Atomik Grain Spirit is a (largely) (radiation-free) moonshine vodka distilled from grains grown in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as part of an experiment to determine the transfer of radiation from soil to crops; so far, the University of Portsmouth researchers behind the project have only made one bottle, but they hope to go into production and remit 75% of the proceeds to charities in the Exclusion Zone. Read the rest
In Whisky tasting using a bimetallic nanoplasmonic tongue (Nanoscale/Royal Society of Chemistry), a team from U Glasgow's School of Engineering describe their work on an "artificial tongue" lined with "tastebuds" that sense "plasmonic resonance" (the absorption of light by liquids) to produced highly detailed accounts of the profiles of Scotch whiskys, which can be used to determine whether a given whisky is counterfeit. Read the rest
Ian McDonald's Luna trilogy is filled with fantastically detailed grace-notes that give his lunar society an uncanny veneer of reality; one of the most fascinating and thoughtful of these details is the cocktails that McDonald's clannish lunarians consume, each great house with its own signature tipple. Read the rest
Patronscan is the leading provider of ID-scanning/verification services to bars and restaurants, and one of its selling points is that it allows its customers to create shared blacklists of undesirable customers who can then be denied services at every other establishment that uses its services. Read the rest
Bruce Sterling cataloged all the onscreen booze in Casablanca, producing a surprisingly long list (Sterling: "ranted, they’ve all got plenty to drink about, but gee whiz.") Read the rest
Hydrophobia, hallucinations, agitation and partial paralysis: the symptoms that come from being afflicted with rabies are twelve kinds of terrible. Oh, and death: a painful, writhing death. That's in there, too. Basically, it's one big "nah." So when folks in Milton, West Virginia saw a group of raccoons behaving erratically -- like they might be infected with rabies -- they called the cops right away. When the police cornered the raccoons in question, they quickly realized that the animals weren't rabid at all.
From The Chicago Tribune:
Turns out they appear to be drunk on crab apples," police said in their official statement to the community.
The apprehended animals were held in custody and allowed to sober up in what can only be deemed a raccoon drunk tank.
Then they were released into the wild, but not before some enterprising officer took a picture of the animal, showing it to be dazed, woozy, more than a little out of it. They named one drunk raccoon Dallas and released both near the woods.
And with that, Dallas joined a long line of animals that have made headlines for public intoxication.
According to Australian Geographic, raccoons and humans aren't the only animals that like to tie one on. Wallabies love to chase the dragon, monkeys yoink cocktails from tourists, and reindeer trip balls on magic mushrooms. My absolute favorite fact that Australian Geographic serves up, however, is that caterpillars frigging LOVE cocaine:
Read the rest
The caterpillar larvae of the Eloria noyesi moth, found in Peru and Colombia, feeds exclusively on coca plants, eating as many as 50 leaves each day.
Being able to dance and dodge my way out of attending the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas every January is one of the most important acts of self-care I commit to all year long. While it's always nice to catch up with colleagues at CES, the crush of human misery, drunk assclowns looking to cheat on their partner while they're off the leash in Vegas, and the multiple viruses that make the rounds each year at the event are a few of my least favorite things. This year, however, I almost regret turning down the opportunity to eat at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill every day for a week in between appointments and trips to the Las Vegas Convention Center: LG Electronics is said to be unveiling a fancy new home beer-brewing kit.
From Tom's Guide:
Read the rest
Similar to other home brewing systems, the HomeBrew uses capsules that contain everything you need—malt, yeast, hops, and flavoring—which you insert into the machine, add water, and press a button.The machine then sets the correct brewing temperature and time, and in about two weeks, will produce up to 10.5 pints (1.3 gallons) of beer.At launch, five packets will be available: American IPA, American Pale Ale, English Stout, a Belgian Witbier and a Czech Pilsner. The HomeBrew also has a self-sanitizing process, to ensure that your batch of beer isn't skunked. An app will also let you monitor the progress of the brew. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of making beer at home.
When I was 12 years old, a kid that I thought was my friend but turned out to only be into me for my Nintendo, tempted me to try a little something that he snuck out of his mother's liquor cabinet. We ingested it! We were so drunk! We were full of shit: we'd been eating powdered pina colada mix, trying to convince each other that we were, indeed, hammered. Anyway, booze isn't the problem for young folks that it once was. More times than not, of late, the first experience that young folks'll have with mind altering substances outside of spending too long inside drawing with a Sharpie will likely be with marijuana.
From The Verge:
Read the rest
This trend is not because teens are smoking cannabis more than ever. Rather, the change is because teens are smoking cigarettes and drinking less while the numbers for marijuana have held steady, according to Katherine M. Keyes, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University and co-author of the new study, published this week in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
The authors found this by analyzing 40 years of surveys from American high school seniors. For example, in 1995, three-fourths of seniors who used both marijuana and cigarettes had tried cigarettes first. By 2016, only 40 percent had tried cigarettes first. Today, less than half of teens try alcohol and cigarettes before trying cannabis. (The researchers didn’t look specifically at whether alcohol or tobacco came next.) Other studies have found that, in general, teens are doing fewer drugs than ever, except for marijuana.
Booze, the final frontier. This is the marketing death of a childhood memory you prize.
Yeah, there's Star Trek-themed vodka to be had. According to io9, CBS and the Silver Screen Bottling Company, have plopped out a Star Trek: The Next Generation-themed line of hooch to help you drink away the fact that the future, despite what Star Trek might have had to say about it, is twelve kinds of terrible.
Aside from featuring an LCARS-influenced bottle design (that’s the Enterprise’s computer operating system from TNG onwards), the vodka’s Star Trek-iness is enhanced by the fact that... it’s been to space? No, really: the company is planning to send a batch of the spirit into space, which will be blended with the larger stock to guarantee that at least every bottle contains a tiny bit of space-bound booze. I’m sure the discerning Star Trek fan will absolutely be able to notice this cosmic addition while they down shot after shot during their next Trek marathon.
Ten Forward Vodka. It's clever, I'll admit. But I dunno. I love Star Trek and I applaud healthy fandom. But outside of the novelty of drinking space hooch, or perhaps buying this for a Trekkie pal's birthday, I don't see how this product could be any more niche. What do you guys think?
Now, if someone were to figure out Chief O'Brien's scotch-flavored chewing gum from Deep Space Nine? I'd be all over that.
JWZ -- proprietor of San Francisco's DNA Lounge -- writes, "This is one of my favorite events that we do all year: it's time for the Fifth Annual Cocktail Robotics Grand Challenge! Come see maniacal Rube Goldberg contraptions pour delicious cocktails for you! Mad Science Guaranteed. You probably won't get wet, probably." Read the rest
British Adventurer Nick Griffiths sustained severe frostbite in three of his toes while mucking about in the Canadian Yukon a couple of months ago. He'd been competing in the Yukon Arctic Ultra race when exposure to the damp, extreme cold of Canada's far north did to him what it does. Despite the time he'd taken to convalesce from his injuries, Griffiths was told by doctors in England that they would have to amputate three of his toes to stave off infection. Griffiths asked to keep his dismembered digits and his surgeons were happy to comply. They gave Griffiths his three detached little piggies, preserved in liquid-filled bottles.
The question of what to do with the toes was an easy one for Griffiths to answer. According to the CBC, the adventurer has offered to donate them to Dawson City's Sourdough Saloon to be served up in cocktails for punters with a taste for human feet.
As any Canadian will tell you (I'm pretty sure they include the fact on our citizenship test), the Downtown Hotel serves up a unique cocktail: The Sourtoe. The ingredients of a Sourtoe Cocktail are simple, but kind of hard to come by: a shot of whisky and a severed human toe. Once the drink has been downed, it's tradition that the toe be returned to the Sourdough Saloon's bartender to be reused. But that doesn't always happen. People have run off with one of the toes in the past and, in 2013, some tool decided to swallow it along with his booze. Read the rest
In this unsourced video that hit Reddit's front page this morning, a man who appears to be Chinese funnels a handful of wrigglers (minnows? eels? loaches?) into a bottle of beer, tops it with a flaming shot of hooch (baiju?) that he's seasoned with a lungful of cigarette smoke, then impressively chugs it in a matter of seconds, all with an air of showmanship; it's a video that combines self-abuse, animal cruelty, dubious intoxicants, and implausible biological feats. Read the rest