Francis Crick discovered the double helix while tripping on LSD, Sigmund Freud thought up psychoanalysis with a nose full of coke, Dock Ellis pitched a perfect no-hitter after ingesting acid, and Moses, well, Moses loved him some 'shrooms. Cracked.com has the 411 on each person, including reasons why potential new users should think twice before ingesting a fistful of blow or gumming down a sheet of RC (that's what we youngsters take in place of LSD). My favorite excerpt:
Ellis remembers very little about the game, other than that sometimes the ball was huge in his hands and sometimes it was tiny, and that at one point he dove out of the way of a line drive, only to look up and see that the ball hadn't even reached the mound. If this sounds like a ridiculous cartoon to you, that's probably what it looked like to Ellis. So how the fuck did Ellis manage to pitch a better game than Pedro Martinez ever would?
Two different narratives emerge when these secret histories are juxtaposed with conventional school-room biographies: the disciplined athlete becomes the drug-addled natural; the diligent scholars turn into freewheeling geniuses; God's Chosen People sound like delusional nomads. I, for one, appreciate any and all evidence that addiction and/or recreational consumption can supplement my already-unequaled brilliance.
But what motivates teachers and professors to omit these facets of a historical figure's character? Some flashy lights and sounds would have redeemed the many hours I spent reading/watching/ sleeping through Power Point slides on Crick and Watson. And as an amphetamine abuser, I would have paid much closer attention to the psy101 section on Freud had I known he snorted his breakfast.
I feel slightly less betrayed after reading this article than I did when my (very conservative) high school senior English teacher denied that Walt Whitman was into dudes; but not quite as disappointed as when one of the fictional teachers on the turn-of-the-millennium pedagogical phenomenon Boston Public claimed, "Hemingway was a great writer in spite of his alcoholism, not because of it."