Posts Tagged ‘Drugs’
When states ran out of execution drugs, they started paying tens of thousands of dollars to Chris Harris, a salesman in India with no pharmaceutical background…
The sad tale in its entirety at: “This Is The Man In India Who Is Selling States Illegally Imported Execution Drugs.”
* William S. Burroughs
As we plan our last meals, we might recall that it was on this date in 1659 that William Robinson and Marmaduke Stevenson, two Quakers who had come to the New World from England in 1656 to escape religious persecution, are hanged in the Massachusetts Bay Colony for their religious beliefs. The two had violated a law passed by the Massachusetts General Court the year before, banning Quakers from the colony under penalty of death. A third Quaker, Mary Dyer, was arrested with Robinson and Stevenson, and marched to the execution spot with them, but given a reprieve at the last moment– banished (again) from the Colony. She returned the following year, was apprehended, and hanged. Together, the three are known as the “Boston martyrs.”
Drug companies have a problem: they are finding it ever harder to get painkillers through clinical trials. But this isn’t necessarily because the drugs are getting worse. An extensive analysis of trial data has found that responses to sham treatments have become stronger over time, making it harder to prove a drug’s advantage over placebo…
Bad, good, or simply confusing news? Decide for yourself at Nature.
* Salvador Dalí
As we take the red pill, we might recall that it was on this date in 1814 that London suffered “The Great Beer Flood Disaster” when the metal bands on an immense vat at Meux’s Horse Shoe Brewery snapped, releasing a tidal wave of 3,555 barrels of Porter (571 tons– more than 1 million pints), which swept away the brewery walls, flooded nearby basements, and collapsed several adjacent tenements. While there were reports of over twenty fatalities resulting from poisoning by the porter fumes or alcohol coma, it appears that the death toll was 8, and those from the destruction caused by the huge wave of beer in the structures surrounding the brewery.
(The U.S. had its own vat mishap in 1919, when a Boston molasses plant suffered similarly-burst bands, creating a heavy wave of molasses moving at a speed of an estimated 35 mph; it killed 21 and injured 150.)
From 1999 to 2010, the sale of prescription painkillers to pharmacies and doctors’ offices quadrupled. In the exact same time span, the number of overdose deaths from prescription painkillers also quadrupled, rising to almost 17,000…
How the American opiate epidemic was started by one pharmaceutical company: “Poison Pill.”
* Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary
As we note that “one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small,” we might send re-engineered birthday greetings to Sir Thomas Bouch; he was born on this date in 1822. A railway engineer and executive whose career began at age 17, Bouch was knighted for designing the two-mile-long Tay River Bridge— on which an estimated 75 people died when the bridge collapsed. An enquiry found Bouch to be liable, by virtue of bad design and construction; he died four months after the verdict.
Bouch is thus also indirectly responsible for the best-known poem, “The Tay Bridge Disaster,” by the gentleman widely-regarded to have been the the worst published poet in British history, William Topaz McGonagall.
* Andy Warhol
As we adjust our dials, we might send transcendental birthday greetings to Albert Hofmann; he was born on this date in 1906. As a young chemist at Sandoz in Switzerland, Hofmann was searching for a respiratory and circulatory stimulant when he fabricated lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD); handling it, he absorbed a bit through his fingertips and realized that the compound had psychoactive effects. Three days later, on April 19, 1943– a day now known as “Bicycle Day”– Hofmann intentionally ingested 250 micrograms of LSD then rode home on a bike, a journey that became, pun intended, the first intentional acid trip. Hofmann was also the first person to isolate, synthesize, and name the principal psychedelic mushroom compounds psilocybin and psilocin.
He died in 2008, at the age of 102.
THE CANON OF PHILOSOPHY STUDENT KARAOKE SONGS
By Jarry Lee
“Total Eclipse of Descartes”
“Don’t You (Foucault About Me)”
“U Kant Touch This”
“Hit Me Baby Wittgenstein”
“Camus Feel the Love Tonight?”
“Get the Party Sartred”
“I Kissed Hegel (And I Liked It)”
“Ain’t No Montaigne High Enough”
“Pop, Locke & Drop It”
“Bataille Will Always Love You”
“My Milkshake Brings All the Baudrillard”
“Rousseau Vain (You Probably Think This Song is About You)”
“Love Voltaire Us Apart”
* Ludwig “Baby” Wittgenstein
As we clear our throats, we might might send psychedelic birthday greetings to Terence Kemp McKenna; he was born on this date in 1948. Often called called the “Timothy Leary of the 90s,” McKenna was a philosopher, psychonaut, ethnobotanist, lecturer, and author. His writings on the consciousness-expanding capacity of hallucinogenic drugs earned him some enemies. In 1993 Judy Corman, vice president of Phoenix House of New York, a drug treatment center, said in a letter to The New York Times: “Surely the fact that Terence McKenna says that the psilocybin mushroom ‘is the megaphone used by an alien, intergalactic Other to communicate with mankind’ is enough for us to wonder if taking LSD has done something to his mental faculties.” But that same year, biologist Richard Evans Schultes, of Harvard University, wrote in American Scientist in a review of McKenna’s book Food of the Gods, that it was; “a masterpiece of research and writing” and that it “should be read by every specialist working in the multifarious fields involved with the use of psychoactive drugs.” Concluding that “it is, without question, destined to play a major role in our future considerations of the role of the ancient use of psychoactive drugs, the historical shaping of our modern concerns about drugs and perhaps about man’s desire for escape from reality with drugs.”
It’s fine to hand-to-hand for some hat, but critical to insure ground control… If you’re going to spark it up, best to be in a space ship… And surely best to skip sack and slick altogether…
Find the decoder ring at argot.com’s “Drug Slang”
* G.K. Chesterton
As we take two and promise to call in the morning, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965, at the conclusion on Alan Freed‘s third consecutive “Rock ‘n’ Roll Show” at the Stage Theater in Hartford, police arrested 11 teens and closed the theater. At the subsequent hearing at which the theater’s license was revoked, respected psychiatrist and head of Hartford Institute of Living Dr. Francis J. Braceland testified that rock & roll is “a communicable disease with music appealing to adolescent insecurity & driving teenagers to do outlandish things…It’s cannibalistic & tribalistic.”
From the ever-illuminating Lapham’s Quarterly.
As we remember to use a coaster, we might send shocking birthday greetings to a man who genrrously lubricated his labors, the enfant terrible of French letters, Arthur Rimbaud; he was born on this date in 1854. With his buddy, Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud was a leader of the Decadent Movement; fueled by absinthe and hashish, he succeeded in shocking a literary establishment that was nonetheless awed by his visionary verse, which influenced modern literature and arts, inspired various musicians, and prefigured Surrealism.
All known literature is written in the language of common sense—except Rimbaud’s
– Paul Valéry