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Arnold's 260ppm


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#31 Trid

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 03:09 PM

(2) Arnold acknowledges that analyses of original bottles would provide the best, most direct evidence.


Waitaminnit...*everybody* knows that testing pre-ban is bunk because the thujone would have deteriorated over the years and thus never truly allowing us to know what the actual content was.
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#32 peridot

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 03:56 PM

Yeah, and the thujone wouldn't have just degraded, leaving behind some sort of evidence of its previous quantity. It utterly disappeared! It's a miracle! It's science!

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#33 Ari (Eric Litton)

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:05 PM

Really absinthe is steam distilled, no alcohol involved. Over the years the massive quantities of thujone degrade into alcohol, turning it from a poisonous drug into a harmless liquor.
"Oscar Wilde once traveled to an all-cat dimension and appeared on the Late-Late Show with Catman O'Brien."

#34 peridot

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:16 PM

Dude. You solved the mystery.

Now those Wordpress scammers have an answer they can parrot to anyone who will pay attention.

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#35 dakini_painter

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 04:37 PM

Brooks, are you sure that's not an Englishwoman in that picture?


btw, who's the artist?



In the 19th century, did they consider absinthe the ultimate knickers remover?

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#36 Brooks

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 06:01 PM

I translated the diary entry from French to English, so the woman is French. The artist is Jean Beraud.

Not sure about the knickers thing!

#37 Absomphe

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 06:46 PM

Newsflash...

Mainlining Belle Amie gives you even more balztrippin'™ satisfaction!

Now I'm wonderin' about havin' tastebuds implanted in my veins... :twitchsmile:

Yes, I'm Krinkles the Clown on an absinthe a beer bender.

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#38 Meatwaggon

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:04 AM

I do believe burning the sugar, then dunking it into the absinthe causes a chemical cascade reaction to occur resulting in the creation of more thujone in the drink. And if you drink absinthe while it's on fire the chemical action of burning saliva and skin cells on the absinthe causes even more thujone to be created in the absinthe, for a truly powerful hallucinogenic thujone megazombomb experience. :twitchsmile:
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#39 Tally Ho

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:31 AM

You totally sold me Meatwaggon. I'm going to try that right now. I wonder if snorting it would produce even more thujoney ballz trippin? That goes right to your brain... dawg.
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#40 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 12:46 PM

You have to snort it while it's burning though.

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#41 Leif Rogers

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:10 PM

I do hope our astute colleague, Studiofox, will help point out why he believes Dr. Arnold's guess-timates still provide the best and most reliable figures on the subject... Gentlemen, please, your opinions are needed.



First, I'd like to ask you how you've come to the awesome conclusion that I believe Dr. Arnold? I've said nothing of the sort.
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#42 Pan Buh

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:29 PM

If you haven't then I've made a mistake because I was working under the apparently false presumption that you had stated that the figures are credible. My bad. Did I erroneously extrapolate that from some other source? You have implied that he's more credible than Ted Breaux, haven't you?

In any case, to set the record straight, would you care to state for the record whether you think Dr. Arnold's figures are credible or not?

#43 Leif Rogers

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:33 PM

Care to state for the record whether you think Dr. Arnold's figures are credible or not?


As credible as any other science I've seen :shifty:
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#44 Pan Buh

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:36 PM

So you believe pre-ban absinthe contained the amounts of thujone that he proposed?

#45 Leif Rogers

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 01:50 PM

I don't believe either option that's presented, plain and simple.

Although if I must lean in a direction I'd lean in the one that relies on solid mathematics before I'd rely on physical testing of only a known selection (and within that known selection, a hand picked selection of that).
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#46 Pan Buh

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:06 PM

I'm sorry, I'm not getting a good grasp on what you wrote. What is it that you do believe?

And are you saying that Dr. Arnold's figures are based on "solid mathematics" in your opinion? And you don't feel that those figures might be compromised by erroneous assumptions about the thujone content of wormwood in pre-ban absinthe? Or erroneous assumptions about how thujone carries over from the pot into the final distillate? Or any other places where he extrapolates rather than tests to arrive at numbers?

Most importantly, just what is it that you believe?

#47 Joe Legate

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 02:37 PM

I don't believe either option that's presented, plain and simple.

Is there another option you believe is better?

#48 speedle

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:18 PM

"solid mathematics"? Where is that, exactly? My reading of both Dr. Arnold's original work, and Ted's comments on it lead me to conclude "I guessed, then I guessed again and multiplied the addition". Yup, that's solid alright. :laf:

I suggest you do some "solid mathematics" like the good Dr., only on something like a pot of boiling water. Then, use your pinky finger to "test" the "solid mathematics". I think you'll believe in testing after that.
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#49 dakini_painter

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:35 PM

As credible as any other science I've seen


So I guess GC/MS isn't credible for thujone testing, when it's been proven to be totally reliable for other testing suitable for submission to the TTB?

The following compounds in wine, are tested through certified labs using Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectroscopy (aka GC/MS)

captan
carbaryl
[many other edited for brevity]

Do you believe that a winery tests every single barrel?

The following alcohols and volatiles are also tested using GC/FI (Flame Ionization):

1-propanol
[edited for brevity]
methanol

Once again, do you think that a winery tests every single barrel?


I think it's called denial, studiofox.

btw, the earth is not flat.


Now if you want to argue that all the cheap absinthe could of have had lots of thujone because no one has found a bottle and that it was only the good brands like PF, Berger, Oxygenee, etc that has low thujone, you really are making a untested hypothesis, and any supposition regarding thujone levels of the BE cheap absinthe brands would be speculation, not fact.

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#50 Joe Legate

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 03:57 PM

Nicely reasoned and well argued, Dakini. :cheers:

#51 peridot

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 04:28 PM

Although if I must lean in a direction I'd lean in the one that relies on solid mathematics before I'd rely on physical testing of only a known selection (and within that known selection, a hand picked selection of that).

Without being snide about it, I don't see his mathematics as solid at all. The reason I don't is because his mathematics are based upon assumptions. There are just so many things he didn't take into account.

I'd really like to know if you've read this in full, and if so, what you find faulty about the reasoning within.

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#52 Ari (Eric Litton)

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:26 PM

I don't believe either option that's presented, plain and simple.

Although if I must lean in a direction I'd lean in the one that relies on solid mathematics before I'd rely on physical testing of only a known selection (and within that known selection, a hand picked selection of that).


Wow, no offense but that's just stupid. Math never beats practical tests and there is a very good reason why, because math lives in a magical special world where unicorns prance about and everything is perfect. Take figuring out the rate of fall for an object. The basic math would calculate the speed of gravity and the height of the object. The number might be close and might even be good enough but it wont be exact, because in the real world other variables like wind resistance, aerodynamics, thermal-dynamics and hell even solar radiation play a part. In the end the best test is to drop the object and find out how long it takes to hit the ground. This is why particle physicists don't stop at giant computer simulations but actually smash things together (besides it being fun). Because even with large computers they can't predict everything that will happen or calculate all the variables in a timely manner. Simulations are starting points and guides.

The irony is that the "solid mathematics" are based on a single physical testing of a hand picked selection. Oops. (makes me wonder why you believe them more when by your own standards they fail).

In the end all Arnold gave us was basically the shakey uperlimits of thujone in absinthe, based on a perfect world where the steam distilled sample used = the inside of a liquor bottle. It seems like since these numbers fit his theory, no other testing was required.
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#53 metodd1

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:32 PM

Peridot, he's not going to believe that document, because Oxy was involved and he'll simply call it a conflict of interest and say that Oxy is just trying to manipulate numbers, and he has a financial interest in all this, and blah blah blah. Even though the science is sound. He really, really doesn't seem interested in that. He probably knows nothing about chemical analysis tests either.

Dakini, as a winemaker, I actually do test every barrel of wine. I have to -- using a cash still, aspiration device, and various titrations to make sure that things like volatile acidity are kept to minimum threshold levels, and to test for SO2, pH and total acidity, so that we can make adjustments as needed. Primarily SO2 and VA levels, once the wine is in the barrel. You also must do sensory evaluations on each barrel. Each barrel is different. If one barrel goes bad with bacteria and it's all blended together before bottling, it can ruin everything. At larger wineries, there are people called "Cellar Rats" who can do this type of testing for the head winemaker. Our winery is fairly small (5,000 cases a year), so I have to do that stuff myself. But, your point is taken. I digress...sorry for the off topic rambling. I don't think every winery does it like we do -- perhaps we're a bit overly careful.
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#54 peridot

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:45 PM

Dude, I so envy your job.

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#55 metodd1

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 05:47 PM

It's really mostly physical labor and waiting. Occasional testing, and a lot of tasting! ;)
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He to whom this feeling is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed. -AE

#56 Timothy B.

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 07:17 PM

I'd really like to know if you've read this in full, and if so, what you find faulty about the reasoning within.


Minor nit: The summary above the article includes:

"[...] from which a mean thujone content of about 20 mg/l in distilled absinthe with a large standard deviation of up to 20 mg/l may be calculated. However, a higher thujone amount of 0.260 mg/l derived from out-of-date calculations is generally presented as “historical content” [...]"

I think that "0.260 mg/l" should be either "260 mg/l" or "0.260 g/l".

Will Oxy see this to correct it?

-- T
(edit add: It's a typo, and I hear from a reliable source that the devil is in the details...)

Edited by TDB, 12 December 2007 - 07:19 PM.


#57 peridot

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 07:19 PM

Yeah, it needs to be corrected. The exact same text, but correct, is in the beginning of the document itself.

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#58 Leif Rogers

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:18 PM

Let me preface with the fact that I did say I believed neither option presented by Pan Buh. However, somewhere along the line I became Dr. Arnold's best friend (we talk daily!). I have no need to defend him or my theoretical belief in him because...I don't believe it. But I digress, let's play this game.

Ok, let's start off:

By "solid math" I was referring to strong nonlinear math and distribution functions. Not "how long does it take something to fall" while ignoring all other variables. However, I was in a rush and made the argument short rather than detailed (I should have done the latter).

Since a "what I think about the Oxy/Dirk article" is being called for:

I have no objections to it. Why should I? However some things should be pointed out. While they conclude that Arnold's arguments are "an overestimation" they do provide enough evidence (or uncertainty) for him to also be accurate. Tab. 2 does list certain absinthium's do result in the appropriate percentages for Arnold's assessment to be accurate--the law of these averages may make Arnold's job harder but not impossible. But even so, if we do concede that Arnold is dead wrong, tab 3 does indicate the potential for thujone levels as high as 76 mg per. And the only thing I've ever argued is that they all weren't under 10.

With that said, the criticism of Gimpel also falls along the lines of setting a hard line on what is and isn't "absinthe". The argument for Oxy/Dirk works quite well as long as we dismiss all other recipes that don't work for us. Statements such as "if these German recipes were actually used by industy (to our knowledge a case of absinthism was never documented in Germany)." and "The study of Gimpel et al. must be put into perspective regarding the fact that the historic recipes used do not correspond to typical French recipes..." betray a willingness to ignore what doesn't jive with their argument. Regardless, they do work within similar methods and ultimately do produce a very high thujone absinthe that may have been put out by makers of the day.

But even with all of this said, as far as French absinthe is concerned, this article is more than fine--just so long as we understand it pertains only to French absinthe seen through the lens "high end" and Duplais. However, once we step outside of the Belle Epoque realm...we're back in the world of wonder and intrigue.

So, while I said "Although if I must lean in a direction I'd lean in the one that relies on solid mathematics before I'd rely on physical testing of only a known selection (and within that known selection, a hand picked selection of that)." in haste, having to "justify myself" only confirms the conviction. Having the benefit of handpicking your definition and scope you can then determine what is and isn't. Gimpel's wrong because they used German texts and since there was no documented absinthism in Germany...Germany obviously didn't make absinthe and therefore these recipes aren't accurate and don't pertain to France anyway so they don't pertain to us. Arnold didn't specify what wormwood he used and although we tested wormwoods with totals of up to his percentages listed...they're too high for us within the narrow scope we're using and therefore he's wrong. Those conclusions are just too simple, especially when we are arguing not just science but history and science.
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#59 Gwydion Stone

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 10:25 PM

Arnold didn't specify what wormwood he used

Arnold didn't use any wormwood (or absinthe), he used a calculator.

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#60 Leif Rogers

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 11:00 PM

Arnold didn't use any wormwood (or absinthe), he used a calculator.



I used "didn't specify" to simplify this, "However, Arnold failed to mention the wide variations in the oil content of wormwood and the even wider variations of the thujone content in the oil...". Considering that they list variations that go up to the percentage used by Arnold, we can substitute his calculations for actual examples.
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