Tag Archives | Alcohol

Colonial Americans Drank Roughly Three Times as Much as Americans Do Now

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All day drinking was common among early Americans.

Emma Green via The Atlantic:

It was a pretty common belief among the founders [regarding] America’s experiment with republicanism, that the only way that we were going to keep it was through the virtue of our citizens,” said Bruce Bustard, the curator of a National Archives exhibit on American alcohol consumption. As Rush observed the effects of alcohol consumption, he had the young nation’s future in mind: People experiencing what he saw as the “Melancholy,” “Madness,” and “Despair” of intemperance surely wouldn’t make for very good participants in democracy.

Early America was also a much, much wetter place than it is now, modern frat culture notwithstanding. Instead of binge-drinking in short bursts, Americans often imbibed all day long. “Right after the Constitution is ratified, you could see the alcoholic consumption starting to go up,” said Bustard. Over the next four decades, Americans kept drinking steadily more, hitting a peak of 7.1 gallons of pure alcohol per person per year in 1830.

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Famous Drunks in History

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Lords of the Drinks has compiled a list of famous, influential drunks.

Via Lords of the Drinks:

It’s often thought or said that heavy drinkers contribute nothing to society. Well, we believe the opposite is true. Some of the greatest men and women in world history made it a daily mission to get absolutely smashed. These are the stories of the people who will be remembered forever. Brave warriors, wise politicians, creative artists, excellent sportsmen and many other distinguished historical figures made this list. Just think what the history and present existence of humankind would have looked like without these boozers…

Benjamin Franklin, ‘Founding Father’ of the United States
André the Giant, French wrestler
Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter
Ulysses S. Grant, General in the American Civil War and US president
Alexander the Great, conqueror from ancient Greece
Peter the Great, the Russian tsar of partying
Ernest Hemingway, American writer

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The Four Stages of Being a Dive Bar Regular

Alper Çuğun (CC BY 2.0)

Alper Çuğun (CC BY 2.0)

I am what is commonly known as a binge drinker. I don’t ever drink at home, but I like to go out. When I go out I like to drink a ton. When I hit the town, I, like all of the other true partiers in the world, want a place to go where I know the vibe and know I am going to get my mind crushing buzz on with the least possible hassle, combined with the most possible fun.

It should also be cheap. For a boozebag, checking your wallet the next day can be a terrifying experience.

Which is why I always have a regular bar that I frequent. The last thing you want to do if you really want to get hammered is wander around aimlessly looking for a good place to drink.

I have been a regular at different bars numerous times throughout my life.… Read the rest

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Heavy Drinkers Have Lowest IQs

A Soldier Drinks a Pint of Beer on his Return from Afghanistan MOD 45152497.jpg

Photo: Sergeant Ian Forsyth RLC/MOD (CC)

New findings show a link between a lower IQ and and alcohol consumption amongst young men, reports the Telegraph:

People with low IQs are more likely to consume higher amounts of alcohol than those with higher IQs, a new study has claimed.

The study, which was carried out by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, surveyed 49,321 Swedish men who were born between 1949 to 1951 and were conscripted for Swedish military service from 1969 to 1971. IQ tests done upon conscription, alcohol intake, pattern of drinking, tobacco use, and medical conditions were all examined.

The results showed that men with lower results on their IQ test consumed higher levels of alcohol, leading the team to conclude that “a higher IQ results in healthier lifestyle choices”.

Sara Sjölund a student at the Institutet and corresponding author for the study, said that this was the first study to find “consistent” links between “cognitive ability and alcohol-related problems”.

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The 3 deadliest drugs in America are all totally legal

via Vox Media.

via Vox.

German Lopez via Vox:

As the US debates drug policy reforms and marijuana legalization, there’s one aspect of the war on drugs that remains perplexingly contradictory: some of the most dangerous drugs in the US are legal.

Don’t believe it? The available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows tobacco, alcohol, and opioid-based prescription painkillers were responsible for more direct deaths than any other drug in 2011. This chart compares those drug deaths with the best available data for cocaine, heroin, and marijuana deaths [show above].

Now, this chart isn’t a perfect comparison across the board. One driver of tobacco and alcohol deaths is that both substances are legal and easily available. Other substances would likely be far deadlier if they were as available as tobacco and alcohol. (Heroin-linked deaths in particular have been trending up since 2010, topping 8,200 in 2013 and making heroin deadlier overall than cocaine.) And federal data excludes some deaths, particularly less direct illicit drug deaths, which is why the chart focuses on direct health complications for all drugs.

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Dolls on Film

Dolls

This New York Dolls documentary was just uncovered by Noisey and it’s required viewing for anyone interested in punk’s early greatest days. From the site…

Directed by Nadya Beck and Bob Gruen, All Dolled Up: A New York Dolls Story is a feature-length documentary that was filmed in 1972, and sees the then-married pair follow the band from their early performances in New York at Kenny’s Castaways and Max’s Kansas City to their infamous West Coast tour. Expect to see raucous, debaucherous backstage antics, illuminating interviews, footage from the Whisky A Go Go, the Real Don Steele Show, Rodney Bingenheimer’s E Club, and much more. The documentary features the entire original lineup—David Johansen (vocals), Johnny Thunders (guitar), Sylvain Sylvain (guitar), Arthur Kane (bass), and Billy Murcia (drums)—and captures an image of the band before death, alcohol, and heroin tore it asunder. It’s an intimate look at rock’n’roll’s greatest underdogs that took in too much, too soon, but still always came out swinging.

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Getting Wasted in Salt Lake City with Jon Herbert

71IdRdVqpmL._SL1500_For most people in the rest of the United States, the words “Salt Lake City” conjures up images of towering, snow-capped mountains, and polite, clean living Mormons smiling at you while helping old ladies cross the street. When it comes to thoughts of partying, many people think Salt Lake City is a place where you can’t buy a drink at any price. It is the one large city in America, that does not bring up  images, of violence or urban decay.

I picture gleaming buildings, smiling blonde people, and a shitload of churches. I definitely don’t picture drunks, drugs, and people throwing themselves in bonfires during drug fueled parties.

The vast majority of people in Salt Lake City are Mormons, and if there is one thing we know about mormons (other than that they believe some really bizarre shit) is that they don’t party at all. But even a city full of Mormons can’t keep down the party forever.… Read the rest

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Vaping Alcohol

Vaping alcohol? Sheesh, doesn’t that take all the best parts of drinking away? Apparently not according to Playboy:

Vaping alcohol sounds like a fictional way to binge-drink dreamed up by paranoid parents. Remember vodka tampons? So we had our doubts with the Vaportini, a gadget that allows you to literally inhale booze. But after putting it through comprehensive tests, we are surprised to conclude that vaping alcohol is awesome.

First, the science: In theory, vaporized alcohol is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. It sidesteps the digestive tract, which means you don’t ingest calories, carbs or fillers. The alcohol content of one inhalation is about the same as one sip of a mixed drink or beer. (You can read actual data on how vaporized alcohol affects the body here.) According to the Vaportini company, users can immediately feel the effects of the vaporized alcohol, as opposed to waiting half an hour to feel the effects of swallowed spirits.

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“Crossfaded”: What happens when you’re drunk and stoned at the same time?

By Elvert Barnes via Flickr.

By Elvert Barnes via Flickr.

Luckily, Popular Science has the answer.

via Popsci:

The intoxicating effects of alcohol and of marijuana have been widely studied, but their combined effect—getting “cross-faded“—is woefully underexplored scientific territory. Here’s a look at what we know about how pot and booze together affect the brain.

First, the basics: Marijuana contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which acts on the brain’s cannabinoid receptors. Alcohol depresses the central nervous system. Trying to compare the two isn’t even like comparing apples and oranges, says Gary Wenk, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Ohio State University. “It’s apples and vegetables. They’re very different drugs.” An extremely simplified explanation would be to say that THC largely has cognitive effects, like paranoia and a distorted sense of time, while alcohol mainly affects motor skills, making it hard to walk in a straight line and causing slurred speech.

So does combining weed and alcohol just add their respective effects together?

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Mark Bittman’s ‘Drinker’s Manifesto’

The conclusion of Mark Bittman’s “Drinker’s Manifesto” (in the New York Times) is really the best part: “…when it comes to public health we fail to prioritize correctly. The C.D.C. says that excessive alcohol consumption causes 88,000 deaths a year and ‘costs the economy about $224 billion.’ Obesity-related illnesses cause somewhere around 112,000 deaths, and cost maybe a trillion dollars. You don’t see the C.D.C. saying that people under 21 years of age ‘drink too much’ if they consume a can of soda. But it should.” Bittman has a pretty good rationalization for boozing:

Across my desk recently came a reissue of the 1964 classic “The Drinking Man’s Diet,” a cute little volume that maintains that if you drink a bit you’ll lose weight. Counterintuitive, since one of the things we think we know about alcohol is that it provides truly empty calories, which generally speaking cause weight gain (see, for example, soda).

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