Tag Archives | Alcohol

Mouth Spray Makes You Instantly Drunk

StarckThe bizarre part about this story, for me anyway, is that the spray was designed by Phillippe Starck, the French designer of expensive boutique hotels, furniture and all sorts of other bits and bobs. From the Daily Mail:

A new gadget is designed to get people drunk INSTANTLY.

The makers claim, however, that the ‘harm’ is limited, because you sober up equally rapidly.

The alcohol is delivered via an aerosol spray, so people feel briefly drunk, then sober up.

But however quickly people might recover, drunkenness can lead to accidents – and it’s also unclear how the device could be misused by alcoholics.

Two American scientists designed the device – a small spray that gives you that instant drunk sensation from less than a drop of alcohol.

The feeling lasts just seconds – but when it fades, you are sober and able to carry on with your day.

The ‘Wahh Quantum Sensations’ delivers just a miniscule dose of alcohol – 0.075ml – directly in to your mouth, but thanks to the aerosol effect, the effect is instantaneous…

[continues in the Daily Mail]

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Does Drinking Make Someone A Better President?

FDR DrinkingTimothy Egan breaks down the drinking habits of past presidents in his opinion piece in the New York Times:

We know from a rare personal admission that Mitt Romney experienced a faint whiff of alcohol, a long, long time ago. “I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once as a wayward teenager,” he said last November, “and never tried it again …

… The last president to swear off alcohol was George W. Bush, who seems doomed to have his name forever followed by the words, “and we know how that turned out.” During his misspent youth, W. was a heavy drinker and considered quite the cutup, but was also obnoxious, smashing his car into trash cans and challenging his father to go “mano a mano.”…

… Jimmy Carter was a teetotaler, and he earned his one-term status. Were the two connected? Can’t say. But his temperance (though he now drinks wine) was much harder on White House visitors than the White House occupant …

… Franklin D.

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Sex-Deprived Male Fruit Flies Turn to Alcohol

Fruit FlyReports Bloomberg via the San Francisco Chronicle:
Male fruit flies become barflies when rejected by females, choosing alcohol-spiked food more often than their successful brothers in a study that suggests it may be due to a brain chemical also found in humans. The spurned flies had lower levels of a molecule in their brains called neuropeptide F than the males who were allowed to mate, according to findings published today in the journal Science. Neuropeptide Y, the version found in humans, has been tied to addiction and mental illness, said Ulrike Heberlein, one of the researchers. The molecule may begin to explain how experience and environment shape human addictions, said Heberlein. About half of a person's risk of addiction is genetic, and environment is known to play a role. The experiment may help explain the biological triggers that affect certain behavior or cravings and could help research into treatments for addiction ...
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Why Booze Is Barely Taxed

Photo: Clock (CC)

Photo: Clock (CC)

Now you might think that’s a crazy headline, but as Frank Bruni points out in the New York Times, “Congress last revised excise taxes on distilled spirits in 1991, [and] the real value of those taxes has declined more than 35 percent”! (Disinfonauts outside the US, let us know how alcohol is taxed in your country)

… excise taxes on alcohol have gone down over the last few decades, when adjusted for inflation and measured in terms of the percentage they represent of the wholesale and retail price of a bottle or a can. The federal government and many states long ago set those levies in terms of a certain dollar amount per gallon — and then didn’t tweak them much as the cost of living went up.

Because Congress last revised excise taxes on distilled spirits in 1991, the real value of those taxes has declined more than 35 percent, said Alexander Wagenaar, a professor at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine who specializes in alcohol research.

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Teenagers Are So Boring

CSD 2011 021 smoking womanSo what do teens do to be different from their parents these days? Write code? From the New York Times:

Every few years, parents find new reasons to worry about their teenagers. And while there is no question that some kids continue to experiment with sex and substance abuse, the latest data point to something perhaps more surprising: the current generation is, well, a bit boring when it comes to bad behavior.

By several noteworthy measures, today’s teenagers are growing increasingly conservative. While marijuana use has recently had an uptick, teenagers are smoking far less pot than their parents did at the same age. In 1980, about 60 percent of high-school seniors had tried marijuana and 9 percent smoked it daily. Among seniors today, according to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey, which has tracked teenage risk behaviors since 1975, 45.5 percent have tried the drug and 6.6 percent are smoking it frequently.

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Is It More Dangerous To Drive Drunk Or Stoned?

Marijuana jointBrian Palmer discovers that it’s an open and shut case, for Slate:

A new study suggests that legalizing medical marijuana reduces traffic fatalities. The authors noted that legalizing marijuana reduces alcohol consumption, and people are more wary of driving high than drunk. Which drug is actually more dangerous on the road?

Alcohol, and it’s not even close. It’s hard to directly compare alcohol and marijuana, because driving impairment depends on dosage and the two drugs tend to affect different skills. (Pot makes drivers worse at mindless tasks like staying in a lane, while alcohol undermines behaviors that require more attention like yielding to pedestrians or taking note of stop signs.) Nevertheless, Yale psychiatrist Richard Sewell reviewed the academic literature on driving while intoxicated in a 2009 article, and found that alcohol is significantly more dangerous. Real-world data from auto accidents indicate that a drunk driver is approximately 10 times more likely to cause a fatal accident than a stoned driver.

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U.S. Government Poisoned Booze to Enforce Prohibition

Police & ProhibitionDuring Prohibition, crime syndicates were re-distilling industrial alcohol to supply their speakeasies. In an effort to “poison the well,” the federal government responded by requiring manufacturers to add new, deadly compounds to the industrial alcohol mix, leading to the deaths of thousands nationwide. In an article at Slate.com, Deborah Blum writes:

It was Christmas Eve 1926, the streets aglitter with snow and lights, when the man afraid of Santa Claus stumbled into the emergency room at New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. He was flushed, gasping with fear: Santa Claus, he kept telling the nurses, was just behind him, wielding a baseball bat.

Before hospital staff realized how sick he was — the alcohol-induced hallucination was just a symptom — the man died. So did another holiday party-goer. And another. As dusk fell on Christmas, the hospital staff tallied up more than 60 people made desperately ill by alcohol and eight dead from it.… Read the rest

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A Machine To Let You Taste Words

A nonsensical waste of time? Goofy conceptual art? Or a magical cross-sensory experiment? A device that converts any word that you type into a cocktail, via Morskoiboy:

My piece has buttons working as pumps and has pipes instead of wires. It also has a display like any other electronic panel board, but as opposed to using liquid crystals as in electronic displays, my machine’s display functions via multicoloured syrups. My machine converts words into cocktails. And, yes, it does work. Now I can literally taste the flavor of my words.

Pressing the buttons on the keyboard injects the corresponding ingredients into the display, which tints different segments of the display and thus produces letters. You can try to imagine that each letter can have a taste (L-Lime, A-Apple), a color (R-Red, G-Green), or a name (K-Kahlua, J-Jagermeister).

morskoiboy cocktail machine 2

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How To Tell When You’re Drunk

Melinda Beck asks "How much alcohol does it take to get intoxicated?" for the Wall Street Journal:
Many people figure a few beers at a ballgame or a couple of glasses of wine with dinner won't put them over the legal limit for driving. But how alcohol affects people is highly individual, with a number of factors in the mix. Quick shots of liquor hit the bloodstream faster than slow sips of wine. Drinking on an empty stomach impairs reflexes more than consuming alcohol with food...
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