Press "Enter" to skip to content

Thursday links

  • I’m really beginning to believe Apple is serious about its customers’ privacy. Nobody knows quite how, but they’ve blocked a shady tool used by police and hackers alike. (Yes, MJR, your link gave me a smile.)
  • Did “magic” mushrooms create psilocybin to screw with bugs that wanted to eat them?
  • No surprise to you, but a surprising source. A study by a group of ultimate public school insiders says government schools are failing kids by not challenging them enough and instead feeding them assignments well below their capabilities.
  • You’ve never heard of Dorcas Reilly. But you’ve enjoyed been subjected to her recipes. This heroine of 1950s cuisine (think: Campbell’s cream-of-something soup in everything) has died at 92.
  • The necessity — and impossibility — of entitlement reform
  • Yes, Apple is serious about online privacy. But Tim Cook wants it established by law, not market or technology. (Why would anyone even think about trusting governments with their privacy?)
  • This short video is a promo for DuckDuckGo. But it does a good job showing the (sometimes rather shocking) differences between DuckDuckGo searches and Google’s heavily manipulated results. Might be a very good vid to share with your less aware friends and relatives.
  • Three easy ways to make your own waterproof matches.
  • It’s well known that people taller than the norm have greater cancer risk. Theories have focused on growth hormones. But is it possible their cancer risk is heightened simply because they have more cells to go haywire?
  • Another story of what’s behind the gifs: The Freshest. 🙂
  • Per jc2k in comments: Play with Riley, gosh darn it.


  1. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson October 25, 2018 3:42 am

    Just finished reading Michael Pollan’s book “How to Change Your Mind” which is about his personal investigation of mind altering substances, including psilosybin. After talking to dozens (hundreds?) of guides and researchers, and after his own experiments (which he documents in detail), he concludes that it is a highly effective, and sometimes permanent, solution for depression, anxiety, compulsive disorders, and addiction. Far more effective than drugs currently marketed by Big Pharma. The shame is that medical science learned this 60 years ago. And now we find that the bugs have known about it forever.

    About Google: I recently got into a rather heated discussion with some SJW’s who insisted that being gay meant being discriminated against constantly. I questioned that assertion because I have never seen anybody held back professionally because of their sexual preference (inappropriate behavior in a business setting, yes, but not the fact of being gay). My SJW’s spouted factoids that I had never heard before, so I was at a disadvantage in the discussion. I did what I always do: I Googled various versions of questions about discrimination against gays and, sure enough, up came pages of studies, articles, opinion pieces supporting the SJW argument. Then I did the same searches on DuckDuckGo. Completely different results, leading off with recent studies that show the exact opposite of the SJW thesis (gay men out-earn straight men, as do lesbians versus straight women, but bi-‘s do poorly versus all the others…huh?). Obviously Google has an agenda.

  2. Claire
    Claire October 25, 2018 4:20 am

    Ron — I’ve read that book and highly recommend it. I would love to get in on one of those studies or have a weekend with a great traditional guide (whether psilocybin, LSD, or mescaline).

    You’ve been reporting intriguing conversations lately — and I wonder if Google, among all its other evils, will soon cause us even to choose our search engines according to our politics and prejudices.

  3. Shel
    Shel October 25, 2018 5:30 am

    FWIW, Aldous Huxley, in his book The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell, said he liked mescaline a lot.

  4. Claire
    Claire October 25, 2018 6:29 am

    Of the drugs I tried way back in the day, mescaline was my favorite. Pot made me paranoid (and in those days struck my snobbish self as a low-class drug). Cocaine was boring except in social situations. LSD was life-changingly powerful, but not necessarily in a good way, especially because I was young, stupid, and troubled. Mescaline had almost the power of LSD, but without the total devastation acid could cause.

    If I had a choice for therapy or a guided experience, I’d go for mescaline. That said, I’ve never tried magic mushrooms, so if psilocybin is what came to me in the right setting, I’d go for it.

    I regard the three big entheogens (LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin) as being too powerful and unpredictable to mess with on my own. And I wouldn’t try something like ayahuasca because of my lifelong rule about drugs: nothing that induces vomiting (like ayahuasca) and nothing injected.

  5. Michael Stone
    Michael Stone October 25, 2018 7:19 am

    I’ve always found LSD to be a great way to look at _how_ I think.

    Have to be steady with it though. Not knowing just how much you’re taking because of dodgy sources has led to me sitting in a corner, unable to cope for a while.

  6. Claire
    Claire October 25, 2018 11:23 am

    Michael Stone — Agreed on that second point. And I found back in the day that the negative consequences often echoed weeks (while the more positive consequences might last months or years).

    If I get a chance to take a powerful entheogen again I’ll have to look at that “how I think” aspect. I more vividly recall how I related to the universe and how creativity flowed unhindered.

  7. Comrade X
    Comrade X October 25, 2018 2:31 pm

    Thanks for the waterproof matches post, will be trying that out.

  8. jed
    jed October 25, 2018 3:05 pm

    I’ve pondered making my own waterproof matches, though the UCO stormproof ones are cheap enough, that it’s more an exercise to satisfy my DIY urge.

    Were I to do the nail polish routine, I think I’d clamp a bunch of them in a binder clip and paint them, rather than dipping. I can hang up a binder clip out of the way for drying, rather than trying to set the unpolished ends of matches on something and hope they don’t fall off. Plus, doing them in a binder clip, I can get polish on more of the match.

    And, like any REAL MAN, I have nail polish right here handy. (Don’t look at me funny.)

  9. Dana
    Dana October 25, 2018 9:22 pm

    Tim Cook is also evidence that being gay doesn’t hurt your employment prospects at Apple.

    Interesting thesis on insects and mushrooms. The Destroying Angel is one of the most toxic mushrooms around, but its deadly toxin attacks the liver and kidneys. Nevertheless, slugs don’t have livers and thrive on eating Amanitas. So do slugs trip on psychedelic mushrooms? Inquiring minds want to know!

    I’m bummed Michael Pollan didn’t talk about Salvia, but there are Erowid accounts.

  10. larryarnold
    larryarnold October 26, 2018 10:52 am

    After five minutes, take the matches out and set them on paper to dry. To speed up the drying process, you can use a hairdryer.

    I’m not familiar with operating hair dryers, but I’ve felt them blow my hair after a haircut. I’d think you might end up chasing matches.

    To store your waterproof matches, use a rigid, small container like an old film canister…

    Film canisters are too short; I want the match long enough to hold it further from the flame. Besides, everybody I camped with had their Boy Scout Match Safe.
    Dang! They’re going for fifty bucks?

    These days, film canisters are also scarce. We used to do an activity with Hunter Education where we issued film canisters to the students (mostly teens and tweens) and gave them overnight to build a survival kit inside. We had to quit when digital replaced film.

    I always used candle wax, but I’d consider holding the business end of the match that close to the candle flame a bit risky. Melt the candle in a disposable pot-pie tin or the equivalent, then use Jed’s binder clip to dip and dry several at a time.

    Nail polish color? How about clear, so you can see what you have.

  11. bud
    bud October 27, 2018 5:50 pm

    I use bright pink nail polish… to mark mechanical parts for re-assembly – clutches, for example.

Leave a Reply