Happy Bicycle Day!

Bicycle Day 2013

Happy 70th Birthday, LSD!

April 19, 1943, Hofmann performed a self-experiment to determine the true effects of LSD, intentionally ingesting 0.25 milligrams (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. On the way, Hofmann’s condition rapidly deteriorated as he struggled with feelings of anxiety, alternating in his beliefs that the next-door neighbor was a malevolent witch, that he was going insane, and that the LSD had poisoned him. When the house doctor arrived, however, he could detect no physical abnormalities, save for a pair of incredibly dilated pupils. Hofmann was reassured, and soon his terror began to give way to a sense of good fortune and enjoyment, as he later wrote…

“… little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux …”

The events of the first LSD trip, now known as “Bicycle Day”, after the bicycle ride home, proved to Hofmann that he had indeed made a significant discovery: a psychoactive substance with extraordinary potency, capable of causing significant shifts of consciousness in incredibly low doses. Hofmann foresaw the drug as a powerful psychiatric tool; because of its intense and introspective nature, he couldn’t imagine anyone using it recreationally.

Bicycle day is increasingly observed in psychedelic communities as a day to celebrate the discovery of LSD.

Magic Trip’s Druggy Sixties Origin Story (or, Why Historians Should Think About Selling Out)

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

When people tell me the 1960s aren’t history, I try to convince them otherwise by describing the process of transcribing decades-old audio from a reel-to-reel tape player. Gingerly string the tape onto the player and try to avoid mangling a piece of history. Miss a word and a say a prayer that the tape doesn’t get gnarled when you rewind. The headphones are like a phone line to another time; if you accidentally splice the tape, you’ll need to ask the archivist to patch you through again.

Filmmakers Alex Gibney and Allison Ellwood had an infinitely more difficult job. Working with UCLA’s Film and Television archive and an illustrious group of funders, they had the opportunity to take day-glo canisters of footage from Ken Kesey and the Merry Band of Pranksters’ cross-country bus trip and craft a coherent chronicle out of them. What they made with the film—some of it shrunken…

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Why Prescription Ecstasy or LSD Could Happen Much Sooner Than You Think

LSD blotter.
Image via Wikipedia

Why Prescription Ecstasy or LSD Could Happen Much Sooner Than You Think

By Anneli Rufus, AlterNet
Posted on June 24, 2011, Printed on June 26, 2011
Let’s say an abuse-ridden childhood has left you with PTSD that sparks panic whenever you hear shouts, even on TV. Or let’s say a bad accident has saddled you with crippling anxiety and chronic pain. Now let’s say that you could ease — or even cure — these woes with prescription psiloscybin. Prescription ecstasy. Prescription LSD.

If a growing phalanx of scientists get their way, those prescriptions could be yours within 10 years. Research into the medical benefits of psychedelic drugs is booming. An April conference on the subject at Great Britain’s University of Kent featured lectures on such topics as “Ketamine Psychotherapy” and “Ayahuasca in the Contemporary World.”

Leading this wave is the Boston-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), whose executive director Rick Doblin spoke at that conference. MAPS researchers have spent 15 years conducting international clinical trials whose results indicate that LSD and psilocybin counteract depression and anxiety and are effective pain-management tools while MDMA (ecstasy) conquers fear. Just this month, the Israeli Ministry of Health approved a new MAPS study using MDMA to treat PTSD.

“Time is on our side,” Doblin says. “The world is full of aging baby boomers who are looking forward to psychedelic retirement and psychedelic hospice. Read more of this post

Counterculture figure Owsley Stanley, who provided millions of LSD trips, dies in Australia

Counterculture figure Owsley Stanley, who provided millions of LSD trips, dies in Australia

By ROD McGUIRK, Sunday, March 13, 9:39 PM

CANBERRA, Australia — Owsley “Bear” Stanley, a 1960s counterculture icon who worked with The Grateful Dead and was a prolific LSD producer, died in a car crash in Australia, his family said Monday. He was 76.

Lyrics sung by The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa reference Stanley and his brushes with the law, underlining his influence.

Stanley produced an estimated pound (half a kilogram) of pure LSD, or roughly 5 million “trips” of normal potency of the hallucinogenic drug, after enrolling in 1963 at the University of California at Berkeley and becoming involved in the drug scene that underpinned the hippie movement, according to the BookRags.com website.

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