THE WORLD’S SCARIEST DRUG Their title, not mine. And generally, I'm not big on the sensationalizing, fear-mongering thing in regards to substances. But in the case of scopolamine, it seems like at least some of the hype is warranted. The World's Scariest Drug,…

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Spike Shane Smith

It’s always nice to get the opportunity to see two brilliant folks reminisce about how they got to where they are now. In a lot of cases, it’s like a free buffet of game to be put up on. Shane Smith and Spike Jonze are both mavens of culture in their own right, having made some distinctly original contributions to the zeitgeist through various media. Spike, after establishing himself beyond a doubt as the definitive music video director of the ’90s MTV era, went on to produce Jackass, and helm three feature films: Being John Malkovich, Adaptation and most recently, Where the Wild Things Are.

Shane on the other hand, is the co-founder of Vice, the now ubiquitous brand behind Vice Magazine, a pillar of hipster culture, as well as VBS, The Creators’ Project and Noisey, among other things. Needless to say, a Saturday with these two is bound to be interesting On the way to talk to Al Qaeda rebels in Yemen, Spike and Shane took a brief detour to a gorgeous island off the coast of Somalia, to discuss the history of Vice, sex, drugs, and the legend of Shane Smith.

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For many of the folks that have dabbled in psychedelic experiences before, this may not come as much of a surprise. But it’s always nice to have the evidence to back up or validate your intuition. A recent study led by researchers at Johns Hopkins found that psilocybin, the active chemical in magic mushrooms, when administered in an appropriate dosage, often led to a number of long-lasting psychological and therapeutic benefits. Among participants, aged 29 to 62, many even reported their drug experience as one of the most spiritually significant of their lives, with their newfound insight often leading to positive changes in relationships and behavior. Not to get on the after school special hype, but the choice is always up to you. Just try to stay informed.

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Golden Sun Movement

I don’t want to say this kind of art wouldn’t be made without drugs. But this kind of art wouldn’t be made without drugs. Probably. Combining inspiration from ’60s counterculture and the acid house music of the ’80s, The Golden Sun Movement fused those influences into a distinct aesthetic. Drawing on classic album art, philosophical and musical traditions, and other mixed media, each of the collages speaks in vivid color. As far as I know, I won’t be in London any time soon, but ON, an exhibition showcasing Golden Sun Movement’s work, looks it’s not one to be missed. For the rest of us, there are always pictures of pictures.

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It was a sunny afternoon when we got together. We always had fun, our adventures knew no limits. The magic of our youth making it all seem so trivial. She was mature for her age. A worldly girl, I found myself trying to act cooler than I was in her presence. So content with herself, who she was, her place in the world. I thought it was sexy.

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Owsley Stanley & Jerry Garcia

In talking about a figure like Owsley ‘Bear’ Stanley, it’s hard to separate the man from the myth. For one, he’s credited with producing and distributing literally millions of acid tabs, the quality of which was pretty much unquestioned. Add to that the fact that he was one of the primary sound engineers of the late ’60s, creating the first P.A. system specifically designed for music, and a host of other high end equipment. Other stories have it that his acid was the subject of Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”, that Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne” (See: Yeezy’s “Champion”) was a tribute to him and that both the dancing bears and the skull emblem of Grateful draw a direct line back to him.

In essence, the passing of Owsley yesterday from injuries sustained in a car crash, marks the death of one of ’60s counterculture’s most mysterious icons. In any case, my knowledge on Owsley was hazy at best, until I did a little research. In 2007, the SF Chronicle, well, chronicled the man behind the myth, taking a closer look at Stanley and his enigmatic life story. Read on for an introduction, and check here for a full obituary.

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Taboos are a funny thing. Some have clear, logical or practical reasons behind them. Others don’t. Sometimes, they’re based on fear or tradition, and other times they’re just based on the best evidence available at the time. In any case, I got love for those open-minded scientific researchers out there who continue to push the boundaries and collect the evidence we need to make informed decisions. For those of us who grew up with the post Reagan-era, “ice cream scoops out of your brain” rhetoric, this one might come as a surprise.

A recent study, conducted by Harvard Medical School professor John Halpern, concluded recently that no evidence supported the long-held belief that ecstasy causes brain damage. The study, recently published in Addiction, showed that the subjects who took ecstasy (and no other drugs) showed no significant difference in cognitive function over time. Criticizing past research on the subject, Halpern asserts that “too many studies have been carried out on small populations, while overarching conclusions have been drawn from them”. As always, read this one carefully. At the end of the day, you get to choose how you get down. But it never hurt anyone to be informed. Full story below via The Guardian.

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Dash Snow

Dicks. Boobs. Lines of coke. Orgies. Sex, drugs and rock and roll. These kinds of things are inherently interesting, considered in and of themselves. The other day, Owen alluded to a sort of destructive instinct we feel as humans; a sort of pull toward that which is wild, unrestricted and dangerous. If anyone’s work encompasses that feeling as effectively as Dash’s Polaroids, I haven’t found it. With these pieces, some created or taken by Dash, and others simply showing snapshots of his life taken by friends, the line between art and simple documentation isn’t always clear. Whether you decide Dash’s short journey was wasted on vice, or a life well-lived is up to you. What’s important to me is simply that it was a real life, and a life well-documented.

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