Oxford Univ. Chemistry Dept. "Absinthe & Thujone" Web Page Update!

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:Oxford Univ. Chemistry Dept. "Absinthe & Thujone" Web Page Update!
By Don Walsh on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 10:32 pm: Edit

To the charge of being a grumpy cynic I plead Nolo Contendere, m'lud.

By Marc on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 07:56 pm: Edit

Where's the forum for grumpy cynics?

By Don Walsh on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 10:48 am: Edit

The Religious Fanatic Poet Forum is elsewhere.

So is the Trite Newage Politically Correct Aphorism Forum.

Kindly decmp to there. Or there.

By Marc on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 10:04 am: Edit

"I must Create a System,
or be enslav'd by another Mans
I will not Reason or Compare:
my business is to Create."

William Blake

By SeaRobin on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 07:54 am: Edit

Aleister Crowley

"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."

"As brothers fight ye!"

"I am the Snake that giveth Knowledge & Delight and bright glory, and stir the hearts of men with drunkenness. To worship me take wine and strange drugs whereof I will tell my prophet, & be drunk thereof! They shall not harm ye at all. It is a lie, this folly against self. The exposure of innocence is a lie. Be strong, o man! lust, enjoy all things of sense and rapture: fear not that any God shall deny thee for this. "

By Marc on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 07:25 am: Edit

Alfred E. Neuman:

"What me worry?

By Don Walsh on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 04:45 am: Edit

The Mayor of Hiroshima, early one fine morning, peering up in the sky at a lone US bomber:

"What the hell is that?"

By Marc on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 01:02 am: Edit

Give peace a chance.

By c on Saturday, June 24, 2000 - 12:54 am: Edit

The Talmud talk:

Give a little..take a litte..what's not to like

By Morrigan Le Fey on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 11:39 pm: Edit

The Wiccan Rede: "And harm ye none - do what you will"...

Rodney King: "Can't we all just GET ALONG?!?!?

Think about it...which ever appeals to YOU..

- Morrigan

By Marc on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 10:51 pm: Edit

What is the "cause". World domination?

It's just a drink, folks. A lovely drink, but a drink nonetheless.

I can think of worthier causes:

stop eating meat.
stop "the war on drugs".
find a cure for aids.
stop world hunger.

Absinthe is not a "cause".

By Marc on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 09:25 pm: Edit


Turn off the spotlight, re-holster your pistol,
the interrogation is over.

By Grizlupo on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 08:50 pm: Edit

! Time-Out!

Everyone, we all have contributed to "the cause" or we wouldn't be here.

Enough with the name calling, already, everybody. There are some much better things being discussed.



By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 07:05 pm: Edit

Everything's relative. I doubt that there is anyone on the Forum who hasn't "shared it with his friends." Therefore, what you claim to have done and what you ask to be 'enough' is, relatively speaking, not too impressive. You've done what everyone else has done -- you neglected to mention the $200 a bottle 'sharing' you did too.

Another altruist?

Applying for sainthood?

I'll pass on your holy picture.

By Marc on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 05:12 pm: Edit


What have I done to advance the cause of absinthe? I've shared it with friends. Isn't that enough?

By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 05:07 pm: Edit

As usual, marc/hippymc baits, then asks why one is irate, and then plays the twopenny Reasonable Man and oily diplomat.

It's not a very effective rhetorical repetoire, but it's his.

Who's the bully? Who's bombastic?

On the other hand who's knee jerk?

As for mike, yeah, he 'participated' in the old forum -- as a Hills's troll, I seem to recall a thread entitled just that. ("Is Mike a Hills's troll?")

And just what either of these people have to say, advances the cause of absinthe in the least degree?

By Marc on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 03:47 pm: Edit


I agree with you, a deep calming breath is much needed in the forum. Ahhhh...

The only reason I have returned here, after declaring I was leaving, was because I felt I could bring some balance to the forum by being the yin to Don's yang. Don, as impassioned as he is, has a tendency to overwhelm the forum with his knowledge and bombast. When challenged, Don
turns surly and aggressive. He rules through intimidation. I find it more amusing than threatening, but others have clearly chosen to avoid the forum when Don is in one of his moods.
I feel as though I triggered all this when I questioned Don's contribution to the forum. His response has been impressive indeed. Little did I know that I would inspire such a torrent of information, insight and peacocking.

When I returned to the forum, I did so as Marc instead of hippymc. I wanted to indicate, through my username change, that I was willing to reapproach the forum, and particularly Don, with
a fresh attitude. I have chosen to be polite and hopefully witty, instead of confrontational and angry.But, Don often makes it difficult not to get angry. His machismo and determination to always have the last word is annoying and frustrating. It stifles open dialogue.

Ted, the goodwill that you and Don are building in the forum through the sharing of your knowledge and the promise of your product, is being eroded by all this grandstanding. I realize that you are not responsible for what Don says and vice versa. But considering you are partners , you will be
pulled into Don's considerable orbit when forum debates get heated. I think it would be a good idea to release your product and let the masses decide whether they like it or not.
If it's as wonderful as everyone hopes it is,
the praise will be forthcoming. In the meantime,
the lecturing and pontificating on Don's part, is becoming tiresome and pedantic. Very much like this post.
I don't mean to lecture, just some friendly feedback.

One other thing, despite Don's occasional huff and puffing, he has provided a wealth of absinthe
related information in the past few days. The forum is bulging with all kinds of valueable
data. Don is to be commended for this as much as he deserves a good spanking for being a big bully.


By Admin on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 03:17 pm: Edit

WARNING = this thread is about to be deleted. I will give it an hour or so then it is gone.


By tabreaux on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 02:41 pm: Edit

I think everyone is taking this all way to seriously. Why doesn't everyone take a deep breath and relax. This bickering is all pointless and silly. No one needs to leave. We can turn this around and actually convert it all to intelligent discussions if everyone just shows each other a little respect. Let's cease all the ranting and come to our senses. If we all just relax and show some respect (even if it seems undeserved), I think something good can come of this.

By mike on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 02:25 pm: Edit

Well I struck a nerve. I post once and before I get back from dinner there are six (possibly seven) replies from don. This is true of nearly every other thread put up in te past week. I'm not going to go through and reply post by post, I just wanted to say that it's no wonder everone is feeling bullied. And, to answer your question don, I've never been published. I'm not a scientist. I did participate in the last forum, but it's clear I'm not welcome here, just like so many of the other old folks you've bullied into leaving.

By Marc on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 01:19 pm: Edit

Ouch! Anybody out there got some forceps and blasting caps? This soapbox up my ass is killing me!

By surelynotDon on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 12:55 pm: Edit

Here I'm going to violate a trial lawyer's cardinal dictum and ask a question to which I do not know the answer:

What is the Larousse Dictionary definition of absinthe?

The OED has been advanced as allegedly definitive but, who has ever held that the English ever knew anything about absinthe? They didn't consume much and never made any and didn't bother outlawing it when those who did consume and produce, did so. One would think their national opinion on the subject about as relevant as a Hottentot's. As an Irishman I am not embarassed to denounce the English inadequacy on this count.

Of course it IS distantly possible that the compilers of the OED asked a Frenchman or two.

However, I am mightily curious as to what the standard and definitive FRENCH dictionary has to ay on the subject, as a matter of academic interest (Gpd knows, they may have been paid off by the vintners as well.)

Please, anyone who responds, transcribe the entry in full and not selectively.

By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 12:36 pm: Edit

By the way, as far as I know, Kallisti has not died, and no one has elected me overlord of this Forum, as post I neither crave nor covet.

If nominated I will not run; if elected I will not serve.

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Word?

By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 12:30 pm: Edit

Hi hippymc

Interesting that you have returned yet again from the dead.

As for the Father of Scientology not to mention Dianetics, I have no desire to be compared to him, I much preferred the Harvard Lampoon "Bored of the Rings" mention of him as "Elron Hubbard".

But maybe 60s Tolkein pastiches merely underscore my age?

As to your advice pls understand I will give it all the attention it deserves.

I have,'t got a soap box bit if I did I'd be happy to shove it up your ass.

By tabreaux on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 12:20 pm: Edit

I just went and read that page and to my surprise, saw my name in lights (Hi Mom). But seriously, whether it mentions me or not, I have to agree that it is much better than what was up there previously. You can take my name out of it if that makes people happy. I didn't ask for recognition, but I don't mind my name being used so long as what is said about me is the truth.

By marc on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 12:19 pm: Edit

This forum has become Don's soapbox, infomercial
and pulpit.Welcome to the Church Of Big Don.

Is Don the L. Ron Hubbard Of Absinthe?

Do not profane him. His wrath is infinite
and all-encompassing.

I have read that absinthe drinking leads to madness. Does it also lead to narcissism and delusions of grandeur?

Don, relax. Your product will speak for itself.
We're all looking forward to it. In setting yourself up as overlord of the forum, you are opening yourself up to criticism and the occasional attack. Don't be so damned thin-skinned. Your contributions, in term of info and opinion, are undeniable. You've proved your point,
you are an invaluable member of the forum. If the absinthe that you are making is as powerful as you are, I'm stoned already.

Please accept this post with the good humor in which it is intended.


By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 12:12 pm: Edit

Ah, another crime: "telling people what to think"

You know, nameless, the first time I was professionally published was about 1967.

And by 1982 I was a contributing editor to a major international journal in the field in which I labored at that time. Not much to do with liquor except that we drank lots of it at every opportunity.

And by 1990 I was Bureau Chief for South East Asia for a different but related publication.

Want to see my freelance work? Go subscribe to Lexus and do a search on Don Walsh.

And you can go to Chemical Abstracts and do the same.

If being PAID to put words on page is "telling people what to think" then I plead guilty.

HOWEVER people have a nagging habit of thinking whatever they frigging well want to think no matter who tells them what. There are people who against all reason think that th earth is flat. That flying saucers are either real or are agents of Satan. etc etc. That Hills is absinthe. And silly shit like that.

On the other hand, I am not being paid to post here, and if posting here means I must discourse with the likes of you more than occasionally, well, they'd have to pay me a LOT.

Personally I don't really give a damn what people think. People can think what they like.

On the other hand isn't anyone and everyone who posts here, telling people what to think? Who posts here and says, Hello, I'm a tabula rasa, pls tell me what to think.

Oh, sure, sometimes teachers learn from their students, an occupational hazard that most teachers soon learn to avoid effectively.

But, hey, I guess I am bandying words with a fool aren't I -- mike?

By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 11:58 am: Edit

Plugging my own product?

What pray tell is the name of my product?

Where does it appear in this web page we are talking about?

I make mention of Hills, Deva, and Sebor.

I mention Green Bohemia, and New Millenium Products.

I make NO mention of the brand name of my product for the very good reason that the brand name hasn't been made public as yet.

I make NO reference to the website that will market that product.

For about two years NO product was mentioned on this webpage from Oxford save Green Bohemia WITH TWO ACTIVE LINKS and the name of Hills' Absinth.

You wouldn't by any chance, be a Hills troll would you, oh nameless mike?

Shilling for Windex are you?

Pimping for gargle? Pandering for piss? Touting for undrinkable fluorescent green Scope?

Radomil's hand puppet? Bet that feels good!

Okay, I dared to mention someone well known on this Forum as a hardcore absinthe scholar and scientist, a man of unimpeachable integrity, of unquestioned honor, of whom Kallisti herself uses the adjective 'noble' and, by all appearances not in jest. Shame on me to mention his name and his accomplishments!

Wait, better idea. Take a hike, mike!

By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 11:46 am: Edit

Anyone want to read the ORIGINAL text of this web page?

You can decide whether or not my version is better (warts according to 'mike' and all).

This is the text of the web page that sat there for about two years and NO ONE did anything about it till I did.

For this I am castigated?

"Absinthe & Thujone

Absinthe, a 70 per cent proof, hallucinogenic concoction, is legally available again in Britain after an 80-year absence. Twice the strength of most other spirits, the emerald green tipple of choice for 19th-century artists and intellectuals has been banned in France, Belgium, Switzerland and the US since the first world war. Now, to the horror of alcohol awareness campaigners, a British company has secured an importation contract with a tiny Czech distillery after discovering that the drink was never formally prohibited in this country.

Green Bohemia - set up by the Idler magazine, a drinks importer and a former member of the indie rock group Jesus and Mary Chain - plans to market absinthe as an exclusive and extremely potent way of celebrating the new millennium for those desperately seeking a new kick.

It will retail at 40 a bottle - reflecting the sizeable alcohol duty taxes involved - via mail order and the Internet under the slogan The Spirit of Freedom. The drink's revival has provoked astonishment among campaigners who accuse Green Bohemia of giving young people the ammunition to drink to dangerous excess.

Imported from Switzerland to France in 1797 by Henri Louis Pernod, the aniseed-flavoured drink is made by soaking dried wormwood in ethanol alcohol along with other herbs such as hyssop and lemon balm.

The active ingredient, thujone, has a similar molecular structure to cannabis. The accepted method of consumption has guaranteed that the drink is likened more to narcotics than to other alcoholic substances. It involves filling a spoon with sugar which is then soaked in absinthe, set alight and dripped into a glass of absinthe, which also catches fire.

Absinthe rose to popularity alongside cocaine fortified wines last century after successive failures of the grape harvest caused the price of wine to soar. By the late 1800s, La Fe Verte - the Green Fairy - was being consumed with such fervour by the Parisian artistic and literary set that cocktail hour was renamed L'Heure Verte. Among its devotees were Oscar Wilde, Ernest Dowson and Charles Baudelaire. Van Gogh's ear-cutting incident is popularly attributed to absinthe intoxication."

By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 11:29 am: Edit

Oh. you preferred lies about absinthe to truth about absinthe? A fascinating attitude. Maybe you'd like to explain yourself, and identify yourself, as I have done.

You see something wrong with my telling the truth and nothing but about Ted? He doesn't deserve every word? Do you say he hasn't done what I say he has done?

And what do you have to offer? What have you done? Those who can, do, those who can't post to message boards.

You are a cheap-shot artiste. Defens youself if you can because I am calling you out, coward and liar that you are.

By mike on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 10:52 am: Edit

:A New Orleans chemist and microbiologist, Ted :Breaux, has spent seven years studying absinthe :and has replicated the recipe for one of the most :important Belle Epoch brands, Eduoard Pernod. :Breaux is a perfectionist about absinthe making, :and owns two bottles of century old premium :Pernods, which greatly facilitated his efforts. :Breaux' absinthe (soon to be commercialized :outside of the US) is believed by many to be the :finest the world has seen since 1915.

If that's not commercially plugging your own product I don't know what is!?! Don! Stop it with the shameless self promotion!

:Also (to use a poker analogy) I will see :someone's qustionable OED entry on Absinthe and :raise with the Oxford Chem.Dept. asking me about :Absinthe.

You're being an asshole. I think the OED entry was intended to show that there was room for discussion. All you seem to do is blow your own horn, and blow Teds... I'll trump your shameless self promotion while using a university webpage to your commercial ends. It's sad, you stomp around telling everyone what to think all the time denying that you're doing it. Their first definbition was better than this.

By Don Walsh on Friday, June 23, 2000 - 09:17 am: Edit

Anyone ever visit the "Absinthe & Thujone" web page? This is a Molecule of the Month page from the Oxford University Chemistry Department's IT-Chem specialist Dr.Karl Harrison. It is on the Absinthe Webring.

The original version (up until today) was, well, inaccurate, and egregiously so in my opinion. Absinthe was described as 'hallucinogenic'. the manufacturing process and the traditional presentation were very badly misrepresented (flaming absinthe on suger cube etc.) and lots of alarm bells from "alcohol awarenes activists" were rung.

Also the only brand discussed was Hills -- with two links to the Green Bohemia site.

I had a long chat with Dr.Harrison, about the inaccuracies, and the outdated aspects. He agreed with "most if not all" of my points and invited me to rewrite the page with attribution.

Please note that not only did I not plug my own product -- anyway not on the market yet -- but I balanced off the lopsided Hills info with New Millenium Products and Sebor.

A much more balanced, even absinthe friendly if I daresay presentation is made, with emphasis on the chemistry and pharmacology and history of the liqueur.

A quite nice 3-D molecular model of a-thujone is shown, this is primarily what Dr Harrison does. Also a link to a MOL file, which is usable by lots of chemical visualization and computational software.

Plus links to this very La Fee Verte site (Dr. Harrison had them already!) and others.

So, here, friends. I have quietly behind the scenes been working to correct some slanders against absinthe and misinformation. This isn't just another page, this is Oxford University's Chemistry Department.

Take note pls those who say I haven't done anything for the absinthe community, and pls note that I did this without thumping of my own chest.

Also (to use a poker analogy) I will see someone's qustionable OED entry on Absinthe and raise with the Oxford Chem.Dept. asking me about Absinthe.

URL: http://www.chem.ox.ac.uk/mom/absinthe/absinthe.html

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