Unchanged Melody

Happy new year to all and sundry!  I made a stern resolution before midnight but have broken it already: luckily I’d resolved to do absolutely nothing of any use today.

Unnerved by the town’s lack of wailing sirens my daughter and I decided to pierce the eerie silence by fetching the first coffee of the year.  In my case the first in four months – I mustn’t get addicted.

Dudley Moore, the Keith Moon of TV and film, was once asked how it felt to pass the age of 40 and he replied it was like being unchained from a lunatic.  Judging from the audience’s laughter this is the experience of a good many people.

But espresso has precisely the reverse effect, and the molecular explanation is this: scientists discovered as long ag as 1932 that its ether-soluble phytosterols release two extraordinary things under oxidation.  One is an endless stream of exciting ideas and the other is enthusiasm enough to put them into motion regardless of their chances of success, before the beans’ magic wears off.  Later, as in Hollywood tales where some mischief maker occupies another’s body, the feeling dawns that you repossessed your flesh only to spend your energy picking up the pieces.

coffee world

From high above caffeine, the world seems united, devoid of political borders

This time, that usurper didn’t buy the Brooklyn Bridge or bet everything on 18 black but he did greedily order a long list of custom-made casein and pigment combinations from California for an upcoming school mural when the ones I had would have easily sufficed.

So it’s 2016 and already nothing has changed – and yet maybe everything has!  Happy New Year!

pigment sources sienna and ochre

Pigments from those geniuses at www.sinopia.com



About iain carstairs

I have a great interest in both scientific advances and the beauty of religion, and created www.scienceandreligion.com about 15 years ago with the aim of finding common ground between the scientist and the believer, and to encourage debate between the two sides.
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4 Responses to Unchanged Melody

  1. Ted Wood says:

    Happy New Year! All the best, Ted

  2. leah says:

    Happy New Year Iain. xoxo Leah

  3. xo to you both and thanks – for saving us all buying cards and finding addresses weeks in advance! Give my regards to that which I once called home, and the snow capped peaks of the Eaton Centre parking lot

  4. Bob says:

    In one of his books Karsh describes his visit to photograph Dr. Albert Schweitzer. The coffee he was served at Schweitzer’s home was the most delicious he had ever tasted, so he asked the Doctor what kind it was. Schweitzer replied that it was “five year old” coffee – the beans that is – and that after that period of time coffee became beneficial rather than slightly toxic as he said it was when “younger”. Interesting anecdote as I believe Schweitzer spent a great deal of time working in parts of Africa where coffee was grown.

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