Always Carry 30 Liters of Beer — If You Want To Live
SLOVAKIA— A Slovak man trapped in a car buried by an avalanche freed himself by drinking 60 bottles of beer and urinating an escape tunnel through the packed snow.
Rescue teams found Richard Kral drunk and staggering along a mountain path four days after his car was entombed in the Slovak Tatra mountains.
He told them that he had opened his car window and tried to dig his way out. But as he dug with his hands, he realized the snow would fill his car before he managed to break through.
Fortunately he had 60 half-liter bottles of beer in his car and after cracking one open to think about the problem he realized he could urinate on the snow to melt it.
“I was scooping the snow from above me and packing it down below the window,” Kral explained, “and then I peed on it to melt it. It was hard and now my kidneys and liver hurt. But I’m glad the beer I took on holiday turned out to be useful and I managed to get out of there.”
Barney Gumble Back On Booze, In Jail
PRAGUE — A Czech man was arrested because he hid in a bar’s washroom until the employees left then hooked up beer kegs directly to his mouth.
The cleaning staff found him drunk and sprawled on the floor of the bar in the city of Brno, about 120 miles east of Prague.
“He had broken the door of the cooling mechanism, detached the hoses leading from the keg, squashed them into his mouth and literally filled himself up with beer,” a visibly awed police official warbled.
The man will be charged with $340 worth of damage to the beer cooling box.
Alcohol Makes Women Better Looking and Smarter
BOSTON—Drinking moderately appears to decrease the risk of cognitive decline, reports researchers at Harvard Medical School.
More than 12,400 retired nurses between 70 to 81 years old were given quizzes via telephone. In one test, they named as many animals as possible in a minute. They also reversed an increasingly long series of numbers and recalled details from text read to them. Two years later, the tests were repeated.
The study shows that older women who drank performed better than nondrinkers. They also maintained more of their mental sharpness, and had a smaller risk of a decline in mental skills seen during the period when the two tests were performed.
Civil Thieves Drink Wine, Ignore Cash
BANSKO, BULGARIA—Burglars who broke into a luxury apartment at a Bulgarian ski resort drank the homeowner’s wine rather than pocketing thousands of dollars worth of cash and valuables.
The thieves deactivated a complicated alarm system, broke through two doors and locked a guard dog in the kitchen before settling down to enjoy the contents of the wine cabinet in the town of Bansko.
The owner of the house said the large amounts of cash and valuables in the house had not been touched.
Vino Vanquishes Prostrate Cancer
NEW YORK — The results of a new study add to a veritable landslide of evidence that consumption of red wine may reduce the risk of prostate cancer in middle-aged men.
And apparently, the more wine the better.
Dr. Janet L. Stanford, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues studied data from 753 newly diagnosed prostate cancer patients between 40 and 64 years of age, and from a comparison group of 703 matched “controls” to assess the association between alcohol consumption and prostate cancer.
“Each additional glass of red wine consumed per week showed a statistically significant 6% decrease in relative risk” of prostate cancer, they report.
Alcohol alters the balance of hormones, Stanford’s group notes, and it “contains chemical substances such as flavonoids , which may alter tumor cell growth.”
Wheelchair DUI Case Dismissed
BROOKSVILLE, FL — A judge threw out the case against a 46-year-old woman accused of driving drunk while operating her wheelchair.
Judge Peyton Hyslop said the wheelchair essentially was the woman’s legs and that charging her in this case would be tantamount to bringing DUI charges against anyone who was drunk and standing up.
“While sitting at home in a wheelchair taking prescribed medication, a person could be charged and convicted of DUI,” said Hyslop. “A wheelchair-bound person overindulging in alcohol at a wedding, in a restaurant, at a professional football game or in the sanctity of her own home would also be subject to arrest or DUI.”
Hyslop said under those terms, an able-bodied totally intoxicated person sitting next to the impaired disabled person “would not be subject to such arrest, and only to arrest if disorderly.”
Hyslop determined that allowing the definition of a vehicle to include a wheelchair would violate her constitutional rights to move freely because it would treat disabled people differently from others.
“Hallelujah,” Cynthia Christensen said. “It is such a relief for me because I did not deserve that. You are allowed to have a party in your yard and have a drink, you know.”
On Sept. 21, 2003, after cooking out and drinking beer with her fiance, Christensen rolled to the front yard of her home on Sealawn Drive, where her wheelchair got stuck in the fine sand.
Christensen fiddled with the joystick, and in an instant, her wheelchair hopped a 4-inch lip at the edge of her yard and collided with a passing Ford minivan.
She was cited on the DUI charge after a blood test registered a .10 blood-alcohol level. Christensen acknowledged having a few beers while taking her prescription medication. She suffers from degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis and scoliosis.
With his upcoming departure from the bench, Hyslop will not be around to hear Christensen’s other pending case. She was charged with animal cruelty after she was accused of biting the head off a python last May.
DUIs Issued for Drinking Too Much Tea
SAN FRANCISCO—California prosecutors are cracking down on kava-guzzling motorists who are driving under the intoxicating influence of the herbal tea.
Following their first successful conviction in June 2004, San Mateo County prosecutors have filed three other cases, after about a dozen motorists had been pulled over in recent years, said San Mateo Deputy District Attorney Chris Feasel.
Kava, while not considered a drug by federal health officials, is classified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a nutritional supplement that can be used to relieve anxiety.
Motorists under the influence of kava had a “thousand-yard stare”, Feasel said. “They’re drooling on themselves sometimes, their motor function is so bad,” he added.
“Kava basically has the opposite effect of alcohol,” Feasel said. “Kava affects your motor skills before it affects your mental abilities.”
The June conviction is believed to be only the second successful one in the country, following a 1996 case in Utah.
In the pending cases, motorists have admitted to drinking between 10 to 20 bowls of the bitter tea, which comes from the kava root, a member of the black pepper family.
“We’re cracking down on DUI drivers,” Feasel said. “Whether it’s driving under the influence of kava, or a good merlot or Advil, you’re going to be prosecuted.”
Frequent Boozing Cuts Heart Attack Risk
BOSTON—Drinking three or four days a week can reduce the risk of heart attacks by a third, a new study shows.
The 12-year study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that the frequency of drinking was the key to lowering the risk of heart disease, rather than the amount, the type of alcohol, or whether or not it was drunk with food.
Identifying the frequency of use as a key factor was a surprise, says lead researcher Kenneth Mukamal of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston.
The study compared nearly 40,000 male health professionals aged 40 to 75. Men who drank three or four times a week cut their risk of a heart attack by 32 percent compared to men drinking less than once a week. But those who had a tipple just once or twice a week cut their risk by only 16 per cent. Teetotalers enjoyed no benefit..
The alcohol may help to keep the blood thinned, speculates Mukamal. The frequency of drinking may be important because alcohol breaks down relatively quickly in the body and its effects on red blood cells are short-lived, he adds.
Mukamal’s idea is supported by earlier work showing that people with a gene that makes them metabolise alcohol slowly seem to benefit the most from moderate drinking.