How LSD Works

In 1943 Swiss chemist Albert Hofman discovered he'd created what may be the most potent hallucinogen known to humankind. Then he took a bike ride. Learn about the chemistry, neurology, history and cultural impact of LSD-25.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Wowie zowie articles on on LSD, economics as astrology, warrant canaries, Baphomet and more great stuff.

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

For your relaxation, enjoyment and enrichment. (Did that come off sounding weird?)

The Best Stuff We've Read This Week

Each week Josh and Chuck read tons of articles. Many are terrible, but some are great. Here are the best of the bunch for your enjoyment.

LSD, Jell-O, Mouse Pain and Obama's Pardonless Presidency: More Interesting Stuff I've Learned Recently

Here's more interesting stuff I've picked up in the last fortnight or so: 1) A group of Dutch and Canadian researchers have developed the cutest, most heartbreaking pain scale issued by science thus far. In a paper in the journal Nature Methods, the researchers describe a mouse pain scale they devised the hard way, by subjecting mice to painful stimuli and videotaping the mice's reaction to the pain. As the researchers predicted, mice, like humans, have facial expressions that are generally uniform that the researchers used to code and grade the pain the mice endured. So cheek bulge falls into severe pain, while eye squeeze falls into moderate, adorable pain. Guh. The researchers devised the scale to help guide other researchers as they continue to subject mice to Mengele-esque experimentation.

Man, that psychology tirade was heavy. How about something a bit lighter today, like a post on how the CIA dosed a village in France in 1951 which resulted in, among other things, an 11-year-old boy with a head full of acid trying to strangle his aged grandmother? Oh, CIA, how your shady past continues to enthrall us today and makes us wonder what horrific things you're up to currently in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Alabama. Chuck and I recorded a podcast awhile back -- my favorite one of all time, in fact -- on how the CIA dosed unsuspecting Americans in the 1950s and 60s with LSD. While researching, I ran across the story of an American named Stanley Glickman who lived in his early 20s as an upcoming painter in Paris. He met up with a few fellow American expats in a cafe one night in 1952 and things began to get a bit strange, you could say. He grew inexplicably terrified, which kicked into overdrive when one of the shady characters, a man with a club foot, told him he could probably perform miracles if he tried.

Gary Warne and the Suicide Club

There was a guy named Gary Warne who, back in 1974, drew an important distinction between humor and sadism: Pranksters can dish it out, sadists don't laugh when it happens to them. Much like Ken Kesey had a decade or so before him tested the mettle of his own pranksters with Kool-Aid laden with LSD, Warne used whipped cream and pillow fights to sort out exactly who was a real prankster and who was just some jerk looking to smash some other guy in the face with a pillow.