Psychedelics Conference to Show How Ecstacy, LSD Can Cure Some Serious Social Ills

And look how successful they were/are
By Rachel Swan

British Countess Amanda Feilding began taking LSD as a comparative religions student at Oxford. Five decades later, she describes her first trips with aplomb.

"I thought it was ... very similar to mystical experiences I'd read about, and I came up with a hypothesis of how it worked on the brain," says Feilding, now 70.

Feilding sat in the lobby of Oakland Marriott Hotel with her filmmaker son and his friend, the luxury department store heir Omar Fayyed as she spoke with us about her life as a renowned drug researcher. Feilding conducts clinical trials on ecstasy and magic mushroom use in Russia and the UK; Fifteen years ago she launched her own charitable trust called the Beckley Foundation, and now she's using it to advocate for productive use of psychedelic drugs.

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An Honest Liar: 5 Questions for a Magician

Richard Faverty
There are no trap doors or secret entrances to Robert Strong's apartment in the Presidio, and he does not answer the door in a sequined shirt, or appear with a flash of smoke. It's business casual clothes and a handshake, with tea in the kitchen and a still packed suitcase from a business trip in the living room -- but his business, of course, is magic. Robert Strong began learning illusions at age 12, after seeing a street performer during a summer camp excursion to the Baltimore Harbor. Since then, he has performed in 40 different countries and at the White House twice, once for the elder George Bush and once for Bill Clinton. We sat down in his kitchen for a few minutes to discuss a magician's life, and to see if I could pry any magical secrets from his brain.More »

Video of the Day: Make Your Own Optical Illusions

Master of optical trickery Brusspup creates fun YouTube videos about how to make two-dimensional paper come to life, how to make pool balls appear inside actual swimming pools (much to the boredom of Brusspup's cat, also in the clip), and how to make duct tape glow. Click through to see an example, and download the images to try yourselves on Brusspup's YouTube page.

Via laughingsquid

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Christian Cagigal Works His Darkest Magic Show Yet -- But We Can't Tell You About It

The Collection_Julie Michelle.jpg
Julie Michelle
Christian Cagigal says we can't tell you what this photo means.
When you watch Christian Cagigal's The Collection, at the Exit Theatre, you might find yourself experiencing some of the same thoughts you had watching magic shows as a kid: "Pick me! Oh wait, don't pick me!" "That's so cool! But it has to be fake! But I can't figure out how!"

All the same, The Collection is definitely an adult magic show -- no, not that kind of "adult." Cagigal uses magic in the service of storytelling, and the stories he tells come from his menagerie of bizarre found objects. His playing space has the feel of an artfully arranged and well-dusted attic. Tchotchkes poke out of cabinets and shelves in every corner of the black box theater. The boots and bells and skulls you see are not mere trinkets, however. Each has a dark, storied past. But like the magic tricks, you never know whether the stories are real or made-up. Rather than being straight nonfiction or complete fabrication, they are more likely somewhere in between: wisps of truth shaped and ornamented by an adept storyteller.

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