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.
April 30, 2008 — 5:38 am
Y’all know I’ve been pretty depressed about this presidential election. John McCain seriously harshes my shadenfreude. Every time I start to go after a Democrat, I hear McCain’s evil-grampa laugh in my ear, and my (entirely metaphorical) balls shrivel.
But I’ve listened to the entirety of Jeremiah Wright’s National Press Club and NAACP speeches and I can’t remember a time I have so passionately wished to poke someone in the snoot. Entirely metaphorically, of course.
I think it was where he imitates the way white people talk. Being mimicked reaches right back into my nursery school braincells and makes them throb with screaming monkey rage.
Or maybe that bit about how Europeans and Africans are different right down to the brainal level. I don’t know from neuropathology, I only know if a white man had said anything close to that, it would buy him a one-way ticket to Lepertown.
Listening to Wright made me feel grubby; that he is slick only makes it grubbier. It was like being dipped in a cesspit of toxic racial sludge. Like attending a Klan rally on Bizarroworld.
How bad was it? Bad enough that Obama disowned the man he could no more disown than the black community or his white grandmother (watch your back, Granny).
Wright didn’t develop his peculiarly smelly brand of afroNazism over the weekend. It’s totally implausible that Obama rubbed elbows with Wright for twenty years and never heard a word of his ridiculous, balls-out craziness before yesterday. Clearly, Obama chose this church for these qualities, because he desired that particular flavor of cred.
I doubt Obama believes a word of that crap; he doesn’t strike me as a retard. That makes this ass-bite especially satisfying. It’s dangerous to handle poison, Senator.
Heh. Heh heh. Heh heh heh.
Oh, shut up, John.
UPDATE: I told mesa I’d make a color version, but it was pretty much FAIL. I’ve never tinted a photo using this technique, and it looked awful. Like a tinted photo. So I made some slight adjustments to the grayscale version and replaced the image in the post. I’ve also uploaded a large version and one that is 160 pixels wide. It’s a bit too tall for a sidebar graphic, but I’m not the boss of you.
This is as good a time as any to review my graphics policy: take it. Take anything you like. Change it, if you want. Post it. Have it tattoo’d on your butt. No need to link back or give credit. This is ephemera we’re making here and I need the karma.
Just…say something nice about me when I’m gone.
UPDATE THE TWOTH: Yay! Ace-o-lanche! It’s raining morons! Thanks, Deb!
April 29, 2008 — 3:18 pm
Anyhoo, Stash adopted a couple of little girls, and now he finds out his first lawyer didn’t get the paperwork quite right, and it’s all come back to bite him in the ass in a Big and Very Scary Way. Legally, emotionally and…<cough> financially.
He’ll be AFK for a while, working it out, but a supportive message is
always welcome, too.
April 28, 2008 — 6:21 pm
I like sour cream. In fact, I like anything with the word ‘cream’ in it. Ice cream, clotted cream, cream of wheat, creamed corn, aspercreme, Thomas Neill Cream: give me it! On a biscuit!
You know what kind of cream I don’t like? Preachy cream. I bought this unfamiliar brand of sour cream because it had the longest sell-by date on the shelf, and look wht was printed inside, on the foil seal: If life gives you limes, just rearrange the letters and return a smile.
Ugh. Horrible. That doesn’t even scan good. How about, if life gives you limes, make margaritas?
Okay, maybe a dairy doesn’t want to promote booze (though LOLcats teamed up with Jones Soda, surely another Sign of the Apocalypse). I don’t think it’s too much to ask my food not to make me feel actively nauseated.
Anyhow, that’s not what I’m flexed about. Side B is what I’m flexed about. One of the great things about sour cream is that it’s immortal. It starts out sour; there really isn’t anywhere for it to go (that’s not original, but I’m damned if I can remembered who said it first). When it’s tired of life, sour cream just goes green and hairy.
I always have a container of sour cream on hand, sometimes long enough for us to develop a personal relationship. So when I read The container date indicates how long unopened Daisy will remain fresh. TO PROLONG FRESHNESS AFTER THE FOIL SEAL IS REMOVED: Spoon out the Daisy you’ll need and promptly return to refrigerator, I considered it a complete violation of the sour cream contract, that sacred covenant between Weasel and ultra-pasteurized dairy products.
Last night, I tried to enjoy my baked potato the usual way, with the wide open carton of sour cream at my elbow, ready to add supplementary sour creamy goodness at my merest whim. But it preyed on me. It niggled at my attention. Could I really hear tiny spores landing on the surface with a soft, ripe shush, like early snow? I put the lid on. But inside, wasn’t it still gently warming? Making a hospitable home for those spores I heard earlier?
So I spooned out the Daisy I needed and promptly return to the refrigerator.
Damn you, Daisy. Damn you in all four cardinal directions. Damn you right into the parched, airless desert of the non-dairy aisle, where you belong. I’m handing you itembe, Daisy. I don’t know what the hell one of those is, but I reckon you can rearrange the letters and bite me.
— 4:52 pm
Good to see him happy again. He’s been disconsolate ever since he broke his giant banana.
April 26, 2008 — 11:43 am
I like my real estate agent. I mean, she’s a real estate agent, so she’s a loathsome reptile, but she speaks in an amusing, roundabout code. Like, when she first hooked me up with a handyman, she said, “you’ll like Mortimer. He’s a wonderful, wonderful man. He’s got the chiseled features and almost gray skin tone of some African chieftan.”
Translation: okay, don’t panic. He’s an old black guy, but you can totally trust him.
So instead of telling me right out not to get my hopes up, she said, “it’ll be lovely and cool down here in the basement this Summer. The market dies out completely in August, so we have to make sure we’re ready to go for the Fall market.”
Got it. Making self comfortable.
Speaking of language, I am so going to start calling McGoo Goo Boy. I owe him. Thanks to him, Uncle B calls me Weas now. Weas! Before that, he called me “Weasel” or “Auntie” or, way back, “Spam.” Dignified. Stately.
Yeah, can you believe I had the nickname “Spam” before the internet was a gleam in Al Gore’s eye? I’ve forgotten why. I had to drop it. My first internet addresses were firstname.lastname@example.org, which was okay for years. Then I started getting angry emails that went, “I’m writing to report a disgusting message that came from your server…”
I’d write back, “Look, I’m not really the spam reporting address for this ISP. I’m just some woman whose nickname is ‘Spam.'”
Until I got this one lady who decided to argue with me about it. Like, “don’t you try to wriggle out of this! I don’t want to see any more emails in my inbox with the word ‘penis’ in them. I mean it!”
I hope things worked out for that lady. I bet she knows a lot more words for “penis” these days.
Welp, gotta go. Friday is pancake day at the company cafeteria. I love pancake day, because they left a crucial comma off the menu: “blueberry pancakes with whipped butter bacon.”
Mmmmm…whipped butter bacon! Can I have mine with lard?
April 25, 2008 — 7:49 am
What is this? I’m glad you asked! It’s fried chicken with crumpets and gravy.
Dear sweet fancy Moses.
I didn’t have any biscuits ready made, okay? I hadn’t planned on making gravy but when I was done frying I couldn’t bear to throw out all the lovely chicken grease and crispy bits.
I only had this packet of crumpets because I wanted to show Uncle B. (Look Uncle B! Crumpets! And they were actually made in the bakery at my local Stop & Shop!)
Wasn’t bad, okay?
If you think a crumpet looks like an English muffin cut in half, you would be correct. That is what they taste like. Which is presumably why we call English muffins English muffins. The English don’t call them that, on account of they mostly know where they are.
A crumpet is cooked on a griddle and an English muffin in an oven, which accounts for why the former has a bottom and a top and the latter has an outside and an inside.
Heh. Y’all didn’t think I could talk about politics four days in a row, did you?
April 24, 2008 — 11:37 am
Yeah, you know the story — five Canadian bloggers are being sued by this lying shit-weasel (begging my own pardon), Richard Warman. He’s a former member of the Canadian ‘Human Rights’ Kangaroo Court who left the Commission and has since made tens of thousands suing fellow Canucks before the same Commission. He never loses.
Let’s make this the exception. Let’s make this fascist asshat rue the day — rue, I say! — he took on the chittering hordes of the blogosphere.
See, the state picks up the tab for the complainant, but the defendant has to pay his own way, so they really are hurting. Read up on the case. It’ll make you so mad, pudding will shoot out of your nose.
April 23, 2008 — 9:35 am
Happy Earth Day! Yes, today’s the actual date, though NPR is pretty much observing Earth Week. (I listen to NPR so you don’t have to. You’re welcome).
Yesterday they ran a little feature called Food Footprint: Minimizing Greenhouse Gasses (yes, with “gasses” spelled like that…when did that become okay?).
Did you know that 18% of the world’s greenhouse gases are produced by “animal agriculture”? Animal agriculture: making and moving meat.
Turns out cows are especially bad, because hippies hate beef. Raising a cow and bringing it to market releases thirty six pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for every pound of edible meat.
So I’m thinking…hunting has got to be the greenest thing on Gaia’s green earth. It tranforms dangerous wild animals — animals that would otherwise spend their lives destroying nascent forests and emitting harmful fumes into the atmosphere — into healthful, planet-saving food.
Why let Al Gore have all the fun? Once we work out the lifetime carbon load of various animals, every hunter is his own one-man carbon credits business.
“Mornin’, Sir. I’m taking carbon orders. Will you be needing a rabbit-sized credit or the deer-sized credit today?”
April 22, 2008 — 12:28 pm
Well! Who would ever have thought? The American Hunters and Shooters Association has endorsed Barack Obama.
Who they? you may ask. Ignoring your appalling grammar for the moment, the AHSA is a flakey-fakey “gun-rights” organization set up solely to endorse far left entities like Barack Obama so all you beery gun-humping rednecks will think he’s a bit of okay.
It was founded in 2005 by Ray Schoenke, a Kos diarist who, in fairness, really does shoot ducks, apparently. At least, most of his conversations seem to take place in a duck blind. Schoenke has pissed away thousands on Handgun Control, Inc., Americans Coming Together and a dozen of the sleazeballingest Democrats ever to run for public office. So when Schoenke says “nonpartisan” you can be sure he’s just said a word that has four syllables.
The AHSA domain was originally registered to DCS, a Democrat new media operation, but they must have realized that didn’t look good.
Also not looking so good? Having John Rosenthal, once Chairman of the Massachusetts gun-grabbers Stop Handgun Violence, on the board. Under the bus with you, sir! Or, as they put it, “we acknowledge that his active involvement with certain gun control organizations made it very difficult for Mr. Rosenthal to subscribe to and support our policies that at times could be inconsistent with those of a pro-gun hunting and shooting organization.” I haven’t diagrammed a sentence in a real long time, but I’m pretty sure that one is accidentally WAY closer to the truth than they intended.
Their web site reads like somebody sat down of an afternoon and thought, “okay, but what if I really did like guns? What would that sound like?” Or as David Petzel of Field and Stream put it, “Mostly, their position statements are vapid, along the lines of ‘Don’t push old ladies into moving traffic. Don’t set stray dogs on fire.'”
In fact, the web site appears to be all there is to the AHSA. That, and press releases. And it’s working…kind of. US Snooze briefly reported the endorsement with a straight face. The Washington Post did a bit on them, too. I loved this part:
As proof of his gun-toting credentials, Schoenke says he likes nothing better than heading to Maryland’s Eastern Shore and shooting a duck, then cleaning it, cooking it and eating it. “I own guns,” he boasts. “I have guns everywhere.”
I have guns sticking out all over my body. When I open my mouth, guns fall out. On hot Summer days, guns ooze out of my pores. I shit guns, I swear to god. It’s hard to say which part of murdering a small fluffy animal I like best: the warm, slippery lifeblood pouring over my fingers, or the part where my teeth meet in its throat and the terrified thrashing and kicking get slower…slower…slower.
I love when lefties play pretend ‘winger: they’re so delightfully tone deaf.
Schoenke hopes this macho, carnivorous image will make pro-gun voters more open to accepting “common sense” limits on gun buying. Such changes can’t be so bad, he wants gunners to say, if fellow enthusiasts also support them.
Ch’mere! Ch’mere, rednecks! Gun! Pretty gun! No, no…lookit the gun! No, don’t look at the legislation, lookit the gun!
I’ve heard of these guys before, through the NRA (Schoenke has a massive hate-on for the NRA). Then Jonn of This Ain’t Hell posted about the Obama endorsement a couple of days ago. I went from there to Confederate Yankee to Say Uncle. Lots of stuff out there about them; there’s nothing new here. But it’s important to pile on. The AHSA exists solely to give pro-gun cred to anti-gunners.
That dog won’t hunt.
April 21, 2008 — 5:46 am