Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Green Fairy was just a lush?

Toulouse would be devastated:
In the most comprehensive analysis of old bottles of original absinthe — once quaffed by the likes of van Gogh, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso to enhance their creativity — a team of scientists from Europe and the United States have concluded the culprit was plain and simple: A high alcohol content, rather than thujone, the compound widely believed responsible for absinthe’s effects.
It does sound a bit like the worst of boozing and doping, all rolled into one:
Absinthe took on legendary status in late 19th-Century Paris among bohemian artists and writers. They believed it expanded consciousness with psychedelic effects and called it “the Green Fairy” and “the Green Muse.” The drink’s popularity spread through Europe and to the United States. However, illness and violent episodes among drinkers gave absinthe the reputation as a dangerous drug, and it was banned in Europe and elsewhere.
Well, I distinctly remember the behavior of all too many of the guys in my dorm during freshman year of college; they needed nothing more than alcohol to be obnoxious and destructive. Can't say they were very creative though. Unless taking a baseball bat to the hallway walls would be considered artistic.

The story is reported in e!science news

Find the scientific report in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

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