The Week: Most Recent Drinking and Drugs:Drinking in America recent posts.en-usFri, 15 Feb 2013 15:40:00 -0500http://theweek.com Recent Drinking and Drugs:Drinking in America from THE WEEKFri, 15 Feb 2013 15:40:00 -050012 celebrities who got into the booze business [Updated]<img src="" /></P><p>As if conquering Hollywood weren't enough, power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have teamed up with French winemakers the Famille Perrin to take on the wine industry. They're set to release a new ros&eacute; called Miraval made with grapes from the couple's French estate, Chateau Miraval. They'll follow up with a white wine by the end of the summer, and a red by year's end. Click through for more.</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 15 Feb 2013 15:40:00 -0500How vodka sodas get you drunker quicker<img src="" /></P><p>If you prefer to keep your waistline in check while consuming alcoholic beverages, low-calorie options like vodka sodas are a fine choice.</p><p>But imbibing zero-calorie mixers like soda water and Diet Coke can come at a cost, according to new findings published in the journal <em>Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. </em>Researchers discovered that just like taking a shot,&nbsp;drinking an alcoholic beverage made with a low-calorie mixer gets you drunk faster.</p><p>Think of it this way: When you eat dinner before a night out on the town, those extra calories serve as a buffer to help slow your body...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 06 Feb 2013 15:34:00 -0500The ice cubes that know when you're drunk<img src="" /></P><p ><iframe width="660" height="397" src=";byline=0&amp;portrait=0&amp;color=ff9933" frameborder="0" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>We've all had nights when we drank too much, and mornings when we woke up wishing someone had stopped us after our second drink, rather than our fifth. Dhairya Dand, an inventive MIT Media Labs researcher, has taken that wish and made it a reality by creating a prototype for ice cubes that monitor how much you drink.</p><p>The inspiration for Cheers, the "alcohol-aware glowing ice-cubes" came after Dand attended an MIT party that ended badly. "11:30 pm: I remember having three drinks. 7 hours later: I wake up at the hospital. I had an alcohol-induced blackout," the video about the prototype describes...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jessica-hullinger" ><span class="byline">Jessica Hullinger</span></a>Fri, 18 Jan 2013 12:11:00 -0500Why is the drinking age 21?<img src="" /></P><p><br />&nbsp;</p><p><strong>How did we end up with a drinking age of 21?<br /></strong>In short, because of the National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984. This law basically told states that they had to enact a minimum drinking age of 21 or lose up to 10 percent of their federal highway funding. Since that's serious coin, the states jumped into line fairly quickly. Interestingly, this law doesn't prohibit drinking per se; it merely cajoles states to outlaw purchase and public possession by people under 21. Exceptions include possession (and presumably drinking) for religious practices, while in the company of parents, spouses, or...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Ethan TrexFri, 18 Jan 2013 07:39:00 -0500What's the best way to avoid a hangover on New Year's day?<img src="" /></P><p>Happy New Year! Chances are you're probably going to have a drink tonight. Or several. And, unless you're a masochist, you probably want to avoid the dreaded "I'm never drinking again!" hangover tomorrow morning. Here are a few tips to get you drinking smarter:</p><p class="p1"><strong>First off: What causes a hangover?<br /></strong>It's a combination of different factors, but here's the basic premise: Alcohol is a diuretic. When you're drinking, your body is constantly flushing out water, which is why you feel the urge to pee a lot more and why bathroom lines at bars are always so long. At the same time, alcohol introduces a number...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Mon, 31 Dec 2012 13:15:00 -0500The cup that changes color when date-rape drugs are present<img src="" /></P><p ><iframe width="660" height="398" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p><p>Every year, an estimated 1 million people are date raped, and many of them are victims of date-rape drugs, potent mixtures that disrupt the central nervous system. These drugs, often slipped into alcoholic beverages, can cause drowsiness, amnesia, and blackouts, and they're incredibly difficult to detect. But one startup wants to change that. The company,&nbsp;<strong>DrinkSavvy, is creating drinkware that changes color when date-rape drugs are present, going from clear to red.</strong> Mike Abramson,&nbsp;DrinkSavvy's&nbsp;founder,&nbsp;was inspired to create the cups <span class="s1">after he himself was drugged.&nbsp;</span><span class="s1">"I was...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/jessica-hullinger" ><span class="byline">Jessica Hullinger</span></a>Mon, 10 Dec 2012 12:32:00 -0500Do cigarettes give you nastier hangovers?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The question:</strong> Anyone who's ever indulged in a few stiff drinks and a cigarette can attest that pairing the two vices makes you feel pretty good. But that simple pleasure can cost you the next morning, at least according to researchers from Brown University, who set out to discover whether drinkers who smoke suffer harsher hangovers.</p><p class="p2"><strong>How it was tested:</strong> The Brown team enlisted 113 college students and had them detail their smoking and drinking habits &mdash; hangovers and all &mdash; over an eight-week period.&nbsp;</p><p class="p2"><strong>The outcome:</strong> Students who were the heaviest drinkers &mdash; consuming six beers...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Fri, 07 Dec 2012 12:58:00 -0500Garrison Keillor's triumph over addiction<img src="" /></P><p><strong><span class="s1">I CAME ALONG&nbsp;</span></strong>toward the tail end of a grand old tradition of manly self-destructiveness in American writing &mdash; Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Faulkner, O'Neill, Cheever, Carver, Tennessee Williams. And then of course there was Dylan Thomas, the Welshman.</p><p class="p3"><span class="s1">So when I determined at the age of 18 to become a writer, I accepted my obligation to smoke many packs of cigarettes a day and learn how to drink gin and whiskey in goodly amounts, and to shun exercise done for the sake of exercise. No running. Writers were not runners. It was too awkward to run and smoke at the same time. We sat, brooding,...</span></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffSun, 30 Sep 2012 16:00:00 -0400'Alcohol enemas': A frightening new hazing trend?<img src="" /></P><p>The University of Tennessee has suspended a fraternity for 30 days after one of its members was dumped at a hospital with a blood alcohol level of "well over" 0.4 percent, five times the legal limit for driving and clearly within what doctors call the "death zone" for alcohol poisoning. The thing is, the 20-year-old student hadn't been drinking, exactly. According to Knoxville police, he and his Pi Kappa Alpha frat brothers had been giving one another "alcohol enemas." University officials were appalled. "Shock would not be an [overstatement]," says Tim Rogers, vice chancellor of student life....</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 27 Sep 2012 13:06:00 -0400Disney World starts serving booze: About time?<img src="" /></P><p>For some parents, a Fantasyland dream is about to come true. For the first time in the 41-year history of Disney World's Magic Kingdom, exhausted moms and dads will soon have the option of relaxing with a cold beer or a glass of Chardonnay after a long day of running around the vast Florida theme park with their kids. Disney is merely dipping its toe into the world of adult refreshments &mdash; alcohol will only be offered in the new Be Our Guest restaurant, which is opening in November and will serve French-inspired entrees. "You cannot walk into a French restaurant and not get a glass of wine...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 18 Sep 2012 07:47:00 -0400Can thermal cameras tell how drunk you are?<img src="" /></P><p>It's no secret that some people are better at holding their booze than others. But just because some party girl <em>appears</em> articulate and physically composed doesn't mean she's not drunk. "Subjective analysis based on behavior is a scientifically inaccurate benchmark," says Rollin Bishop at <em>Geekosystem</em>. That's why researchers at the University of Patras in Greece are pioneering a new type of thermal imaging technology that can instantly detect how inebriated a person is just by scanning his or her face. Here, a quick guide to the breakthrough and who it might actually benefit:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>What does it...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 06 Sep 2012 14:25:00 -0400How the shape of a beer glass changes your drinking speed<img src="" /></P><p>Need to drink less? The secret may be in your choice of glassware. Researchers from the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom closely monitored the drinking habits of scores of imbibers, and found that people who drank beer from curvy glasses downed their brews almost twice as fast as revelers who took their beer in a straight glass. Here, a concise guide to the study:</p><p><strong>What did researchers do, exactly?</strong><br />The team,&nbsp;which published its findings in the journal&nbsp;<em>PLoS&nbsp;One,</em>&nbsp;monitored 159 men and women. Subjects were given either a soft drink or a beer, and were instructed to drink...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 04 Sep 2012 12:15:00 -0400The mouth spray that gets you drunk... for a few seconds<img src="" /></P><p>A collaborative effort between a French designer and an American scientist has produced a portable mouth spray that results in instant drunkenness. The big catch, however, is that the purported buzz only lasts a few seconds. So, uh, what's the point? Here's what you should know:</p><p><strong>How does it work?</strong><br />The "WA|HH Quantum Sensations" system, presented at a French exhibition, delivers alcohol via a tiny aerosol spray, which spritzes a 0.075 milliliter dose of boozy chemicals directly into your system. A typical drink, by contrast, contains 40 to 60 milliliters of alcohol, meaning that you'd need to press...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 04 May 2012 15:52:00 -0400Soft-serve frozen foam: Can it keep beer colder longer?<img src="" /></P><p>Treating yourself to a nice cold brewski in the summertime is all very well... if you guzzle the beer down before it turns warm. It's an issue that every even slightly sluggish drinker has had to contend with &mdash; but maybe not for much longer. The good people at Kirin, the Japanese brewing giant, have developed a frozen beer foam that can be dispensed atop a glass of beer the same way soft-serve ice cream is swirled into a cone. (Watch a demo video below.) The manufacturer says the frozen foam can keep a stein of beer cold for 30 minutes. Here, a guide to the invention:<br /><br /><strong>What is the foam made...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 12 Apr 2012 14:15:00 -0400Coors Light's 'absurd' iced-tea-flavored beer<img src="" /></P><p>Molson Coors is rolling out a new product: Coors Light Iced T. The drink is a standard Coors laced with citrus and iced-tea flavors, all with a relatively meek alcohol level of 4 percent. "We've got the world's most refreshing alcoholic beer sort of meeting up with the most refreshing non-alcoholic drink in the world. Those two things go really well together," says Peter Swinburn, the chief executive of the company. Plenty of beer purists, of course, are less excited. Here's what you should know:</p><p class="p1"><strong>Why is Coors mixing beer with iced tea? </strong><br />It's part of a broader plan to win back customers who are...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 08 Mar 2012 16:05:00 -0500Pong Beer: The new drink designed for beer pong<img src="" /></P><p>"Behold, Pong Beer," says Kim Bhasin at <em>Business Insider</em>. In case college kids don't have enough options for cheap swill, a brewing company has designed a beer exclusively for beer pong. You know the game, where competitors loft ping-pong balls, preferably coated in the dust found under frat-house couches, into a pyramid of wide-mouth cups brimming with Keystone Light or Milwaukee's Best. The company estimates that 50 percent of college students play beer pong, and that beer pong-related products have raked in $20 million in sales. Here, a guide to the latest in America's favorite drinking game...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 17 Feb 2012 07:00:00 -0500