With wand in hand, the magician speaks the familiar words, abracadabra, and poof a rabbit comes out of an empty top hat! Next the magician tells “you to pick a card, any card” from the face down playing cards fanned out in front of you. Only you will be permitted to see the selected card before handing it back to be returned to the deck. The magician cuts the deck, fans the cards face up and magically pulls out the card you had selected.
The magician performs unexpected and seemingly impossible feats – feats that twist and breaks the rules of reality. The magical tricks create a sense of amazement and wonder. How does the magician trick us into seeing something that simply cannot be? It’s not because the magician possesses some kind of supernatural powers. But whatever the explanation, it’s still magical!
At times, we may wish to be a magician and put little magic in our life. Perhaps there is a desire for a magical moment in a relationship that will start a love affair that will last a life time Or maybe wanting a magic bullet that will provide the perfect solution to a problem or task. Or hoping science finds a magic cure for a life altering or ending medical condition.
A little magic may be just what the doctored ordered in the not-too-distant future. Recent research indicates that naturally occurring “magic mushrooms”, which contain the psychedelic compound psilocybin, may be beneficial in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, cluster headaches and other medical conditions. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave psilocybin the “Breakthrough Therapy” designation in 2018 and again in 2019. This designation puts psilocybin on a fast track for possible FDA approval. In 2020, Oregon enacted legislation decriminalizing magic mushrooms, and is building a framework for regulating legal therapeutic use – a first in the world. Three cities in Michigan, Ann Arbor Detroit and Hazel Park have decriminalized magic mushrooms and other psychedelic plants and fungi. Could magic mushrooms and other psychedelics be a covered healthcare benefit in the next few years?
This Weekend Reading Series begins with Be Under No Illusion with some of the latest healthcare stories including a polio case in the U.S., and an averted cyber-attack on hospitals. Next, check out It’s a Kind of Magic, exploring magic mushroom and research directions, state policy actions and more! Do not miss Feels Like Magic, with articles on ground breaking advances in prevention and treatment. Last, but not least, check out It’s Magic and my personal favorite, Twice a Year, Reindeer Eyes Pull Off a Wonderful Magic Trick!
I hope you enjoy the following:
1. Be Under No Illusion
- N.Y. state detects polio case, first in the U.S. since 2013 (STAT)
- Study Shows Widespread Mislabeling of CBD Content Occurs for Over-the-Counter Products (Johns Hopkins Medicine)
- US Disrupts North Korea Ransomware Group, Recovers Nearly Half a Million in Payments (Voice of America)
- Do Cancer Centers Push Too Many Tests? Studies found that centers provided incomplete or unbalanced information, which could lead to unnecessary screenings and health complications in older adults. (New York Times)
2. It’s a Kind of Magic
- More States May Legalize Psychedelic Mushrooms (Stateline, The Pew Charitable Trusts)
- After Six-Decade Hiatus, Experimental Psychedelic Therapy Returns to the V.A. A series of clinical trials using MDMA and psilocybin mushrooms represent a resurrection of promising research abandoned in the 1960s. (New York Times)
- Oregon will soon be the first state in the US where you can take magic mushrooms legally. Here’s everything you need to know. (Insider)
- How safe is your psychedelic trip? Mind-altering adventures are becoming a huge – and unregulated – business. Which ones should you take? (Financial Times)
- Investors See Far Out Profits in Psychedelic Medicine. A former hedge-fund portfolio manager raises millions from scientists, financiers, and crypto bros eager to buy into treatments that aren’t even legal yet (The Wall Street Journal)
3. Feels Like Magic
- Apple Says Its Products Improve Health Outcomes And Encourage People To Lead Healthier Lives (Digitalinformationworld.com)
- Empowering people to live a healthier day. Innovation using Apple technology to support personal health, research, and care (Apple)
- Synchron completes first U.S. human implant of brain-computer interface rivaling Elon Musk’s Neuralink (MassDevice)
- AI could prevent thousands of sepsis deaths yearly. (Futurity)
4. It’s Magic
- The Magician and the Suffragette: The Strange History of Sawing a Woman in Half (Mental Floss)
- Twice a Year, Reindeer Eyes Pull Offa Wonderful Magic Trick. The Arctic can stay perpetually dark for months. Reindeer cope by changing part of their eyes from gold to blue. (The Atlantic)
- Cavers Discover 200-Year-Old Mine, Untouched Since the Moment It Was Abandoned. Found in northwest England, the cobalt mine is perfectly preserved due to a lack of oxygen (Smithsonian Magazine)
- This Visual Effects Studio Transformed Movies Forever. A new documentary tells the story of Industrial Light and Magic, the pioneering team that brought films like “Star Wars” and “Jurassic Park” to life (Smithsonian Magazine)
Enjoy your weekend!
Suzanne Daniels, Ph.D.
P.O. Box 1416
Birmingham, MI 48012
Email: [email protected]