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By Roger Hanney

That explains a lot’

Charles Barber is a published author and lecturer in psychiatry at Yale University in America. He recently wrote a short article titled Drugged-Up Nation [http://www.agenceglobal.com/article.asp’id=1612], critiquing the fact that America is now literally awash in anti-depressants and psychoactive medication.

Credible research, as first reported in March in the Associated Press, has now shown that the drinking water of well over 40 million Americans is actually a contaminated pharmaceutical containing, in many cases, such psychiatric drugs as Prozac, Valium, and Risperdal ‘ a potent medication for schizophrenia.

The nature and extent of the medicated water supply gives Barber reason for reflection. He comments upon the reality of modern life in America, and how it now so clearly echoes the earliest dreads of science fiction writers making predictions about ordinary society. Some saw major difficulties which could be solved by human ingenuity.

‘No such luck, it appears, in contemporary America,’ writes Barber, ‘where we continue to ask the drugs to do what they were never intended for: to medicate and subdue the more troublesome aspects of the human condition.’

Spidey Potere!!!

The latest Australian websation comes from a group of film students at South Australia’s Flinders University. With its classic ’60s look and sound, the preview for Italian Spiderman [http://www.youtube.com/watch’v=UhHhXukovMU] promises action, conflict, macchiato and rubber snakes.

The fake preview, first shown publicly late last year, generated such a buzz that the group of friends soon found themselves with more than two million hits on YouTube. And funding from the South Australian Film Commission to make the fake film real. Since late May, the first of ten newly commissioned webisodes have been appearing online each week.

Of course, the authentic true story of the movie’s origins is somewhat more interesting. It speaks of a movie completed in 1968 and costing $15 million, inspired by a book called Death Wears a Hat and recorded in a production diary titled Opening the Gates of Hell.

For the full story of how the only copy of the 35mm film came to be adrift at sea for the last forty years, visit wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_Spiderman] or, better still, www.alrugo.com.