Internet Rabbit Hole: Caffeine toxicology… in frogs

Long story, short: someone was assaulted with a hot cup of coffee yesterday, and I wound up discussing the impacts of caffeine on the skin.

Caffeine CAN be absorbed through the skin (which was a running joke in the Sylvia comic strip by Nicole Hollander, in which the protagonist started developing elaborate wardrobes for her cats after using caffeinated soap, and the cats begged her to stop), and is a fashionable item in cosmetics (it constricts blood vessels, and so can reduce some types of swelling).

But somehow, I wound up reading that caffeine is also a highly effective pesticide against invasive species of frogs in Hawaii. This makes some sense to me, based on my limited understanding of amphibians and their sensitive, not-especially-protective skin.

Anyway, here’s the most scienc-y summary of what I read. It’s called, “Hawaii’s Hated Frogs:
Tiny invaders raise a big ruckus.”
A frog mating call loud enough to damage human hearing is a hazard!

Pearson – Science News

Janet Raloff Puerto Rico’s beloved mascot is a miniature tree frog named for its distinctive call: ko-KEE. All night long, choirs of love-starved males serenade would-be mates, who respond with quiet guttural chuckles. “To me, it’s pleasant-just like birds singing,” says Bryan Brunner, a University of Puerto Rico plant breeder in Mayaguez.

Coffee: funny criticism of a fashionable drink

I love coffee. I love reading. I love people making fun of badly made coffee. So this article works for me.

Perspective | Dalgona coffee is sweet, milky and pretty. It’s also not for coffee lovers.

My hands are shaking as I prepare a second batch of dalgona coffee, the quarantine-chic drink and the latest piece of evidence that we have no idea what to do with ourselves during a pandemic.

The quote I like best:

I hate to sound like a snob, but when I tried the Via coffee straight, it tasted like dirt, burned rubber and imminent death. Via Instant, at least this version, is to coffee what “Jaws 3-D” is to cinema.

– Tim Carman, Washington Post

I may even forgive him for the lack of Oxford comma, eventually.