DAVID f. HOLTHOUSE

Ace reporter whose life story is so Gonzo they made it into a play. Most famous for infiltrating and exposing white supremacists, plotting to kill his childhood rapist and proving the Mac is mightier than the Glock, Dave remains my personal hero and I urge everyone to read his entire back catalog. Sadly, this is his best existing picture.

(the man, the legend sits down and talks guns, neo nazis, and conspiracy to murder on LAD)

MONA ELTAHAWY

Kick-ass Egyptian journalist and go-to expert on Muslim women's rights, Mona is the author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs A Sexual Revolution. Which is brilliant. How hard core is she? After having both her arms broken by Egyptian security forces she got the Goddess Sekhmet tattooed on her forearm because Sekhmet, apparently, "Will kick your ass, then fuck your brains out" Mona's biggest secret? She's a total sweetheart. Mansplainers beware!

(Headscarves and Hymens on LAD-- what more do you need?)

Sameet Kumar, ph. D Imagine spending your working life counseling the terminally ill and their families. Day after day, meeting people under the worst possible circumstances. Now imagine helping them to not only work through their grief but to make the process a transformative- even life-affirming- experience. Meet PH.D. psychologist Sameet Kumar, one of the lovliest dudes you'll ever meet. His book Grieving Mindfully helps you do just that. (I've been meaning to read his The Mindful Path Through Worry and Rumination but, sadly, living without anxiety would be a denial of my heritage). All of us will die and, if we're lucky(!), we will experience loved ones dying as well. Sameet has made it his life's work to bring consciousness to this inevitable process. (He also runs barefoot- good grief!)

Sameet Kumar, ph. D

Imagine spending your working life counseling the terminally ill and their families. Day after day, meeting people under the worst possible circumstances. Now imagine helping them to not only work through their grief but to make the process a transformative- even life-affirming- experience. Meet PH.D. psychologist Sameet Kumar, one of the lovliest dudes you'll ever meet. His book Grieving Mindfully helps you do just that. (I've been meaning to read his The Mindful Path Through Worry and Rumination but, sadly, living without anxiety would be a denial of my heritage). All of us will die and, if we're lucky(!), we will experience loved ones dying as well. Sameet has made it his life's work to bring consciousness to this inevitable process.

(He also runs barefoot- good grief!)

Tim Butcher Few people can match the huevos or titanium upper lip of self-confessed hack journo (yes, he lets me call him) Timbo Butcher. A natural born raconteur-- the best guest for a podcast btw-- Timbo is renown for backing up stupid/crazy ideas with critically-acclaimed, best-selling books. Hey, I know, I'll go follow Dean Morton Stanley's expedition up the Congo, only alone-- I've always wanted to meet child soldiers! No, wait: how 'bout traipsing around Sierra Leone in the footsteps of Graham Green-- is there a jab for ebola? His books are so compelling it's annoying. Buy them all. Do it now. (So nice we had him twice. Twice!)

Tim Butcher

Few people can match the huevos or titanium upper lip of self-confessed hack journo (yes, he lets me call him) Timbo Butcher. A natural born raconteur-- the best guest for a podcast btw-- Timbo is renown for backing up stupid/crazy ideas with critically-acclaimed, best-selling books. Hey, I know, I'll go follow Dean Morton Stanley's expedition up the Congo, only alone-- I've always wanted to meet child soldiers! No, wait: how 'bout traipsing around Sierra Leone in the footsteps of Graham Green-- is there a jab for ebola? His books are so compelling it's annoying. Buy them all. Do it now.

(So nice we had him twice. Twice!)

Dr. Susan Blackmore I was first introduced to Susan's work by Terence McKenna who, at the time, was fascinated by memes: "What is imagination but meme mutation in action?" Her landmark book the Meme Machine, prefaced by Richard Dawkins, not only helped shape the way I look at the world but helped inspire a close friend of mine to get a vasectomy. ("If I can replicate myself by spreading information then why...") But Susan is more than memes-- she also studied the paranormal for 25 years before renouncing it all as bollocks. Which takes an Atlantic ocean's worth of character. An intellectuals' intellectual, with whatever Atheists call a kindly spirit.. (ps. technology-assisted memes-- or temes-- are the next big replicator. They will kill you with your smart-fridge. You have been warned.)

Dr. Susan Blackmore

I was first introduced to Susan's work by Terence McKenna who, at the time, was fascinated by memes: "What is imagination but meme mutation in action?" Her landmark book the Meme Machine, prefaced by Richard Dawkins, not only helped shape the way I look at the world but helped inspire a close friend of mine to get a vasectomy. ("If I can replicate myself by spreading information then why...") But Susan is more than memes-- she also studied the paranormal for 25 years before renouncing it all as bollocks. Which takes an Atlantic ocean's worth of character. An intellectuals' intellectual, with whatever Atheists call a kindly spirit..

(ps. technology-assisted memes-- or temes-- are the next big replicator. They will kill you with your smart-fridge. You have been warned.)

RHETT BUTLER There we were... in Sulawesi, when the lovely woman in the cabin next-door called out, "Would you like to see a snake?" (There are two kinds of people...) The snake turned out to be an oriental vine snake and the woman turned out to be the fiancee of the inimitable-- yes, his name is-- Rhett Butler, who runs the internet's leading environmental news website, mongabay.com. Blacklisted by governments, charged by elephants, and besieged by killer earworms, Rhett fights the good fight for the world's most imperiled ecosystems. He's also a world-class wildlife photographer. Still a total geek, tho. (frankly, my dear, he does give a Danum)

RHETT BUTLER

There we were... in Sulawesi, when the lovely woman in the cabin next-door called out, "Would you like to see a snake?" (There are two kinds of people...)

The snake turned out to be an oriental vine snake and the woman turned out to be the fiancee of the inimitable-- yes, his name is-- Rhett Butler, who runs the internet's leading environmental news website, mongabay.com. Blacklisted by governments, charged by elephants, and besieged by killer earworms, Rhett fights the good fight for the world's most imperiled ecosystems. He's also a world-class wildlife photographer. Still a total geek, tho.

(frankly, my dear, he does give a Danum)

MICHAEL WARNER

a.k.a. Captain Proper SG.

Heart, brains and brawn behind Ladyshape and parkour-inspired Street Gym. Specialist in children's physical ed and movement therapy for the mentally ill (we were made for each other!) Dude radiates positivity and has taught me so much about overcoming mental obstacles by climbing over physical ones. I used to train indoors with weights and machines but thanks to Mikey, I now rock up to children's playgrounds- train or shine- and say, "Hey you little punks-- get out my gym!"

(Gwan king! #musclesauce)

LINDSEY HILSUM It seems like every time some really horrible s*** is going down, Channel 4's International Editor Lindsey Hilsum is standing in a smoking crater looking fabulous. Rwanda, Iraq, Islamic State, Palestine, a Libyan Sandstorm(buy the book!)- wherever humanity is at its lowest ebb, Lindsey is not only getting the story but broadcasting it with compassion. How she manages to remain so unflappable after all the horrors she's witnessed is anybody's guess. I suspect cage-fighting on the weekends. Attention Channel 4: surely you can send her to Cannes once in a while? (It's Syria for Dummies on LAD)

LINDSEY HILSUM

It seems like every time some really horrible s*** is going down, Channel 4's International Editor Lindsey Hilsum is standing in a smoking crater looking fabulous. Rwanda, Iraq, Islamic State, Palestine, a Libyan Sandstorm(buy the book!)- wherever humanity is at its lowest ebb, Lindsey is not only getting the story but broadcasting it with compassion. How she manages to remain so unflappable after all the horrors she's witnessed is anybody's guess. I suspect cage-fighting on the weekends.

Attention Channel 4: surely you can send her to Cannes once in a while?

(It's Syria for Dummies on LAD)

TERENCE MCKENNA R.I.P.

Author, scholar, visionary, psychonaut, butterfly collector and  self-proclaimed alchemist in the tradition of transmuting human consciousness to gold, Terence McKenna was one of the greats.

A weekend at his novelty conference at Esalen in '96 changed my life forever. It made me turn left instead of right (on Highway 1). When I found out he had a lethal brain tumor I burst out crying and when he died I wrote a rambling, grief-and-starstruck obituary, published in the Anchorage Press. I hope it does him justice. 

Terence was recently humanized by his brother Denis in his excellent book Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss.

If you're not familiar his work don't walk, click on Lorenzo Hagerty's Psychedelic Salon to find every Terence McKenna recording known to man or ape.

We will never know his equal.

(though OMG that timewave theory of his needed to stop! x)