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Gwydion Stone

New At The Wormwood Society

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Whenever new material is published on the home page, I'll post a notification in this thread. Please feel free to link to any new posts, share on Facebook, Twitter, etc.


I've been busy with the "real" world for quite a while, so I haven't been able to flesh out the educational materials on the home page at the rate I'd planned to, but I did make some time this past week during my incarceration at home with my good friend, Sydney-2012.


A couple of fun pieces I ran across recently, one a propaganda item and one a piece of short fiction:


Over an Absinthe Bottle by W. C. Morrow, 1897


An Early Absinthe Club, 1876
An excerpt from a pamphlet published by the U.S. Brewer's Association, ‪A Solution of the Temperance Problem‬, ‪Proposed by the Government of Switzerland‬, references a late 19th century absinthe drinking club for women.



The recent discussions on Facebook about W.N. Arnold's work prompted me to find some more of his articles and the works that he cites in them. I hope to add as many as possible in the coming months.


The first article that Dr. Arnold, PhD, wrote concerning thujone was—I believe—in 1988, Vincent van Gogh and the Thujone Connection.


As I pointed out on FB, much of Arnold's personal interest (he's an art history buff) is focused on Van Gogh's illness and his pet theory that thujone played a significant part in it. He authored or consulted on a number of papers on the topic, in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1999, and 2004.


Among the sources he cites are the below:


American Journal of Pharmacy, 1868, Volume 40,

Where we can find this insightful and objective passage:


After the first draught of this poison, [...] you seem to lose your feet, and you mount to a boundless realm without horizon. You probably imagine that you are going in the direction of the infinite, whereas you are simply drifting into the incoherent.

Which explains so many posts here.


THE EFFECTS OF ABSINTHE by Emma E. Walker, M.D., New York, MEDICAL RECORD, VOLUME 70, Oct. 13, 1906



"The effects of absinthe in a small dose are giddiness, vertigo, muscular disorders, and convulsive movements like those produced by successive electric shocks. In a stronger dose it causes attacks of epilepsy, more or less violent, which are not produced by alcohol."


Clearly, she's writing for the gullible reader who's never actually seen absinthe or met an absinthe drinker.



"Marce and Magnan did some experimental work with animals in 1864. In one case Magnan gave five grams of the oil of wormwood by mouth to a dog. The animal had an "attaque d'epilepsie" in half an hour."


You think? Five grams! For the metrically challenged, that's 5000 mg. I'm surprised it took that long. You'd have to drink about 175 bottles of absinthe to get that much thujone.


But this is my favorite:



There is on record the history of one family, in which the progenitors indulged in alcoholic beverages, and among their thirty-three descendants there were four prostitutes. Crothers states that moral insanity follows all use of alcohol. The sexual conduct of those morally insane from the use of alcoholic stimulants is without restraint.


Where do I sign up?

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Speaking of submission ...


Please feel free to submit items that you might find that should be included on the site: historic or scientific items, either in the public domain or for which permission may be secured.


A great deal of my time goes into reformatting, OCR, typo-cleaning, etc., so it would be of tremendous assistance if items were formatted and ready to add to the site.


In fact, if anyone wants to volunteer to proof-read or clean up articles that are already on the site, I'd be immensely grateful. Aside from typos and simple errors, there are still a lot of special characters that are encoded improperly due to software version changes. Please PM me.

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