Archive for the 'chemistry' Category

Biochemistry of a Make-Believe TNT Fiend

Want PBR.

Got ATP.

Good 2 GO!!

When I want beer and my hand successfully grasps the Pabst Blue Ribbon can from the bar in front of me, the accomplishment is propelled by chemical energy stored in a molecule of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

atp.GIFPut more precisely: The “PBR accomplishment” is propelled by the release of chemical energy when a phosphate bond (one of the 2 red lines between the 3 P’s in the above diagram) is strategically cleaved from ATP.

The result: Free Energy, available to do work. Or, that’s what they say in the textbooks. It may be more accurate to describe such Free Energy as available to do anything.

Want. Pill.

POP

Another magnificent ATP-propelled accomplishment!!

ATP similarly propels every energy-requiring act by any organism on Earth – be they whale, plankton, salmon or human; from giraffes to the leaf on a tree. Albeit at some expense; an ATP minus one phosphate (adenosine diphosphate or ADP) is like a cooler filled with beer on a hot day – but no ice.

Must..be...remedied!!

When a salmon swims the act is fueled by chemical energy stored in an ATP molecule. ATP makes it so salmons get to swim upstream & have babies. So they need to eat stuff on the way. To make more ATP. To swim up more streams & propagate their species.

But sometimes salmons get caught in a net & grilled on hibachis. The salmon had other plans. But it is dinner now. Flush with energy it no longer requires, on account of being dead.

ATP waiting to happen.

And what will the human do with his freshly-synthesized Free Energy available to do anything?

People use their ATP to run around like chickens with their heads chopped off mostly.

So they can buy more salmon. To get more ATP. So they can crawl imbecilic across the carpet & pick gruelingly for those fabled crumbs of leftover crack cocaine.

So goes the mass of humanity.

Other creatures keep a better handle their ATP habit. Like vultures; supremely patient hunters, who pick nutrient-rich flesh from the bones of the inadvertently deceased. Whitewinged vampire bats drink blood from the toes of sleeping birds. The birds not only survive the predation — they don’t feel a thing.

The described creatures — salmon, vulture, human — are known as chemotrophs (chemo = of or pertaining to chemicals + trophe = nutrition). Chemotrophs extract their energy from biochemicals (bio = Life); from the carbohydrate, protein & fat molecules in food.

In other words: chemotrophs eat for their ATP.

But there are other ways.

Like so:

Ever wonder: Since the Road Runner always somehow evades him — what does Wile E Coyote eat?

TNT.

wile-e.jpg

Actually he doesn’t eat TNT. But when it explodes inadvertantly in his face, squirts brain from his ears and blasts the top half of his skull through a hole in the sky – that TNT nourishes him. Sure as the rest of us are nourished by a bowl of home-made chicken soup.

TNT, coincidentally, is chemical energy.

Which means Wile E Coyote is a chemotroph. Just like me & you. Except, instead of eating salmon, the coyote synthesizes his ATP with energy derived from ACME brand TNT.

Never underestimate coyotes. Delighted, remarkably adaptable — the daredevil species.

His nemesis, the Road Runner, is just some dumb cartoon bird Wile E Coyote chases for giggles & cash. The chase is perpetually doomed. But what the hell? Doom is Money – at least in the Freelance Daredevil business. And a gig is a gig. Trick to it is get a wild kick out of doom.

Like a gambler who knows how to make a fast buck when he loses.

Eat the Road Runner? But…then there would be no Road Runner cartoon. And with no cartoon that coyote is just another doomed jerk on the street.

So he pulls out all the stops to let the road runner get away.

Play to lose. And when you mistakenly win keep a good excuse handy. Plus a dozen-odd hits of strong acid in case you need to hallucinate hugely:

I know what you’re thinking: But Mike E – does Wile E Coyote really synthesize his own ATP?

Great question!

I don’t know. But I can tell you that the TNT-fed cartoon coyote uses ATP to chase the Road Runner sure as a salmon uses ATP to swim upstream.

When something moves on Planet Earth it does so aided by the energy released when a phosphate bond is cleaved strategically from a molecule of ATP. Movement – deliberate movement by a living thing – requires ATP. Just does. Always.

I ask: can Wile E Coyote move across your TV screen without ATP?

Here is an unassailable illustration of the rhetorical nature of my question:

Can I borrow a few thousand bucks? I’ll pay you back when I get a job…

Preposterous!

Dig?

Nothing moves without ATP.

Not even the trickster.

Wile E Coyote is ATP-dependent. Suppose he lacks the cellular mechanism to produce his own. How will he move?

So easy a crackhead could do it.

to be continued…

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superstar love revisited

Dear Batya,

Remember how we thought we could sell a short book of our emails? My old & fiesty friend: we were On To It! Which is why I no longer fuck with email much even; just slap this letter here, my first to you in 5 years, straight on open container speedWay!

Where everything is for sale.

+$!

They were on the counter. Flowers. No one had — or has since thank goodness — ever fired me up a bouquet from afar. Dudes: bouquets suck! In Lieu of Flowers just replenish my online gambling account. From now on. Thanks!

But one thing about these flowers was so good it changed me.

Probably I cruised up to the Godz Club — the old place to be — to smoke pot in the walk in cooler. Hits from a carved parsnip bong. Cauldrons of Alien Turd Tea. Stirred with giant chocolate speed-dipped sporks. Yep. First they got the sporks banned. Then outlawed hallucinations altogether. What next? The dreaded ‘nuclear option;’ the US Supreme Court upholds a Texas verdict outlawing possession, manufacture or distribution of make-believe. Whoa!

Did they really?

For sure they banned smoking pot in the walk in cooler. Ask anyone — the place has gone sharp down hill since. Plus they changed their name: they’re the Organo Plug Butt-crunch Restaurant & Pimphouse now.

This! After all the hard work you & me put into that hell hole?

All a friend can say is ain’t it a Shame!!

+$!

Last time I seen her Batya wore a tank-top with 2 words — Oui on her right & WIN! on her left — emblazoned with a green Sharpie across her boob-flesh. The upper & meatier parts of each. Exposed brilliantly when flashed from her tank top; a creme colored affair with miniature lace whips, dangled like hells bells, where her spine curved crater-like into the small of her back. Two words were embroidered in scorpion-apple red across the back pockets of her vintage cut-off Sergio Valenti jeans.

Bitchen Dinero.

I always thought she meant her stack of cash was bitchin’ — Super cool.

But before I got the chance to ask off she go — amid a wild chorus of woohoOz! — with whoever says they’re sober to drive, on a daybreak airport run.

Absynthies says: “That’s the coolest thing about being Batya — must be! She comes. She whoops everyone’s asses, parties harder & harder every second until she leaves — then wooshOO! Gone. Like a hundred dollar bill on a drug run.

Fuckin rock star that Batya!!”

Hero. She does the stuff of heroes.

One time Batya emailed me a few hours after her latest stunning daybreak departure. Said she jumped a straight-shot taxi ride to her workplace’s front curb. About 10AM Chicago time. To cook food for the health conscious People. Except she inadvertently switched the blender flip on while she dislodged a root of ginger with her fingers from the industrial strength high speed blade.

It was just me & her on email back then. She fired off a detailed ‘still drunk’ missive of the incident moments later from the computer at her work. I replied: “Batya: I’m proud of you!!” Then jumped on the phone to tell all our friends! Gossip? No — this is news.

“Yep.” I said. “Last thing said was she planned to commandeer OJ & Champagne for Emergency Room Mimosas. And trade lesbian sex for loose doses of opiate pain yummiez!”

Who does that? Seriously. 2 cool!

I remember another time.

“A’right you guys I just bought every Beastie Boys cd ever made.” She commanded. “So look out.”

It was awesome after that.

Awesome but like all the good things in this world — not for long. I don’t remember when Batya left town exactly. I just remember, protestation aside, I admitted I couldn’t blame her.

Batya lives in New York City and I like the way New York City moves me.

I hit the top stair and swung to my right & into the once epic hangout now known as the Plug Butt-Crunch.

“Whose got me birthday doobages?!” I blurted.

“Right here,” Absynthies proffered the boquet Batya sent me. “Smoke up Johnny!!” “Shit yes,” another concurred. “Smoke ’em way the fuck up!!”

“Give it to Mike E: He’ll smoke anything!” Absynthies said of the daffidol or whatever the shit was. She picked on me, of course, but with deliberate kindness — it was after all my birthday.

“You should smoke the card Batya wrote you dude!” Absynthies assured. “For real. That will get you high. Like Mike E likes it!!”

That good? I thought. Someone else In The Know said, “Read it.”

It read:

Superstar Love!

GollygulpWe’eheeez!!!

It was — & very much is — among the coolest well wishes offered me by anyone ever.

I read it again. Thought about it ever since.

Back at yooz like a boOmSlang 180. Batya: I’m proud to be your friend!!

From one superstar to another: Dang. We superstars gotz to stick together these days!!

Oh..an entire medium-size Vermont town wishes you happy birthday Batya!

The crowd goes wild.

Superstar Love (spiked with XXX make-believe),
Mike E

Gonzo Fantasy

I was duped.

Click for music

Somewhere in the desert between Barstow & Vegas at the Edge of my adolescence — I was Plumb Lied To.

To wit:

Moments later, my attorney slipped into a drug coma and almost ran a red light on Main Street before I could gain control of the Shark and take the wheel myself. Feeling fine. Extremely sharp.

Total Control Now.

Ahh yes. This is what it is all about. Two Good Old Boys in a fire-apple red convertable on a Saturday Night in Las Vegas. STONED. Ripped. Twisted.

Good People.

Hunter S. Thompson wrote that. He was drinking heavily & for long with his friend Oscar at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills, one Friday afternoon back in ’71, when a uniformed dwarf cautiously approached their table with a pink telephone on a tray.

“This must be the call you’ve been waiting for this whole time.” said the Dwark.

Indeed. I gobbled the story down like a trunk-load of drugs. Better than drugs! Like a trunk-load of gonzoi doparhythm.

Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas — and Hunter himself — taught me how I alone happen to know precisely what the fuck I am doing. He made me want to bet smartly on me.

Dared me to bet my own life, even.

The call was from Sports Illustrated. That’s verifiably true. They hired Thompson to write a 250-word caption blurb about the Fabulous Mint 4oo motorcycle race in Las Vegas. They would leave at once. And expenses — rented hot-rod, sound-proof sweet, VIP parking — be damned.

The sporting editors also coughed up $300 cash which Doctor & Attorney famously spent on the following:

Two bags of grass. 75 pellets of mescaline. 5 sheets of high-power blotter acid…

I don’t have a copy of the Good Book with me. Am I getting this right? There was a salt shaker half-filled with cocaine, I recall. Plus a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers & laughers. And also a quart of rum. A quart of tequila. A pint of raw ether and a case of Budweiser…

They blew out of LA at dawn, purports the story, and were somewhere around Barstow when the drugs began to take hold. Then they drove around Vegas until their stash was gone. Wrote a couple Rolling Stone articles about it. Random House bought and published the articles as a book.

And that’s the story about how Hunter S. Thompson hit the Big Time — back when any jerk with a typewriter & a headfull of mescaline could do it that way.

But it doesn’t explain why I cried so when I saw the Good Doc’s obituary. I mean I wept wildly. There’s one quality in writers I admire above all; words that bring good folks together as friends.

And Hunter above ’em all was — is, truly — like a cosmically old Friend to me. One I’d long hoped to meet.

You know why I cried? Because I never got a chance to thank my old friend. To say:

I’m proud to call you my Hero.

Oh & yo Doc, one more thing — you are a pansy-eyed Amature Twerp and if you shot yourself — for real –well then I say you eat douches.

Dig this: A 1971 letter — published in 2000, 15 years after I first read Vegas — from Hunter to his Random House editor, Jim Silberman, in response to Jim’s peculiarly keen observation:

What depresses me is your statement that it was “absolutely clear” to you that Raoul Duke & his attorney “were not on drugs [in Las Vegas].” Because my conception of that piece was to write a thing that would tell what it was like to do a magazine assignment with a head full of weird drugs. I didn’t really make up anything — but I did, at times, bring situations & feelings I remember from other scenes to the reality at hand. I might even claim, for that matter, that this was done by consciously tripping the fabled “LSD recall and/or Flashback Mechanism.

Um.

So…the trunk of the Great Red Shark actually didn’t look like a mobile police narcotics lab?

So Hunter Thompson drove sober.

LOSER!

His acid-crazed attorney didn’t want to be electrocuted to death in the bath when the White Rabbit peaked?

Nah — the Samoan just threw a little hissy-fit when he lost his rubber ducky under the tub.

Thompson’s mind didn’t recoil in horror then at the sight of his body parking the Shark — floor-mats soaked in ether — on the sidewalk in front of Circus Circus?

Well. Yes he did park on the sidewalk. But it was an emergency; his attorney spotted an old lady with no one to help her cross the street!

Why not? By his own admission every word in the book was bogus. A fraud on its face. But he was on someone else’s corporate tab. So of course it had to be done.
All this begs the Question: did he — or did he not — drag that fence 30 feet across the Las Vegas Airport runway so his Attorney wouldn’t miss his flight?

Either way I tell you what Buster — don’t FUCK with the Drug Coma on Main Street!

That one is sacred. Let me have my jollies. Don’t mess with a man’s Gonzo Fantasy.

We’re all friends here :)

At the age of 15 I believed every word written in Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Down to the last drop of human adrenalcreme!

Why?

Children are capable, of course, of literary belief, when the storymaker’s art is good enough to produce it. That state of mind has been called the “willing suspension of disbelief.” But this does not seem to me to be a good description of what happens. What really happens is the storymaker proves a successful “subcreator.” He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter. Inside it, what he relates is “true;” it accords with the laws of that world. You therefore believe it while you are, as it were, inside.

JRR Tolkien

Weird: 15 years after I first read Vegas — and a half decade since it’s been revealed fictional — I don’t believe any less in the truth twoard which Hunter strove. If anything…way more.
I also believe Gandalf smote that Balrog on the snowy mountain and survived. Remember when they found Gandalf with Treebeard? I felt joy. Why? Gandalf is my friend. Must be, since I think it totally rocks, still, the way he didn’t die.

And what of DR. HST? Credit Where Due:

Hunter S. Thompson was a Fantasy man. Surely as Gandalf rode Shadofax fast the Good Doctor wrote some curiously potent fantasy. Most remarkable were his repeated, admirable attempts — sheriff’s race; Rock & Roll vote; unique friendship with and all powerful early endorsement of President Carter — to spike the punch-bowl of Reality.

He duped me in the best possible way. I never doubted a word he wrote. Yet he made it all up. Or did he? Honestly — why would he leave drug infested LA for an all-expense paid Vegas weekend without a trunk full of goodies?

Some suggest Hunter’s work is G-Rated fiction; a Secondary World subcreated from his own, far more depraved Reality…

Did he sample human adrenalcreme? I sure don’t know — and I never will. I’ll wonder though. But always get my best Hoot when I don’t know.

But this is a different subject, & there’s no point in trying to come to grips with it here. What I’m talking about, in essense, is the mechanical Reality of Gonzo Journalism…or Total Subjectivity, as opposed to the bogus demands of Objectivity.
>>HST re: Vegas 1971

To help grasp the Gonzo concept I offer the most succinct yet thorough description Hunter wrote on his self-invented style:

You Cannot Always Find Two “Reliable Sources” to Verify What You Know is True. And that is where I parted company with those bastards a long time ago..

I propose a hybrid genre; one I’ve barely touched on here. What I’m into in essense is Gonzo Fantasy. A kind of neuromolecular Make-Believe; an alternate to the bogus-load o’ bull we’re duped to believe is Reality.

Keep it unreal!

Sugar Bombs TNT & Scooby Snacks

wile-e.jpg

Think I’ll wrap this lil’ Office of National Drug Control lambaste we’ve had here up by takin ya’ll Back.

How far back?

Way the fuck back.

I’m talking cartoons on Saturday morning. Wonder Twin powers. Sugar Bomb cereal & make-believe Scooby Snacks.

Back to the early 80’s Gateway Drug dayz.

Sugar is the Gateway Drug. In my case the Gateway to Ritalin. Next thing you knew I got a mailbox on my bumper & a stolen front tire. Traded those heapin bowls of imitation processed Sugar Bomb breakfast food-style substitute in for a for a real nice psychiatrist who prescribes me my Adderall.

So there I was one Saturday with a head full of sugar & animated TNT and suddenly the TV-add wanker squawks off about the evils of fried eggs.

DUDE!! But that’s like…I mean actual breakfast!

*Mike E says Say WHAT!?*

I could go on and on but think I’ll just let the TV-add douche eater squack for himself.

So here it is ~~~ Hang on to your Open Containers there kiddoz ~~~ The first shot fired in the War on Drugs. The cracked egg heard ’round the World! Let’s make some NOIZE people for your BRAIN-ON ->drugz!!!

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WHEW! Gives me a hankerin for a cold can of Mountain Dew.

Know what: I say bring back the Drug War!

Know why?

Cause it was hallucinated oodles more fun than the War On Terror and we were winning.

Wow. If I could convert blog-posts like this into their smokable form I could bag it up & sell ’em. This is the best fun I’ve ever had writing.

Thanks in no freaking small part to you folks down there on Planet Earth who hang around this crappy joint with me. Who incidentally are, by my good estimate, a handful of the best & most exciting up&coming writers in the Cosmos.

You kids are a genuine spectacle. And so good to me!

I just remembered something: why I ever stayed awake for so long to begin with. Wasn’t because I had nowhere to sleep. Nope — I plain didn’t fuckin Wanna! What if I missed something shazammin?

Dig: I like the Feeling!!

So I’m off with it. groove:On. Do me a favor ya’ll: drive fast Stay Strange & swing yourselfs loose with a chuckle.

ps To the Googler who wanted to know: do they check for shrooms in drug screen…  Nope. Hot damn! They sure don’t.

See ya on Pluto fellow traveller dude!

Last Stop before the Promised Land

boomtown.jpg

BoomTown: the last exit in Nevada before Interstate 80 climbs the Sierra Mountains & hurtles on over the Bay Bridge & into San Francisco.

I feel nostalgia thinking about it. A big ol’ honker Pang. Matter of fact: I need a drink.

I know for a fact Pippi blew by BoomTown a few dozen times at least and if she never stopped it was for a good reason: Pippi was on her way to see the Grateful Dead in California.

So she had better things to do.

gg-dead.jpg

But she remembers it was there. I’ll wager she does. Good old BoomTown: Last exit before the Promised Land!

Gotta quandary: I want to explain the Grateful Dead to readers who weren’t there. And do Justice for you kids who were. But that’d be like trying to describe how it feels to slurp your own brains up through a cocktail straw. Dig? It’s tricky. But I say! That was one cosmic & curiously strong Drink.

The Dead threw the Best Party Ever on Planet Earth.

Oh and it was Awesome dudes!

For fun on Grateful Dead Tour we used to butter our toast with dripping gobs of raw crystal LSD — the original Grand Slam breakfast! — at Denny’s on our way out of town. Just for something to Do (besides drive) on days when the band didn’t play..

Holy shot!! Ain’t that illegal?

Sweet Memory: Eugene Oregon’s Autzen Stadium back in ’94. The shows where Ann Coulter found Jesus Christ — but that’s another story…

Cool thing about Eugene was the way the cops for once weren’t allowed to run us off like kicked dogs after each show. So we made a weekend of It. Pitched a tent maybe & then got wasted on drugs until it jolly dang-well pleased us. Fuck yeah we did.

Sweet Mother Earth knows we did.

It rained for the first gig of that 3-show ’94 Eugene run. During set break everybody just kind of splashed around & smoked weed & got wet. Who cared? I guess even then we knew Jerry wouldn’t live forever. Little rain? Shit. We went on & had our fun anyway.

Far as I know football stadiums don’t melt in the rain — but we had plenty of good acid. Yeah we wanted Autzen Stadium to melt.

It didn’t. It is still there. But we tried.

Plus there was a giant duck:

ducks1.jpg

And that made the difference between us just Gettin By & doing so in fine Style.

It rained a little longer. Then the Grateful Dead came out to play.

virtual Brain Medicine

With a push of a button, special effects will appear — a mosque’s call to prayer, a sandstorm, the sounds of bullets or bombs. “We can put a person in a Virtual Reality headset and have them walk down the streets of Baghdad,” says University of Southern California psychologist Skip Rizzo. “They can ride in a Humvee, fly in a helicopter over a battle scene or drive on a desert road.”

This is no video game, nor is it a training device. Rizzo and colleagues are developing a psychological tool to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, by bringing soldiers back to the scenes that still haunt them.
>>Wired1.28.2005

The theory — and by my good estimate it’s sound — goes: face the trauma until we may face it calmly. Regroup & repeat as needed.

I have my own traumas. We all do. Mine seem more In My Face than some. Compare mine with some other’s and all I can say is it sucks to be me. But so what?

I’ve lost a few bets on racehorses. I usually want to kill myself afterward. Yeah — over 5 bucks. Can you believe that?

Me neither.

That’s what I’d realize on long walks homeward after I lost my last $5 on the races. I want to die all the time. Not over 5 dollars. It had more to do with the times as a child I was unconscionably molested.

So goes.

Like the Vet who submits voluntarily to Virtual Combat for PTSD treatment I’ve peered long on my walks homeward into trauma’s ill effect on me. Until I learned to laugh in spite. Wrote a good story about it. Now I don’t want to die near as much as I used to.

Good for me.

I’d rather blog-post than gamble these days. Sworn all bets off? Sh!t no. Bets are Fun. But I have better luck lately when I chase Truth down — or over the rollercoaster top — in writing.

Why My Blog Rules

The Ladies the LADIES!!

Pippi Velma leighton & Chloe!

Whadaya say Galloway?

WHOO!!

This place is Chick Centraal.