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Posts Tagged ‘MKULTRA

“Great changes, even in the field of science, are always preceded by a certain carnival consciousness that prepares the way”*…




After receiving our 7,482nd corporate email about “Our Covid Response,” we knew we had to do something. That something was hose down the internet machine with brake cleaner and go make something… behold! Art!

While you’re at home flattening the curve, why not take a break from your rigorous nap schedule to make a puppet show?

Entries to our contest must be original work and less than 1 minute long. Extra points for:

• all homemade and recycled props

• pyrotechnics

• involving children and/or pets

• non-professional jingles.

Remember, basically anything can be a puppet: Peanut shells, over-ripe tomatoes, political regimes. Be creative!

Our top prize is a t-shirt and $100 gift certificate to Dean’s Car Care, and the runner up gets $50 gift certificate and some oily rags…

Screen Shot 2020-04-10 at 4.27.01 PM

From’s Portland’s Dean’s Car Care (“Buy Less, Fix More”), the “Socially Distant Puppet Show.”


* Mikhail Bakhtin


As we lend a hand, we might recall that it was on this date in 1953 that CIA director Allen Dulles launched the secret program Project MKUltra.  Its aim was to develop a perfect truth drug for interrogating suspected Soviet spies during the Cold War, and to explore other possibilities of mind control, including the manipulation of foreign leaders (indeed, several schemes to drug Fidel Castro were devised).

Techniques explored included the covert administration of high doses of psychoactive drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, electroshocks,  hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, and other forms of torture.  Many of the experiments– especially those involving drugs– were conducted on unwitting test subjects.

The project ran until 1973, when most project documentation was destroyed on the order of CIA director Richard Helms.


A declassifed copy of one of the few surviving MKUltra files




Written by LW

April 13, 2020 at 1:01 am

Knowing the Distance: More Fun With Numbers…

The Fibonacci sequence describes the golden ratio (or golden spiral), an ideal form found in the more beautiful corners of nature, and much beloved by designers everywhere.

The Fibonacci numbers are the sum of the previous two numbers in the sequence, starting with 0 and 1:  0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144…

A Fibonacci spiral created by drawing circular arcs connecting the opposite corners of squares in a Fibonacci tiling; this one uses squares of sizes 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and 34. (source)

It turns out that the Fibonacci sequence also neatly matches the relationship between kilometers and miles. Three miles is five kilometers, five miles is eight kilometers, eight miles is 13 kilometers.  It’s not perfect: eight miles is actually 12.875 kilometers– but it’s close enough in a pinch.

If one needs to convert a number that’s not in the Fibonacci sequence, one can simply break out the Fibonacci numbers, convert, and add the answers.  For instance, 100 can be broken down into 89 + 8 + 3, all Fibonacci numbers. The next numbers are 144, 13, and 5, which add up to 162. 100 miles is actually equal to 160.934 kilometers.  But again, close enough.

photo: Matt Hampel

[TotH to MNN]

Special bonus arithmetic amusement:  the quadratic equation, explained (as though) by Dr. Seuss.

As we marvel at math, we might wish a Happy Birthday to a master of “numbers” of a different sort; author and prankster Ken Kesey was born on this date in 1935.  While at Stanford in 1959 (studying writing with Wallace Stegner), Kesey was a paid volunteer in CIA-funded LSD trials (Project MKULTRA), an experience that informed his novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and that inspired him to form the “Merry Pranksters” and embark on the cross-country school bus trip memorialized in Tom Wolfe’s “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.”

“Leave no turn unstoned.”


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