Archive for May, 2006

Archbishop Temple School (bloody hell)

Tuesday 30 May (2006)

Okay, what the fuck? Someone has done a real number on my former high school over on Wikipedia. (Yes, prepare for another one of those 'he's been up all night and gone around the bend' posts.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Salvia 3: I’m not ready to come with you (yet)

Monday 29 May (2006)

Fuck, this stuff. I want some more. A few days ago I tried it again and had perhaps the most acid-like trip yet, and also the most disorientating. It started with Sally deciding that she wanted to see what the fuss was all about. She kind of wasted her opportunity through a bong-malfunction, but wanted to stay with me whilst I did it – and thank you, Sally, for being a good sitter.

I went through the motions and lay down on the bed. All very familiar until the thoughts that were floating around my head ("I wonder what will happen this time" / "I hope this is fun") started bounding forwards, literally bouncing away from me leaving a tubular trail in front of my eyes. "Oh shit," I think I thought. All of these random thoughts and questions were flowing out of my head into the middle distance; ahead of me yet with an untangible sense of going towards the left that I can't properly describe.

I was paralysed, pretty much, and was far too blitzed to say anything to Sally. I kind of stuck my hand out towards her, sat on a chair besides the bed, and she took it without wrenching me into limbo by asking questions. She was sat to the right of the bed, and with the prevailing sense of the Salvia going to the left of me, acted as a sort of anchor – she kept me firmly on the border of this world and the spiritual world.

As I realised that she wasn't overly worried about me, and that I didn't need to worry about that myself, I could concentrate on the thoughts that were (literally) in front of me. But, the thoughts suddenly weren't my own any more. It was Salvia, and she was talking to me. "Come with us," was all I could hear. (Sally thought it was weird that it was an "us" and not a "me", perhaps it was because there were so many 'tubes' of thought bounding away from me.)

And for the first time, I didn't want to go. "Let me stay," I begged. "I'll come with you next time, I promise – I'm just not ready." I swore to her that I wanted her guidance, but not today. And so, with a lingering sense of 'next time' floating in the air, she gently let go and put me back on my bed.

Argh! Afterwards I was kind of embarassed at my own cowardice. But I wouldn't want to enter Salvia Space with anything other than honourable intentions, either. We've got a date… and next time, I'm going for it.

(I still find it so hard to believe that a threshold dose of Salvia can make you laugh your ass off and a little bit more than that can blow your mind. It's almost like a trap – you taste a little, and think it's all okay, but then you take a bit bite and suddenly realise you've bitten off more than you can chew. It's a good natural deterrent for thrill-seeking junkies, but it's also a good way for Salvia to find itself as a controlled substance. Mark my words, if my children want to smoke Salvia they'll not be paying for it with a credit card, and they won't get a receipt.)

The Sunday Review: X-Men: The Last Stand

Sunday 28 May (2006)

x-men: the last stand

Read the rest of this entry »

Surprisingly good music

Saturday 27 May (2006)

As my last.fm profile proves, Tor Linløkken is 25th on my 'Top Artists – Overall' list, coming in higher than the Rolling Stones, Nirvana and REM. What makes this even more impressive is the fact that I only actually have 4 tracks by him. But who is he?

The quick answer is; I'm not sure. I downloaded The Longest Journey Soundtrack (here) ages ago because I enjoyed the game so much, but after listening to it a few times I forgot about it. Then one day a while back, it found its way onto a playlist I was listening to and I was treated to twenty minutes of amazing music at the end – from the four tracks that the eponymous Mr. Linløkken contributed to the score (the rest being by Bjørn Arve Lagim.)

You can download the four tracks I'm talking about here:

Dragon
Dolphin
Eagle
Shark

I recommend that you listen to them in that order, too. So what kind of music is this?

Very, very mellow. It's almost like meditation music; I find myself listening to this when I have an assignment to do more than classical music, which is the traditional ambience students choose. It's such calm and relaxing music, I fail to see how anyone could dislike it. Sure, you might not select it on the jukebox in the pub, but I don't understand how it could actually offend anyone. I love it, and you should download it now.

If you're interested in Tor Linkløkken's music, he has a website. There are two CDs on there, Exploring The Water Element and Touch – I've not heard either of them, but one day when I have some money I'll probably buy them.

Blotter acid

Thursday 25 May (2006)

Say what you will about LSD, but blotter acid is fucking cool. I’m not talking about the drug itself here, but the paper it’s delivered on.

I mean, blotters work on many levels – they’re so small (four blotters in a square is about the size of a postage stamp) that they can only hold a small amount of any chemical. Although this sounds bad if you’re thinking ‘the more acid the better’ it’s actually not, because LSD-25 is one of the most potent chemicals known to man. The advantage of course is that you can’t really get given bunk acid – oh the blotters might be weak or even just blank, but if some charlatan decides to cut the stuff with something like Strychnine (ho ho) then you won’t die, because the paper cannot physically absorb enough of the poison to kill you! Hooray. This also applies to selling other psychoactive drugs in the guise of LSD – you couldn’t soak a sheet of blotters in PCP, say, and get a trip from eating one. What this amounts to is that LSD is just about the safest drug you can try, because you’ll either get ripped off and no effects at all or you’ll get the real deal and have some fun. (It’s also less poisonous than vitamin-C :D)

But anyway! This isn’t what I wanted to talk about. The really cool thing about blotters are the designs that are printed on them. Some real pop-culture icons have been depicted on sheets, from Tintin to Beavis and Butthead, and I’ve always considered it some kind of unoffical badge of honour if something is deemed worthy enough to be the last thing people see before they start tripping. Because my body clock is messed up from staying up all night writing assignments, I couldn’t sleep tonight and made some images of blotter art that I would print, if I were a badass drug dealer. See below!

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sunday Review: Cinderella Man

Sunday 21 May (2006)

cinderella man

Read the rest of this entry »

Chiles and capsaicin

Sunday 21 May (2006)

Nando's chicken comes in four levels of temperature: lemon and herb (nil spice), medium, hot, extra hot. Now, I've grown up with a sadistic father who enjoyed giving me currys that could blow your colon apart, so I'm used to spicy food. I'm used to the pathetic warning signs on Sizzle N' Stir curry sauces that go something like this:

Mild = Nothing spicy even came near this sauce

Hot = A Mild Spice

Dynamite = A few chillis, pretty hot

I've eaten whole jars of jalapeño peppers before now. I can handle spice.

I wasn't in the mood for anything too hot, so I thought I'll hedge my bets and go for the third highest; 'hot'. A mistake. This was very hot, a lot more than I expected. So my convoluted point is this:

Why isn't there some kind of standard rating for 'hot' food? You buy a bottle of rum and you know how much alcohol is in it because it says on the side: 40%. You buy a loaf of bread and you know how many calories there are in it because it says so on the side. When you buy something spicy you get a vague: 'mild' or 'hot' that doesn't mean anything because it's subjective. I want there to be an international standard for hot food. Hell, make it simple – just give it a rating out of ten, one being 'if this burns your mouth you must be living on ice cream' and ten being 'better get ready to go to hospital'.

They know how to measure it, so why don't they tell us?

Update:

Using the Scoville scale I have made an estimate of how 'hot' the chicken at Nando's was. They serve Peri-Peri chicken at this chain of Portuguese-style restaurants, which is the Portuguese name for the African birdseye chile. Measuring against the Jalapeño, which I am the first to admit is not a particularly hot chile (if just for the fact that I can eat them comfortably) but is nevertheless still too hot for everyone else I know here in Cheltenham, I find this:

Jalapeño = 2500 – 8000 Scovilles(?)

African Birdseye aka Peri-Peri = 100,000 – 225,000

As you can see, this means that the 'hot' sauce at Nando's is conservatively (adjusting for the fact that it wasn't their hottest sauce) 10-50 times stronger than a jalapeño pepper. This kind of proves my point – whenever we all get nachos, people give me a pile of jalapeños to eat because they're too hot for them to eat. They're too hot! I can handle them because in the scheme of things they're mild, and I kind of grew up on spicy food. It makes sense that I should be able to handle a mere 'hot' sauce at a restaurant that also offers 'extra hot'.

This whole field is too subjective. I mean hell, I enjoy spicy food, I just wish I knew what I was in for before I bite down into it. Anyway, sod it, next time we go to Nando's I'm going for the extra hot – why not?

The Sunday Review: Kindergarten Cop

Sunday 14 May (2006)

Read the rest of this entry »

Salvia 2: entering the dimension of colour

Saturday 13 May (2006)

My, Salvia, she certainly is a powerful spirit. My excitement fuelled by the first successful experiment, I decided to give it another try – alone, this time, with a much higher dose. I was at the same time prepared and unprepared for the amazing journey I was about to go on.

I'm reasonably familiar with psychedelics – I've looked up at the sky and seen it radiant pink, I've watched flowers on a bathroom tile blowing in the acid breeze, and I've watched my pillow dissolve into beautiful mathematical fractals, but never, ever out of all these experiences have I actually forgotten where I am, or what drug I'm on. Essentially, I've never left this world behind, I've just altered it slightly for a while. This second Salvia experience was something different. I smoked a reasonably large hit in the bathroom (no smoke detectors; extractor fan on) amounting to about 3 grams of pure leaf. Retreating quickly to my bedroom, when I could hold the smoke in no longer I blew it out the window and lay on the bed.

The Salvia gravity was back and energy was flowing along both of my arms. Instinctively I closed my eyes and then, I left this dimension.

Read the rest of this entry »

Salvia 1: fun, and disaster

Wednesday 10 May (2006)

I've been after Salvia Divinorium for some time now, but I've never really gotten round to it. The main reason for my laziness is the fact that you need to smoke it on a bong, and whilst I lived at home there was no way I could get one without my parents jumping to that shocking conclusion: cannabis! I was put off it here at uni by the fact that the smoke detectors in my room would have made it a bit awkward, but then one day last week I thought fuckit and I ordered a bong online.

The good thing about Salvia is that it's legal in the UK, so I went down the road to my friendly local head-shop and bought a gram of 10x extract. The extract is a product that exists due to the legality of Salvia; if grass was legal you'd probably see Marijuana extracts and such which do the same as the Salvia ones: increase the potency of the leaf. As such, one gram of 10x extract equates to ten grams of pure leaf.

Then, things got interesting.

Read the rest of this entry »