUSE THEY ARE CHEATERS !
BLOATED Mike Tyson proves he’s a real heavyweight – as he emerges from a Chinese restaurant.
The former world champion, 41, has piled on the pounds since quitting the boxing ring in 2005.
And Tyson – once dubbed “Iron Mike” – looked far from his old fighting weight as he left celeb haunt Mr Chow’s in Beverly Hills.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Miley Cyrus will appear in the next issue of Vanity Fair. The singer and actress did the photo shoot with Annie Liebovitz and it was widely reported that Cyrus was topless. In an interview today with Diane Sawyer of ABC, Miley was quoted as saying:
I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be ‘artistic’ and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed,” she said in a statement released today. “I never intended for any of this to happen and I apologize to my fans who I care so deeply about.”
According to People magazine, Cyrus is clothed in the photos but is shown in such a way that she appears to be topless. The Disney Channel, after learning of the Vanity Fair photo spread and article also issued a statement critical of the magazine. They said:
Unfortunately, as the article suggests, a situation was created to deliberately manipulate a 15-year-old in order to sell magazines.”
The 15 year old has had several instances where private photos were leaked on the internet over the past six months. While the photos have been slightly suggestive, the nature of these pictures can clearly be classified as teenage antics.
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