Category - blogging

1
Presidential Drinking Habits
2
SideBlog: Chainsaws Make For Efficient, Dangerous Bottle Openers
3
Breakthrough Science! You Can’t Drink Through Your Feet
4
The Bartender Singularity Takes a Creepy Turn

Presidential Drinking Habits

Obama gives a thumbs-up as he celebrates St. Patrick's Day in Washington
The New York Post has just published a nifty little piece of scholarship by Mark Will-Weber entitled “A Complete List of Every President’s Favorite Drink”. I was just going to link it in the SideBlog, but there is enough stuff here to share some highlights without stealing so much you won’t read the original. Some of this I already knew, but most I did not. It is a fun and quick read.

It is an illuminating historical fact that of America’s Founding Fathers, only Washington died wealthy. In fact, virtually all the rest died broke. Perhaps some of the reason for this is because, while Washington was the continent’s biggest liquor producer, he never drank it, preferring the odd porter instead. In contrast, Jefferson bankrupted himself on expensive wine, and James Monroe spent the White House furniture budget on 100 cases of French wine and Champagne.

Martin Van Buren was a heavy drinker, who liked a New York-made Genever variant called Scheidam. Anyone ever heard of this stuff?

We had some bad presidents in the lead-up to the Civil War, and their drinking habits are in keeping with that. Millard Fillmore was a near teetotaler, and with a name like that to tote around, a sane man would need an occasional belt. He was followed by Franklin Pierce, who died of cirrhosis, and James Buchanan, who drank Iberia dry.

The Rutherford B. Hayes White House staff would resort to spiking the punch because his wife was a Prohibitionist, but she caught on and substituted their rum with artificial flavoring behind their backs. If you merged a period costume film with Porky’s, you get a Hayes state dinner, I guess.

Read the entry for Grover Cleveland. No really, read it. I can’t steal it.

William McKinley had an official campaign cocktail. An Official. Campaign. Cocktail.

Harry Truman started most days with a shot of bourbon and a massage. The only man to ever nuke anyone didn’t play around.

Finally, if LBJ had been president when MADD was founded… they would not have gotten along. For why, and plenty of other good stuff, click the link.

SideBlog: Chainsaws Make For Efficient, Dangerous Bottle Openers

Chainsaws make for efficient, if dangerous, bottle openers. Five bottles at a time!

Breakthrough Science! You Can’t Drink Through Your Feet

Copyright: nobilior / 123RF Stock Photo
Feet—You drink with the other end, people!
Source

To follow me on this, you will need to accept two fairly unbelievable things:

  1. There are people in Denmark who spread around the urban myth that if you soak your feet in booze, you will get drunk.
  2. There are scientists in Denmark who a few years back had so much free time that they conducted a scientific study to determine this myth’s validity, then wrote up their findings and published them.

The world is full of urban myths. (Once upon a time, when we were less urban, we called them old wives’ tales. But now we call them urban myths, because most folks live in cities, and punk kids have outstripped old wives in the too much time on their hands and wild speculation departments.) Often, urban myths spread from their nation of origin to other cities around the world, with hipsters as the primary vector, I believe. The pedal dipsomania myth seems to have remained isolated in Denmark.

This isolation could be a subject of some study as well. I suspect a possible result would be a recommendation to skew national IQ tables to decrease all recorded IQs of Danes by ten.

Heck, while we’re at it, let’s dock everybody from Norway, Sweden, and Finland by five, just for being fellow Scandinavians.

Sorry he did that drive-by to friends, Tiare, but this is about Science™.

Anyway, I think I’m far enough into this post that I won’t spoil things by revealing that they found that no, you cannot get drunk through your feet.

So how did Doctors Hansen, Færch, and Kristensen determine this breakthrough discovery? First, they experimented on themselves, in the grand, selfless humanitarian tradition of Jonas Salk. Our scientific heroes/guinea pigs performed their test by sitting around for three hours with their bare feet soaking in a tub of Slovakian vodka. The primary metric was BAC:

…Blood samples were taken to the laboratory for immediate analysis by the study nurse (and) measured as soon as possible in case of rapid and potentially fatal increases….

Selfless risk-takers in the name of science they may have been, but I’m glad they made sure to be as safe as possible. (Though to be fair, they appear to have been pretty cavalier about the far greater possibility of laughter-induced herniation in the nurse when he or she was told of the protocol for this experiment.)

But wait, this was a rigorous study! A single measurement of drunkenness was insufficient for our intrepid trio. Perhaps this foot-ingested intoxication is undetectable in the bloodstream.

Hey, that makes as much sense as claiming that “toe chugging” will get you drunk in the first place!

The additional metrics were a mix of factual observation and self-evaluation, to wit: Self-confidence, the urge to talk, and spontaneous hugs. The results are represented in the following chart:
Vodka Through the Feet Results
Alas, in these measures as well, the mysterious foot-ingested, bloodstream-avoiding intoxicating effects were essentially invisible.

2011-10-busted
“But I do question how it is that we haven’t done a show segment on this yet….”

The discussion section of the paper outlines some conclusions of various degrees of usefulness, ranging from “Driving or leading a vessel with boots full of vodka seems to be safe”, to “Importantly, students experimenting with transcutaneous alcohol absorption should move on to more relevant activities.”

When you translate that last one from Faculty to English, you get “Go out to a bar, have a drink, and meet some people. You will never get laid sitting around a lab with your bare feet soaking in booze. And if your wise-ass roommate has filled your shoes with Aquavit, don’t worry. It’s still safe to drive.”
My Faculty is a bit rusty, so I just copy and pasted that directly from Google Translate….

I do want to note that this study, while new to me, is Old™. I got it from Seriously Science’s Flashback Friday. I’ll leave you with an expansion on the scary thought with which they finish their introduction. I’m not sure about the development-to-market time-frame in the infused spirits industry, but if anyone in the vodka biz reads this piece, we could be seeing this ad any damn day now….

Pinnacle Fødder Vodka
Sorry Pinnacle, but you deserve this for making me live in the same world as Cupcake-flavored vodka.

(Seriously, in all honesty these scientists are geniuses. They richly deserved an igNobel Prize for this. They were clearly angling for one, and it is a crime that they lost out to the guys who studied why some patients literally explode during colonoscopies.

The Bartender Singularity Takes a Creepy Turn

article-2722779-20789D2C00000578-986_634x4171
The face of the Bartender Singularity…?

No, not the black hole kind of singularity, but the kind of singularity where humans produce a machine that does a job indistinguishably from humans, or even better. The mighty Instapundit loves to point out every example of a nascent singularity that he can find, or pretend to find. Me, I confine myself to cheerfully threatening my bartender friends with every mechanized example of bartending equipment I see as if it is the impending Bartender Singularity. Further, I’ve noticed a trend that said Bartender Singularity seems to often come with an extra layer of sexually-tinged (or -slathered) creepiness. It has lead me to expect that when a real singularity does arrive, it will be wearing leather….

We are not even close yet, in the real world, but, well, the next step is upon us…. and it wears leather. Or lace. You know, user customization is all the rage these days.

Japanese sex-doll maker Orient-Industry (link is NSFW) is demonstrating a modification to one of their popular models of $7,500 realistic latex sex dolls that turns “her” into a drink dispenser called Party Doll. One is pictured atop this post. Though she would not be dressed like that while in operation.

Yes folks, Japan remains the clubhouse leader in global, perverted weirdness. And it does so with products like this. I almost don’t want to describe how you operate the Party Doll, but in the interests of Journalistic Integrity™, I must. Also, in case you do not want to click the link below to watch the embedded video, you need to know what you are missing. To get your drink (I think “she” only makes one recipe), you hold your glass underneath one nipple, while you massage the other breast until your glass is full.
Yup. They went there.

Click for embedded NOT Safe for Work Video
No, really. It is not safe for work!


Got that? Did you watch the whole unnecessarily long thing? Good. Now remember that most bartenders are male, and let your imagination marinate in that set of pleasant imagery of our inevitable future.

You are welcome.

To wrap up, I’m glad we can all agree that real bartenders have little to fear from the Party Doll, but….

Wait a minute, Doug!
I don’t mean to pry, but just how in hell did you run across this particular product?
I mean, what dark alley of the internet were you Googl….

Oh! Thanks for the reminder! A post like this definitely needs a hat tip to my source, SPLOID! There, you can thank the Gawker family of sites for your nightmares, bartenders!

Copyright © 2014. Douglas A. Winship. Powered by WordPress.