Archive for ‘Drugs’

November 23, 2013


jinro chamisul

Soju (lit. ‘burned liquor’) is a distilled beverage native to Korea, typically 20% alcohol by volume. Jinro and Lotte soju are the first and third top selling alcohol brands in the world. It is usually consumed neat. It is traditionally made from rice, wheat, barley, but modern producers of soju use supplements or even replace rice with other starches, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, or tapioca.

Alcohol etiquette is tied to South Korea’s strict culture of respect, particular for elders. When accepting a glass from an older person, the recipient must hold the glass with two hands (left palm on the bottom, right hand holding the side) and bow the head slightly. When drinking the younger person must turn away from the elder and cover their mouth and glass with their hands. There are a few rules unique to Soju: never pour your own glass, and don’t refill your glass until it’s empty.

November 19, 2013


drunken monkey

michael huffman

Zoopharmacognosy [zoh-uh-fahr-muh-kog-nuh-see] refers non-human animal self-medication (using plants, soils, insects and psychoactive drugs to treat and prevent disease). Coined by Dr. Eloy Rodriguez, a biochemist and professor at Cornell University, the term came to popular attention in 2003 from Open University lecturer Cindy Engel in ‘Wild Health: How Animals Keep Themselves Well and What We Can Learn from Them.’ A well-known example of zoopharmacognosy is when dogs eat grass to induce vomiting. Some species ingest non-foods such as clay, charcoal, and even toxic plants, apparently to ward off parasitic infestation or poisoning.

Noted primate researcher Jane Goodall witnessed chimpanzees eating particular bushes, apparently to make themselves vomit. Reportedly, they also swallow whole leaves of rough-leaved plants such as Aneilema aequinoctiale to remove parasitic worms from their intestines. Illustrating the medicinal knowledge of some species, apes have been observed utilizing a medicinal plant by taking off leaves then breaking the stem to suck out the juice. Elephants in Africa will self-medicate by chewing on the leaves of a tree from the family Boraginaceae, which induces birth. Kenyans also use this tree for the same purpose.

October 28, 2013

Pharmacy Automation

robot invasion


Pharmacy automation is the automation of tasks performed in pharmacy: measuring and mixing powders and liquids for compounding; tracking and updating customer information in databases (e.g. personally identifiable information, medical history, drug interaction risk detection); inventory management; and dispensing of medication.

October 19, 2013

Drunken Boxing

drunken master

Zui quan is a concept in traditional Chinese martial arts literally meaning ‘drunken fist,’ the term is also commonly translated as drunken boxing. Zui quan has the appearance of a drunkard’s movements. The postures are created by momentum and weight of the body, and imitation is generally through staggering and certain type of fluidity. It is considered to be among the most difficult wushu styles to learn due to the need for powerful joints and fingers. While in fiction practitioners of zui quan are often portrayed as being actually intoxicated, the actual practice is usually performed sober.

Even though the style seems irregular and off balance it takes the utmost balance to be successful. To excel one must be relaxed and flow with ease from technique to technique. Swaying, drinking, and falling are used to throw off opponents. When the opponent thinks the drunken boxer is vulnerable he is usually well balanced and ready to strike. When swigging a wine cup the practitioner is really practicing grabbing and striking techniques. The waist movements trick opponents into attacking, sometimes even falling over. Falls can be used to avoid attacks but also to pin attackers to the ground while vital points are targeted.

September 4, 2013

Stoned Ape

stoned ape by adahn westart

drunken monkey

The ‘Stoned Ape‘ theory of human evolution was proposed by American psychonaut Terence Mckenna in his book ‘Food of the Gods’ to explain the rapid development of the human neocortex.

McKenna proposed that the transformation from humans’ early ancestors Homo erectus to the species Homo sapiens mainly had to do with the addition of the mushroom Psilocybe cubensis in its diet – an event which according to his theory took place about 100,000 BCE. One of the effects that comes about from the ingestion of low doses is improved visual acuity. According to McKenna, this would infer an evolutionary advantage to early human hunters.

September 4, 2013

Novelty Theory

novelty theory

Novelty theory was developed by American psychonaut Terence McKenna to explain the increasing complexity of reality; according to the theory, the universe has a teleological attractor at the end of time that increases interconnectedness. McKenna predicted that a singularity of infinite complexity would be reached in 2012 at which point anything and everything imaginable would occur simultaneously. He referred to this as the Eschaton. He conceived this idea over several years in the early to mid-1970s while using psilocybin mushrooms and DMT.

McKenna viewed the universe as a swarm of matter waves, spiralling down the gradient of their synergetic (energetically favorable) constructive interference. He saw the universe as being ‘pulled from the future toward a goal that is as inevitable as a marble reaching the bottom of a bowl when you release it up near the rim…it comes to rest at the lowest energy state, which is the bottom of the bowl. That’s precisely my model of human history.’

August 20, 2013

The dose makes the poison


The dose makes the poison, a principle of toxicology, was first expressed by German-Swiss Renaissance physician Paracelsus. It means that a substance can produce the harmful effect associated with its toxic properties only if it reaches a susceptible biological system within the body in a high enough concentration (dose).

The principle relies on the finding that all chemicals—even water and oxygen—can be toxic if too much is eaten, drunk, or absorbed. ‘The toxicity of any particular chemical depends on many factors, including the extent to which it enters an individual’s body.’ This finding provides also the basis for public health standards, which specify maximum acceptable concentrations of various contaminants in food, public drinking water, and the environment.

April 30, 2013



Narconon is a Scientology front group that offers purported drug rehabilitation treatment and anti-drug lectures. Both programs promote the ideology of L. Ron Hubbard. Narconon is headquartered in Hollywood and operates several dozen residential centers worldwide, chiefly in the United States and Western Europe. The rehab program has been described as ‘medically unsafe,’ ‘quackery,’ and ‘medical fraud,’ while academic and medical experts have dismissed the educational program as containing ‘factual errors in basic concepts such as physical and mental effects, addiction and even spelling.’

In turn, Narconon has claimed that mainstream medicine is biased against it, and that ‘people who endorse so-called controlled drug use cannot be trusted to review a program advocating totally drug-free living.’ Narconon has said that criticism of its program is ‘bigoted,’ and that its critics are ‘in favor of drug abuse … they are either using drugs or selling drugs,’ while Scientology head David Miscavige attributes criticism to Scientology’s ‘war’ with ‘the mental health field.’

April 19, 2013

Bicycle Day


Bicycle Day is April 19, 1943; Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann performed a self-experiment to determine the true effects of LSD, intentionally ingesting 250 micrograms of the substance, an amount he predicted to be a threshold dose (an actual threshold dose is 20 micrograms). Less than an hour later, Hofmann experienced sudden and intense changes in perception.

He asked his laboratory assistant to escort him home and, as use of motor vehicles was prohibited because of wartime restrictions, they had to make the journey on a bicycle.

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April 17, 2013

Korova Milk Bar


The Korova Milk Bar (‘korova’ is Russian for ‘cow’) appears in the novel and film ‘A Clockwork Orange’ by Anthony Burgess. It is a twisted version of a milk bar (general store) that serves milk laced with drugs. The novel begins with the droogs (friends) sitting in their favorite hangout, drinking milk-drug cocktails, called ‘milk-plus,’ to hype themselves for the night’s mayhem. The protagonist and narrator Alex lists some of the (fictitious) ingredients one can request: vellocet (opiate), synthemesc (synthetic mescalines), drencrom (adrenochrome). For another ingredient he advises to, ‘(drink the milk) ‘with knives in it,’ as it ‘would sharpen you up.” By serving milk (instead of alcohol), the bar is able to serve minors. In the film, the bar has furniture in the shape of naked women and the milk is served from their nipples.

There was a bar in New York City’s East Village named the Korova Milk Bar styled after the bar in the film. The bar closed in 2006; it had served as a gathering site for the city’s goth, punk, industrial, metal, hardcore, and fetish subcultures for many years. It reopened the following year in White Plains, New York. Korova is also the name of a bar and music venue in Liverpool, founded by members of the band Ladytron. The earlier Liverpool band Echo & the Bunnymen were also signed to a record label of that name.

March 24, 2013



Chifir’ is a type of strong tea brewed in Russia. The etymology is uncertain but is thought to come from the word ‘chikhir” meaning a strong Caucasian wine, or a Siberian word for spoiled wine that has become sour and acidic. Chifir’ is typically prepared with either two or three tablespoons of loose tea per person poured on top of the boiled water. It is brewed for 10–15 minutes without stirring – until the leaves drop to the bottom of the cup. Chifir’ drunk without sugar is highly unpleasant; sweets can be held in the mouth before, during or after drinking to soften its bitter taste.

It is similar to Egyptian Sa’idi tea, a somewhat similar beverage (essentially a 1/9-strength recipe, but consumed in larger quantities).

March 11, 2013

Owsley Stanley

owsley by jody hewgill

Owsley Stanley (1935 – 2011) was a figure of the San Francisco Bay Area counter-culture, playing a pivotal role in the counterculture of the 1960s. As a crafts-person, he became best known simply as ‘Owsley’ – the LSD ‘cook’ (underground chemist). Stanley was the first private individual to manufacture mass quantities of LSD. Between 1965 and 1967, Stanley produced more than 1.25 million doses of LSD.

Under the professional name of ‘Bear,’ he worked with the psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead’s international fan ‘family.’ Bear was an early soundman for The Grateful Dead, a band he met when Ken Kesey invited them to an Owsley Acid test party. As their sound engineer, Bear frequently recorded live tapes behind his mixing board and helped The Dead become the first performers since Les Paul to custom-develop high-fidelity audio components and sound systems.


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