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albert hoffman

Albert Hoffman died yesterday at the age — holy shit! — of 102.

Hoffman is called the Father of LSD on account of he was the father of LSD. He was a chemist working at Sandoz Labs in Switzerland in the thirties when he discovered lysergic acid diethylamide-25, a compound derived from wheat rust. He was looking for a PMS cure (I forget where I read that; maybe the pixies told me). The stuff is so powerful, he got a ginormous dose just from handling it that day. His description of riding his bicycle home afterward is guaranteed flashback fodder.

He remained a proponent of the stuff all his life and dropped acid himself for decades. A hunnert and two. As a friend of mine once remarked, “this stuff doesn’t kill you. It only makes you wish it would.” She was looking rather paisley at the time.

Plant rusts — ergots — are fungi that occasionally affect crops and, when eaten, cause a range of effects from hallucination to extreme blood constriction (Ew. Wikipedia calls it ‘dry gangrene’). Some historians have blamed the nuttiness of Medieval Europe on ergotism, AKA St. Anthony’s Fire.

Dry gangrene. There was one medieval lady who was riding a mule to pilgrimage, rubbed against a tree and her leg fell off. She picked it up, tucked it under her arm, got back on the mule and went on her way. That really doesn’t advance this post, but I read it a long time ago and wanted to share. Like, how the hell did she hop back on the mule with one leg? And why take it with her? (Don’t be a litterbug — take your spontaneously amputated limbs when you go!) Boo. The pixies never answer the important questions.

Oh! You want a good, creepy read? I highly recommend The Day of St Anthony’s Fire. True story. A sack of wheat contaminated with rust was delivered to the little village of Pont St Esprit, France in 1951. The frogs love them some bread. By nightfall, half the village was yapping mad.

Actually, I recommend the first half of the book. The second half of the book is a boring drone about the decades the survivors spent trying to wring some reparations out of the government. The frogs love them some bureaucracy.

Wait, what was I talking about? Stupid pixies.

sock it to me

Comments


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 30, 2008, 5:59 am

Way back whenever, I read Hoffmans lab notes (?) or later descriptions of that fateful day he bingo’ed on the LSD. Facinating. Isn’t it also called corn smut, or rye smut? Heh. Plant pornography.

The lady riding the mule – I bet she had servants (mule? Pilgrimage?)and just just said, “Hand me my limb, Covington! There’s a good chap!”

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 6:04 am

Yes, I think it’s his lab notes I’m remembering, too.

I’ve always wondered why hippies never actually contaminated a water supply with LSD. It’s one of the few agents powerful enough to make that feasible.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 30, 2008, 6:16 am

Good question. It only takes milligrams or micrograms of the shit to do the job – yes?

Remember that 60’s movie abortion, “Wild in the Streets”?

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 7:05 am

Per CNN: It was one of the strongest drugs in medicine, with just one gram enough to drug an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people for 12 hours.

One gram. Phew.

I never saw Wild in the Streets.

 


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 30, 2008, 7:55 am

I’ve only taken acid two or three times in my life. One of the times I spent driving around the slummy, dangerous parts of the city where I was living at the time trying to find someone to sell me some weed, without a care in the world. Another I sat and played videogames for hours.
None of them included a really noticable ‘trip’. I’m not sure if that’s because the ‘dealer’ ripped me off of if it was because the dose wasn’t very strong or because at least one of the occasions (obviously) was my first time and I was so afraid that I only ate half the tab at first.
Anyway, I’m glad I didn’t get too much of an effect. And I’ll never take it again. My fear of it is as strong now as it was all those years ago when I sat there with it nestled in the palm of my hand. I don’t think LSD and I are compatible. I think if I ever took a guaranteed powerful dose, all in one go, that I’d probably go round the bend.
102 years old? That’s a good innings.

 


Comment from Old Iron
Time: April 30, 2008, 9:39 am

I just want to focus on two points raised in this article: the guy admitted to taking fairly large amounts of a foreign substance fairly often, and the fact that he lived to 102. Funny but a large crop of articles seem to be popping up that kinda go against the “____ will kill you if you take too much!!!”-mentality, and this one seems to fall in this category as well.

Wasn’t there recently some really old guy that halfway through a marathon stopped and had a lager and a smoke, and said that the only reason that he lived as long as he had was due to those two vices?

-Just saying’

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 9:53 am

Heh. I just went to Oprah.com, on the off-chance she felt compelled to pipe up about Obama’s current troubles. This is the Thought for Today:

“The best life lesson my mom taught me is to always be myself. She always told me that I could do anything that I wanted in my life.”

— Hilary Swank

That? That’s not a thought! That’s a little bubble of gas. That’s a neuronal fart. That’s the sound of a synapse curling up and dying out of unbearable loneliness.

 


Comment from Hazel Stone
Time: April 30, 2008, 10:19 am

I am frightened of substances that have the capacity to make me forget I am a bipedal mammal.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 10:57 am

Meh. I was severely disappointed in hallucinogens. Not only did I never actually hallucinate (gyp!), they mostly made me extraordinarily anxious. A sensation I’d pay not to have, please.

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 30, 2008, 11:50 am

I find it interesting — speaking of something completely different yet related — that lots of religious groups take great pride in their “natural” forms of shifting consciousness: going into trances, communicating with spirits, traveling the spirit world(s). But each method works precisely because it is unnatural and anti-natural, straining the body and causing it to do things it shouldn’t be doing. And this goes whether it’s injesting some “natural” product (herb, mushroom, liquid) or starving oneself or chanting or not sleeping. In other words, it’s all unnatural.

 


Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: April 30, 2008, 12:26 pm

As I recall, ergot had two major medical applications: treating migraines, and inducing abortions. I often wondered just how it managed to do both, but never got around to investigating. Now I find it makes you batshit barking insane as well, so it’s a sort of pharmaceutical trifecta.

Whoa, that’s some good shit, maaaaan.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 12:45 pm

Naw, Steve, I was like this before.

Blake over at Bit Maelstrom posted a link to this: modern capitalism, as explained by Elmer Fudd. Probably not worth sitting through the whole thing to reach the fun bits, but it’s tempting to download it and cut it down to size.

I’ve got to buy a video-interceptor software thingie so I can do that.

 


Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: April 30, 2008, 12:46 pm

I’ve just received some of the best junk mail I’ve ever had.

Subject line: Terrific booty kitty unclothed in school structure

Contents: Personal site of the amateur middle-aged model loving cuaamshots and other sperm related things since 2000 thing use she
Mature Women Faackeds by Strong Guys

Think ahead, believe me baby owner fight Yankee Doodle keep it up,
snow and And the Attery Squash, and the Bisky Bat-
Hustling the latest changes to the book curve man

And it ties in with this thread well, because whoever composed that was clearly on acid, or at least terribly, terribly insane.
I love junk mail.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 12:48 pm

Oh, that is an exceptionally fine bit o’ spam you got there, Gibby.

 


Comment from bmac
Time: April 30, 2008, 12:50 pm

Acid always scared the shit out of me. One of the reasons I never got into drugs was the skeezy dirtbags you had to buy it from. They’d always pull a baggie out of their pants, and it’s like, umm…no thanks Filthy McNasty.

Also, a buddy of mine once ate a Quaalude (remember those?) that had been laced with some mix of heroin, and/or acid. He ended up in a coma for a week.

Kinda put me off ingesting something that came out of a hippies ass.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: April 30, 2008, 12:51 pm

He’s touched so very many lives, wouldn’t you say?

St. Anthony’s Fire is supposedly a horribly nasty painful thing. Yikes.

Gangrene ain’t pretty, dry or wet.

As a kid they would give me cafergot for migraines, which is was c-c-c-c-c-affeine and ergot alkaloids. I imagine that it is dose-dependent. Look at Jimsonweed and it’s dose dependency, which the Navajos noticed: “Eat a little, and go to sleep. Eat some more, and have a dream. Eat some more, and don’t wake up.” Atropine does things to you…

 


Comment from Veeshir
Time: April 30, 2008, 12:55 pm

Did you read the article? I understand it’s CNN so likely to be incorrect, but this should be in their area of expertise.
They claim Cary Grant was into acid.

That explains Operation Petticoat anyway.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 30, 2008, 1:08 pm

Gibby,

Think ahead, believe me baby owner fight Yankee Doodle keep it up, snow and And the Attery Squash, and the Bisky Bat-Hustling the latest changes to the book curve man

That is really profound gibberish. I wish I got good spam like that.

I always want to Bisky Bat-Hustle, but the girl next door wouldn’t let me.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 1:10 pm

I saw that, Veeshir! I never knew that.

I had a duodenal ulcer as a teenager and they gave me Donnatal, which is belladonna alkaloids and phenobarbital. It sounds interesting, but I frankly didn’t feel a thing.

Belladonna in quantity is very bad shit. They used to market a cigarette(!) for people with asthma — called it Asthmadore and sold it over the counter. The main ingredient was belladonna. What people did was peel the cigarette into a glass of water and drink it.

I never did this myself (there are, believe it or not, limits to my crazee), but two friends did and said it was the worstest high EVER. Very vivid hallucinations and — this is the worst part — they couldn’t tell the difference between the hallucinations and reality.

One walked for hours in a forest in a straight line without ever leaving the basement. The other saw the indians on his bedspread come to life and come after him. They both made full recovery, though.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 1:13 pm

Woo! Ace just got mentioned by Rush Limbaugh!

I wasn’t listening, I just read it over there.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: April 30, 2008, 1:33 pm

Yes, I did read the article. Your point being…?

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: April 30, 2008, 1:39 pm

they couldn’t tell the difference between the hallucinations and reality.

One walked for hours in a forest in a straight line without ever leaving the basement

Ok, now THAT is some heavy-hitter stuff. I guess you would tend to forget all about your asthma though wouldn’t you? All the same, I won’t trade in the albuterol.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 1:43 pm

Well, you were supposed to smoke it. There weren’t any hallucinations if you ingested it that way, it just opened your airway.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: April 30, 2008, 1:49 pm

What fun would there be in that, eh? If you’re going to destroy your lungs so you can get the ol’ bronchial tubes to open up, you might was well get a few kicks for it. I guess I’m saying that by eating it, even if it didn’t do a darn thing for your asthma, you’d be trippin’ so hard you wouldn’t care. That’d get ugly.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 1:49 pm

Getting anecdotes via Google with both Asmadore and Asthmadore. I love the internet.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 2:23 pm

For them that hates LOLcats:

catflap.gif

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 30, 2008, 2:35 pm

I nose-droobled myself. God, I love slapstick.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 2:44 pm

I dislike flat-faced dogs and cats. They seem all wrong to me.

If you follow the link in the picture, it leads here. Lots of funny images there.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: April 30, 2008, 3:14 pm

Weas, once you get used to one, the *normal* ones look wrong.

We have a Himalayan, Silver d’Cat. Near the end of his life cycle (thank God). He’s been the best little kitty but expensive over the years.

 


Comment from Owlsey
Time: April 30, 2008, 3:45 pm

No discussion of LSD can be complete without this famous link. I’ve heard that it’s fake, but it does kind of mirror MY personal experience – except I can’t draw.

http://www.cowboybooks.com.au/html/acidtrip1.html

I did quite a bit of acid in college. I think the effect is best summarized as living inside the movie Blue Velvet for a few hours. If you’ve never seen Blue Velvet, you should, shouldn’t -well it kind of depends

http://www.dvdtalk.com/dvdsavant/s115velvet.html

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 4:12 pm

Happy Godwinaversity. Hitler put a bullet in his skull 63 years ago today.

 


Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 30, 2008, 4:25 pm

Steve Skubinna

Now that’s a name I hadn’t heard in a while. Last I heard, he done run off to sea as a merchant mariner.

Wonder if it’s the same feller.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 30, 2008, 4:34 pm

Ah! Outstanding! Good riddance! Think I’ll go have me a Boulevard Wheat beer right now to celebrate the asshole’s marksmanship.

 


Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 30, 2008, 4:38 pm

Aha, perfeck timing as per usual. Now if that don’t get Skubinna’s attention, nustled in there like that between Hitler and marksmanship, I’d have to believe he ain’t watching the same Internet as me.

As for what’s his name, may it be erased from memory.

 


Comment from Lemur King
Time: April 30, 2008, 4:55 pm

One hopes that they disposed of the shithouse rat’s body (can’t remember his name) correctly – stake the heart, fill the mouth with garlic, roast all over a fire in full daylight, bury the ashes in running water…

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 30, 2008, 5:27 pm

Jews have a perfect “curse” they say after a bad person’s name (the guy above, Saddam, Haman): “yimach shemo”, “may his name be erased”.

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 30, 2008, 5:33 pm

Ever read this, Mu?

May they wander stage by stage
On the same vain pilgrimage
Stumbling on age after age
Night and day, mile after mile
At each and every step a stile
At each and every stile withal
May they catch their feet and fall
At each and every fall they take
May a bone within them break
And may the bones that break within
Not be for variation thick
Now rib, now thigh, now arm, now shin
But always, without fail, the neck.

–“The Traveler’s Curse After Misdirection”
(translated from the Welsh, as read by Dylan Thomas)

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: April 30, 2008, 5:53 pm

Never read that, Mr. McGoo. Interesting indeed. Thanks!

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 6:21 pm

Oof! Sidebar ad from Technorati:

parmm.jpg

The creepy thing? I’m older than this lady…

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 6:23 pm

Interesting. It seems to be an unregistered domain. Spoof?

Please?

 


Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: April 30, 2008, 6:31 pm

I clicked that whois thingy at the link and it listed some doofus at CGIgroup as the registered owner – I think.

 


Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: April 30, 2008, 6:54 pm

Looks like a spoof to me.

I’ve never done any drugs or even been drunk. Sugar highs are common, though. That McDonald’s cinnamon roll thingy gives me a sugar high like you wouldn’t believe.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: April 30, 2008, 6:59 pm

Yeah, now I’m sorry I didn’t click on it. It’s gone out of rotation and they didn’t register the domain :(

 


Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: April 30, 2008, 10:06 pm

Please?

Host lookup does give an IP address: 216.21.239.197, although I haven;t looked to see what happens when you go to http://216.21.239.197.

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: April 30, 2008, 11:36 pm

Remember the Salem witch trials? Saw something on Discovery Channel or somewhere that said based on the descriptions of the behavior the ‘victims’ were exhibiting, and the proximity to the grain crop being near or on what used to be marshy land, they think they were really poisoned by ‘tainted’ grains…. just like the case in France in the 50’s – though noone got barbecued like in Salem.

Oh and my head hurts and drivers in the greater Atlanta area are effing insane. Earlier this evening I just missed a seven car pile-up. F*cking think they are NASCAR contestants.

 


Comment from Muslihoon
Time: May 1, 2008, 1:27 am

F*cking think they are NASCAR contestants.

Hah. Come to IL. NASCAR drivers are kittens compared to us.

I can always spot a WI (or other out-of-state) driver: they’re not driving like a maniac.

 


Comment from Stashiu3
Time: May 1, 2008, 1:53 am

though noone got barbecued like in Salem.

Nobody was burned at the stake in Salem, Massachusettes (or anywhere else in the U.S.) for witchcraft. Several were hanged and one was pressed to death under stones while trying to make him confess. My elementary school teacher lied to me!!

Most of the cases are now thought to be mental illness, drugs (accidental as you describe, or other), and vengeful or envious enemies accusing innocents.

Just sayin’ 😉

 


Comment from EW1(SG)
Time: May 1, 2008, 2:06 am

Stashiu3:

… one was pressed to death under stones while trying to make him confess.

Weren’t there a few near-drownings as well, trying to get confessions, or am I thinking of something else?

And I just noticed that anybody trying to click on the IP I put up above will get a bad address because of teh way it gets rendered, so here it is again: PARMM.org http://216.21.239.197/.

 


Comment from Stashiu3
Time: May 1, 2008, 2:29 am

I don’t recall reading anything about that, although my elementary teacher talked about a “dunking” test. Most of what I remember reading came from something we studied in nursing school (which seems almost as long ago as elementary school now, lol). What brought it up then I haven’t a clue anymore, but the other things stuck in my head for some reason. “Seared… I mean seared into my brain!”

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 1, 2008, 5:29 am

Sorry, Owlsey: two links. I had to fish you out of the filter.

Following on from your link to YouTube, there’s some pretty wild stuff. Like this lady, who had a nice conversation with her hotdog before murdering it.

Don’t hit the one with the cat, though. It’s disturbing to watch. They’ve clearly grossly overdosed that animal; it’s petrified and it can’t even stand. I’ve heard it said the only animal to die of an LSD overdose was an elephant, dosed in proportion to his body size.

Ah. Yes. Here it is. Given thirty times the likely correct dose, though it may have been the thorazine that actually killed him. I love the internet.

 


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: May 1, 2008, 5:44 am

British military LSD experiment. The efficiency of the rocket launcher team was greatly impaired!

 


Comment from porknbean
Time: May 1, 2008, 8:42 am

Thank you staishu, they weren’t barbecued – not thinking clearly with the headache. Much better this morning. Am looking forward to a nap later.
Musli, I travelled through IL to get here. Ya’ll are running a close second to my experience yesterday.

 


Comment from Stashiu3
Time: May 1, 2008, 9:13 am

No worries pnb, I would bet they at least ate bbq sometimes, so close enough for government work, right? 😉

 


Comment from Farmer Joe
Time: May 1, 2008, 7:16 pm

I did acid once. The experience was – and I’m the only person I know who describes an acid experience this way – annoying.

“Hi! I’m your brain! Wanna talk? About what? Everything, silly! I’m gonna be here with you for the next eight to ten hours just chit chatting away. Oh hey, I love this song! Notice how this one note starts about a tenth of beat ahead of where it should. Pretty cool, huh? Now this next note…”

 

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