*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Yes, sex can kill you, study shows

"Yes, sex can kill you." This downer news comes from a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

I learned about the study from my daily paper. Essentially the paper reported:

When people with heart problems are having sex, they are 2.7 times more likely to have a heart attack. Sudden bursts of moderate to intense physical activity — such as sex — pose a significant risk of heart attack.

Having recently undergone a heart related operation, I can say something is missing from the newspaper report. Sex, per se, is not dangerous; It's sex with a twist, and I don't mean lime! Don't pass on the sex, just hold the spice.

When it comes to sexual activity for heart patients, the following are some of the warnings I've come across on the Internet since my operation:

  • Only have sex with your usual partner to minimize heart-racing tension. Paid partners add even more stress. (Just think: Charlie Sheen. Need I say more?)
  • Keep to the tried and true. The usual oh-so-comfortable positions are the least stressful. In fact, they can be downright relaxing.
  • It is safest to have sex in your usual setting. For instance, refrain from having sex in hot showers. Steamy sex is stressful sex. ;-)
  • Don't downplay foreplay; Think of it as the proper warm-up for the big game. We don't speak of sexual athletes for nothing. And just like other athletes, sexual ones often perform better on drugs. But unlike other athletes some of these drugs are recommended. For instance, if one takes nitroglycerin to prevent chest pain, take it before sexual activity. And if you are competing with someone who is not your usual partner, you may have to stop and take more while competing.
  • Get some rest before hand. Morning is an ideal time for sexual activity. Remember the old line from Playboy: "Shall I call you in the morning, or just nudge you?" Nudging is safer, at least, if it is your usual nudge.
  • Speaking of your usual nudge, masturbation requires less energy than intercourse.
  • And whatever you do, choose a position that does not put stress on your breastbone (sternum) if you have just had open heart surgery. Those patients should stay clear of the partner-sternum-superior position.

Jessica Paulus, a Tufts Medical Center in Boston researcher who worked on the study, said the risk found is fairly high but the period of increased risk is brief.

"The period of increased risk is brief"? Damn! The bad news just keeps on coming.

Cheers!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Into the fog: The London Free Press series on Canadian health care

Into the fog might be an apt title for The Free Press series.

There is a battle raging over information. The battle is not between the Main Stream Media (MSM) and bloggers as this war is sometimes portrayed in both the MSM and in the blogs. No, this war is over how we, the readers, process the information we read in either the MSM or the blogosphere.

An article, Out of the fog, in The London Free Press is an excellent example. In the old days, I'd have read this article and have either believed it or not. Those were the two choices. But today there is a third choice..

Thanks to the Internet, the moment I read something that I question I turn to Google. Depending upon what I learn, I may write a blog post. If I am really offended and want to warn others, I post to Digital Journal. I did this with a story about a St. Catherines man who died in Costa Rica of complications from a controversial multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment (CCSVI).

The London Free Press and reporter Randy Richmond recently seemed to promote CCSVI with an article that introduced its readers to the Italian doctor Paolo Zamboni behind the new treatment:

"Zamboni believes MS is a vascular, not auto-immune condition. A narrowing of veins -- chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) — is prevalent in MS patients and can be treated by a simple surgical procedure — angioplasty — that widens the veins. The procedure is also known as liberation therapy."

The Free Press article also introduced us to a local woman suffering from a form of MS. She found it impossible to have the admittedly controversial surgical procedure done in Ontario. Richmond tells us, "She tried to talk to her neurologist about liberation therapy. He dismissed Zamboni's work."

What Richmond, a Free Press crack investigative reporter, doesn't tell us is that when it comes to Zamboni's work is this according to an article last year in Macleans:

"That evidence, to date, is scant. Zamboni himself admits his research lacks scientific rigour: his sample was small; there was no control group. Two studies in the Annals of Neurology have refuted his findings."

The following is from the Skepticblog. It is from a post called CCSVI - The Importance of Replication

"We have two independent replications of Zamboni’s research published in the latest issue of the Annals of Neurology – and both are completely negative. The first is a German study by Florian Doepp et al, using ultrasound to test the CCSVI criteria in 56 MS patients and 20 controls. They found almost completely negative results (one MS patient met one criterion, but not the others) – no signs of venous blockage in the MS patients.

The second study is a Swedish study . . .  – not yet available online. This study used MRI scanning to assess blood flow in the internal jugular vein in 21 MS patients and 20 controls, and also found no difference."

I reprint the last paragraph from the Skepticblog article as author Steven Novella puts it so well:

"I do wish that the media and public would learn the more general lesson here – new dramatic ideas in science, especially those that seem to go against established knowledge, are likely to turn out to be wrong when the dust settles. It is partly the job of the skeptical community to provide cultural memory of such events – so the next time a lone scientist or doctor claims to have made a revolutionary breakthrough that seems a bit dubious, it is the skeptics who will be there to say – remember Zamboni."

As I pointed out in a previous post, when it comes to the Canadian medical system, "One must admit, our system has problems." But the recent series in The London Free Press, Out of the fog was part of this series, did little to enlighten anyone and may well have done a lot of damage. I've have already stumbled upon links to the Richmond series on American right-wing, anti-Obamacare, websites. They see the Richmond series as a damning indictment of the Canadian health care system by a big Canadian paper.
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Addendum:

Since writing the above piece, evidence is quickly mounting that the London woman was given excellent advice by the local doctors. Doctors around the world are dismissing Zamboni's work. Read: Liberation therapy: the 'wave of complications' breaks in Macleans.

Or this article in the Montreal Gazette. Going out of the country for a medical treatment not offered in Canada can be dangerous. There may be a very good reason why the Canadian medical community does not offer the procedure.

Or read this article in The Globe and Mail that tells us: there is " . . . a growing body of evidence that suggests that they [patients] are wasting their time and their money – and perhaps putting their lives in danger."

Or read an announcement issued by the FDA in the States: FDA issues alert on potential dangers of unproven treatment for multiple sclerosis.

But, if you personally are suffering from MS and no hope is being offered, it is completely understandable that you might turn to liberation therapy for an answer.

The London woman in the article has stated that the CCSVI therapy she has undergone at her own expense was actually less expensive than the drug therapy being offered. In cases like this, where the person is adamant to have the therapy and the cost is actually a savings to the Canadian medical system, maybe the government should consider covering the costs of out-of-country medical treatment.

This remark, of course, is a little flippant as there are still moral issues here that must be resolved: Is it ethical to send someone out of the country for highly questionable treatment because the patient wants it and the treatment promises to save the Canadian medical system money?

And as of today (2017) the evidence appears in and the therapy appears out. Read: Liberation therapy ineffective in The Toronto Star.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Time to revisit LHSC panel discussion on state of Canadian health care

When just a little girl, my daughter asked her mother, "Mom, what's a bum-ticker?" She had heard that Crusty the Clown on the Simpsons might be dropped from the show because of his "bum-ticker." She placed the accent on "bum."

As a man with a "bum-ticker" who is still alive today thanks to the Canadian health care system, I give our system a thumbs up. But it doesn't get two thumbs up, or rate a ten, or top out in whatever scale of measurement you use. One must admit, our system has problems.

Dr. Nick Kates speaking at the LHSC discussion.
It was almost exactly a year ago that a blue-ribbon panel of doctors was assembled for an interactive panel discussion at University Hospital in London, Ontario. The panel, sponsored by the student Medical Reform Group at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario was composed of: Dr. Jeff Turnbull , president-elect of the Canadian Medical Association; Dr. Robert McMurtry, former special advisor to the Canadian Royal Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada; Dr. Nick Kates, Ontario lead for the Quality Improvement and Innovation Partnership, and Dr. Debby Copes, the quality advisor for the Choice in Health Clinic in Toronto.

Dr. Robert McMurtry, the dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario from 1992 to 1999, set the tone of the evening as he explained why he believes in the Canadian health caresystem.

He told the story of two lawyers: one his father and the other his brother, the late Bill McMurtry, a tireless crusader for social justice and author of the 1974 McMurtry Report on Violence in Hockey.

His father, Roy McMurtry senior, had had rheumatic heart disease and was unable to buy medical insurance. When his father suffered a stroke in the early '50s, in the days before medicare, McMurtry senior was left financially crippled by the mounting medial expenses.

Years later, when his brother Bill was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, Bill considered leaving Canada for treatment. He searched broadly outside the country but discovered the care being "offered in Toronto was as good as it gets."

Robert McMurtry and the other three panelists all firmly believe in publicly funded health care. Yet there is increasing pressure in Canada to expand the role of the private-sector in health care, he said.

Dr. Jeff Turnbull
According to Dr. Jeff Turnbull, chief of staff, Ottawa Hospital, when it comes to health care in Canada there is "an elephant in the room", and that elephant is cost. He said health care costs make up more than 40 percent of the Ontario government’s total program spending and could hit 50 percent.

McMurtry added that although these percentages do not tell the whole story they do grab headlines. Reporters love these numbers.

The answer is not more private-sector involvement, according to Dr. Debby Copes who cited a McMaster University study: "There's a lot of evidence that shows private for-profit health care costs more and has poorer outcomes (compared to publicly funded systems)." There was a great deal of support for Copes' position on the panel.

Whether the approach is public or private, both must face the same problems — such as an aging population. According to Kates, "The problems are there, and will be there, no matter what."

With a public system, "We are all in the same lifeboat. There is more incentive to make it work."

On the positive side, there are many examples of the public system learning to do what McMurtry was suggesting — "innovate or perish." We not only have to do better than we are doing now, we can do better.

An example of what McMurtry was suggesting is the trauma, emergency and critical care (TECC) program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in north-central Toronto. The centre is well know for its dedication to innovative, quality care.

Or look to the activity-based funding being championed by Alberta Health Services. "They found they could do it faster, cheaper and better. That should be our model." There is so much we could do better than we do now, McMurty continued.

This was a theme that ran through the presentations of all the panelists. Canadians must get more bang for the their health care buck. We must use our existing resources more efficiently.

All agreed it won’t be easy for the Canadian health system to regain its social justice mojo which was front and centre at its birth those many decades ago. Over the passing years a fiscal agenda has pushed aside the service agenda.

The panel took an aggressive stance when it came to change. "We have to think differently, better, smarter," according to Turnbull. He went on to show how "it can be done." He spoke proudly of Ottawa Inner City Health Inc., rattled off a long list of programs offered, and then added the kicker: "It saves $3.5 million annually."

Wrapping up the night, Kates made it clear the health care system must embrace change but within a social justice framework. He said: " 'Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.' Albert Einstein."

Dr. Debby Copes
Copes smiled and added: " 'Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible': Frank Zappa."

After the panel discussion, Dr. Jeff Turnbull, chief of staff Ottawa Hospital, I asked about the furor over the Premier of Newfoundland, Danny Williams, travelling to Florida for heart surgery.

Turnbull was not going to be drawn into commenting but he did say, on the record, there is no long queue of patients awaiting cardiac surgery at Ottawa Hospital where minimally invasive surgery is among the offered surgical procedures.

(We now know Williams' surgery did not go as smoothly as anticipated. The operation took hours longer the originally planned because of unforeseen problems encountered in the repair of Williams' valve. His stay in the Miami hospital was about twice as long as that of many patients who have the full, traditional, sternum cutting, surgery. I am not adding this to knock the Miami hospital. I am just mentioning this to complete the story.)
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A note in passing: The London Free Press, part of the Sun Media chain owned by Quebecor Media Inc., was not able to cover this important panel discussion. Why? My guess is that staffing cutbacks left the paper short staffed and unable to attend. Sad.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Patients losing patience; Newspaper series missing the mark

Without apparently realizing it, Randy Richmond of The London Free Press has been writing a series praising the Canadian health care system.

His series on health care in Canada is unfolding in the pages of the local Sun Media-owned paper. Saturday readers were introduced to a woman who emigrated to Canada from Romania where, she told Richmond, health care was better under Communist rule than it is today in Canada today.

She finds our system "cold and outdated." In Romania she once saw three specialists in one day. She compared that to her experience in Canada. "I was really shocked. All three had better equipment than I have seen in London." An incredible story. She may have seen the only three well equipped specialists in all of Romania.

Just seven month ago the BBC reported:

Romanian health care on verge of collapse.   

Romanian Cristian Grigore, 9, died after breaking his arm.
"Romania spends less on healthcare than any other country in the European Union, and because of the worst recession on record, it is planning to spend even less. This chronic underfunding and a brain-drain of medical staff could be putting patients at risk. . . .

(Romanian farmer) Constantin Grigore chokes up when he talks about his nine-year-old son. Cristian broke his arm in May and was taken to the hospital in the nearest town, Slatina.

But four days later, he was dead, apparently of a severe infection he had caught there. The picture of a little boy with big dark eyes now hangs on the outside wall of the family's ramshackle mud-brick house.

Cristian's father said the doctors simply ignored his son. The family had to buy painkillers with their own money. . . .

Across Romania, hospitals . . . can only afford to pay for some of the drugs or medical supplies they need. Often they run out of the most basic things, like antibiotics or stitches. . . .

Since 2007, almost 5,000 doctors - 1 in 10 - have left Romania for Western Europe . . . "

When this woman's daughter began having trouble sleeping and suffered sore throats and sinus trouble, she took her to their family doctor. He referred the youngster to a specialist who said her adenoids were swollen. The specialist said an operation wasn't worth the trouble and the girl would outgrow the problem.

Without knowing more details, all I can say is: The Canadian specialist may have made a very good call, and a brave one. A lot of parents will push for the removal of swollen tonsils and/or adenoids (T and A surgery).

A study in Clinical Otolaryngology (2000, Vol 25, Iss 5, pp 428-430) showed that after waiting for surgery for 9 months, almost 30 percent of children scheduled for T and A surgery got better and no longer required the surgery. Score one for the woman's Canadian doctor.

More than three decades ago doctors at the Faculty of Medicine in Winnipeg, Manitoba wrote that although tonsillectomy-adenoidectomy rates are declining across North America, they are not falling fast enough. Nonindicated T and A surgery is a prevalent problem deserving of widespread attention. Score two for the Canadian doctor.

Tonsillectomy is one of the most common surgical procedures in the United States, with over 530,000 procedures performed annually in children under 15 years old. This is a multi-billion dollar industry! Many believe that this procedure has become a staple of pediatric health care in the States because it is a cash cow. President Obama said that when it comes to tonsillectomies doctors in the States may think: " 'You know what? I make a lot more money if I take this kid's tonsils out.' "

Just this year The American Academy of Otolaryngology published guidelines for Tonsillectomy in Children. Tonsillectomy being the surgical procedure often performed in tandem with an adenoidectomy. The very first point made in the guidelines is:

Most children with frequent throat infection get better on their own; watchful waiting is best for most children with less than seven episodes in the past year, five a year in the past two years, or three a year in the past three years. Her Canadian doctor appears to have possibly scored again.

No operation is without risk. A study by Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh reported nearly 10% of the children who had  T and A surgery developed complications. One more point in favour of the Canadian health care system.

Some doctors, such as American Gabe Mirkin, argue that because tonsils and adenoid tissue are lymphatic tissue doctors should almost never remove tonsils before age 4, because prior to age 4, they are major suppliers of the cells and proteins that help to protect a child from being infected with viruses and bacteria.

Not liking the Canadian specialist's position, Richmond's contact sought the opinions of three Romanian doctors during a visit to her homeland. All opted for an operation. It would be good medical practice in Romania.

On returning to Canada she was unable to get a quick appointment with a specialist in Canada and was not prepared to wait any longer. She wanted treatment for her child and she wanted it now. She saw Detroit as her best option. She took her daughter to the Detroit Medical Centre where she had the young girl's adenoids removed.

"I went in the morning and by three o'clock we were back on our way to London." I wonder if the trip home went quicker than the trip there; They were traveling about $7000 lighter. $7000 for an outpatient procedure! Some sources on the Internet claim American insurers usually only pay a surgeon $200 to $300 for tonsil surgery. If this is true, it is no wonder American hospitals love Canadian cash-paying patients.

It is impossible to know whether this woman's daughter was in desperate need of having her adenoids removed or not. But as I mentioned earlier, Randy reports the Canadian specialist wasn't keen to do the operation as he believed the girl would outgrow the problem.

But it is not hard to know why the U.S. doctors may have been keen to operate. The little girl was a cash cow.
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Detroit Medical Centre background:

Struggling Detroit Medical Centre was transformed into an 8 hospital system for profit entity by the takeover Dec. 30, 2010, by Vanguard Health. VH promised to keep all 8 DMC facilities open for a decade, at least, including maintaining care for uninsured and poor patients.

The deal was prevented from closing earlier due to a conflict arising over Vanguard's potential liability for DMC's past Medicare and Medicaid billings, in the fall. As DMC made preparations for being sold to Vanguard, it discovered certain irregularities in billing and leases with unaffiliated physicians and informed the government of the violations. Most involved favourable lease deals and independent contractor relationships not put in writing, nor reflecting fair market value.

Despite federal law restricting financial deals between hospitals and doctors referring patients, DMC gave doctors tickets for sporting events, entertainment and charity dinners between 2004 and 2010.

A Justice Department press release dated 30th December says DMC agreed to pay the U. S. $30 million for violating the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Statute by engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians.
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In 2002 the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children have a sleep study before surgery is considered if the problem being addressed by the T and A operation is sleep related. Randy makes no mention of any sleep study being done on the little girl.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sick of waiting, are some Canadians out big bucks for possibly risky medical treatment?

The pain from his affliction left him desperate for a medical solution.

I see that Randy Richmond is writing a three part series, Patients losing patience,which is taking a look at the hundreds of thousands of seriously ill Canadians left without satisfactory care by the Canadian heath system. Richmond is focusing on the folk who are going outside the country seeking medical help.

Randy is a writer I really liked when I worked at the paper. He's an excellent reporter. I'm sure this series will be part of his WONA (Western Ontario Newspaper Awards) portfolio next year. Still this first story, as interesting as it was, left me with some serious questions, such as: "What is the Laser Spine Institute?"

You see this question was important to me as I also have a bad back. I have come to believe, based on what I've been told by a number of doctors, that when it comes to bad backs often less treatment may be the best treatment. I read in a Harvard Medical School health newsletter that "doctors are beginning to question whether too many surgeries are performed to treat degenerative disease. As for herniated disks, a recent study found that surgical and nonsurgical treatments worked equally well." The newsletter editorial told me "the decision whether to have surgery is a matter of patient preference more than anything else."

On LiveStrong.com I read that the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic both advise trying other less intrusive therapies, like massage, physical therapy and anti-inflammation drugs before back surgery. Laser surgery has been touted as the latest, least invasive, most successful technique with the least amount of recovery time but these hospitals warn that there are several disadvantages to laser spine surgery.

Without a cane, I would not get to my computer.
Unsuccessful back surgeries have become so common in the States that there is now an acronym: FBSS (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome.)

My back can be so bad that it drops me to my knees but my family doctor has poo-pooed my complaints. High tech laser surgery has never been an option. It has never been offered to me by my present doctor nor by my former family doctor.

I've been advised to apply cold to alleviate pain and to prevent or reduce the swelling. After 48 hours I've been told to apply warmth to increase blood flow and promote healing. I should limit bed rest to a couple of days, at most,  and then add limited exercise therapy. The theory is that strong, flexible muscles are less prone to injury and will help to strengthen the back and support the spine.

All my family doctors over the years have given me sheets detailing back exercises. I have never been given so much as a prescription for the pain. For me, this has been the extent of the Canadian solution to serious back pain. And so far, it's working. Hold the knife and hold the laser, thank-you.

In Randy's first installment, a fellow from Windsor suffering from a spinal problem was unable to get the needed medical help quickly enough in Canada. In desperation he turned to Kelly Meloche, the head of Windsor's International Health Care Providers.

The man told Randy. "Before I knew it, I was in Tampa, Florida, at the Laser Spine Institute. There, doctors did a laser procedure not available in Canada. The fellow said, "I walked off the operation table. I felt great. It was crazy. It was almost surreal."

As it turned out, the 2007 operation worked only for a time. Things looked great for a year and a half, then the Windsor fellow's headaches returned.

I googled "Laser Spine Institute Tampa complaints" and I read:

My husband had surgery in May 2008. A decent experience, and he was mostly pain free after...for a few months. Now he is just as he was before surgery. Why? I can't explain it, but this certainly makes the out of pocket payment not worth it for us. Apart from the medical, they dropped us like a hot potato after the cash was in hand. Multiple phone calls were not returned. A 3 month and 6 month follow up came in the same envelope. When we managed to reach someone, and complain about calls not being returned, we were directed to call others on the staff. Apparently they were too busy to call us. Insurance forms were not submitted as promised upon our departure - took 4 months to get them to make the claims. BTW, our next door neighbor also went there with unsuccessful results, and the same dismissal. They don't like it when you do not become a new testimonial!

I looked down the comment list. Some were positive and then I spotted one from a Canadian out of Lachine, Quebec.

Don't go there!! Please I beg of you not to waste your money or your health. I had a discectomy done at LSI in 2008 and they ruined my back for life. Not only did they damage my nerve endings, they permanently destabilized my spine. My current neurosurgeon is not sure if my S1 nerve will ever fully recover. I had to be rushed to the emergency ward the evening after the LSI surgery. LSI did not take any steps to rectify the issue. The hospital informed me that I was not the first patient from LSI to be rushed to the ER after surgery.

I read more comments:
  • . . . all I can say about LSI is DO NOT GO THERE!!!
  • . . . everything was fine for six weeks and then the pain came back. now it's as bad as ever.
  • . . . bad experience with LSI. I am in much more pain than before I walked in.
  • . . . Do NOT go to LSI. I had surgery there on Sept. 26, 2007. I cannot describe the hell I have been through, physically and financially, with these people . . . filing suit for medical malpractice, fraud, and malfeasance.

To be fair, the Windsor fellow still credits the laser surgery in Florida for relieving much of his pain, although he was left with a $17,000 medical fee. But the laser operation didn't stop him from seeking more medical help. He is now crossing the border at Windsor to travel into Michigan to get $1200 botox injections.

As I said, not all the comments on the Internet about LSI are negative. One person wrote: "I had surgery on July 16, 2008 and have considered it a great success."

On the other hand there are the newspaper articles, such as the ones from the St. Petersburg Times, about a questionable Florida surgeon who gained fame for his laser approach to curing spinal problems:  Back doctor sues and Is surgeon innovative, or unfit? or this article titled Treat the Leg or Pull it?

A couple of months after Randy Richmond did his article, Bloomberg did a story on the Florida laser spine surgery clinics: Laser Spine Surgery More Profitable Than Google Sees Complaints. Follow the link if you're interested.

I don't know what to believe but I have decided not to go to Florida. No laser surgery for me, thank you. Now, where did I put those sheets of doctor-recommended back strengthening exercises?
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If you haven't guessed, I support the Canadian health care system. Click the link to discover why.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

King of Acid, Owsley Stanley, dead at 76



Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake. (But only of the healthiest kind.)

You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun "Owsley" as "an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD."

The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s.

About a year ago, I posted my obit on Digital Journal.  The last time I checked, it was still there and with a bit more art and a linked YouTube video. Follow the DJ link and see if the obit is still online. Worried that at some point it might be taken down, I've reclaimed most of my little piece and reposted it below.

Cheers.
Rockinon!

Oh, two more things. I found a great piece on Owsley in Rolling Stone. Or go here, http://concen.org/forum/thread-47267.html, and do a page search for Owsley Stanley. You will find a picture of Owsley, possibly in his later years.

Obit

Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s' icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake.
You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun “Owsley” as “an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD.” The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s. I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped them off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol. I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, and one day this fellow popped the school pusher's entire stash of acid. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. He'll be just fine everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company. The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.” In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed. My friend survived his adventure. After a dozen hours or so he came down, tuckered but no worse for wear, as they say. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near death drug induced experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy when he returned to school. There was a reason his friends had not been concerned. They believed Owsley acid was pure, unadulterated. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.
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A few years later the Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs backed them up, saying on page 334: "The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Only recently has it became possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic. The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just closed minds. About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different." Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die." ______________________________________________________________ Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid. In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead. According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows -- a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog. It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible. Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others. Music history from the '60s era and the psychedelic sound owe much to the genius of Augustus Owsley Stanley III.
- See more at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304721#sthash.jAKxeqwA.dpuf
Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s' icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake.
You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun “Owsley” as “an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD.” The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s. I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped them off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol. I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, and one day this fellow popped the school pusher's entire stash of acid. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. He'll be just fine everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company. The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.” In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed. My friend survived his adventure. After a dozen hours or so he came down, tuckered but no worse for wear, as they say. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near death drug induced experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy when he returned to school. There was a reason his friends had not been concerned. They believed Owsley acid was pure, unadulterated. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.
Untitled
Likes1
A few years later the Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs backed them up, saying on page 334: "The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Only recently has it became possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic. The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just closed minds. About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different." Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die." ______________________________________________________________ Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid. In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead. According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows -- a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog. It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible. Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others.
- See more at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304721#sthash.jAKxeqwA.dpuf
Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s' icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake.
You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun “Owsley” as “an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD.” The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s. I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped them off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol. I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, and one day this fellow popped the school pusher's entire stash of acid. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. He'll be just fine everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company. The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.” In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed. My friend survived his adventure. After a dozen hours or so he came down, tuckered but no worse for wear, as they say. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near death drug induced experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy when he returned to school. There was a reason his friends had not been concerned. They believed Owsley acid was pure, unadulterated. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.
Untitled
Likes1
A few years later the Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs backed them up, saying on page 334: "The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Only recently has it became possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic. The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just closed minds. About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different." Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die." ______________________________________________________________ Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid. In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead. According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows -- a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog. It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible. Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others.
- See more at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304721#sthash.jAKxeqwA.dpuf
Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s' icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake.
You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun “Owsley” as “an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD.” The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s. I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped them off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol. I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, and one day this fellow popped the school pusher's entire stash of acid. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. He'll be just fine everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company. The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.” In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed. My friend survived his adventure. After a dozen hours or so he came down, tuckered but no worse for wear, as they say. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near death drug induced experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy when he returned to school. There was a reason his friends had not been concerned. They believed Owsley acid was pure, unadulterated. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.
Untitled
Likes1
A few years later the Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs backed them up, saying on page 334: "The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Only recently has it became possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic. The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just closed minds. About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different." Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die." ______________________________________________________________ Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid. In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead. According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows -- a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog. It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible. Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others.
- See more at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304721#sthash.jAKxeqwA.dpuf
Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s' icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake.
You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun “Owsley” as “an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD.” The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s. I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped them off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol. I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, and one day this fellow popped the school pusher's entire stash of acid. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. He'll be just fine everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company. The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.” In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed. My friend survived his adventure. After a dozen hours or so he came down, tuckered but no worse for wear, as they say. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near death drug induced experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy when he returned to school. There was a reason his friends had not been concerned. They believed Owsley acid was pure, unadulterated. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.
Untitled
Likes1
A few years later the Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs backed them up, saying on page 334: "The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Only recently has it became possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic. The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just closed minds. About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different." Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die." ______________________________________________________________ Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid. In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead. According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows -- a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog. It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible. Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others.
- See more at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304721#sthash.jAKxeqwA.dpuf

I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped my friends off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol.

I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, who popped the school pusher's  entire acid inventory. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. "He'll be just fine," everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company.

His friends were right not voicing concern. If it actually was Owsley acid dropped by the freaky art student, it was pure and unadulterated LSD. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.

Owsley arraigned for making 1.25 million plus hits of acid.
The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which the famed chemist said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.”

In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed.

My friend survived his adventure. After a little more than a dozen hours, he came down. He was tuckered but no worse for wear. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near drug death experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy on returning to school.

The Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs confirmed that the faith acid takers had in the safety of LSD was not misguided. The report said this on page 334:

"The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." 

Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Because of all the scare stories associated with acid, it is only recently that it has become possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic.

The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just as treatment for closed minds.

About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle:

"I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different."

Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die."

(The image of Owsley is from the San Francisco Chronicle and was posted on Wikipedia. I thank them for the image as Wikipedia claimed: "it is believed that the use of this work (is acceptable) to illustrate the subject in question."
_____________________________________________

Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid.

In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead.

According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows — a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog.

It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible.
Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others.

Music history from the '60s era and the psychedelic sound owe much to the genius of Augustus Owsley Stanley III.
Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s' icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake.
You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun “Owsley” as “an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD.” The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s. I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped them off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol. I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, and one day this fellow popped the school pusher's entire stash of acid. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. He'll be just fine everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company. The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.” In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed. My friend survived his adventure. After a dozen hours or so he came down, tuckered but no worse for wear, as they say. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near death drug induced experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy when he returned to school. There was a reason his friends had not been concerned. They believed Owsley acid was pure, unadulterated. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.
Untitled
Likes1
A few years later the Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs backed them up, saying on page 334: "The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Only recently has it became possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic. The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just closed minds. About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different." Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die." ______________________________________________________________ Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid. In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead. According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows -- a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog. It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible. Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others. Music history from the '60s era and the psychedelic sound owe much to the genius of Augustus Owsley Stanley III.
- See more at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304721#sthash.jAKxeqwA.dpuf
Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s' icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake.
You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun “Owsley” as “an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD.” The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s. I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped them off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol. I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, and one day this fellow popped the school pusher's entire stash of acid. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. He'll be just fine everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company. The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.” In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed. My friend survived his adventure. After a dozen hours or so he came down, tuckered but no worse for wear, as they say. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near death drug induced experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy when he returned to school. There was a reason his friends had not been concerned. They believed Owsley acid was pure, unadulterated. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.
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A few years later the Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs backed them up, saying on page 334: "The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Only recently has it became possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic. The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just closed minds. About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different." Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die." ______________________________________________________________ Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid. In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead. According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows -- a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog. It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible. Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others. Music history from the '60s era and the psychedelic sound owe much to the genius of Augustus Owsley Stanley III.
- See more at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304721#sthash.jAKxeqwA.dpuf


Owsley Stanley is dead. He was 76. Many years ago the '60s' icon of acid escaped to the distant Australian outback, but he could not escape his past. Owsley was never forgotten but then he was a hard man to forget. He left searing flashbacks in his wake.
You see, Owsley, I never heard him referred to by any other name, was the man behind Owsley acid. Among his creations were White Lightning, Monterey Purple and Blue Cheer. His LSD was the gold standard against which all other acid was measured. One edition of the Oxford English Dictionary defines the noun “Owsley” as “an extremely potent, high-quality type of LSD.” The King of Acid counted among his satisfied customers the Grateful Dead, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Ken Kesey and others from the psychedelic ’60s. I first encountered Owsley acid in art school in Detroit. My grandfather was a pharmacist and so I grew up with a healthy respect for drugs. I was very suspicious of street chemicals. My friends dropped acid and I dropped them off at home. I was a '60s designated driver — unless the drug being abused was alcohol. I recall a fellow in art school, he looked like Flo from the Turtles, and one day this fellow popped the school pusher's entire stash of acid. He dropped more than a dozen hits and in less than an hour was removed from school by ambulance. He'll be just fine everyone said with quiet confidence, "He dropped Owsley acid." Owsley's product was said to be pure, like the original stuff produced by the Sandoz Pharmaceutical company. The New York Times quotes a rare interview Owsley gave the San Francisco Chronicle in which he said he had set out only to make a product he knew he could take, because its ingredients were known. “And my friends all wanted to know what they were taking, too.” In a short time the California-based chemist's friends expanded to include folk like the drug-taking students at the Detroit art school. It is reported that Owsley may have produced up to 5 million hits of his famous acid before being arrested and eventually jailed. My friend survived his adventure. After a dozen hours or so he came down, tuckered but no worse for wear, as they say. No one was surprised except for his parents. They were sure he had survived a near death drug induced experience. They forced him to cut his hair, dump his bell bottoms and throw out all his tie-dyed attire. He looked every inch a frat boy when he returned to school. There was a reason his friends had not been concerned. They believed Owsley acid was pure, unadulterated. It was the good stuff, the real deal, it made for good trips. Pure acid was thought to be harmless among its devotees. It was impossible to O.D. on Owsley, they said. It was the safe way to open one's mind, to expand one's consciousness.
Untitled
Likes1
A few years later the Consumers Union Report Licit & Illicit Drugs backed them up, saying on page 334: "The lethal dose of LSD is not known; no human fatalities have been recorded." Papers like the Berkeley Barb in California and their counterculture health columnist Dr. HIPpocrates reported on the safety of LSD but what is now called the Main Stream Media reported otherwise. Only recently has it became possible for medical researchers to renew their interest in the powerful hallucinogenic. The Guardian in the U.K. reported that psychedelic drugs are returning as potential treatments for mental illness, holding promise as treatments for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia and not just closed minds. About his incarceration Owsley told the San Francisco Chronicle: "I wound up doing time for something I should have been rewarded for. What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society – only my society and the one making the laws are different." Jeff Weiss of the Los Angeles Times put it best when he wrote: "The world has lost another one who was too weird to live and too rare to die." ______________________________________________________________ Much of the world knows Owsley Stanley as simply the chemist behind the famous acid bearing his name, but he had other pursuits. Without knowing, and without taking any drugs, Owsley's genius has touched more folk through his influence on music than through his production of illicit acid. In the mid '60s, Owsley — nicknamed Bear because of his furry, Teddy bear body — linked up with Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, whose psychedelic adventures went on to be immortalized by Tom Wolfe in his book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Reportedly it was Owsley acid powering the pranksters. Through Kesey, Owsley met the Grateful Dead. According to The New York Times, at various times, he served as the Grateful Dead’s financial backer, pharmaceutical supplier and sound engineer. He was responsible for pioneering the practice of taping their shows -- a practice that has preserved practically the entire Grateful Dead catalog. It was Owsley's high-fidelity sound system that made the Dead’s towering "wall of sound" possible. Stanley taped early performances of many important San Francisco area acts. He captured Big Brother & the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Santana among others. Music history from the '60s era and the psychedelic sound owe much to the genius of Augustus Owsley Stanley III.
- See more at: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/304721#sthash.jAKxeqwA.dpuf