Features

Food fight!

America vs Iraq. The Hutus vs the Tutsis. Israel vs Palestine. The Boere vs the English.

The vegetarians vs the meat eaters.

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Woodstock: meer as net rock en roll

Perdeby het besluit om agter die kap van die byl te kom en terug te gaan na New York, 1969, na waar dit alles begin het.

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In search of lady luck

You can almost say that gambling is in some ways a lot like drinking alcohol. Neither is illegal, both can be fun, but both can also become a problem.

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Hou op rook

Die meeste studente wat rook oorweeg dit nie eens om op te hou nie. Sigaretverbruikers weet presies wat die gevare van sigarette is (omdat dit in groot, vetgedrukte letters op die pakkies verskyn), maar dis nie noodwendig genoeg om hulle af te skrik nie. Tog is daar diegene wat hierdie, amper onmoontlike, taak aanpak. Om op te hou rook is ʼn stryd en vir die grootste kans op sukses moet jy ʼn doelwit stel en voorbereid wees.

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On a high note

MEGAN SCHOEMAN

 Using and dealing is now even easier than setting up a Facebook fan page. Log on, click here, click there and you’ll be all set for a trip. That is of course if you convince yourself that digital drugs actually work.

Acid, heroine and hash are just some of the audio drugs offered by the I-Doser.com website – in MP3 format.

Wait, what? MP3 drugs?

Audio drugs are musical tracks that make use of binaural beats to alter brainwave frequencies. Through altering the brain’s electromagnetic environment the listener can reach an “altered state of consciousness”. Binauralbeats.com defines binaural beats in layman’s terms as “rhythmic humming sounds that are created by playing two simple tones in the right and left ear.”

These digital drugs are freely and easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection, credit card and desire to reach this altered state of consciousness.

So if there are no physical drugs involved what is the hype about this arbitrary, spaced out, music?

YouTube sports videos of children and teenagers convulsing to binaural beats pumping through their earphones. And there are countless online reviews of people claiming both that it works and that it doesn’t. Some claim that “The Hand of God” audio track caused a “breakdown of self” ( the possible effects of LSD and other hallucinogens) whereas others say that they were simply left with a tingly kind of feeling.

Second year mechanical engineering student, Shawn Saunders, doesn’t believe that binaural beats can get you high. He reckons that it has a simple “psychosomatic” effect. “You experience something because you want to experience it. You will an effect to occur psychologically,” he says.

I-Doser is not the first to discover the power of meditative music. Verimark has tried pawning it off on us – remember those CDs with nature and ocean sounds that help studying? This is in effect a dose of binaural beats. “Brainwave entertainment” has been available for several years to alter moods or create some hallucinogenic effect that eases sleep disorders or anxiety. Even holistic healing can be promoted through the meditative effect of binaural beats.

But it can be argued that audio drugs remain dangerous as they potentially inspire drug use. If they do get you high, what stops you from taking the next step? Whether their effect is as real as convulsing teenagers on YouTube or simply the product of an exotic imagination, be careful what you click for.

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