Category Archives: alchemy

Orgasms Unlock Altered Consciousness

All in the name of science of course!

New Scientist’s intrepid reporter performs an intimate act in an fMRI scanner to explore the pathways of pleasure and pain . . .

WITH a click and a whirr, I am pulled into the scanner. My head is strapped down and I have been draped with a blanket so that I may touch my nether regions – my clitoris in particular – with a certain degree of modesty. I am here neither for a medical procedure nor an adult movie. Rather, I am about to stimulate myself to orgasm while an fMRI scanner tracks the blood flow in my brain.

My actions are helping Barry Komisaruk at Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, and colleagues to tease apart the mechanisms underlying sexual arousal. In doing so, not only have they discovered that there is more than one route to orgasm, but they may also have revealed a novel type of consciousness – an understanding of which could lead to new treatments for pain (see Top-down pain relief).

Despite orgasm being a near-universal human phenomenon, we still don’t know all that much about it. “The amount of speculation versus actual data on both the function and value of orgasm is remarkable,” says Julia Heiman, director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction in Bloomington, Indiana. . .

. . . “I don’t think orgasm turns off consciousness but it changes it,” he says. “When you ask people how they perceive their orgasm, they describe a feeling of a loss of control.” Georgiadis suggests that perhaps orgasm offsets systems that usually dominate attention and behaviour. “I’m not sure if this altered state is necessary to achieve more pleasure or is just some side effect,” he says. It is possible that the inability to let go and reach this altered state may be what prohibits individuals with anorgasmia from reaching climax. . .

. . . “This kind of research is incredibly useful,” says Heiman. “Orgasm is tied into the brain’s reward system and likely other important systems as well. There is much we can learn about the brain, about sensation, about how pleasure works and probably much more from this one physical response.”

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The Thing That Should Not Be

Messenger of fear in sight
Dark deception kills the light

Hybrid children watch the sea
Pray for Father, roaming free

Fearless wretch insanity
He watches lurking beneath the sea
Great old one forbidden site
He searches, hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal in madness you dwell

Crawling chaos, underground
Cult has summoned, twisted sound

Out from ruins once possessed
Fallen city, living death

Fearless wretch, insanity
He watches lurking beneath the sea
Timeless sleep has been upset
He awakens, hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal in madness you dwell

In madness you dwell

Not dead, which eternal lie
Stranger eons death may die

Drain you off your sanity
Face the thing that should not be

Fearless wretch, insanity
He watches lurking beneath the sea
Great old one forbidden site
He searches, hunter of the shadows is rising
Immortal in madness you dwell

Songwriters: Kirk L Hammett ; James Alan Hetfield ; Lars Ulrich,

Yoga and Conflict

COMBO a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis

a collaborative animation by Blu and David Ellis
year 2009
http://www.blublu.org
http://www.davidellis.org
produced by studio cromie
http://www.studiocromie.org
music by Roberto Lange
http://www.robertolange.com
made at Fame festival 2009
http://www.famefestival.it

Love & Theft

And I’m still carrying the gift you gave,
It’s a part of me now, it’s been cherished and saved,
It’ll be with me unto the grave
And then unto eternity.”
(Bob Dylan)

Script, direction: Andreas Hykade
Design, animation: Andreas Hykade
Animation assistance: Angela Steffen
Art work: Natalia Eck
Compositing: Christof Hoffmann
Sound, Music: Heiko Maile
Funding: MFG and FFA
Production assistance: Simone Fischer
Production: Thomas Meyer-Hermann
Studio FILM BILDER 2010

Mycoremediation and Its Applications to Oil Spills

by Paul Stamets

psOysters on Oil 2.jpg

The BP oil spill has inflicted enormous harm in the Gulf of Mexico and will continue to do so for months, if not decades, to come. I have many thoughts on this disaster. My first reaction is that when the skin of the Earth is punctured, bad things can happen.

Clearly, this disaster could and should have been prevented. Despite all their assurances of safety, BP and/or BP’s subcontractors, failed to ensure the functionality of the emergency equipment on the Deep Horizon rig. The oil industry claims that further regulation will handcuff them, but it is now obvious that more steps need to be taken to prevent a catastrophe like this from ever happening again.

However, this spill did happen, and we now must deal with the aftermath. Although estimates have been that BP could be liable for more than 14 billion dollars in clean up damages, very few in the media have mentioned the long-term, generational consequences of this oil spill. There will inevitably be a surge in cancer cases, widespread degradation of wildlife habitat, and an array of diverse and complex strains on local communities, our nation, and the planetary ecosphere as a whole. We all know that the seas are connected, and ultimately our biosphere suffers globally when suffering locally. Now as the hurricane season approaches, we may see catastrophes converge to create what may be the greatest ecological disaster in hundreds of years.

While we will need a wide array of efforts to address this complex problem, mycoremediation is a valuable component in our toolset of solutions. Mycoremediation has demonstrated positive results, verified by scientists in many countries. However, there is more oil spilled than there is currently mycelium available. Much more mycelium is needed and, fortunately, we know how to generate it.

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The Red Book