Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Dear, sweet, lovely caffeine

I'm reading an essay in National Geographic about caffeine and its popularity, and I've got some interesting tidbits:

  • Caffeine was discovered by German chemist Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge; Runge first isolated caffeine as the chemical in coffee beans that gives us the effect we know and love. (And, as you may have guessed, Runge created the word caffeine, meaning something found in coffee.) Chemists then realized that caffeine in coffee beans is the same as caffeine in tea.
  • Two tablets of Excedrin, the recommended dose, have more caffeine than a 20 oz. bottle of Coca-Cola.
  • If your chewing gum has caffeine in it, your body absorbs the caffeine three times faster than it does with caffeine in drinks and pills. Not to alarm you, but they're testing this gum on Canadian soldiers. I'd be happy to help with the testing.
But the real reason for this post? The following quote from Paul Erdös, a Hungarian mathematician who worked around the clock: "A mathematician is a machine for turning coffee into theorems."

I love that quote. And what's more, if you insert new words, you can have fun with the quote. For example, a blogger is a machine for turning time into waste. Or, my dog is a machine for turning sleep into incredible cuteness. But try to leave coffee in the quote if you can, and post your best in the comments if you dare. (I'm looking at you, Chickywang.)

And by the way, thanks to Deadspin and SI On Campus for linking to us. We're having fun checking the visitor stats every hour as a way to put off finishing our last essay of the term. Thanks also to the Duke fan who was so angry he misspelled Poet Laureate J. J. Redick's last name and missed the fact that, elsewhere on this blog, we've called Redick "a very good basketball player." But, honestly, part of me doesn't blame him. (It's a very small part, but still.) Redick is the best scorer in the country this year, so people hate him and say awful things about his family at games. Imagine that at a fiction or poetry reading.

1 comment:

Soggy Bear said...

I am a great machine for turning Healthy Heart cereal into poo. Now, aren't you sorry you looked at me? I am a great machine for turning spaghetti into...poo. Aren't you still sorry? The sky is a great machine for holding up planes. The sun is a great machine to make the crops grow. The AWP is a great machine for making the caffeine flow. A carrot is a great machine for orange.