Monday, October 24, 2005

Possessed by...

. . . the demon bean.

Remember those famous before-and-after photos showing the effects of LSD on the web-spinning skills of spiders?

Well, caffeine has a similar effect, as these upper and lower images demonstrate. Contrast the normal web in the upper photo with the highly irregular web spun by a spider suffering caffeinism.

Indeed, caffeine's deleterious effect on webspinning even exceeds that of LSD and other drugs.

If the young Korean lady at Saturday's conference had only known of these scientific findings, she could have rejected my plea for stronger coffee by citing health reasons to support Koreans' consumption of weak coffee.

Had I, nevertheless, insisted on my right to strong coffee, she could have labeled me a "bean fiend" and sent me to The Caffeine Web for help in kicking the coffee habit.

None of this would sway me, for I'm already too highly caffeinated -- toxic even -- and amble about mumble-humming my "Java Jive" theme song:

I love java sweet and hot
Whoops Mr. Moto I'm a coffee pot (yeah)
Shoot me the pot and I'll pour me a shot
A cup, a cup, a cup (yeah)

Yeah . . .


At 2:08 PM, Blogger Sperwer said...

FYI, there was a write-up recently in National Geographic about cofee and caffeine that illustrated the effect of caffeine on human brain function. The comparison photos of the brain on caffeine and the brain sans caffeine were very illuminating and disturbing. Even more disturbing was the comparison of was the comparison of the functioning of a brain accustomed to caffeine but deprived of it and a "normal" brain. In the latter case, the brain function of the caffeine withdrawal brain was, if recollection serves, about 15%-20% of that of the normal brain.

At 4:20 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

On the basis of this disturbing information from National Geographic, I conclude that I'd better not ever stop drinking coffee.

At 8:28 PM, Blogger Sperwer said...

well, the good news is that if you quit brain chemistry returns to normal after about a month or so. Albeit's tantamount to a buddhist meditator's recomendation of the beneficial physical effects of contemplation, I can testify as a reformed caffeine junkie that there is light at the end of the tunnel - although there are a couple weeks of migraines followed by a couple weeks of disorientation betwixt here and there.

At 8:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, Dr. Hodges,

I've just sent you an important email. Well, important to me, anyway. Please keep an eye out for it as you are able. Thank you.

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Horace Jeffery Hodges said...

Sperwer -- all kidding aside, I've often gone without coffee and never had a headache or felt any ill effects. I probably am one of those lucky people who enjoy coffee without the side-effects.

But from now on, I'll pay closer attention to coffee's effect on my system, just in case.

Nathan, I received your two emails and have replied, so check your email.


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