July 14th, 2009



Last night's nocturnal adventures were about amanita muscaria. Not only do I think these are beautiful, I'm also fascinated with them. They've been around since forever and have been used as everything from a food source to a method of killing flies. Some people think they are the source of the Soma described in the Rig Veda. And of course, they have psychoactive properties. Like all mushrooms, they're unpredictable and since they're also poisonous*, preparation is required before one would ingest them.

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Meanwhile, I have Teh Crank. I saw the Dreary coming down out of the hills as I walked to work, and now it's all around our building. I know it's July, I know we should expect bad weather, but I really wish the academic knowledge that sunshine hours at this time of year are lower would somehow equate to my brain manufacturing Extra Emergency Vitamin D of its own. Or that we were all allowed to take the month off and hibernate. Yeah. That's a plan.


As part of my research for the latest rant essay, I was directed by my lecturer to The New Zealand Drug Harm Index, a study that attempts to put a dollar value on harms related to the use of alcohol and other drugs in Unzud. This study has been criticised by Treasury for focusing on dollar cost of use rather than including dollar benefits of use, but unfortunately for Treasury that was the brief that BERL was given. Whether there should be a benefit-focused study is One Of Those Things that seems to fall by the wayside in everyone's insistence that they are academically sound, and therefore right.

Anyway, the thing that weirds me out is that I know one of the authors of this survey personally.

This is going to happen more and more, isn't it?