diet

This Week in Psychoactives - 8.2.19

ThisWeekInPsychoactives.jpeg

CANNABIS

  • Thailand set to deliver first batch of medical marijuana (Reuters)

  • Pass the Duchy: Luxembourg’s grand plan to legalize cannabis (Politico)

  • Court: DEA Must Explain Its Failure to Act Upon Pending Marijuana Cultivation Applications (NORML)

  • US Government Approves Increased Production of Marijuana for Clinical Research (NORML)

  • Coast Guard Issues Order Barring Active Duty Members From Visiting Marijuana Shops (Marijuana Moment)

  • Scientist Debunks Her Earlier Study That Claimed Weed Causes Brain Damage (MERRY JANE)

  • Chart: Women account for more than a third of marijuana business executives (Marijuana Business Daily)

  • Eggs and Peanuts Could Prevent Birth Defects Caused by Weed (MERRY JANE)

  • New York Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization And Expungements Bill (Marijuana Moment)

  • At some colleges, marijuana studies are blooming (CBS News)

  • Florida Activists Clear First Hurdle To Put Marijuana Legalization On State’s 2020 Ballot (Marijuana Moment)

  • California Working Toward Certifying “Almost Organic” Cannabis (Filter)

  • Marijuana during pregnancy might be as dangerous as alcohol (Popular Science)

  • CBN Is Another Cannabis Compound With Beneficial Properties (Forbes)

  • Is cannabis use the same as off-duty drinking by workers? Many companies still say no (CNBC)

  • He admits he once smoked marijuana, now U.S. won’t let him re-enter country (Los Angeles Daily News)

LSD

  • The Truth About The Acid-Dipped Cigarette In Once Upon A Time In Hollywood (Refinery29)

MAGIC MUSHROOMS

  • People Are Hungry for Shroom Legalization, and the Money to Fund It Is Growing (VICE)

  • Could magic mushrooms be the next drug legalized in Canada? (Yahoo! Finance)

  • Undesirable Effects from Magic Mushrooms (Psychedelic Science Review)

MDMA

  • To Spot MDMA Users, Festivals May Soon Roll Out Thermal Cameras (MERRY JANE)

  • Study claims ecstasy and cocaine cause less harm than tobacco and alcohol (Dance Music Northwest)

  • Youngsters have no idea when they are safe to drive after ecstasy use (DutchNews.nl)

  • Victorian schoolgirls safely back home after MDMA scare at camp (news.com.au)

AYAHUASCA

  • Ayahuasca Is About More Than Just You. It’s About Planetary Health. (Kahpi)

5-MEO-DMT

  • Holding 5-MeO Practitioners Accountable for Dangerous Behavior: Interview with Rak Razam and Mario Garnier (Psychedelic Times)

PEYOTE

  • Peyote Is Endangered, Spiritually Sacred and Becoming Legal (HowStuffWorks)

IBOGA

  • Gabon prepares for first international forum on Iboga (Africa Times)

SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS

  • Coroner's ruling: Corey-James Brown died from smoking synthetic drugs (New Zealand Herald)

NITROUS OXIDE

KETAMINE

  • Ketamine isn't an opioid and treats depression in a unique way (EurekAlert!)

  • Ketamine clinics are arriving in Richmond (WTVR)

PCP

  • PCP-Crazed Man Attacks Officers After Crash In Stafford: SCSO (Patch)

OPIOIDS

  • Your Methadone History Could Soon Be Shared Without Your Consent (Filter)

  • As Opioid Prescriptions Surged in Germany, Opioid Addiction Held Steady, While Opioid-Related Deaths Fell (Reason)

  • Device for Opioid Overdoses Releases Naloxone Automatically (Medgadget)

  • Opioid Patient Worth $200,000 a Year to Purdue, State Says (Bloomberg)

  • Drought Cripples Taliban's Record-High Opium Production Amid Peace Talks (Breitbart)

  • Colorado Wants You To Know About This Life-Saving Drug (Westword)

COCAINE

  • Exclusive NYPD Data Reveals Just How Often Fentanyl Is in Cocaine (VICE)

  • Colombia will spray Chinese glyphosate to control coca (Diálogo Chino)

  • Weird New Kinds Of Cocaine Could Start A “Hidden Epidemic” Of Health Threats (BuzzFeed News)

METHAMPHETAMINE

CAFFEINE

  • Exceeding healthy caffeine limits during pregnancy can be harmful to babies’ health (Consumer Affairs)

  • Coffee Farmers Are In Crisis. Starbucks Wants To Help. (Forbes)

TOBACCO

  • Most Americans Support Raising Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco (Gallup)

ALCOHOL

  • One in 10 Older Adults Binge Drinks, Study Says (The New York Times)

  • Facebook bans sales of alcohol and tobacco between users (CNBC)

  • Here's the Buzz on Alcohol in Space (HowStuffWorks)

  • How Much Does Alcohol Harm People Besides the Drinker? (Psychology Today)

KRATOM

KAVA

  • MIT Scientists Synthesize The Feel-Good Molecules In Kava, 'Nature's Xanax' (WBUR)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Psychedelic Medicine Is Coming. The Law Isn’t Ready (Scientific American)

  • Another Florida Sheriff's Deputy Arrested For Arresting People on False Drug Charges (Reason)

  • Exclusion, Censorship, Internment: Brazilian Drug Policy Under Bolsonaro (Filter)

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tripping (The Atlantic)

  • A Reddit user surveyed 650 psychedelic drug users, here’s what they found (Happy Mag)

  • Public university to host ‘psychedelic neuroscience’ symposium (The College Fix)

  • Latest update on drug-related deaths and mortality in Europe (EMCDDA)

  • Why Psychedelic Science Should Pay Speakers and Trainers of Color (Chacruna)

Think Wilder is reader-supported. If you enjoyed this week’s update, please consider helping out by becoming a patron, making a one-time donation, or sharing this post with a friend. Thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychoactives" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Psychedelic Astronaut.

This Week in Psychoactives - 2.15.19

ThisWeekInPsychoactives.jpeg

CANNABIS

  • Senator Files '420' Marijuana Bill To Legalize It Federally (Forbes)

  • Mexican Senate Report Lays Out Marijuana Legalization Considerations (Marijuana Moment)

  • New Mexico Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Legalization Bill At Committee Hearing (Marijuana Moment)

  • Oregon has more legal cannabis than the state can consume in six years (Quartz)

  • States With Legal Medical Marijuana Have Lower Teen Use Rates, Large-Scale Study Finds (Marijuana Moment)

  • Why CBD Works Better With a Little THC (Even If You Don’t Want to Get High) (Leafly)

  • Study Shows How Marijuana Component CBD Can Help People With Substance Use Disorders (Marijuana Moment)

  • Veterans Medical Marijuana Access Legislation Introduced In House and Senate (NORML)

  • European Parliament Approves Medical Marijuana Resolution (Marijuana Moment)

  • Bill to Provide Greater Access for Virginia Medical Cannabis Patients Succeeds (NORML)

  • Missouri Lawmakers Approve Marijuana Expungement Bill For Medical Cannabis Patients (Marijuana Moment)

  • Kamala Harris Got So High Smoking Weed in College She Thought She Was Listening To Snoop Dogg and Tupac (Reason)

  • Where Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar Stands On Marijuana (Marijuana Moment)

  • Michigan’s First Cannabis Lounge Is the Chill Alternative to Bars (Leafly)

  • Marijuana possession bill reintroduced in state Senate (Winston-Salem Journal)

  • Maury Povich Smoked A Marijuana Strain Named After His Wife, Journalist Connie Chung (Marijuana Moment)

  • Dan Bilzerian's Weed Company Is Keeping Sexist Cannabis Ads Alive (VICE)

  • If you support marijuana legalization, you should support safe injection sites (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

  • Here's How New Mothers are Using CBD to Combat Baby Brain (Civilized)

  • Aurora Cannabis earnings show big growth in pot sales, but worrisome profit trend (MarketWatch)

LSD

  • The Man who Mapped LSD (OUPblog)

  • Microdoses of LSD change how you perceive time (Big Think)

  • Amanda Feilding: ‘LSD can get deep down and reset the brain – like shaking up a snow globe’ (The Guardian)

MAGIC MUSHROOMS

  • $1m kicked into campaign for magic mushroom therapy (The Sydney Morning Herald)

  • Push to legalize psychedelic mushrooms gains traction in Eugene (KEZI)

  • Hallucinogenic Mushrooms Are Having a Moment. Here's What It's All About. (Cheddar)

  • Magic Mushrooms Show Promising Results for Treating PTSD and Depression (San Diego Entertainer Magazine)

MDMA

  • MDMA Users May Have a Social Advantage Over People Who Use Other Drugs (Inverse)

  • Israel's Health Ministry Approves Compassionate Use of MDMA to Treat PTSD (Haaretz)

  • MDMA Expanded Access is almost here. What’s it all about? (Psymposia)

  • Use of Ecstasy spreading in Cebu: PDEA 7 (Sun.Star)

  • Police issue a warning for yellow octopus ecstasy pills (Mixmag)

  • Daniel Eades, 19, took MDMA at Halo and Wetherspoon (Bournemouth Echo)

  • Young dad dies after taking ecstasy on New Year's Eve (Derbyshire Live)

AYAHUASCA

  • The First Indigenous Ayahuasca Conference (Yubaka Hayrá) in Acre Demonstrates Political, Cultural and Spiritual Resistance (Chacruna)

  • Ayahuasca Shows Huge Potential As a Treatment For Severe Depression (Reset.me)

  • What Ayahuasca is Trying to Teach Us: An Interview with Dennis McKenna (Reality Sandwich)

  • Mindful Eating as a support for Ayahuasca Dieta (Tam Integration)

SYNTHETIC CANNABINOIDS

  • Severe bleeding associated with use of tainted synthetic cannabinoids (AAP News)

  • Colorectal cancer: Scientists halt growth with cannabinoid compounds (Medical News Today)

  • Children as young as THREE are treated in hospital after taking Spice as Britain's synthetic drug crisis deepens (Daily Mail)

NITROUS OXIDE

  • Laughing gas now an option for women giving birth (Everything Lubbock)

  • Residents 'disgusted' after piles of 'hippy crack' canisters dumped outside Cambridge home (Cambridgeshire Live)

  • Everything you need to know about nangs, the worrying craze growing amongst Aussie teens. (Mamamia)

KETAMINE

  • Taking Ketamine Can Feel a Lot Like a Near-Death Experience (Tonic)

  • F.D.A. Panel Recommends New Depression Treatment (The New York Times)

  • Ketamine Clinics of Los Angeles Commemorates Five Years of Patient Success Stories (New Kerala)

PCP

  • Man who killed USA Today reporter in PCP-fueled crash sentenced to six years in prison (The Washington Post)

OPIATES/OPIOIDS

  • When the Cure Is Worse Than the Disease (The New York Times)

  • Mapping the Opioid Epidemic (New America)

  • Overdose remedy naloxone now carried by all Ventura police officers (Ventura County Star)

  • Mass. Issues Guidelines After Boston Nurse Was Denied Life Insurance For Carrying Naloxone (WBUR)

  • Even in best-case scenario, opioid overdose deaths will keep rising until 2022 (Los Angeles Times)

  • Opioid-Related Deaths Decreasing in Iowa, Report Shows (WHO-TV)

  • Veterinarian sentenced to 6 years for stitching heroin into puppies and turning them into drug mules (INSIDER)

  • Why the Rural Opioid Crisis Is Different From the Urban One (CityLab)

  • Opium cultivation business squeezed by market shift towards meth (Myanmar Times)

  • Vet saves Victoria puppy with naloxone injection (Maple Ridge News)

  • Offer: help solve the opioid crisis, have your student loans forgiven (Rooster Magazine)

  • Indy coffee shop is the newest place to offer life-saving drug naloxone (Fox 59)

  • Coroner: No carfentanil spike locally, but OD deaths are up (Dayton Daily News)

  • 'Church Of Safe Injection' Offers Needles, Naloxone To Prevent Opioid Overdoses (NPR)

  • It's too late to save my son's life, but this drug can save others (The Sacramento Bee)

  • Houston Cop Involved in Deadly Drug Raid Relieved of Duty Due to 'Ongoing Questions' (Reason)

  • Naloxone training could help save numerous lives (KVAL)

METHAMPHETAMINE

BENZODIAZEPINES

  • The Deadly Worst Case Scenario for America's Xanax Obsession (VICE)

ALCOHOL

  • Beer before wine, you'll feel fine? Not according to a new study (CTV News)

  • More than 100 dead after drinking bootleg alcohol in India (Reuters)

  • Man 'under influence of alcohol' allegedly beats stepdaughter to death (Jakarta Post)

  • How heavy drinking might boost your appetite for alcohol (Health24)

  • Alcohol Problems Grow as Booze Gets a Bigger Kick (WebMD)

  • Alcohol’s effects on the brain (The Ithacan)

  • Plan to raise alcohol limits in beer at Utah stores approved (Cache Valley Daily)

  • Report says Utah has lowest alcohol consumption per capita in country (KUTV 2News)

  • Thousands sign petition to stop ban of alcohol on some Michigan rivers (WXYZ)

  • I Stopped Drinking For 30 Days — & My Skin Got So Much Better (Refinery29)

  • Giving up alcohol made our lives better — and turned us into terrible guests (The Washington Post)

ABSINTHE

  • Does absinthe really make drinkers hallucinate? (Fox News)

NOOTROPICS

  • Brain‑Enhancing 'Smart Drugs' Promise a Boost in Creativity, Memory (The Swaddle)

  • Seven Mental and Athletic Performance Benefits of Nootropics (Youth Health Magazine)

  • Noopept: one of the most potent brain boosters on the market (London Post)

KRATOM

  • Kratom Is A Drug, But Indonesia Really Wants It To Remain An Unlicensed Supplement (Science 2.0)

  • The FDA is wrong about kratom (The Washington Post)

  • Regulations Are On Hold as Kratom Debate Rages (WebMD)

  • Kratom No Longer Allowed In Columbus (WCBI)

  • What Is Kratom & Why Is It Being Used For Opiate Self-Detox? (Psychology Today)

  • Miracle treatment or dangerous drug? (The Star Online)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • El Chapo, the Notorious Drug Kingpin, Has Been Found Guilty in His U.S. Trial (TIME)

  • 'Kitty Flipping' and the Psychonaut Obsession with Mixing Drugs (VICE)

  • FDA explores using blockchain to track drug supplies (Engadget)

  • How Brexit Will Shape Britain's Drug Supply (VICE)

  • GOP Iowa lawmaker proposes decriminalizing psychedelic drugs for medical use (The Hill)

  • Sri Lanka hiring hangmen, inspired by Philippines' war on drugs (Reuters)

  • Will El Chapo's conviction change anything in the drug trade? (The Guardian)

  • Victoria city councillors call on B.C. to provide safe-inhalation sites for drugs (Times Colonist)

  • Tennessee bill would charge pregnant women using drugs if baby born addicted (KMPH)

  • Students Turn To Study Drugs And Alcohol To Cope With Campus Life (Forbes)

  • Is there something divine about gender and psychedelics? (The Psychedelic Scientist)

  • Microdosing Hallucinogens Has Positive Effects—but Not What You Might Suspect (Pacific Standard)

  • Riverstyx: A Small Family Foundation That Funds Psychedelic Research and Other Fringe Causes (Inside Philanthropy)

  • Sex On Drugs (PSU Vanguard)

  • The case for drug decriminalization in Baltimore (The Baltimore Sun)

  • Japan managed to win its war on drugs, why can’t we? (The Spectator)

  • Trip Sitters and Conscious Bachelorette: Interview with Chi of Truffles Therapy (Psychedelic Times)

  • Psychedelics Live Up to Early Promise (Discover Magazine)

  • How 'Russian Doll' flirts with psychedelic therapy (The Outline)

  • Becoming an Entheogen (Medium)

  • Psychedelic Meditation (The Third Wave)


On the Monday following each edition of “This Week in Psychoactives,” I post a “Last Week in Psychoactives” video recap to my YouTube channel. After that is done, I retroactively add the video to the corresponding blog post. Here is this week’s video recap:


Think Wilder is reader-supported. If you enjoyed this week’s update, please consider helping out by becoming a patron, making a one-time donation, or sharing this post with a friend. Thank you for your support.

Disclaimer: "This Week in Psychoactives" does not censor or analyze the news links presented here. The purpose of this column is solely to catalogue how psychedelics are presented by the mass media, which includes everything from the latest scientific research to misinformation.

Image by Psychedelic Astronaut.

Book Review - Getting Higher

GettingHigher.png

Whether you are an experienced psychonaut or a first-time tripper, absorbing understandable and accurate advice about the psychedelic experience before embarking on an entheogenic journey can be extremely valuable. Although I have several years worth of personal experience and tips and tricks that I have picked up from many sources along the way, I was pleasantly surprised to find Julian Vayne's book Getting Higher: The Manual of Psychedelic Ceremony to contain plenty of suggestions and ideas that were new to me, which I will gladly be able to bring to my own psychedelic practice.

A section titled "Setting Out" describes a variety of things that someone may consider doing before embarking on a psychedelic journey, including cleansing the body with a bath or shower, fasting or making other intentional dietary changes, carefully choosing the clothes they are going to wear, cleaning and decorating the physical space, saying prayers or setting an intention, and lighting candles or incense. Additionally, choosing a group of people to trip with that have mutual trust and respect should be a priority. The end of a psychedelic ceremony can involve a formal conclusion to the session. For example, you could give thanks to the spirits of the medicine, extinguish a fire that has been burning through the night, or open the curtains to let the light in, if the experience has happened inside.

The next chapter introduces the concept of practices that can be done outside of psychedelic ceremony that will help you navigate the psychedelic experience. These include breathwork, meditation, various activities involving sound (such as listening to pre-recorded music, making music, drumming, singing, chanting mantras), and a vast array of different types of movements (synchronized or freeform spontaneous dancing, checking in on one's posture and balance, gestures, sensual and sexual activities, etc.).

Another chapter focuses on activities that can be done while high that will guide or intensify the experience for the psychonaut, such as artistic explorations like drawing or painting, consciously consuming content, holding or observing objects that are significant to the tripper, playing games, going on a journey in nature, venturing into a museum on a "museum level" dose, participating at a rave or music festival, experimenting with divinatory practices like tarot or the I Ching, and creating an environment of sensory deprivation like with a float tank. Vayne also goes into great detail about how to plan, organize, and execute an effective medicine circle, which is a way to have a structured—yet highly meaningful—psychedelic experience in a group setting. In fact, there are several descriptions of ceremonies scattered throughout the book that are provided so the reader can gain ideas and inspiration for creating their own unique practice.

Although there can sometimes be a feeling in the psychedelic community that it is imperative to the success of the movement for its members to approach and speak about psychedelics exclusively in a serious manner, Vayne suggests that strict divisions between the concepts of using psychedelics for spirituality, play, and enjoyment are not needed. I tend to agree.

While it is not a primary focus of the book, it does include some scientific research. For example, there is a small section regarding the effects that psychedelics have on the physiological health of the human brain. Research has shown that psychedelics may enhance organic brain processes such as neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain cells to form new connections), and the compounds found in some psychedelics have been demonstrated to cause neurogenesis (the formation of neurons from neural stem cells) in vitro. There are a few more scientific snippets in the book, but it mainly looks at what one can do to create the most optimal conditions for a psychedelic experience.

I was ultimately extremely impressed by Getting Higher, which contains plenty of legitimate advice for psychonauts wishing to take their trips to new levels of intensity or learn how to move through the psychedelic space more effectively. This book is certainly worth reading, regardless of one's skill level with psychedelics, but I do feel like it may be appreciated more by people who have had a few trips under their belt than by complete novices. Perhaps this will even increase the re-readability of this book—for me at least. Only time will tell. However, I am confident that the suggestions in Getting Higher that I highlighted and/or wrote down in my own notes will be helpful for my own psychedelic practice for years to come.

4/5 stars. 135 pages.

Book Review - The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss

TheMcDougallProgramForMaximumWeightLoss.jpg

At this point, I have read a fair amount of books on the whole foods plant-based diet, including John A. McDougall's most famous book, The Starch Solution. I've also read books written by T. Colin Campbell, Chef AJ, High Carb Hannah, Rip Esselstyn, and Douglas N. Graham. To be honest, I wasn't expecting to learn a whole lot of new information from The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss, especially since The Starch Solution is typically heralded as McDougall's best book. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was completely wrong—this book has a lot to offer, even for the most nutritionally-educated among us!

Starting out in the beginning of the book, McDougall makes it clear that this is not an all-or-nothing program. Obviously, the more strictly one adheres to the program's advice, the more weight will be lost. But since change is a process and takes a considerable amount of time, he advises that we pat ourselves on our backs for every healthy choice we make, and use our lapses as learning experiences. I especially liked his dedication at the beginning of the book: "To those who suffer needlessly in order to look great." I can definitely relate to that sentiment!

McDougall assures the reader that "The desire to appreciate your body and make it beautiful is one of the most natural and wonderful urges in life." However, "even more fundamental is the urge to eat, which, after all, keeps us alive." These natural instincts may seem to be at odds with one another, but McDougall asserts that they can work together to produce a beautiful-looking body at a healthy weight. In his opinion, the cultural view that they are in opposition with one another is simply a delusion that happens to also be self-destructive. Without the strong desire to eat, we might give up food for some other activity, which would result in malnourishment and possibly even death by starvation. The strength of our hunger drive is necessary for our survival as individuals as well as the survival of our species. Hunger has driven many people to perform great acts of courage as well as also ghastly acts of barbarism. In other words— the hungrier we become, the more likely we are to lose control of our actions. It's time to stop blaming overweight and obese people for their hunger drives, because hunger is completely normal and necessary for survival.

Contrary to popular belief, our bodies mainly crave carbohydrates, not fat or protein. In fact, the secret to satiation is carbohydrate consumption. And that doesn't apply just to full-grown adults—it includes children as well! McDougall states, "Even in childhood, the nutrient our bodies need more than any other is carbohydrate. Adults need approximately 35 times more carbohydrates for energy than we need protein for growth, and 800 times more carbohydrate than fat." McDougall goes into great detail in Chapter Three about the benefits of carbohydrates on our health. The rest of the book covers several various topics, including how the fat you eat is the fat you wear, the importance of fiber (which is only found in plants) in the diet, the role that insulin plays in promoting obesity, what constitutes the "Maximum Weight Loss Program", the physiological reasons that women lose weight slower than men, the (small) role that exercise plays in weight loss, the effects that alcohol and coffee have on weight (and overall health), how sleep deprivation can be beneficial, and shopping and food preparation. The book ends with a lot of tasty recipes for people who need some meal planning inspiration.

Overall, this is one of the best books on the whole foods plant-based diet that I have read, if not the absolute best. I would definitely recommend reading this over McDougall's The Starch Solution, even though I would recommend reading that one as well. The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss goes into more detail and may be a better fit for people who are specifically looking for information to help them lose weight. I definitely recommend reading this one if you get a chance. It's relatively old (originally published in 1994), so it may even be available at your local library for free!

5/5 stars. 334 pages.

Weekend Thoughts - 3.11.17

Image  by  Andrea Kirkby , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Andrea Kirkby, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Happy Saturday y'all! Below, I have rounded up some things for you to think about this weekend:

1. Possibly the biggest news this week (as far as Think Wilder readers would be concerned) was WikiLeaks' publication of CIA hacking secrets, titled "Vault 7". The release contains 8,761 documents and represents "the majority of [the CIA] hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized 'zero day' exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation," according to WikiLeaks. Among the most interesting to U.S. citizens are vulnerabilities found in the iOS, Android, and Windows operating systems, methods to compromise end-to-end encrypted chat applications, and the ability to turn Samsung smart TVs into listening devices. From my understanding, most of these exploits require the CIA to have physical access to a device, not that the encryptions themselves were broken. It's worth taking a look to familiarize yourself with how the agency has been carrying out its operations so far, and what its capabilities are when it comes to spying on people using technological means.

2. The situation at the U.S. border has gotten more complex over the past several weeks. A new development in that story occurred this week when Border Patrol started increasing their demands for passwords and searching private electronic devices. And it turns out that they're legally allowed to do so. When traveling inside the U.S. border, the TSA is not allowed to confiscate devices or ask for passwords, because citizens are protected by the Fourth and Fifth amendments. But since Border Patrol is not technically located inside of the border, those protections do not necessarily apply. For now, Border Patrol is operating inside of a grey area, unimpeded by our rights against unreasonable searches and self-incrimination. If you're interested in protecting yourself as much as possible when traveling abroad-and-back, I suggest taking a look at the Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Pocket Guide To Protecting Your Data".

3. In interesting nutrition-related news, new research shows that there was no such thing as a "typical Neanderthal diet"—some Neanderthals ate meat, and others were strict vegetarians. This development throws some shade on the so-called "Paleo Diet", which may be more accurately represented as a "no-carb diet", because the true Paleo Diet consisted of whatever was available in one's environment. Essentially, the findings represent a more adaptive type of being:

"Those that occupied southern regions with relatively warm climates, consumed different types of foods, including meat and vegetables," says Luca Fiorenza from Monash University (not involved with the study). "But Neanderthals that lived in very harsh conditions, such as northern Europe, were forced to rely on the limited sources available—meat."

It's nice to know that the scientific findings back up the conviction that I always held, which was that our ancestors just ate whatever was around so that they could continue surviving—not that they were strict carnivores or strict vegans.

4. I'm a huge fan of the Instant Pot, which is a combination slow-cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and more. I use it nearly every day to batch cook recipes, and find the device easy to use, easy to clean, and a massive time-saver. The BBC wrote a feature story on the success of the Instant Pot and how it developed a cult following that is worth a read. And if you're interested in purchasing one, I definitely advise it! I might suggest waiting until this year's Amazon Prime Day (if you are an Amazon Prime customer) because they were sold at a nice discount during last year's Prime Day event.

5. As a regular book reader, I especially enjoyed this article showing 10 reasons why reading is important. The various benefits include sharpening your mind, lowering stress levels, increasing your vocabulary, enhancing your imagination, and boosting your sleep—among many others! So if you needed any reasons to increase your reading time, look no further!

That's all for this week's edition of Weekend Thoughts. Until next week, keep thinking wilder.