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Not surprisingly, cities tend to be very noisy, with background levels averaging around 50 to 60 decibels. And that’s just the average: heavy truck traffic can reach around 85 dB, while construction jackhammers can reach 95 dB if you’re standing less than 50 feet away.
By contrast, regions like Yellowstone National Park have background noise levels down at around 20 decibels, which, as Underwood reports, is about as hushed as things were before European colonization.
So who cares? For one, all the artificial noise and light that cities produce can have bizarre effects on humans and wildlife — effects we have yet to fully understand. Loud cities can interfere with the ability of owls and bats to hunt. And, because of urban noise, some male birds now have to sing at higher frequencies, making them less attractive to potential mates.
Tag Archives | Maps
The folks at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) did a Reddit AMA yesterday. I’ve curated some of the more informative questions and answers, but you can read the entire thread here.
MAPS introduces themselves with this lengthy but informative opening:
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We are the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and we are here to educate the public about research into the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana. MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1986 that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.
We envision a world where psychedelics and marijuana are safely and legally available for beneficial uses, and where research is governed by rigorous scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits.
Some of the topics we’re passionate about include;
- Research into the therapeutic potential of MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ibogaine, and marijuana
- Integrating psychedelics and marijuana into science, medicine, therapy, culture, spirituality, and policy
- Providing harm reduction and education services at large-scale events to help reduce the risks associated with the non-medical use of various drugs
- Ways to communicate with friends, family, and the public about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana
- Our vision for a post-prohibition world
- Developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines through FDA-approved clinical research
List of participants:
- Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director, MAPS
- Brad Burge, Director of Communications and Marketing, MAPS
- Amy Emerson, Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
- Virginia Wright, Director of Development, MAPS
- Brian Brown, Communications and Marketing Associate, MAPS
- Sara Gael, Harm Reduction Coordinator, MAPS
- Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, Research and Advocacy Coordinator, MAPS
- Tess Goodwin, Development Assistant, MAPS
- Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Research and Information Specialist, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
- Sarah Jordan, Publications Associate, MAPS
- Bryce Montgomery, Web and Multimedia Associate, MAPS
- Shannon Clare Petitt, Executive Assistant, MAPS
- Linnae Ponté, Director of Harm Reduction, MAPS
- Ben Shechet, Clinical Research Associate, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
- Allison Wilens, Clinical Study Assistant, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation
- Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Clinical Research Scientist, MAPS
For more information about scientific research into the medical potential of psychedelics and marijuana, visitmaps.org.
These maps of measles mortality appeared in three late-19th-century statistical atlases published by the Census Office. Experiments in data visualization, the atlases are modern in their scope and ambition. Since they were compiled in a time before the availability of vaccines for most childhood diseases (with smallpox being the exception), they are a good record of the former pervasiveness of measles.
In a brief history of the disease, the Centers for Disease Control writes that between 1953 and 1963, when the measles vaccine became available, “nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age.” Yearly, “400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.” (Writer Roald Dahl’s daughter, who died in 1962 and is the subject of this 1988 Dahl letter urging parents to vaccinate, was afflicted by this complication.)
Philly based Hog Island Press has created this awesome map of various monsters allegedly found across the continental US.
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Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States is possibly the first of its kind – a snapshot of American cryptozoology that brings together the Jersey Devil, Bigfoot, Mothman, Chupacabra, Shunka Warakin, Caddy, the Honey Island Swamp Monster and many more cryptids on one hand-drawn, hand-screened map.
Loren Coleman, the Director of the International Cryptozoology Museum, had this to say: “The cryptid-filled, cartographically accurate Monsters in America: A Cryptozoological Map of the United States should be on the walls of every museum, library, and researcher’s office interested in the science of as-yet-to-be-discovered animals. Hog Island Press has produced an informative, affordable, high quality collectible, which also serves as an educational tool useful for your next road trip, a future research trek, or everyday bibliographic study. There is not a fake on the map.
This month we remember the late, great Terence McKenna. The author, lecturer, scientist and philosopher was the heir apparent to Timothy Leary, bringing more lucidity, humor and insight to spreading the gospel of the psychedelic experience than anyone has been able to muster since we lost McKenna to brain cancer in April, 2000.
While it’s always nice to recall our heroes in an online post, I mention McKenna to point to the remembrance created by his daughter. Klea McKenna’s The Butterfly Hunter is a gorgeous photography volume that documents her dad’s butterfly collection as she explains in the introduction of her book:
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For four years, beginning in 1969, my father lived out an unlikely fantasy: he became a butterfly collector. (We use the term collector but that is just a euphemism for hunter.) Butterfly hunting is a conflicted activity, a desire for beauty and a small act of violence, both justified by science.
The unstoppable marijuana train rolls on, thanks to Rick Doblin and MAPS. From AllGov:
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For those conducting studies of the harmful effects of marijuana, the federal government has usually been willing to share from its stash, which comes from the only federally sanctioned pot farm in the country. But those looking to find positive uses for the drug have always found Uncle Sam to be bogarting his joint.
Until now. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finally approved the sale of federally grown marijuana for a study that would research whether pot could help veterans cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The Food and Drug Administration approved the study back in 2011, but University of Arizona Professor Suzanne Sisley, who will conduct the study, and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which is funding it, were unable to get marijuana.
“MAPS has been working for over 22 years to start marijuana drug development research, and this is the first time we’ve been granted permission to purchase marijuana from [the National Institute on Drug Abuse],” the group said in a statement.
Please support and help spread awareness of MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) research. MDMA studies are foot in the door for a big change in psychedelic drug policies worldwide. Not to mention its an incredible psycho-therapeutic tool on its own, capable of helping millions.
In a recently completed study, 83% of subjects receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy no longer qualified for PTSD, and everyone who received a placebo and then went on to receive MDMA-assisted psychotherapy experienced significant and lasting improvements. These results were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. These subjects had suffered from PTSD for an average of 19 years.
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Working with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) for the past four years as their guest editor has been an extremely exciting and tremendously fruitful endeavor for me. It’s a great joy to see how MDMA can help people suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), how LSD can help advanced-stage cancer patients come to peace with the dying process, and how ibogaine can help opiate addicts overcome their addiction. There appears to be enormous potential for the development of psychedelic drugs into effective treatments for a whole range of difficult-to-treat psychiatric disorders.
However, as thrilled as I am by all the new clinical studies exploring the medical potential of psychedelic drugs, I still long for the day when our best minds and resources can be applied to the study of these extraordinary substances with an eye that looks beyond their medical applications, toward their ability to enhance human potential and explore new realities.
Is our reliance on GPS and mobile devices maps making us increasingly disoriented and oblivious? To me, the relevant aspect of this story is not that Apple’s map app is flawed, but that numerous people would drive to a remote, dangerous desert just because their smartphone told them to. Via Newser:
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Apple’s much-maligned mapping system is so flawed that motorists who rely on it run the risk of ending up dead in the wilderness, Australia police warn. Over the last few weeks, six motorists have become stranded in Victoria state’s Murray Sunset National Park when following the map app’s directions to a city more than 40 miles away, CNET reports. Some iPhone users were stranded in the park for two hours without enough food and water.
Police in the area have urged drivers to rely on other forms of mapping. “Police are extremely concerned as there is no water supply within the park,” they said in a statement, warning that temperatures in the park could reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit, making the map problem “a potentially life-threatening issue.” Apple has yet to comment on the issue.
Rick Doblin has been one of the few medical doctors in the United States, or actually make that more or less anywhere in the developed world, willing to stick his neck out and conduct clinical trials of psychedelic drugs.
His work has been variously profiled by the alternative press (including, of course, Under The Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs), but it seems that his time may finally have come for some mainstream acceptance. Benedict Carey profiles the work of Doblin’s Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) organization for the New York Times:
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Hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress have recently contacted a husband-and-wife team who work in suburban South Carolina to seek help. Many are desperate, pleading for treatment and willing to travel to get it.
The soldiers have no interest in traditional talking cures or prescription drugs that have given them little relief. They are lining up to try an alternative: MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, a party drug that surfaced in the 1980s and ’90s that can induce pulses of euphoria and a radiating affection.