acid tests

in a recent class, a student mentioned acid tests for data bases. acid is an acronym that stands for atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability.  if u can elaborate more on what these words mean in the context of data bases, please do so under leave a reply.


a different type of acid test is detailed in this book…

cover of the book the electric kool aid acid test

the electric kool-aid acid test describes acid tests and other pranks the merry pranksters pulled throughout the 1960s

the electric kool-aid acid test was written by tom wolfe who passed away earlier this month. it’s a journalistic account of an early 1960s literary giant that was a major inspiration for the hippie generation.

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in 1962, ken kesey wrote this book…

the cover of the book one flew over the cuckoo's nest

this book was made into a critically acclaimed movie starring jack nicholson in 1975. 

the title one flew over the cuckoo’s nest was taken from a nursery rhyme (silly, traditional children’s poem). the book was very well received and made kesey famous. his second novel…..

the cover of sometimes a great notion
this book was made into an academy-award nominated movie starring & directed by paul newman in 1970.

took its name from these lyrics in the folk song good night, irene

sometimes i live in the country
sometimes i live in town
sometimes i have a great notion
to jump into the river and drown

a notion is an idea. drown is die from inhaling water. it’s also the title of this song by smashing pumpkins.


good night, irene was popularized by blues singer leadbelly and covered by various artists including johnny cash,  jack whitetom waits, eric claptonfrank sinatra, nat king cole, van morison, keith richards and this version by little richard. listen at :55 for the lyric that inspired ken kesey’s title.

sometimes a great notion was set for publication in the summer of 1964. kesey planned a cross-country odyssey with a group of friends who called themselves the merry pranksters in a bus they named further.

merry is happy. pranksters are people who create elaborate jokes; like the prankster in this song by the offspring.

kesey explained that further is a measurement (a comparative for the adjective far) and for the purposes of the merry pranksters, a philosophical concept as well.

further, the bus the merry pranksters drove from california to new york city and back

further, the iconic merry pranksters bus (rcarlberg, wikipedia)

while travelling from california to new york city on further, the merry pranksters dropped a lot of acid (took a lot of lsd) mixed with kool-aid and shot a lot of film. the experiences and feelings of the trip were deatiled in the electric kool-aid acid test.

the pranksters looked forward to a meeting in new york with jack kerouac as they took inspiration from this novel which was published 7 years earlier…

the cover of on the road
neal cassady (left) & jack kerouac. on the road was made into a movie starring kristen stewart in 2012.

on the road tells the tale of kerouac’s travels around and across the u.s.a. with his buddy neal cassady driving. cassady also drove further, the pranksters’ bus.

kesey and cassady on further

and this documentary, magic trip, was released in 2011.  the movie contains original footage (video) shot by the merry pranksters in 1964.

what are your impressions of the merry pranksters, their magic trip and their acid test? share them under leave a reply




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