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Drugs

Mixologia: Potions, Cocktails & Deadly Spirits

While the cocktail is an inherently American invention, the history of combining alcohols with other substances to create potent, drinkable concoctions dates back to ancient times. While you might expect dangerous ingredients to have a place in a wizard’s potion or a philosopher's goblet, modern cocktails and spirits have also dabbled with nefarious elixirs. Join Robert and Joe as they explore the history, myth and science behind it all in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. See more »

The Myth of Green Tea Hallucinations

Read the 1872 ghost story “Green Tea” and you might worry that a fresh cup of Sencha might summon visions of a demonic ghost monkey. But don’t fear! In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Christian explore the myth and likelihood of green tea hallucinations. See more »

Combat Stims: Better Warriors Through Chemistry

Combat stims and pharmacological power-ups are a staple of our gun-blazing video games, enabling players to rack up atrocious body counts. But what’s the reality of combat drugs? How do we separate legends from reality and just what our soldiers currently taking to enable, survive and live with the violence of their profession? Robert and Christian explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. See more »

John C. Lilly: Province of the Mind

The figure of John C. Lilly as psychedelic dolphin communicator burns in the collective memory as a counterculture avatar, yet his legacy embodies far more than the mythologized and/or vilified figure that most of us know. Join Robert and Christian as they examine the life, career and ideas of Lilly the scientist, Lilly the counterespionage researcher and Lilly the psychonaut. Welcome to the province of the mind. See more »

MDMA: Pharmacological Healer

In the form of recreational ecstasy, the psychoactive drug MDMA carries with it a stigma of wide-eyed ravers, free love and counterculture pharmacological spirituality. But beyond its cultural legacy, MDMA offers a potent therapeutic tool for doctors and therapists -- if we can only unravel its mysteries. Join Robert and Christian for a look at past and current studies into the healing properties of this powerful substance. See more »

MDMA: Pharmacological Ecstasy

Some of you have tried the ecstasy. Others have merely heard about the drug on a TV sitcom, or heard about it in a news report. Either way, MDMA’s power resonates through our culture -- and sometimes it’s hard to distinguish the truth form the misinformation. But what exactly is this psychoactive agent? Where does it come from and what sort of effect does it have on the human experience? Join Robert and Christian as they explore the origins and properties of MDMA. See more »

The Halloween Costume Made Me Do It

What happens when we slip into a costume? Be it a monster pelt, a sexy witch or a simple children’s ghost mask, a psychological transformation takes place. Join Robert and Christian for a fittingly seasonal look at enclothed cognition and deindividuation. See more »

The Science of Dune: Biology

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Frank Herbert’s “Dune,” the game-changing 1965 sci-fi novel full of space-age feudalistic intrigue, rampaging sandworms and prescient mind drugs on a desert world. Even today, the work resonates with scientific wonder and philosophical intrigue, so join Robert and Joe for a two-part exploration of the science of “Dune.” In this episode, explore the lifecycle of the sandworm, mentats and the power of the spice. See more »

Wes Craven Tribute: Serpents, Rainbows &  Zombies

With the recent passing of horror director Wes Craven, it seems appropriate to cover the science behind his 1988 film “The Serpent and the Rainbow.” Join Robert and Christian for a discussion of Haitian folklore, zombie powder and the challenges of filmmaking. See more »

The Psychedelic Nightmare of Ergotism

Imagine an entire 15th-century town overcome by a collective waking nightmare. The afflicted walk the streets with blackened limbs and seeping sores, all while psychotic hallucinations assault their fragile hold on sanity. Join Robert and Joe as they explore the world of Ergotism and discuss how a toxic fungus terrorized and inspired generations of Medieval Europeans. See more »