Weird Universe


Smoking Periwinkle

Every so often the media needs to sound the alarm about a new drug that's corrupting the youth of the nation. In the summer of 1967, that drug was the periwinkle plant. The entire scare was based on one group of teenagers in Florida who experimented with the plant, but still it generated plenty of headlines.

Can smoking periwinkle actually get you high? Probably. Over at there are some reports of people experimenting with it. Though despite the scare of 1967, it never caught on as a popular drug.

Dr. George Dame, a health officer in Manatee County, warned that periwinkle could have all kinds of unpleasant side effects (such as "withering of muscle tissue") because periwinkle is the source of some drugs (vinblastine and vincristine) used in chemotherapy. However, an expert on those drugs disagreed with him. From Newsweek (June 26, 1967):

A chemist at Eli Lilly & Co. of Indianapolis, where the drugs vincristine and vinblastine were developed, said last week that the perils may not be as great as Dame suspects. Both vincristine and vinblastine, he pointed out, are highly unstable and probably do not get into the smoke of burning periwinkle leaves in an active form. Nonetheless, the chemist was quick to put down the periwinkle cult. "Periwinkle," he said, "like most inedible plants, is toxic. You might get pretty sick to your stomach."

Sydney Morning Herald - Jun 4, 1967

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Jan 29, 2016 | Comments (9)
Category: Drugs, Psychedelic, Smoking and Tobacco, 1960's

In a Long White Room

How this easy-listening, faux-psychedelic ripoff ever avoided a plagiarism suit with Cream's "White Room" is a mystery for the ages. Maybe lawyers were stunned into inaction by the gonzo brilliance of the lyrics

"We will tuck each other in, and dream about trains/You'll call me 'Beauty' and I'll call you 'Brains.'"

Trippy, man!

Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Dec 03, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Music, Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings, Psychedelic, 1960's

Schizophrenic Model Psychosis Induced By LSD 25

Posted By: Paul | Date: Sat May 02, 2015 | Comments (15)
Category: Drugs, Psychedelic, Science, 1950's

Beautiful Chemical Reactions

Beautiful Chemical Reactions from L2 Molecule on Vimeo.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Mar 17, 2015 | Comments (3)
Category: Science, Psychedelic

“The Trip,” Kim Fowley

In tribute to the recent death of this pop maven.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jan 22, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Music, Psychedelic, 1960's


Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Jan 06, 2015 | Comments (5)
Category: Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Domestic, Surrealism, Psychedelic, 1950's

Austin Animation Jam 2014

Posted By: Paul | Date: Wed Jan 29, 2014 | Comments (3)
Category: Surrealism, Cartoons, Psychedelic

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids

How a sardonic adult western ever loaned its name to a sappy kids' cartoon will remain forever a mystery. Whose brainstorm was that? In any case, please revel in the ghastly animation.

And if this happens to be a potent nostalgic item for you, you can buy the recently released complete series at Warner Archives.

Wikipedia entry here.

Page 1 of 3 pages  1 2 3 >
Custom Search

weird universe thumbnail

This page has been viewed 39778010 times.
All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.