Better than a Floyd laser show
You don't have to watch annoying science-fiction movies (or CNN election coverage — beam me up, Blitzer!) to see cool, mind-blowing holography. The MIT Museum, for example, is currently showcasing "HOLOGRAPHY: THE LIGHT FANTASTIC," the world's largest collection of holograms. "Huh?" you might ask. MIT answers: "The holographic-imaging process uses laser light to store and reproduce three dimensional images." Yeah, whatever, supergeeks. Until the MIT kids figure out human teleportation, spend your LSD on such featured holographic works as "Brains and Skulls" and "Space Graffiti: Whipped Cream," and one that combines a tiger's face with a chick's that's called "Tigirl." Sweet.

Experiment with 'E'
Hey, anxiety sufferers, it isn't all that bad. Sure, some morons left the faucet on in the Gulf and there will be irrevocable damage to the environment, shoreline, and sea creatures for generations to come. But you don't have to worry about that, because you can PARTICIPATE IN AN MDMA LAB EXPERIMENT. (MDMA is also better known as the drug "ecstasy.") Harvard researcher John Halpren is conducting a surprisingly legal study of ecstasy-assisted psychotherapy at McLean Hospital. Some side effects may occur, including empathy and loss of fear of death. But what fun!, search "Harvard MDMA"

Skip the 12 steps
Are you a little too reliant on kind bud to get you through the day? Perhaps you are a wake-n-baker who can't take the heat and wants to get out of the kitchen? Why 12-step yourself into a cannabis-free life when you can TAKE PART IN A FREE STUDY THAT WILL HELP YOU END YOUR MARIJUANA ADDICTION? To participate in this McLean Hospital study, you must be a "heavy smoker" (meaning you must smoke a minimum of 10 joints, or the equivalent, per week). But remember: this is a study for people who want to quit smoking pot. If you love your weed and aren't ready to give it up, steer clear!, search "McLean Hospital Marijuana"

Who are you smoking?
Yes, even hardcore bong-suckers can enjoy sashaying on the red carpet. Of course, they tend to do it not in plunging-neckline dresses with trophy firemen on their arms, but rather in sequined pot-leaf smoking jackets and hemp drawstring pants. Join them in a haze of glory on September 17 at the Middle East (ticket required), when High Times magazine celebrates the NORML AWARDS, which are the de facto Oscars for stoners. Everyone in the pot world will be there, including cultivation guru Danny Danko, Miss High Times rocker Bobby Black, and activist-icon Keith Stroup. It'll be a who's-who of cannabis culture.

Party before the fall
Eventually, beach season will draw to a close, the nights will get longer, and the LSDs will, sadly, get shorter. What better way to kick summer's laggard ass than attending the BOSTON FREEDOM RALLY, the East Coast's largest marijuana festival, on Boston Common? Yes, end the lazy-day months at a sun-soaked smoke-out, basking in the glory of tie-dyes, hookahs, and good bands — including Onyx, Myster DL, and Prospect Hill. Chow down on yummy munchies and listen to speakers who may — or may not — forget their speeches. Just free the weed, man! At noon (high noon, naturally), Saturday, September 18.

Valerie Vande Panne can be reached at

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