Apparently Scorpions Can Get People High

First scorpion of 2013

A Suburra.com article titled “Getting High on Scorpions: The Afghan Drug War” notes from David Macdonald, Drugs in Afghanistan, book:

As an example, Macdonald notes that in Afghanistan even the ubiquitous scorpions can be used for intoxication. Tartars in Bamiyan province prepare scorpions by smashing them between stones and letting them dry. The main part of the tail, with the sting, is then crushed into a powder and smoked with tobacco and/or hashish (marijuana).

A friend of Macdonald’s who witnessed a man smoke scorpion in the Afghan town of Peshawar described the reaction:

The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, “much more than a hashish smoker” …. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position …. the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer. (1, p. 247)

As with most drugs, anecdotal reports of scorpion’s effects vary widely. It is likely that the numerous Afghan scorpion species have divergent psychoactive properties. Scorpion has been reported to keep one awake, cause severe headaches, and rival the effects of a “strong mescaline trip.” (1, p. 248) One Kabul man who had smoked between 20 and 30 times reported the effects to last three days. During these periods he had difficulty opening his eyes, his head spun, and he had constant visual hallucinations.

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Less Water In The Southwest

Drought Monitor maps

I should leave this sort of thing to John Fleck, but I found an article at The Christian Science Monitor titled
The new water wars? Study shows broad decline in Rockies snowpack“. When I think of climate change I often think that the Earth will be fine, it’s our way of life that will be impacted.

While the shrinking snowpack in the 20th and early 21st centuries is not unprecedented from a climate-history standpoint, at no time in the past 800 years have so many people relied so heavily on these winter snows for their fresh water. The rivers and the drainage basins that feed them provide as much as 80 percent of the water used for irrigation, power generation, and other purposes by some 70 million people, according to the study.

Meanwhile most of the State of New Mexico continues to be in a drought.

X Prize Cup Preview

Sunday 9 October 2005 the X Prize foundation will be showing off the the ships for the next X Cup. Tickets are $6 for adults and $2 for kids. I will be there, will you?

Come meet the astronauts who will fly them and imagine yourself inside them, watching the earth turn below you. The future is closer than you think. We’re not talking about models. We’re talking about the real thing.

Last year the X PRIZE Foundation gave away $10 million for the first private spaceflight a history-making achievement that blanketed the front pages of newspapers across the globe. This year we’re unveiling a new generation of private spaceships at the X PRIZE CUP in New Mexico.

Bring your friends and family to the Las Cruces Airport on Sunday Oct 9th See six different spaceships currently in testing. Watch them fly. Meet the pioneers, pilots and astronauts who conceived them.

New Mexico's Space Port

The Southwest Regional Spaceport located in New Mexico has been chosen as the location of the X Prize competition. The X Prize competition is a contest to get a civilian spacecraft into space and back to earth. The winner gets $10 million US dollars.

I believe the Spaceport is located south of Roswell. On the way back from Carlsbad Caverns last year I recall seeing a sign saying “Future Location of the Southwest Reginal Spaceport” with a big field behind it. I thought it was some crackpot scheme related to the UFO landing near Roswell. Guess not.