Neuroscientist David Linden, who has guest-blogged here before, has an interesting post on his blog about how a young, half-Amerindian man named Emilio Gomez became a shaman and learned how to make ayahuasca—the traditional psychedelic brew of the Amazonian forest.
It's a fascinating look inside another culture and an interesting comparison of the different ways human beings approach drug use.
In 1932, at the age of fourteen, [Gomez] was given the herbal hallucinogenic drink called ayahuasca by local shamans in order to recover his strength following a period of illness. He saw visions that the shamans explained were revelations that he was chosen by the plants in the ayahuasca brew to receive knowledge from them. He was to learn traditional medicine and become a shaman himself. This was an elaborate and extended process that required him to live in near isolation in the jungle for a period of three years. During this time he was provided a strict traditional diet, consisting mostly of plantains and fish. He could eat some jungle fowl, but only the left breast—no other portion of the meat was allowed. Alcohol and sexual contact were strictly prohibited. His food was prepared and delivered to him by either a young girl or a postmenopausal woman, and whatever portion remained uneaten was carefully collected and destroyed so that no other man or animal might consume it.
Compass of Pleasure: The Journey of an Amazonian Shaman
Image: Yaga while Brewing, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from journeywithspirit's photostream
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
With the cacophony of an election year ablaze with unparalleled drama being fought on the front lines of Twitter, we find ourselves slowing down and staring at it like a bad accident. The need for escapist relief is perhaps more dire than usual right now. This fall, if it’s drama you crave, but the Hillary […]
With this comprehensive course in App & Game Development for iOS and Android, you’ll be able to take full advantage of this career opportunity without committing to going back to school full time. You’ll learn how to build immersive, interactive games and apps from start to finish using Python, C#, Unity, and HTML—some of the most in-demand programming […]
CloudPress is a responsive WordPress theme builder that allows you to create a whole site in less than 30 minutes. CloudPress comes with tools like pre-built headers, content blocks, and footers—all you have to do is pick what you like, and drag and drop. With your subscription, you get access to 13 professionally designed WordPress themes, over 80 […]
If you own a dog, you’ve most likely heard of BarkBox – the monthly subscription box for dogs. What started as a simple idea to try out the subscription model on pet owners has since developed a cult following of dog lovers. If you haven’t given it a try yet, this one month free deal is the […]