Caffeine, coffee, tea and chocolate

Reading The World of Caffeine by Weinberg and Bealer, coffee seems to have mysteriously escaped notice until the 1500’s, despite a reference to it in A.D. 1000. Weirder still, it seems to have been unknown to the Arabs until after they heard of tea, which was grown far further away than coffee. Coffee was growing wild practically in their own back yard, it is said to have originated in Ethiopia. It got very popular in Europe in the seventeenth century, Bach wrote a “Coffee Cantata” in 1732.

Interesting fact #2, chocolate contains a stimulant theobromine, which augments the effect of caffeine, and has a similar pharmacological profile. The book mentions chocolate and cocoa being sold in the coffee houses next to tea and coffee, much like today’s Starbucks coffee shops. Starbucks’ website sells an electric tea kettle for $125, as if it were some newfangled contraption for elite tea drinkers, instead of a kitchen workhorse, advertising it as “Revolutionary water heating technology.”

Mail

The signal to noise ratio on paper mail is horribly low. Six bits of noise in the box today and not one signal, especially not the signal I’m waiting for. People say that if junk email cost money to send there would be less of it, but I get an awful lot of junk paper mail too. Bill Bryson proposed tearing up their reply card and mailing it back in their own envelope, thus doubling their costs.

Change of Method

I have started using Blog (the program) and deleted my Blogger entries. I much prefer keeping the data myself, instead of relying on an outside source to keep it for me. It was interesting setting this up, not a walk in the park but a heck of a lot easier once I found the right bit in the help file. And I get to use my PHP templates, and titles too! Wonder of wonders, there is also a spelling checker. And there was much rejoicing!

All the HTML class assignments are marked, all the t-zero columns are formatted and uploaded, just waiting for teasers. Relief. I am finally up to date with everything. Synchronicity: one of the t-zero columns is about web logs. We have a new columnist who keeps not one, but two blogs going.

Virus

I feel tired. After two days spent largely asleep I still feel tired. I still have the attention span of a block of cheese. I’ve GOT to get back to my HTML class. It’s not fair to go offline when they’re getting to the interesting bit.

What’s the point of viruses anyway? What useful purpose do they serve? Even wasps have a purpose, as the garbage disposal unit of the garden, but what do viruses do other than cause strife?

Blogging

Fox 2 News put a quote on the screen containing the sentence: “Alot can happen in twelve days.” Alot, not “A lot,” but slinging the two together as one word. Where’s the spell checker? Where’s the copy editor?

Self-referential blogging links:

Daypop searches weblogs for news and current events.

Blogstickers provides bumper stickers for blogs.

BlogSnob publicizes personal blogs.

The Blogger Code is a Geek code for bloggers.

I have found a wonderful Blogsticker by Patty Bau:

(Trans: I came, I saw, I Blogged)

Experimenting with Blogsnob. No links are appearing. Ah, I haven’t been approved yet. And the approval committee is in India. Hi guys!

stuff.misc

Joy. My first cold/cough of the season. One car is in for it’s first service ever, the other is romping towards the 80,000 mile mark. And the weather forecast says snow at last! Bring it on, I hate waiting for snow, knowing this time last year we were already under several inches of hard packed snow and ice. Get on with it already!

Suppose I ought to eat lunch at some point.

Voicemail Ping Pong

A game for two or more players.

Rules:

Player one calls player two, who is unavailable. Player two returns player one’s call as soon as possible, but has to leave a voicemail because player one is now unavailable. Repeat as often as necessary to get real human contact.

Unbelievable! Headline on CNN said “Buy-Partisan Influence.” It should be BI-Partisan! Don’t these people know how to spell?!