Paula’s Choice Resist Hyaluronic Acid Booster is just the latest in a line of anti-aging boosters from Paula’s Choice. The hyaluronic acid binds with skin to hold in moisture and plump up wrinkles while hydrating and reinforcing your skin’s barrier function. What’s great about the liqui-gel treatment is that it can be applied directly to skin or mixed with any serum, moisturizer (without SPF) or eye cream to increase that product’s hydrating and smoothing properties. It can also be used before or after AHA or BHA exfoliants, retinol treatments and other anti-aging products.
  • The formula is suitable for all skin types — even breakout prone skin
  • Like all Paula’s Choice Skincare products, the ingredients in this formula are proven effective by published, scientific research
  • It’s also 100% fragrance- and colorant-free, with no added dyes or irritants
  • Their formulas are never tested on animals

Paula’s Story

Too busy putting beauty products on to consider what’s in them? We feel your pain. And so has Paula Begoun. After years of trusting product claims at the expense of her skin, Paula set out to help others make sense of skin care and cosmetics. Decades later, she’s the author of 20 best-selling books on the topic, and her work as a nationally recognized consumer expert for the skin care cosmetics industry has led to repeat appearances on CNN, Oprah, The Today Show, 20/20, Dateline NBC, The View and Dr. Oz. Learn more about Paula and her team>

  #GotItFree    I am a Buzz Agent and got a free sample and coupons.

 Http:// Buzzagent.com


 I Hope you find your Happy Place,   RIP Robin Williams.

 For Mr. Robin Williams...Our Captain is gone.

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
The arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead


For Emma 

This contest is for - - - it's a $10.00 donation per photo to enter - - and folks can enter as many photos as they want - of ANY "family pet" - taken by anyone - so long as the photos are of the personal pets of the one entering the contest........ all entry fees go to provide for our rescue babies!!






Mother is NOT Pleased

 Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thinking About Starting My Own Religion

Well, I was gonna write another blog post or two the other night, but I decided to spend some time with an old friend instead.  So I pretty much checked out of reality, well other than dealing with the kids and chores and work, and spent the last couple of days re-reading the first two books of the "Clan of the Cave Bear" books by Jean M. Auel.  I just have to say I fucking LOVE Ayla!  She is my fucking heroine above all others!  Yes, I know she isn't real, but neither are most people's "heroes" so I don't fucking care.

Okay, for anybody out there who still hasn't read the books, Ayla is the main character, the books are set in pre-historic Europe, and they follow Ayla over the course of her very eventful life from the age of 5 forward.  She is a Homo sapien child adopted and raised by a group of Neanderthals, and the author weaves a fabulous tale of the two cultures, their differences and their similarities.  The research and effort that the author put into these books was both phenomenal and inspiring in and of itself, but the conclusions she has drawn and the story telling are truly captivating.

Now when the first one was published, there was a big commotion over it, it was fabulously popular and sold million of copies spending weeks on the New York Times Best sellers lists.  And because of that I refused to read it.  I am weird like that, the more popular something is, the more likely I am to avoid it.  Even my Mother, who hates to read, read the damn thing before I did.  But still I refused.  It was out for more than a decade before I finally read it.  I was in my late twenties and going through a phase of reading everything I could that was historic and pre-historic fiction.  I found a couple of other authors around the same time that I hope to have a chance to tell you about later as well, but when I finally met Ayla, was when my life really started to change.

To me, she is probably one of, if not the greatest female characters of all fucking time.  She is the heroine of her own story, and she becomes the heroine of the stories of everyone she encounters, even the people who hate her just for being who she is..  To me she is the epitome of strength, courage, and unconditional Love.  If I was going to worship a "God" - she would be mine.  And I am totally serious when I say that, I have tears in my eyes as I type it and my heart is so full it feels like it is bursting.  I know it sounds completely ridiculous, especially if you have never read the books, you can have no clue what I really mean, but I am completely serious here.  No, I do not worship her.  But pretty damn close.

I own the complete set in the series now.  I even per-ordered the last one, months before it was released.  I admit I was disappointed in it.  Not in Alya, but in the writing of the last book, I still haven't been able to finish it.  But the the first four books are breathtakingly mesmerizing, I cannot recommend them highly enough.  I have read each of them at least 6 or 7 times over the years.  They inspire me.  They give me hope.  They give me the strength and courage to face the cold, cruel world again with the Love in my heart exposed for all to see.  I am who I am, I will not hide myself for your convenience, and I should not be asked to.  If you don't like me that is your choice, go away and leave me alone because I don't like you much either.  But I will always Love you, and do my best not to hurt you, I might even try to help you.  I don't have to like you to Love you.

My Love is unconditional.  I Love all people, whether I like them or not, whether I agree with them or not, whether they like me or not, makes no difference to me.  I don't have to Love what you think, what you say, or how you feel, and I am not going to pretend that I do, but I will defend your right to do it.  Just as I will defend my right to tell you when I think it is stupid, cruel, and hurtful.

I wonder, could I start my own religion worshiping a fictional character?  I am really not trying to be a smart ass here, it is a legitimate, serious question.  Alya embodies everything I would want in a deity, and her belief system putting much parallels mine, I have found guidance and salvation in her story, why couldn't I make a "real" religion out of it?  I could be the first prophet, preaching the gospel of Ayla!  I kinda like the idea.  I have never had much need for religion in my life, but I might just change my mind for this one.  I promise I will try not to become too radical in my fundamentalism, oh who the hell am I kidding, when I have I ever been anything but radical?


Musings of an Artist's Wife: Green Dog

Musings of an Artist's Wife: Green Dog: I asked George Rodrigue earlier this week, “Any thoughts on the color green?” “Trees,” he said. A bit disappointed in my creative artist...


One of my Fav artists

 beautiful stuff, talented guy. all around nice human being.

Famous World Ideologies, as explained by references to Cows

        I'm going with Surrealism.....makes the most sense.

  •  Feudalism: You have two cows. Your lord takes some of the milk. 
  •  Pure Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn  with           everyone else’s cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you all  the  milk you need.       
  • Bureaucratic Socialism: Your cows are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and eggs the regulations say you should need.
  • Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.
  • Pure Communism: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.
  • Real World Communism: You share two cows with your neighbors. You and your neighbors bicker about who has the most “ability” and who has the most “need”. Meanwhile, no one works, no one gets any milk, and the cows drop dead of starvation.
  • Russian Communism: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk. You steal back as much milk as you can and sell it on the black market.
  • Perestroika: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the Mafia takes all the milk. You steal back as much milk as you can and sell it on the “free” market.
  • Cambodian Communism: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.
  • Militarianism: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.
  • Totalitarianism: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.
  • Pure Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.
  • Representative Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.
  • British Democracy: You have two cows. You feed them sheeps’ brains and they go mad. The government doesn’t do anything.
  • Bureaucracy: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. Then it takes both, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.
  • Pure Anarchy: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to take the cows and kill you.
  • Pure Capitalism: You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull.
  • Capitalism: You don’t have any cows. The bank will not lend you money to buy cows, because you don’t have any cows to put up as collateral.
  • Enviromentalism: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.
  • Political Correctness: You are associated with (the concept of “ownership” is a symbol of the phallo-centric, war mongering, intolerant past) two differently – aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender.
  • Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.


    Singing My Sister Down By Margo Lanagan Doc

    Powered by ebookbrowse.com



     I will be revamping links and all that jazz , I have a New Fav I have to get set in:)

    I'm a Little Monster Now!!! Yay!!

    Lady Gaga - Judas



    Nurturing Animals Shaped Human Evolution | Animal Connection Drove Development of Language and Domestication | LiveScience

    By Jeremy Hsu, LiveScience Senior Writer

    posted: 02 August 2010 09:43 am ET

    Our love of all things furry has deep roots in human evolution and may have even shaped how our ancestors developed language and other tools of civilization.

    This 'animal connection' compelled humans to learn about and care for fellow creatures, said Pat Shipman, a paleoanthropologist at Penn State University. She added that the behavior seems highly abnormal for other animals on the rare occasions that, say, captive tigers nurture pigs or vice versa.

    'The animal connection runs through the whole [human history] and connects the other big evolutionary leaps, including stone tools, language and domestication,' Shipman explained. 'Instead of being isolated discoveries, there's a theme here. It's very deep and very old.'

    Such nurturing behavior also paid off when humans learned to harness animals as living tools rather than just as food or companions, as detailed in the August 2010 issue of the journal Current Anthropology. That allowed people to essentially use the evolutionary advantages of dogs, cats, horses and other animals for themselves.

    The seemingly unique human tendency still persists in modern societies – for instance, more U.S. households have pets than have children.

    'You see homeless people on the streets with pets, and people in dire circumstances keeping pets,' Shipman told LiveScience. 'That suggests there's something humans get out of it, which is pretty old.'

    Sticks, stones and words

    Humans may have begun honing the animal connection after they made the leap from prey (think saber-tooth tigers sinking their fangs into our ancestors) to competitive hunter. That change grew from the development of tools and weapons (to defend oneself) starting around 2.6 million years ago.

    'Once you undergo that funny ecological transition that hardly any other animal has made, you have double the advantage if you become extremely alert and extremely observant of what other animals are doing, where they are, how they move, how they communicate with each other,' Shipman said.

    Next, the need to communicate that knowledge about the behavior of prey animals and other predators drove the development of symbols and language around 200,000 years ago, Shipman suggests.

    For evidence, Shipman pointed to the early symbolic representations of prehistoric cave paintings and other artwork that often feature animals in a good amount of detail. By contrast, she added that crucial survival information about making fires and shelters or finding edible plants and water sources was lacking.

    'All these things that ought to be important daily information are not there or are there in a really cursory, minority role,' Shipman noted. 'What that conversation is about are animals.'

    Of course, much evidence is missing, because 'words don't fossilize,' Shipman said. She added that language may have arisen many times independently and died out before large enough groups of people could keep it alive.

    Not just food

    The third major evolutionary leap took place around 40,000 years ago, when humans began domesticating animals by selectively breeding them for certain traits. But Shipman believes that the common explanation – humans wanted domesticated animals for food – has the story backwards.

    'It takes a very long time to domesticate animals,' Shipman said. 'To actually do it for the motivation of getting food, you'd have to be planning at a ridiculous time depth.'

    Besides, killing a deer in the woods gets the same amount of meat as killing a deer in a fenced area, Shipman pointed out. In her view, something else must have driven humans to corral or keep animals in the first place.

    Furthermore, the earliest known domesticated animal was not a delicious porker, but man's best friend. Shipman considers humans' strong connection with animals, rather than a desire for food, as the more likely explanation for why people decided to keep dogs around.

    'If you look at all the domesticated animals, they often get eaten some time at the end of their life,' Shipman said. 'But they also provide all these renewable resources all their lives.'

    Such resources include cow's milk for sustaining babies and adults alike, as well as fur or wool for making clothing or other items. Domesticated animals also have helped humans pull or carry goods. They have revolutionized transportation and exploration, not to mention carried humans into battle and changed the face of warfare.

    Evolutionary shortcuts

    The animal connection's transformation of formerly wild beasts into living tools gave humans a decisive edge in adapting to new environments and using the evolutionary advantages of animals for themselves.

    For instance, humans living in arid regions domesticated hardy camels as reliable mounts and cargo-carriers that could survive long periods without water. In other words, humans gained an evolutionary shortcut, Shipman said.

    'If you have a dog that can hunt, you don't need to turn into a fast-moving animal with sharp teeth,' Shipman said. 'If you're storing grains [known to attract rodents], you don't need to evolve claws and an intense focus to kill rats, [because] you have cats that do it for you.'

    Shipman eventually hopes to explore her hypothesis in a book. Until then, she continues to look for more prehistoric evidence.

    She also admits that some people simply don't harbor any real affection for animals, which makes sense given natural variability in populations. But the widespread nurturing of animals across practically all cultures suggests something powerful cultivated the animal connection.

    'People who are really devoted to pets or raise livestock, a lot of them get this deep in their bones,' Shipman said.

    Prehistoric Cemetery Reveals Man and Fox Were Pals

     By Charles Q. Choi, LiveScience Contributor
    posted: 03 February 2011 11:48 am ET

    Before dog was man's best friend, we might have kept foxes as pets, even bringing them with us into our graves, scientists now say.
    This discovery, made in a prehistoric cemetery in the Middle East, could shed light on the nature and timing of newly developing relationships between people and beasts before animals were first domesticated. It also hints that key aspects of ancient practices surrounding death might have originated earlier than before thought.
    The ancient graveyard known as 'Uyun al-Hammam, or "spring of the pigeon," was discovered in the small river valley of Wadi Ziqlab in northern Jordan in 2000 and named after a nearby freshwater spring. The burial ground is about 16,500 years old, meaning it dates back to just before the emergence of the Natufian culture, in which pioneers used wild cereals (such as wheat, barley and oats) in a practice that would eventually evolve into true farming. These communities dwelled 11,600 to 14,500 years ago in the Levant, the area that today includes Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
    The Natufian culture was known to bury people with dogs. One case discovered in past excavations in the area involved a woman buried with her hand on a puppy, while another included three humans buried with two dogs along with tortoise shells. However, the new discovery at 'Uyun al-Hammam shows that some of these practices took place earlier with a different doglike animal, the fox.

    At least 11 people were buried at the site in Jordan, most of whom were found with artifacts such as stone tools, a bone spoon and bone dagger, and red ochre, an iron mineral. One grave held the skull and upper right arm bone of a red fox, with red ochre stuck on its skull, along with bones of deer, gazelle, tortoises and wild cattle. A neighboring grave with human remains also contained the nearly complete skeleton of a red fox, missing its skull and upper right arm bone, suggesting that a single fox had parts of it moved from one grave to another in prehistoric times.
    "What we appear to have found is a case where a fox was killed and buried with its owner," said researcher Lisa Maher, a prehistoric archaeologist at the University of Cambridge in England. "Later, the grave was reopened for some reason and the human's body was moved, but because the link between the fox and the human had been significant, the fox was moved as well."
    The fact that the fox was reburied with the human could mean the animal was once seen as a companion. The researchers suggest its bones may have been moved so the dead person would continue to have the fox as a comrade in the afterlife.
    "The fox was treated in a special way from any other animals at the site," Maher told LiveScience. "We think that this represents a significant social relationship, something that clearly goes far beyond the domestication of animals as livestock."
    Although foxes are relatively easy to tame, domesticating them might have failed because of their skittish and timid nature. This might explain why dogs ultimately achieved "man's best friend" status instead. However, fox symbolism and fox remains are quite common in later Stone Age sites, both in domestic and burial contexts, "so even when other animals were domesticated, prehistoric people maintained an interest in the fox," Maher said.
    The graves at the Jordan site do contain the remains of other kinds of animals, so "we can only take the fox-dog analogy so far," said researcher Edward Banning at the University of Toronto.
    The notion that foxes served as pets happens to fit with modern preconceptions about human-dog relationships, and is just one possible explanation among many — for instance, it could have had some spiritual meaning instead, Maher said. Also, foxes did not always receive special treatment — other fox bones at the site bore signs of butchery and cooking, suggesting they were eaten for meat.
    In any case, the findings reveal these burial practices and even the use of cemeteries go back further in time than previously thought.
    "The repeated use of a particular location for the burial of the dead suggests that the people had a special connection to this site," Maher said. "Perhaps having a nearby place to return to and visit your ancestors or loved ones was as important in prehistory as it is in many cultures today."
    The scientists detailed their findings in the Jan. 26 issue of the journal PLoS ONE.


    Dept of State issues Worldwide Caution for U. S. Citizens anywhere

    Dept of State issues Worldwide Caution for U. S. Citizens anywhere: "This information is current as of today, Tue Feb 01 2011 15:00:51 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time). Tue Feb 01 16:59:10 2011.

    The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world.

    U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This replaces the Worldwide Caution dated August 12, 2010, to provide updated information on security threats and terrorist activities worldwide.

    The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. U.S. citizens are reminded that demonstrations and rioting can occur with little or no warning. Current information suggests that Al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These attacks may employ a wide variety of tactics including suicide operations, assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, and bombings.

    Extremists may elect to use conventional or non-conventional weapons, and target both official and private interests. Examples of such targets include high-profile sporting events, residential areas, business offices, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, public areas, and locales where U.S. citizens gather in large numbers, including during holidays.

    U.S. citizens are reminded of the potential for terrorists to attack public transportation systems and other tourist infrastructure. Extremists have targeted and attacked subway and rail systems, as well as aviation and maritime services. In the past several years, these types of attacks have occurred in cities such as Moscow, London, Madrid, and Glasgow.

    Current information suggests that Al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. and Western interests in Europe. European governments have taken action to guard against terrorist attack and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions. In the past several years, attacks have been planned or occurred in various European cities.

    Credible information indicates terrorist groups also seek to continue attacks against U.S. interests in the Middle East and North Africa. For example, Iraq remains dangerous and unpredictable. Attacks against military and civilian targets throughout Iraq continue. Methods of attack have included roadside improvised explosive devices, mortars, and shootings; kidnappings still occur as well. Security threat levels remain high in Yemen due to terrorist activities there. The U.S. Embassy has had to close several times in response to ongoing threats by Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). U.S. citizens as well as other Westerners have been targeted for attack in Yemen. U.S. citizens have also been the targets of numerous terrorist attacks in Lebanon in the past (though none recently) and the threat of anti-Western terrorist activity continues to exist there. In Algeria, terrorist attacks occur regularly, particularly in the Kabylie region of the country. In the past, terrorists have targeted oil processing facilities in both Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

    A number of Al-Qaida operatives and other extremists are believed to be operating in and around Africa. Since the July 11, 2010, terrorist bombings in Kampala, Uganda, for which the Somalia-based, U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organization al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility, there have been increased threats against public areas across East Africa. The terrorist attacks of August and September 2010 against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces in Somalia, as well as the bombing of hotels and minibuses in Somalia, highlight the vulnerabilities to terrorist attacks in East Africa and around the world. Additionally, the terrorist group, Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), has declared its intention to attack Western targets throughout the Sahel (which includes Mali, Mauritania, and Niger), and has claimed responsibility for kidnappings, attempted kidnappings, and the murder of several Westerners.

    - Sent using Google Toolbar"


    Researchers aim to resurrect mammoth in five years - Yahoo! News

    very interesting.Hope it works.


    I still have a soul

    Meanwhile at Barka Raton — Cute Overload

    Meanwhile at Barka Raton — Cute Overload: "- Sent using Google Toolbar"


    Priceless to any Dog owner , you know these dogs:)

     dogs-dont-understand-basic-concepts...like Moving.

    From: Hyperbole and a Half.
      excellent work and the art , makes the whole thing perfect..
    .I Know these dogs .Proud dog mother of 2 simple dogs and a helper dog.
    also...we move Alot....

    More goodness:)

    this is for Oovie...I love her.


    The Talking Goat


    The Wood Spider


    Beware of Sunburn Boosters

    read ......


    Black Sabbath's Ronnie James Dio Dies at 67...

    Hard-rocking singer Ronnie James Dio passed away on Sunday at the
    age of 67.

    The former singer for Black Sabbath, who fronted the band briefly
    after Ozzy Osbourne's 1980 exit, had been struggling with stomach
    cancer, and had undergone seven rounds of chemotherapy.

    His wife and manager Wendy Dio confirmed the sad news on his
    website, noting that "many, many friends and family were able
    to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away...
    Ronnie knew how much has was loved by all."'

    Wendy had admitted it was a challenge replacing the enormously
    popular Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath. "Ozzy especially had
    some real staunch fans, and for someone else to come into
    Sabbath, God, that was sacrilegious," he said.

    He was known for his wailing vocals and for the "devil's horns"
    gesture that has become a heavy-metal trademark.

    In March, Wendy vowed to beat his disease."Cancer? I'll kick the
    hell out of you...I refuse to be beaten in any shape or form so
    I'm going to beat you, too."


    Diamond And Mystic Topaz Men's Ring: Pride Of Ireland


    Spectacular Statement Diamonesk Ring

    pretty, princess or emerald please:) size 6



     My Avatar

    Make your Own:)


    Analysis Finally Clears Donner Party of Rumored Cannibalism - Yahoo! News

    welll Damnit all to Hell....there goes that good grisly story....
    stupid technology....


    Hey Kids! — Cute Overload

    Hey Kids! — Cute Overload

    omg soo cute I want one , a purse goat!!!!!


    Groooovy Man.....

     actually pretty interesting.....

    Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In Again

    As a retired clinical psychologist, Clark Martin was well acquainted with traditional treatments for depression, but his own case seemed untreatable as he struggled through chemotherapy and other grueling regimens for kidney cancer. Counseling seemed futile to him. So did the antidepressant pills he tried.
    Nothing had any lasting effect until, at the age of 65, he had his first psychedelic experience. He left his home in Vancouver, Wash., to take part in an experiment at Johns Hopkins medical school involving psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in certain mushrooms.
    Scientists are taking a new look at hallucinogens, which became taboo among regulators after enthusiasts like Timothy Leary promoted them in the 1960s with the slogan “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” Now, using rigorous protocols and safeguards, scientists have won permission to study once again the drugs’ potential for treating mental problems and illuminating the nature of consciousness.
    After taking the hallucinogen, Dr. Martin put on an eye mask and headphones, and lay on a couch listening to classical music as he contemplated the universe.
    “All of a sudden, everything familiar started evaporating,” he recalled. “Imagine you fall off a boat out in the open ocean, and you turn around, and the boat is gone. And then the water’s gone. And then you’re gone.”
    Today, more than a year later, Dr. Martin credits that six-hour experience with helping him overcome his depression and profoundly transforming his relationships with his daughter and friends. He ranks it among the most meaningful events of his life, which makes him a fairly typical member of a growing club of experimental subjects.
    Researchers from around the world are gathering this week in San Jose, Calif., for the largest conference on psychedelic science held in the United States in four decades. They plan to discuss studies of psilocybin and other psychedelics for treating depression in cancer patients, obsessive-compulsive disorder, end-of-life anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction to drugs or alcohol.
    The results so far are encouraging but also preliminary, and researchers caution against reading too much into these small-scale studies. They do not want to repeat the mistakes of the 1960s, when some scientists-turned-evangelists exaggerated their understanding of the drugs’ risks and benefits.
    Because reactions to hallucinogens can vary so much depending on the setting, experimenters and review boards have developed guidelines to set up a comfortable environment with expert monitors in the room to deal with adverse reactions. They have established standard protocols so that the drugs’ effects can be gauged more accurately, and they have also directly observed the drugs’ effects by scanning the brains of people under the influence of hallucinogens.
    Scientists are especially intrigued by the similarities between hallucinogenic experiences and the life-changing revelations reported throughout history by religious mystics and those who meditate. These similarities have been identified in neural imaging studies conducted by Swiss researchers and in experiments led by Roland Griffiths, a professor of behavioral biology at Johns Hopkins.
    In one of Dr. Griffiths’s first studies, involving 36 people with no serious physical or emotional problems, he and colleagues found that psilocybin could induce what the experimental subjects described as a profound spiritual experience with lasting positive effects for most of them. None had had any previous experience with hallucinogens, and none were even sure what drug was being administered.
    To make the experiment double-blind, neither the subjects nor the two experts monitoring them knew whether the subjects were receiving a placebo, psilocybin or another drug like Ritalin, nicotine, caffeine or an amphetamine. Although veterans of the ’60s psychedelic culture may have a hard time believing it, Dr. Griffiths said that even the monitors sometimes could not tell from the reactions whether the person had taken psilocybin or Ritalin.
    The monitors sometimes had to console people through periods of anxiety, Dr. Griffiths said, but these were generally short-lived, and none of the people reported any serious negative effects. In a survey conducted two months later, the people who received psilocybin reported significantly more improvements in their general feelings and behavior than did the members of the control group.
    The findings were repeated in another follow-up survey, taken 14 months after the experiment. At that point most of the psilocybin subjects once again expressed more satisfaction with their lives and rated the experience as one of the five most meaningful events of their lives.
    Since that study, which was published in 2008, Dr. Griffiths and his colleagues have gone on to give psilocybin to people dealing with cancer and depression, like Dr. Martin, the retired psychologist from Vancouver. Dr. Martin’s experience is fairly typical, Dr. Griffiths said: an improved outlook on life after an experience in which the boundaries between the self and others disappear.
    In interviews, Dr. Martin and other subjects described their egos and bodies vanishing as they felt part of some larger state of consciousness in which their personal worries and insecurities vanished. They found themselves reviewing past relationships with lovers and relatives with a new sense of empathy.
    “It was a whole personality shift for me,” Dr. Martin said. “I wasn’t any longer attached to my performance and trying to control things. I could see that the really good things in life will happen if you just show up and share your natural enthusiasms with people. You have a feeling of attunement with other people.”
    The subjects’ reports mirrored so closely the accounts of religious mystical experiences, Dr. Griffiths said, that it seems likely the human brain is wired to undergo these “unitive” experiences, perhaps because of some evolutionary advantage.
    “This feeling that we’re all in it together may have benefited communities by encouraging reciprocal generosity,” Dr. Griffiths said. “On the other hand, universal love isn’t always adaptive, either.”
    Although federal regulators have resumed granting approval for controlled experiments with psychedelics, there has been little public money granted for the research, which is being conducted at Hopkins, the University of Arizona; Harvard; New York University; the University of California, Los Angeles; and other places.
    The work has been supported by nonprofit groups like the Heffter Research Institute and MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies.
    “There’s this coming together of science and spirituality,” said Rick Doblin, the executive director of MAPS. “We’re hoping that the mainstream and the psychedelic community can meet in the middle and avoid another culture war. Thanks to changes over the last 40 years in the social acceptance of the hospice movement and yoga and meditation, our culture is much more receptive now, and we’re showing that these drugs can provide benefits that current treatments can’t.”
    Researchers are reporting preliminary success in using psilocybin to ease the anxiety of patients with terminal illnesses. Dr. Charles S. Grob, a psychiatrist who is involved in an experiment at U.C.L.A., describes it as “existential medicine” that helps dying people overcome fear, panic and depression.
    “Under the influences of hallucinogens,” Dr. Grob writes, “individuals transcend their primary identification with their bodies and experience ego-free states before the time of their actual physical demise, and return with a new perspective and profound acceptance of the life constant: change.”