Friday, September 12, 2008

The 5 Greatest Things Ever Accomplished While High

Great article on on accomplishments under the influence. Sure, you all know the Cocaine in early Coke story, and that Freud was a bit of a Coke fiend. But at number 5 we have the revelation (at least to me) that Francis Crick was on LSD when he made the crucial and monumental breakthrough on the structure of DNA, specifically being able to imagine the double helix structure:

Quoting from Cracked:
In 1953 in Cambridge, Crick burst through the front door of his home spouting what his wife Odile originally thought was crazy jibberish about two spirals twisting in opposite directions from one another. Like all great rock star's wives, Odile was an artist, and drew exactly what her husband described. Then the pair and research partner James Watson all went out to a pub and got drunk.

The double helix is essentially the Sgt. Peppers of scientific models, a ladder that's been melted and twirled by a pasta fork, or the two snakes from the caduceus if one of them was fucking the other with 100 dicks (depending on whether the artist ate the good or bad acid).

Now obviously scientists don't arrive at models by doodling on their trapper keeper and picking out the shape that looks the coolest. To do what Crick did required an insane amount of analytical, theoretical, and spatial thinking. It's not like Crick dropped out of high school and then used acid to turn himself into a supergenius.

Surely not true I thinks. Bit of googling around later and it seems it may well be. Crick himself said it in his autobiog. Bloody hell. The rock and roll molecular geneticist indeed.

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