Sunday, July 14, 2013

WWII Miracle drug remains a constant problem


Hello Everybody,

Hope you are all well. In South Africa it is the middle of winter and it's cold. Another month or so and we will be heading for warmer weather. I think I prefer the summer to winter.

Last week I shared another chapter of the Sipho adventure and this week I am sharing an article I wrote for the Guardian Express in June this year. If you want to read some great articles, current worldnews, and more then follow this link and enjoy. http://www.guardianlv.com/


Here is the article -

During WWII, the German Army distributed millions of its miracle pill, the now banned drug Methamphetamine known as Crystal meth, which remains a constant problem worldwide. A Berlin based drug manufacturer Kemmler Werke released a methamphetamine compound into the market during 1938. It was the high-ranking army physiologist Otto Ranke who uncovered this miracle drug. He recognized the potential of this drug as the ideal war drug that would keep tired pilots alert and an entire army euphoric. He tested the drug during September 1939 on university students, and discovered the increased production from the students, despite having been deprived of sleep.
It was Germany’s WWII Wehrmacht military base that distributed millions of the pills to their soldiers. The miracle drug had turned into a nightmare for many of the soldiers. The long-term effects on the body were devastating and they quickly became addicted to the stimulant. With the addiction came dizziness, depression, sweating, and hallucinations. Soldiers died of heart failure, and others committed suicide by shooting themselves during psychotic phases. Several of the army’s top health officials wanted to limit the use of the miracle drug due to the severe repercussions, but were unsuccessful in their attempts to do so.
The miracle drug referred to as Pervitin remained easy to obtain after the war. Doctors did not hesitate to prescribe the drug to patients as an appetite suppressant or those suffering from depression. University students remained the highest users of the drug, as they found the stimulant helpful with their studies. Athletes also indulged in the drug Pervitin and their dependence increased as they discovered it decreased the sensitivity to pain and increased their performance and endurance. During 1968, a German boxer Joseph Elze, 28 died after collapsing from a knockout blow to his head. Without the methamphetamine drug, he would have collapsed sooner and might not have died. He was Germany’s first known victim of doping, yet the drug remained on the market.
Temmler Werke continued to supply the drugs to the armies in both the West and East Germany throughout the 1960s. The drug was removed from the West German army medical supplies in the 1970s and the East German Army continued until 1988 before removing the drug from its army.
The miracle pill Pervitin was banned in all of Germany, and with the banning of the drug, the illegal production began. In the United States, during the 1970s motor cycle gangs discovered crystal meth as an easy way to earn income, and began setting up large-scale drug laboratories in mostly the California cities of San Francisco and San Diego.
A chemist in Wisconsin, Steve Preslier, alias Uncle Fester the mad scientist published a drug cookbook titled “Secrets of Methamphetamine Manufacture" during the 1980s, and hence the drug was now produced in crystal form and no longer as a powder compressed into tablets.
The book is now in its eighth edition, this controversial book presented six different recipes for preparing the drug. Legal ingredients were used and a simple chemical reaction to extract the drug’s principal component from cough medicine and combined with other liquids such as drain cleaner, battery acid or antifreeze to increase the drug’s effectiveness.
Over time more illegal meth laboratories opened around the world. Some improvised drug labs were prone to explosions as the meth production created highly toxic explosive substances. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), around 11000 meth labs were discovered around the country during 2010, compared with 7530 in 2009.
Meth can be smoked, swallowed, snorted, or injected, and addicts often consume more than the dose once taken by the German soldiers during WWII. The side effects are alarming, and weaken the immune system. Hair loss, weight loss, eczema, kidney, stomach and heart problems are a few of the dramatic effects of the drug.
Despite the dreadful side effects of this miracle drug, it has not lost it appeal. In 2011, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, based outside Washington, estimated that around 13 million American had tried meth and the UN estimate around 24 million users globally.


Have an awesome week and wishing you all the best.

Thank you for your support.

Your friend
Laura

Saturday, July 6, 2013

SIPHO AND THE GOLDEN NAILS - CHAPTER 10

Hello everybody,

Hope this blog finds you all well.
Yes it is the weekend again and I want to tell you that I have been part of the team reporting on the Nelson Mandela saga since his admission to hospital. I will give you a link to the latest article. Please read and share.


http://guardianlv.com/2013/07/nelson-mandela-doctors-overruled-by-south-african-president-jacob-zuma/

Yes it is just such a huge cover up, and a sad time for the South African people to deal with their grief while the family fight and disgrace the Mandela legacy.


Well, update time, I have tried to get my book ready for publication and will probably do so next month. In the meantime I have skipped a chapter or two and now sharing Chapter 10 with you.


Chapter 10
SIPHO KIDNAPPED
Early the next morning, Lindiwe went to the royal kraal and found Sipho playing outside. She told him that she wanted to spend another day with her mother and that they could return to the settlement the following day. Sipho agreed, and she made her way home to her mother.
It was late in the afternoon, and after spending some time with his grandfather, Sipho left to play with a few friends. He saw a group of boys near the far end of the village and walking toward them, he heard the sound of someone crying outside of the village. He walked closer to the fence, and although he could not see anybody, he quickly ran to the gate and round to the place where he heard the crying. He stopped in front of a little bare footed girl, who was wearing a tattered red dress and sitting on a rock. Her knotted black hair was hanging over her face. He looked at her in bewilderment and asked her if she was lost. The little girl nodded, and he walked closer to her and told her that he would take her home. She stood up and took his hand. He started walking toward the village entrance, and the young child started to cry again. Sipho stopped and asked her what was wrong. She told him in a terribly broken voice that she lived in the cave behind a hill and not in the village. Confused he tried to question her about the cave and her being lost. She continued to cry and kept pointing toward the hills.
Sipho reluctantly decided to guide her to her home, even though it was getting late, and turning away from the village, walked further into the woodlands and the nearby hills. The little girl stopped crying and smiled. They did not talk as they ventured further and further away from the village. Suddenly Sipho saw an opening in one of the nearby hills, and asked the child if it was here that she lived. She nodded, and they continued toward the opening. At the entrance, he let go of her hand and wanting to get back, told her to go inside and not to wander off again. As soon as he turned around to leave, a huge man grabbed him from behind and held his hand over his mouth, telling him to be quiet and dragged him inside the cave.
Sipho looked around. It was quite dark inside the cave, and a dim light at the far end cast shadows on the surrounding walls. The man, still holding onto him, would not remove his hand from his mouth and kept telling him to be quiet. Sipho squirmed and tried to free himself, but his captor was too powerful.
The man paused for a few moments and listened to the sound of voices coming from within the cave. Still holding on to Sipho he walked further into the dark cave but Sipho saw nothing except darkness. The low murmur of voices still came from within. The captor released his tight grip and told Sipho to be quiet. Frightened he obeyed, relieved to be free from this monstrous man. There was a thumping sound and the captor grabbed Sipho's arm again. Intense fear leaped into Sipho's heart, and he shook his head at the sight of a horrendous creature advancing toward him. Without any warning, an unknown weight crashed down upon his head, and he fell into unconsciousness.
Sipho woke up; his head was heavy and aching. He knew he was alive, but he did not know much more. He stared into the face of an unpleasant and menacing demon, trying to recall what had happened to him, but the effort was too great. He realized that he was lying on his back and saw two more demons on each side of him. Then it slowly entered his mind that he was in Hades again!
He made another effort to gather up his drifting thoughts and realized with a shudder that the face that was looking directly into his was that of another drooling demon. Making a supreme effort he sat up and the demon laughed. Sipho turned his head and looked around at a demon with terrifying features sitting at his side.
Sipho still feeling confused, yet afraid, wanted to speak, but no words came to him. Stunned by his sudden muteness, he shook his head and again tried to sit up properly. The demon on his left pushed him down again. Lying on his back he tried to cough, but there was no sound. Determined that he would not fall asleep, he nevertheless felt a heavy darkness come over him and was asleep within minutes.
Pandemonium reigned in the control center as Zanu, and the team watched the monitor showing Sipho being led into one of the caves by an innocent looking child. Zanu told Zerydo to leave for the cave immediately and try to rescue Sipho. It was evident that Satan had kidnapped him. They were unable to view the inside of the cave and had no idea what was happening. Zanu felt a knot in his stomach at the way events had turned out. He knew losing Sipho now would not bode well with God Most High.
Zerydo and three guards gathered some equipment and left the sacred hill. They decided to use the vehicle instead of walking as it would be much quicker. Although the guards knew of the possible dangers that could befall them, they chose to remain silent. They felt confident that Zerydo would be able to protect them from whatever dangers lay ahead in the cave.
The full moon shone down, clothing the world in a beautiful blue and silver light. A myriad of stars spread across the dark sky. They stopped not too far from the entrance to the cave where they assumed Sipho was being held captive. Walking quietly toward the entrance, and not wanting to stumble over obstacles or alert any demons, they proceeded cautiously. Zerydo studied the bushes very closely, trying to discern their enemies among them, but he saw nothing there but for a slight movement of the leaves rustled by the wind. He continued walking toward the entrance.
Zerydo whispered and told two of the guards to remain outside and ordered a rather hefty muscular guard named Thomas to go with him. Understanding their instructions, they watched Zerydo and Thomas step into the cave carefully and proceed without making any noise, and, at the same time, listening for any sound or movement from within the cave.
Zerydo preceded Thomas into the dark cave and soon saw a dim light glowing from behind some big rocks. He stood still for a moment and heard muttering which made no sense to him at all. He continued to stalk silently toward the rocks, stopping to obtain a better view of what the light revealed. Peeking around a rock, he saw the three demons surrounding Sipho who was lying so still that Zerydo thought he was probably unconscious. Waiting for a moment he wondered what he was going to do and how he should approach them.
Without any warning, he sprang from behind the rock and stood in full view of the demons. Upon hearing the thump, they turned their heads in shock at the sight of Zerydo and retreated slightly.
"So you have returned for a second time! I knew you would not be able to stay away," growled the demon closest to him in a slurred voice.
Zerydo's anger increased within. This demon’s attitude was beyond all endurance, and he thought to himself that he would make the demon suffer this time! He sprang forward and reached for the demon, grabbing at his throat.
"I didn't touch him! I never laid so much as a finger on Sipho," sniveled the demon.
"You are abominable demons, and I will make sure you are sent back to hell!" Zerydo shouted in a thundering voice while keeping his eyes fixed on the demon behind Sipho.
The third demon had not gone but a few steps back, when Zerydo, still holding onto the first demon, caught his arm.
The other demon came from behind and struck him on his head. Immediately he shoved the two demons he was holding and flung them to the ground. The blow to his head was not that powerful and Zerydo, only a little stunned, reached out, seized the demon, and hit him with a mighty blow that caused him to fall to the ground.
Zerydo stared at the demons. He knew the last demon had tried to trap him with the sneaky blow to his head. Zerydo shuddered at the thought of being careless and of being captured by them. He knew he was a spirit being, and he would not allow these hideous creatures to overpower him. His head still ached slightly, but that did not stop him from taking control of the situation once more.
He called Thomas to come forward. The guard, who had seen the whole incident, was reluctant and moved forward at a slow pace. Zerydo, told him to tie up the demon lying on the floor, who appeared to be crushed from the severe strike of Zerydo hitting him. The Anglurian guard proceeded to carry out the instructions without muttering a word. Zerydo turned and stared at the other two demons lying so still on the ground and looking devilishly pathetic. The demons were angry. Angry that their effort, made at such enormous risk, should have failed through the mere chance of Zerydo coming into the cave at that particular time. They were angry, too that Zerydo had bruised them so badly.
"Yes, I've come back," he said, waggling his finger menacingly at them.
The heat and humidity had increased; it was becoming uncomfortable to stay much longer. Watching Thomas finish securing the two demons who continued to hiss and moan at their fate, Zerydo looked down at the unconscious demon who obviously was hurt and not responding.
Zerydo walked over to where Sipho lay so still. He bent down and called out his name. There was no response. He looked around and knew he had to explore the inner part of the cave. He needed to know if there were any other demons or traps, which Satan could use against them. He also knew he had to get Sipho out of this dreadful place.
"I'm going now, but I'll come back, when you least expect it," he said while looking at the two demons hissing at their misfortune.
The look in the demons’ eyes did not show any regrets, it was far more the look of monsters ready to attack him again. They paid no attention to Zerydo staring at them with blazing eyes. Zerydo felt a strong premonition of more trouble ahead than he had anticipated. His mind instantaneously became active and alert, fearing more unpleasant surprises. He heard a sound of something like a howl in the distance, but kept his eyes focused on the three demons.
Suddenly a groan was released from the body of the demon that lay motionless on the ground. Zerydo turned around and watched the big-headed demon moan as he tried to move around. Almost at the same instant, he heard the howling sound again, and he turned around to face in the direction of the noise. He realized the screeching sound was not from the three demons that Thomas had tied up, and he tried to focus on where this sound came from.
He drew a laser gun from his pocket and waited for the in demon to appear. He was certain it would come in the next moment, but the seconds passed and all remained intensely still.
Gradually his senses heightened, and his heart gave a more rapid beat than usual, when he caught sight of another demon at the far end of the cave. Larger than the three captive demons, and possessing three heads all bobbing and hissing while emitting a chilling sound moved toward Zerydo. He knew it would be dangerous to fight this giant monstrosity and with his weapon ready for instant use, he advanced a pace or two. Without hesitating, he pointed his gun at the middle head and fired! It did nothing, the demon kept moving forward. Zerydo again fired another blast and then another. The demon remained standing and continued to move closer to him. Zerydo fearing the worst stepped back, turning the dial on the gun from stun to kill, and immediately fired another round at the monster. At first, nothing happened. Then slowly, very slowly, the hulking three-headed demon fell and lay motionless.
Zerydo, without hesitating grabbed Sipho and told Thomas to get out as quickly as possible. They ran to the entrance and were relieved to find the other guards unharmed and waiting for them. With great haste, they all jumped into the vehicle and drove as fast the vehicle would go over the rough terrain toward the settlement.
Not even noticing how pleasant the night was or how warm the scented air was their only focus was to get back to safety. They drove to the sacred hill and were pleased to see a contingent of guards prepared for their return. Zerydo, still carrying Sipho, thanked the guards and instructed them to seal the entrance and not to open up without express permission. He ran toward the control room and bursting in yelled at Zanu to get help immediately. Zanu called several council members, scientists, and anybody else who might be able to help the unconscious Sipho.
Zerydo put Sipho on the table and stepped back as several members began to examine him.
"Zanu, you do realize we do not have any medical doctors, and I am unsure of what is exactly wrong with little Sipho," Zerydo said.
"Calm down. I am sure we will be able to revive him and take care of him until he has fully recovered."
"As confident as always - I hope you are right," Zerydo said and walked over to fetch some juice and slake his thirst.
Walking back to Zanu, he stood beside his brother and waited to hear what the members had to say. After several minutes, they heard a small faint voice and everyone smiled. Sipho was waking up - they had managed to revive him. Zanu and Zerydo went closer and saw that although Sipho was not moving, his eyes were open. Sipho immediately recognized Zanu and Zerydo and smiled. He then closed his eyes and slept. They moved him from the table to a more comfortable couch and took turns sitting with him for the rest of the night, watching for any movement or sound the child might make.
Both Zerydo and Zanu, although exhausted, did not want to leave him alone. The two of them spoke about Zerydo’s encounter in the cave with the demons. Zanu was uncomfortable with the killing of a monster, but reassured Zerydo that they should be safer now that they were back in the settlement. He tried to understand Zerydo's fear, and knew he would have to speak with God Most High and gather more information on what they could expect from the demons of Hades.

Hope you enjoyed, looking forward to sharing more soon.

All the best and have a super week.
Your friend,
Laura

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