Tag Archives | Alcohol
Since the FDA outlawed the sickly-sweet, caffeinated, vomit-inducing alcoholic drink Four Loko, a brisk black market has sprung up on the internet. Twelve-packs readily available, at inflated prices that will only rise, NBC New York reports:
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It may be banned from store shelves but Four Loko is one of the hottest products on Craigslist.
A 4NewYork hidden-camera investigation exposed just how easy it is to buy the alcoholic energy drink from private dealers who stocked up before the FDA forced Four Loko manufacturers to eliminate caffeine from their recipe.
After responding to posting from an Upper East Side Four Loko dealer, WNBC was able to purchase a case of twelve cans for $80, a mark-up of more than 300 percent. Since November, dozens of sellers have posted craigslist ads charging anywhere from $4 to $8 per can. When the drink was legal, buyers paid only $2 to $3 per can.
The controversial drink, nicknamed “Alcopop” or “Blackout in a Can” was first banned from the New Jersey campus of Ramapo College when 17 students were hospitalized after drinking the potent formula.
Here’s a recent story from Discovery News as Liz Day writes:
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The next time you’re inclined to enjoy an extra glass of wine, consider that it may be a reflection of your intelligence.
Childhood intelligence, measured before the age of 16, was categorized in five cognitive classes, ranging from “very dull,” “dull,” “normal,” “bright” and “very bright.”
The Americans were revisited seven years later. The British youths, on the other hand, were followed in their 20s, 30s and 40s. Researchers measured their drinking habits as the participants became older.
More intelligent children in both studies grew up to drink alcohol more frequently and in greater quantities than less intelligent children. In the Brits’ case, “very bright” children grew up to consume nearly eight-tenths of a standard deviation more alcohol than their “very dull” cohorts.
Groggle got its name from the word “grog,” Australian slang for booze. A search engine intended to help users compare alcohol prices in Australian stores easily lends itself to the “grog”-“Google” mash up, but Google didn’t seem to think it was clever. After a six-month legal battle, Google has had Groggle change it’s name. It is now Drinkle. Instead of spending the money and time on such a lawsuit, Google should have used the site to find itself a drink. BBC News reports:
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An Australian hoping to quench his nation’s thirst via the web has agreed to change the name of his alcohol search site after protests from Google.
Cameron Collie set up Groggle to allow users to find the best-priced “grog” in nearby stores.
Search giant Google complained at his effort to trademark the name, prompting a six-month legal wrangle.
Now the name Groggle has been changed to a more conventional title, Drinkle, ahead of its launch in 2011.
[disinfo ed.'s note: although we ran a story about this report previously, we decided that Aaron's post had sufficient additional information to run it too.]Not sure about the "harm score" reliability, but the chart is worth a gander nevertheless; the BBC reports:
Alcohol is more harmful than heroin or crack, according to a study published in medical journal the Lancet. The report is co-authored by Professor David Nutt, the former UK chief drugs adviser who was sacked by the government in October 2009. It ranks 20 drugs on 16 measures of harm to users and to wider society.
Fuel for critics of the war on some drugs, from AP via Yahoo News:
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Alcohol is more dangerous than illegal drugs like heroin and crack cocaine, according to a new study.
British experts evaluated substances including alcohol, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and marijuana, ranking them based on how destructive they are to the individual who takes them and to society as a whole.
Researchers analyzed how addictive a drug is and how it harms the human body, in addition to other criteria like environmental damage caused by the drug, its role in breaking up families and its economic costs, such as health care, social services, and prison.
Heroin, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, or crystal meth, were the most lethal to individuals. When considering their wider social effects, alcohol, heroin and crack cocaine were the deadliest. But overall, alcohol outranked all other substances, followed by heroin and crack cocaine.
While science still hasn’t decided whether or not alcoholism is genetic, they have found a gene that may answer why some people have a higher tolerance. From BBC News:
Experts say they have found a “tipsy” gene that explains why some people feel alcohol’s effects quicker than others.
The US researchers believe 10% to 20% of people have a version of the gene that may offer some protection against alcoholism.
That is because people who react strongly to alcohol are less likely to become addicted, studies show.
The University of North Carolina said the study aims to help fight addiction, not pave the way for a cheap night out.
Ultimately, people could be given CYP2E1-like drugs to make them more sensitive to alcohol – not to get them drunk more quickly, but to put them off drinking to inebriation, the Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research journal reported.
Continues at BBC News …
Even if you put it in a fancy bottle, whiskey is more or less just old-people sugar-pee. The Independent reports:
Introducing Gilpin Family Whisky, a project of James Gilpin, a UK- based designer and researcher focusing on new biomedical technologies, who has created a “public engagement tool” distilling diabetic whiz into “single malt whisky.”
The public health concept of the whizky is based on the fact that “large amounts of sugar are excreted on a daily basis by type-two diabetic patients, especially amongst the upper end of our aging population.”
As for how it tastes, he added, “I don’t have the benefit of aging my whisky for 100 years in a barrel but I do have the benefit of my candidates having lived in some cases 90 years of a very full life which adds a great amount of depth to the flavor.
TIME reports on a finding that contradicts what we’ve been taught our entire lives regarding the perils of alcoholism: people who are heavy drinkers live longer than those who have always been nondrinkers. (And that’s after controlling for nearly all the variables one could think up.) Do teetotalers die early due to missing out on the stress release that alcohol provides so well?
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A new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that — for reasons that aren’t entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one’s risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.
Even after controlling for nearly all imaginable variables — socioeconomic status, level of physical activity, number of close friends, quality of social support and so on — the researchers (a six-member team led by psychologist Charles Holahan of the University of Texas at Austin) found that over a 20-year period, mortality rates were highest for those who had never been drinkers, second-highest for heavy drinkers and lowest for moderate drinkers.