Posts Tagged ‘drugs’

Liquor Up Your Peeps!

April 23rd, 2011 2 comments

This past week, my old schoolmate David Solmonson, who now writes the blog 12 Bottle Bar wrote up a hilarious and fun feature on how to make liquor-infused Peeps:

While some may choose to debate the Christian versus pagan symbolism and circumstance surrounding the Easter holiday, we at 12 Bottle Bar instead turn our sights on that most eternal of vernal demagogues:  the PEEP®.  Whether you are in the love-em or hate-em camp when it comes to PEEPS®, we’re certain that you’ll appreciate the question that begat today’s Easter post:  Could we booze “peeps” up? The answer proved to be simple, yet eloquent:  Hell, yeah.

The rules, which present an opportunity for drama, pathos and excursions into science and human history, are as follows:

  • The “peeps” had to use a real cocktail as their base liquid, and one which tasted good.
  • They had to have appropriate “peep” shapes, colors, and consistency.


The real opportunity, of course, is not just the kitchen-chemistry-set goodness of liquoring up your peeps, but also the amusing detour into the too-little-studied field of Peep History, which I didn’t even know was a subject (it is), and Peep Science, which (especially if you read the comments) turns out to be a mildly complex science, and pretty fascinating.

Best of all, you can follow David’s instructions and end up with some tasty drunken Peeps of your own, if you dare — just in time for Easter!

For some time, I’ve admired David’s writing at 12 Bottle Bar — and not just because the guy used to give me rides on his red Honda Scooter and loaned me a skinny pink tie for my very first date. Those two things help, sure. But I also admire the blog because the site combines three of favorite things: liquor, thrift and LOLZ.

The site takes as its premise that interesting cocktails can be created by everyone — not just professional bartenders, and not just those who can afford a huge well-stocked bar of expensive liquors, liqueurs and mixers at home. Limiting itself to just 12 bottles at a time (the ingredients rotate as they get used up), 12 Bottle Bar presents a variety of interesting drinks along with pieces of fascinating alcoholic and gustatory history, all poured out with an irreverent yet friendly tone. It’s always a fun read and involves enough illuminating backstory to keep history nerds fascinated even if you prefer your whiskey neat.

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Bolivian Counternarcotics General Arrested in Panama

March 9th, 2011 No comments

Figure A: Bad, MMMMkay?

Bolivia is one of many nations that has a strange love-hate thing going on with cocaine. I wouldn’t know anything about that, since the United States is entirely of one mind about getting coked-out and humiliating ourselves in public; we clearly love it.

Bolivia is the third largest producer of cocaine in the world, after Colombia and Peru, and also serves as a transshipment point for white stuff from other South American nations. In fact, their current president, Evo Morales, was and is a militant coca grower. As an ethnic Aymara, he’s also the first person of indigenous South American origin to become Bolivia’s president. Morales was raised on a farm growing coca and became the representative to a region where coca growers thrive.

In the nineties, he became an outlaw when the government promised the United States total eradication of the coca crop in its coca zero campaign, which Morales and other Bolivians opposed because coca is considered part of the indigenous culture; he proposed cocaine zero instead, focusing on eradicating cocaine processing instead of the crops. A series of clashes between politically organized coca growers and the government began. Morales was beaten and imprisoned repeatedly by government forces, and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995 and again in 1996. After being elected to the presidency in 2005, Morales has aggressively campaigned for indigenous coca production to remain unmolested by the government, while illegal cocaine processing and shipment is opposed.

Morales’ pro-coca stance relies on educating the world about the non-equivalency of coca and cocaine — the former an important crop and part of indigenous culture, the latter an illegal substance, the world supply of which is currently being critically threatened by overconsumption. Morales’ government has a zero-tolerance policy toward cocaine, with the intention, counterintuitive as it seems, of supporting and defending coca growers.

Then there was the time the top Bolivian counternarcotics police general was arrested last week in Panama for allegedly trafficking in cocaine. Kind of a bummer.

Police General Rene Sanabria  has been publicly juggling the demands of cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration with the nationalistic and pro-coca Morales. The allegations are that he ran a cocaine-smuggling ring as the leader of “elite 15-person anti-drug intelligence unit within Bolivia’s Interior Ministry.”

As the Associated Press reported:

[Sanabria's arrest] offered vindication to the DEA, as Sanabria’s alleged crimes took place after Morales expelled the U.S. agency in late 2008 for allegedly inciting his autonomy-seeking opponents in eastern provinces…According to U.S. officials, the expulsion of the roughly 30 U.S. drug agents allowed trafficking in this landlocked South American nation to spin out of control.

In the DEA’s absence, Mexican, Brazilian, Colombian — even Russian and Serbian traffickers — have taken advantage and boosted exports from the world’s No. 3 cocaine-producing nation.

Drug-related killings are on the rise and bigger, more sophisticated processing labs equipped with Colombian technology are increasing output as new actors join the trade.

…”Cocaine is resurgent in Bolivia,” said Bruce Bagley, a University of Miami professor who specializes in drug policy. “Morales has a big problem on his hands.”

Morales’ critics at home were quick to seize on Sanabria’s arrest as proof traffickers now have the upper hand in Bolivia.

But Morales insisted Thursday he has no intention of inviting the DEA back. He alleged “interests of a geopolitical nature” were behind the Sanabria case. “They are using police to try to implicate the government,” he said, without elaborating.


Even the Bolivian government admits that seizures are on the rise. It says 28 tons of cocaine were confiscated in Bolivia last year — twice the amount seized in Peru, which has a coca crop twice as big.

Unfortunately for Morales, he seems to be floundering — lashing out at the Unites States for running guns to the Contras in Nicaragua. That’s old news, and not very convincing to a world community — at least, outside of South and Central America — that let it slide then and probably doesn’t even remember it now.

What’s worse, this is far from an isolated incident. It’s part of an escalating series of corruption scandals in Bolivian law enforcement, including arrests at a Brazilian border town where Bolivian cops were caught replacing confiscated cocaine with flour.

[Image: Public domain photo of cocaine hydrochloride, via Wikipedia.]

As the Associated Press reported:

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Britain’s Outgoing Top Doc Talks Drug Legalization

August 17th, 2010 No comments

Image by Armin Kübelbeck.

The outgoing head of the UK’s Royal College of Physicians, Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, told 25,000 RCP Members in an email that he favors drug legalization.

Sir Ian formed this opinion based on his work as a liver specialist, where he saw problems like Hepatitis C caused by dirty needles, and related problems caused by adulterated drugs. “Everyone who has looked at this in a serious and sustained way concludes that the present policy of prohibition is not a success,” said Sir Ian.

What this means is, yes, Sir Ian is talking not about legalizing pot, which seems to be happening in the United States whether the squares like it or not, man, even while almost 100 people get pinched for weed every hour.

But I digress: Sir Ian is talking indeed about legalizing not just cannabis but heroin and cocaine. Some legalization advocates in the UK actually favor making heroin and cocaine available through the National Health Service, including clean hypodermics that would prevent the spread of HIV and Hepatitis C.

Sir Ian referenced comments by the Chairman of the UK Bar Council, Nicholas Green, QC, who recently advocated legalization of hard drugs. For the uninitiated, Green is the UK’s top lawyer, which those wacky Brits insist on calling a “barrister.”

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Extreme (But Real) Ads From the “Mad Men” Era

August 3rd, 2010 No comments

If you watch the TV series Mad Men, then you’re already awash in the great outfits, intense over-consumption, crisp eroticism, and unsettlingly confrontational commonality of misogyny and racism. Website Bored Panda put together this collection of vintage advertisements that would be banned today, and many of them clearly would hail from Sterling Cooper’s desks — even a few of the show’s “clients” are in the roundup. Warning: this collection of (real) ads contains something to offend everyone, from the ads about when it’s “okay” to kill a woman to bleaching skin color to appear ‘more white,’ levied only by the ads explaining which cigarettes doctors prefer most. (

Cupcakes Are A Virus

December 18th, 2008 No comments

Image: the infectious logo of cupcake trasmitted diseases, Cupcake Camp.

It’s true that a couple of years ago, you could point a buttercream frosting covered finger at me and hold me partially responsible — saying, ha! you were there, spreading the cupcake meme in your sexed-up way, you. But it wasn’t just me — it was the cupcake blog Cupcakes Take the Cake. And then the craze hit, spreading like spilled batter across the interwebs to bring smiles — and addiction — to every unsuspecting, innocent baked goods enthusiast who even got near a cupcake photo on a laptop screen. Then Cupcake Camp came along and I thought we’d all get group treatment; but no — it only made things worse.
The meme was so infectious, even people who didn’t like sweets, had never baked in their lives, and especially the cooking-impaired tech scene was “into” cupcakes. I am not Patient Zero, nor am I Cupcake Mary. But I saw it happen. Now, everyone’s “so over” cupcakes yet the enthusiasm still rules. We’ve all been waiting, hoping for the next cute edible — macaroons were just not enough. There is only one explanation.
Cupcakes are a virus.
My final proof came today in the most nonsensical cupcake association yet: Android announces “cupcake” development branch ( These people should probably be quarantined. It’s a prime example of one person catching a CTD and passing it around. But this time, it’s taking down Google. Think 28 Days Later, my friends. The exposure levels are off the charts with this.
Gizmodo tread lightly around the issue. Engadget openly wondered, “Google’s now gifted the world with a bunch of changes it had been developing in secrecy in a private branch called “cupcake.” Why “cupcake,” you ask? We’re not sure…” The details are at Ars Technica but read at your own risk — they openly state that CUPCAKE IS A GROWTH:

Over at the Android bat cave, there’s some interesting news going down. Today, Android announced the public release of its “cupcake” branch. This new branch offers a number of application enhancements, including bug fixes, a video recorder, the ability to save MMS attachments and more. System enhancements include better bluetooth support, better HTTP handling and, most importantly, a new JavaScript engine built on SquirrelFish.
Unlike the main Android trunk release, which is built on Linux 2.6.25, cupcake has been built on the updated Linux 2.6.27. Notably, the new system software offers basic x86 support and will allow third party manufacturers to develop and deploy their own handset-specific APIs.
Cupcake is a development branch rather than a release branch. According to the cupcake roadmap page, it remains distinctly a work in progress. This first release represents a big commit of changes since Android’s 1.0 release; future plans are for smaller updates as the cupcake changes stabilize. The announcement page emphasizes that cupcake is an outgrowth of Android’s roadmap; the roadmap allows for project forking with development continuing on in private branches, which is what cupcake is. (…read more,

Gmail’s New Mail Goggles

October 7th, 2008 No comments

Gmail’s New Mail Goggles

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Are you a victim of “drunken dialing,” information-superhighway-style? Do you find yourself emailing your ex with proclamations of undying love and/or total obsession with his/her beautiful toes? Have you been guilty of angry late-night dirty limericks to to your boss in which “Duck Fu” is rhymed with “F**K YOU!!!11!!1!”?

Enter Gmail’s “Mail Goggles,” a useful new feature for those of you who tend to go a little wild with the keystrokes after the imbibement of a fine pilsner and/or a dozen or so cocktails. “It’s that time of the day,” the tool informs you, and requires you to complete a few easy math problems before sending.

According to GMailBlog, once this puppy is enabled it’ll protect you from your own boundless enthusiasm for connectedness. By default, it blocks math-impaired typists late at night on the weekends, but you can adjust the time it functions in your general settings… in case those late afternoon three-martini lunches are the problem, know what I mean?

Via Chris Snyder on Wired’s blog.

handpresso: the coffee crackpipe

August 13th, 2008 No comments


Okay, so maybe it just looks like a crack pipe, and I’m a coffee fiend… But Handpresso at Charles and Marie is everything I need to make sure I always have a shot of espresso, whether I’m lagging in the machine shop, doing this thing I heard if once called “camping” or stranded at the usual tech/sex/microcontrollers conference of doom I tend to find myself at. (via)

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Literature as Cyclone

January 19th, 2008 No comments

Image via Moon River.
These images represent four texts analyzed by a program by JK Keller. As described on Bioephemera:

Red cubes represent non-unique words, with size depending on number of occurrences; blue cubes are unique words. The X-axis represents the order of the text, from beginning (top) to end (bottom). The diameter of the column is determined (somehow) by length of paragraph.

With the ability to analyze text in such away, why hasn’t someone tackled the task of subject, type, style or any other useful search or organization tools for the various free e-books flying about the net? Perhaps Project Gutenberg needs to add a tagging feature, which is now available for many Library of Congress and National Museum of Health and Medicine photos via Flickr.
A belated goodnight to Laura Huxley and a happy 102nd birthday to Albert Hofmann.

White Line(less)

January 4th, 2008 No comments

Treatment Online is reporting on a vaccine against cocaine which is nearing FDA approval. Mind Hacks continues the conversation by positing the ethical issues surrounding anti-drug vaccination. Of course, this brings to mind a new sci-fi future for the War On Drugs;

One interesting effect might be an ‘arms race’ between illicit drug producers and vaccine makers. As children become ‘vaccinated’ against the common drugs of abuse, the market for street drugs would fragment and diversify into drugs that don’t have vaccines yet.

Be sure to check out the Mind Hacks article on prodrugs and let me know if anyone has anymore Aqua Dots. A tip of the cup to Topsy and goodnight.

The Horror! The Horror! Beer Prices Set To Rise!

November 15th, 2007 No comments

I wish this was a joke — instead, it’s a cruel joke from the universe. Stockpile, ration and prepare for a long, long winter. Snip from the NPR story:

A worldwide hops shortage will make stouts, ales and other specialty microbrews more pricy in coming months.
A triple whammy of bad weather in Europe, an increase in the price of barley and a decrease in hops production in the U.S. has lead to a price increase of 20 percent for the most widely grown varieties, to 80 percent for specialty hops. The shortage is particularly hitting microbreweries, since they use more hops than major brewers.
Industrial brewers like Anheuser-Busch and Miller are more insulated against the shortage because they have futures contracts with hops farmers. The contracts, which help big brewers hedge against rising prices, allow them to buy a quantity of hops for a specific period of time for a certain price.
Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, which represents craft brewers, says that small brewers from Austria to Oregon are on edge.


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