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The watershed moment came last September, when the FDA approved a clinical trial on the use of LSD to treat anxiety in cancer patients. According to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (or MAPS), it was the first time since the 1960s that a medical study involving LSD was permitted by the federal government. MAPS Director Rick Doblin called it “a symbol that the psychedelic renaissance is here.” MAPS reached its fundraising goal of $225,000 in April, and will soon run its LSD trials in Switzerland, where it’s easier to legally obtain acid. The FDA’s approval is crucial, however, because it means it will accept the data that comes out of the Swiss trials. If those results prove the drug works, the agency will then run similar tests for safety and effectiveness. Doblin thinks that because of this ruling, it’s highly possible that within 10 years LSD prescriptions for treating anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses could be available in America. –“Is LSD Good for You?” by Paul Schrodt, the Daily Beast
When the topic is sexual violence in wartime, the horrors of the Balkans and Rwanda typically come to mind — not the American Civil War. But in the academic journal Daedalus, Crystal N. Feimster begs to differ with historians who “have accepted without question the idea that Union soldiers rarely raped southern women, black or white, and have argued that sexual violence was rare during the Civil War.” –“Rape and the Civil War,” the New York Times
“Every time I go into the doctor’s office or the dentist’s office or a hospital anywhere, I’ve always got my eye out for it. Naturally, I’m proud of the fact that I was able to come up with something, or direct a program that evolved into this symbol that’s so widely recognized, so helpful. But I ran into a peculiar situation one time a couple years ago when someone was putting on a seminar on biohazards. As gifts for the participants, he devised a beautiful tie with little biohazard symbols all over it. This got me upset, and I sent him kind of a nasty letter saying this symbol was not designed to be used sartorially.” –“Symbol Making” (the origins of the “biohazard” symbol explained) as told to John Cook, 2001
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith