Another New International Information Sharing and Storage Site Tournament
It is motherfucking on. O-New’s now an ISSS and there are only two ISSSs, so we’re eligible to participate in the finals.
(Voting starts whenever we pull a poll up. Voting hasn’t started yet!! So in the meantime…)
Strange Brains Ferment Sex Like Pickles; another Fridge Magnet Fiction Friday writing prompt, courtesy of 2DT and Pierre-Yves Bouthyette.
When we talk about fermentation, most of us assume that we are referring to the process used to make wine or beer, i.e. production of alcohol by microorganisms; however, fermentation plays a much greater role in our lives. In fact, the fermentation process accounts for a large part of the foods we eat.
“Plants” without obvious sex organs were classified in the Class Cryptogamia, or “plants with a hidden marriage,” which lumped together the algae, lichens, fungi, mosses and other bryophytes, and ferns. Linnaeus drew some rather astonishing parallels between plant sexuality and human love. We can argue that for a lot of other organisms including humans sexual reproduction is a consequence of stress or at least enhanced by stress. Look at baby booms in war times and see that we may not be that different from yeast.
Vinegar preserves cucumbers for long periods of time as pickles. Both the Greeks and Romans ate pickles and sauerkraut as food and used them as medicine. Yeast are Fungi, like molds and mushrooms while bacteria are Monera. Beer at that time was a strange brew of relatively bland, fermented barley. Thus the breads of Antiquity were more like coarse sourdough breads made by a mixture of bacteria and yeast that produced CO2, alcohol and acids. Alcohol has very few bad effects on the brain per se but little therapeutic effects as well. We know however that alcohol acts on the pleasure centers of the brain and in effect replaces the levels of pleasure molecules in the same way that morphine and heroin act.
Of course pasteurization is very likely to change the taste of beer and give it a caramelized flavor. Frangelico, a shimmering brown hazlenut-scented liqueur, was first concocted out of woodland nuts and herbs by a reclusive seventeenth-century Italian monk, hence its distinctive bottle, shaped like a robed cleric. Carbon dioxide is produced during fermentation but most of it disappears. The aging process allows for the crystallization of tartaric acid out of the wine and of course malolactic fermentation reduces the acidity by transforming a strong acid like malic acid into the milder lactic acid.
From these data and what we know of the effects of alcohol in the brain a theory of genetic alcoholism has been formulated. Strange brains ferment sex like pickles.