DEA Approves Study of MDMA in Treatment of Seriously Ill Patients

The move suggests the DEA may be questioning its long-held position that the psychedelic compound, which can be a component in street drugs like Molly or Ecstasy, has no accepted medical use.

Brad Burge, communications director for MAPS:

In a psychotherapeutic context, MDMA has been reported to help subjects lower their psychological defenses and enhance their ability to process difficult emotions. It may also increase the sense of trust between subjects and the therapist.

DEA Approves Study Of Psychedelic Drug MDMA In Treatment Of Seriously Ill Patients [HuffPost]

April 30, 2015  |  

Bitcoin Is Disrupting Argentina’s Economy

Nathaniel Popper:

That mundane service – harnessing Bitcoin’s workaday utility – is what so excites some investors and entrepreneurs about Argentina. Banks everywhere hold money and move it around; they help make it possible for money to function as both a store of value and a medium of exchange. But thanks in large part to their country’s history of financial instability, a small yet growing number of Argentines are now using Bitcoin instead to fill those roles. They keep the currency in their Bitcoin “wallets,” digital accounts they access with a password, and use its network when they need to send or spend money, because even with Castiglione or one of his competitors serving as middlemen between the traditional economy and the Bitcoin marketplace, Bitcoin can be cheaper and more convenient than Argentina’s financial establishment. In effect, Argentines are conducting an ambitious experiment, one that threatens ultimately to spread to the United States and disrupt some of the most basic services its banks have to offer.

Can Bitcoin Conquer Argentina? [NYT]

End-of-Life Financial Situation in America

Sudipto Banerjee, Ph.D:

Significant findings include that among all those who died at ages 85 or above, 20.6 percent had no non-housing assets and 12.2 percent had no assets left. Among singles who died at or above age 85, 24.6 percent had no non-housing assets left and 16.7 percent had no assets left.

Data show those who died at earlier ages were generally worse off financially: 29.8 percent of households that lost a member between ages 50 and 64 had no assets left. Households with at least one member who died earlier also had significantly lower income than households with all surviving members.

The report shows that among singles who died at ages 85 or above, 9.1 percent had outstanding debt (other than mortgage debt) and the average debt amount for them was $6,368.

A Look at the End-of-Life Financial Situation in America [EBRI]

April 29, 2015  |  

ALMA

Located on the Chajnantor plateau, ALMA (Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array) is a radio telescope made up of 66 interconnected white dishes spread across the desert floor. An expensive and truly international project, it was built by science agencies from the US, Europe, East Asia and Chile to study the ‘cold universe’ – gas, dust, early stars and the remnants of the Big Bang.

A Path to the Milky Way [AnOther]
Atacama Large Millimeter Array [Wikipedia]

April 23, 2015  |  

Children & Hallucinogens: The Future Of Discipline

children-and-hallucinogens

1970s.. and this:

It was always an honour to be the sugar lump monitor at school. Miss Badcock would take out the sugar lumps and her little brown bottle at 11 O’clock everyday. She would then arrange the lumps on a square aluminium and, using the pink ended pipette that came with the bottle, she would put a single drip of what she called her “monkey juice” on each little cube.

Then, joy of joys, it was time for Miss Badcock to pick the monitor. Hands would shoot up as children would sit, ramrod straight and muttering “miss, miss.” Miss Badcock would scan the class with a critical eye, instantly dismissing the ‘odd’ children and picking the one who she felt had best exemplified the Scarfolk Ideal. The chosen one would then collect the tray from the desk and then proudly process around the class, distributing the sugar lumps to their fellow pupils. Any children who were deemed to have been badly behaved or just disliked by staff were personally given a double dose by Miss Badcock.

This daily ritual was followed by “Golden Time” as we were allowed to relax for a while and our teacher would read aloud to us from the works of Alistair Crowley and go over general Thelemic principals with the class. The children who had been given the double doses would make rather alarming noises and try to eat their own eyes, but this lent an extra dimension to the rather jolly time the test of us were experiencing.

Children & Hallucinogens [Scarfolk Council]
Scarfolk [Wikipedia]

April 5, 2015  |