Tuesday 17th of September 2019

the carrot cakes versus the nuclear bombs...

carrots cakes

In the days leading up to Woodstock, posters and advertisements pronounced the music festival—held 50 years ago on 15 to 18 August 1969—as an “Aquarian exposition.”


The watery descriptor, derived from astrology, was popularized 2 years earlier by the hit musical Hair. As the American pop music group The 5th Dimension sang in “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” in the new era, “Peace will guide the planets/And love will steer the stars.” Many people, especially those associated with the counterculture, welcomed the dawning of a New Age that would be guided more by “mystic crystal revelation” than traditional science.

But the Age of Aquarius was also the Age of Apollo. And in the summer of 1969, just a month before the Woodstock festival, hundreds of millions of people watched American astronauts walk on the surface of the Moon and return safely to their home planet. Science and technology—from new materials to digital computers to precision navigation—had made this feat possible, not hippie mysticism. NASA administrator Thomas Paine proclaimed the success of the Apollo program as the “triumph of the squares—the guys with computers and slide rules.”

A half-century later, the confluence of the Ages of Aquarius and Apollo presents historians of science with a challenge. How do we reconcile one of the 20th century's most impressive technoscientific achievements with bucolic images of young Americans frolicking in Woodstock's muddy fields?


Since 1969, meanwhile, many once-radical ideas have filtered into the mainstream, their groovy roots forgotten. For example, many of today's trends toward sustainability and “green design” emerged out of countercultural experiments in communal living. “Artisanal” and “organic” foods, which clutter shelves these days everywhere from nationwide grocery store chains to tiny neighborhood co-ops, likewise stem from concerted efforts back in the 1970s to evade conventional consumerism and pursue a novel blend of countercultural aspirations and entrepreneurship.


Read more:

When science was groovy

W. Patrick McCray, David Kaiser

Science  09 Aug 2019:

Vol. 365, Issue 6453, pp. 550-551




improving well-being with magic mushrooms...

Johns Hopkins Medicine is launching a new psychedelic research center where scientists will test the potential of so-called magic mushrooms and other drugs to treat some of the toughest mental health and addiction challenges.

The center, announced Wednesday, is believed to be the first center in the United States and the largest in the world to focus on drugs still better known as symbols of 1960s counterculture than serious medicine.

The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins Medicine is being funded by a $17 million donation from a group of private donors. Since federal funding cannot be used for such research, the center needs private support.

The Hopkins center’s research will focus on applications of the drugs for treating opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and depression, among other diseases.

“Psychedelics are a fascinating class of compounds,” said Roland Griffiths, the center’s director and a professor of behavioral biology in the Hopkins School of Medicine.

“They produce unique and profound change in consciousness," he said. “The center will allow us to expand on research to develop new treatments for a wide variety of psychiatric disorders. And it will allow us to extend on past research in healthy people to improve their sense of well being.”


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See also: homo sapiens... in from the big bang to strippers...