Wednesday, May 1, 2013

hangovers and the essence of humanity

Im back with more skulls... Skulls, skulls, skulls. They give off no expression, feeling, and the absence of emotion is, ironically, almost inhuman. But that's what skulls are, isn't it? A frame, stripped not only of its flesh but also its humanity, the underlying inner workings that make us hate, like, love... Yes, live.

Some would call it a soul, I guess. I don't take any position in that question, but everyone agrees that this capability escapes us in death.

What is it that I've draw? I guess it could be a skeleton with a soul. Feelings, bursting, vacating, escaping after the prison of flesh was unmade.

Or, more poignantly, a hangover after Walpurgis? The skull is the symbol of a dead man. It's quite how I felt today... Well, not really, but you're never supposed to let the truth get in the way of a good story. It wasn't that bad, but hangovers come on harder and more often ever since I was ill with glandular fever. What are they, anyway? Hangovers?

It doesn't really make sense, why do we feel so... Shite after nights of plunder and joy? Well, I'm not going to keep my line of philosophical writing here. We all know alcohol is toxic, yeah? Yet, It turns out, alcohol is not what makes you feel so bad, I mean, of course it's not, it makes you feel good, strong, brave or whatever your personal experience tells.

Hangovers have to do with how the body breaks down things. For example, a long molecule of something like a complex sugar, or whatever, can't directly be used by the body. To make this sugar more practical, the body snaps it in half, creating a smaller sugar. This sugar may then be split into a really simple sugar, like glucose or something (I don't know..! I don't read biology!).

Alcohol kinda goes through the same process. First, its broken down a little. In order to break it down, the body uses a chemical produced by the liver. This chemical, or enzyme, or whatever, is abundant. Alcohol can always be broken down. But then, there's a problem. What it breaks down to is far more poisonous than Ethanol, your everyday alcohol, is.

The process of breaking down continues, but in order for the body to do so, it requires yet another kind of chemical produced by the liver. This chemical, as opposed to the one that breaks down ethanol, is limited. Once you run out of your reserve of this chemical, you're left with piles of very toxic, alcohol derived waste products. These are the things making you feel like... Shit. The liver slowly creates more of this chemical, slowly cleaning up the toxic mess in your blood, while you're lying in bed, waging a losing war against water and sandwiches, the toilet and vomiting jug standing as your only allies.


  1. C2H5OH + O2 -> CH3COOH + H2O (ethanol becoming ethanoic acid, aka. Acetic acid)
    6C2H402 + H2O -> 2C6H14O6 (actetic acid becoming glucose, aka. Sugar)

    12C2H5OH + 11O2 -> 4C6H14O6 + 10H20
    This all is happening at a relatively rapid rate (without enzymes as catalysts it would take approximately 1000 years), and after the glucose is made the body then proceeds to turn it into eighter carbon dioxide (CO2) and water (H2O), or into fat cells.

    You're welcome!


  2. I'm quite happy I happened to stumble across this blog of yours, and have to admit I'm surprised by how quickly I made a habit of checking for new posts. You run a very creative and thought-provoking blog which never fails to leave me entertained and in deep thought - just as it should be.
    Keep up the great work, looking forward to your future posts!

    1. Why, thank you! To receive comments and feedback like this is really what keeps me going and motivated, I'm just so very happy to hear it!


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