Monday, August 22, 2005

Why I won't be sleeping tonight

"The fudge is the life." Bela Lugosi, Dracula (1931) En route from the bedroom to the dishwasher, Karen's not-quite-finished dessert became a bit lighter. In eight or nine paces, I, Diet Boy, managed to polish off several teaspoons of molten Dreyer's Chocolate Ice Cream and a heaping congealed teaspoon of Mrs. Richardson's Hot Fudge.
If I don't drug up on Benadryl, I'll be up until 3 or 4. The culprit? Theobromine, a close relative of caffeine. Like caffeine, theobromine is a mild stimulant. Also like caffeine, it has a whoppingly long half-life (6 to 10 hours). So if like me you are sensitive to it, eat your chocolate early. Let's take a closer look at theobromine.
And you thought you'd never have to see one of those again, huh? It gets more interesting. Here's the structure of guanine, a key component of DNA (it's the G that always pairs with C, cytosine):
Do ya see it yet? Do ya? The structures are awfully similar. One could, with little effort, imagine a genetic code in which caffeine and theobromine are key players. Imagine further that we were incapable of synthesizing these compounds (which is, in fact, true: our bodies don't make caffeine or theobromine, more's the pity). Do you see where I'm headed with this? Theobromine and caffeine would be vitamins -- essential nutrients we cannot synthesize for ourselves. Chocolate and coffee would be the bottom tier of the food pyramid. One could live on One-a-Day Vitamins and tiramisu. Perhaps I had more of a point when I first got rolling, but isn't that point enough? D.

6 Comments:

Blogger THIS! Christine said...

Perhaps I had more of a point when I first got rolling, but isn't that point enough?

No.

X

8/23/2005 12:37:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Hmm. You don't like a fantasy where Cafe Mocha is as nutritious as Ensure, eh? Tough audience.

8/23/2005 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Trying to out-geek me with biochemistry, eh? Trust me, Doug, physics will always be geekier than biochem.

And yes, I want a world where chocolate -- particularly dark chocolate -- is better for me than cauliflower.

8/23/2005 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous bam said...

Yes, I would like to live in a world where my boyfriend doesn't glare at me every time I shove chocolate into my mouth, saying snide shit like, "that'll go straight to your thighs." I'd like to be able to say, "Fuck you, it's healthy for me."

I should say that anyway.

8/23/2005 09:50:00 AM  
Blogger Douglas Hoffman said...

Go for it, Bam.

8/23/2005 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Candy said...

I can't even... Wow.

Sorry. I need a few moments alone, contemplating a world in which chocolate isn't just good for me, but provides me with essential nutrients.

*shifty eyes*

8/23/2005 02:29:00 PM  

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