Category Archives for Mushrooms

Here’s The Only Supplement You Should Take For Your Cold

Research suggests that neither vitamin C or orange juice will assist beat that cold . Nevertheless, sales of the beverage are rising for the first time in half a decade — and people think it may have to do with this year’s terrible influenza season . If you’re looking for something that could actually help reduce your symptoms and the length of your cold, analyses suggest that zinc — not vitamin C — may be your best bet .

Flu season 2018 is not messing around.

As the virus has swept the US in recent months, people seem to have turned to orange juice in the hope that the vitamin C-rich beverage will help them fight off illness. Sales of the drink rose 0.9% in the four weeks aiming on January 20, according to The Wall street Journal — the first time in almost five years that Nielsen data showed a year-over-year increase.

Importantly, the symptoms of the influenza and the common cold, both of which are caused by viruses, can be very similar, so it’s tough to tell which one you have.

That said, neither orange juice nor vitamin C supplements will likely do much good against either virus. Survey discover that vitamin C does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold — and the research on vitamin C and the flu has been inconclusive.

Instead of vitamin C, the available evidence does support the use of another supplement — zinc.

‘Routine vitamin C supplementation is not justified’

A 2013 review of 29 trials which involved more than 11,300 people observed “no consistent effect of vitamin C … on the duration or severity of colds.” The only place the authors find some benefits of vitamin C supplementation was in marathon runners, skiers, and soldiers on “subarctic exercise” — and even in those small populations, the observed impact was small.

“The failure of vitamin C supplementation to reduce the incidence of colds in the general population indicates that routine vitamin C supplementation is not justified, ” the study writers wrote.

And megadoses of vitamin C — on the order of 2,000 milligrams or more — may come with substantial damages, including raising your risk of painful kidney stones.

If you want to increase your overall vitamin and mineral uptake, research backs get it from fresh fruits and vegetables. This is the best style for your body to process it and ensures you get the most nutrients possible.

There is, however, one supplement for colds that DOES have some proof behind it.

Zinc may be your best bet against the common cold

Unlike vitamin C, which surveys help find likely does nothing to prevent or treat the common cold, zinc may actually be worth a shot this season. The mineral seems to interfere with the replication of rhinoviruses, the bugs that cause the common cold.

In a 2011 review of studies of people who’d recently gotten sick, researchers looked at those who’d started taking zinc and compared them with those who merely took a placebo. The ones on zinc had shorter colds and less severe symptoms.

Zinc is a trace element that the cells of our immune system rely on to function. Not getting enough zinc( Harvard Medical School researchers recommend 15-25 mg of zinc per day) can impact the smooth functioning of our T-cells and other immune cells. But it’s also important not to get too much: an excess of the supplement may actually interfere with the immune system’s functioning and have the opposite of the intended result.

So instead of chugging fizzy drinkings loaded with vitamin C, stick to getting the nutrient from food. Strawberries and many other fruits and veggies are a great source. And if you aren’t getting enough zinc in your diet, try a zinc supplement. Chickpeas, kidney beans, mushrooms, crab, and chicken are all rich in zinc, and zinc-rich lozenges may also help boost your intake.

Read the original article on Business Insider. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Copyright 2017.

Read next on Business Insider: The 3 biggest health and fitness lies people believe on social media, according to fitness Instagram superstar Anna Victoria

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Most People Hurl These Away, But She Turns Them Into Tiny Works Of Art

The reason some people are artists and others aren’t is their ability to think outside the box.

Whether that’s literally painting outside the lines or finding a way to use the things we just don’t see as art, creative thinking is basically an essential prerequisite. Artists amaze us because they can take someone’s trash and turn it into a masterpiece. And when I say trash, sometimes it literally is something we’re used to throwing away.

Jan Campbell was get her lunch ready the working day when she cut open an avocado and took a longer looking than usual at the cavity inside. The remainder is history.

Campbell noticed the beauty of the coloration and began carving into the pits, which she calls stones.

Primarily, she makes statues based on Celtic folklore. Most are forest spirits or goddesses, but sometimes she also carves mushrooms.

These avocado stone statues can stand on their own or be worn as pendants, and she sells them in her online store.

Due to their beauty and unique qualities, she often sells out. Fortunately, she makes these figures in bronze, too.

Even if you can’t get your hands on one of her sculptures yourself, Campbell operates a beautiful Instagram account where she posts her creations.

It just goes to show you that one person’s trash really is another person’s treasure.

( via BoredPanda)

I’d love to have some of these statues in my house. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments and share this with all the creative people you know!

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Portland city guide: what to see plus the best hotels, bars and restaurants

Its famous, derided even, for hipster coffee and craft beer, but theres so much more to one of Americas coolest cities and there are new direct flights from London, too

All hail Portland! The Pacific Northwest trail-blazer is a vibrant hub that celebrates the four cool Cs of coffee, cycling, craft breweries and( food) carts. Whats more, new direct flights four times a week in summer with Delta from Heathrow start on 27 May, stimulating what was a torturous journey with connections in either Atlanta, Seattle, San Francisco or Vancouver a more bearable 11 -hour trip.

This is a contradictory, rapidly evolving and messy place, which for many is teetering on the brink of boom or bust. See, Portland is about much more than those tourist must-have buzzwords or hipster hit lists.

The city of roses is also a city of protest against police barbarism, against Trump. Its many bridges across the Willamette river devote it an industrial seem, yet it is surrounded by lush Oregon landscapes, with Mount Hood, the Columbia river gorge and Cascade mountains a short drive away.

Powells City of Books on West Burnside Street. Photo: Robert Hull for the Guardian

It has been satirized in the Tv comedy Portlandia, especially for its cyclists, yet cars still predominate even if the many new apartment blocks dont offer parking. But then another irony is that public transport via bus, streetcar and the MAX light rail line is an efficient and affordable style to get around. What I truly love Portland for, though, is its otherness its celebration of the outsider. In his volume Fugitives and Refugees: A Stroll in Portland, Oregon, Fight Club novelist Chuck Palahniuk asks local writer Katherine Dunn about the city. We just accumulate more and more strange people, she said. All we are is the fugitives and refugees.

Against this backdrop, Portland has one of the worlds best bookshops, Powells City of Books, hosts a major tango celebration and, for all its craft breweries, the wine scene is just as vibrant. It also retains the problem of homelessness that distressed travel writer Jan Morris during her visit in the 90 s, and which she documented in A Writers World. I left with the feeling that maybe Portland could do with only switching off for a few minutes to regroup. But thats never going to happen because, amid all the uproar, theres too much stuff going on.


Promise of a rose garden and more

Photograph: Tom Schwabel/ Getty Images

A hike in Washington Park, with its opinions to Mount Hood, is a short MAX light rail ride from the centre. Kids will enjoy Oregon Zoo and Childrens Museum, but the scene-stealers are the Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden. The former has just had a $33.5 m expansion overseen by Tokyo 2020 Olympic stadium architect Kengo Kuma and offers the beauty of bonsai, a moon bridge and serene gardens and pavilions. The Rose Garden celebrating its 100 th anniversary is another calm place, with vivid buds and city positions.
Adult $14.95, child 6-17 $10.95. 611 SW Kingston Avenue,

Jet boat down the Willamette river

Photograph: Getty Images

With a skyline marked by offices and spiralling concrete roads, Portland is not a stereotypically picturesque place. But this river-divided city does do a fine line in bridges. Seeing them from a plane boat offer fresh air, the occasional fast turning and splashing, and an architecture lesson on , among others, the Burnside, Hawthorne and Steel bridges. The start/ end point outside the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry( OMSI) offers an opportunity for further fun learning or to dry off!
Tours from $31 adult, $21 4-11s, +1 503 231 1532,

Explore the neighbourhoods

A shop in the arts-and-crafty Alberta district. Photograph: Alamy

Downtown Portland isnt overrun with chain stores, and theres an independent spirit on its streets and in the group( pods) of food carts, but my love of the city grew through exploring its neighbourhoods. Go north-east to the Alberta district for arts and crafts, the wonderful community-owned Alberta Co-op Grocery, bars( Radio Room, Alberta Street Pub) and a theater. Venture south-east to Hawthorne for the ragged charm of the Bagdad Theater, an atmospheric place to catch a( cheap) movie, or visit one of the outposts of Tender Loving Empire for local art and souvenirs at a store that runs its own record label. The Mount Tabor district has its own extinct volcano, and the superb Tabor Bread bakery. But dont stop with this trio: Mississippi Avenue has craft breweries and the musician-owned Mississippi Studios and then continue exploring in Division, Belmont and Nob Hill.

The arts

Portland Art Museum

For rainy days and Portland has its fair share as well as creative inspiration, Portland Art Museum is a must. Founded in 1892, its in two buildings joined by an underground walkway and has an array of Native American , north-western, modern and contemporary art, plus fantastic photography. For smaller-scale presents visit Old Town/ Chinatown, where the Blue Sky gallery majors on photography; just feet away are the equally impressive Charles A Hartman and Froelick galleries.
Adult $19.99, 17 and under, free. 1219 SW Park Avenue,

Soccerball with a cutting edge

Mascot Timber Joey cuts a slice of the Portland Timbers log after the team ratings. Photo: Alamy

With no major baseball or NFL franchises in town, the sporting spotlight falls on basketball side the Trail Blazers and the 2015 MLS Cup-winning Portland Timbers football( football) squad. The Timbers 21,000 -capacity Providence Park is a short stroll, bus/ tram or bike ride from Downtown and a fun venue to watch the kick-and-rush of US football. A highlighting is watching mascot and lumberjack Timber Joey chainsaw a slice off a tree trunk when the home side ratings. Tickets sell fast and the 4,000 -seat expansion isnt due till 2019 so book.
Tickets from $18, Providence Park, +1 503 553 5400,


Breakfast and brunch

Vegan scramble at the Tin Shed Garden Cafe

In the Alberta district, the Tin Shed Garden Cafe serves brunch until 3pm and is a rambunctious, fun, dog-friendly spot that bustles on weekends. Try its big hit burrito ($ 12) or one of the doggy-themed scrambles: the Fetch( bacon and egg) or the Stay( with mushrooms, seasonal greens and roasted sweet potato( both $9.50 ). The nearby Cup& Saucer Cafe is a good backup option, the Tommy-go-Hammy omelette ($ 10.50) is recommended. In Downtown, Kenny and Zukes is a deli-diner to fall in love with great french toast ($ 10.50) and bagels( from $2.50 ). At Tasty n Alder and award-winning sister eatery Tasty n Sons , the trendy defined either arrives early or is prepared to wait in line for the frittata with Italian cheese and salsa verde ($ 10) and/ or the lemon ricotta flapjack with blueberry syrup ($ 7 ). If patience deserts you, try Cheryls on 12 th , where breakfast is served till 4pm the croque monsieur ($ 12) really delivers.

Lunch and dinner

Afuri Ramen

In an airy, industrial-chic space in the Belmont district, Afuri Ramen is the Tokyo-based chains first branch outside Japan. Apparently, the owners picked Portland for the softness of its water vital for attaining the broth integral to a good bowl of ramen. The yuzu shio ramen ($ 15) makes a fine illumination lunch, though dumplings, sushi and salads are also excellent. Pok Pok PDX on Division Street is chef Andy Rickers take over Thai street food, and has spawned branches across the city. Portlands ever-changing food cart scene is simply too big to do justice to here, but a good way to learn about the carts history is on a tour with Brett Burmeister( ).

Viking Soul Food trailer at the Good Food Here food carts pod on Belmont Street, south-east Portland. Photo: Greg Vaughn/ Alamy

Noble Rot on East Burnside maintains it seasonal by growing many of its ingredients on its rooftop garden, while the views across the river arent too shabby either. Try the sweet potato falafel, quinoa, roast veggies, harissa and sumac yogurt ($ 23 ). In Hawthorne, Caf Castagna is a more affordable alternative to the adjacent, Michelin-starred Castanga restaurant its baked penne with gruyre, caramelised leek and onion ($ 15) has a definite wow factor. And server, bar staff and taxi driver recommendations( all suggested several times) include: Coquine ( modern American ), Ox ( steaks ), and Kachka ( Russian ).

Sweet treats

Salt& Straw. Photo: The Washington Post/ Getty Images

More than a few people suggested that Blue Star Donuts ( around$ 3, five places) had stolen the halo of heavenly sugar provider from Voodoo Doughnut. My chocolate and almond ganache certainly powered me through the afternoon! If ice-cream is your scoop, then Salt& Straw ( four locatings) will tickle the tastebuds. The one-scoop sea salt with caramel ribbons plus hot fudge ($ 5.10) I had built for a super Sunday sundae.


Loyal Legion


Venture to this Eastside bar to try a cavalcade of local craft brew. It claims to offer 99 Oregon beers on tap and, though I cant personally vouch for all, the Ancestry Golden was light, the Yachats was smooth, the Block 15 was malty and the Oakshire Overcast Espresso Stout was a creamy, energising shoot of success. The staff seem to know the intricacies of each brew. Happy hour is 3pm-6pm, daily, and the food list includes amazing sausages.
Tasters from$ 2, 16 oz from $5. 710 SE 6th Avenue ,

Portland City Grill

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Baltimore psychologist pioneers team utilizing psychedelics as’ sacred’ medication

William Richards, who began analyzing psychedelics in Germany in 1963, is persuaded LSD and psilocybin medications can transform people lives for the better

Baltimore is known to many as the heroin capital of the US. If William Richards has anything to do with it, it may also become the nations most psychedelic city.

For the past 15 years, a Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine program co-founded by Richards has dosed hundreds if not thousands of people with a variety of psychedelic drugs. Richards, who specializes in the psychology of religion, sees the sacred molecules in such chemicals as nothing more than keys to what is already in the brain.

The drug most often and reliably being implemented in his program is psilocybin. Found in magic mushrooms, it induces mystical experiences. It has shown promising outcomes in treating conditions from anxiety and post-traumatic stress ailment( PTSD) to addiction, and may be able to improve the lives and spiritual practices of otherwise healthy people.

Richards, who began examining psychedelics in Germany in 1963, is convinced such medications can transform people lives for the better. Instead of using the word psychedelic drugs, he calls chemicals such as LSD and psilocybin entheogens, which means generating divinities within.

Of course, such research isnt for everyone. But the program follows a strict protocol, which begins with the screening of volunteers.

Bill was part of the pioneering team here in the US doing psychedelic research and psychedelic therapy model, said Albert Garcia-Moreau, a post-doctoral researcher in the Hopkins program who is involved in a study that seeks to use psilocybin to help people quit smoking.

Garcia-Moreau described the model in simple terms: Basically you give person a really high dose and they have a really transformative experience. And youve prepared them for that and then after the fact, you help them integrate it and they get on with “peoples lives”.

In 2006, the Johns Hopkins squads first survey of psilocybin and mystical experience was commended for its rigor and called a landmark by a former director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse. In the decade since, the experimental proof has grown.

In his new book, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religion Experience, Richards writes that he and his colleagues have so reliably been able to induce mystical experience that they have empirically proven Carl Jungs theory of the collective unconscious the idea that there is archetypical imagery we all share, regardless of our culture.

Richards tells the story of a narcotics addict who had a junior high school education, got addicted to heroin and imprison and then in his early 20 s he was paroled for a project to see if[ LSD] would help in the treatment of drugs addiction.

In a report, the young man described a series of strange dancing figures.

And then he came across these afterwards in the waiting room, a volume of Hindu art, and he saw the pictures of the dancing Shiva and Vishnu and came running into my office, Richards writes. I can still insure him excited. This is what I find! “Thats what” I ensure! This is what I ensure! So the question is: how does a dancing Shiva get into the mind of the inner-city Baltimore drugs junkie?

Dancing gods and angels are merely one type of experience Richards and his squad assert they can reliably produce with psilocybin, given the right dosage and setting.

More profound is what Richards calls unitive consciousness a mystic nation of unity described by visionaries of all religions in which subject and object merge, somewhere beyond space and period. Richards writes that roughly 75% of volunteers for his studies have reported experiencing unitive consciousness.

Within that state theres infinite variation, he said, but he added that all of the experiences share certain features unity, transcendence of time and space, intuitive knowledge, sacredness, deeply felt positive mood, and claims of ineffability that define mystical consciousness.

Richards knows the experience firsthand. Sacred Knowledge begins with a long description of the scientists first mystical experience in a laboratory cellar in Germany, in 1963.

He filled out some paperwork, Richards writes, and the next thing he knew he was experiencing something that would change the course of his life.

To my utter amazement, I soon discovered in my visual field the emergence of an exquisitely beautiful multidimensional network of neon-like geometric patterns, depicting my attention ever more profoundly within, he writes.

Psychologist William Richards of John Hopkins. Photograph: Politenes of William Richards

Soon, he continues, I seemed to fully become the multidimensional patterns or to lose my usual identity within them as the eternal brilliance of mystical consciousness manifested itself.

Richards continued to work with psychedelics in Germany and eventually began to work at Spring Grove hospital, in Maryland. As he put it, in 1977 he was the last person to leave a sinking ship before that program was shut down by the government. The research lay dormant for 22 years.

There was always the hope that the research would come alive again in my lifetime, but I didnt know that it would and its really wonderful now that its coming so alive, he said. Things are just opening up all over the place, so its a very hopeful time.

Of course, it is still quite difficult to gain permission to work with psychedelics, which are classified as schedule I medications: of no research or medical value and with a high potential for abuse. But for serious research, the situation is getting better.

Its sort of like at night when you insure a couple stars and then you find a couple more and then a couple more and pretty soon, I hope to see the whole galaxy, Richards said.

One study at a time, more and more research, more and more universities getting involved, people getting over the fear that its going to hurt the reputation of their school or destroy their professional credentials if they get involved in psychedelics.

Despite this, Richards is cautious.

Around 1970, there were people all over the world doing research with psychedelics, especially western Europe and here and all that, he said. There were four international conferences on psychedelics and thousands of professional papers published and you would have thought it could never be stopped or repressed. But it happened.

As one of the few people to have been at the forefront of research and to have been legally allowed to use psychedelics both in the 1960 s and now, Richards feels something like a moral imperative to share his insights.

These mystic countries are more than just wonderful feeling, he said. Theres knowledge to be had in these states. Someday, in the right context, they ought to be available to people who are well-established in their professions.

Take a bunch of physicists that actually are on the growing edge of physics: they know the concepts, the know the mathematical formulae. Give them a psychedelic and I bet they come up with something and they can articulated it and they can apply it and they can plug it into their theories.

Most of Richards research is focused on the spiritual dimensions of the psychedelic experience. His group recently completed trials for a study on spiritual practice, working with 75 people who want to learn meditative techniques and were willing to receive psilocybin. He is also shall include participation in trials with 24 religious leaders who work directly with congregations.

Just to see if a little religious experience might enrich a ministry, he said.

There always have been mystics, people who just spontaneously have these transcendental experiences. Whether Shankara and Plotinus and Meister Eckhart ever took psychedelics, who knows, but they may have just produced their own biochemical ingredients unconsciously. But the important thing is that they had these profound experiences and wrote of them.

Maybe those of us who use psychedelics dont produce enough of our own. We require a little boost, you know.

Richards says he does not need to take the narcotics himself these days though he did take a trip lately to South America to experience ayahuasca, a powerful hallucinogen used by shamans.

Im not opposed to taking major psychedelics again but I dont feel a great need to, he said. I feel like if I expend the rest of my life integrating what Ive already experienced, candidly, when physical death comes Ill experience it again, I believe.

I dont have to look again to see if God is still there, he added and started laughing.

Richards laughs easily. He marvels that he has helped induce mystic experiences in people of all races, early 20 s to early 80 s in age, men and women, close to death and in perfect physical health.

Theres a huge variety of people Ive been privileged to work with and yet the experiences are so universally common. Even those who arent terminally ill are usually mortal. These profound experiences are genuinely profound, you know.

Richards, who used his experience with psychedelics while grieving the loss of his wife to cancer, decades ago, is deeply attached to the individuals who volunteer for his studies.

Twig Harper, who runs a sensory deprivation tank in Baltimore, said of the Johns Hopkins studies: Ive done a few analyses with them.

The real secret sauce there is it takes skilled facilitators to get people in those spaces the compound get people to those states but their compassion, their empathy, their guiding of the session is actually what did that. If those conferences were going on with a bunch of fuddy-duddies they wouldnt be getting such good results.

Harper paused a moment, before adding: Im sure that just hanging out with Bill for an afternoon would be good for anyone.

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Eat to lose: The 7 best foods to help you shed pounds

Diets are all about cutting calories, right?

Well, maybe not.

If youve ever tried following a commercial diet, you know counting calories and weighing yourself can derail your goals totally. And while it may seem like curtailing your uptake of food is the best way to shed pounds, consuming enough calories is actually key.

To get the scoop on the foods that can help you get to that target weight, Fox News talked to Lauren Blake, RD, LDN, manager of sports nutrition at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, to find out how to eat your way to the body of your dreams.


Despite previous attitudes of fat, the healthy kind shouldnt be your adversary, a 2016 analyze published in The Lancet Diabetes& Endocrinology indicates. Avocado contains healthy fats that can help you stay full and satisfied, Blake said. I like to call avocado natures butter, Blake, who recommended smearing it on a piece of whole-wheat toast, told Fox News. If I dont have avocado in my house, its time to go to the store!


A 2015 analyze published in the publication BMJ found that people whose diets were rich in flavonoids which are present in foods like berries, onions and even wine tended to gain less weight as they aged. Blake is also a fan of them for their high fiber and water content. Theyre a bit lower on the glycemic indicator, so theyre not gonna spike your blood sugar as quickly, she said.


Lentils and beans

Fibrous foods like lentils and beans help you stay fuller longer, Blake explained. Fiber comes from all plant food, and typically, plants have more calories so you can eat more of them, she said. Id instead be told I can eat more of something than less of something! Research backs up that notion: A 2015 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggested simply concentrates on fiber may offer more benefits than following a more restrictive diet plan.

Lean protein

Fatty fish like salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, and lean , non-dark meat like chicken or turkey can also help ward off unwanted pounds, Blake said. Its protein, whether from plants or animals, can help keep you full, she explained. Part of the Mediterranean diet, lean proteins have long been hailed as powerful weight-loss tools, several studies suggest.


Non-starchy veggies

For weight loss, Blake advises her clients to fill half of their plates with non-starchy veggies like bell peppers, cauliflower, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus and Brussels buds. Starchy veggies, on the other hand, include potatoes, peas and corn. In a 2015 study published in PLOS One , Harvard University researchers found that, after 24 years, men and women who devoured non-starchy make, which is higher in fiber and lower in carbs, tended to lose weight. Like berries , non-starchy foods are lower on the glycemic index, meaning they lead to fewer blood sugar spikes and less hunger.

Whole grains

Although wheat and bread alone have become topics for debate in holistic wellness circles, Blake said whole grains which are also rich in fiber are an important part of a healthy diet. That doesnt mean you should binge on bread, though! I love things like brown rice and oatmeal, Blake said,[ because] those are really great whole grains that typically have a little more fiber than bread. If youre going to opt for bread, Blake recommended looking for the 100 percentage whole-wheat variety.


Dark chocolate

Also rich in flavonoids and healthy fats, dark chocolate has become somewhat of a superfood for weight loss in recent years. Research has linked its consumption to everything from curbed sweet cravings to reduced blood sugar spikes. Blake indicated enjoying a piece of the treat in bar sort or mixing dark chocolate powder into a protein-packed smoothie with almond or peanut butter. Go ahead, pander!

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I Run At A Spa Where You Can Take Drugs, Trip Balls And Pee

It seems like sensory deprivation tanks are everywhere these days. From Stranger Things to Stephen Curry, depriving yourself of multiple senses is so hot right now. If Helen Keller were alive, she’d say … well , nothing. That was her whole deal. But she might be a bit confused by the phenomenon. So we spoke to the folks who operate those sensory deprivation tanks, plus a few users, to find out why people pay good money merely to get trapped.


Sometimes The Customers Really Don’t Want To Get In

There are a lot of risk-takers out there, but not everybody gets high on life. Some folks are dragged to the tanks mentally kicking and psychically calling. According to Cameron, who worked in a sensory deprivation spa, his chore chiefly consisted of comforting those folks.

“Everyone is worried about different things” he told us. “I’ve heard, ‘Will I go crazy in there ?, ‘ ‘What if I come out a different person ?, ‘ ‘How can I call for help ?, ‘ and ‘Do I have to be naked? I’m not going in there naked.’ And, if they’ve considered Fringe , ‘Will it fuck me up that severely? ‘”

Worse, the guy who dragged his buddy to the sensory deprivation tank in the first place usually isn’t all that helpful.

“I had a claustrophobic guy come in with a friend, and he took one look at the pod and said no way, ” Cameron remembered. “I told him that inside, as soon as the door was shut, he’d feel like he was inside a vast area. His friend said the exact wrong thing to say — ‘Hey, perhaps this will cure your claustrophobia! ‘ He eventually agreed to try it, but I felt compelled to tell him that it may assist him, but it’s not a remedy, but he said ‘I know.'”

“We set him in there, and less than two minutes later came the screaming. He did what you’re not supposed to do, touch the sides of the pod for very long. He kept feeling around, and suddenly he wasn’t in a void as promised, but in the dark in a closed pod. It’s hard to get sound to come out, but when he couldn’t find the handle to open the pod, he called. When we opened it, he got out as fast as he could, grabbed a robe, and pretty much operate outside. We refunded his money, of course. We should not have been so insistent. We have potential floaters drop out because they’re afraid, but now we make sure it isn’t a real phobia. We don’t want another screaming pod. It was frightening for everyone involved.”


You Might Pee Yourself, And You’ll Almost Definitely Hallucinate

Cameron was quick to point out that most people seem to genuinely loved it. They find it relaxing. Perhaps a little … too relaxing.

“Of course no one is going to admit to peeing, ” he said. “But it happens.”

Cameron took the time to assure us that these pods are super sterile, and they’re cleaned after each and every employ regardless of urine content. We’re trying to find that comforting. Even stranger: Sometimes people won’t even know if they’ve peed.

“Some floaters enter this nation inside the pod where they’re on the line of being asleep and awake, ” Cameron explained. “They frankly couldn’t tell[ if they’d peed ]. If a float pod employee tells you no one has pee-pee in these, they’re lying. In warm water after having lunch, you have to presume they do. We had person sign off on six hours straight-out( please don’t, by the by, you might get hypothermia and die ), and with a session that long you have to presume they’re gonna pee.”

We’d have to assume it’s largely pee by then, actually.

Plus the hallucinations don’t assist. With the peeing. One Cambridge study found that even people who wouldn’t ordinarily hallucinate were prone to having visions in the pod. These can range from simple shapes and dots of sun, to full-on out-of-body experiences.

One pod-racer we talked to, Saundra, told us that it could be calming for her. “If I considered anything, it was the same brand of goofy surreal images I generally see as I’m drifting off to sleep; I tend to lean into them, because I know that the sillier and more free-association the mind-cartoon, the closer I am to sleep. I might have slept a little in the pod, but I mostly remained in that warm purgatory between wakefulness and dreaming.”

“I’ve heard about spirals, rainbows, flying in space, becoming a lion for awhile, and climbing stairs with no end, ” Cameron added. “Sometimes the floater can’t even explain what they ensure. Everyone comes out feeling anew, but some also coming out swearing they just got high.”


A Lot of People Combine The Tanks With Drugs

Sensory Deprivation is often compared to LSD trip-ups, minus the LSD. But what if it was plus the LSD ?

“We had someone who took either LSD or mushrooms before going in, ” Cameron remembered. “Before going in he was staring straight ahead, like he was acting like everything was normal, but I don’t think it all was. Anyway, when I resulted him to the pod he strolled like he was balancing to stay up and was taking deep breaths. He got in, and two hours later I let him out. He told me, in a really calm tone, ‘You only put me in there ten minutes ago. I was sailing on the triangles in there.’ That sounded fucking crazy to me, but then he said, ‘All of my problems were gone. I was me for once. I was with the triangles.’ And that sounded more like other floaters who become more self-aware and more calm, minus the triangles. Then he said, ‘I took something to enhance this and it ran. This was great.’ I was like yeah, that explains the triangles.”

“We have someone who flames up before coming in every other week, ” he went on. “I don’t watch him do it, but I can smell it on him, and his eyes dedicate it away too. He goes in soothe and comes out even calmer. It’s hard to explain. He was already cold before going in, and when he’s going out with all his clothes back on it looks like he knows how to solve all the world’s problems. He’s said that it induces it more relaxing and comfy( since both floating and marijuanas help out nervousnes, blending the two can make it even more effective in reducing stress ), and I believe him. It’s a winning combination[ chuckles ]. “


There Are Some Risks

A lot of people have a pleasant experience, and emerge like wise butterflies from the cocoon of their own urine. Others emerge having faced the Demogorgon.

“I’ve had floaters who I took out who were surprised they were still alive, ” said Cameron. “Because you can’t tell if you’re conscious sometimes, some half-believe they died. It’s merely you and your thoughts, and they go to strange places in there, demise included. When you get out of a pod, everything looks amazing. For me, colourings seem brighter and more vibrant. When floaters who have gone through death come out they’ll sit down for several minutes and reflect. They know their mortality more. We had a first-time floater leave his car in the lot here overnight because he didn’t wishes to risk driving, because he was so shaken up.”

Cameron said that, in addition to depriving someone of touch, sight, and sound, the pods also have a way of depriving folks of their sense of hour, and that’s the one that really scares folks.

“It can shock people, ” he said. “I’ve heard from some floaters that it threw off their sleep schedule for days. If you undershoot by three hours, that’s almost like plane lag. If you sleep in the pod, or think you sleep, then it may not be as bad, but it still mess you up. I’ve had floaters run from that coming-out calmness straight into panic because their sense of time was off so much. Like they come in with the sun up, and they think it’s been 15 minutes, but come out and it’s night.”

There are other hazards, too 😛 TAGEND

“We warn people not to go in if they have just shaved or have a healing meander, ” Cameron went on. “This water is 25 percent salt, and if any get past the scalp, it will hurt like hell. This ruins the experience for some because it means they’re stuck in a pod for two hours and all they can feel is pain. One floater came in who was a swimmer who had shaved, as he put it, everything . We warned him about the salt, but he said he could handle it. Two hours later, he comes out and the first thing he says is, ‘My balls are on fire.'”


It Can Actually Be Therapeutic

Lennon apparently utilized a sensory deprivation tank to get off of heroin, with reasonable success. Tom Brady uses one to maintain his mind Super Bowl-caliber focused, though it appears it cannot cure him of his inherent Tom Brady-ness.

Andrew Campbell/ flickr
Maybe expend a bit more time in the tank, Tom. Ideally, September through February .

“I can’t say it’s a miracle cure like some websites say it is, but some people take it as a therapy, ” said Cameron. “We had a floater who came in three times a week to help with his depression. He said it helped because it was only him and his intellect in there with nothing else to influence it, and it ran in blocking everything out. I had to help a paraplegic get into a pod. He had his spine messed up in an accident, and he was really self-conscious about use a wheelchair. In there, he said, he didn’t even feel his body anymore, and that it was one of the few places where he could relax, and the only place he could feel like he was before the accident. A plenty of that was in his mind, but our pods helped him get there.”

One of our sources, Chelsea, definitely concurs 😛 TAGEND

“I’ve had stress problems for years. My doctor has never recommended it, but it was better than yoga.”

Another, Kyle, thinks it helps as well. He took a salty plunge after a one-two combo of tragedy: losing a good friend, and then dealing with a partner’s serious illness. He claims his time in the pods helped to “prepare me in some way by[ letting me learn] how to let go and how to relax … It was very difficult to relax “when hes” dealing with[ my partner] ‘s prognosis before her surgery, and particularly after[ my friend] ‘s death, but I’ve attempted to reframe it and gain strength from the float hour rather than dread the silence and separation.”

All that being said, however …

“Paraplegics don’t think this is Lourdes where they’ll be healed. It really simply helps them mentally from what I’ve find, ” Cameron cautioned. “I’m a supporter of the pods and having others experience it, but you cannot say it’s going to mend you or cure you … We’re told upon hiring to never say it’s a cure or even hint that it is. There’s lots of good in sensory deprivation, but you need to watch out for claims that are false.”

IvanMikhaylov/ iStock
Any place that promises 30 percentage more mystic healing than their challengers was likely to be avoided .


Leaving Is Like Being Reborn: Being Reborn Isn’t Necessarily Fun

If it sounds like a religious experience, it may not be far off for some 😛 TAGEND

“Most will get a impression like they’re reborn, ” Cameron said. “I’ve done it before, and it’s pretty accurate.”

“The attendants always call it being born again, and I can see where they come from, ” added Chelsea. “You’re cold, wet, and have felt like you’ve been in the womb. Every period I go in I tell myself that I won’t be amazed with everything coming out, but every time I am. The floor there has this colorful pattern of twisting foliages, and every time I come out I’m mesmerized by it. It seems so alive — despite being tacky-looking foliages. They always say, ‘You’re looking at them again’ when they catch me doing it.”

Studies on sensory deprivation tanks have shown that 90 percentage of floaters felt more relaxed after a conference. But sometimes, if they go through some bad hallucinations, or get salt in their wounds, or think they died, or stay in for too long and develop depression from extended isolation, or maybe just get a little liquid in their mouth and savour pee, it can be a challenge figuring out how to cope afterward.

“Sometimes floaters aren’t prepared for the experience or didn’t know what to expect, ” Cameron acknowledged. “I’ll consider at least one a day. They don’t calmly climb out. They see the light and get out as fast as they can.”

Floatguru/ Wikimedia Commons
And not exclusively because their pod started reeking like a truck stop men’s room halfway through .

You don’t require any kind of degree to dunk a dude in a tank, and there’s not exactly a standard training course for dealing with hallucinating naked people.

“They don’t train you on freak-outs, ” Cameron said. “There was a floater, like a 20 s-ish daughter, who was bragging about how she could take this on, but after came to see you she said she guessed she was dead. She believed she had been forgotten and her air ran out.”

That’s why, Cameron assured us, all pods either have a panic button, or can at least be opened from the inside. Which is comforting. Unless you dance with the triangles too long, and forget you have hands.

Evan V. Symon is an interviewer, journalist and interview finder for the personal experience squad at Cracked. Have an awesome job/ experience you’d like to share? Made us up at tips @cracked. com today !

Behind every awful movie is the idea for a good one. Old man Indiana Jones discovers foreigners: Good in theory, bad in practice. Batman fights Superman: So simple, but so bad. Are there good versions of these movies hidden within the stinking turds that considered the light of day? Jack O’Brien hosts Soren Bowie, Daniel O’Brien, and Katie Willert of After Hours on our next live podcast to determine an answer, as they discuss their ideal versions of flops, reboots, and remakings. Tickets are$ 7 and can be purchased here !

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GOP Rep: ‘Some awfully bad people’ among ‘dreamers’

( CNN) Rep. Steven King struck a strident tone while discussing immigration policy on Thursday, saying “there are some awfully bad people” among the so-called “dreamers” that President Barack Obama is protecting from deportation.

“When you look at this, I think that there’s been such a hard push on this. The reason they’re called ‘dreamers’ because that’s the most sympathetic word that could be apply applied to people, ” the Iowa Republican said in an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

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The Emotional Rollercoaster Of The Music Festival Romance

Before I moved back to the freezing cold, bitternes, exorbitantly expensive, wildly diverse city of New York, I lived in Southern California.Sunny, palm-tree-adorned, beauteous Los Angeles, California, to be exact.

Sometimes I don’t know why I left my spacious $ 800 per month bedroom in the glass house in the Hills overlooking the hopeful Hollywood sign for a six-story walkup apartment with a broken rain for doubled the money on 92 nd street.

I guess I simply enjoy the sadnes, babe. I am British, after all. And no one said that she wished to suffer like us Brits.

I was in my late teens/ early 20 s in my LA stint, and I played the California Girl role pretty well for an alabaster-skinned, raven-haired, native Manhattanite.

A huge part of my West Coast existence was defined by~ music festivals ~. Yes, I was a festival girl before it was en-vogue to be afestival girl. And I was an authentic festival girl.Meaning, I truly, actually, genuinely, really, truly, actually, really loved the music. And I truly, really, truly, genuinely, truly, genuinely, really loved to lay in the grass and sink into the earth, smoke endless joints and get lost in the gorgeous voices. It wasn’t glam at all in 2005. It was muddy; it was druggy; it was viciously hot, but it was fucking magical.

Itwasn’t Coachella and it wasn’t Bonnaroo without a little bit of the ole’~ festival romance ~.

I mean, think about it: You’re young, you’re wearing fringe( before “its become” so embarrassingly clich and Forever2 1 had a festival line ), you haven’t bathed, you’re high as a kite, you’re in musical bliss … of course you’re going to fallmadly in love. You’re in such a heightened country of happiness( at least until the mushrooms turn on you) that, to be perfectly honest, you could fall in love with a decompose tree.

Yes, you’re not exactly grounded in reality when you’re experiencing heatstroke while screaming booze-filled tears as your favorite band plays andlooking for your friendsin a teeming ocean of thousands of people rolling on ecstasy , not quite sure if you’re having the best period of their own lives or if you merely WANT TO GO HOME ALREADY.

That’s what they don’t tell you about music celebrations, kittens. It’s an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. There is nothing more raw than being covered in mud and dangerously dehydrated while listening to your favorite song in the world LIVE. If that’s not a triggering combination, I don’t know what is.

So, when you’re in this rare form, your festival romance is going to be quite an epic journey. One for the memoir, one for the grandkids.

Here are the seven emotional the stages of The Festival Romance 😛 TAGEND

Phase 1: Holy shit, I’m alone.

It’s a few hours into the celebration when you decide you simply can’t hold it anymore. “I’ll be right back, I’m going to the bathroom, ” you boozily slur to your friends. “Stay right here.”

You go the bathroom( a traumatic experience ), alleviated that you got THAT out of the route. You remove your round, ’7 0s style mega sunnies and peer into the crowd. The sunlight is setting.

Your friends are nowhere to be seen. Fear suddenly snakes its style around your naked waist( you’re in a crop top ).

Holy shit , you think to yourself as panic washings over you. I’m alone .

Phase 2: Locking of the eyes.

You’re high, you’re paranoid, and you’re weaving your route through a sweaty cesspool of 20-somethings tripping their faces off.

Suddenly, you feel too young and too inexperienced to be at a music festival. The twinkling lights that seemed so artistic and creative when you first arrived abruptly look too vivid and a little evil. You reach into your suede beaded suitcase. Your phone is dead. You’ve never been more alone in this cruel, cold world.

Just as you’re about to curl up beneath the palm tree and sobbing mascara tears, you lock eyes with another human being.

Phase 3: Love at first sight.

As you gaze into the pale gray eyes of this beautiful boy beast, you begin to feel things. He approaches you.

“I’m fuckboy, what’s your name? ” the boy says, stretching out his bony hand. He’s a shirtless vision in shorts and no shoes. His beard is ethereal. You’re intoxicated. He is the most beautiful thing your eyes have ever seen.

Fuckboy. That’s a beautiful name, ” you say.

And BAM. CRASH. BOOM. FIREWORKS. You’re in love.

Phase 4: Soulmates who have finally found one another.

The next thing you know, you and fuckboy are passionately kissing, rolling around in the cool grass as the West Coast sun becomes the moon .

Some really amazing instrumental band, like Sigur Ross, is playing. You feel at one with the music and the kissing and the earth, man.Suddenly, everything builds sense! Fuckboy is your soulmate, and after your whirlwind festival romance, the two of you are able to ride off into the sunset, buy a house outside of San Francisco, and live happily ever after.

He will blow glass for a living and you’ll start an organic cereal company or something. And you’ll have gorgeous little children who will operate free around your Northern California backyard. You won’t be rich, but you’ll be super happy and full of love. Oh, the music is so beautiful, and oh, life is so beautiful and oh, TO BE YOUNG AND IN LOVE.

Phase 5: Holy shit, I’m alone again.

Fuckboy excuses himself to the bathroom. “Stay right here, I’ll come back to you, ” he says while grabbing onto your shoulders for dear life like he’s about to go to war. He looks like a knight in glistening armor from the old Disney movies.

“OK, ” you purr, gazing into his soulful eyes. You’re full of trust and lust, a dangerous combination.

And abruptly, it’s been two hours and you’re still waiting for him. It’s starting to rain, and oh shit, what did you do with your suede beaded container? And where are your $200 moccasins?

Holy shit , you think to yourself for the second time in 24 hours. I’m alone .

Phase 6: Heartbreak.

You wrestle through the crowd, determined to find your MAN. You feel a cavity in the depths of your stomach, your girl instincts are telling you HE’S NOT OKAND NEEDS YOUR HELP( truly, that feeling is just starvation, daughter. When was the last hour you ate? What did I talk to you about the importance of partying with food ? ).

But hell hath no ferocity like a woman on a mission to find her man.

That’s when, ever so abruptly, you do consider Fuckboy. Your keen eyes take him in as you watch him passionately making out with a girl in nothing but a cable knit bikini top and distressed denim shorts so short, they might as well be denim UNDERWEAR. His hands are entangled in her bright red mane. Her tanned leg is nestled between his hairy legs.

Your eyes fill with tears. You feel warm water slowly dripping down your face. Your heart is like it has heavy weights attached to it. In fact, the weights are so heavy that your heart snaps in half.

It’s over.

And your sweet heart is breach.


The light rainfall abruptly turns into a thunderstorm. Thick wet drops feel like pelts against your bare skin. You feel yourself are beginning to sober up, sort of like the time a cop raided your house party in high school. You were high as a kite, butthe moment you assured the suns flashing in your driveway, you were crystal clear.

You look at fuckboy and realize his skin is profoundly pockmarked. His beard isn’t ethereal, it’s long anddirty. You imagine bugs nesting inside of it.

He’s got zits on his back. He’s wearing a PUCA SHELL necklace. In fact, he’s not even cute, he’s hideous. You’re hit with a lawsuit of sudden revulsion syndrome .

Suddenly, “youre starting” chuckling. And the laugh quickly becomes hysterical. You realize “youve never” fell in love.

No, daughter. You merely smoked some really good weed and now that the high is worn off, you’re eventually in the right headspace to find your friends. You can’t wait to tell them about how you briefly fell in love with an oily-skinned fuckboy because you were so deliriously wasted.

Only, by the time you get to them, you will be high and in love again and the cycle will repeat itself. Because it’s not a music festival unless you fall in love with a fuckboy at least three times.

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