What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

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stoppedcaring
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed May 28, 2014 4:20 pm UTC

BunsenH wrote:If one person has candidiasis and the yeast is generating alcohol in their blood, and another person drinks that person's blood and (through a scratch) becomes infected in turn, the second person could become drunk.

Even though this is a real thing (systemic blood yeast infection producing blood-alcohol), it seems to be generally genetic rather than something that can be acquired. The body has ways of shutting down blood yeast infections; the genetic issue is when this doesn't work. Though I suppose some kind of retrovirus could also do the trick.

People with this genetic disorder (which I think is an Asian genotype?) often have developmental disabilities because they get unintentionally drunk whenever they eat high-starch or high-sugar foods. It's hard to diagnose and harder to treat unless you do a drastic diet change.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Whizbang » Wed May 28, 2014 4:25 pm UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:
mathmannix wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:How much of our anatomy would still be necessary if we were going to subsist entirely on a nutrient-dense, already-broken-down food source like blood? If the blood you ingest is oxygenated, the lungs themselves aren't even necessarily necessary...I mean, they would still be there for speaking and emergency aspiration, but they could be considerably smaller. All you really need is bones, nerves, muscle, stomach, and excretory system. And the excretory system can be considerably smaller if there's a bacteria in your body that does most of your metabolic processing for you. Most other organs can be cannibalized.


Well, vampires may not need to poo, but they definitely still need to pee. Unless they sweat a lot or something. If they really drain a person, all 5 liters, then they have to void most of that; that's got to be way more liquid than they need to metabolize.

Yes, they'll need kidneys to some degree, though perhaps that role could be fulfilled in other ways too?

Let's say that the vampirism bacteria can break down red blood cells, blood platelets, white blood cells, water, various proteins, and lactic acid. The by-products of this reaction are oxygen, carbohydrates, calcium-iron molecules, and carbon-iron molecules. The vampire's muscles use the oxygen and carbon, producing lots of CO2 and water, which is both excreted and exhaled; they never fatigue because the bacteria uses lactic acid as an energy source. Their bones become infused with iron, allowing them to shrink in size while gaining strength; their epidermis also becomes saturated with iron-rich carbon molecules that make it extremely dense and hard. Iron is lost through the skin as dead skin cells flake off. Some part of this causes light sensitivity. Because the bones have shrunk, muscle mass increases proportionally, greatly enhancing strength.

The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

But what makes them sparkle?

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed May 28, 2014 4:39 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:Let's say that the vampirism bacteria can break down red blood cells, blood platelets, white blood cells, water, various proteins, and lactic acid. The by-products of this reaction are oxygen, carbohydrates, calcium-iron molecules, and carbon-iron molecules. The vampire's muscles use the oxygen and carbon, producing lots of CO2 and water, which is both excreted and exhaled; they never fatigue because the bacteria uses lactic acid as an energy source. Their bones become infused with iron, allowing them to shrink in size while gaining strength; their epidermis also becomes saturated with iron-rich carbon molecules that make it extremely dense and hard. Iron is lost through the skin as dead skin cells flake off. Some part of this causes light sensitivity. Because the bones have shrunk, muscle mass increases proportionally, greatly enhancing strength.

The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

But what makes them sparkle?

....

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby wtspman » Wed May 28, 2014 4:43 pm UTC

I wonder if serially diluting blood alcohol down to zero by repeated consumption would produce a homeopathic remedy for hangovers.
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed May 28, 2014 4:46 pm UTC

wtspman wrote:I wonder if serially diluting blood alcohol down to zero by repeated consumption would produce a homeopathic remedy for hangovers.

Homeopathic alcohol is a great remedy for hangovers. It is, in fact, one of the only homeopathic remedies that works.

Because most hangovers are caused by dehydration and so drinking infinitely diluted alcohol will correct this.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Plasma Man » Wed May 28, 2014 5:59 pm UTC

This is a vaguely relevant What If for me. I'm going to a beer festival on Saturday, and donating blood on Monday, so I phoned the blood service advice line to check if that was OK. They said it was - they wouldn't advise drinking on the same day as giving blood, but as long as I didn't do that or feel hungover I'd be fine. It's still good to know that I wouldn't be able to get a recipient of my blood drunk.
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby stoppedcaring » Wed May 28, 2014 6:02 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:This is a vaguely relevant What If for me. I'm going to a beer festival on Saturday, and donating blood on Monday, so I phoned the blood service advice line to check if that was OK. They said it was - they wouldn't advise drinking on the same day as giving blood, but as long as I didn't do that or feel hungover I'd be fine. It's still good to know that I wouldn't be able to get a recipient of my blood drunk.

Well, unless you're donating to a blood bank run by vampires, the recipient isn't going to be drinking it.

While drinking blood can't get you drunk, a complete blood transfusion using blood from donors who had been drinking heavily would get the patient pretty tipsy.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby mathmannix » Wed May 28, 2014 6:46 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:Iron is lost through the skin as dead skin cells flake off. Some part of this causes light sensitivity. Because the bones have shrunk, muscle mass increases proportionally, greatly enhancing strength.

But what makes them sparkle?


Apparently (in some varieties of vampire, at least) the iron is lost through the skin via flakes of Iron disulfide, though that raises the question of where the sulfur comes from... Consumption of hydrogen sulfide via sulfuric acid? Possibly developed as a natural defense to survive in the daylight?
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby BunsenH » Wed May 28, 2014 11:26 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:Apparently (in some varieties of vampire, at least) the iron is lost through the skin via flakes of Iron disulfide, though that raises the question of where the sulfur comes from... Consumption of hydrogen sulfide via sulfuric acid? Possibly developed as a natural defense to survive in the daylight?


I'd expect that the proteins in the blood would have some amount of sulfur from the amino acids cysteine and methionine. A quick on-line search suggests that haemoglobin usually has 2 atoms of sulfur for each atom of iron.

Perhaps the vampires do their bit for environmental protection by absorbing sulfur-containing air pollution while they're in cloud form.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby 5th Earth » Thu May 29, 2014 2:01 am UTC

I'm surprised nobody has pointed out the other reason you couldn't drink 14 glasses of blood--assuming standard 16 ounce American glasses, that's over 6 liters of fluid, well above the typical maximum human stomach capacity.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Whizbang » Thu May 29, 2014 2:10 am UTC

mathmannix wrote:The most basic reason most people can't drink a gallon of anything (water, milk, or blood) in a short amount of time, and why they will throw up if they try, is that the human stomach of most people (including, presumably, vampires) can only hold between approximately 1.5 and 2 quarts (or liters), so a half gallon at most.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Jackpot777 » Thu May 29, 2014 1:12 pm UTC

Xenomortis wrote:568ml in proper society.


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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby square_one » Fri May 30, 2014 7:33 pm UTC

I started feeling queasy just after reading the what-if. I've never been great with seeing my own blood, and can't donate because I would pass out from it.

Does anyone know any scientific literature on why certain people feel queasy about blood, specifically their own?

If not, I'll have to add it to my list of potential high school science fair experiments to convince any future children of mine to try.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Davo » Sat May 31, 2014 7:00 am UTC

Spike Milligan, in his war memoirs, recounts reading about an interesting blood transfusion incident:

"A blood donor in Australia had so much alcohol in his blood that the recipient got pissed"

'Goodbye Soldier' by Spike Milligan, ISBN 0-14-010338-4, p162.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby rmsgrey » Sat May 31, 2014 2:50 pm UTC

square_one wrote:I started feeling queasy just after reading the what-if. I've never been great with seeing my own blood, and can't donate because I would pass out from it.

Does anyone know any scientific literature on why certain people feel queasy about blood, specifically their own?

If not, I'll have to add it to my list of potential high school science fair experiments to convince any future children of mine to try.


Not aware of any scientific literature, but there's an obvious survival benefit to not performing vigorous exercise with an open wound - so finding you need to go and lie down for a while, or have a nice cup of tea (replacement fluids) isn't an unreasonable response. Obviously, it's not always the best option - sometimes you're better off doing something about whatever caused you to bleed in the first place - but there are enough situations where the guy who just lies there and clots survives while the guy who tries doing stuff and keeps their wound open dies that it makes sense for it to survive as a reaction.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Copper Bezel » Sun Jun 01, 2014 10:56 am UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

We cycle oxygen fast, man. If the victim could contain enough oxygenated hemoglobin to last the vampire 12 or 24 hours - most of a kilogram for 24 - then I suppose the vampire could store it, too, if we assume the victim is completely drained somehow. But there's just not remotely enough oxygen in there in a living person. (I mean, we have quite a bit more than that bound up in our water content, but that doesn't help.)
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby CharlieP » Mon Jun 02, 2014 7:52 am UTC

I just had a belated flashback to this UK cinema advert, which seems vaguely topical...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kznmek5Jg0
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby stoppedcaring » Mon Jun 02, 2014 2:54 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

We cycle oxygen fast, man. If the victim could contain enough oxygenated hemoglobin to last the vampire 12 or 24 hours - most of a kilogram for 24 - then I suppose the vampire could store it, too, if we assume the victim is completely drained somehow. But there's just not remotely enough oxygen in there in a living person. (I mean, we have quite a bit more than that bound up in our water content, but that doesn't help.)

Is there any reaction chain that can break down the components of normal blood to produce a net increase in energy? The bacteria should be absorbing hemoglobin, water, and various other components of blood, and excreting carbohydrates, oxygen, and calcium/iron and carbon/iron molecules.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby BlueNight » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:18 pm UTC

To better visualize the amount of blood in a person, think in terms of jugs of milk. Short, thin adults contain about a gallon of blood. Tall, husky adults have closer to two. People donate it one water bottle at a time.
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby BlueNight » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:23 pm UTC

Plasma Man wrote:This is a vaguely relevant What If for me. I'm going to a beer festival on Saturday, and donating blood on Monday, so I phoned the blood service advice line to check if that was OK. They said it was - they wouldn't advise drinking on the same day as giving blood, but as long as I didn't do that or feel hungover I'd be fine. It's still good to know that I wouldn't be able to get a recipient of my blood drunk.


As a blood donor myself, I suggest that their main reason is your safety. Hangovers happen because of dehydration, because metabolizing alcohol requires water. Giving blood while dehydrated is extremely unsafe.
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby LukeRW » Thu Jun 05, 2014 11:52 am UTC

"..anecdotal evidence from online forum posts suggests that any normal person who tries to drink more than about a pint of blood will vomit."

Apparently it's also possible to get that icon you wanted in cornflower blue.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Copper Bezel » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:46 pm UTC

stoppedcaring wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

We cycle oxygen fast, man. If the victim could contain enough oxygenated hemoglobin to last the vampire 12 or 24 hours - most of a kilogram for 24 - then I suppose the vampire could store it, too, if we assume the victim is completely drained somehow. But there's just not remotely enough oxygen in there in a living person. (I mean, we have quite a bit more than that bound up in our water content, but that doesn't help.)

Is there any reaction chain that can break down the components of normal blood to produce a net increase in energy? The bacteria should be absorbing hemoglobin, water, and various other components of blood, and excreting carbohydrates, oxygen, and calcium/iron and carbon/iron molecules.


I can't imagine any advantage to doing this anaerobically. Living siency vampires need a circulatory system anyway, so why stop short of lungs?
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby stoppedcaring » Thu Jun 05, 2014 2:53 pm UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

We cycle oxygen fast, man. If the victim could contain enough oxygenated hemoglobin to last the vampire 12 or 24 hours - most of a kilogram for 24 - then I suppose the vampire could store it, too, if we assume the victim is completely drained somehow. But there's just not remotely enough oxygen in there in a living person. (I mean, we have quite a bit more than that bound up in our water content, but that doesn't help.)

Is there any reaction chain that can break down the components of normal blood to produce a net increase in energy? The bacteria should be absorbing hemoglobin, water, and various other components of blood, and excreting carbohydrates, oxygen, and calcium/iron and carbon/iron molecules.


I can't imagine any advantage to doing this anaerobically. Living siency vampires need a circulatory system anyway, so why stop short of lungs?

Oh, just to make them closer to immortal; I don't think vampires are supposed to be able to drown. I suppose you could set it up such that an aerobic metabolism is the norm (and required for strenuous exertion) but anaerobic processes can be used at a greatly reduced/suppressed metabolic rate.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Copper Bezel » Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:27 am UTC

Oh, gotcha. Yeah, that makes sense.
So much depends upon a red wheel barrow (>= XXII) but it is not going to be installed.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Eternal Density » Wed Jun 11, 2014 3:38 am UTC

Copper Bezel wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

We cycle oxygen fast, man. If the victim could contain enough oxygenated hemoglobin to last the vampire 12 or 24 hours - most of a kilogram for 24 - then I suppose the vampire could store it, too, if we assume the victim is completely drained somehow. But there's just not remotely enough oxygen in there in a living person. (I mean, we have quite a bit more than that bound up in our water content, but that doesn't help.)

Keep in mind that the human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby mathmannix » Wed Jun 11, 2014 1:01 pm UTC

Eternal Density wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

We cycle oxygen fast, man. If the victim could contain enough oxygenated hemoglobin to last the vampire 12 or 24 hours - most of a kilogram for 24 - then I suppose the vampire could store it, too, if we assume the victim is completely drained somehow. But there's just not remotely enough oxygen in there in a living person. (I mean, we have quite a bit more than that bound up in our water content, but that doesn't help.)

Keep in mind that the human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.

-Summer Glau


While that may be true if the only point is getting the blood out, Ms. Glau, this would result in severe disruption to the circulatory system, which would make the food corpse problematic if the point is also to sire a new vampire.
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:55 pm UTC

mathmannix wrote:
Eternal Density wrote:
Copper Bezel wrote:
stoppedcaring wrote:The vampires would only need to urinate, exhale, and drink blood.

We cycle oxygen fast, man. If the victim could contain enough oxygenated hemoglobin to last the vampire 12 or 24 hours - most of a kilogram for 24 - then I suppose the vampire could store it, too, if we assume the victim is completely drained somehow. But there's just not remotely enough oxygen in there in a living person. (I mean, we have quite a bit more than that bound up in our water content, but that doesn't help.)

Keep in mind that the human body can be drained of blood in 8.6 seconds given adequate vacuuming systems.

-Summer Glau


While that may be true if the only point is getting the blood out, Ms. Glau, this would result in severe disruption to the circulatory system, which would make the food corpse problematic if the point is also to sire a new vampire.


If you assume a viral/bacteriological vector for transmitting the infection, the 'drain the victim completely' meme wouldn't hold up, but the "forcing the one to be sired to drink the blood of their sire" meme would - it would have a much higher concentration of the vector than saliva, one would assume, similar to other blood-borne illnesses.

I'm pretty sure they used that on "Ultraviolet", a BBC min-series about vampires (which, btw, if you've never seen it, its pretty awesome).
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:50 pm UTC

There was also an Ultraviolet movie.
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby zuccini » Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:12 pm UTC

Yoctomoon is a hilarious unit! Very handy. Made me laugh out really loud.

I must remember to use it some day.

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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:41 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:But what makes them sparkle?

Frustration over the bad writing.
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Re: What-If 0098: "Blood Alcohol"

Postby shokoshu » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:31 pm UTC

Just wanted to drop in with the highly interesting fact that if you /s/blood/urine and /s/alcohol/fly amanita,
the scenario works perfectly (since the amanita drugs are hardly metabolized) AND has been reported.

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