They are the miracle pills that shouldn’t really work at all. Placebos come in all shapes and sizes, but they contain no active ingredient. Now they are being shown to help treat pain, depression and even alleviate some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Emma Bryce dives into the mystery of placebos’ bizarre benefits.
José Manuel Rodriguez Delgado was a Spanish professor and Director of NeuroPsychiatry at Yale University Medical School, famed for his research into direct mind control through electrical stimulation of regions in the brain. This is the famous video of him stopping a charging bull in its tracks by simply using a remote control connected to implants in the bull’s brain.
If one part of success in Silicon Valley is dependent on your ability to stay up all night and code, the other part depends on your ability to think outside the box. Some in the Valley are trying to force creativity by taking LSD. And it’s making them rich.
In the mid-1960s, with the countercultural threat of recreational drug use among teens and twenty-somethings on the rise, governmental agencies began to create little educational “scare” films about a variety of drugs. Here’s one of the strangest, often called “The Reefer Madness of LSD”.
A quick guide to Nootropics, also called smart drugs, memory enhancers, neuro enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers — drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and functional foods that improve one or more aspects of mental function.
According to some reports, Nootropics are the expensive reason why successful people can accomplish so much and the rest of us losers can barely get out of bed in the morning.
Where does genius come from? Is it the byproduct of tireless work, developmental happenstance or divine inspiration? The documentary Superhuman: Genius explores this phenomenon by portraying the lives and accomplishments of five individuals for whom cerebral superiority is second nature.
Stephen Wiltshire is a 33-year-old autistic man with an extraordinary talent. He is one of less than 100 people in the world who is recognised as an autistic savant. Whereas some savants excel in mathematics or music, Stephen is an accomplished artist, and is capable of producing highly accurate drawings of buildings and cities after seeing them just once. Although Stephen is today a quiet and confident young man, he endured a difficult childhood as family and teachers struggled to cope with his autism – a condition that was, at the time, very poorly understood and rarely diagnosed.
Cityscapes and buildings quickly became Stephen’s artistic focus, possibly because they represent the kind of stability, solidity and repetition that autistic people often crave. In a short space of time, Stephen became internationally renowned for his strikingly detailed and technically accurate drawings, and since his teenage years he has travelled the world sketching famous buildings and cities.
A psychedelic substance advocate makes videos of himself under the effects of alcohol and LSD. In this video he takes 15 shots of hard liquor and tries to do things like catch a ball, do squats (holding his girlfriend on his shoulders), and take an IQ test. Then, on a different day, he takes LSD and tries the same things. Spoiler alert: LSD easily wins the day!
The Root of All Evil?, later retitled The God Delusion, is a television documentary written and presented by Richard Dawkins in which he argues that humanity would be better off without religion or belief in God.
Dawkins has said that the title The Root of All Evil? was not his preferred choice, but that Channel 4 had insisted on it to create controversy. The sole concession from the producers on the title was the addition of the question mark. Dawkins has stated that the notion of anything being the root of all evil is ridiculous. Dawkins’ book The God Delusion, released in September 2006, goes on to examine the topics raised in the documentary in greater detail.
What makes a person believe that he visited heaven? Is there a way for science to get at what’s really going on? Gideon Lichfield mounts an empirical investigation of near-death experiences, concluding that more rigorous research must be pursued to understand what happens in the minds of “experiencers,” as they call themselves. One thing is abundantly clear, though. Near-death experiences are pivotal events in people’s lives. “It’s a catalyst for growth on many different levels—psychologically, emotionally, maybe even physiologically,” says Mitch Liester, a psychiatrist.