My distractions


I finished reading this fun read, Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers. This author has a fun way of writing that is both well spoken, entertaining, and conversational. I appreciate his honesty with the validity of the science he presents as he acknowledges when the studies are weak (with appropriate reasoning).

Mr. Rogers describes the fun of science well - that it is in the doing (or reading) not the answers. The fun is in the questions on the stuff we do not know. This book delves into what we know about alcohol and then brings up questions of what we don't ... and where we go next.

This book has some wonderful stories in it - from the history of yeast to the importance of sugar. It is an interesting historical read on alcohol development, process, discovery, and intake.

I learned about some interesting characteristics of alcohol, such as much of the effects are due to the social context of ingesting, it is possible that ethanol does not taste good and all the other flavors help cover it up, and despite centuries of fermentation, there is very little study of hangovers.

Hangovers apparently should be expected with a BAC > 0.1 (depending on age and sex).

Interesting quotes:

Distillation tells us that having less of something can make it more potent. It is concentration. It is focus.

Scientists have a more inscrutable name for it (hangover): veisalgia, from the Greek word for pain, algia, and kveis, a Norwegian word meaning "uneasinesss following debauchery."

Magic is really just advanced technology. Science is how we make magic.


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