Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. -John Lennon
Facebook: Where everybody knows your name, and also every other minute detail of your entire existence.
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A good trip: Researchers are giving psychedelics to cancer patients to help alleviate their despair — and it’s working
On a bone-chilling morning in February last year, Nick Fernandez bundled up and took the subway from his Manhattan apartment to the Bluestone Center for Clinical Research, which is located in an art deco-style building on the Upper East Side. A 27-year-old graduate student in psychology with dark, wavy hair and delicate, bird-like features, Fernandez was excited and nervous. He had eaten a light breakfast consisting of a bagel and industrial-strength coffee in preparation for another journey he was about to take. Fernandez had signed up to be a subject in a New York University study into the use of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, to relieve mental anguish in people with terminal or recurrent cancer.
Fernandez hoped that the drug would lift the shroud of melancholy and free-floating anxiety that had enveloped him ever since he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2004 during his senior year in high school. Two and a half years of almost continuous chemotherapy vanquished the disease, but left him drained and traumatised. The former soccer star dropped more than 50 lbs from an already lean frame. ‘It was pretty brutal and forces you to grow up fast,’ said Fernandez, who became intensely interested in spiritual philosophy during this period, and went on to dabble in psychedelics in college. For years afterward, every sneeze and sniffle, every day that he felt tired or out of sorts, filled him with an unshakeable dread that the cancer had returned. When he heard the study mentioned on a radio show, he immediately signed up.
Jeffrey Guss and Erin Zerbo, the two NYU psychiatrists who would quietly monitor Fernandez’s progress throughout the day, greeted him when he arrived. After they took his vital signs, Fernandez changed into sweat pants and a shirt, and settled into a converted dental exam room that had been transformed into a hippie-style sanctum: tricked out with fresh flowers and fruits, a comfy sofa littered with plush pillows, Buddhist and shamanistic totems, and a high-tech sound system. Stephen Ross, an associate professor of psychiatry at NYU and the lead investigator for the study, made a brief appearance in the trip room. He was holding a glass vial that had been retrieved earlier that morning from a massive safe located inside a high-security storage room. It contained a single white capsule, and no one could be sure if it was a placebo – a dummy pill – or a 30 milligram dose of synthesised psilocybin.
After Shaquille O’Neal was sued by a former coworker claiming permanent injury after Shaq tackled him in the office, Shaq was forced to write an apology to his other coworkers for any possible infractions.
It’s interesting to see this because often we forget that our solar system is, as a whole, in orbital motion around the galaxy. This image is really awesome.
Except it’s totally scientifically inaccurate.
The video from which this is taken is based around the premise that our solar system is not a heliocentric system, but rather a “vortex” that is traveling around the galaxy.
In addition, as the Sun travels through the Milky Way, it doesn’t drag the planets along with it in the way this animation implies. At certain points, planets may be ahead of the Sun in its orbit.
In short, while this is a cool gif that’s kind of mesmerizing to watch, it’s based on garbage science. Read more here and here, and remember to be diligent about checking your sources. The graphics may look slick, but that doesn’t make them right.