Sunday, August 14, 2011


So I bought a book called Get High Now - Without Drugs. I've taken an interest lately in the complicated relationship between mind and body, how my thoughts can make my body sick and tension in my body can make my mind sick and how taking care of either one helps the other. How exercising can make me happy, how my digestive issues have cleared up as my stress has eased. And this book looked like a fun way to explore that relationship a little (and in fact, on page 42, this book taught me there's a name for such studies: psychoneuroimmunology).

The book is not very scientific at all, though there's enough information and references to studies that you could do some more research if you liked. And of course there are some silly, cop-out tricks. But there's some good stuff, too. I haven't done a lot yet, but I'm liking the breathing exercises. I've tried a bite-size version of Sudarshan Kriya, an old breathing technique that's used in modern yoga and such. Andy and I did it together. Andy said it made him feel trembly, but I just felt really relaxed. Which is all I ever wanted out of this book.

We also spent a little time poking around, the online appendage to the book. It has a few media files stored there. One that I found really fascinating was Holophonic sound. Now, this isn't really anything new, and it doesn't get you "high" in any way. It's just a more realistic, three-dimensional form of stereo recording. But boy is it an experience. You must wear headphones for the effect to take place, and closing your eyes helps. The little clip on sent me into shivers, and I swear I could feel the dude breathing down my neck.

Andy then showed me this, a preview of "the world's first video game with no video." I dare you to put on your headphones, close your eyes, listen to that clip, and not cringe. Isn't it incredible? Immersive? We figured that somebody, somewhere, must have taken advantage of binaural recording to make some good radio drama or something. So we found Mind Theatre. I didn't listen to all of the little story there, but I listened enough to feel a freight train pass right behind me, to be surrounded by a thunderstorm...I felt transported in a way that visual media has never accomplished for me. The Wikipedia page on binaural recording has a lot of intriguing links to more resources at the bottom - I think I may try out a podcast.

Anyway, that's all I really wanted to say. There are people out there doing some fascinating things.

1 reason(s) to click here:

Whistler said...

dude! The binaural recordings are like I'm actually there. It really is like listening in 3D. I'd heard of binaural beats before, but the music is just awesome.