One hundred and eight years ago on January 11, scientist Albert Hoffman was born in Baden, Switzerland. Hoffman's name may not be one for the history books, but his work is something that most of us are familiar with. Some of you may have even tried out the synthetic compounds that Hoffman discovered, and some of those who have partaken in Hoffman's discovery may respond to all this with a "Woah." Hoffman discovered lysergic acid diethylamide, known by most as LSD.
Apparently, Hoffman was studying medicinal plants and ergot fungi (that's a mushroom) to use the components for a pharmaceutical he and his partner were studying. While doing his research, Hoffman synthesized the drug LSD by accident/on purpose and magic happened (literally). How Hoffman realized what he had done was due to his unintentionally absorbing the drug through his fingertips (ahh, druggies, you never thought of that one). When he got home he found that he was totally tripping out! A few days later, he decided to try it again, although this time by ingestion, and LSD was born.
Hoffman lived to be 102, a fact that may be used by stoners as evidence that acid does nothing to your brain. But I don't think this substantiation will hold any water.
While LSD is no laughing matter, the media loves to use it in movies and television to show someone acting ridiculous or discovering the meaning of life. To say happy birthday to Albert Hoffman, here are five great acid trips.
5. Easy RiderEasy Rider
is the ultimate 1960s counterculture movie; it changed the film world forever. I wonder if Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda were actually doing acid when they shot this scene? I hope so. I love that Peter Fonda is rubbing his face into a sculpture.
4. South Park "Major Boobage"
In this episode, the boys discover that by sniffing cat urine they become high. Technically this is not about LSD, but it really is. The most amazing scene in the episode is when Kenny gets all "cheesed" out and goes into a psychedelic trip resembling the 1981 animated filmHeavy Metal
. Smelling cat pee never seemed like such a good idea.
3. Mad Men "Far Away Places"
This episode ofMad Men
, in which Roger and his young wife Jane eat some acid on a sugar cube at the home of one Timothy Leary, made waves when it aired during Season Five. Roger? On acid? And the best part is when he's sitting in the tub thinking he's watching the 1919 World Series.
This story continues on the next page.
2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
If you ever want to freak out your teenage son or daughter about the horrors of an acid trip, just show them this scene fromFear and Loathing in Las Vegas
. If that doesn't scare them, then give them some acid and send them to Vegas, which is a scary place even when you're stone-cold sober.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
1. Weird World of LSDThe Weird World of LSD
is one of those antidrug movies of the '60s that were intended to scare kids straight. Watch this clip and you'll just be laughing at how ridiculous it all is.