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Have some coke and a smile: When McDonald’s coffee stirrers became the nation’s coke spoon of choice
09.26.2014
11:32 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs
Food

Tags:
cocaine
McDonalds


 
Many of you reading this site who also lived through the 1970s as an adult probably have share your of wild stories involving cocaine. That subset of readers is probably aware of the quirky way that McDonalds inadvertently created a piece of cocaine paraphernalia and even became almost synonymous with cocaine in certain contexts. The rest of you, maybe not so much.

In the late 1970s, McDonalds introduced a combination coffee spoon/stirrer that had the company’s name on the handle and a tiny egg-shaped bowl or scoop on one end, while the other end was proudly crowned with the company’s double arches logo. Basically this spoon was, quite by accident, absolutely perfect for use as a coke spoon. The scoop could hold precisely 100 milligrams of cocaine, some have claimed, which made it an ideal measuring device in addition to providing an easy way for coke addicts to snort the stuff. And America’s largest corporations had just deposited countless millions of them all across the country. It was inevitable that cheeky cocaine users would adopt it.

Inadvertently, McDonalds had created the People’s Coke Spoon. 
 

 
Remarkably, the adoption of the McDonalds stirrers as a helpful cocaine device was not limited to the product’s user base. Far from it. According to Barbara Mikkelson at snopes.com (which has confirmed the story), “The practice of using these implements in such fashion became so widespread that at least in some cities, a dose of cocaine was dubbed a ‘McSpoon’ because it came packaged in the tiny coffee stirrers from McDonald’s restaurants. ... In 1992 an undercover detective in Columbus, Ohio, said McSpoons were commonly sold ten to a bundle in that town and twelve to a bundle in Detroit” (emphasis added).

Understandably, McDonalds wasn’t thrilled to see their fine name being used as shorthand for one of the most widespread Schedule II controlled substances as defined by the Drug Enforcement Agency. Eventually the McDonalds spoon became a flat coffee stirrer. According to snopes.com, a spokesman for McDonald’s Corp. named Doug Timberlake stated at the time that the fast-food chain had chosen to redesign its spoons because “It has been brought to our attention that people are using them illegally and illicitly for purposes for which they are not intended.”
 

Three of the McSpoons alongside three of the redesigned flat version
 
According to a pretty entertaining reddit thread about the “McSpoon,” it was common for coke users to “break away the long middle section and melt the little spoon end to the McDonald’s logo.” When another user asks why on earth anyone would go to so much trouble, the response given is, “You did it so it would fit in a cigarette box.” If you click here you can see what I believe is a Photoshopped image representing what that would look like, I don’t think it’s a photograph of such a stirrer.

Understandably, the “McSpoon” has become the nostalgia artifact for some people. Right now you can buy a lot of 50 McSpoons for $60 on eBay.

In 2005 the artists Tobias Wong and “Ju$t Another Rich Kid” (founded by Ken Courtney) teamed up to create Coke Spoon 02, from “the Indulgent series,” which is described below. Coke Spoon 02 is a version of the McSpoon made of gold-plated bronze, while Coke Spoon 01 is a ballpoint pen cap made of the same expensive material. You can see pics of these items at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art website. Wong unfortunately died in 2010, but he endeared himself to me by calling his own body of work “postinteresting,” which is hilarious.
 

 
Predictably, McDonalds sent out a cease and desist letter with alacrity.

As Fox News reported at the time:

“The piece was part of the pair’s 2005 ‘Indulgences’ collection, inspired by the luxury goods market and designed to be the ultimate gift for the wealthy bachelor who had it all, said Courtney of Ju$t Another Rich Kid. ‘Indulgences’ featured gold-plated Playboy swizzle sticks, 24-karat gold pills meant to be swallowed, golden dumbbells and another golden coke spoon cast from the cap of a BIC pen.” Wong was quoted as saying, “It’s kind of the pop culture of today with a bling twist.” Philip Wood, the creative director of CITIZEN:Citizen, which had been showing the piece, said, “I think it’s a shame because I don’t think there’s any intent in damning anybody’s reputation. ... It really is a comment on how these objects change shape when they get into culture.”

 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Images of LSD, cocaine, meth and other drugs exposed to film
07.16.2014
10:22 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Science/Tech

Tags:
LSD
cocaine

Fantasy + Ecstasy
Fantasy + Ecstasy
 
Sarah Schönfeld was working at a Berlin nightclub when she decided to try to find out what the various drugs people were ingesting look like. Much like the apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head, perhaps the story of Schönfeld observing an obnoxious MDMA user will someday become one of the formative myths of scientific inquiry… but somehow, I doubt it. And yet it’s awfully apt.

Schönfeld converted her art studio into a lab, and exposed various drug mixtures in liquid form to film negatives and documented the results. The photographs have been collected in a book called All You Can Feel (Kerber Press), which will be available in late August.

The results mostly conform to general predictions—the only thing missing from the LSD visualization are trails. “Fantasy + Ecstasy” looks like a road map of a fucked-up island kingdom, and cocaine supplies a blue bursting-at-the-seams effect. Others are more surprising. Pharmaceutical speed looks like a Mandelbrot pattern, which kinda makes sense. Meanwhile, adrenaline, perversely, has a sluggish feel. And do my eyes deceive me or does the crystal meth photo feature a small chunk of Walter White’s “Crystal Blue Persuasion” in what appears to be a dystopian snow globe?
 
Cocaine
Cocaine
 
Caffeine
Caffeine
 
Crystal Meth
Crystal Meth
 
LSD
LSD
 
Ketamine
Ketamine I
 
Ketamine
Ketamine II
 
Adrenaline
Adrenaline
 
Heroin
Heroin
 
Pharmaceutical Speed
Pharmaceutical Speed
 
via WFMU

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Aaaaand here’s a skull made out of cocaine
01.16.2014
06:10 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs

Tags:
cocaine
skulls
Diddo

Skull made out of cocaine
 
In the puzzling biographical blurb on his website, the artist Diddo claims to have “aroused the curiosity of creators and tastemakers, receiving requests from the likes of Sasha Baron Cohen, Kanye West and Lady Gaga.” It also says that he “was born on the luckiest day since the sixth century (7-7-’77).”

Diddo’s most recent work, “Ecce Animal,” poses provocative questions about the human condition, such as “How much does that fucking thing cost?” It’s a skull measuring roughly 5 x 7 x 8.5 inches—I’m neither a doctor nor a medical examiner, but I’m going to go ahead and call that “life-sized”—and it’s made of “street cocaine.”

In the “Laboratory” section of his website, he drops such risible bon mots as “The analysis started with the preparation of the 100% Cocaine standard and sample solution. An amount of standard was dissolved in a mobile phase followed by a series of trial runs to calibrate and identify the HPLC method that gave adequate separation of the standard. ... The retention time of our sample matched the Cocaine standard, albeit with
 a much smaller peak. This is because the sample is diluted with so-called ‘cutting agents’. The purity of the Cocaine in percentage lies in the range of approximately 15% to 20%.”
 
Skull made out of cocaine
 
Skull made out of cocaine
 
Skull made out of cocaine
 
Skull made out of cocaine
 
Skull made out of cocaine
 
Skull made out of cocaine
 
via designboom

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
So, how much cocaine can actually fit up your arse?
04.22.2013
10:43 am

Topics:
Drugs

Tags:
cocaine



 
You know, this is something I have wondered about… although, ahem, not for personal use. Thankfully PopSci has the answer to my burning question:

The maximum capacity of a normal rectum–meaning, before the patient is overcome by the urge to defecate–is about 350 to 500 mL, or about a pint in volume. That’s a lot; the first urge to defecate comes at about 100 mL, so if you’re storing five times that amount, you’re probably pretty uncomfortable. But repeated stretching of the rectum can increase that size markedly. “We do know that it’s not rare for people to have larger capacities,” says Dr. Whitehead. “We have certainly tested people for whom it’s 800 mL. With practice the capacity becomes larger.”

The rectum is a fantastically powerful, stretchable part of the body. The problem I kept running into in trying to figure out how much cocaine you could fit in your butthole is that, well, there isn’t really an upper limit. It’s all about conditioning and practice. That said, let’s take that 800 mL as an example upper limit. Given the density of cocaine hydrochloride, that converts to about 0.97 kilograms of cocaine, or very nearly the size of one of those big bricks you see confiscated on the news.

Read more of FYI: How Much Cocaine Can You Fit In Your, Ahem, Body? at PopSci.

Via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Kenneth Anger and the sordid secrets of Babylon


 
Vice editor Rocco Castoro interviewed the 85-year-old Magus of American cinema, Kenneth Anger at the ritzy Cicada restaurant in downtown Los Angeles:

VICE: Looking back at the films of the silent era, the way they were shot and cut make it seem like everyone was snorting massive lines right up until the director yelled, “Action!”

I find film style reflects it, particularly the Mack Sennett [the director largely responsible for the popularity of slapstick] comedies. And my research proves that they were taking cocaine. You can see a sort of hyper-influence there.

VICE: There are lots of tales that make reference to “joy powder” in Hollywood Babylon, which makes it seem as innocent as taking one of those 5-hour Energy shots. Another phrase you use in the book, in the first few pages, is the “Purple Epoch.” What is that? It sounds nice.

That was when there were very talented people who also had extravagant tastes and money. It was the 1920s, a reflection of the Jazz Age. And the Hollywood version of that was pretty wild.

VICE: Another topic you cover early on in the book is the circumstances surrounding the death of Olive Thomas, which is perhaps the first instance of “Hollywood scandal” as we know it. You write, and it’s long been rumored, that she was very fond of cocaine, which was apparently a fatal flaw when combined with alcohol and ingesting her husband Jack Pickford’s topical syphilis medication.

She was one of the earliest beautiful stars to die in grim circumstances. And so her name became associated with lurid [behavior]. Things going on in Hollywood.

VICE: Her death also seemed to pull the wool from everyone’s eyes. Olive Thomas’s image was so sweet and pure. It caused Hollywood’s reputation to snowball into something far darker than how it was previously perceived. People must have thought, “If Olive’s doing it, everyone else must be too.”

There were other ones too, like Mary Miles Minter [who was accused of murdering her lover, director William Desmond Taylor, at the height of her success]. She was a kind of version of Mary Pickford [Jack Pickford’s sister], but the great stars like Pickford were never touched. These scandals swirled around, but there were certain stars that weren’t implicated in any way by this sort of thing.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Charlie Chaplin on cocaine
08.06.2011
03:01 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs
Movies

Tags:
cocaine
Charlie Chaplin


 
Charlie toots at least a half gram but still has an appetite. It must’ve been that low-grade prison blow.

Charlie, you’re not supposed to put the spoon in your ear.
 

 
Via Biblioklept

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Cocaine on an ABC Afterschool Special
04.01.2011
11:24 am

Topics:

Tags:
cocaine
ABC Afterschool Specials

image
 
Because no one likes a narc… A commercial for Tattle: When To Tell On A Friend, an ABC Afterschool Special about a teenage coke-fiend from the 1980s.
 

 
Via Sperm Sperms

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Henry Rollins and Robin Williams’ secret lovechild

image

 
Meet Greg P. Ciarlante, busted by Portland police on 1/02/2011 for possession of cocaine and dealing methamphetamine. Mr. Ciarlante’s lurve for cocaine must come from Robin Williams’ side.

(via Fark and TDW)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
What’s gotten into the world’s coke supply?
11.12.2010
12:24 pm

Topics:
Drugs

Tags:
cocaine

image
 
There is a fascinating 3-part series in The Stranger, by investigative reporter Brendan Kiley, that goes in-depth examining how a dangerous new cutting element is being added to the world’s cocaine supply. Levamisole is a medicine used to de-worm livestock, the DEA has reported that nearly 75% of the coke seized in this country during 2009 was cut with levamisole. (In 2005 only 1.9% of the seized cocaine had been cut with levamisole). Levamisole can cause an immune system failure know as “agranulocytosis” leaving users vulnerable to infections and causing skin lesions due to tissue swelling it can cause.

Yuck. If ever there was a time to “just say no” to cocaine (admittedly a drug I’ve never had much of a taste for) now might be the time…

Levamisole is an unusual—and unprecedented—cutting agent because it’s more expensive than other cuts, it makes some customers sick, and it’s being cut into the cocaine before it hits the United States. Smugglers typically prefer to move pure product, which is less bulky and results in less chance of detection. “The Mystery of the Tainted Cocaine” offered a few theories about why South American drug manufacturers (mostly Colombian) are cutting their cocaine with levamisole.

A quick review of those theories:

1. Levamisole might produce a cocainelike stimulant effect either on its own or in conjunction with cocaine (in 2004, racehorses treated with levamisole were found to metabolize the deworming drug into an amphetamine-like stimulant called aminorex), meaning the product could produce a more substantial high with less pure cocaine.

2. Levamisole, unlike other cutting agents, retains the iridescent, fish-scale sheen of pure cocaine, making it easier to visually pass off levamisole-tainted cocaine as pure.

3. Levamisole passes the “bleach test,” a quick street test that reveals cuts like sugar or lidocaine (but, because of a chemical anomaly, not levamisole).

4. Levamisole is a bulking agent for crack. Making crack involves purifying cocaine and washing out the cutting agents, but levamisole molecules slip through this process—meaning a dealer can produce more volume of crack with less pure cocaine.

5. All of the above.

If levamisole can do several of these things, it becomes (in evolutionary terms) an advantageous genetic mutation, a cut that may have started as an accident but showed beneficial properties, so was passed on from one batch of cocaine to the next, from one generation to another, like a new gene.

The evolutionary, all-of-the-above theory is especially compelling because Colombia’s cocaine-production market is so fractured and decentralized, it’s unlikely that one mind is calling all the shots about cocaine’s manufacture and distribution. After the breakup of the Medellín and Cali cartels in the mid-1990s, hundreds (maybe even thousands) of independent cocaine producers leaped into the void. While FARC and the paramilitaries control much of the cocaine trade—such as the camps where Diego worked—they don’t control and centralize production technology to the degree that the Medellín and Cali cartels did.

Meaning: Those hundreds (and maybe thousands) of independent producers must have independently decided to use the same cutting agent. And even if levamisole looks like cocaine, behaves in bleach tests like cocaine, and can bulk up crack in a way that other cutting agents can’t, why not wait to cut it once it has crossed the border?

That’s still a mystery.

As the article also points out, by the time the cocaine reaches the northern city of Seattle, it’s not only been stepped on before it even leaves its south of the border country of origin, but it’s also probably gotten stepped on again and again from stops between San Diego and Sacramento! By the time it gets to Seattle (or London, for that matter) is there even any cocaine left at all in it anymore?

Read more of The Mystery of the Tainted Cocaine by Brendan Kiley (The Stranger)
 
image
 
“Line of cattle dewormer, anyone? Help yourself!”

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Seven Deadly Hits: Reworked vintage plates with drug titles

image
 
Too bad these nicotine, Valium, Vicodin, marijuana, Ecstasy, alcohol and cocaine porcelain plates are sold from Etsy seller, Trixiedelicious. I’m sure if enough people write in, Trixiedelicious would make more. There’s no harm in asking, eh?

Seven Deadly Hits: A Drug Assemblage

(via Das Kraftfuttermischwerk)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
I ♥ the cocaine, I ♥ the cocaine
08.19.2010
11:25 am

Topics:
Amusing
Drugs

Tags:
cocaine
bears

image
 
What bears ♥ .

(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Cocaine and Alcohol Make a Third Drug in Your Body
11.08.2009
06:18 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
cocaine
alcohol

image
 
Make of this what you will. It certainly seems plausible enough to me, but the article doesn’t really quote any pharmacological experts so that always raises my eyebrow. Valid information or merely anecdotal evidence that probably shouldn’t be a major newspaper until it’s a bit more solid? You decide:

“I first took coke when I was 18 and at university. I remember two friends who did chemistry told me I should get really drunk first because it would mix into this new chemical in my blood and make me even higher,” a 30-year-old woman who works in publishing told the Observer yesterday.

What her friends did not tell her is that the combination of cocaine and alcohol in her then teenage body will have left a highly toxic chemical in her liver called cocaethylene.

While few outside the world of pharmacology have heard of the chemical, fewer still are aware of its life-threatening properties. Now, however, its side-effects, discovered in 1979, are threatening to become tragically familiar as they take their toll on users in their 30s and 40s.

Drug addiction clinics say they are becoming increasingly concerned by the health risks associated with the chemical ?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment