Tag Archives | Health

After 35 Years I Tried Magic Mushrooms Again—Here’s What Happened

Darron Birgenheier (CC by-sa 2.0)

Darron Birgenheier (CC by-sa 2.0)

via Reset.me:

Though I began researching Acid Test, a book about the revival of research into the use of psychedelic drugs for healing, in 2007, my interest in the subject really began 30 years earlier, when I was a college student at the University of Florida. The UF campus is surrounded by a rural landscape, including thousands of acres of palmetto and pine-studded pasturage used to raise cattle. My friends and I had learned to slip gingerly through barbed wire fencing and, keeping an eye out for shotgun-wielding ranchers, hunt for recently deposited piles of cow dung, from which sometimes sprouted the creamy, brown-tipped caps of psilocybin mushrooms. We plucked the mushrooms with rising excitement, as if we were pulling nuggets of pure gold from a mountain stream instead of fungi from cow shit. We knew the power contained within. Steep them in a pot with tea and drink, and before long we would see the world, and ourselves, from a novel vantage point.

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Brain, Mind, and the Structure of Reality

41mWxz-huiLvia IEET:

The US neurophysiologist Paul Nunez previously wrote “Electric Fields of the Brain” (1981) and “Neocortical Dynamics and Human EEG Rhythms” (1995), and in fact his credentials in the field of brain studies harken back to a paper originally written in 1972 and ambitiously titled “The Brain Wave Equation” (an equation that eventually he resurrects in this book, 40 years later). In this book Nunez summarizes his novel ideas on the way that “brains cause minds” (to use Searle’s expression)

In the 1960s the US neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet discovered that the “readiness potential” precedes movement by about half a second, and awareness of this “decision to act” follows by about 300 milliseconds. In other words, the brain decides unconsciously to act, before we are aware of having decided to act. We become aware of the action only if the neural event lasts about 500 milliseconds.

A way to interpret this is that we are conscious only of electric field patterns in the brain that last about half a second.

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A Roller Coaster Designed to Kill People


via Vice.com:

According to artist Julijonas Urbonas’s ​​website, his work Euthanasia Coaster is “a hypothetic roller coaster, engineered to humanely—with elegance and euphoria—take the life of a human being.” In simpler terms, it’s a carnival ride that kills you, though not before you have a spiritual experience along the way. The Euthanasia Coaster starts with a long, slow incline before a quarter-mile fall, which leads into a series of loops that are designed to create so much centrifugal force that you won’t be able to breathe, finally dying from lack of oxygen to your brain.

The coaster may seem like a gimmick, but it turns out to be an art piece as humane as it is shocking and terrifying. Urbonas mentions that his roller coaster could be used in a theoretical future to curb overpopulation, or to help people who feel their life has gone on “too long.” Sure, the whole idea sounds like a black metal concept album, but Urbonas’s death device was created to serve a sympathetic purpose—to give someone the ability to bow out of life with one final, lethal thrill.

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Asteroid Day: A global day of awareness slated for June 30, 2015

AsteroidDay

via Astronomy.com:

Astrophysicist Brian May, founding member and lead guitarist of the rock band Queen, joined Lord Martin Rees, the UK Royal Astronomer, at the London Science Museum today to host a press conference to announce Asteroid Day, a global awareness campaign to educate the world about asteroids. The event was linked to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, where Ryan Wyatt, director of the Morrison Planetarium and Science Visualization, hosted astronauts Tom Jones, Ed Lu, and Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart. Bill Nye, the Science Guy and CEO of The Planetary Society, joined via video from New York.

A central focus of the event was the release of a 100x Declaration, calling for the hundredfold increase in the detection and monitoring of asteroids. Lord Rees read the declaration, which resolves to “solve humanity’s greatest challenges to safeguard our families and quality of life on Earth in the future.”

The declaration calls for three key actions:

  • Employ the available technology to detect and track near-Earth asteroids that threaten human populations
  • A rapid hundredfold (100x) acceleration of the discovery and tracking of near-Earth objects
  • Global adoption of Asteroid Day on June 30, 2015, to heighten awareness of the asteroid hazard and efforts to prevent future impacts.
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Enthusiasts and Skeptics Debate Artificial Intelligence

Eddi van W. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Eddi van W. (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via Vanity Fair:

Kurt Andersen wonders: If the Singularity is near, will it bring about global techno-Nirvana or civilizational ruin?

THE GREAT SCHISM

Artificial intelligence is suddenly everywhere. It’s still what the experts call “soft A.I.,” but it is proliferating like mad. We’re now accustomed to having conversations with computers: to refill a prescription, make a cable-TV-service appointment, cancel an airline reservation—or, when driving, to silently obey the instructions of the voice from the G.P.S.

But until the other morning I’d never initiated an elective conversation with a talking computer. I asked the artificial-intelligence app on my iPhone how old I am. First, Siri spelled my name right, something human beings generally fail to do. Then she said, “This might answer your question,” and displayed my correct age in years, months, and days. She knows more about me than I do. When I asked, “What is the Singularity?,” Siri inquired whether I wanted a Web search (“That’s what I figured,” she replied) and offered up this definition: “A technological singularity is a predicted point in the development of a civilization at which technological progress accelerates beyond the ability of present-day humans to fully comprehend or predict.”

Siri appeared on my phone three years ago, a few months after the IBM supercomputer Watson beat a pair of Jeopardy!

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DMT and the Bible: An Interview with Rick Strassman

51jfPl+PNwLvia Reality Sandwich:

This interview was conducted to mark the release of Dr. Rick Strassman’s new book, DMT and the Soul of Prophecy: A New Science of Spiritual Revelation in the Hebrew Biblepublished by Park Street Press.

Jeff: Rick, can you tell us a bit about why you wrote this book?  Your work, of course, is well known and celebrated through your first book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule.  But this book seems like a ‘return to roots,’ as it were. Can you speak in particular to that?

Rick: I was left with a handful of difficult questions at the end of my DMT research in 1995. And I felt I had only partially worked them through in the process of writing DMT: The Spirit Molecule in 2000. It seemed to me that all of these questions would resolve themselves if I could only find the proper model or models that could help me understand the DMT effect.

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Flight of the RoboBees

opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

opensource.com (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via AdBusters:

Colony Collapse Disorder (ccd), initially referred to as “mystery disease” when it surfaced at the beginning of the 20th Century, remains mysterious. Here’s what we know: Bee populations around the world are falling to pieces and the implications are cataclysmic. No more honey for your toast, nor pollen for your flowers, which means no more flowers. Or plants. Or food. Or life.

The most convincing theory as to the root cause of CCD is the decades-old use of neonicotinoid insecticides — a class of neuroactive pest killers that are chemically similar to nicotine and were initially developed by Shell Oil as an “environmentally friendly” alternative to traditional pesticides. And while these chemicals have been kinder to the mammalian class, they’ve ravaged the anthophilous.

As the rapid advancement of CCD began to reach feverish levels in June of this year, President Obama created a task force charged with solving the mystery within 180 days.

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GM Food Causes Deadly Bacteria To Grow In Your Gut

bot(1)via Activist Post:

Deadly bacteria grow in your gut when you eat GMO food, according to a new study.

A new study titled, “The Influence of Glyphosate on the Microbiota and Production of Botulinum  Neurotoxin During Ruminal Fermentation,” confirms a growing suspicion that GM foods tainted with the ubiquitous agrochemical Roundup is causing widespread changes in the microbiome of those who consume them, resulting in bodily changes that are believed to lead to a wide range of lethal diseases.

As we reported in 2012, in an article titled “Roundup Herbicide Linked To Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria,” a growing body of research points to the world’s most popular herbicide as causing dysbios (pathogenic alteration of gut bacteria), a condition which profoundly affects and alters the so-called holobiont, or total set of organisms that make up our bodily constitution, and as a consequence, health. Because we depend on the proper selection and quantity of bacterial strains with which we co-evolved over countless eons, any significant disruption of the commensal ties to this microbial universe will result in a state of suboptimal functioning, ultimately leading to disease.

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Junk Food for Profit: Fat, Sick and Addicted

Tavallai (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Tavallai (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via News Junkie Post:

“We are what we eat,” as the old adage says. “If you eat a hamburger one day, then its atoms and molecules will end up making your cell walls and different organs and tissues,” explains Logan McCarty, a lecturer on chemistry, chemical biology, and physics at Harvard University. For humans, as for other animals, it is essential to replace regularly the atoms and molecules in the body, and the food that we ingest supplies these atoms and molecules to fuel indispensable chemical processes and generate new cells.

Food is related to cellular division for an elegant reason: cells suffer damage over time, and division continuously replaces the old and dying cells with new ones. Mitosis and meiosis, the two different division processes, cannot create something from nothing. So the body incorporates new atoms and molecules from our food into dividing cells to generate fresh ones.

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How cannabis was used to shrink one of the most aggressive brain cancers

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

By Wai Liu, St George’s, University of London

Widely proscribed around the world for its recreational uses, cannabis is being used in a number of different therapeutic ways to bring relief for severe medical conditions. Products using cannabinoids, the active components of the cannabis plant, have been licensed for medical use. Sativex, for example, which contains an equal mixture of the cannabinoids tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), is already licenced as a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis and in the US, dronabinol and nabilone are commercially available for treating cancer-related side effects.

Now, in a study published in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, we’ve also shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults.

There are more than 85 cannabinoids, which are known to bind to unique receptors in cells and which receive outside chemical signals.… Read the rest

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