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Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

Drunkblogging the big speech

Posted by Richard on February 25, 2009

Stephen Green is drunkblogging the President's address to Congress tonight, and he's suggested that we play along at home by taking a drink whenever we hear “hope,” “change,” “invest,” or “stimulus.”

I don't have nearly enough alcohol in the house to play that game. Besides, my poor liver wouldn't survive. 

I think I'll watch one of the episodes of Heroes I've got on the DVR. I can read Green's drunkblogging afterward. I'm sure it will be just as informative as watching the speech, and much more enjoyable.

UPDATE: Between the drunkblog and the late news, I know more than I really wanted to know about the speech. 

Did the Prez really talk that fast, or was Steve's perception of time distorted by some mind-altering substance? 

Did the Prez really say this nation invented the automobile? If W had said that, the derisive laughter would have gone on for days.

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Happy Repeal Day

Posted by Richard on December 5, 2008

Today is the 75th anniversary of the ratification of the 21st Amendment, the repeal of alcohol prohibition. That's certainly an occasion worth toasting!

In today's Wall Street Journal, Ethan Nadelman, the executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, argues that it's also an occasion we should learn from:

The Americans who voted in 1933 to repeal prohibition differed greatly in their reasons for overturning the system. But almost all agreed that the evils of failed suppression far outweighed the evils of alcohol consumption.

The change from just 15 years earlier, when most Americans saw alcohol as the root of the problem and voted to ban it, was dramatic. Prohibition's failure to create an Alcohol Free Society sank in quickly. Booze flowed as readily as before, but now it was illicit, filling criminal coffers at taxpayer expense.

When repeal came, it was not just with the support of those with a taste for alcohol, but also those who disliked and even hated it but could no longer ignore the dreadful consequences of a failed prohibition. They saw what most Americans still fail to see today: That a failed drug prohibition can cause greater harm than the drug it was intended to banish.

Read the whole thing. If you agree, donate a few bucks to the Drug Policy Alliance

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Best cartoon

Posted by Richard on July 12, 2008

Heh™. I'll drink to that.

UPDATE: And, via Instapundit , there's this related news. 🙂

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Protect your joints, have another drink

Posted by Richard on June 7, 2008

Need another reason to attend tonight's Blogger Bash? Well, just tell yourself that you need to drink more to protect yourself from a crippling disease. New research suggests that alcohol consumption can cut your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in half:

The Scandinavian researchers base their findings on more than 2750 people taking part in two separate studies, which assessed environmental and genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis.

The results showed that drinking alcohol was associated with a significantly lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. And the more alcohol was consumed, the lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

Among those who drank regularly, the quarter with the highest consumption were up to 50% less likely to develop the disease compared with the half who drank the least.

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight let us drink a toast to those Scandinavian researchers! Maybe a toast to each of the researchers!

Among those with antibodies to a specific group of proteins involved in the development of the disease, alcohol cut the risk most in smokers with genetic risk factors for rheumatoid arthritis.

The authors conclude that their research reinforces the importance of lifestyle factors in the development of the disease, and that giving up smoking remains the single most important preventive measure.

Hmm, I don't know. It sounds like taking up drinking is a pretty important preventive measure, even for smokers, and by far the most important for non-smokers. But researchers are always reluctant to say positive things about "vices," no matter how strong the evidence. Bad for their employers' public relations and their chances of getting more grant money.

Nonetheless, good news for those of the imbibing persuasion. Skol!

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Marathon (old) man

Posted by Richard on April 13, 2008

Buster Martin is reportedly Britain's oldest worker at the age of 101. It's not a desk job, either. He cleans vans three days a week for a plumbing company.

If his age is accurate, Martin set another record on Saturday, completing the London Marathon in a bit over 10 hours. That's better than he'd predicted, and in line with his training. A month earlier, he ran a half marathon in 5:15.

Marathoner Buster Martin taking smoke breakBut the folks at Guinness World Records won't certify his achievement as the world's oldest marathoner because there are doubts about his age. He may be "only" 94.

It doesn't matter. He's still my hero. Martin never drinks water, so his trainers arranged to have pints of bitter (a British pale ale) available for him along the way to keep him hydrated. And he's smoked since he was seven, and isn't about to quit now. Halfway through the race, he took a beer and cigarette break. And after the race, he celebrated with a beer and a smoke. 

101 or 94, running 26.2 miles fueled by alcohol and tobacco is an awe-inspiring feat. You go, Buster! 

UPDATE: It just occurred to me that none of the half-dozen stories I read about Buster mentioned his diet. I bet he's not a vegetarian. I bet he likes steak and kidney pie, bangers and mash, fish and chips …

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When control freaks lose control

Posted by Richard on September 13, 2007

Say Uncle posted an interesting story the other day about an anti-gun Tennessee state legislator. It seems that Rep. Bob Briley's belief that you, dear gun owner, can't be trusted to be responsible and exercise self-control is yet another example of liberal projection:

TN State Rep. Rob Briley was arrested for DUI after rear-ending a car and leaving the scene. During his arrest, he allegedly finished his drink at gunpoint. On Monday, he was arrested again for vandalism for kicking the window of a patrol car and causing $1,500 worth of damage. Under the influence, Mr. Briley reacted violently. And stupidly.

As a chairman of the Judiciary committee, Briley blocked various pro-gun bills, including opposing a bill to allow concealed carry permit holders to carry their weapons where alcohol is served so long as they weren’t drinking. No wonder he can’t trust you to be armed in the same room where there may be alcohol, look what it does to him.

Briley, a Nashville Democrat, led police on a 100-mph chase before being apprehended. He spent time in an alcohol treatment facility last year, and apparently is headed back. 'Cause, you know, he's not responsible for what he did. Show some compassion. You wouldn't want him to lose his job — or worse, face a mandatory sentence — just for some technical violation involving a deadly weapon. At least, not when the weapon is an automobile.


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Drink up, fatsos!

Posted by Richard on November 6, 2006

So, let’s say you’re one of the 65% of Americans who are obese. And let’s say you’re worried about the health consequences of those extra pounds — including double the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and arthritis, and triple the risk of diabetes. So, what are you going to do about it?

Well, you could walk more, join a gym, and start working out. You could forego that plate of ribs and order a nice salad with low-fat dressing.

Or you could just order a nice bottle of Shiraz to go with those ribs:

Good news for gluttons and anyone else who gets old: Scientists are looking for the antidote for age and disease in a glass of red wine.

Harvard Medical School and National Institute of Aging researchers have found that a natural susbtance found in red wine, known as resveratrol, countered the ravenous ways of mice fed a high-calorie diet and even prolonged their lives.

“Resveratrol can excuse most of the negative effects of being obese in the mice,” said Harvard Medical School professor David Sinclair, one of the study’s authors.

The study compared three groups of mice. The first ate a standard (30% fat) diet, the second ate a high-fat (60%) diet, and the third ate the high-fat diet supplemented with resveratrol.

The third group got just as fat as the second, but suffered none of the ill effects. Their hearts, livers, and other organs remained normal (in fact, somewhat healthier than the standard-diet group’s). Their blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity mirrored the lean group’s. And they lived longer:

… After 114 weeks, 58 percent of the normally fed mice and the resveratrol group were still alive, compared with only 42 percent of the untreated, high-calorie-intake mice. Sinclair reports that resveratrol reduced the risk of death from a high-calorie diet by 31 percent, leading to an increase in life span of 15 percent thus far. More accurate numbers will be available when all the mice pass away. "We are around five months from having final numbers," Sinclair notes, "but there is no question that we are seeing increased longevity." The researchers also note that the resveratrol-treated mice not only live longer than their untreated counterparts, but have more active lives, too–their motor skills have actually improved as they have aged.

Of course, there are caveats. To get as much resveratrol as the mice, you’d have to drink a hundred or more glasses of wine (depending on which news report you believe) — clearly, supplement capsules would be a more practical choice. And everybody from the science reporters to the researchers is mouthing the usual warnings that you always hear regarding nutritional supplements:

While resveratrol supplements are available at many health food stores, experts caution that no one knows whether the compound will work the same way for humans and, perhaps more important, whether high doses of resveratrol are harmful in the long run.

It’s worth noting, though, that researcher David Sinclair founded a company to develop resveratrol-related drugs (in which he and Harvard Medical School have a financial interest).

And Sinclair has been taking resveratrol supplements himself for three years already.

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