Showing posts with label Drinking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Drinking. Show all posts

Monday, January 02, 2012

Martin and Lewis, Abbot and Costello, Astaire and Rogers, Science and ....


According to this article:

On the face of it, there doesn't seem to be much a connection between a sleazy, smoky bar and a stuffy lecture on quantum physics or dark matter. But, at least in Tel Aviv, these two strange worlds are coming together.

The result: Some of the big city's best bars are hosting lectures led by those considered as these establishments' outsiders, drawn out of the labs and research institutes into nightlife stardom.

Even the organizers are taken aback every time by the popularity of these classes, and with the rate the phenomenon has been growing, those who don't seek an education on their night on the town will be soon considered a dying breed.

These events initiated by Weizmann Institute of Science lecturers, who were looking for ways to broaden their student base.

"We saw that the institute was teeming with listeners coming in to hear lectures, Weizmann Institute spokesman Yivsam Azgad told Haaretz, adding that those lectures "usually preached to the choir."

"We were thinking about how to get to the general public, who might find science lectures interesting but just doesn't know it. If we arrived at where they were, they might listen." Azgad added.

At first, the Weizmann Institute official offered the project to the city of Rehovot – where the world-renowned science research establishment is located – and after that initial attempt proved to be a success, he thought he'd try on the professional courts of Tel Aviv.

"They were very skeptical at first," he said, since "bar owners were reluctant to give away their establishment on Thursday nights. There were those who told me 'you don't know bars in Tel Aviv, they're loud, people drink and make out, how would the lecturer feel?'"

Only that it turned out that the skeptics were in the minority, with the project now taking place in 40 bars, including some of the biggest and most successful in the city, with another 50-venue project in the works.

"Now we're at a place where lecturers are offended for not being invited to teach," Azgad said.

And drink!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

5 things nobody tells you...

...about quitting drinking.

More informative and sad than funny.

Particularly this:

It turns out that drinking doesn't make a person an alcoholic. The part of a person's brain that makes him drink to excess is what makes him an alcoholic, and the mechanism for the addiction is still there. This is why people in 12-step programs say that you'll always be an alcoholic, even if you're not drinking. Alcohol isn't the disease; it's a symptom. Or rather, it's an attempt to self-medicate the disease.

It's hard for people to understand why I can't just downgrade from "alcoholic" to "moderate drinker." There are plenty of people out there who can drink in moderation. They can down a couple with their friends, shit on the hood of a cop car, go to sleep and forget all about booze the next day. I'm not one of them. Neither was my dad, who died at age 49 from this shit.

I think I'll find a better way to teach my kids the same lesson.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The obvious answer is that alcohol kills off stupid brain cells.

According to evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, "more intelligent people are more likely to binge drink and get drunk (Intelligent people are more likely to do stupid things.)"  According to Kanazawa, this phenomenon is consistent with an evolutionary Hypothesis of human behavior:

 Evolutionarily novel entities that more intelligent individuals are better able to comprehend and deal with may include ideas and lifestyles, which form the basis of their preferences and values. It would be very difficult for individuals to prefer or value something that they cannot truly comprehend. So, applied to the domain of preferences and values, the Hypothesis suggests that more intelligent individuals are more likely than less intelligent individuals to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel preferences and values that did not exist in the ancestral environment and thus our ancestors did not have, but general intelligence has no effect on the acquisition and espousal of evolutionarily familiar preferences and values that existed in the ancestral environment.
Yeah, evolutionary, whatever....a proclivity to do stupid things hardly seems to be an indication of intelligence, which makes one wonder if the study got the definition of 'intelligence' wrong.

Likewise, Kanazawa's Hypothesis would seem to make intelligence maladaptive, leading to a return to instinctual and safer behaviors.

A better explanation is Cliff Claven's "Buffalo Theory" of alcohol and intelligence:
“Well ya see, Norm, it’s like this. A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. So when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole, because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of the weakest members.

The human brain works that way too. It only operates as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. So, regular consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells, making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Perhaps this explains the Irish.

Study shows link between alcohol consumption and monogamy:

Ron Bailey points to new economic research noting that “across the world the main social groups which practice polygyny do not consume alcohol” and, conversely, “a positive correlation between monogamy and alcohol consumption (and especially between monogamy and drunkenness) across societies.”

Not wishing to crash my computer, I’m reluctant to click through to the PDF of the study in question. Presumably, however, the only way humans can stand to be with the same partner day after day, year after year, is to get drunk.

I’m open to other explanations.
Who links to me?