What do listening to music, hitting a baseball and solving a complex math problem have in common? They all activate less gray matter than drinking wine.
According to Yale neuroscientist Gordon Shepherd, the flavor of wine “engages more of our brain than any other human behavior.” The apparently simple act of sipping Merlot involves a complex interplay of air and liquid controlled by coordinated movements of the the tongue, jaw, diaphragm and throat. Inside the mouth, molecules in wine stimulate thousands of taste and odor receptors, sending a flavor signal to the brain that triggers massive cognitive computation involving pattern recognition, memory, value judgment, emotion and of course, pleasure.
Whereas most wine writers tend to focus on the various elements that go into the wine itself — the grape, the oak, terroir, the winemaker — Shepherd’s subject is the drinker. He explores biomechanics, physiology and neuroscience to describe a journey that begins as wine passes the lips and ends with a lingering “finish” that can last for minutes.
A bottle of red made with data. Finding the perfect wine used to mean going to a good wine store, discussing your future meal with a sales person and trying to remember the wine the next time you buy. Now all you have to do is go to a website, like that of Bordeaux-based fine wine merchant Millesima. With data, they can help any customer, anywhere in the world, select the right bottle, for the right meal, the right climate, time of year, you name it. Plus you don’t have to soak off the label to remember the name and vintage when you want to buy it again. Explore more stories →
Sometime in the 1850s, the North American root louse phyloxera vastatrix was brought to Europe. And it discovered it really, really liked grape vines. Which is bad, because grapes are used to make wine, and Europeans love their wine. Phyloxera vastatrix devastated European rootstocks for decades. The French were the worst affected, and the whole disaster became known as the “Great French Wine Blight.” The French government even offered over 320,000 Francs as a reward to whoever could discover a cure for the blight.
A haemangioma is a localised tumour of the skin and subcutaneous layer that results from an abnormal increase in blood vessels. One type is a port-wine-stain, a flat, pink, red, or purple lesion present at birth, usually at the nape of the neck.
Port Wine Stain; Most often occurring on the head and face, these marks are the result of malformed blood vessels. They are present at birth and last the persons whole life, growing with them as time goes on; they are usually harmless to the persons health.
Vitiligo; Caused by the death or loss of function of pigment-producing cells in the skin, vitiligo results in the gradual loss of pigmentation of the skin over time. There are many types of vitiligo patterns, but patches usually occur symmetrically and on joints and points of impact, like the hands, elbows, and face. Vitiligo can occur on people of any race.
Freckles; Most commonly found in fair-skinned people, freckles are caused by over-active pigment-producing cells, which leads to small areas of over pigmentation. Exposure to sunlight makes the pigment cells work even harder, so freckles can get darker when exposed to sunlight.
True albinism is the result of a genetic disorder that causes the cells of the body to be unable to produce melanin (skin pigment). In many cases, albinism is linked to various eye problems, but otherwise has no ill effects (other than susceptibility to UV radiation from the sun!). In small animals, albinism causes their eyes to be red due to visibility of blood vessels; in humans, the eyes don’t always lack colour, but can appear pale blue, red, or even purple!
Mongolian Spots; Named as such because they are most common in people of Asian, Oceanic, and Native American descent, these spots are caused by pigment-producing cells being trapped deeper than normal below the skin. They usually manifest on the lower half of the body, and usually don’t last past childhood. They really do appear blue, though!!
an update of this old post, which is almost two years old! I’ve improved a lot, and hopefully this new version can start making the rounds, instead of the old version. This one is much better, isn’t it?
aries: odin, tinkerbell, cinnamon buns, supernovas, peach green tea, game of thrones, kim possible, marc jacobs, balloons, florida, dragons, bear hugs, freckles, city skylines, ripped jeans, pegasus, bonfires, long hair, cooking, auburn hair, nail polish, board games
virgo: amsterdam, mona lisa, white wine, science, cappucino, calligraphy, clouds, back to the future, unicorns, coffee stains, elephants, turquoise, collarbones, ballet, dinner parties, paint, showers, daisy chains, icy blue, boston, pop music, green tea, porcelain teacups
libra: london, photographs, ombre hair, mulberry, lavender, geography, parks and rec, ralph lauren, perfect eyeliner, angels, lotus flowers, feathers, old movies, big cities, drunken kisses, snow, cats, mineral makeup, wind chimes, copenhagen, lemongrass
scorpio: soft pillows, galaxies, cute nicknames, edward scissorhands, hickeys, that’s so raven, dyed hair, athena, vampires, waves, leather jackets, long eyelashes, big beds, smoky eyes, mountains, radios, new orleans, candy apples, black lipstick, whispers
sagittarius: loki, the girl with the pearl earring, comets, violet baudelaire, jack sparrow, beer, swallows, versace, centaurs, philosophy, candyfloss, bad jokes, crayons, old magazines, campfires, acapulco, flowers, indie music, white sage, curly hair, scary movies
capricorn: candles, asteroids, vanilla, lattes, sweeney todd, the supremes, pancake dates, blizzards, goblins, thunderstorm, dancing, craft beer, headphones, new shoes, wildflowers, pearlescent white, montreal, rock music, juniper, spiral staircases
More pictures from @luzialowe and my Alchemical Working on the 31st of May.
Dried wormwood and assorted other herbs being burned before the actual science part. Wine and Lambic were drank, Alchemical Science was performed. A good night was had by all.
I really wish Alex and Lena had gotten to interact more this season. They have a lot in common I think. They could bond over science and disappointing parents.
Luckily, that is something there is room to explore going forward and not something we’ve missed the boat for.
It’s funny because Lena can relate to both Kara and Alex in different ways.
Alex and Lena were both the less doted upon child (they experienced different flavors of this situation, though. Alex was given way too much responsibility but there was an underlying love, whereas it seems that Lena was more so straight-up neglected. Less stress but less love, as well.)
And Kara and Lena were both adopted. Which, there’s an aspect of Kara’s loss that’s kind of untouchable (a whole planet, whole culture, whole family) and as messed up as it is, Lena’s adoptive family likely feels more like her real family than Kara’s does because of her young age when joining them (compared to pre-teen Kara). But there’s a sense of “this isn’t the life I was supposed to have” to both of their experiences that I’d like to see them discuss.
As for “disappointing parents” Alex, Lena, and Kara all have to grapple with this to the point that it’s like… a theme. Lena’s mother is obvious, and then she found out that her father wasn’t as good as she thought (and then she found out that she was actually related to them). Alex’s mother, though she loved her, placed another being’s well-being upon Alex’s shoulders, and her father recently was revealed to be working with Cadmus and his morality is still in flux. And Kara’s mother let her planet die, and her father created genocide weapons.
So they have some issues to work out…
But Alex and Lena would be particularly interesting because they’re so similar in way that’s kind of like “how do I even talk to you?” in the beginning but then I feel like once they hit their groove it’ll be Kara’s couch, glasses of wine, science, mom issues, detestation of Feelings™, and a sleeping Kara between them until 6:23 am.
Kara’s alone, at home. It’s nine at night, and she’s got a busy day planned tomorrow and she’s trying to be an organized person who doesn’t need to use super speed to get through their morning routine, which is a lot more work than it seems. The knock on her apartment door is a surprise, so much so that she almost misses it.
There’s a second knock, and just as Kara’s x-raying the door to see who it is, there’s a soft voice on the other side. “Kara? Are you home?”
The Crispinos are an old family famous in the winemaking industry, they’ve been doing this for generations
So are the Nekolas (let’s pretend they’re from South Moravia B^) )
The Crispinos are known for being very traditional, keeping their recepies and methods strictly to themselves and not changing anything their ancestors set as a norm, wine is their everything and they’re extremely proud of it
The Nekolas have spent probably as much time as the Crispinos on winemaking, however, they’ve been known as huge experimentators since the start. Whenever a new option emerges, they’re the ones to try it out.
Needless to say, Mr Crispino absolutely despises Mr Nekola. They’ve met countless times during different competitions and display shows and Mr Crispino finds it incredibly painful just talking to the Czech dorks.
The Crispinos are The Winners TM literally every time. They’re a legend in the wine industry.
The Nekolas usually end up in the top 5 and are always so happy about it! They don’t do wine to win, they just want to have fun and give the world something good.
In the Crispino house, Mickey is the one to do most of the physical work at the wineyard since dad is getting old. Sara is the mastermind behind management and branding, but she always knows how to propose ideas so that their father thinks it was his own idea :D
The Nekola house is one big chaos, everyone does pretty much everything, they are terrible with time schedules and there’s mess everywhere. But, hey, they have fun times all the time B)
Emil has actually tried numerous times to reach out to Mr Crispino to get in for an internship or a study visit. He wants to learn more, but Mr Crispino always refuses him.
Sara and Emil start talking pretty much the first time they meet, it’s a tradition that at every competition they go clubbing at least once together.
They’re also penpals, sharing tactics and news about what they’re up to! Neither of them believe in keeping secrets, they know without the other’s input they wouldn’t move forward.
When Mickey finds out, he has a huge fight with Sara. So huge they almost punch each other. He’s very proud of his heritage and the reputation his ancestors built he can’t understand why would Sara give the secrets away. Especially to the Nekola for fucks sake. He doesn’t tell father, though, he’s not that kind of a snitch.
At the next competition Sara insists Micky goes with her for a dinner with Emil, she wants to convince her brother he can trust his friend. Mickey doesn’t want to, but then he makes it an excuse to at least forbid Emil from dating his sister.
He stays quiet for most of the time, but he has to admit, Emil is actually really smart and knows what he’s doing.
And, dear lord, when he smiles, he looks really sweet… Wait, no. Forget about that!
Sara soon notices her idjit brother blushes whenever they talk about Emil B) So of course she manages to make a deal with Mr Nekola to take Mickey in for a few weeks to learn from them.
Mickey is so taken aback by this! After al the times his family refused to take Emil in even for a week, the Nekola family is so sweet to him, they pretty much accept him as their new son right away. It makes him really uncomfortable.
He also finds out Emil is actually in university, studying Wine Sciences.
“But why? You have a steady job here, you already know all you need. You don’t have to study.” “Yeah. But I want to study. I don’t want to get stuck.”
It’s the first time in his life someone tells Mickey “If you’re too tired, take a break, the work can wait till tomorrow.” And at first he thinks Mr Nekola is being sarcastic. He’s not. They have more work to do, since their winehouse has way too little employees, but they take time with everything and don’t push themselves too hard. An injured worker is a bad worker, as Mr Nekola says.
Mickey grows fond of Emil, especially after their night talks. He soon realizes they both have somewhat of a familiar fate - sons of two successful dads, the family pride surrounding them, the pressure being contantly on since they could potentially be the ones to ruin their family work one day. During these times he finally realized Emil is just as insecure as he is and it calms him down.
They spend pretty much 24/7 together and they soon realize that’s definitely a brotherhood forming between them. Despite that, nothing really happens between them the whole time.
When Emil’s saying his goodbye to Mickey at the airport, they end up in a very (and I mean very) tight hug, quiet. That’s all they really need.
The Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. I spent a lot of time in this place as a kid, and it’s also where I rode out hurricane Ike. At one point we thought about using a giant jade vase to catch a leak, but were mostly glad spilled box wine goes well with the carpet.