GOOD

“Hippie Crack” Might Fight Depression

Nitrous oxide, the newest party drug to go therapeutic, is a laugh and a half.

Oh, nitrous. At a party in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, I once saw two guys fight over the last of the laughing gas, a pair of grown men rolling around on the floor, each trying to wrestle a yellow balloon from the other’s grasp. Their tussle was a blur of beards and denim, strangely vicious for the otherwise good vibes of the evening and yet restrained—if it got too rough the precious gas could seep out, or even worse the balloon could pop. Not to say that huffing nitrous makes you a whacked out maniac—it can actually be really fun, and for all I know, those guys, (who had gone through most of a tank on their own), were whacked out maniacs to start with. It’s a weird drug.

But it also makes you laugh. The journal Biological Psychiatry published a study yesterday asserting that nitrous oxide administered at low levels was effective in combatting treatment-resistant depression. It was just a proof-of-concept trial and the test group was small, but results seemed encouraging. The L.A. Times reports that like ketamine, another party drug that’s recently been enlisted as potentially therapeutic, nitrous could serve as a “rescue drug,” a fast-acting antidepressant that would fill the up-to-six-week gap it takes traditional antidepressants to kick in. In cases of extreme depression, this kind intervention could literally be a lifesaver.


The study’s results, promising as they were, weren’t all giggles and sunshine: “Three depression patients reports nausea and vomiting, two complained of headache, and three reported anxiety or panic attacks after the nitrous dose,” writes the Times. And while my earlier anecdotal tale of nitrous abuse and hipster combat has nothing to do with how the gas would be administered as an antidepressant, and I’m a general believer in recreational drug use, it has always seemed odd to me that something that makes one feel so light and pleasant could have such a peculiar dark side: Indeed, demented cult leader (and possible biological terrorist) Osho would huff laughing gas all day, and this amazing story from the Village Voice a few years ago takes readers into the scummy world of the festival circuit’s “Nitrous Mafia,” who control the laughing gas game with an iron fist. In the piece, a touring musician tells the Voice: “They don't call it ‘hippie crack’ for nothing.”

Articles

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News

An anonymous White House official claims President Trump cruelly limited Hispanic immigrants in their new book, "A Warning."

The book, to be released on November 19, gives an alleged insider account of the Trump White House and paints a picture of the president as a chaotic man who lacks the mental and moral acumen required for the job.

The anonymous staffer says that Trump once feigned a Hispanic accent and made fun of women attempting to immigrate to the U.S.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via KTVU / YouTube

The 63-year-old Oakland-Alameda Coliseum, currently branded the RingCentral Coliseum, is one of the most decrepit sports venues in America.

The home to the the NFL's Oakland Raiders (until they move to Las Vegas next season) and MLB's A's, is notoriously known as the Black Hole and has made headlines for its frequent flooding and sewage issues.

One of the stadium's few positive aspects is its connection to public transportation.

Keep Reading Show less
Hero Video
Yad Vashem

Since 1992, the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous has been holding reunion ceremonies between Holocaust survivors and rescuers once a year. But the tradition is coming to an end, as many have died or are too frail to travel. What might be the last reunion of its kind took place when a 92-year-old woman met up with the two surviving family members that she helped hide during the Holocaust, and their descendants.

Sarah Yanai and Yossi Mor introduced Melpomeni Dina (nee Gianopoulou) to their almost 40 family members, all decedents of the Mordechai family, the family of seven that Dina and her two sisters hid during WWII. "There are no words to describe this feeling," Dina told the Jeruselum Post. "It is very emotional for us to be together again."

Keep Reading Show less
Culture
via Facebook / Autumn Dayss

Facebook user and cosplayer Autumn Dayss has stirred up a bit of Halloween controversy with her last-minute costume, an anti-Vaxx mother.

An image she posted to the social network shows a smiling Dayss wearing a baby carrier featuring a small skeleton. "Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child," the caption over the image reads.

Keep Reading Show less
Health