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Blake Stacey beat you to the punch on the Mars, Inc. bit:

After the news that coffee might serve as a good antioxidant, chocolate may help cognitive abilities, and port wine (which is also what our communion consisted of), this is interesting information to mull over. My blood pressure's just fine, too. Maybe if I keep up with my bad habits I'll live to 150. ;-)

I'm not sure about peanut butter having any particular effect *because* of being mixed with chocolate, but I am wondering about the effects of peanut butter alone; Reese's may have just found a winning addictive combination (at least for me).

Great fact, irresistable.

**Off topic: Speaking of Mr. Stacey and useful links, check this out on Neil Gaiman's blog:

The nfctd part - it's just the coolest, hauntingly beautiful thing I've played with online recently. I went through it several times and it was slightly different each time depending on how I clicked. I think you might like it, Jennifer.

Hi Jennifer,

Maurizio Scarpa, the pediatrician of my kids, considers chocolate more or less at the same level of arsenic. And he is not a moron - he did quite advanced studies, and also spent a few years in a US clinic. I have never investigated how much his position is shared by his peer, though.

I for sure did not disallow chocolate in my house, but due to the influence of dr. Scarpa, I am relieved to see that neither Filippo nor Ilaria are mad about it.

Don't take me wrong, I love chocolate! It is not compatible with my constant dieting state, but I allow myself to disobey from time to time.


I can't wait for the research to shift to the study of how chocolate works in combination with peanut butter.

Presumably the animal model to start with on these studies is the rhesus monkey?

A critical problem with Western religions, to my knowledge unaddressed even by Prof. Dawkins, is the lack of chocolate in their rituals.

It looks like the only difference between a flavanol and a flavonoid is that the former has a hydroxyl group (an oxygen hooked to a hydrogen) attached to that middle hexagon, next to the carbonyl group (the C=O part).

It's not too surprising that chocolate isn't a part of Western religion since most of the religious rituals were set in place in the Middle Ages-before chocolate was introduced to the West. I'd be more interested to know if coffee is part of Muslim rituals since they have origins at around the same time.

Well, green tea is famously part of Japanese rituals of contemplation. And it's powdered green tea at that, for faster absorbtion.

You expect me to believe that the Promised Land could be anywhere which chocolate is not? Ahem! Milk and honey just ain't enough, and less'n there be some cacao trees in Canaan which the Good Book never got 'round to mentionin', maybe it cain't be such a Good Book after all.

Well. It's worth thinking about, anyway.

I find it interesting that the response to chocolate varies so much between individuals. I've known a fair number of people for whom chocolate really qualified as a "drug of addiction". But while I'm definitely a sugar fiend (munching gummy-worms as I write), I never "got into" chocolate to anything like that degree.

Yay, chocolate!

I recently read an article about you and your latest conquest featured in the Seattle Times. After reading your bio, columnist reviews and your blog, I can't help but wonder, as an intelligent and savy yet somewhat sarcastic writer, do you ever get people who naysay? (ie: negative feedback, or, do all of the scientific facts that you hightlight give you a credibility that people would rather not challenge, more times than not?) As a fellow blogger, I'm wondering how to take the criticism for my honest thoughts without taking it personal. Do you think that there is something to be said, really, about adding in specific facts???

The milk chocolate sold in England is not very good for you as they use milk solids high in saturated fat. That's the number one problem, not sugar (which you can easily burn up) and cocoa (which is probably a benefit in some ways, as you suggest).

I can't stand plain chocolate, but I don't particularly want to health problems, so when I found out the high saturated fat content of milk chocolate (Cadbury Dairy Milk, for instance) a few years ago, I tried to cut it out. It's been difficult (bad withdrawl effects), but I've survived.

What a shame they don't use skimmed milk solids to make milk chocolate.

You can buy chocolate with artificial sweetener instead of sugar, but that's no use (I need energy, I just don't want saturated fat).

since when , is nitrix oxide a hormone?

I have to say, I love your blog. So much, that I've linked your blog to my blog for the Seattle PI.

I First came acrossed your work in an article in the Times. Very creative spin on things. Rock out with your cocktail out! lol....

Very interesting article and I never have seen a better explanation what chocolate do and how it works. Before I loved to eat chocolate but now I love it more and can eat it with a good conscience.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.