Conversation Piece XXX

A weekly series.

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Enjoy our Sunday series, Conversation Piece, a NUVO-curated digest of things on the Internet we think you’ll want to talk about.

New age, old solution. The active compounds found in psychedelic plant medicines like ayahuasca have played an important and positive role in human culture for millennia, yet, says author Graham Hancock in this Q&A with Goop, modern humans are resistant to them to the point of being historically aberrant. “[We] are so certain our materialist-reductionist reference frame is correct, that I think only plant medicines have the power to give us a sufficiently hefty kick in the ass to set us on a different track,” he offers. Need an expanded consciousness? Read more.

LSD > marriage counselling. A little extra incentive to think about chemical alteration comes from author Ayelet Weldman, who credits her practise of micro-dosing, or taking a nearly imperceptible amount of LSD daily for a month, with reducing her anxiety and depression and saving her marriage (to fellow author Michael Chabon). Alas—could such a quick and admittedly illegal fix be safe? Learn more.

My Canada. After selecting Canada as its “top place to go in 2017” without specifying exactly where in Canada to go, The New York Times asked five Canadian authors to share stories of the intimate nooks they love within the hugeness of our nation. Read on for tales of the tiny islands, remote countrysides, and chilly cities that resonated with these authors most.

Afraid of heights? In Guizhou, China, a group of people from the Miao tribe maintain their historic practise of rock climbing in the surrounding cliff faces without harnesses or ropes. Called “spider-men” (and also, more recently, women) by locals, the climbers traditionally carried coffins up rock faces for vertiginous burials, though now mostly climb to harvest rare medicinal herbs. This Great Big Story video captures the dwindling and dangerous practice, watch it here.

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January 15, 2017