video games

This Week in Psychedelics - 4.14.17

Uruguay government legalises sale of recreational cannabis in pharmacies, the scientific evidence for using ketamine to treat acute and chronic depression, the spice epidemic shows why we should legalise herbal cannabis, and more in this week's update.

Book Review - Armada

Armada.jpg

Having read Ernest Cline’s engrossingly-thrilling debut novel Ready Player One several years ago, my expectations were quite high for Armada. It’s difficult to write a spoiler-free review of either book because detailing the plots will undoubtedly ruin the books for some readers, but at its core, Armada is essentially a book about video gamer nerds defending the human race against an alien invasion.

Similar to Cline’s masterpiece, Ready Player One, Armada engages the reader early on—throwing nostalgic pop culture references left and right, introducing compelling characters, and crafting a page turn-inducing plot. Without getting into spoiler-level detail about the book, it’s safe to say that the book will appeal to general nerds, music-lovers, video gamers, and military supporters (or battle aficionados) alike.

With that said, I don’t think that Armada is the same level of quality as Ready Player One (which still remains one of my favorite science fiction novels to date). The plot isn’t as captivating or mind-bending, the characters are somewhat predictable and aren’t as relatable, and the pop culture references got to be a bit too repetitive for my taste. When it comes down to it, Armada is a pretty solid book, but it isn’t one that I’d consider purchasing for my bookshelf (whereas Ready Player One definitely deserves a spot) or even re-reading again.

Cline is clearly a gifted writer and I am going to look forward to following his work into the future. He does have a spot on a very short list of modern, living science fiction authors that I am reading. I’m hoping that he will keep creating content that speaks to me, unlike some other authors that seem to burn too brightly in the beginning of their career and flame out. Only time will tell. Until now, I would advise reading Ready Player One before giving Armada a read, but if you enjoyed the debut novel, you’ll probably enjoy the second book as well.

4/5 stars. 349 pages.

Weekend Thoughts - 8.6.16

Image  by  Radosław Kut , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Radosław Kut, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

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

1. When flossing was first introduced as a dental care technique, there was no proof required when suggesting remedies. As a result, the majority of us in the Western world have been taught by our parents (who learned from our dentists and the mainstream media) that flossing is an essential technique. However, it turns out that an analysis of the scientific evidence did not find that flossing prevents gum disease and cavities. Due to this finding, the federal government's "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" will no longer list suggestions for flossing, much to the dismay of the American Dental Association, which still advocates for the practice. This simply means that the recommendation has been removed from the guidelines due to a lack of scientific evidence. But it doesn't mean that flossing doesn't actually help prevent gum disease and cavities—there is just currently a lack of scientific evidence, so the government has to remove the recommendation unless a new body of evidence is presented that will back up the claim.

2. As a young nerd, I had a subscription to the video game magazine Nintendo Power for several years. I gave away my collection of magazines a few years ago in an ongoing attempt to lessen my physical possessions and assumed I would never see them again. However, the first 13 years of the magazine have now been added to Archive.org. Fellow nerds can take a trip down memory lane (or explore them for the first time) by perusing the Archive.org collection.

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

This Week in Psychedelics - 7.22.16

Image by  Dahtamnay , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Cannabis

  • DEA Opens the Door to Cannabis Research with Clinical PTSD Trials (Psychedelic Times)
  • Big Pharma's Concerned About These Marijuana Stats (ATTN:)
  • Colorado town finds THC in water, warns residents not to drink or bathe in it (The Denver Post)
  • Montana: Medical Cannabis Restoration Initiative Qualifies For November Ballot (NORML)
  • Poll: Two-Thirds Of Americans Say 'Efforts To Enforce Marijuana Laws Cost More Than They Are Worth' (NORML)
  • Pennsylvania Legalizes Industrial Hemp (Reason)
  • This Former Prison Was Purchased by a Marijuana Company (ATTN:)
  • Cannabis: Bronze Age Yamna culture may have introduced cannabis to Europe and Asia 5,000 years ago (International Business Times)
  • Dabado Helps Cannabis Concentrate Users Put Down The Blow Torch (Forbes)
  • Cannabis industry bolstering retail, manufacturing job growth in Colorado (The Denver Post)
  • People Using This Health Remedy Are Often Denied Organ Transplants (ATTN:)
  • HelloMD looks to its 'Quora for cannabis' as a source of growth (TechCrunch)
  • Why Does Cannabis Get You "High" and Make You Feel Good? (Leafly)
  • Government could make $150 million annually from taxing cannabis (Stuff.co.nz)
  • First medical cannabis dispensary in Florida receives Authorization to Dispense (WPTV)
  • A Strange Blend: Why Are Europeans Mixing Cannabis and Tobacco? (Leafly)
  • Fund-raising in Cannabis, Initially Slow, Is Going Higher and Higher (Yahoo! Finance)
  • "Why do Republicans Respect Marijuana Prohibition Like it Came From Moses?" (Reason)

LSD

  • Doors of Perception: How Aldous Huxley Brought LSD Therapy to His Readers (Psychedelic Times)
  • How LSD Went From Research to Religion (JSTOR Daily)
  • Watch: Kristen Wiig is sorry for that time she slipped Seth Myers LSD (Vox)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Studying ecstasy or MDMA's effects may lead to autism or PTSD drug development (International Business Times)
  • A New Documentary Explores Whether or Not MDMA Use Can Solve Your Relationship Problems (Thump)
  • This Ecstasy Review Site Is a Hotbed of Perfect Pill-Related Prose (Thump)
  • Scientists say MDMA needs to be studied, not demonised (ScienceAlert)
  • Drug dealers selling Pokemon ecstasy pills to target youngsters and cash in on computer game craze (Mirror)

Ayahuasca/DMT

Iboga/Ibogaine

Synthetic Cannabinoids/Psychoactive Research Chemicals

  • What Is Fake LSD And How Can You Avoid It (High Times)

Dissociatives

  • New Trials Are Using Ketamine to Treat Alcohol Addiction (Motherboard)
  • Woman High on PCP Steals Car from North Haven Gas Station: Police (Patch)
  • Police rescue woman who climbed crane after taking PCP (Bristol Herald Courier)

Opiates/Opioids

  • Congress Is Doing Something About the Opioid Epidemic (ATTN:)
  • Our Opioid Crisis Reveals Deep Racial Bias In Addiction Treatment (TIME)
  • This Judge Wants Drug Dealers to Pay for Naloxone (ATTN:)
  • As Prescription Painkiller Addiction Soars, Drug Companies Raise Overdose Treatment Price By 1000% (Mintpress News)
  • To End the Opioid Epidemic, We Need Way More Than OD Treatments (Wired)
  • US War In Afghanistan Is Fueling Global Heroin Epidemic & Enabling The Drug Trade (Mintpress News)

Absinthe

Kratom

Kava

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • Why People Are Drinking Tobacco in the Amazon (Munchies)
  • How to Become an Addiction Recovery Coach Who Incorporates Psychedelic Integration (Psychedelic Times)
  • Drugs, Dissociatives and Displacement: The Festival Drug Report - Part 1 (VolteFace)
  • The Reason Saliva Drug Testing Hasn't Caught On (ATTN:)
  • What if all drugs were totally legal? (Boing Boing)
  • Mississippi's prison town are in danger of collapse, thanks to tiny reforms in the War on Drugs (Boing Boing)
  • The True Cost of This $2 Drug Test (ATTN:)
  • Emulating Nixon, Trump Sounds Softer Than Dukakis on Drugs (Reason)

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

This Week in Psychedelics - 7.8.16

Image by  Dahtamnay , courtesy of  Creative Commons  licensing.

Image by Dahtamnay, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.

Cannabis

  • Win-Win for Jamaica and Cannabis Harm Reduction as Marijuana Kiosks Set to Appear in Airports (Psychedelic Times)
  • These Pro MMA Fighters Don't Just Use Cannabis, They Embrace It (Leafly)
  • New study aims to examine whole-plant marijuana as treatment for sports injuries (The Denver Post)
  • The DEA Can't Legalize Medical Marijuana (Reason)
  • Does cannabis affect sperm? (Stuff.co.nz)
  • Epileptic children to get cannabis-based drug ahead of trials, NSW Premier says (ABC)
  • FDA Approves Insys Therapeutics' 2nd Cannabis-Based Drug (Forbes)
  • Signatures for Ark. Medical Cannabis Act verified, measure will be on November ballot (KATV)
  • Task Force Offers Hints of What Legal Pot Will Look Like in Canada (Reason)
  • Attempt to Limit Strength of THC in CO (NORML)
  • The One Job the Marijuana Industry Desperately Needs (ATTN:)
  • Wine Country Collective Offers Social Cannabis Tastings (Merry Jane)
  • Cannabis Capitalist: Scotts Miracle-Gro CEO Bets Big On Pot Growers (Forbes)
  • Tech Thursday: Steps To Protecting Cannabis In An Industry Ripe For Lawsuits (Dope Magazine)
  • Mixing cannabis with tobacco 'increases risk of addiction': Smoking drug 'makes you 60% LESS likely to want to quit' (Daily Mail)

LSD

  • Redman talks about that time he took acid and got shocked with an electric cattle prod (Boing Boing)

Psilocybin/Magic Mushrooms

  • Psychedelic Safe, Possibly Effective for Refractory Depression (Medscape)
  • Psilocybin and the Shadow: Magic Mushrooms as a Tool For Healing Emotional Trauma (High Existence)

MDMA/Ecstasy

  • Tragic student Jane Khalaf's ecstasy death would have been prevented if she had different hospital treatment (Mirror)
  • Heartbroken mum warns teenagers to 'value life' after her daughter died from toxic reaction to ecstasy (Mirror)
  • Epsom man died after taking mock ecstasy inquest hears (Get Surrey)

Ayahuasca/DMT

  • Inside a Psychedelic Healing Retreat (VICE)
  • This Swedish island promises shamans and psychedelic tea (The Local)
  • 9 Investigates hallucinogenic drug used in local church (WFTV)

Salvia Divinorum

Synthetic Cannabinoids/Psychoactive Research Chemicals

  • Convicted dealer linked to teen's NBOMe death pleads guilty to more charges (WRTV)

Dissociatives

  • Researchers seeking volunteers to test effectiveness of ketamine in treating alcoholism (iNews)
  • Man high on PCP runs car into home on Fourth of July (The Lufkin News)

Opiates/Opioids

  • A Conspiracy Theory that became a "Conspiracy Fact": The CIA, Afghanistan's Poppy Fields and America's Growing Heroin Epidemic (Center for Research on Globalization)
  • Mexico Now World's Third Biggest Producer of Opium Poppy (teleSUR)
  • Push to legalize poppy plantations in Mexico touches on farmers' livelihood (Fox News Latino)
  • Naloxone Widely Spread Throughout the United States (World Report Now)
  • Naloxone to be immediately distributed to released inmates in Ontario (The Globe and Mail)
  • Heroin addiction specialists see younger users getting treatment (9NEWS)

Kratom

Kava

Khat

  • The African drug some don't want to live without (BBC)
  • Uganda: Mairungi Farmers Protest Law (All Africa)

Miscellaneous Psychedelics/Psychoactives/Drug Policy

  • How Psychedelic Drugs Could Help Treat Addiction (Motherboard)
  • From LSD trips to getting caught in the girls' toilets - 9 things you didn't know about Cary Grant (Bristol Post)
  • 'People Would Do Anything to Get a Fix': Female Drug Dealers Share Their Stories (Broadly)
  • Where the Presidential Candidates Stand on Drug Policy (Forbes)
  • Finding a Doctor or Medical Professional That Incorporates Psychedelic Integration (Psychedelic Times)
  • Are Psychedelics Addictive? Understanding the Cultural and Social Roots of Addiction (Psychedelic Times)
  • 5 Bizarre Beliefs About Drugs From History (Bustle)
  • What Is Addiction Recovery Coaching? Integrating a Psychedelic Experience with a Recovery Coach (Psychedelic Times)
  • Psychedelia isn't dead, just ask videogames (Kill Screen)
  • DARE training teaches about new drug trends (West Hawaii Today)

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