I will admit it. I have a tendency to be a “glass half-empty” type of person. I am quick to see problems. And I get emotionally involved when people or animals are hurting – physically, spiritually, emotionally – it doesn’t matter. It disturbs and troubles me.
I read or listen to the news – and there’s not much that is good or edifying on the news these days. Stories about terrorism at work in parts of the world where men, women and children are being slaughtered remorselessly and ruthlessly – heads hacked off, shot and brutalized. I don’t get it. But it gets me…and it makes me very sad and somewhat despondent at times.
So, it is important for me to be reminded every so often that there are beautiful things in this world. Flowers, mountains, sunsets, puppies and bunnies, sunrises, a full moon glittering on the water, a warm and gentle breeze, the touch of a hand, fall leaves, snow on pines – these all are beautiful things and give me joy.
That which gives me the greatest joy and are the very best reminders that there is wonder and beauty all around, though, is my family…and now in my sunset years, especially the faces of my grand children!!! Oh, how I love them so!!! Every single one is so incredibly precious to me! And when you see a face like the one in today’s photo of my two youngest grand daughters (even with missing teeth!) – who have some of my blood flowing in their veins – I am reminded that life is worth living and fighting for…because there is beauty in this world that is undeniable.
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1943 in Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hoffman was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations. In his notes, he related the experience:
“Last Friday, April 16, 1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant, intoxicated-like condition characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.”
After intentionally taking the drug again to confirm that it had caused this strange physical and mental state, Dr. Hoffman published a report announcing his discovery, and so LSD made its entry into the world as a hallucinogenic drug. Widespread use of the so-called “mind-expanding” drug did not begin until the 1960s, when counterculture figures such as Albert M. Hubbard, Timothy Leary, and Ken Kesey publicly expounded on the benefits of using LSD as a recreational drug. The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of LSD, known to cause negative reactions in some of those who take it, were made illegal in the United States in 1965.
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: During WWI, the Germans released about 68,000 tons of gas, and the British and French released 51,000 tons. In total, 1,200,000 soldiers on both sides were gassed, of which 91,198 died horrible deaths.