Category Archives: bizarre

I’m sure there are international laws against this kind of thing

The New York Times, in their neverending crusade against common sense and fact based reporting, has decided, in their infinite wisdom, to give a column to Bono.  Yes, that Bono.  And already, his first article is turning out to be a failure of near epic proportions.  Its like Thomas Friedman, on acid.  Bad acid.

Fortunately, you can read the condensed version of all future articles at the following link (hat tip to Jean-Lustine d’Hadamard).

Colbertgasm Update

For those of you that haven’t heard, COLBERTGASM was an amazing success. I’ve also been a lazy ass about spreading word of the Discordian Society’s immense and total spagtacular victory. Recently, I became motivated to give the project wiki an overhaul – check it out:

ColbertGASM

I’ve included many video clips of Colbert’s Discordian references – if you know of any more, let me know!

Let ColbertGASM stand as a flag that you can do crazy cool stuff by organizing people over the web. The OMGASM is a great way to organize people and find help for zany projects. Are you missing an artist, web designer, editor, idea machine, whatever for your mission? Want to create a mission for other Discordians to go on? Use OMGASM to amass an army of net Discordians waiting to do your bidding. If it’s fun, they’ll actually do it. And with an army of spags, you can do a lot of unbelievable stuff. Proof is in the link above.

Don’t just read about fun — GO HAVE IT — RIGHT NOW!

HAIL YES

Colbert’s DNA to resurrect humanity in case of disaster

I couldn’t make up a story this good if I tried.

CBS:

Should this world ever cease to exist, Stephen Colbert will live on.

The comedian’s DNA will be digitized and sent to the International Space Station, Comedy Central was to announce Monday. In October, video game designer Richard Garriott will travel to the station and deposit Colbert’s genes for an “Immortality Drive.”

“I am thrilled to have my DNA shot into space, as this brings me one step closer to my lifelong dream of being the baby at the end of 2001,” Colbert said in a statement, referring to the 1968 landmark science fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Garriott, one of few private citizens to travel into space, is collecting material for a time capsule of human DNA, a history of humanity’s greatest achievements and personal messages.

The host of “The Colbert Report” will essentially be preserved so that aliens can clone him.

“In the unlikely event that Earth and humanity are destroyed, mankind can be resurrected with Stephen Colbert’s DNA,” Garriott said in a statement. “Is there a better person for us to turn to for this high-level responsibility?”

Among the other luminaries whose digitized genetic material will be sent into space are Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Johnson, “American Gladiator” Champion and wrestling star Matt Morgan and television writer Melvyn Sherer, whose credits include “Married With Children” and “Laverne and Shirley.”

What Do You Do?

You are slumbering blissfully, dreaming of things that were, things that are, things that will be, and things that never will be. Your fantasy slides gently from the normal into the unbelievable, then pirouetting back into normality as dreams are wont to do.

A perfectly boring fourth-grade math lesson is disrupted by your teacher’s transformation into a clown, who proceeds to blast the classroom full of marshmallows with his rainbow-colored rifle. Your friend Danny gobbles up the candy with uncanny speed, then finally swallows the clown. Danny explodes in a puff of pink smoke, and through the wisps you see your teacher once again.

After class you find yourself flying with your friend Danny, soaring through the sky on leathery wings, on your way towards Dinzyworld… What a summer it will be! You make a broad loop through a cloud, singing with joy, when suddenly…


BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

You are woken up by the buzzing of an alarm clock. You open your eyes and blink in the morning light streaming in from your window, the dreamy haze quickly dissipating into oblivion. You’re still very tired…

  • To hit the snooze button, go to Page 2… “Just another ten minutes, mom….”
  • To get up and jump out of bed, go to Page 3… “Let’s get this day started RIGHT!”

Weaponized Marijuana

We all know the CIA was recklessly spiking peoples drinks and dosing them with LSD back in the 60s, but it seems the Army too was playing games with drugs – in hope of creating nonlethal weapons that could minimize casualties in a war.

Sitting on the panel next to Shulgin was an unlikely expositor. Dr. James S. Ketchum, a retired U.S. Army colonel, told the audience, “When Sasha was trying to open minds with chemicals to achieve greater awareness, I was busy trying to subdue people.”

Ketchum was referring to his work at Edgewood Arsenal, headquarters of the U.S. Army Chemical Corps, in the 1960s, when America’s national security strategists were high on the prospect of developing a nonlethal incapacitating agent, a so-called humane weapon, that could knock people out without necessarily killing anyone. Top military officers hyped the notion of “war without death,” conjuring visions of aircraft swooping over enemy territory releasing clouds of “madness gas” that would disorient the bad guys and dissolve their will to resist, while U.S. soldiers moved in and took over.

Ketchum was into weapons of mass elation, not weapons of mass destruction. He oversaw a secret research program that tested an array of mind-bending drugs on American GIs, including an exceptionally potent form of synthetic marijuana. (Most of these drugs had no medical names, just numbers supplied by the Army.) “Paradoxical as it may seem,” Ketchum asserted, “one can use chemical weapons to spare lives, rather than extinguish them.”

[…]

With a larger dose of Red Oil, the reaction was even more pronounced. “These animals lie on their side; you could step on their feet without any response; it is an amazing effect and a reversible phenomenon. It has greatly increased our interest in this compound from the standpoint of future chemical possibilities.”

In the late 1950s, the Army started testing Red Oil on U.S. soldiers at Edgewood. Some GIs smirked for hours while they were under the influence of EA 1476. When asked to perform routine numbers and spatial reasoning tests, the stoned volunteers couldn’t stop laughing.

But Red Oil was not an ideal chemical-warfare candidate. For starters, it was a “crude” preparation that contained many components of cannabis besides psychoactive THC. Army scientists surmised that pure THC would weigh much less than Red Oil and would therefore be better suited as a chemical weapon. They were intrigued by the possibility of amplifying the active ingredient of marijuana, tweaking the mother molecule, as it were, to enhance its psychogenic effects. So the Chemical Corps set its sights on developing a synthetic variant of THC that could clobber people without killing them.

[…]

By the time the clinical testing program had run its course, 6,700 volunteers had experienced some bizarre states of consciousness at Edgewood. Under the influence of powerful mind-altering drugs, some soldiers rode imaginary horses, ate invisible chickens and took showers in full uniform while smoking phantom cigars. One garrulous GI complained that an order of toast smelled “like a French whore.” Some of their antics were so over-the-top that Ketchum had to admonish the nurses and other medical personnel not to laugh at the volunteers, even though it was unlikely that the soldiers would remember such incidents once the drugs wore off.

Ketchum insists that the staff at Edgewood went to great lengths to ensure the safety of the volunteers. (There was one untoward incident involving a civilian volunteer who flipped out on PCP and required hospitalization, but this happened before Ketchum came on board.) During the 1960s, every soldier exposed to incapacitating agents was carefully screened and prepped beforehand, according to Ketchum, and well treated throughout the experiment. They stayed in special rooms with padded walls and were monitored by medical professionals 24/7. Antidotes were available if things got out of hand.

“The volunteers performed a patriotic service,” Ketchum says. “None, to my knowledge, returned home with a significant injury or illness attributable to chemical exposure,” though he admits that “a few former volunteers later claimed that the testing had caused them to suffer from some malady.” Such claims, however, are difficult to assess given that so many intervening variables may have contributed to a particular problem.

A follow-up study conducted by the Army Inspector General’s office and a review panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences found little evidence of serious harm resulting from the Edgewood experiments. But a 1975 Army IG report noted that improper inducements may have been used to recruit volunteers and that getting their “informed consent” was somewhat dubious given that scientists had a limited understanding of the short- and long-term impact of some of the compounds tested on the soldiers.

Ketchum draws a sharp distinction between clinical research with human subjects under controlled conditions at Edgewood Arsenal and the CIA’s reckless experiments on random, unwitting Americans who were given LSD surreptitiously by spooks and prostitutes. “Jim is very certain of his own integrity,” says Ken Goffman, aka R.U. Sirius, the former editor of the psychedelic tech magazine Mondo 2000. “There is little doubt in his mind that he was doing the right thing. He felt he was working for a noble cause that would reduce civilian and military casualties.” Goffman helped Ketchum edit and polish his book manuscript, which vigorously defends the Edgewood research program.

Nigel, on the Switching Prank

Over at the PD Forums, we were having a discussion about how to create discord within someone’s environment without ruining their day. Nigel had this advice:

Extremely subtle, confusing changes; funny. Extremely large, confusing changes; possibly funny, if done with a high level of forethought. I like to plant products in people’s houses, and do shit like replace their half-used jug of milk with a half-used jug of different milk, or put a handful of mayonnaise packets in their butter compartment, just because it’s subtle enough to make them question their own realities. Adding magazines to their bedside table or stuffing a pair of socks under the blanket at the foot of the bed, or adding a pair of shoes in their size to their closet, are also good. You can choose things which really DO fuck with people’s MINDS, making it a MINDfuck and not just an irritating obvious prank.

from the GASM Command forum.

Chronotopic Anamorphosis

Chronotopic Anamorphosis from Marginalia Project on Vimeo.

This video shows the test of a software developed as a programming exercise.

The image is digitally manipulated by fragmenting it into horizontal lines and then combining lines from different frames in the display. The result is a distorsion of the figures caused by their motion in time, or, as Brazilian researcher Arlindo Machado calls it: chronotopic anamorphosis.

The Debut of SPAG

spag.GIF  That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, Verwirrung is proud to present the debut of “Spag” by the new recording sensation SPAG.  SPAG consists of 4 members who are kind of like brothers, well not really, but they definitely ARE all spags.  It is the brainchild of vocalist Eddy Spag and his brother and drummer N. Moss Spag.  They recruited a couple of other spags on guitar and bass, and whammo, you’ve got one helluva band.  “Spag” is their debut single, and they are hard at work on their followup.  Well, actually, I think they are just hanging out in their Mom’s basement getting high, stupid spags.  Anyway, enjoy “Spag” (<–click to download)  Feel free to share it with other spags, er, friends. 

 Here is the “Spag” lyric sheet

The Illegitimate Son of Convention

3972959.jpgGreetings friend.  Rev. What’s-His-Name here to put in a plug for one of my favorite musical artists, The Illegitmate Son of Convention.  Okay, okay, yeah, it’s my “band.”  It consists of me, me, and sometimes I.

 I thought some of you cats would be interested in it.  The name kind of gives away what the project is all about.  Mainstream music, especially in America, tends to follow a rather vanilla formula.  When it comes to performing and recording music, I’m interested in going off in different directions and exploring different territories.  Like pairing up a Nose Flute with a distorted guitar.  Pairing an African Kalimba with a House beat.  Playing rhythm and blues on a Melodica.  And so on.

 Another thing I’ve done occassionally with this project is to do some Discordian recordings.  I’ve done a couple now where I’ve paired a spoken rant with some musics.  My favorite so far has been my track Memed And Brusied/So What Now?  The “So What Now?” refers to a great piece that pd.comer Thurnez Isa wrote.  I loved the imagery of it and felt compelled to surround it with some heavy guitar riffing. 

 You can check that tune out and others on three different sites.  First the MySpace site, www.myspace.com/theillegitimatesonofconvention  I also have a site on Multiply, you can stream the songs but they have caught a case of suck and fail and no longer allow downloads, but anyway it’s at rwhn.multiply.com  Lastly, I’ve set up shop at Last.fm, www.last.fm There you can download all of my tracks.  I have no interest in making any money off of my music (although I do have some merch at CafePress, let me know if by chance you are interested), I just enjoy making it and releasing it to the interwebs.  So, check it out, tell me what you think. 

 Ta ta for now.