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NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

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Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

21 April 2006

military art / mémoires de la vie psychedelique militaire

Clicking Advised

a Merchant Convoy
astrogating through Spacetime
Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy

escort: Task Force 420
Unified Space Force
Yobbo/Vleeptron/Hoon Federation
Commodore J. Whitby-Saperstein-wwwwwQëõððó, Commanding

On public display in the Reception Area
Commandant's Office
Vleeptron Space Academy
Frongo Marker 211 Road
Ghastly Desert
Left Yobbo

Transport and USF vessels are camouflaged
as psychedelic organic molecules from Earth Sol Melkweg.

* The cherry and tiger molecules at top are THC/Tetrahydrocannabinol
in space-filling format.

Space-filling emphasizes the surface shape of organic molecules. "Lock-and-key" complementary surfaces of adjacent molecules are the topological agents of catalytic action in organic molecules. Increasing the surface area available for a specific reaction can increase the volume of the desired product new molecule by several orders of magnitude very rapidly. The process is very shape-specific, and "key" surfaces rarely confuse other "lock" molecular surfaces.

The surface shape which is the agent of catalysis is closely related to Protein Folding, the next great identified mystery of Life as we perceive it at the molecular level. Protein Folding is possibly the ultimate question of Life, at which point we shall pretty much Know Everything, sufficient functionally to design any desired macromolecule, for nearly every imaginable task, on a computer.

Vleeptron will bore you some other time about Distributed Programming, but for now, Vleeptron would draw your attention to the Leading-Edge Research in the Mystery of Protein Folding, which is at this moment being conducted on thousands of PCs all over the fucking planet by jerks like me and like you, if you're also a jerk. But even if you're not a jerk, you and your PC can be in the Vanguard of Research into Protein Folding.

folding@home is a project in Distributed Programming out of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California (a pee away from Silicon Valley). The Branes of f@h have determined that Success is a function of Massive Brute Computational Force beyond the technical and financial hallucinations of Mere Mortals,


if 5000 jerks all over the surface of the planet all hook their ordinary PCs to the Web, suck up some free Robot Coordination Software, and everybody's Silicon Friend starts computing a small component of The Big Problem, then

5000 PCs > 1 Supercomputer
(Woltman's Inequality)

, the search for ever bigger Mersenne Prime Numbers, was the first kick-ass project in Distributed Programming. I used to run GIMPS in my box, and my early pioneer efforts are enshrined in a list of about 1700 people on a Polish website somewhere.

My efforts were like hiring a robot to help build the Transcontinental Railroad because I personally am too dumb, weak, uninspired, lazy and stupid to help build a railroad. But the G.I.M.P.S. Railroad has been using jerks like me to consistently and reliably churn out the world's largest Prime Numbers for more than a decade. A guy named George Woltman figured out the whole Distributed Programming thing, or at least was the first to Make It Real. He wrote the G.I.M.P.S. software in Assembly (fastfastfast).

George Woltman was born in November 1957 and became interested in number theory at the age of six. George graduated from MIT with a BS and MS in Computer Science in 1978. He worked on operating systems for Data General in R.T.P., N.C. until 1981. From 1981 to 1986, he worked on ALLY, a 4GL for a small company in Cary, N.C. In 1986, co-founded Q+E Software which developed database access tools for Microsoft Windows. In 1994, moved to Orlando, FL, where he works for Just For Fun Software. He is married to the lovely Jan Woltman for 10 years. George began the GIMPS project in early 1996 which found their first Mersenne prime later that year.

S.W.M.B.O. runs seti@home, (out of the University of California @ Berserkely), she is listening to the EMF traffic from other neighborhoods in the Melkweg, looking for sentient messages from the LGM. As Judy Tenuda would say of her discreet late-night dates with the late Pope John Paul II,

"It could happen!"

But if it sings to your particular aspirations and personality, seti@home is an awesome thing to force your Little Silicon Friend to do when you're not surfing Japanese Manga.

Okay, where were we?

* The ball-and-stick molecule in the center is Thujone, the Fun Molecule of Absinthe. Absinthe use to be The Dreaded Crack Epidemic of Europe, until the Tabloids began sensationalizing and inventing the depraved things that Absinthe-drinkers did. (The authorities have issued signed public documents that they are convinced that someone else disemboweled the landlady, but they still won't give me back my 2 bottles of Absinthe.)

Ball-and-stick emphasizes the individual atoms, the angles between atoms in the molecule's 3D angle skeleton, and the single or multiple electric bonds between atoms and small groups of atoms.

A program called CHIME (it used to be Free) can float any of a database of thousands of these molecules, in ball-and-stick or space-filling, in space, click-and-drag rotate them in all orientations -- just wonderfully fancy holographic tricks, Fun Forever. Other 3D Color Wiggle Show Software for large molecules are encountered often on the Web.

One of the Devil's apprentice devils was named Wormwood in C.S. Lewis' "Screwtape Letters." Wormwood was a thujone tincture obtained from various plants known for a millennia or two or three for its efficacy in eliminating pinworms from the human gut. The thujone stuns the rather simple nervous systems of the pinworms, they relax their hooks from the wall of your gut, and then you evacuate the stunned little things. I don't know what modern medicine uses to do the same job, but wormwood worked fine.

* The small purple molecule is MDMA / 3,4-methylenedioxy-
, which the Youthoids call Ecstacy. P.L.U.R. is their Rave-culture acronym for Peace Love Unity Respect. I guess if there's a Secret Password to get into Rave Culture, it's P.L.U.R. I've been to one. Dancing continuously for 37 hours to tinnitus-causing volumes of repetitive booming computer-composed music while gnashing your teeth and hugging 231 topless sweaty strangers is highly overrated.

I think Rave/Tekno music etc. are what happened when Disco married its sister and had babies. But I really like Lords of Acid. I think they're Belgians, not sure.

* The big purple is LSD / Lysergic Acid Dyethalimide-25. The S is from the deutscheswerde Sauer = Acid; a Helvetian guy on a bicycle invented LSD.

* The large Tinkertoy ball-and-stick is Atropine, the Fun Molecule in Belladonna (Italiano for "beautiful woman") and Datura. Atropine enlarges the pupils, as does sexual excitement, and so belladonna was used as a neurologic cosmetic to make a woman appear more sexually interesting. The opthalmologist uses Belladonna or synthetic atropine for eye examinations.

In the Army, we were taught that if we were exposed to an Enemy Nerve Gas Attack!!!!! we should shoot ourselves in the thigh (through our pants) with a spring-loaded syringe of Atropine, and if we were quick enough, Everything Would Be Just Fine.

If you were ever Attacked By Nerve Gas and shot yourself up with Atropine, please let Vleeptron know how it all worked out, I've always been curious.

~ ~ ~

1969-1971 were in some respects Wonderful Times to serve in the United States Military. A soldier had so many choices soldiers don't usually have in most historical eras and in most wars. You could do your service dans la mode du General George
S. Patton, or you could do your service a la John Lennon. The Department of Defense had announced that Random Urine Testing of Every Swinging Dick and Vagina was On The Way, but it hadn't arrived to any of my CONUS outstations yet.

The Music was Fucking Great, even in the USA Deep South. (I have a soft spot in my heart for Tammy Wynette.)

There was Jimi Hendrix, Zappa, The Byrds with Roger McGuinn, The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, The Beach Boys with LSD & the Theremin, Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen, The Velvet Underground with Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, David Crosby, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell, Arlo Guthrie, Captain Beefheart, Jefferson Airplane with Grace Slick (a Jefferson Airplane was a roach clip you could make by splitting a paper match), Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead, Jorma Koukonin (it's Finnish/Suomi, I can't spell it), Hanoi Rocks, and there was George Harrison and there was The Mahavishnu Orchestra, guitars and compositions by John McLaughlin, with Jean-Luc Ponty as electric sidefiddle. There was Ry Cooder. There was Steely Dan and Steeleye Span. And there was Gram Parsons harmonizing with Emmylou Harris

we know it's wrong to let this fire
burn between us
We've got to stop this wild desire
in you and in me
so we'll let the flame
burn once again until the thrill is gone
then we'll sweep out the ashes
in the morning

we're two people caught up in a flame
that has to die down soon
I didn't mean to start this fire
and neither did you
so tonight when you hold me tight
we'll let the fire burn on
and we'll sweep out the ashes
in the morning

each time we meet
we both agree
it's for the last time
but out of your arms
I'm out of my mind
so we'll taste the thrill
of stolen love
tonight until the dawning
and we'll sweep out the ashes
in the morning

yes, we'll taste the thrill
of stolen love
tonight until the dawning
and we'll sweep out the ashes
we'll sweep out the ashes
we'll sweep out the ashes
in the morning

Emmylou Harris & Barry Tashlin

Now The Geezer asks you: Why was each one of those artists a Furious Explosive Volcano Of Originality, and today every musical artist is cloned in a Disney / Time-Warner / Clear Channel / Viacom industrial factory out of a DNA vat?

(Well, maybe not Stills and maybe not Nash and maybe not Judy Collins.)

~ ~ ~

The Irish Examiner
Established 1841
1-7 Academy Street
Cork, Ireland

Submit a letter for publication

14 January 1999

Poster hangers are
up against the wall

YOU guys put somebody in jail for nine days for putting up political posters? (The Examiner January 5). How very British of you!

Robert Merkin,

~ ~ ~

(I don't know if this one ever ran:)


Letters to the Editor
The Hamilton Spectator
Hamilton Ontario Canada

To the Editor:

Re "The LSD Colours: Mostly Shades of Grey" (16 April 2003):

It's sort of sweet and childlike to hear retired Hamilton narc John Gruhl sum up thirty-five years of LSD this way: "... it's a very dangerous narcotic. And there's nothing good about it -- it's only evil."

If forced to reduce a profoundly rich, vast and complicated phenomenon to an eight-year-old boy's comic-book battle between good and evil, my experiences and those of most people I know who used LSD were mostly good.

As the decades roll by since our LSD summers, I notice that my richest friendships and deepest admirations linger with those who indeed chose to spend a season in their young adulthood taking trips to destinations where LSD sent them. We all came back. But we returned with a deeper understanding of ourselves, a deeper appreciation of what should be important in life, and a deeper sense of realities beyond just (in the words of a rock song) "birth, school, work, death."

None of us became drug detectives, though it wouldn't at all surprise me if some became "protect and serve"-style community police officers.

Some have suggested LSD destroyed peoples' ambitions. I found quite a different phenomenon. Those who took LSD seemed to make conscious choices to lead less aggressive, less rapacious, less material, less shallow lives.

Beauty, nature, love, friendship, creation and celebration were raised to much higher priorities in their subsequent lives. They sought to understand the moral and ethical dimensions of life more clearly.

I would not insult or patronize them by justifying their post-LSD lives by their financial achievements -- "I took a lot of acid and now I run a Fortune 500 company." But they did okay, they kept themselves as afloat as or higher and drier than most people; I never saw one of those mythical burnout acidheads in my years managing a winter homeless shelter.

Though I've heard all the "Dragnet" horror stories about people who used LSD, the only real horror stories I ever personally encountered were the things that happened to people when the cops arrested them. And LSD didn't cause those horrors; legislators, prosecutors and judges did. That people went to prison for wanting to take LSD is far more surreal than anything I experienced on an acid trip.

If the music seemed strangely repetitive or unstructured, it wasn't banal, mechanical, predictable and manipulative like most pop music; the most beloved of the LSD musicians were adored because they were trying to take us on original and unexpected adventures. In the entire body of acid music, there are no glorifications of gang violence, violence toward and abuse of women, no gay-bashing, no racism, no encomiums to material possessions and superwealth. Nobody took acid and suddenly lusted to become super-rich and menace their neighbors. Nobody took acid and suddenly wanted to bomb Vietnamese or Iraqis.

In some unspecified academic and intellectual communities, your Nobel prize in literature and the sciences is inextricably intertwined with your youthful acid trips -- it was a drug of particular appeal to big IQs, the creative crowd, and the voraciously curious and adventurous. It was a drug for romantics, in most senses of that word.

I do not mean to extol LSD's virtues or make magical, paradisical claims for it. Rather, I would contrast it with the rigid, simplistic, puritanical, aggressive, hypercompetitive and often warlike culture of LSD's lifelong bitterest enemies. LSD's promise of inner discovery was always attractive to those who had read Socrates: "The unexamined life is not worth living."

To write LSD off as "only evil" -- this isn't just a cop, this is a dumb cop. In his retirement, he's probably keeping his health afloat on medicines discovered by old Berkeley acidheads.

Robert Merkin
Northampton Massachusetts USA

* * * * * * *

to the tune of "Frere Jacques":

marijuana, marijuana
college kids are makin it
high school kids are takin it
why can't we?
why can't we?

(authentic children's playground song
USA Pacific Northwest, circa 1985)


Blogger Jim Olson said...

wow. That was a long ramble, even for you, Bob.

Blogger Bob Merkin said...

just felt like ramblin

it was 4/20 and everybody on my stoner lists was celebrating

Blogger Jim Olson said...

hehe. there is some weird twist of the universe that my birthday is 4/20/69. it is funnier when you are stoned and well, engaged in the last two numbers of that series.

Anonymous patfrombehindthemirror said...

one pill makes you larger
one pill makes you small
and the ones that mother gives you
don't do anything at all ;)
(and now we know what kind of post we get when Bobb is HAPPY and content ;) Reckon you dug out yer old Buffalo Springfield albums, eh ?
those must have been good and creative times but I'm not happy with the E generation of nowdays. Most of them are Idiots. they take this thing more as an event than an experience. We used to go to illegal raves because it was not mainstream, nowdays the kids go because it IS mainstream and they don't want to be left outside. They don't skip out because it might be an interesting experience but because they are bored just like their dads who go to the pub for a few beers after work. Sad, innit ?
Maybe I'm wrong and the next generation of Warhols, Lennons, Hendrix and whatnot is just around the corner...


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