Java Protects Juicers
Bethesda, MD — Coffee and tea may reduce the risk of serious liver damage for heavy drinkers, says a new study.
The study of nearly 10,000 people showed that those who drank more than two cups of coffee or tea per day developed chronic liver disease at half the rate of those who drank less than one cup each day.
Conducted by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and Social and Scientific Systems, Inc, the study found that coffee provided no protection to people at risk of liver disease from other causes, such as viral infections.
“While it is too soon to encourage patients to increase their coffee and tea intake, the findings of our study potentially offer people at high-risk for developing chronic liver disease a practical way to decrease that risk,” said Dr Constance Ruhl, who helped lead the study.
Beer Goggle Effect Demystified
MANCHESTER, UK — Scientists have discovered why alcohol makes ugly people seem more attractive — otherwise known as the “beer goggles” effect.
Far from being a simple matter of how much you have to drink, the researchers have devised a complex formula which takes into account the level of light in the pub or club, the drinkers’ own eyesight, the smokiness of the room and the distance between two people.
A phenomenon which has caught out millions of people over the years, the beer goggles effect refers to how having too much to drink can make someone you find repulsive suddenly exude all the charms and allure of a supermodel.
While getting intimate with the person may seem like a good idea at the time, it’s only the morning after when you realize that the Angelina Jolie superbabe you hooked up with the night before actually resembles Margaret Thatcher in the cold harsh light of day.
And while many of us have worn beer goggles over the years, no-one has ever worked out exactly why alcohol has this strange effect on our judgement.
“The beer goggles effect isn’t solely dependent on how much alcohol a person consumes, there are other influencing factors at play too,” said Professor Nathan Efron, Professor of Clinical Optometry at the University of Manchester. Amazingly, scientists now believe you don’t even need to have had an alcoholic drink to suffer from the beer goggles effect.
“The formula shows for example,” Efron went on to say, “that a person with poor vision who’s talking to someone in a very smoky bar will be experiencing a beer goggles effect close to someone who has consumed eight pints in a smoke-free and well-lit room.”
The formula can work out a final score to measure the effect:
A score of less than 1 means no beer goggle effect — an ugly person remains ugly.
A score of 1-50 means a slight beer goggle effect — making a person you would normally find very unattractive slightly less “visually offensive”.
A moderate beer goggle effect is indicated by a score of between 50-100 — a person who is by no means appealing becomes suddenly sexually attractive.
A score of more than 100 indicates a severe beer goggle effect — the “hideous creature” you were talking to an hour ago now looks like Kylie Minogue or George Clooney.
For example, someone with normal vision who has drunk five pints of beer and sees someone 1.5 meters away in a fairly smoky and poorly lit room will score 55, which means that they would suffer from a moderate beer goggle effect.
Increasing beer consumption to eight pints increases that score to 140, leading to a severe beer goggle effect.
The research was carried out by an eyewear firm, which surveyed more than 1000 members of a speed dating club.
The poll showed 68 per cent of respondents had woken up the next morning regretting giving their number to somebody who they later realized they weren’t attracted to.
Fortunate Fishermen Net Booze
LONDON — Fishermen have managed to unlock a mystery of the deep after netting more than their usual catch.
Astonished crews on three separate trawlers found bottles of Irish cream liqueur among their prawns while fishing off the coast of England.
But their spirits were buoyed even higher when they discovered that, along with each bottle of liquid nectar, two glasses had also been provided.
It turned out that the fishing boats, from Kilkeel in County Down and Clogherhead in County Louth, had accidentally netted gift packs of Carolans Irish Cream Liqueur.
About 8,000 of the packs, worth over $250,000, were lost during storms in the Bay of Biscay at the end of October, en route to Spain for the Christmas market.
They sank without trace to the sea bed, until swept along by currents, they were discovered last week among the haul being inspected at Dunmore East in the Republic of Ireland.
C&C International, which makes the liqueur, said the company was delighted that some of its lost cargo had turned up. Frances Cullen, the firm’s marketing executive, said quite a few of the presentation packs had been recovered.
“A 40-foot container of products fell from the deck in a storm in the Bay of Biscay bound for the Spanish Christmas market last month,” she told the BBC.
“The current swept them along and they were brought up off the west coast of England in an area called The Smalls where they made their catch. The presentation packs consist of a bottle and two glasses.”
The liqueur is a blend of Irish cream, honey and Irish spirits.
Ms Cullen said the company was amazed that the sea had preserved the gift packs, after nearly one month in the water.
Hooch Offered in Hospitals
WESSEX, UK — Cancer patients are to be offered free spirits, wine and beer in their hospital beds after ward nurses decided that the medicinal benefits of alcohol have been overlooked for too long.
A drinks trolley replete with free sherry, gin, wine, Guinness and beer will be trundled around the ward in the North Hampshire Hospital in Basingstoke, UK at least twice a day.
It will be the first time in decades that alcohol has been offered to patients, according to the nurse in charge of the trolley, and should help patients work up an appetite or drift off to sleep.
Junior Sister Caroline Price, 46, who oversees the Wessex ward where the scheme is to be introduced, said the demonizing of alcohol was obscuring its obvious health benefits.
“People forget that it can be beneficial,” she said. “Alcohol can help by stimulating people’s appetites and it can also calm people down and help them to sleep. Stouts and Guinness are a very good source of iron.”
Her patients are very keen on the idea, which she resurrected on the understanding that much of the alcohol will be donated by relatives and friends of the ward patients.
Sister Price said the practice of prescribing medicinal alcohol was common in the 1970s and early 1980s but had fallen out of fashion.
“I think it’s unfortunate. I thought it would be good to bring it back,” she said.
Medicinal alcohol is routinely given to cancer patients, according to a spokesman for the North Hampshire Hospital. But some cancer charities said the practice was unusual.
Single Glass of Wine Immerses D.C. Driver in Legal Battle
WASHINGTON, DC—Debra Bolton had a glass of red wine with dinner. That’s what she told the police officer who pulled her over. That’s what the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath test indicated — .03, comfortably below the legal limit.
She had been pulled over in Georgetown around 12:30 a.m. for driving without headlights. She apologized and explained that the parking attendant must have turned off her vehicle’s automatic-light feature.
Bolton thought she might get a ticket. Instead, she was handcuffed, searched, arrested, put in a jail cell until 4:30 a.m. and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Bolton, 45, an energy lawyer and single mother of two who lives in Alexandria, had just run into a little-known piece of D.C. law: In the District, a driver can be arrested with as little as .01 blood-alcohol content.
As D.C. police officer Dennis Fair, who arrested Bolton on May 15, put it in an interview recently, “If you get behind the wheel of a car with any measurable amount of alcohol, you will be dealt with in D.C. We have zero tolerance. Anything above .01, we can arrest.”
Neither the police department nor the attorney general’s office keeps detailed records of how many people with low blood alcohol levels are arrested. But last year, according to police records, 321 people were arrested for driving under the influence with blood alcohol levels below the legal limit of .08.
Bolton balked at the $400 fee and the 24 hours of class time required to attend the “social drinker” program.
“I think it would have been fine if I’d done something wrong, but I didn’t,” she said. “I had a glass of wine with dinner.”
Instead, she hired a lawyer. In August, after Bolton made several fruitless appearances in D.C. Superior Court, prosecutors dropped the DUI charge. But then she had to battle the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, which warned that it would suspend her driving privileges at the end of this month unless she went through an alcohol prevention program.
These days, Bolton goes out to eat in Virginia. And she keeps a yellow sticky note on her steering wheel to remind her to make sure her headlights are on.