Category Archive 'LSD'

16 Jun 2020

Synth Restorer Goes Back to the ’60s


Hackaday has a good story.

[Eliot Curtis] found himself a little too close to 1960’s counterculture while restoring a vintage modular synthesizer — he began tripping out on acid. The instrument in question is a Buchla Model 100. The Buchla is a modular synth. Instead of a keyboard, it used capacitance-sensitive touch plates. This particular model 100 was purchased by California State University East Bay Campus. The synth was popular for a while, but eventually fell into disuse, and was stored in a classroom closet.

Modular synths are experiencing a renaissance, as can be seen right here on Hackaday. The Buchla was pulled out of storage and given a proper restoration. [Eliot Curtis] is the Broadcast Operations Manager at KPIX 5, the San Francisco CBS TV station. He also is the hacker who volunteered to restore the Buchla.

During the restoration, [Curtis] found residue and crystals stuck under one of the knobs of the Control Voltage Processing Module. Was it flux, conformal coating, or something else? [Eliot] hit the board with contact cleaner and wiped it down. Within 45 minutes, he was feeling a strange tingling. It was the beginning of a nine-hour LSD trip. Three independent tests on the module came back positive for LSD.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD for short) can be readily absorbed through the skin, which is exactly what happened to [Eliot]. Synth designer [Don Buchla] was friends with [Owsley Stanley], who worked for the Grateful Dead and allegedly cooked up some very potent LSD. Some of Buchla’s modules even found their way into Ken Keesey’s hands, where they wound up on his famous bus “further”. As it turns out there were rumors that modules had been dipped in LSD back in the ’60s. Why someone would do that to an electronic module, we’re not sure — they must have been on drugs. [Eliot] recovered from his brush with the ’60s and continued with the restoration with gloves on.

It was probably Owsley acid, too. The really good stuff! I remember it well.

HT: Karen L. Myers.

01 May 2008

Albert Hoffmann, January 11, 1906 – April 29, 2008

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Albert Hoffman – 100 Birthday Commemorative Blotter Acid by Wes Black

The Guardian reports the sad news.

Albert Hofmann, the Swiss chemist who discovered the hallucinogenic drug LSD, has died aged 102.

Hofmann, known as the father of LSD, died yesterday at his home in Burg im Leimental, Basle, Switzerland.

His death was confirmed by Doris Stuker, a municipal clerk in the village where Hofmann lived following his retirement in 1971.

The California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), which republished Hofmann’s book on LSD, said on its website that he had died from a heart attack.

Dieter A Hagenbach, a friend of 40 years, last spoke to Hofmann on Saturday. “He was in good spirits and enjoying the springtime,” said Hagenbach.

Born on January 11 1906, Hofmann discovered LSD – lysergic acid diethylamide, which later became the favoured drug of the 1960s counterculture – when a tiny quantity leaked on to his hand during a laboratory experiment in 1943.

He noted a “remarkable restlessness, combined with slight dizziness” that made him stop his work. “At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxication-like condition, characterised by an extremely stimulated imagination,” Hofmann wrote in his book LSD: My Problem Child.

“In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight too unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colours. After some two hours this condition faded away.”

A few days later, Hofmann intentionally took a dose of LSD and experienced the world’s first “bad trip”.

“On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror,” he said.

“My surroundings had now transformed themselves in more terrifying ways. A demon had invaded me, had taken possession of my body, mind, and soul. I jumped up and screamed, trying to free myself from him, but then sank down again and lay helpless on the sofa. The substance, with which I had wanted to experiment, had vanquished me.” …

Hofmann and his scientific colleagues hoped LSD would make an important contribution to psychiatric research. The drug exaggerated inner problems and conflicts and it was hoped it might be used to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia.

For a time, the laboratory where he worked, Sandoz, sold LSD 25 under the name Delysid, encouraging doctors to try it themselves. It was one of the strongest drugs in medicine, with just one gram enough to drug an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 people for 12 hours.

The US government banned LSD in 1966, following stories of heavy users suffering permanent psychological damage, and other countries followed suit.

The president of Maps, Rick Doblin, said he had spoken to Hofmann on the phone recently “and he was happy and fulfilled. He’d seen the renewal of LSD psychotherapy research with his own eyes.”

“Don’t Eat that Hot Dog!” — 1960’s Anti-LSD Propaganda short

3:37 video

And he only lived to 102!


Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

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