Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Father Of LSD 

His trip is over:
Albert Hofmann, the father of the mind-altering drug LSD whose medical discovery inspired—and arguably corrupted—millions in the 1960s hippie generation, has died. He was 102.
Hofmann died Tuesday at his home in Burg im Leimental, said Doris Stuker, a municipal clerk in the village near Basel where Hofmann moved following his retirement in 1971.

For decades after LSD was banned in the late 1960s, Hofmann defended his invention.

"I produced the substance as a medicine. ... It's not my fault if people abused it," he once said.

The Swiss chemist discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25 in 1938 while studying the medicinal uses of a fungus found on wheat and other grains at the Sandoz pharmaceuticals firm in Basel.

He became the first human guinea pig of the drug when a tiny amount of the substance seeped onto his finger during a laboratory experiment on April 16, 1943.

"I had to leave work for home because I was suddenly hit by a sudden feeling of unease and mild dizziness," he subsequently wrote in a memo to company bosses.

He said his initial experience resulted in "wonderful visions."

"What I was thinking appeared in colors and in pictures," he told a Swiss television network for a program marking his 100th birthday two years ago. "It lasted for a couple of hours and then it disappeared."

Three days later, Hofmann experimented with a larger dose. The result was a horror trip.

"Everything I saw was distorted as in a warped mirror," he said, describing his bicycle ride home. "I had the impression I was rooted to the spot. But my assistant told me we were actually going very fast."

"The substance which I wanted to experiment with took over me. I was filled with an overwhelming fear that I would go crazy. I was transported to a different world, a different time," Hofmann wrote.


Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I didn't see the recent interview, but I agree with Newt:
ABC News' Nitya Venkataraman Reports: In a Tuesday appearance on Good Morning America, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., suggested that controversial pastor Rev. Jeremiah Wright is angry with parishioner Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and may be deliberately trying to hurt his presidential bid.

Saying that Wright "went out of his way to weaken Obama" during Monday's address at the National Press Club, Gingrich told Barbara Walters "I think Reverend Wright has a greater interest in his self-importance."


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Lethal Weapon 

I don't think we want our soliders running around with another loaded gun:
Rep. Paul Broun (R- GA) has sponsored a bill to prevent soldiers serving overseas from buying magazines of a "sexual nature" like Playboy and Penthouse. The Military Honor and Decency Act (H. R. 5821) would ensure "taxpayers will not be footing the costs of distributing pornography on military bases."

When informed that the service was paid for out-of-pocket by the soldiers, Rep. Broun pointed out that tax payer money is "used to pay military salaries, so taxpayer money is, in effect, being used to buy these materials."
Another Republican who doesn't really "support" the troops.



Pretty cool site where people can re-create pictures taken when they were young.


Friday, April 18, 2008

Not One Of Us 

Liebeman is a man alone:

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), the former presidential candidate, was interviewed by the Club for Growth – the aggressively anti-tax group that criticized Huckabee at every turn during his run – where he publicly warned that former Democrat turned independent Sen. Joe Lieberman should not be a consideration as Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) running mate.

Huckabee again deflected when asked about his name being mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate, but he was clear in saying McCain should not consider Lieberman, the Democratic Party’s 2000 vice presidential nominee.

I certainly think Joe Lieberman should be a non-starter,” Huckabee said. “Again, it’s [McCain’s] choice, but that’s not the way you unite the Republican Party, to pick someone who’s not one of us

More here.


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Added to the iPod 

"Machine Gun" by Portishead (welcome back)
"Waving Flags" by British Sea Power
"Right Hand On My Heart" by The Whigs
"2080" by Yeasayer (really like this one)
"If You Could Read Your Mind" by Clinic
"Magnificent 7" by The Clash (How did I miss this one?)



For the passed year, I've been considering restarting FPN, but I just couldn't get into it. Laziness? Maybe. Too busy, you ask? Nope. Burned out on politics and policy? That's more like it. Despite the fact that I worked in campaign politics in the 2006 cyle and currently work in...ugh... real estate policy. I also think the lies that have been spewing from the current administration and the media lapping them up like a kitten with warm milk, has made me turn off the news, stop reading the paper, and turn back to sports or entertainment news. Anything but the usual BS.

However, after watching a few moments of the disgraceful "debate" (before changing to the History Channel's MonsterQuest), I've realized it's the right time to get back in the game.

For the best roundup, please read Will Bunch's "Open Letter" to the debate moderators in his Attytood column. Here's a taste:
Dear Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos,

It's hard to know where to begin with this, less than an hour after you signed off from your Democratic presidential debate here in my hometown of Philadelphia, a televised train wreck that my friend and colleague Greg Mitchell has already called, quite accurately, "a shameful night for the U.S. media." It's hard because -- like many other Americans -- I am still angry at what I just witnessed, so angry that it's hard to even type accurately because my hands are shaking. Look, I know that "media criticism" -- especially when it's one journalist speaking to another -- tends to be a genteel, collegial thing, but there's no genteel way to say this.

With your performance tonight -- your focus on issues that were at best trivial wastes of valuable airtime and at worst restatements of right-wing falsehoods, punctuated by inane "issue" questions that in no way resembled the real world concerns of American voters -- you disgraced my profession of journalism, and, by association, me and a lot of hard-working colleagues who do still try to ferret out the truth, rather than worry about who can give us the best deal on our capital gains taxes. But it's even worse than that. By so badly botching arguably the most critical debate of such an important election, in a time of both war and economic misery, you disgraced the American voters, and in fact even disgraced democracy itself. Indeed, if I were a citizen of one of those nations where America is seeking to "export democracy," and I had watched the debate, I probably would have said, "no thank you." Because that was no way to promote democracy.

You implied throughout the broadcast that you wanted to reflect the concerns of voters in Pennsylvania. Well, I'm a Pennsylvanian voter, and so are my neighbors and most of my friends and co-workers. You asked virtually nothing that reflected our everyday issues -- trying to fill our gas tanks and save for college at the same time, our crumbling bridges and inadequate mass transit, or the root causes of crime here in Philadelphia. In fact, there almost isn't enough space -- and this is cyberspace, where room is unlimited -- to list all the things you could have asked about but did not, from health care to climate change to alternative energy to our policy toward China to the deterioration of Afghanistan to veterans' benefits to improving education. You ignored virtually everything that just happened in what most historians agree is one of the worst presidencies in American history, including the condoning of torture and the trashing of the Constitution, although to be fair you also ignored the policy concerns of people on the right, like immigration issues....


Is This Thing On? 

Yes, yes indeed.


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