Le Café de Balzac

The 19th century French author Honoré de Balzac allegedly drank 50 cups of coffee a day. (It’s in the New Yorker, so it must be true.)

I have a bad reaction to caffeine, something called an ocular migraine, which means I temporarily go blind. I’m not kidding. I once drank a Pepsi, and minutes later, my vision started shimmering on the right side. Then, like a slow moving storm, it moved from the right side of my face to the left, and I was unable to read for about a half hour.

Freaked me out. I would have gone to the hospital, but I went to the Internet to see if I was having a stroke. The symptoms matched that of an ocular migraine. The Web entry said it was caused by stress and caffeine. Since I can’t control stress, I cut out caffeine.

But even if I didn’t have that reaction and could drink caffeine, I would think that 50 cups of coffee a day would kill you, right? (And decaf didn’t exist in the 19th century.)

Compound Interest says otherwise:

Lethal-Doses-Chemicals

So Balzac only had about half a fatal dose of coffee a day. And he died at age 51. I think I see the cause of death.

But six liters of water? Isn’t that drowning? And 13 shots of alcohol? Isn’t that a frat party?

Attacks in Paris

The news out of Paris is horrific. Religious fanatics with guns and bombs have killed at least 120 people. It’s an attack by Islamic State psychopaths.

The best television news coverage has been on France 24.

President Francois Holland gave this speech soon after the attack on the Stade de France, where he was one of the fans at a football match between France and Germany:

And President Obama had this to say from the White House:

But the French are in solidarity. Football fans sang the national anthem as they left the Stade de France after the attacks:

And, of course, someone stupid has something disgusting to say about it all.

 

Fox News in France

OK, so you don’t speak French, but if you stick with this, you’ll understand the reaction the people in Europe have to Fox News’s reports that there are places in Europe that are “no-go zones” because they’ve been taken over by Islamists.

The Parisians have come to the same realization that many of us in America have had for years.

Fox News makes you stupid.

In the wake of Charlie Hebdo

TMW2015-01-14colorOK, so how will the psychopaths on the right turn this into an anti-Obama screed?

Several leading Republicans criticized the Obama administration for not having a more prominent presence at the rally.

“The absence is symbolic of the lack of American leadership on the world stage, and it is dangerous. The attack on Paris, just like previous assaults on Israel and other allies, is an attack on our shared values,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) wrote in a Time op-ed.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said on “CBS This Morning” that it was a “mistake” not to send a higher-ranking U.S. official to the Paris rally.

“I understand that when the president travels, he brings with him a security and communications package which is intense. And I understand you drop that into the middle of something like this, it could be disruptive,” Rubio said. “There’s a plethora of people they could have sent. I think in hindsight I hope that they would have done it differently.”

Yeah, because we all know how much the right wing loves to support everything about France. This past summer, I was at a national monument where I heard a true American tell his kids to eat their “Freedom Fries.” (I’m really not kidding.)

I’m sure the French are upset that Obama didn’t join the rally:

During the rally, most French hardly seemed to notice the absence of a prominent U.S. representative. And many had felt ambivalent about the presence of global leaders in the first place, given the dubious human rights records of some who attended and the desire of participants to make the march about the unity of the French people, rather than about politics.

“I consider these heads of state to be taking part in my march,” said Thierry, a 56-year-old painter, who declined to give his last name because of fears of terrorism. “I’m not taking part in theirs.”