You probably won’t get it.
Drug scares are a dime bag a dozen, but the hysteria surrounding fake drugs is always fascinating to behold. Even today, mythical ways of getting high, from the gross-out nonsense that was Jenkem to the digital absurdity of “i-dosing,” are still popping up in the popular consciousness. But few of these viral blips approach the lasting influence, and outright silliness, of that time in the 1960s when people started smoking banana peels.
Rumors of bananas as narcotics began swirling around the hippie scene in the mid-1960s. “Young people in the ’60s were looking for new ways to get high. It was a highly experimental era driven perhaps most by LSD and by growing pot use,” says the historian William Rorabaugh, who’s written multiple books about the 1960s including American Hippies. “But pot cost money, and hippies had little money. Bananas were cheap, so if banana scrapings worked, this would be a really cheap high. That’s why people fell for it.”
As relayed in an extensive 2012 article by the Local East Village about the history of the craze, the counterculture publisher Paul Krassner claims that the rumor began in the publishing offices of The East Village Other. According to Krassner’s version of the myth’s origin, the editors of the paper were discussing the mechanics of LSD and serotonin in the brain, and then began to wonder if something more natural could produce the same effect. Realizing that bananas also contain serotonin, the eager hippies invented the concept of smoking bananas.
For the record, while it is true that bananas contain some amount of serotonin, it is too slight to cross the blood-brain barrier. Nonetheless, the rumor quickly gained traction based on word of mouth.
Wherever the hoax originally started, it was a short piece in a March 1967 issue of the counterculture magazine Berkeley Barb that seems to have kicked off the wider craze. In his column “Folk Scene,” the writer Ed Denson presented a “Recipe of the week,” where he described a method of preparing banana peels for smoking by scraping out the white pith and drying it out in an oven before rolling it up in a joint. Densen reported that he’d heard about the recipe from members of the band Country Joe and the Fish, which he also managed. The lead singer of the band also claims to have been a father of the banana-smoking craze, having passed out 500 banana joints at one of their concerts.
In the same issue, a letter from a reader claimed to have noticed an increased police presence surrounding a co-op banana stand in Berkeley, California, lending even more credence to the banana hoax.
From there, the banana craze took on a life of its own. As noted in a recent article on the subject by Judy Berman at Extra Crispy, word of smokable bananas spread like wildfire thanks to the Underground Press Syndicate, which allowed small papers, such as the Barb, to freely share content with one another.
The Barb continued to report on the supposed effects of banana peels, running stories with titles such as “Pick Your Load, Banana or Toad” and “Mellow Yellow Future Bright,” which included spurious claims regarding the various substances contained in bananas that gave them psychedelic effects. Other hippie magazines began picking up the story, not to mention running ads for people selling banana-based “psychedelic turn-on bags” and the like. By the end of March, 1967, stories about the banana smoking trend were gracing the pages of The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Mellow Yellow (the fake drug, not the song) had arrived.
The craze became so widespread that both the scientific community and the government got involved. The FDA set up a machine that essentially smoked banana joints for three weeks straight. By May, they had determined what many people had already discovered first hand: smoking bananas did not get you high. A further study in November of that year, conducted by researchers at NYU, once again determined that bananas weren’t a drug. Still, the myth continued to stick. “The hoax was widely believed until one tried it and found it produced nothing. Of course, some people told friends that it worked just to watch their reaction when they learned the truth,” says Rorabaugh. “In any given setting, it did not last more than a couple of days, but having been had, it was easy to pass on the idea to others elsewhere in phone calls or letters, just to pass on the joke.”
Smoking banana peels continued to be a popular concept in hippie circles, mainly as a gag, for years. “Woodstock was about the last time it was mentioned. Most of the people there would have known it was a joke, but a few could be conned into trying it,” says Rorabaugh. But even after the passing of the Age of Aquarius, the myth of the hallucinogenic banana refused to die.
A recipe for turning banana peels into a drug was included in the book that sparked a million middle-school myths, The Anarchist’s Cookbook, which was published in 1970. In author William Powell’s recipe, which lays out a laborious process of making a paste from the peel scrapings that must then be reduced further into a powder, he claims that bananas contain something called “bananadine,” which is where the fruit supposedly got its psychedelic effects. This, too, was untrue, since bananadine does not exist.
While the concept of smoking banana peels today mainly exists as a cautionary tale about some of the sillier drug fads of the 1960s, thanks in large part to the internet, there are still those who believe that bananas can get you high. For instance, in 2013, inmates in a Maine county jail were caught smoking banana peels, and administrators said it had been a problem for months. A quick Google search for “smoking banana peels” will even present you with an advanced recipe for extracting “bannadine,” which involves reducing 10 pounds of bananas. According to this highly suspect recipe, “you used to need 200 pounds, but the potency has gone up 20x in the last 30 years.”
Wild new drug myths will no doubt continue to be born so long as there are broke young people who want to get high, but they’ll probably never be as potent as smoking banana peels.
From the cloud forest of Cameron Highlands, the beautiful and mystical Platymma tweediei, the largest endemic snail from the Peninsula Malaysia. It is also known as the Fire snail for its beautiful red foot. It is being studied as the density of the population is said to be only 100 km radius and it was intensely collected as pets for its beautiful snail but it is one species that is very difficult to keep alive as it lives in very cool and humid temperature. It is found in more than 1000m above sea level, never lower.
Police officers in China have started to wear AI-powered smart helmets which can automatically take pedestrians’ temperatures as they patrol the streets amid the coronavirus crisis.
The high-tech headgear has an infrared camera, which will sound an alarm if anyone in a radius of five metres (16 feet) has a fever – a common symptom of the disease.
Equipped with the facial-recognition technology, it can also display the pedestrian’s personal information, such as their name, on a virtual screen inside.
Officers in major Chinese cities are now using the futuristic device to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as people begin to go back to work.
In Chengdu, a city of 16 million people in south-western Sichuan Province, two officers donned the gadgets to monitor people on a high street on Monday.
A video released by China News shows the officers looking around to screen passing shoppers to see if their body temperatures were above 37.3 degrees Celsius.
In Shenzhen, which shares a border with Hong Kong, police this week began to inspect drivers who came into the city with the help of the helmets.
While in Shenzhen People’s Hospital, medics sporting the headgear stood outside the outpatient department on Monday to help catch suspected coronavirus sufferers.
The equipment – named Smart Helmet N901 – is developed by Shenzhen-based tech firm Kuang-Chi.
The company claims that it has produced the apparatus especially to help fight the coronavirus.
A spokesperson said: ‘This is a highly intelligent wearable device specifically designed to address the many challenges in the prevention of the epidemic.
‘Anyone with a fever can be screened from as far as five metres away. Within the five-metre “battlefield”, [it] can scan all individuals and its detection of fever sufferers is 100 per cent accurate.’
The spokesperson continued: ‘[It] can not only detect individuals with fevers, but also record the temperature of each of the targets automatically.
‘The whole process is very efficient and completed in a safe distance without contact.’
It would only take officers two minutes to scan a queue of more than 100 people with the help of the smart tool; and one big hospital would only need 10 such helmets to cover every corner, according to the developer.
President Trump on Thursday said his administration is moving forward with withholding funding from sanctuary cities after an appeals court ruled that such a move was legal – part of a broad push by the administration to end the controversial policies that it says makes Americans less safe.
The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York last month overturned a lower court ruling that stopped the administration’s 2017 move to withhold grant money from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program, which dispenses over $250 million a year to state and local criminal justice efforts.
The decision conflicts with rulings from other appeals courts across the country concerning sanctuary policies, indicating a Supreme Court review is ultimately likely.
New York City and liberal states, including New York, Washington, Massachusetts and Connecticut, sued the government, and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York backed them – ordering the money be released and stopping the government from putting immigration-related conditions on grants.
But the appeals court ruled that it “cannot agree that the federal government must be enjoined from imposing the challenged conditions on the federal grants here at issue.”
Sanctuaries policies limit local cooperation with immigration authorities and bar law enforcement from complying with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers – requests that ICE be alerted when an illegal immigrant is being released from local custody.
Rumour had it that the patients from another city had been transferred to the clinic to be quarantined. According to a spokeswoman for the hospital, these are lies, reports news channel al-Arabiya.
According to the BBC, the number of deaths in Iran due to the coronavirus has risen to 210. The Persian service of the British public broadcaster relies on hospital sources for accuracy.
According to BBC Persian, most of the victims were in the capital Tehran and the city of Qom. That figure is almost five times higher than the official balance sheet. After all, the authorities speak of 43 deaths and 593 cases of infection in the country.
The spokesperson for the Iranian Ministry of Health states that “the ministry is transparent” and that “the BBC is spreading lies”.
Yup, her emails.
A federal judge Monday ordered Hillary Clinton to testify at a deposition for a lawsuit related to her use of a private email computer server for official business while working as secretary of State in the Obama administration.
The order to answer questions from lawyers for the conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch pours yet more fuel on the longstanding fire of controversy over Clinton’s private server.
That controversy arguably dealt her Democratic candidacy for the White House in 2016 a fatal blow, and helped elect Donald Trump president.
“It is time to hear directly from Secretary Clinton,” Judge Royce Lamberth said in his order issued in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., where Judicial Watch is suing the State Department over its handling of searches for Clinton’s emails.
“As extensive as the existing record is, it does not sufficiently explain Secretary Clinton’s state of mind when she decided it would be an acceptable practice to set up and use a private server to conduct State Department business,” Lamberth wrote.
Lamberth’s order on Monday limits questioning of Clinton to “her reasons for using a private server and her understanding of State’s records management obligations.”
The judge barred Judicial Watch’s lawyers from questioning Clinton and her former chief of staff at State, Cheryl Mills, about the preparation of talking points for then-United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice’s Sept. 16, 2012, media appearances about the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
No date has yet been scheduled for Clinton’s deposition.
Clinton’s lawyer, David Kendall, declined to comment.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said in an interview, “We’re pleased to finally be able to depose her directly on this.”
Fitton said that testimony from others has revealed that Clinton was cautioned “half a dozen times about these issues” related to her use of a private email server while leading the State Department from 2009 to early 2013.
The Justice Department, which is representing the State Department in the case, had no immediate comment.
Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as America’s top diplomat was, at best, problematic because it for some time effectively shielded the emails on it from being disclosed via Freedom of Information Act requests by the media and others.
Some critics said Clinton had violated government record retention laws in her use of the server. Another concern was the use of the email server to send messages that contained classified information.
The FBI investigated Clinton’s use of a server. In July 2016, while Clinton was running for president, then-FBI Director James Comey publicly announced that he was not recommending that any criminal charges be filed against Clinton. But Comey also said that she had been “extremely careless” in using the server.
In late October 2016, shortly before the presidential election, Comey revealed to Congress that the FBI was reviewing emails from the server that had been newly discovered. The public disclosure of that probe so close to the election outraged Democrats.
The political analysis site FiveThirtyEight said in 2017 that Comey’s disclosure “probably cost Clinton the election” because “it upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton’s lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.”
No charges were ever lodged in connection with the emails referenced in Comey’s letter.
Fitton on Monday noted that Lamberth’s order reveals irritation by the judge in how the State Department has handled the case. In fact, Lamberth’s ruling refers to “State’s mishandling of this case — which was either the result of bureaucratic incompetence or motivated by bad faith.”
Lamberth in late 2018 ordered that the State Department release information to Judicial Watch on the questions of whether Clinton’s use of private email “was an intentional attempt to evade” Freedom of Information Act disclosure requirements, and whether the department adequately searched for records that were responsive to Judicial Watch’s request.
The judge also ordered the disclosure of evidence related to the question of whether the department’s efforts to settle the case five years ago “amounted to bad faith” because of a possible desire to avoid the private server coming to light.
Monday’s order by Lamberth points out, in a footnote, that Judicial Watch recently told the judge about a newly obtained Clinton email that the group said “strongly suggests” that Clinton and her then-deputy chief of staff, Huma Abedin, “conducted State Department business via text messaging as well.”
Lamberth wrote that the State Department “has not provided any information about whether such text messages were searched pursuant to FOIA.”
“We don’t have any Hillary Clinton text messages,” Fitton said.
The novel coronavirus is shed in the feces of infected people, which may help explain why it’s spread so fast, according to Chinese researchers.
The finding of live virus particles in stool specimens indicates a fecal-oral route for coronavirus, which may be why it’s caused outbreaks on cruise ships with an intensity often seen with gastro-causing norovirus, which also spreads along that pathway. More than 600 Covid-19 infections were confirmed among passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess, the ship quarantined for two weeks in Yokohama, Japan.
“This virus has many routes of transmission, which can partially explain” its rapid spread, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in a report Saturday.
The agency recommends strengthening sanitation and hygiene measures to prevent fecal-oral transmission in epidemic area. These include drinking boiled water, avoiding eating raw food, implementing separate meal systems, frequent hand-washing, disinfecting toilets, and preventing water and food contamination from patients’ stool.
“The virus can also be transmitted through the potential fecal-oral route,” the Chinese CDC said. “This means that stool samples may contaminate hands, food, water” and cause infection when the microbes enter the mouth or eyes, or are inhaled, they said.
Rectal swabs can detect the pneumonia-causing virus in patients even when conventional oral tests are negative, doctors at the Wuhan Pulmonary Hospital in central China said in a study.
The novel SARS-like coronavirus was found in oral and anal swabs, and blood — indicating that infected patients may shed the pathogen through respiratory, fecal-oral or body fluid routes, the authors said.
They showed that the current strategy for detecting viral RNA in oral swabs used to diagnose Covid-19 cases “is not perfect,” the researchers said. They noted that patients may harbor the virus in the intestine at the early or late stage of disease, and that a blood test for antibodies against the virus should be considered to better understand patterns of infection.
The coronaviruses that cause Covid-19 and SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, bind to the same distinctly shaped protein receptors in the body that are expressed in the lungs and intestines, making these organs the primary targets for both viruses, said Fang Li, an associate professor of veterinary and biomedical sciences at the University of Minnesota, last month.
A virus-laden aerosol plume emanating from a SARS patient with diarrhea was implicated in possibly hundreds of cases at Hong Kong’s Amoy Gardens housing complex in 2003.
That led the city’s researchers to understand the importance of the virus’s spread through the gastrointestinal tract, and to recognize both the limitation of face masks and importance of cleanliness and hygiene, according to John Nicholls, a clinical professor of pathology at the University of Hong Kong.
Squat latrines, common in China, lacking covers and hands that aren’t washed thoroughly with soap and water after visiting the bathroom, could be a source of virus transmission, said Nicholls, who was part of the research team that isolated and characterized the SARS virus.