Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cups


Prep:30 min
Inactive Prep:30 min

YIELD:48 chocolate peanut butter cups


  • For the base
  • ounces (50 grams) soft dark brown sugar
  • ounces (200 grams) icing sugar
  • ounces (50 grams) butter, softened
  • ounces (200 grams) smooth peanut butter

    • ounces (200 grams) milk chocolate
    • 3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) dark chocolate
    • Gold buttons and edible gold stars to decorate, or other decorations of your choice

      Place all the ingredients for the base in the bowl of a food processorBlend the mixture until the mixture takes on a sandy texture. 

      Place 48 gold petit four cases in sets of miniature tart tins or mini-muffin tins (each indent about 1 3/4-inches in diameter). Use 1 teaspoon of the base mixture to fill the bases of the petit fourcases. Press the sandy mixture down into the cases as best you can to form a layer at the bottom of each paper case. 

      Place the milk chocolate and dark chocolate together into a heatproof bowl. Suspend the bowl over a pan of simmering water (the water should not touch the bottom of the bowl). Melt the chocolate gently while stirring. Spoon teaspoonfuls of the melted chocolate onto the top of each of the sandy bases of the petit four cases. 

      Decorate the tops of the chocolate covered peanut butter cups with either a gold button or gold star in the middle of each and transfer them to the fridge. Let them set in the fridge, for about 30 minutes. 

      To serve, arrange the chocolate peanut butter cups in their cases on a clean plate.

    Toblerone Shortbread

    Just as heavenly as it sounds. Makes about 12 squares.

    You will need:

    1 1/2 sticks of soft butter
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3 Toblerone bars, broken up
    1/4 cup slivered almonds
    1/2 cup dried cranberries
    1. Preheat oven to 375F.
    2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and airy.
    3. Add vanilla and flour, and beat until crumbly.
    4. Press the dough into a 9x9 pan covered in parchment paper.
    5. Bake until golden, about 15-18 minutes.
    6. Cool.
    7. Over a double boiller, melt the chocolate and pour over the cold shortbread.
    8. Sprinkle with almonds and cranberries, and let it the chocolate set before cutting into squares.


    For a twist, buy a white chocolate Toblerone bar!

    Orange drizzle cake


    • 175g caster sugar
    • 175g butter (softened)
    • 3 eggs
    • 175g self raising flour
    • 20g ground almonds
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • juice and rind of 2 oranges
    • for the drizzle:
    • 1/2 juice from above
    • 4 tbsp sugar


      1. grease and line a standard tea-loaf tin and pre heat the oven to 180C
      2. cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, gradually beat in the flour, baking powder and eggs until combined
      3. finally beat in the ground almond, orange rind and about half the juice careful not to let the mix curdle
      4. smooth the mix into the loaf tin and bake for approx 45 mins until golden and a skewer comes out clean
      5. Dissolve the sugar in the remaining orange juice remove the cake from the oven and prick all over with the skewer then drizzle the juice mix over the cake. allow to cool slightly before removing to a wire rack to cool completely
      6. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1173641/orange-drizzle-cake

    Sunday, 4 December 2016

    25 Comforting Quotes that Shoot Straight to our Soul. Via Emily Cutshaw

    Words can serve as a pick-me-up when I am feeling down.
    Quotes hold the promise of others who have been through similar waters and overcame challenging circumstances. They are a beautiful expression of our thoughts and feelings, especially at times when our own words seem to fail us.
    Famous words quoted past and present are a constant in this ever changing world. They are something that we can always count on and they can bring us comfort, just like an old friend.
    These are the 25 quotes that are near and dear to my heart. These words—which are so beautifully sewn together—have gotten me through some of the hardest times, helped me learn to accept myself and taught me what true love feels like before I was given the pleasure of experiencing it firsthand.
    1. “You could never tell me who to be. I have earned these wings. My freedom is the only thing that matters to me.” ~ Mia Hollow
    2. “Forget not that the Earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
    3. “Dead people receive more flowers than the living because regret is stronger than gratitude.” ~ Anne Frank
    4. “The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” ~ Unknown
    5. “It’s your road and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” ~ Rumi
    6. “A real man is one that doesn’t feel the need to dim the light of his woman in order to make himself feel brighter.” ~ Ronda Rousey
    7. “I used to be afraid of the pain letting go of the past would cause; until I realized how much pain holding on has caused.” ~ Steve Maraboli
    8. “That’s always seemed so ridiculous to me, that people want to be around someone because they’re pretty. It’s like picking your breakfast cereals based on color instead of taste.” ~ John Green
    9. “You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in one drop.” ~ Rumi
    10. “The best thing you could do is master the chaos in you. You are not thrown into the fire, you are the fire.” ~ Mama Indigo
    11. “One by one, I drowned all the people I’d been.” ~ Conor Oberst
    12. “But that’s the way my love is going to be. A little bit messy, completely confused. But it’s real.” ~ Lauren Layne
    13. “I looked in temples, churches, and mosques. But I found the divine within my heart.” ~ Rumi
    14. “People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for.” ~ To Kill A Mockingbird
    15. “Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~ Roald Dahl
    16. “Why tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death?” ~ Unknown
    17. “Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another.” ~ Romans 12:10
    18. “There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” ~ C.S. Lewis
    19. “He’s more myself that I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” ~ Emily Bronte
    20. “I believe in kindness, also in mischief.” ~ Mary Oliver
    21. “Integrity is doing the right thing even when nobody is watching.” ~ C.S. lewis
    22. “Those who dare to fail miserably can achieve greatly.” ~ John F. Kennedy
    23. “May your life preach more loudly than your lips.” ~ William Channing
    24. “I am a princess. All girls are. Even if they live in tiny old attics. Even if they dress in rags, even if they aren’t pretty, or smart, or young. They’re still princesses. All of us are.” ~ A Little Princess
    25. “I give up freely what is no longer serving me. I release it to create space for what inspires me.” ~ Unknown
    Finding a connection to others through the beautifully crafted quilt of words helps soothe our wild and restless hearts and remind us that we are not alone in the fight against our emotions. Quotes are a refuge, and something we can seek comfort in them as words keep us inspired and are one thing that will most certainly live forever.
    Please feel free to share the beautiful words that are closest to your hearts below.


    AID$ INCORPORATED: My interview with Dr. Peter Duesberg (December 1st – “World AIDS Day”)

     photo Duesberg1_zpshiwvdtgv.jpg
    “If there is evidence that HIV causes AIDS, there should be scientific documents which either singly or collectively demonstrate that fact, at least with a high probability. There is no such document. We know that to err is human, but the HIV/AIDS hypothesis is one hell of a mistake. I say this rather strongly as a warning; Duesberg has been saying it for a long time.”
    ~Dr. Kary Mullis, Biochemist, 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (Developed technique used in HIV tests to measure viral load in people with AIDS)
    “The HIV-causes-AIDS dogma represents the grandest and perhaps the most morally destructive fraud that has ever been perpetrated on young men and women of the Western world. AIDS has been a disease of definition… If we said that it didn’t exist and didn’t pay for it with taxpayers’ money, it would disappear in the background of normal mortality. I feel that for scientists to remain silent in the face of all this doubt is tantamount to criminal negligence.” 
    ~Dr. Charles Thomas, former Professor of Biochemistry, Harvard and John Hopkins Universities
    “The community as a whole doesn’t listen patiently to critics who adopt alternative viewpoints. Although the great lesson of history is that knowledge develops through the conflict of viewpoints. Duesberg is absolutely correct in saying that no one has proven that AIDS is caused by HIV.”
    ~Dr. Walter Gilbert, Professor in Molecular Biology, 1980 Nobel prize for chemistry
    “There are too many shortcomings in the theory that HIV causes all signs of AIDS. We are seeing people HIV-infected for 9, 10, 12 years or more, and they are still in good shape, their immune system is still good. It is unlikely that these people will come down with AIDS later.”
    ~Dr. Luc Montagnier, Virologist, 2008 Nobel Prize for Medicine, co-discoverer of HIV, says AIDS can be cured with nutrition
    “They have hyped up HIV into this super-rapist but in reality the damn thing can hardly get an erection. When AIDS patients’ bodies finally break down from the effects of these anti-viral drugs, they say, ‘Now the virus has become resistant, and the drugs have lost their effectiveness.’ What really is happening is the toxicity of the drugs builds up to a point where the patient cannot stand it anymore. And, of course, they say it was the virus — rather than the entirely inevitable and predictable toxicity of these damned drugs.”
    ~Dr. Peter Duesberg, Professor of Molecular Biology University of Berkeley, first person to isolate a cancer gene
    Strangely enough, I first became suspicious of the HIV = AIDS hypothesis by watching Black Entertainment Television. Shortly after Bob Johnson sold B.E.T. for 3 billion dollars to Viacom, major changes started happening: Tavis Smiley, Ed Gordon, Lead Story, Teen Summit, Jacque Reid and unbelievably the news, were all gone. Then suddenly, a massive influx of commercials telling BET’s core audience to go out and get an HIV test became the norm. I couldn’t understand how a channel that had just cancelled it’s only educational show for the youth, a channel that had just fired an extremely informative reporter like Tavis “Don’t call me Travis” Smiley, and a channel that actually had the audacity to cancel the news, could have the nerve to pretend that it somehow gave a damn about our health.
    Immediately, I began doing all the research that I could on HIV/AIDS and came across Dr. Peter Duesberg who, back in 1970, isolated the first cancer gene through his work on retroviruses. Perhaps even more importantly, Duesberg is also internationally known as the number one critic of the establishment’s HIV = AIDS hypothesis — And because of this, he’s been to hell and back.
    Decades later, despite countless attacks from “The Powers That Be”, he still continues his crusade to prove to the world that HIV doesn’t cause “Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome” (A.I.D.S. aka “A weakened immune system”).
    ~Chase Swayze
    Q: Why do you believe that HIV is not the cause of AIDS?
    DUESBERG: Chase, this is not a matter of belief. In my profession I must test, whether the available evidence fits a specific theory or hypothesis. If the hypothesis predicts and explains all facts, I would conclude that the hypothesis is right and if it does not it would be wrong. In the case of AIDS the prevailing hypothesis holds that the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes the 26 plus infectious and non-infectious diseases that define AIDS.
    1) This hypothesis predicts first and foremost that AIDS is a contagious disease.
    But, according to the peer-reviewed literature:
    (i) Not one doctor or nurse has ever contracted AIDS (not just HIV) from over 929,985 AIDS patients recorded in the US by 2004.
    (ii) Not one of the thousand HIV researchers has contracted AIDS from HIV.
    (iii) No wives of hemophiliacs have contracted AIDS from their husbands.
    (iv) There is no AIDS-epidemic in prostitutes.
    Thus AIDS is not contagious.
    2) The hypothesis states that only 5 to 10 years after HIV has induced anti-HIV antibodies, alias a “positive AIDS test”, the virus causes fatal AIDS diseases. But, all other viruses cause diseases within days or weeks after infection shortly before they induce anti-viral immunity.  As a result disease follows soon after infection and is self-limiting via anti-viral immunity.  The anti-viral immunity ends the disease, because the virus is neutralized and can no longer infect any cells.  In rare cases immunity comes too late.  In these cases some viral diseases can be fatal also within weeks after infection. By contrast the HIV-AIDS hypothesis says that HIV causes disease only after it is neutralized by antibody and even then only 5 to 10 years later.  This is a total paradox, that 22 years of AIDS research for at least 100 billion $ have not been able to resolve. The effectiveness of the anti-HIV antibodies in “HIV-positives” is the reason, why no free virus can be found, even in dying AIDS patients.
    3) HIV is said to cause immuno-deficiency by killing T-cells. But only 1 in 500 T-cells of AIDS patients is ever infected, even in dying AIDS patients.  Thus something else must kill T-cells in AIDS patients. By contrast in all other viral diseases many more cells are infected than the body can spare or regenerate during the course of the disease. And there is plenty of virus, but no antibody to neutralize it during the early phase of the disease.
    4) All conventional virus diseases are randomly distributed in the population.  They don’t discriminate between heterosexuals and homosexuals or between blacks and whites. By contrast AIDS is restricted in the US and Europe almost 100% to male homosexuals using amphetamines, nitrite inhalants and other psychoactive drugs as aphrodisiacs, and to intravenous drug users. In sum, this suggests that drugs, rather than a latent and neutralized virus, are causing AIDS.
    Q: Could you please explain how AIDS is nothing more than a group of old diseases with a HIV + label?
    DUESBERG: The Centers for Disease Control has defined AIDS since 1985 as a collection of 26 old diseases provided they occur in the presence of anti-body against HIV.  This is a circular definition:  When tuberculosis is associated with anti-body against HIV it is called AIDS and in the absence of antibody it is diagnosed by its old name (tuberculosis).
    Q: Robert Gallo is the so-called “discoverer” of HIV who was later convicted of fraud and scientific misconduct. Could you please give a little background on who Robert Gallo is and also explain why his 1984 press conference that declared that HIV = AIDS was called the biggest scientific, medical blunder in the 20th century?
    DUESBERG: Unfortunately Robert Gallo’s HIV-AIDS hypothesis has subsequently failed all criteria of a viral disease and has failed to produce any beneficial results:  There is no vaccine and the anti-viral medications developed by this hypothesis cause AIDS by killing T-cells and other human cells as well.
    Failure, however, is the common fate of many hypothesis.
     photo gallo_zpswztorjoq.jpg
    The problem with the Gallo hypothesis is that it was endorsed by his employer, the US government, before it was published and tested.  Since it became a US government program and was advanced by government-funded researchers and  propaganda, it  could no longer be scientifically challenged for political reasons.  The US government is supposed to be infallible and likewise American mainstream AIDS scientists funded by up to 10 billion $ per year are not supposed to be fallible.
    Once the government had endorsed Gallo’s hypothesis and funded 1000s of scientists to study it, AIDS science became as big and affluent as the Titanic.  But it could no longer turn even in face of an iceberg.  It had “to stay the course”.  As a result 100 thousands died un-necessarily and many of those were even poisoned by anti-viral drugs, like AZT, originally developed 40 years ago to kill human cells for chemotherapy.
    Q: Is it true that while this press conference was going on, the blood test used to detect HIV was being patented, later earning large royalties for Gallo?
    DUESBERG: I understand the royalties were shared by the National Institutes of Health and Robert Gallo.
    Q: Are HIV tests even relevant since HIV is said not to be the AIDS virus?
    DUESBERG: Based on 22 years of failures to prove the HIV-AIDS hypothesis, these tests are irrelevant to AIDS. This maybe a reason why president Bush unexpectedly suspended the former travel restrictions to the US based on positive-HIV tests. Apparently even Bush and his advisers are no longer sure that anti-bodies against (!) HIV are a serious health threat to Americans.
    Q: So what would you say to someone who’s thinking about taking an HIV test, or to someone who’s scared to death because they’ve just been told they’re HIV positive?
    DUESBERG: I am, of course, not a psychiatrist.  But I recommend to save anxiety until one is fully informed about the evidence for the HIV-AIDS hypothesis. This could be achieved in several days by reading “Inventing the AIDS Virus” (PD, Regnery publ. Washington DC, 1996). The book comes with a Foreword by Nobelist Kary Mullis, who invented the polymerase chain reaction.
     photo mullis8_zpseihx17xd.jpg
    Q: You were in the documentary “HIV/AIDS: Fact or Fiction” where they mentioned a study that was done where 25 HIV positive men contributed 1 million sperm cells each and out of 25 million sperm cells, only one virus blueprint was found. What are your thoughts on HIV/AIDS being labeled as a sexually transmitted disease?
    DUESBERG: The experiment you just described gives a very clear answer to your question:  AIDS is not sexually transmitted. If it were, AIDS would have long ago become a heterosexual epidemic, exactly as Gallo, the NIH and all other HIV-AIDS researchers erroneously predicted for decades. After all about 4.5 million babies are generated per year in the US by conventional “unsafe” sex, but there is no heterosexual AIDS epidemic in America!
    Q: The origin of AIDS is something that has constantly been blamed on Africa. The mainstream media has even gone so far as to say that Africans ate monkeys or had sex with monkeys and that’s how AIDS came into existence. We are at the point now where African Americans are being blamed for having HIV and spreading HIV at rates that are much higher than other races. If HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, then why are Africans and African Americans alike being blamed for HIV/AIDS?
    DUSEBERG: This is a non-scientific question and I can only speculate on the answer. Since Gallo and rival HIV discoverers in Europe wanted to sell their discovery as a new virus causing a new disease, they had to come up with an origin that was “new” to America and Europe. For that scenario the African jungle is still a “paradise”, nobody has relatives with phone numbers to call there, the movie and TV industry have cultivated jungle monsters for decades both real and imaginary from King Kong to wild Gorillas mating damsels in distress, alligators, cannibals, voodoo men, Ebola viruses, killer bees, and now a new AIDS virus – that oddly first struck male homosexuals in bathhouses and discos of New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles - years before it became a heterosexual AIDS epidemic in Africa! Cute All-American and European science fiction. But very credible on American and European TV shows and in science journals and  – as everybody understands – a bit more difficult to prove, like all other theories on evolution.
    Q: Here’s a direct quote from the Center for Disease Control: “Rates among non-Hispanic black females were 19 times higher than rates among non-Hispanic white females, underscoring the need for continued emphasis on programs targeting females in racial/ethnic minority populations to reduce the number of cases of HIV/AIDS.” — I know I’m probably repeating myself here, but the question must be asked of why Black Americans (Black females specifically as of late) are being repeatedly demonized as having a dangerous STD called HIV, when your own personal studies have shown HIV not to be dangerous nor an STD?
    DUESBERG: Chase, as I said in answer to a previous question of yours, the relevance of anti-HIV antibody tests depends entirely on proof for the HIV-AIDS hypothesis. Since there is no proof for viral AIDS, I consider any “programs targeting” HIV-positives scientifically worthless and politically biased.
     photo Duesberg2_zpsiiza8nbj.jpg
    Q: Is it true that in Africa they label almost every disease and illness as AIDS?
    DUESBERG: Perhaps not every disease. 
    But it is true that AIDS in Africa is clinically very different from AIDS in the US. Most African AIDS cases are tuberculosis, weight loss, fever and diarrhea – classical diseases of poverty, malnutrition and poor sanitation. These diseases are now diagnosed as AIDS without HIV-tests, because HIV tests are too expensive in Africa.  Accordingly the American Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization accept “presumptive” AIDS diagnoses from Africa – without evidence for HIV. 
    This in turn helps both Africans, who get funded and foreign aid based on AIDS quotas, and HIV-AIDS researchers in America and Europe, who must defend their new sexually transmitted AIDS epidemics against declining case numbers at home to their government funding agencies.
    Q: How did AIDS go from being seen as a “Gay-White-Male” disease back in the 80′s to being seen as a “Straight-Black-Female” disease today?
    DUESBERG: AIDS did not “go from being seen as a Gay-White-Male disease” to a “straight-Black-Female disease” as you say. As far as I know, it continues to be seen as a gay disease by all people I know. But the HIV-AIDS propaganda from the Centers for Disease Control and from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases continues to present AIDS, as if it were a random epidemic like all conventional viral and microbial epidemics – as if, “We are are all in this together.” 
    Instead, AIDS is a lifestyle epidemic caused by recreational and anti-viral drugs in the US and Europe and by malnutrition in Africa. But since the real causes of AIDS are politically incorrect and thus highly un-fundable the HIV-AIDS establishment is forced to “stay the course” for its own survival.
    Q: Let’s talk about AZT (the drug used to fight AIDS). Can you discuss AZT’s history and why you call it “AIDS by prescription?”
     photo azt_bottle_zpsvaqxw7ko.jpg
    DUESBERG: A viral theory of disease offers good prospects for vaccinations, but is a disaster for prospective anti-viral medication.  Since viruses contain just tiny pieces of information, much too little to synthesize their own DNAs, RNAs and proteins, they are completely dependent on the cell – and thus obligatory parasites.  In other words the cell must make all viral proteins and nucleic acids for the virus.
    This defines the fundamental problem of anti-viral medication:  Anything that inhibits or poisons viral DNA, RNA and protein synthesis is also inhibiting cellular DNA, RNA and protein synthesis and is thus inevitably toxic.
    For example the DNA chain-terminator, AZT, which was developed long before AIDS to terminate human DNA synthesis for cancer chemotherapy, kills HIV but it also kills the cell.  Since HIV does not kill any immune cells, but AZT does – like most other chemotherapies – “AZT is AIDS by prescription”.
    Q: How dangerous are these new drugs that are used to fight HIV/AIDS? And what would you say to someone who says people are living longer because of these drugs?
    DUESBERG: Most anti-HIV drugs were developed to kill cancer cells, and are therefore the most toxic prescription drugs available.  As a medication against a hypothetical viral cause of an AIDS disease, that could possibly treated by conventional methods, they are indeed the biggest blunder in the history of medicine I am aware about.
    The slogan of the HIV-AIDS establishment that ‘anti-viral drugs prolong life’ has been refuted recently in the largest study of its kind, published in the Lancet. In this study hundreds of researchers and doctors from Europe and the US summarize their results with anti-HIV drugs as follows:
    Interpretation – Virological response after starting HAART improved over calendar years, but such improvement has not translated into a decrease in mortality (Lancet, 368, 451-458, 2006). HAART = highly active antiretroviral therapy.
     photo azt_zpshk0bxaen.png
    Q: What is your opinion of the drug companies that make AZT and other AIDS fighting drugs? 
    DUESBERG: My opinion of the drug companies making AZT and similarly toxic anti-HIV drugs is not very high, but is consistent with our capitalist philosophy to sell what the market bears as long as it is legally possible.  
    By contrast, my opinion about my colleagues who provided the ideology for the production and prescription of these drugs – that no poison is worse than the hypothetical AIDS virus in order to advance their careers is very low indeed.  These “free” scientists and doctors were trained and educated at our “free” universities at very high cost to the taxpayers and prospective AIDS patients, to provide the best medical and humanitarian help to a faithful public.  But my peers betray the trust of their people by not calling into question a hypothesis that has as yet not saved one single life.
    ‘The important thing in science is not to stop questioning’, when a theory fails, says Einstein.  And the HIV-AIDS scientists have failed to act as scientists and, above all as doctors, in the face of a hypothesis that has failed to generate an AIDS vaccine or a curative drug or any other benefits to the patients in 22 years. Instead, of welcoming alternative AIDS theories, they have censored, personally attacked and de-funded all researchers including myself, who offered alternative solutions to the flawed HIV-AIDS hypothesis and have warned about the disastrous “therapies” of HIV-antibody (!, not virus)-positives with DNA chain-terminators.
    Q: Does the HIV/AIDS theory simply come down to money?
    DUESBERG: I think it is ego first and money second.  A researcher like me and many of my peers prefer to solve a problem and get recognition for solving a scientific or a medical problem much more than making money from it. 
     photo DuesbergBike_zpsvbndqjjl.jpg
    The problem is compounded, however, when ALL the money is for one hypothesis only – as is the case in American AIDS research.  In that case  science “comes down to money”, as you say.
    Q: Can you explain the newfound theory of cervical cancer being caused by a virus, along with how cervical cancer was added to the list of AIDS diseases, which greatly expanded the “definition” of the disease to women?
    DUESBERG: The virus-cervical cancer hypothesis is another example of virus hunters trying to blame a non-contagious disease, like cervical cancer, on their favorite virus, in this case Human Papilloma or wart Virus.  As in the case of AIDS, this hypothesis postulates that the wart virus is not carcinogenic when it first infects via sexual transmission and replicates in women and men in their twenties.  At that time it just causes benign warts. But 30 to 50 years later – yes 30-50 years! – long after it is neutralized by antibody and no longer replicating, it is said to cause fatal cancer.  This is the same age when cervical cancer typically strikes also women without prior wart virus infection.  Oddly, this time men are spared, the only risk group are women. Indeed, since 1993 the wart virus hypothesis must compete with the HIV hypothesis for cervical cancer.  At that time the Centers for Disease Control added cervical cancer to the list of AIDS defining diseases in order to support the prediction of the AIDS-virus hypothesis, that viruses don’t discriminate between sexes and cause random diseases, although AIDS in the US and Europe is 80% male.
    Q: What problems have you encountered since you’ve went public about HIV not being the cause of AIDS?
     photo Duesberg86_zpsgi80jlpb.jpg
    DUESBERG: No more research grants, neither for AIDS nor for cancer (a total of 24 have been turned down since 1992), no more graduate students, no more invitations to professional conferences, no more citations in the professional literature, censorship of my research papers by high impact journals, no more teaching of graduate student classes, no appointments to decision making departmental committees, no more invitations to NIH or California State, Leukemia Society and other study sections reviewing grant applications of my peers for cancer and retrovirus/AIDS research, loss of over 80% of professional friends outside and inside our campus, merit increases only in 1/2 steps and only after protracted proceedings of up to 3 years involving appeals to the chancellor, as in the last case, no more invitations to name seminar speakers and no more invitations to dinner parties for seminar speakers invited to the department. 
    And all this in “the freest of all countries” as our president calls it.
     photo DuesbergBook_zpsk3trhggs.jpg
    Q: In your book “Inventing the AIDS Virus” you have two Nobel Prize winning doctors who both agree with you and wrote blurbs on the back cover saying that HIV does not cause AIDS. Why hasn’t your book gotten the attention that it deserves?
    DUESBERG: I think my answer to the previous question holds a key to this question too. The fear of our “free scientists” to become de-funded and excommunicated, and that of our “free investigative newspapers” to be called “irresponsible” by the NIH and the CDC are the the probable reasons!
    Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say or add that you feel we’ve left out? 
    DUESBERG: There is documentation for most all I have said here in www.duesberg.com
    “Peter Duesberg is a man of extraordinary energy, unusual honesty, enormous sense of humour, and a rare critical sense. This critical sense often makes us look twice, then a third time, at a conclusion many of us believed to be foregone. However, his critiques are sometimes a major problem for the casual observer. When is he truly debating? When is he only being the devil’s advocate? When is he being the devil himself? The casual observer is also often at a loss to determine which of the many weapons he possesses he is using. Peter, it is hard for us to tell when you are using your machine gun or your slingshot, or simply exercising your vocal cords. In any event you are an extraordinary scientist, a man who makes life more interesting and pleasurable to many of us and it is my good fortune to know you as a friend.” 

    The Lure of Laudanum, the Victorians' Favourite Drug

    The Lure of Laudanum, the Victorians' Favorite Drug© Elizabeth Siddal. Via Wikimedia // Public Domain The Lure of Laudanum, the Victorians' Favorite Drug
    “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan 
    A stately pleasure-dome decree 
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Down to a sunless sea”
    Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s most famous poem, “Kubla Khan,” was written after an intense laudanum-induced dream; poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning largely depended on laudanum to function; and Lord Byron’s daughter, the celebrated mathematician Ada Lovelace, claimed laudanum calmed her overactive mind. The fact that many writers and artists of the Victorian period used laudanum is clear—but what was it about this heady drug that ensnared so many creative people?
    Opium has been known since at least 3400 BCE, when the Sumerians produced the first written reference to the drug. The power of opium to dull pain while allowing the user to remain functional meant it was the drug of choice for those suffering both mental and physical anguish.
    In the 16th century, the alchemist Paracelsus created laudanum (possibly named from Latin words meaning “something to be praised”) by mixing a tincture of opium with alcohol. By the 17th century, the physician and medical pioneer Thomas Sydenham had simplified and standardised the recipe, marketing it as a cure-all. (Today the word laudanum refers to any alcoholic tincture of opium.)
    By the 1800s laudanum was widely available—it could be easily purchased from pubs, grocers, barber shops, tobacconists, pharmacies, and even confectioners. The drug was often cheaper than alcohol, making it affordable to all levels of society. It was prescribed for everything from soothing a cranky infant to treating headaches, persistent cough, gout, rheumatism, diarrhoea, melancholy, and “women’s troubles.”
    © Wellcome Images // CC BY 4.0Laudanum became widely used throughout Victorian society as a medicine, and soon many writers, poets, and artists (along with many ordinary people) became addicted.
    Bram Stoker, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and many others were all known to have used laudanum.
    Some managed to take it briefly while ill, but others became hopelessly dependent. Most famously, the English writer Thomas De Quincey wrote a whole book—Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (1821) - on his use of opium and its derivatives. The book proposed that, unlike alcohol, opium improved the creative powers, an opinion that only served to make the drug more appealing to those searching for artistic and literary inspiration. A number of other writers also played on the perceived glamour of the drug, praising its ability to enhance the imagination.
    Laudanum’s association with the Romantic poets likely stems from Coleridge’s addiction. Like many of his contemporaries, the poet suffered from poor health, and resorted to laudanum as both a painkiller and a sedative. Coleridge famously admitted that he had composed "Kubla Khan" after waking from an opium-induced reverie. But the drug that was at first inspiring soon became enslaving, and Coleridge’s addiction and resultant health issues plagued him for the rest of his life.
    The once-vibrant young man became listless and wan, and suffered terribly from withdrawal if he did not get his fix. In an 1814 letter to his friend John Morgan [PDF], Coleridge admitted it was not just the physical effects of the drug that grieved him, but its effects on his character: “I have in this one dirty business of Laudanum an hundred times deceived, tricked, nay, actually & consciously LIED. – And yet all these vices are so opposite to my nature, that but for the free-agency-annihilating Poison, I verily believe that I should have suffered myself to be cut in pieces rather than have committed any one of them.”
    The poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning first took laudanum at the age of 15 after suffering a spinal injury. After that, she used it for various ailments, including hemorrhaging of the lungs. When she began corresponding with the poet Robert Browning, who would later become her husband, she revealed to him that she took 40 drops of the drug a day—a pretty substantial dose even for an addict.
    Golden-haired Elizabeth Siddal (pictured above) was another famous laudanum user. The muse, and later wife, of the great pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, she suffered from poor health and became hopelessly addicted to laudanum. For years she continued to function despite her addiction, until she lost a baby daughter in 1861—a tragedy that deepened her desire for the mindless oblivion offered by the drug.
    © Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Image credit: Lewis Carroll via Wikimedia // Public DomainIn 1862, when she had become pregnant once more, her husband returned from dinner one night to find her unconscious after an overdose. Rossetti (pictured above) called for a doctor, but when the physician sadly announced he could do nothing for her, Rossetti refused to believe the diagnosis and sent for three more doctors, who all confirmed Siddal’s untimely death.
    Another famous victim of laudanum addiction was Branwell Brontë, the brother of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. Together the four siblings shared the same tragic and lonely upbringing, which in the sisters unleashed a creative spark that kindled into some of the greatest works in English literature, including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
    Yet Branwell, who seemingly shared the same potential talent as a poet and artist (he created respected juvenilia alongside his sisters), instead descended into alcohol and laudanum dependency, his sensibilities seemingly too delicate to take the constant rejections an artist must endure. Branwell died a penniless addict at 31 years old in 1848, just a year after his sisters’ most famous novels were published.
    © An ad for laudanum in the Sears catalog. Image credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr // CC BY 2.0That so many writers and artists were known to have taken laudanum is perhaps unsurprising considering that this was an era before aspirin, anti-depressants, or effective sleeping pills. But as the negative effects of laudanum became better-documented—the euphoria it provided was followed by crashing lows, restlessness, torpor, and sweats—it became clear that the drug needed to be better regulated.
    Accounts by addicts helped sway public opinion: in one influential piece published in the Journal of Mental Sciences in 1889, a drug-addicted young girl revealed her anguish during withdrawal:
    “My principal feeling was one of awful weariness and numbness at the end of my back; it kept me tossing about all day and night long. It was impossible to lie in one position for more than a minute, and of course sleep was out of the question. I was so irritable that no one cared to come near me; mother slept on the sofa in my room, and I nearly kicked her once for suggesting that I should say hymns over to myself, to try and make me go to sleep. Hymns of a very different sort were in my mind, I was once or twice very nearly strangling myself, and I am ashamed to say that the only thing that kept me from doing so was the thought that I would be able to get laudanum somehow. I was conscious of feeling nothing but the mere sense of being alive, and if the house had been burning, would have thought it too much of an effort to rise.”
    By 1868 laudanum could only be sold by registered chemists in England and, in a nod to its dangers, had to be clearly labelled as a poison—the first restrictions on its use. In 1899 pure aspirin was developed, a far safer painkiller, heralding an era of better-regulated medicines. And although the tortured writer self-medicating with laudanum became a thing of the past, many other illicit substances soon stepped into the breach—leaving the trope of the drug-addled creative genius safely intact.