Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010
By Christopher McCollum
The bludgeoning She-Beast herself, Carrie A. Nation. Poster child of the Temperance Movement and Anti-Saloon League.
The biggest argument against public drinking is that it leads to mayhem, violence, and eventually death. It is upon this idea that almost every state in America has laws against open containers of alcohol in public. There are eight states that do not have open container laws, but within those states, there are only a few select communities that have not passed local ordinances that prohibit public drinking. The historic district of Savannah, Georgia is one of them, as well as Butte, Montana; the Las Vegas Strip; Beale Street in Memphis, Tennessee; The Power and Light District in Kansas City, Missouri, and New Orleans.
In a sort of mind numbing paradox, there are several states (Mississippi, Virginia, West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, Connecticut, Delaware) that allow open containers of alcohol to be in a moving motor vehicle, but do not allow open containers in public. Furthering the incredulous nature of this paradox, Mississippi even allows drivers to drink while operating their vehicle, as long as they remain below the legal limit of .08 BAC. Despite allowing people to drink while driving, it is illegal to drink on a sidewalk in Mississippi, and despite allowing open containers of alcohol in a moving vehicle, the other states also prohibit it.
The laws don’t make much sense, but then again, they oftentimes don’t. Take these gems for example: Up until 2004, it was illegal in North Carolina to practice palmistry or fortune telling unless in a school or church; It is illegal in Virginia to engage in pre-marital sex, under a law titled “Fornication”; in Tennessee carrying skunks into the state is outlawed, and in New Jersey it is illegal to wear a bulletproof vest while committing murder.
Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
By Christopher McCollum
In a recently concluded study of more than 22,000 people, lead by Yangmei Li of Cambridge University, results have shown moderate drinkers who also smoke are almost two thirds more likely to have a stroke than their moderate drinking, non-smoking counterparts.
There have been a bounty of recent studies showing the moderate consumption of alcohol having positive affects on heart health, blood pressure and circulation, and bone density. Studies have also surfaced showing that alcohol appears to reduce stroke risk in individuals, and this study from Ms. Li seems to support that.
The results show that out of all the combinations of smokers and drinkers, the lowest risk of stroke came in the 7 – 14 drinks per week demographic, followed by 3 – 7 per week. Those who consume a fewer amount of drinks (0 – 3 per week) appear to be 31% more likely to succumb to a stroke, while those who drink the most (more than 28 drinks per week), are 75% more likely than those who average 1 to 2 drinks per day.
The smoking contingent of the study has another mixed bag of results, with non-drinking smokers being 32% more likely than our aforementioned moderate drinker, while the most at risk demographic were those who both smoke and drink, who are a staggering 218% more likely to suffer a stroke.
So with these results in mind, it looks like the healthiest vice to have is drinking, but in moderation of only 1 to 2 drinks per day. In relation to some of the previous studies that we have written about here at Culture of Spirits, it seems that a pint of Guinness alternated daily with a pint of an IPA, backed up with a glass of Champagne or red wine would be the logical choice to optimize the health benefits of some of our favorite beverages.
Until next time, sophisticated ones!
Saturday, April 3rd, 2010
By Christopher McCollum
A new statute is being proposed in Californians called the Alcohol-Related Harm and Damage Services Act of 2010. This proposal, which seeks to increase the state alcohol tax by astronomical proportions, was brought forth by Josephine and Kent M. Whitney, of San Diego, California.
Last year, I wrote an article about Russia raising its alcohol tax by sky-high margins, but if this Act in California goes through (it is going to require around 430,000 signatures on a petition just to go to a vote), President Medvedev will have to bow his head in submission, as his 300% tax hike will look like pocket change compared to the proposed 5,500% to 12,675% tax increase that the Whitney’s have authored.
In reading the details of the proposal, we see a helpful summary that California’s Attorney General wrote, which details what exactly will be taxed, and how much the tax will be; Beer’s six-pack tax will rise from 11 cents to $6.08 USD, a 5,527% increase. With that in place, say hello to $12 six-packs of Yuengling, and a lovely $15 for a six-pack of a good micro-brew, or about the price that a case costs here in North Carolina. The steepest tax increase of almost 13,000% is on 750ml bottles of wine, which aims to raise the tax from 4 cents to $5.11 USD per bottle, which has many people fearing that this will cripple the wine industry. According to one grower with a winery in Soledad, California, the most in-demand product on the wine market are mid-range bottles of $7 to $8. He fears that raising the price on those hot ticket items by an additional $5.11 will reduce the overall demand and put a tremendous strain on local wineries, eventually leading to job losses.
Tuesday, March 30th, 2010
By Micah Hanks
A new study appearing today at the Web MD site suggests there is a link between heavy drinking and people who consume lesser wholesome foods. Specifically, diets consisting of heavier alcohol intake appear to lack consistent (and recommended) amounts of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and milk, according to researchers at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Cancer Institute, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Interviews performed by these agencies among 8,155 men and 7,715 women in the U.S. sought to learn about their individual drinking and dietary habits. The findings, reported in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, suggest dangerous dietary habits are certainly more consistent among the more regular drinkers. Immediately, one must consider whether other factors, some of which are less obvious, might be contributing to such statistics; if so, what are they, and how might they influence trends that exist between alcohol consumption and the quality of foods being eaten by these individuals?
Sunday, March 14th, 2010
By Christopher McCollum
Greetings, Cultured ones! It’s been awhile since my last post, and for that, I am regretful. However, I am getting back into the swing of things, and will start it off right with an article for health conscious ladies around the world.
A recently concluded study from the Archives of Internal Medicine, conducted by Doctors associated with Divisions of Preventive Medicine and Aging, and Harvard School of Public Health has shown a correlation between moderate drinking and body shape. The results of the study come from a nearly 13 year study in which 19,220 women aged 39 or older were kept up with about once a year, with weight and alcohol consumption being provided by the participants.
What the researchers noticed at the conclusion of the study, is that women who imbibed light to moderate amounts of alcohol were found to have little to no weight gain, and a much decreased likelihood of becoming obese. Other mitigating factors were not included in the results, such as activity levels, diet, and family history. These test results are very interesting, and further studies should go into these women to see if the alcohol intake had any direct affect on them, or if it is just a coincidence.
It seems fairly unlikely, given all that we know about alcohol and calories, that these results actually have anything to do with alcohol, and instead it is pretty easy to assume that it just happens to be a facet of the already active lives of many women. A very interesting thing to know is the type of alcohol that these women in the study were imbibing in; Beer and it’s empty calories, or Red Wine and it’s already well known health benefits.
Perhaps a likely scenario is more of a social one than a health one, as cocktails and wine are imbibed at events by women who are already image conscious within their social circles. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to say. Until another study is done that provides more details about the alcohol aspect, we can do nothing but speculate. However, it must be heartening to us to learn that we are not guaranteed to gain weight from alcohol’s empty calories, as some would lead us to believe.
Sunday, March 7th, 2010
The city of Arab, Alabama, recently got an unexpected surprise: research by the city’s police chief, Mike Blackwood, found that alcohol related offenses have not risen since 2008, when the town decided to begin allowing sale of spirits. But that’s not all, according to a recent statement from Blackwood that appeared in the Cullman Times online. “We’ve seen about a 6 percent decrease in alcohol-related crimes,” he adds, and though he warns that it’s still fairly early in the game to draw conclusions, “so far the alcohol-related crime is down.”
Additionally, Blackwood says that statistics he collected from other towns in the region who decided to lift bans on the sale of alcohol reported similar drops in violent crime related to alcohol consumption. But perhaps the most interesting facet of Blackwood’s findings has to do with how the number of people drinking and driving through the area has dropped as well.
Sunday, January 24th, 2010
By Christopher McCollum
The L.A. Times reports on alcohol crackdowns in Baghdad.
With Saddam Hussein removed as the Dictator in charge of Iraq, hope was sprung for millions of people to enjoy freedoms that were unimaginable up to that point. People cheered, and savvy businessmen opened clubs and bars all around the downtown district of Baghdad. Alcohol flowed freely, and the people of Iraq had a real taste of the west. Unfortunately, militia activity began rising and pushing against alcohol, and many places stopped carrying it for fear of invoking the wrath of the Islamic extremists. Still, many brave business owners continued with the practice of selling alcoholic beverages to their patrons, and they seemed to endure through the hardships of insurgent violence, but even having succeeded in that environment, they are finding an even tougher challenge ahead.
Friday, October 16th, 2009
By Micah Hanks
A chief of police in Ohio’s Whitehouse area has resigned, one month after accusations were made of having an open container of alcohol in her patrol vehicle. Chief Kathleen Hartle oversaw a school’s anti-drug program in the area. Her resignation was accepted by Waterville Township trustees on Wednesday.
Having served seven years with Anthony Wayne school, Hartle was a D.A.R.E. officer. An incident that occurred on Aug. 26 spurred the allegations, where Hartle was asked to leave a routine township meeting. According to Trustee Les Disher, Hartle “had trouble speaking.”
Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to live by example. However, the tragic irony of this circumstance is difficult to overlook. Since ancient times, the adage that “we become the things we hate” seems to have governed a strange pre-destination of sorts in the collective mind of humanity. In this case, perhaps the lesson learned is that repression of our hidden desires is never the right angle to solving a problem, nor is living a lie.
Saturday, October 10th, 2009
North Carolina authorities are reporting the discovery of 929 gallons of moonshine, buried in the backyard of a man following his arrest on suspicions of selling and distributing the spirit illegally.
63-year-old Roger Lee Nance of Wilkesboro was arrested Wednesday on charges of possession and intent to sell non-tax-paid liquor. According to John Ledford, new director of the N.C. Division of Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE), “it’s one of the biggest mountain busts I can remember.” News of Nance’s arrest broke only one week after Ledford was sworn into office in Madison County, where he served as sheriff for the last 10 years.
Nance was storing the moonshine he made in various containers of different sizes and shapes beneath a shed in his backyard. He was arrested following a two-month investigation.
Having only recently taken office, Ledford is already seeing his share of controversy as well. Apparently during his election campaign, funds were accepted from a Weaverville, NC man who supports legalizing video poker and other gambling games. However, the ALE is also the state agency charged with busting illegal video poker. Ledford, who worked as an ALE agent for five years in the 1990s before resigning to become sheriff, says this would not affect his new position, and told the Raleigh News and Observer “I’ll do what I’ve always done as a law enforcement officer — I’m going to carry out the duties of my office fairly and impartially.”
Controversy has involved the state agency prior to Ledford’s election, as he replaces Bill Chandler, who retired abruptly in September following reports in The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer about ALE’s implication in two missing assault rifles and other concerns involving use of firearms.
Thursday, October 1st, 2009
The Scottish Brewery BrewDog underwent major criticism from health advocates and alcohol awareness groups this past summer, as they unveiled their new beer, Tokyo*. Tokyo* is Britain’s highest alcohol content beer, at 18.2%, and they were slammed for being irresponsible, by providing a beer with that high of an alcohol content, in a society that is already troubled by alcoholism.
In response to this criticism, BrewDog is launching their newest beer, naming it ‘Nanny State,’ with an ABV of 1.1%. They are very pleased with the production of the drink, which by British law, does not have a high enough alcohol content to even be called beer. They claim that it has more hops per barrel than any other British beer, and they are all hand picked by the brewers as their personal favorites. Richard McLelland, BrewDog’s sales director, had this to say: ”It is an extraordinary little ale, jammed full of all the brewer’s favourite hops, giving it as much body and mouth feel as possible, ensuring that low strength does not translate into reduced flavour.”