Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"I've got a bike, you can ride it if you like..."

"...it's got a basket and a bell that rings and things that make it look good!"

Happy Bicycle Day you Freaks and Freakettes!

That's right ladies and gentleman. Today marks the anniversary of the history day 68 years ago where Albert Hofmann ingested approximated 250 micrograms of pure LSD-25 and rode his bike home. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Hofmann's legendary first recreational usage of LSD has sent cultural reverberations down through the generations, directly influencing the psychedelic movement in California in the 60s that so very nearly shattered the foundations of our capitalist and political systems in this country. Hofmann's discovery in a large way has helped to push the American public away from the alcohol influenced dominator culture in favor of a resurgence and embrace of the old tenements of a psychedelic society.

As the story goes, when Hofmann first discovered LSD by mistake, a minuscule amount got on his finger in the laboratory. Curious at its effects, on 04/19/1943 Hofmann decided to ingest what he surmised to be the threshold dose of 250 micrograms. In actuality, the threshold dose is closer to 20 micrograms, meaning Hofmann imbibed roughly 12.5 times the required dose to blast off. And then, under the supervision of his lab assistant, he rode his bike home that day.

Sweet Jesus! Can you imagine how intense that must have been?! Consuming such an infinitesimally small amount of a substance with no real idea as to its effects, to be met head-on with such a crushing and world obliterating experience. Understandably so, at the outset of the trip Hofmann fully believed he was losing his mind. He began to become frantic and unstable, until a doctor was called to check on him. The doctor concluded that, excepting a set of abnormally dilated pupils, Hofmann was perfectly healthy and sound. Upon being reassured by the doctor, Hofmann's anxieties began to dissipate and he began to actually enjoy the experience.

"... little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux ..."

Ain't that some shit?

So here's hoping you all have a chance to get out of your offices today and celebrate the holidaze properly. Hell, weather permitting, why don't you ride your bike home tonight?

I'd give you mine if I could, but I borrowed it ;-)

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