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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Smarter People Stay Up Later, Do More Drugs and Have More Sex - Esquire

What do you think?

Smarter People Stay Up Later, Do More Drugs and Have More Sex
Sex. Drugs. Late nights. 
You may be reading the first four words of my memoir. Or you could be simply listing three things that show signs of being a genius, according to various studies. There's evidence that shows that if you're spending less of your nights hitting the books and more time smoking weed and getting laid until 3am, then you're probably wiser than the rest of us. The three things that got me kicked out of college are apparently the things that the people at the best colleges do all the time. 
Researchers in England have found that students studying at prestigious universities such as Oxford and Cambridge spend more on sex toys than their peers at other universities. Cambridge and Oxford's sex toy sales on just one website (Lovehoney.co.ukwho funded the research) totaled a staggering $31, 461. No word on what products they ordered, nor whether they kept their glasses on while they used them. 
"The correlation probably has something to do with the open-mindedness that comes with intelligence," says Annalisa Rose, 23, who works at Honey, a high-end sex shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. "I think that the ability to engage in an open sex life comes with the abilities of introspection and logical thought, and those require some level of intelligence. If we're talking about an open sex life that comes from an emotionally healthy place, sexual mores are mostly made up anyway and intelligent people can rationalize past them," she continued.
The 2nd part of our "genius trifecta" is drugs. Smarter people are more likely to smoke pot or do a line than the average simpleton. This is because, according to many studies, a smarter person isn't more likely to choose the "smarter" choice of not doing drugs but is instead more likely to pursue the more evolutionary novel choice, one that would inherently expand their horizons. Smarter people don't necessarily 'think smarter' - they simply rationalize where they're supposed to "feel." So while a less intelligent person is less likely to pick up a heroin habit in the first place, the more intelligent person will rationalize it. (This explains every good jazz album ever made and also every Christian rock album ever made in the same sentence.)
2010 study that ran in Psychology Today (what, you don't subscribe?) also states that those with an IQ of 125 or higher are exponentially more likely to use drugs. Says the study: 
Net of sex, religion, religiosity, marital status, number of children, education, earnings, depression, satisfaction with life, social class at birth, mother's education, and father's education, British children who are more intelligent before the age of 16 are more likely to consume psychoactive drugs at age 42 than less intelligent children. 
... there is a clear monotonic association between childhood general intelligence and adult consumption of psychoactive drugs.  "Very bright" individuals (with IQs above 125) are roughly three-tenths of a standard deviation more likely to consume psychoactive drugs than "very dull" individuals (with IQs below 75).
Late nights, too, play a leading role in that of the smart person: an academic paper entitled "Why The Night Owl Is More Intelligent," published in the journal Psychology And Individual Differences, says that for several millennia humans have been largely conditioned to work during the day and sleep at night. Those that buck the trend, the paper suggests "...that more intelligent individuals may be more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values and preferences than less intelligent individuals." The paper goes on to say that those who are more liberal and more inclined towards atheism are more likely to be intelligent, too. 
Essentially, if you're more of a forward thinker, if you're trying something new and pushing your boundaries, you're most likely more intelligent. This doesn't mean that Toronto mayor Rob Ford is some kind of lucid genius, however. It merely suggest that smarter people are more likely to have more sex, do drugs, and stay up late.  
So if you're getting laid at 3am on Sunday morning and have a full bowl packed beside the bed and you aren't going to church the next day, you're probably a genius.
Either that or you're incredibly good at living your best life, as Oprah says.  


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Suds for #Drugs: #Tide: Works on tough stains -can now also be traded for crack

Pretty crazy! A case study in American ingenuity, legal and otherwise


Suds for Drugs
By Ben Paynter
Published Jan 6, 2013




(Photo: Victor Prado/New York Magazine. Typography by Kevin Dresser.)


The call that came in from a local Safeway one day in March 2011 was unlike any the Organized Retail Crime Unit of the Prince George’s County Police Department had fielded before. The grocery store, located in suburban Bowie, Maryland, had been robbed repeatedly. But in every incident the only products taken were bottles—many, many bottles—of the liquid laundry detergent Tide. “They were losing $10,000 to $15,000 a month, with people just taking it off the shelves,” recalls Sergeant Aubrey Thompson, who heads the team. When Thompson and his officers arrived to investigate, they stumbled onto another apparent Tide theft in progress and busted two men who’d piled 100 or so of the bright-orange jugs into their Honda. The next day, Thompson returned to the store’s parking lot to tape a television interview about the crimes. A different robber took advantage of the distraction to make off with twenty more bottles.

Later, Thompson reviewed weeks’ worth of the Safeway’s security footage. He found that more than two dozen thieves, working in crews, were regularly raiding the store’s household-products aisle, sometimes returning more than once the same day and avoiding detection by timing their heists to follow clerks’ shift changes. Owners and managers of other area stores, having seen Thompson on the news, reached out to him to report their own vanishing Tide bottles. Since then, the oddly brand-loyal crime wave has gone national, striking bodegas, supermarkets, and big-box discounters from Austin to West St. Paul, Minnesota. In New York, employees at the Penn Station Duane Reade nabbed a man trying to abscond with Tide bottles he’d stuffed into a suitcase. In Orange County, an attempted Tide theft led to a high-speed chase that included the thief crashing his SUV into an ambulance. Last year, for the first time, detergent made the National Retail Federation’s list of most-targeted items. Says Joseph LaRocca, founder of the trade group RetailPartners, who helped compile the report: “Tide was specifically called out.”

As the cases piled up after his team’s first Tide-theft bust, Thompson sought an answer to the riddle at the center of the crimes: What did thieves want with so much laundry soap? To find out, he and his unit pored over security recordings to identify prolific perpetrators, whom officers then tracked down and detained for questioning. “We never promised to go easy on them, but they were willing to talk about it,” Thompson says. “I guess they were bragging.” It turned out the detergent wasn’t ­being used as an ingredient in some new recipe for getting high, but instead to buy drugs themselves. Tide bottles have become ad hoc street currency, with a 150-ounce bottle going for either $5 cash or $10 worth of weed or crack cocaine. On certain corners, the detergent has earned a new nickname: “Liquid gold.” The Tide people would never sanction that tag line, of course. But this unlikely black market would not have formed if they weren’t so good at pushing their product.

Shoppers have surprisingly strong feelings about laundry detergent. In a 2009 survey, Tide ranked in the top three brand names that consumers at all income levels were least likely to give up regardless of the recession, alongside Kraft and Coca-Cola. That loyalty has enabled its manufacturer, Procter & Gamble, to position the product in a way that defies economic trends. At upwards of $20 per 150-ounce bottle, Tide costs about 50 percent more than the average liquid detergent yet outsells Gain, the closest competitor by market share (and another P&G product), by more than two to one. According to research firm SymphonyIRI Group, Tide is now a $1.7 billion business representing more than 30 percent of the liquid-detergent market.

Before the advent of liquid detergent, the average American by one estimate owned fewer than ten outfits, wearing items multiple times (to keep them from getting threadbare too fast) before scrubbing them by hand using bars of soap or ground-up flakes. To come up with a less laborious way to do the laundry, executives at Procter & Gamble began tinkering with compounds called surfactants that penetrate dirt and unbond it from a garment while keeping a spot on a shirt elbow from resettling on the leg of a pant. When the company released Tide in 1946, it was greeted as revolutionary. “It took something that had been an age-old drudgery job and transformed it into something that was way easier and got better results,” says Davis Dyer, co-author of Rising Tide, which charts the origins of the brand. “It was cool, kind of like the iPod of the day.” Procter & Gamble, naturally, patented its formula, forcing competitors to develop their own surfactants. It took years for other companies to come up with effective alternatives.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Real-Life Stories Told in ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ @NYTimes

the facts of the era have been burnished and improved on extensively enough... that hardly anyone knows what actually happened anymore.“It’s been so mythologized,” 

The Real-Life Stories Told in ‘Walk on the Wild Side’

Snagged from among the thousands of condolences, recollections, posthumous mash notes and encomiums launched into the Twitter slipstream last week was a message from the actress Virginia Madsen to her 74,656 followers. Lou Reed was a “cool cat,” the award-winning indie star observed. What is more, Ms. Madsen wrote, the singer’s biggest hit and most famous lyric, “Walk on the Wild Side,” once served as “encouraging words for a young Virginia.”
Encouragement is where you find it. Plenty about Mr. Reed’s 1972 song, from the David Bowie-produced album “Transformer,” flouted convention, beginning with the lyrics’ overt reference to prostitution, transsexuals and oral sex. Released as a single, the song went on to unlikely success as the biggest mainstream hit of the singer’s long career; more curious still, the ballad of misfits and oddballs — a hustler, a speed freak, a passel of drag queens — became an unlikely cultural anthem, a siren song luring generations of people like Ms. Madsen to a New York so long forgotten as to seem imaginary.
Yet those people existed, a ragtag band of “superstars” and assorted cosmic trash spinning in Andy Warhol’s orbit in the late 1960s. As Mr. Reed himself once said of the era and milieu evoked in “Walk on the Wild Side,” it “was a very funny period with a very funny group of people doing almost the same thing without anyone knowing anybody else.”
One of those strangers was Holly Woodlawn, the drag-queen eminence whose loopy hegira is recounted just after the hypnotic, elastic bass opening lines of Mr. Reed’s song: “Holly came from Miami, F.L.A./Hitchhiked her way across the U.S.A./plucked her eyebrows on the way/Shaved her legs and then he was a she.”
Speaking from her home in West Hollywood last week, Ms. Woodlawn said, “Paul Morrissey made me a star, but Lou Reed made me immortal.”
Ms. Woodlawn was one in a ceaselessly fluctuating cast of Factory characters — Candy Darling, Jackie Curtis, Ondine, Brigid Berlin, Rotten Rita, Andrea (Whips) Feldman, Ultra Violet, Taylor Mead — each a creation of a time that seems increasingly distant from the New York of today.
Even were another Candy Darling miraculously to appear, hair dyed ash blond (or “Blonde Cendre” as she liked to say); husky, affectless purr aping Kim Novak’s in “Picnic,” it is hard to imagine where she would find a place, as she did working at the Factory taking messages for Mr. Warhol from people like Luchino Visconti.
There is nothing, for that matter, resembling the Factory or Max’s Kansas City, Mickey Ruskin’s fabled nightclub and restaurant on Park Avenue South. There are no longer even the “rich people parties” that, as the Warhol superstar Viva explained last week, “were where we were supposed to go every night to ‘bring home the bacon’ ” — business art being, as Warhol always said, the best art.
Perhaps it doesn’t matter, Viva added. Hardly anyone but Warhol himself brought home any bacon: “The bacon stayed in the fridge.”
For the photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, a Reed intimate who came on the scene as a young Columbia student and went on to become its essential documentarian, this was substantially so. “Lou is probably the one person from the Warhol Factory who survived to become a great star in his own right,” Mr. Greenfield-Sanders said by telephone following Mr. Reed’s cremation. “If Lou hadn’t written that song, none of these characters would be remembered.”
By “characters,” Mr. Greenfield-Sanders meant the performers who appeared in underground films directed by Mr. Morrissey and generally credited to Warhol — evanescent creatures like Ms. Darling, né James Lawrence Slattery, or Jackie Curtis, né John Curtis Holder Jr., or Joe Dallesandro, who entered pop cultural history (not altogether wittingly) as the male hustler Little Joe.
“That’s not the truth about me,” Mr. Dallesandro said this week. “Lou took my character from “Flesh” and wrote about it in the song,” he added, referring to a 1968 film. “He didn’t know me. He hadn’t even met me yet when he wrote that song.”
Just as fiction became a kind of truth, the facts of the era have been burnished and improved on extensively enough, say those who were part of the scene, that hardly anyone knows what actually happened anymore.
“It’s been so mythologized,” Viva noted from her home in Palm Springs.
Still, she said, who ever heard of anybody running around with an inkpad saying unzip your pants, dip your penis and make a print — referring to a tome compiled by the Warhol intimate Brigid Berlin (the book was later bought by the artist and bibliophile Richard Prince for $175,000). “Nobody would ever do that anymore,” she added.

“That was the era of fun for fun’s sake — fun art,” Viva said, referring to the world and city of “Walk on the Wild Side.” “I have no idea what kids do for fun anymore.”

The Real-Life Stories Told in ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ - NYTimes.com

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