I recently realized that I had become addicted to Twix bars. It has reached the point where I have to consciously stop myself from eating more than one stick a day. This is quite a new thing and I am not sure how it started. However, this new habit reminded me of one of my earlier great loves — the Mars bar, and something I wrote way back in 2008:
“Back in the day, the Mars Bar was the true king of chocolate bars. It took a long time to eat and satisfied every umami receptor that one had. The original Mars was a substantial eat: a thick wall of chocolate that took some biting through encased a vault of the thickest caramel that coated one’s teeth and gums. It was a real treat and the greediest kid couldn’t eat more than one at a sitting.
Yesterday morning I was feeling a low blood sugar moment coming on and I bought a Mars bar to get me through it. First up, the size wasn’t what it should have been. The original Mars bar was a hefty piece of work that filled one’s hand. What I got yesterday was a disappointingly short stick that weighed hardly anything. There was no resistance at all as my teeth bit through the chocolate skin, and the bitten piece just seemed to melt in my mouth. It wasn’t what I expected or wanted.
Looking at the thing in section it was easy to see how thin the chocolate coating was, and how the caramel had been reduced to a slight sliver squeezed into place on a soft whipped mass that filled the bar. It was just terrible!
Kids today, of course, know no better because the old bars just aren’t available for them to compare. They should sue the bar makers, I say. Sue them for taking away one of the great joys of childhood.”
One of the most popular of my posts recently was about the beautiful visions that a peyote trip can bring. So you may also be interested to learn that a group of scientists have determined how psychedelics such as mescaline and LSD actually work in the brain (or so they theorize).
Singleton and his colleagues set out to test the so-called Rebus model of psychedelics. Standing for “relaxed beliefs under psychedelics”, it frames the brain as a prediction engine. Under the model, the brain takes thoughts and information from the senses and shapes them according to its understanding of the world. This makes the brain highly efficient: armed with prior beliefs, the noise and uncertainty of perception and thought are swiftly hammered into coherent reality.
But the brain works differently on psychedelics. According to Rebus, substances such as LSD weaken the influence of prior beliefs that the brain uses to make sense of the world. In one sense, the drugs rewind the brain’s clock to a time before it learned that walls tend not to move and furniture is rarely threatening.
“You can imagine you might experience altered perceptions,” said Amy Kuceyeski, a senior author on the study at Cornell. “If your prior belief is that walls don’t move and your prior belief melts, then that wall may appear to move…”
The ability of LSD to free up brain activity may explain why psychedelics can help people with depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. “In depression, people get locked into a way of thinking that is repetitive and ruminative. It’s like tramline thinking,” said Nutt. “Psychedelics disrupt those kinds of processes so people can escape from it.”
I love rhubarb season!
it’s dark and smoky in the back
of the old Lincoln; smells of old leather
and cheap perfume, nostalgia for the old
days sweep over me like the steady progression
of clouds wheeling around the planet.
And there she is beside me, showing me
more thigh than I can possibly handle;
an immense superstructure peeps
from the straining buttons, and I see
with the clarity of hindsight how this present
future follows the paths of the past.
It is hard to believe that he died 40 years ago today. There has never been another quite like him, and I doubt there ever will.
The bad news is that Vancouver Coastal Health have declared Grandview (and a few other neighbourhoods) as a covid-19 hotspot.
The good news is that those 30-years old and up in the ‘hood can now apply for an appointment to get a vaccine.
VCH will be opening a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Killarney Community Centre (6260 Killarney Street) and from May 8 to 14, 17 to 21 and 25 to 28 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Vaccinations will be provided by appointment only.
All B.C. residents 18 years of age and older (born in 2003 or earlier) are encouraged to register now through the provincial Get Vaccinated website, call centre (1-833-838-2323) or in person at a Service B.C. office. Translation services are available through the call centre.
Following registration, residents will be notified by phone, email or text message as soon as they are eligible to book a vaccine appointment.
I encourage everyone to register and get vaccinated as soon as possible.