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Alcohol

Air has launched in various cities around the US West Coast

Many people enjoy having a few drinks after work or on the weekend. Only a subset of them actually enjoy the taste of whatever cocktail or malt beverage they're sipping on. Others would prefer to get the buzz and inhibition release without actually choking down liquor or beer. Whether it's that earthy pine-tree-in-a-bottle flavor of gin or the harsh burn of cheap whiskey, alcohol can be downright painful. Air, "the first water with alcohol," provides an alternative with a light flavor profile purported to be closer to club soda than beer or spirits.  Read More

When sprayed into the mouth, WAHH Quantum Sensations is said to produce a slight light-hea...

A professor who has previously created chocolate and coffee aerosols has teamed up with designer Philippe Starck, and turned his micro-particle spraying science to booze. The WAHH Quantum Sensations spray delivers approximately 0.075 ml of alcohol liquid in the form of micro-particles and reportedly simulates the sensorial pleasure of alcohol, giving the user a brief moment of light-headedness and distraction.  Read More

If 24% of drivers aged 17-24 were driving around drunk, there would be a massive public ou...

New research released today by the Institute of Advanced Motorists in the UK doesn't tell us much we didn't know before, but it does put it in context. The smartphone is headed for ubiquitous usage, and the wonderful real-time communications and information services it offers are making the roads considerably LESS safe due to the distraction. Due no doubt to its higher levels of engagement, social networking while driving is considerably less safe than texting, drinking to the legal limit and smoking marijuana. And yes, talking on a mobile phone with or without a hands-free is definitely not good for your health, or the health of other road users.  Read More

Future generations will no doubt wonder at the  carnage we have allowed to develop on our ...

It is a great irony that alcohol has been almost universally legislated into becoming man's most commonly used recreational drug, as it's also the ONLY drug that causes more harm to others than to the user. This is most evident on our roads, where even in supposedly civilized first world countries with low road tolls, alcohol still accounts for between a third and a half of all road deaths and injuries. Now France is attempting a bold solution - from July of this year, it will become law in France to have a working breathalyzer in every car on the road. Don't laugh! The world is fast running out of tolerance for the road toll and tougher laws everywhere are inevitable.  Read More

The BreathalEyes app for iPhone uses the smartphone's camera to detect and measure involun...

Common sense should be enough to tell us that getting behind the wheel of a car after consuming alcohol is not a particularly good idea, but still there are those who stupidly risk life and liberty by driving home after the party. When trying to convince such people to call a taxi, friends are often faced with a call for proof that the would-be driver is unfit to drive. Instead of analyzing a user's breath to determine alcohol content, the BreathalEyes app for iPhone detects involuntary eye movement in a similar way to field sobriety tests undertaken by police patrols.  Read More

A Russian tinkerer has created a typewriter that mixes drinks based on the keys that are p...

Hoo boy, you just know Hunter S. Thompson would have loved this. A Russian tinkerer going by the name of morskoiboy has created a typewriter (?) that squirts a different type of syrup or liqueur into a glass with every keystroke. That same liquid is used in a big single-character LCD-like display, that shows users what letter they’re typing. This means that different cocktails can be created, simply by typing in different words.  Read More

Ian Williams and and Anders Warn, with the WilliamsWarn beer brewing machine

Home beer-brewing is sort of like writing a novel – although you might like the idea of having done it, the thought of all the work involved in doing it can be off-putting. If the PR materials are to be believed, however, the WilliamsWarn brewing machine could make the process a lot easier ... and quicker. Unlike the four weeks required by most home brewing systems, it can reportedly produce beer in just seven days.  Read More

A new system for detecting counterfeit whiskey is simpler and less costly than traditional...

So, is that really Johnnie Walker Blue that you’re drinking, or is it perhaps actually Johnny Woker Bloo? Counterfeit Scotch whiskeys are more common than you might think, with the Scotch Whiskey Association reportedly handling between 60 to 70 active cases of counterfeiting at any one time. While there are lab tests that can identify the fakes, not every bar owner or restaurateur has the time or funds for those. Fortunately for them, scientists from Glasgow’s University of Strathclyde have devised a quicker, simpler, less costly system.  Read More

Recreational drug usage in the wild: stoned reindeer and junkie monkeys

You don’t need an IQ much larger than your shoe size to realize that humanity is forever questing for an alternative reality. Apart from the behemoth industries peddling legalized drugs (alcohol, tobacco and caffeine), the extraordinary profitability of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and the rapidly growing number of synthetics now constitute the single largest income stream of criminal and terrorist organizations worldwide. Human drug usage began at the dawn of civilization and we may have sought out the first mind-altering substances by watching the behavior of animals which indulged.  Read More

A scientific assessment of the harmfulness of the 16 most commonly used drugs

One of the more interesting news items of the last week came from the release of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs’ first piece of research – Drug harms in the UK: a multi-criteria decision analysis. The findings of the committee, based on wide ranging criteria, apply scientific methodology to answering the perpetually vexing question of exactly how much harm certain drugs do to their users and those around them. The table above summarises the findings and the full paper is available free on the web, where you’ll see just how complex the equation actually is. Most interesting of all was that without government meddling and industry lobbying, alcohol was rated more harmful than any other drug, while tobacco (the only other taxed legal drug on the list), is more harmful than cannabis.  Read More

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