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Posts Tagged ‘cocaine

“Cocaine is God’s way of telling you are making too much money”*…

 

Not just any white powdery substance will do, of course. Says [prop master Ken Finn]: “You don’t want to use powdered sugar because it gets sticky. You really don’t want to use flour either because if it gets damp at all it just becomes clumpy.” Instead, it’s almost always inositol, a B-vitamin compound.  “In fact,” says Ken, “if you ever snort it, you might get this familiar feeling.  A certain memory, like, ‘Hey, I’ve tasted this in the back of my throat before.’ What I’ve learned since then is that actual cocaine is oftentimes cut with this stuff. If you ever do shitty [cocaine], You might actually be ingesting this stuff without even knowing it.”

Natalie Kearns, a veteran stage prop master, seconds the use of inositol: “It absorbs easily into the sinuses and doesn’t affect vocal chords, so it’s a good choice for musicals and has been reliably used by some big names on Broadway for extended runs.”…

More at “Prop Masters Explain the Movie Magic of Fake Cocaine.”

* Robin Williams

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As we lay it on the line, we might send melodic birthday greetings to Paul Williams; he was born on this date in 1940.  A composer, singer, songwriter, and actor, Williams is probably best known for popular songs performed by a number of acts in the 1970s including Three Dog Night’s “An Old Fashioned Love Song,” Helen Reddy’s “You and Me Against the World,” David Bowie’s “Fill Your Heart,” and the Carpenters’ “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “Rainy Days and Mondays”– as well as his contributions to films, including the lyrics to the chart-topping “Evergreen”, the love theme from A Star Is Born (Barbra Streisand) for which he won a Grammy for Song of the Year and an Academy Award for Best Original Song; and “Rainbow Connection” from The Muppet Movie.  He also wrote the lyrics to the opening theme for The Love Boat.

Williams struggled with substance abuse issues the 1970s-80s.  Sober since 1990, he became a Certified Drug Rehabilitation Counselor.

 source

 

Written by LW

September 19, 2015 at 1:01 am

“The street finds its own uses for things”*…

 

“Along with the heroin, cash, weapons and other stuff you would expect, we kept finding these tiny McDonald’s spoons they give out for stirring tea and coffee.” — A Scotland narcotics detective, 1998

In the 1970s, every McDonald’s coffee came with a special stirring spoon. It was a glorious, elegant utensil — long, thin handle, tiny scooper on the end, each pridefully topped with the golden arches. It was a spoon specially designed to stir steaming brews, a spoon with no bad intentions.

It was also a spoon that lived in a dangerous era for spoons. Cocaine use was rampant and crafty dealers were constantly on the prowl for inconspicuous tools with which to measure and ingest the white powder. In the thralls of an anti-drug initiative, the innocent spoon soon found itself at the center of controversy, prompting McDonald’s to  redesign it. In the years since, the irreproachable contraption has tirelessly haunted the fast food chain.

This is the story of how the “Mcspoon” became the unlikely scapegoat of the War on Drugs…

The whole truth and nothing but the truth at “The McDonald’s Cocaine Spoon Fiasco.”

* William Gibson

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As we appreciate unintended consequences, we might recall that it was on this date in 1955 that the final Mouseketeer chosen for The Mickey Mouse Club (the original series), Annette Funicello, made her first appearance on the show.  She had been discovered by Walt Disney himself as she performed in Swan Lake at a dance recital at the Starlight Bowl in Burbank.  By the end of The Mickey Mouse Club‘s first season, Annette was receiving 6,000 fan letters a month.

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Written by LW

October 7, 2014 at 1:01 am

“Wine is constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy”*…

 

Bio-hazard!  Economic turmoil!  Mass emigration!…  How a tiny insect caused mass migration, the great French wine blight, and almost rid the world of wine forever….

 click here for larger, legible version

[TotH to 10 Zen Monkeys]

Special bonus:  “What does ancient wine taste like?

*Benjamin Franklin

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As we own up to oenophilia, we might recall that it was on this date in 1886 that Coca Cola was concocted in an Atlanta, Georgia backyard as a “brain tonic” that could cure hangovers, stomach aches and headaches.  The original formula included caffeine and five ounces of coca leaf (from which cocaine is derived) per gallon. The creator, pharmacist John Pemberton, took his syrup a few doors down to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where he mixed it with carbonated water and shared it with customers. The pharmacy began marketing it on May 8 as a patent medicine for 5¢ a glass. It spread first through the other Jacobs outlets in Atlanta, and then around the world.

“The valuable tonic and nerve stimulant properties of the coca plant and cola nuts . . .”

– John Pemberton

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Pemberton

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Written by LW

March 29, 2014 at 1:01 am

Genius, explained…

Recently uncovered evidence suggests that William Shakespeare used marijuana, and now a team of paleontologists want to dig him up to prove it.

Francis Thackeray, an anthropologist and director of the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, has made a formal request to the Church of England to unearth the playwright.  “We have incredible techniques,” Thackeray told Fox News. “We don’t intend to move the remains at all.”

After determining the identity of the remains, Thackeray’s team hopes to find out more about Shakespeare’s life and even the cause of his death.  “Growth increments in the teeth will reveal if he went through periods of stress or illness — a plague for example, which killed many people in the 1600s,” he said.

Further tests should be able to ascertain if the Bard smoked marijuana.  “If we find grooves between the canine and the incisor, that will tell us if he was chewing on a pipe as well as smoking,” Thackeray explained.

Pipes uncovered in the garden of Shakespeare’s home in 2001 showed evidence of cannabis and cocaine.  “There were very low concentrations of cannabis, but the signature was there,” according to Inspector Tommy van der Merwe, who tested the pipes at South Africa’s Forensic Science Laboratory.

The evidence of cocaine was also very strong.  “The pipes we tested still had dirt in them which preserved the residues inside the stem and bowl,” Van der Merwe said. “The readings we got were the same as if it had tested a modern-day crack pipe.”

Camphor, myristic acid, and quinoline were among other substances detected in the pipes.  “Myristic acid, which is found in nutmeg, has hallucinogenic properties, and camphor, perhaps, was used to hide the smell of tobacco or other substances,” Thackeray noted in 2001.

Sonnet 76 of Shakespeare’s poems contains a reference to the “noted weed.”

Via The Raw Story.

As we wonder if perhaps it was actually Francis Bacon or the Earl of Oxford who did the dope, we might recall that it was on this date in 1971 that the first ever National Scrabble Championship was held, when Gyles Brandreth had brought together 100 players in London.  Despite this slow start (Scrabble was created by Alfred Mosher Butts in 1938), national tournaments sprang up in other countries over the next several years; and a World Championship was established in 1991.

Gyles Brandreth (source)

 

Scoping scale…

On AndaBien, web designer Steve Rose pursues his extra-vocational enthusiasms… among them, evolution.

His Evolution Timeline is a marvelous evocation of the sheer temporal scale of our antecedents.

— From first life-forms to homo sapiens

* The background indicates inches and feet.
* 1/20th in. = roughly 100 thousand years. (108,000)
* 1 inch = about 2 million years. (2,160,000)
* 1 foot = about 26 million years. (25,920,000)
* The whole page is about 135 feet wide, almost half a football field, representing 3.5 billion years. (3,500,000,000)

The very beginning of the timeline (and of life on Earth)

So, be prepared to scroll…  and scroll and scroll and scroll…  And to learn.  (By way of reinforcing one’s sense the extraordinary sweep of it all, readers might also appreciate Rose’s “Evolution, The Movie.”)

As we struggle with the recent revisions to the tree of life and the suggestion that humans are more closely related to fungus than to plants, we might recall that it was on this date in 1886 that Coca-Cola was first sold to the public at the soda fountain in Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia.  It was formulated by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton, who mixed it in a 30-gallon brass kettle hung over a backyard fire.  Pemberton’s recipe, which survived in use until 1905, was marketed as a “brain and nerve tonic,” and contained extracts of cocaine and (caffeine-rich) kola nut. The name, using two C’s from its ingredients, was suggested by his bookkeeper Frank Robinson, whose excellent penmanship provided the famous scripted  “Coca-Cola” logo.

Pemberton’s Palace

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