LSD.

Trippy

Lysergic Acid Diathylamide (LSD) is a psychoactive hallucinogenic drug. It comes in a variety of forms, but is most commonly sold in the form of blotter paper, which is small paper squares that has been dipped in LSD.

LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr.Albert Hoffman, a chemist in Switzerland. It was originally made to stimulate circulation but since there were no real benefits they stopped production. It was made again a couple of years later when it was found that LSD could help cure behavioral problems like schizophrenia, alcoholism and such. It was introduced to the United States in the 50’s undergoing a 15-year research period in which several hundred articles and a handful of books were written about the drug and its effects. Over 40,000 patients were prescribed with the drugs and even some doctors took the drug themselves in order to gain a deeper understanding of the schizophrenic. Though it did seem to have potential pharmaceutical value, there were no solid benefits so the  production stopped. Still other illegitimate producers kept making it.

The drug was extremely popular in the late 60’s and gained its fame from Timothy Leary, a Harvard student that got expelled for using the drug, and other student volunteers to study the effects on LSD on the brain. Leary later became a ‘spokesman’ for the drug, promoting its mind expanding qualities. The late 60’s and early 70’s adopted LSD as it became the psychedelic drug of choice for the people, especially within the hippie culture. Many artists say they have been inspired by the drug, or simply taken it, amongst them are John Lennon, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. LSD  has the reputation for being a mind-expanding drug. It was legal until 1966.

This high to enter

Many claim that after using LSD, their life has changed and some that they have had epiphanies or internal revelations. Users in the first hour of “tripping” feel anxious, a little tingly and colors seem brighter. After the first three hours, the peak begins. Extreme visual, open and closed eyes, hallucinations. Some report that everything seems like it is in motion, and colors are vivid, sometimes seeing things that are not there. Mental changes are the most intense. Users often experience extreme mental stages, going from periods of giddiness, to extreme insight. They also show extreme paranoia, especially when put in a situation with people who are not tripping.

LSD is sold for under under many names like acid, blotter, trip, doses and more than 350 types of blotter paper have been found since 1975. Dosages of LSD are measured in micrograms, a millionth of a gram. By comparison, LSD is one-hundred times stronger than other drugs such as cocaine or heroin which are measured in miligrams, a thousandth of a gram. The dosage level that will produce an hallucinogenic effect in humans generally is considered to be 25 micrograms. Over the past several years, the potency of LSD obtained during drug law enforcement operations has ranged between 20 and 80 micrograms per dosage unit. It is inexpensive, commonly sold for under 5$ a unit dose.

LSD is slowly making a comeback into the drug scene having been forgotten since the mid 70’s. It is still popular amongst high school and college students.

By: Humberto De Armas, IB12

Dyslexia.

How many dyslexics experience a page.

Dyslexia is a learning disorder, among for example dyscalculia and ADHD, and it means that the affected one has problems learning through and grasping text of different kinds. It does not, however, mean that one has trouble understanding or remembering.

As you all know we have different ways of learning. Some might be better off with numbers or pictures, some with melodies or movement. While dyscalculia means trouble learning mathematics and numbers, and ADHD problem concentrating while being still, dyslexia is an extreme branch of the people that have problems with letters and words, and those people are making a 5-8% of Sweden’s population.

Beside this disability, dyslectics often are imaginative, creative and visual multi-thinkers, which is the reason for some to see it as a gift. People over winning their disability and turning it into academic studies often become very successful*, although the road there can be very demanding.

Christel Berg, responsible for management at the University of Lund, tells Sydsvenskan (4 October, 2007) that even though people with dyslexia can get access to a lot of material that will help them improve their studies at the university – such as voice books and extended time at tests – it is nothing that you would wish for. What dyslectics often lack, she continues, is a good study technique. However, dyslexia is no static state, and so reading skills as well as a well formed study technique can be improved.

According to my experiences of this learning disability, what many dyslectics also lack is confidence. When one has a hard time performing certain tasks that most other people do without any difficulties, one starts to blame oneself, which creates another barrier for the learning, above the one already existing.

Dyslexia is divided up into seven groups** depending on what symptoms are shown and what the so called source of the problem is. These groups are General, Writing/Motor Skills, Math/Time Management, Vision/Reading/Spelling, Memory/Cognition and Behavior/Health/Development/Personality. The principle of these groups made by Ronald D. Davis (author of The Gift of Dyslexia) is that if you have at least 10 of the symptoms from any of these groups you might have dyslexia. Ronald D. Davis also states that “The most consistent thing about dyslexia is inconsistency” – meaning that there is more to the learning disabilities than we know right now.

*Examples of famous people having dyslexia are scientist Albert Einstein, actors Tom Cruise and Keira Knightley, artists Leonardo Da Vinci and Andy Warhol, musician John Lennon, founder of IKEA Ingmar Kamprad, film maker Walt Disney, writer Agatha Christie, champion boxer Muhammad Ali, and former U.S. presidents Woodrow Wilson and John F. Kennedy.

**If you are eager for more, go to www.dyslexia.com for more information, or www.dyslexia.com/library/symptoms to get to the groups and list of symptoms.

By: Katja Slonawski, IB11

Introducing Stella.

Stella

Stella is that go- to- friend when you just need a bit of unbiased advice, the gossip queen or whatever else you make her or need her to be. The idea is that if you send an e-mail to Stella, requesting to be anonymous, the Itch will under no circumstances publish your name or contact information. But if you’re cool with having say, your first name or nickname as signature, then that’s alright. We won’t exactly point a gun to your head. The only one who reads the e-mails is Stella, and she’s sworn to secrecy. The consequences of her outing someone are really serious, which she knows. With that said, I can personally vouch for her, as I trust her completely and I’m convinced she’ll do a great job. She’s so special in fact, that she’s getting her own category :)

You can reach her at: askstella@yahoo.com

By: Sarah Ahassad, SP3B (Editor-in-Chief)

Alcohol Cheaper Than Water? Find it Down Under!

Ethanol in various shapes.

On October 8, 2010 a study in New Zealand pointed out that alcohol has become cheaper than one thing humans rely on…water! Researchers conducting this survey convey that they feel there may be a serious health issue when it comes to the price ratio of alcohol to water. “International scientific evidence strongly indicates that cheap alcohol is a factor in promoting binge drinking by young people, and in increasing the overall size of the health and social harm from alcohol misuse,” associate professor Nick Wilson said. In Otago, New Zealand, researchers of Otago University found the cost of wine (.62 cents) per drink was .5 cents cheaper than a bottle of water (.67 cents). The New Zealand medical Journal has also discovered that the price of alcohol keeps decreasing as the minimum wage continues to increase. The reason for such cheap booze in the past recent years is due to the fact that winemakers seek to offload excess stock they have. Wilson and co-researcher Fiona Gunasekara feel that this cheap alcohol is taking a toll on New Zealand’s health. They urged the government to raise taxes on alcohol and control marketing and sponsorship actives to control the consumption of alcohol. “Our analysis suggests alcohol is now probably the cheapest recreational drug in New Zealand and has become increasingly affordable, at the same time as concern about binge drinking culture has grown,” Wilson said. While New Zealand seems to look down upon the price of alcohol, in ones opinion, one can be sure that everywhere else, people are wishing for the same price change to happen in their own region.

By: Roxanne Allen, IB12

 

Street League.

The street league arena

Rob Dyrdek’s been featured on shows such as “Rob and Big” and “Fantasy Factory”  on Mtv, but now Dyrdek’s turned to a whole new level of broadcasting. In cooperation with ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network) Street League’s portrayed just as the other main sport broadcasts on television. Now that the site’s been put up to people worldwide (meaning those even without the ESPN channel) are able to view this event. Street League is the competition that has got to offer over a million dollars worth of prizes for worldwide professionals skateboarders. This is the biggest a skate competition has gone. To add the cherry on top they have announcers Steve Berra and of course Dyrdek (who are actually pro skaters themselves!). In previous competitions there had been issues due to the fact that majority of the people working didn’t even know who the pro skaters were.  Funny story following up to this was when Sean Malto (whom you’ll be hearing about later) was left outside Dew Tour (another skate competition) because they, the announcers, didn’t even know who he was!

Anyways this won’t happen here and the comfort level has definitely increased for the pros. They all get a chance to warm up (pre-skate the parks) weeks in advance just to get the perfect feeling of each location.  The competition initially began out in Arizona to be won by Nyjah Huston (only 15 years old). He’s proven to be the youngest skateboarder in history to have won not only the first Street League stop, but also the first to have won $150,000.00 in one day off of skateboarding. It’s insane. Stop two consisted of the craziest battle between skateboarders Sean Malto and Chaz Ortiz. Once again they had an incredibly young skater in this section and that was Chaz who is only sixteen years old. He ended up bailing (missing) his last trick and loosing to Sean Malto’s backside overcrook (super awesome trick). Sean then won the second stop which was situated in California. Cool story about this guy was that he actually came to Sweden about a year back and after meeting and chilling with him I realized how consistent he really was. What I mean to say is that he lands all of his tricks on the first try to the point where you question whether this dude will ever bail. Malto pretty much didn’t bail and this gave him his 150 grand award for the winning of the second stop.  The final stop was also pretty intense! Chris Cole (a legendary skateboarder) was at the bottom of these competitions for the longest time. He was definitely pleasing the crowd (doing tricks that aren‘t hard yet look cool), but for the most part seemed to not care too much about winning till this final round. He was going head to head with the new Australian rookie, Shane O’Neal. It was crazy how the mix (arrange of skaters) got thrown from 1st place to last throughout the stop. To find out more on who won the overall tournament and last round check out Street League. Make sure to have some snacks and energy drinks because you can’t afford to blink during this sick competition, dudes.

By: Majid Ahy, IB12

Larry King Sits Down With Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Larry King & Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

On September 22nd 2010, Larry king sat down once again with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to discuss issues from the American hikers who were taken captive and await trial in Iran to Nuclear weapons, Israel, and the opportunity for peace in the Middle East. This interview was an opportunity to let Ahmadinejad answer the many questions surrounding Iranian politics and the middle east, and Larry King wasted no time. The questions were fired off, and the President answered just as sharply, careful not to profess any leniency on the issues brought up. By the end it seemed that both King and Ahmadinejad were frustrated, and it began to look more like a debate than an interview, as both representatives from completely different worlds and viewpoints clashed. Accusations flew back and forth, and by the end, little had seemed to be resolved. As host Fareed Zakaria noted in the post interview conversation with King, “I thought he (Ahmadinejad) was tough. He did not seem to want to give satisfaction on any issue”.

Right out of the gate, Larry King questioned the Iranian president about the two remaining captive hitchhikers who were detained in Iran for an illegal border crossing. Ahmadinejad was insistent on the fact that he had no say in the matter, and that it was up to the judge. He also stressed the fact that it was up to the judge and the legal process when asked if the trials could not be sped up that legal so that the families could be reunited. The case of the missing FBI agent in Iran was also brought up, and the President made clear he did not know the agent’s whereabouts, and that he would like to work with the FBI and the US to locate said agent. He also remarked that the FBI should be more willing to share information and be more active in the case.

Larry king then began to bring up the worldwide fear of nuclear weapons and the tension heightened. Ahmadinejad was quick to express that the US did not represent the world as a whole. When it was pointed out that Israel was very concerned about nuclear activity in Iran, and that if not assured they might make a “first strike”, the president calmly waved it off, saying “Who is he (Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu) in the first place, to begin with? He is a skilled killer. All dictators in the world have condemned others, and he’s one of many of them”. He then attacked the US support of Netanyahu, remarking “I think that the way to control people like Mr. Netanyahu and design this regime is to cease supporting him. The U.S. government should stop using U.S. taxpayers’ money to assist him…Why should this money go to him to acquire weapons, to attack Lebanon under different pretext and threaten Iran?” Ahmadinejad then goes on to affirm that “We (Iran) are not seeking the bomb. We have no interest in it” and voices the opinion that the Zionist regime and the US should disarm. The interview continues, and turns hectic as King poses questions about human rights, continually trying to get the Iranian president to admit Iran needs work in this area, mentioning the students who held a protest in Iran and were incarcerated. Ahmadinejad continually counters these statements by mentioning the immense amount of the US population in prison, the highest in the world. The president was also decidedly inconclusive about the issue of stoning as a legal punishment.

The interview peters out, leaving enough time for one last stubborn bicker about the recognition of the holocaust and anti-semitism. Ahmadinejad again leaves much to be desired on this issue, supporting peace in the middle east, but backing Palestine primarily. When reminded that Castro had urged the president to be more aware of anti-Semitism, he diverted away from the central question by comparing it to a hypothetical case in which all the Iraqis occupy the US because of the million people who have died in their country. The interview spirals downward as more accusations are thrown by both parties, and King eventually runs out of time, abruptly ending the segment. Little can be taken in the way of progress from this interview, it merely confirms that President Ahmadinejad is unwavering in his policy and beliefs, and will continue to be so henceforth. I have included a link to the interview from youtube. It is split into four parts, three of which are with Ahmadinejad, and the fourth is the post interview discussion.

By: Jake Linne, IB12

The extinction of redheads – true?

Ginger-festival

According to genetic scientists, redheads are dying out and will be extinct in about a hundred years, National Geographic reports. The reason for this is the increasing globalization; nowadays people move, meet and produce babies over borders much more than just fifty years ago which leads to the mixing of genes. All dark genes are dominant, and the ginger population has always been small: less than 2% of the world population. The density of gingers is greatest in Scotland, where about 40% are carriers of the red gene, and 13% carries it visibly. The gene is a long ago mutation from the north of Europe and apparently, according to National Geographic, the positive part of being a redhead is the effect of the body being able to take up Vitamin D more efficiently. Although there negative side: the risk for skin-cancer increases along with the sensitivity for heat and coldness.

Some guys who refuse to believe in this science backed-up theory are the organizers of the festival ‘Roodharigendag’ (or ‘the Redhead Day’ in English) that takes place in Breda, Holland, where this year in early September, when the festival celebrated its fifth year, 3000 redheads came together. He reason for this is to strengthen the self esteem among gingers, since a certain type of racism and discrimination against redheads is more common than people think.

At IHGR I estimated the density of gingers to be somewhat 0,02% of the students. The future doesn’t look bright for us, but is 100 years really enough for nature to exterminate all gingers?

By: Katja Slonawski, IB11

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