Category Archives: Creativity

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Timothy Leary: inmates on “mushrooms” had a lower recidivism rate

This story is about one man’s ideas about creativity. It is truly an odd story. Enjoy this read!

Celtic Scribes: Timothy Leary

By Ray Cavanaugh

Timothy Leary was born in 1920 in Springfield, Massachusetts. His father was an Irish-American dentist who abruptly skipped town before his only son’s thirteenth birthday. Upon graduating from high school, Leary headed to College of the Holy Cross in nearby Worcester, where his penchant for mischief met with disciplinary opposition.

Clearly desiring a change of venue, the oppressed undergrad migrated south to the University of Alabama, where he was once again pegged as a discipline problem. Eventually receiving a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Leary polished his act enough to obtain master’s and doctoral degrees in the Psych field.

Having held positions as assistant professor and research director, Leary was then able to land a coveted faculty seat at Harvard University. During a 1960 sabbatical to Mexico, the professor ingested what would become the most influential mushroom in western culture; it was a psilocybin mushroom, the same sort which, many moons ago, had been consumed by indigenous peoples in their quest for enhanced religious ceremony.

For Leary, the encounter was mind-blowing; he later proclaimed that the psychedelic snack had, in several hours time, enabled him to “learn more about [his] brain and its possibilities than fifteen years of doing research in Psychology.”

Wanting to share the enlightenment, Leary established the Harvard Psilocybin Project and invited participants to try his special mushrooms, which were legal at the time. Along with the purported mind-expansion, Leary’s mushrooms supposedly carried the potential to curb addictions and antisocial impulses. Following an extended experiment at nearby Concord State Prison, Leary claimed that mushroom-fed parolees experienced a lower rate of recidivism. Subsequent studies have disputed this claim.

Around Harvard, there had blossomed a psychedelic black market; people were chasing a whole kaleidoscope of hallucinated stimuli. At Harvard dorms, some visiting parents observed that their little scholars were chewing the carpet; it soon seemed uncertain if all pupils were receiving a solid liberal arts core. During this time, Leary’s position at Harvard was terminated, officially for the neglect of lecturing obligations, though many decided the termination was for Leary’s role in diffusing psychedelics.

In the mid-1960s, legal troubles began for Leary, who had emerged as a counterculture icon. He faced multiple charges for marijuana possession; one case even reached the Supreme Court, which ultimately decided to overturn his drug conviction. Leary celebrated such triumph by announcing his entry into California’s gubernatorial race, led at the time by future president Ronald Reagan.

Not every court decision went Leary’s way, however; for possessing a half-ounce of marijuana, he received a lengthy sentence. Upon arriving at prison, he was given a psychological test geared to assigning each inmate a suitable work detail. With his extensive Psych background (which even included the design of prison-administered psychological tests), Leary answered the questions in such a way so as to obtain a cushy gardening job in a section with comparatively lax security. He got the job he wanted, and soon escaped.

Having reunited with his wife, Leary fled to Algeria, then to Switzerland, where he ended his marriage and dabbled in heroin, before teaming up with an immensely wealthy socialite. Together, they went to Austria, Lebanon, and even Afghanistan, where Leary was intercepted by U.S. federal agents, much to the delight of then president Richard Nixon, who had previously called Leary “the most dangerous man in America.”

America’s “most dangerous man” was returned to his home-country and cast into the infernal bowels of California’s Folsom State Prison, where he inhabited a solitary cell immediately adjacent to that of counterculture devil Charles Manson.

According to federal authorities, Leary became an informant, sharing secret information about other radicals he had known. There was dispute over how much inmate Leary actually did reveal; many contended that he never supplied any significant information, and that his “cooperation” was merely a pretense used to gain early release from prison. At any rate, he was soon granted his freedom.

Out of prison, Leary divided his time between lecture tours, drug trips, and writing. In all, he authored over twenty books, mainly memoirs and social philosophy. This philosopher, however, was not one for Aristotelian ethics; he instead urged us all to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” Leary was also an ardent early supporter of the internet, which he considered “the LSD of the 1990s.”

In 1995, Leary was diagnosed with inoperable prostrate cancer. As if tanking up for the biggest trip of all, he embarked on a rigorous daily regimen of “nitrous oxide, cigarettes, marijuana, heroin, and morphine.” By request, his death was videotaped. Having desired to go extraterrestrial instead of subterranean, his ashes were eventually rocketed into outer space – an untraditional yet fitting end for the Irish-American maverick who had a whole generation galloping into a higher planetary consciousness.

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Girls Write Now Helps at risk girls, wins award

Girls Write Now Receives 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from First Lady at The White House

Mon, 09 Nov 2009, 12:52:16 EST
Edited by Carly Zander

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 9 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — Girls Write Now, a New York City organization that matches at-risk high school girls with professional women writers for mentoring and writing training, has been nationally recognized as one of 15 youth arts and humanities programs to receive the prestigious 2009 Coming Up Taller Award. Youth and adult representatives of the program traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend a White House ceremony on November 4, where they accepted the award from Mrs. Obama.

Coming Up Taller is a national initiative that recognizes and supports outstanding out-of-school and after-school arts and humanities programs for children, especially those with great potential, but limited outlets for creative expression. A project of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Coming Up Taller Awards honor programs that offer exceptional learning experiences in the arts and the humanities and that have a tangible effect on the lives of young people as evidenced through improved academic scores, enhanced life skills, and positive relationships with peers and adults.

Since 1998, Girls Write Now (www.girlswritenow.org) has helped at-risk high-school girls build critical literacy skills and find their voices through one-to-one mentoring relationships with professional women writers. Girls Write Now is the first and only East Coast organization to combine mentoring and writing training within the context of all-girl programming, which includes a full complement of workshops, public readings, anthology publications, and college-preparation assistance. While the New York State Education Department reports that 43.6 percent of New York City’s youth fail to complete high school on time, 100 percent of Girls Write Now seniors graduate and go on to colleges like Barnard College, Hunter College, The New School, New York University, Smith College, Swarthmore College, and more, bringing with them writing awards, scholarships, and a newfound confidence. More than 90 percent of their students are girls of color, and more than 40 percent are recent immigrants.

“For 12 years, Girls Write Now has honed our method and model, delivering high quality, rigorous, and constantly evolving curriculum to girls throughout New York City,” said Maya Nussbaum, founder and executive director of Girls Write Now. “Students emerge from our program armed with a body of work that confidently secures their place among our next generation of women writers.”

“This year’s Coming Up Taller Awardees exemplify how arts and humanities programs outside of the school setting can impact on the lives of our young people,” says Margo Lion, co-chairman, President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. “By exciting imaginations and providing opportunities for self-expression through the disciplines of theater, dance, music and literature these exceptional projects offer their participants windows on possibility and a belief in a more positive future.”

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities bridges the interests of federal agencies and the private sector, supports special projects that increase participation, and helps incorporate the humanities and the arts into White House objectives. The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts, both new and established; bringing the arts to all Americans; and providing leadership in arts education. Because democracy demands wisdom, the National Endowment for the Humanities serves and strengthens our Republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent federal grant making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners.

For more information please visit the following Web sites:
Girls Write Now: http://www.girlswritenow.org
Coming Up Taller: http://www.pcah.gov/cut.htm
President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities: http://www.pcah.gov
National Endowment for the Arts: http://www.arts.gov
National Endowment for the Humanities: http://www.neh.gov
Institute of Museum and Library Services: http://www.imls.gov .

Note: Costs associated with dissemination of this news announcement were donated to GWN by Neotrope®.

NEWS SOURCE: Girls Write Now
Send2Press® is the originating wire service for this story. Terms of Use
THE CONTENT OF THE ABOVE PRESS RELEASE WAS PROVIDED BY THE NEWS SOURCE (Girls Write Now), WHO IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS ACCURACY. FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS STORY CONTACT THE NEWS SOURCE AND NOT THIS WEBSITE.

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York Town Square A group of immigrants arrived in York [Pennsylvania] in the early 1990s when The Golden Venture, a ship with illegal smuggled Chinese passengers, ran aground off the New York coast. About 40 of the passengers were detained … Continue reading

PCS MetroPCS Offering Limited Edition Mister Cartoon Designed Handset

PCS MetroPCS Offering Limited Edition Mister Cartoon Designed Handset

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