Tuesday, December 9, 2014


1. According to this eye-popping article from the Independent UK, using "magic mushrooms" can change one's personality... for the better! The article states:
The study, at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in Baltimore, found that a single dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, was enough to cause positive effects for up to a year. "Psilocybin can facilitate experiences that change how people perceive themselves and their environment," said Roland Griffiths, a study author and professor of psychiatry and behavioural science at Johns Hopkins. "That's unprecedented."
Users who had a "mystical experience" while taking the drug showed increases in a personality trait dubbed "openness", one of the five major traits used in psychology to describe human personality. Openness is associated with imagination, artistic appreciation, feelings, abstract ideas and general broad-mindedness. None of the other four traits – extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness – was altered.
The study further shows that those who did NOT receive a beneficial boost of openness from ingesting shrooms didn't show any negative responses, either. Not a single "bad trip", and not a single negative result throughout the study. That's a damn sight better than most pharmaceutical tests, I can assure you.

2. If you're the kind of reader who enjoys a giggle or a titter to go along with your shivers, then look no further than artist Patrick Dean's ongoing blog series featuring Underwhelming Lovecraft Monsters! The example below is just a sketch pad scan. Most of the posts involved somewhat involved, multi-paneled stories that are sure to give great delight to even the most glancing of Lovecraft fans. Enjoy! And, by all means, Bookmark it as a favorite! When I put together that Daily Dirt Diaspora Ultimate Online Comics Page (coming soon), Underwhelming Lovecraft is sure to be a member strip!

3. Read this detailed overview of the Cicada 3301 online mystery that baffled the net's best code-breakers for the better part of a year. Then read this detailed overview of one group's collective attempts at solving that mystery. Then read this gripping account of Joel Eriksson, who "solved" Cicada 3301... but not really. Although I do appreciate his guesstimate about who might be behind the now annual hacker's delight puzzle game:
"It is most likely an underground organization, not related to any government or intelligence agency," he says. "Based on the references in their challenges—the Agrippa poem by William GibsonThe Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William BlakeThe Book of The Law by Aleister Crowley — and their constant references to prime numbers and the like, they are likely intellectual, anti-establishment, ideologically driven and they seem to be valuing logical/analytical thinking highly. They seem to share a lot of ideology with the cryptoanarchy movement, and old-school hackers."
Personally, although I find the references kind of interesting - and in hindsight, I would have easily guessed the answer to the first clue right away - "a book dictated to a beast?" Nigga please - the whole enterprise strikes me as a huge waste of time. But then again, what isn't these days? Still worth a read, that's for sure.

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