Psychedelic trips with just weed

For some people, weed can be a mild psychedelic. But for most, it’s not. I did some research to find out what can turn marijuana into a psychedelic, since it’s now legal in Canada and in some of the States. Here’s what I found:

1. Only smoke once a month (or less), as high tolerance kills the psychedelic ability. If after a few months you find that you’re losing the ability to get into the psychedelic mode, then don’t smoke for several more months, until THC is completely out of your system. This is key. You’ll have to decide if you’re doing weed for casual fun, pain management, or for spiritual purposes.

2. Turn off the lights to help intensify your visuals.

3. Get really high using specifically the Blue Dream strain. Use a product that contains high THC levels. Basically, any “haze” strain can get you there, but Blue Dream seems to be the most reliable.

4. Close your eyes, and relax or meditate. If you’re already a seasoned meditator it will help you remember your trip afterwards easier. So regardless, pick up meditation as your daily practice.

5. You will soon enter a dream-like state. When your eyes are closed, you’d be in such a mode, but because you’re not actually sleeping, if you open your eyes, you would completely jump out of that mode into a “normal” weed high. You can easily re-enter the dream state if you close your eyes again and relax. During that mode, you should be able to see patterns and more. For example, some people have reported carnivals and jesters, just as seen on DMT, but the user is not completely immersed into that world as they would be with DMT. They’re more like distant spectators, like in dreams, rather than having their soul jumping out of their body and flying in warp speed.

Happy travels!

Dynamic Range test in Canon picture profiles

I put up a video showing the dynamic range achieved with various third party Canon EOS picture profiles in video mode.

Shooting a movie? You only need TWO lenses

In a previous article I mentioned that the best cheap cinema camera you can get today is the Canon EOS M, that can be found for $150 on eBay. In that same article, I listed the hardware you’d need to pull off a believable spectacle. The lens I suggested was the 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8 ($70). You can shoot a whole movie with that lens. But sometimes, you just need something wider. That’s where the Opteka 12mm f/2.8 comes into play ($199).

I own five cinema-worthy cameras, but the ones that are most in my heart because of their ratio of features vs price, are the EOS M, and the BMPCC. The M has a more manageable codec at 45mbps, some basic autofocus, and support for picture profiles to expand its rather limited dynamic range (I’d suggest either Miller’s CLog3 ($25), Technicolor Cinestyle (free), or if you don’t like color grading much, the VisionColor CineTech ($20)).

The BMPCC on the other hand, while more of a pain to operate, particularly because of its poor battery life, it delivers the most pleasing film-like image, since it has a lot of dynamic range. I’d suggest you shoot at ProRES LT with it (84mbps), since RAW takes too much space, and its other ProRES variants don’t have much difference between them. The first feature-length (and serious) movie shot with the BMPCC, the sci-fi drama “Cosmos”, was shot just in ProRES LT and it looks amazing.

Now, regarding the lenses. You’d need one long/portrait, and one wide lens. Whole movies have been shot with just such a two-tier selection. The 7Artisans 25mm f/1.8 and the Opteka 12mm f/2.8 lenses can fit that bill nicely. If you do have an extra $150, go for the 12mm f/2.0 Rokinon “cine” lens instead of the Opteka, however, it’s not necessary. I suggest the Opteka 12mm f/2.8 ($199) instead of the very similar 7Artisans 12mm f/2.8 ($188), because of a slightly better design, and because of a smaller filter thread on the front of the lens — which is important for the reason that I’ll mention below.

Now, one thing you have to consider when choosing lenses is the crop factor. The EOS M is an APS-C sensor, which has a crop factor of 1.6 compared to full frame 35mm. It’s basically a smaller sensor than 35mm. The BMPCC is tiny, being a super16mm sensor, having a crop factor of 2.88. What this means is when we speak of a 12mm lens, and we may think that nobody needs such a crazy wide lens, you’ll have to take into account the crop factor. So on the EOS M, the 12mm becomes a 19mm in 35mm full frame equivalency (12 x 1.6 = 19). As for the BMPPC, the 12mm lens becomes nearly 35mm! Not so wide now, is it? You can barely see the head of your actor from a close distance!

EOS M:
7Artisans 25mm -> 40mm (35mm equivalent)
Opteka 12mm -> 19mm (35mm equivalent)

BMPCC:
7Artisans 25mm -> 72mm (35mm equivalent)
Opteka 12mm -> 35mm (35mm equivalent)

For the EOS M, these two lenses would be all you need. They’re wide enough to do the job. For the BMPCC though, you’ll need extra help. You can buy a “Speedbooster” accessory, that widens the field of view of your lens, but at $750, it’s a ridiculous purchase. Instead, a cheap $50 wide angle adapter (0.43x, with a 67mm thread) will help you fix the problem. These cheap wide angle adapters are quite fuzzy on the edges (low quality optics), however, since the BMPCC can’t see the edges of the lens (because of its massive crop factor), the quality that comes out of them is acceptable. In fact, the guys who shot ‘Cosmos’ also used such a cheap wide angle adapter without visual problems.

You will also need a 46mm to 67mm step up ring (to mount it to the 25mm lens), a 67mm to 72mm step up ring to mount it to the Opteka, and you will need to have a 72mm variable ND filter and an IR CUT filter when shooting outdoors (to mount it in front of the lens or the adapter when needed). You will also need a 46mm to 72mm step-up ring, in order to mount these filters in front of the bare 25mm lens.

Basically, with the wide angle adapter, it’s “like” you have four lenses instead of two, depending on the shot you need:

BMPCC:
7Artisans 25mm -> 72mm (35mm equivalent, bare lens)
7Artisans 25mm -> 60mm (35mm equivalent with wide angle adapter)

Opteka 12mm -> 35mm (35mm equivalent, bare lens)
Opteka 12mm -> 29mm (35mm equivalent with wide angle adapter)

To put it in perspective, the guys who shot Cosmos, after using both a speedbooster, and a wide angle adapter, their widest lens they used (28mm) was only about 40mm in 35mm equivalency. If they can do a whole movie with a 40mm lens, why can’t we do the same with more readily available and more flexible options? Let’s get to work!

The Rubbish of Ancient Aliens/Annunaki

Whoever believes that rubbish about the Annunaki being real, wanting gold for their spaceships, and enslaving humans, is an idiot who watches too much Ancient Aliens on TV, or Youtube.

First of all, if an alien race wanted gold, they could find it elsewhere in the cosmos. There are probably a gazillion asteroids and planets closer to their home-planet that could contain gold or other such elements. It would be easier and more cost-effective to create machines that mine these for you close to home, rather than traverse half a galaxy away, find and hybridize humans to use them as miners. Do you think they need Earth for any of that? Heck, these days, we can even mine water from the moon. The moon, people!

That does not mean that aliens haven’t been on Earth, or that some of the gods the ancient people worshiped might not have a basis on them being real entities. I believe that it’s more than possible. But that doesn’t mean that all these stories going around about bloodlines, gold, mining etc are true. It’s just fiction, because it makes no logical sense.

If a planet has life, there is only ONE thing you’re interested in that planet: its consciousness. You don’t care about its water, its rocks, or its metals. ALL that, you can find on asteroids on your own planetary backyard. But what you can’t find as easily, is life itself. And life, CAN BE used as energy source by a highly advanced race.

If they, or anyone else, were here to “mine” something, that would be consciousness, nothing else. We have nothing else of rare value on this planet. So, before you open your mouth again about that bullshit, about gold that power spaceships, think twice. Use common fucking sense. The only idiots who want gold, are the humans. Not the aliens.

Shoot a feature film with just $1000 worth of equipment

Here’s the absolute cheapest way to shoot a feature film, in a way that doesn’t suck. You will need a minimum of three people as crew: the director, cinematographer, and the sound guy. Work on the set would have to be divided between them, e.g. when the director and cinematographer might be blocking a scene, or… moving couches around, the sound guy can also do backups or charge the various devices used. Basically, few people will have to do the work of many. The actors can do hair & makeup amongst themselves. Don’t worry, they’ll manage. 😉

Camera

1. Canon EOS M, $150 on eBay, used. Shoots in manual mode, in 1080/24p at 45mbps (make sure you underexpose by 1/2 stop outdoors, its metering is not accurate).

2. 7artisans 25mm f/1.8 Lens, manual focus lens. You can shoot the whole movie with that lens. Even cheaper on eBay.

3. 46mm-52mm Step-up Adapter Ring, $6

4. Variable fader ND 52mm filter. Almost always to be used outdoors during the day.

5. 52mm IR CUT filter. This is not the same as an IR filter btw. This is to be used only when you use the ND filter at its high strength. Without it, color reproduction gets thrown off.

6. 52mm Wide Angle adapter. To be used to convert the 25mm lens to about 20mm, since there are no cheap solutions for wide angles lenses for the APS-C sized sensors.

7. TWO SanDisk 64GB Ultra SDXC UHS-I Memory Cards.

8. 2 batteries and charger for the camera.

9. Video tripod with smooth head.

10. Shoulder rig, for on-the-go shots (video showcasing it, read the comment about additional bolts).

11. 52mm lens cap, to protect the lens and filters.

12. 52mm Sun shade for outdoor shots.

13. Grey card, to set white balance, particularly indoors.

14. Clapper board, helps with syncing audio in post, and to organize which shot is which.

15. Field Monitor, this one is lower resolution, but it comes with a battery and charger, and sun shade for $127. The Canon M’s HDMI output is 720p anyway, so you’re good with this one.

16. HDMI mini cable to connect the field monitor to the camera.

17. Picture Style: Either install the free Technicolor Cinestyle, or if you want a more “baked” cinematic look, buy and install the VisionColor CineTech (settings: 2, -4, -2, +1), or Lightform C. You’ll get 1 more stop of dynamic range with these profiels over the Standard or Neutral picture styles.

Lights

18. Light meter, to make sure shots match.

16. 3-Point lighting kit

17. Reflector, also to be used outdoors.

Sound

18. Digital recorder with Line-In. Record in WAV and set your meters to between -8 and -12.

19. SGC-598 Shotgun mic, with phantom power.

20. Deadcat, for outdoor shots.

21. Headphones for monitoring.

22. Monopod to be used as a boom mic (it’s cheaper than an actual boom pole).

23. 10-20 ft audio cable.

24. Cold shoe adapter, to mount the mic on the monopod.

25. [Optional] Swivel extension, which lets you turn the mic at different directions on the monopod.

Backup

26. TWO USB drives from a reputable manufacturer. After each session, you save the recorded files in each of these, so you have two backups. Don’t skimp on backups. You’ll regret it.

Editing

Free versions of DaVinci Resolve for editing, Fusion for any needed compositing, Blender for 3D, Audacity for audio editing, The Gimp for stills editing. The free version of Resolve doesn’t have noise reduction, but by using the Lum Vs Sat color grading panel, you can make it less visible (it makes it look like film grain instead of digital noise).

Other (prices not included in this estimation)

Extra batteries, gaffer tape, USB charger, laptop, music licensing, sound effects, legal, insurance, coffee.

The Deconstruction of the United States

Donald Trump is becoming the Great Deconstructor. By pulling out of international politics in many ways, the US loses influence. And while doing so, it alienates the beach-front liberal states, making them push ahead alone too. Basically, not only he pulls out of the international scene, but he weakens the federal government inside the US as well. Some might think that this is what Republicans wanted anyway, however, I think The Donald is doing so by mistake, without realizing that he’s doing it. Because that definitely doesn’t make America “great again”, unless they’re referring to the America of 1830.

So what’s to happen in the global future? Probably some international chaos for a while, or, another country stepping in to fill the US shoes. Most say it’d be China, but my money is on Brazil. The EU won’t accept China, so since they can’t fill up these shoes themselves due to be drowning in bureaucracy, they will probably pick a rather big, but neutral power. Brazil fits that bill.

The Polluter - Art by Eugenia Loli

Regarding honor killings

“Pregnant Pakistani woman stoned to death after marrying for love. ‘Honour killing’ in broad daylight outside Lahore high court involved father and brothers,” says The Guardian.

A terrible thing, of course. But the also disturbing thing is that the commentators at the Guardian continue to get it wrong. They place “religion” and “non-education” as the reasons why these honor killings happen. I’m sorry, but these people, these supposedly progressive and smart readers of The Guardian, think only skin-deep.

YES, religion is often the vehicle where this terrible action materializes. But it’s not the reason why it happens. As someone who was beaten rather regularly by my traditional Greek father for having my engagement break apart in the early ’90s, I can tell you, there was no religion behind it. And education has often little to do with all this too.

It was primarily social pressure.

You see, when you live in tribal-like communities (like most non-Westerners do), where everybody kind of knows everybody else in the vicinity at large, there’s extreme social pressure to maintain status and control within both the group, and within the family. My father constantly used to tell me that “we live with others”, hence, in his mind, he was supposed to maintain an IMAGE. The image of a strong family man. A man who had everything under control. A man where you could TRUST to give him a job (my father was a house builder, a profession that requires trust).

As such, having a daughter breaking up her engagement to a man from the same village, it was a social disaster for him (in his own mind at least). The gossip that ensued was unbearable for my family. So he acted out any way he knew how to maintain his illusion of control.

I have forgiven my dad, I hold no grudges whatsoever. In fact, there is nothing to forgive, because I know where he’s coming from. Exactly because I can understand his limited point of view, and even if I don’t agree with it, it’s enough for me to not hold grudges.

Besides, the people who carry out these acts are victims themselves. Victims of their own inability to escape cultural programming, and victims of the closed society they’re in. Close societies like that do have their advantages (they never let one of their own go hungry, for example), but you gotta play with their unwritten, irrational rules to gain their support. Societies are exactly as twisted as humans can be, because they’re made out of humans.

So, Primary reasons of honor killings/beatings:

– Re-assuring of one’s social status by doing what others expects you to do according to the local societal rules.
– Power and control within the immediate and extended family (ego and super-ego at play).
– Illusion that this way they save the rest of the family (by taking out the bad apples, the family is again pure enough for the society’s expectations).

Secondary reasons that act as permission, rather than as the main reasons:
– Cultural traditions masquerading as religious laws
– Low educational status
– Dowry and other such financial assets getting lost

So there you have it.

The Six Pillars of Health

After many years of research on the subject, I found that these are the six most important points for one’s health. In no particular order, but sunlight is probably the most important of them all.

– Exposure to Sunlight

Two hours of early AM sunlight, as minimum. Without sunlight, our mitochondria don’t work.

– Exposure to Clean Air

Extra oxygenation via walking, breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi and meditation. Vigorous exercise is not needed, and especially if you’re already sick, it must not be pursued. Sitting too much or not knowing how to breath deeply, creates lactate acidosis in the body, which is the beginning of the end for health. This is what Chinese also call “Qi liver stagnation”.

– Exposure to Clean Water

Spring water, non-fluoridated, alkaline if possible. And LOTS of it! The water, along with some salt and DHA, will act as the electricity in your body, to carry out the needed functions of what some people call “detoxification” (although that’s not the right word for what’s going on).

– Exposure to the Right Diet

Plant-based Paleo, also known as Pegan (some offal, some wild fish and eggs, but mostly plants/fruits). Removing grains and sugars from the diet, we assure that the liver will have enough B vitamins to do its job: releasing away or converting the lactic acid. Otherwise, you end up with a non-alcoholic fatty liver, and everything starts breaking down in the body. More explanation of the Pegan diet here.

– Exposure to the Right Sleep

No sleep, no bueno. Circadian rhythms is our clock, and without that clock, things fall apart. Sleep when the sun goes down, or at the very least use blue-blocker glasses at night.

– Exposure to the Right Frequencies

This might be seen as quackery, but it’s not. Non-native EMF signals, are detrimental to our health. Avoid wifi, cellphones as much as you can, and anything of the like. Walk barefoot on the bare Earth to get the right frequency to heal your body.

The Ban of Religious & Political Symbols in Europe

I’m personally against the recent European ban on wearing religious or political symbols at work (or in public). To truly be a well-functioning multi-cultural race, we must accept other people’s freedom to dress as they like. What this law is doing, is simply trying to equalize people by saying that “in work, or in public, you’re just one, bland, neutral culture”. But that’s wishful thinking, an illusion.

This is bound to create resentment, and in my view, it’s simply evil. As long as the job is not required to have very specific requirements (e.g. teachers having eye-contact, or special uniforms in chem labs etc), then people should be free to wear anything they want, at any time. Or wear nothing at all. Anything else, is tyranny, and not worthy of a progressive ideology.

True progressiveness gives freedom to the people to express themselves any way they like and at all times, not in time slots of 9-5, Mon-Fri. If anything, the enlightenment and individualism wave dictates as much! True progressives don’t hide behind the lame and hypocritical “your religion is a fairy tale, so I don’t want to be reminded of it”. Either you’re a true progressive on this, or you’re a closeted conservative.

What’s next? If there were aliens from another planet landing, that happened to be “spiritual” in some definition, to dictate to them what to wear and how to behave just so you can feel “European”? You know very well that the answer to that would be “no”. So why treat humans differently?

Star Trek: The Next Generation would be ashamed of you.

Reactions of aliens landing

If extraterrestrials were to land on Earth, here is how five types of people, based on their soul evolution, would react:

Infant souls: “Ugly m0therf/ers. Kill ’em and steal their tech.”

Baby souls: “They’re demons! Pray, pray to be saved! Oh Lord!”

Young souls: “Gentlemen, let’s do business! Coffee?”

Mature souls: “They’re different than us, but we accept diversity.”

Old souls: “Aliens? What aliens?”