Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Better Drinking Through Science!


My friend Bob posted a notice on his Facebook page last night, castigating unnamed persons* for repeatedly posting "examples of the unthinking, rabid partisanship that is the root of most of our country's problems." He went on to note that "Both sides have positives. Both sides have negatives ... (and) you're not convincing anyone of anything except that you're part of the problem when you perpetuate it."

Well, I suppose I should hang my head in shame, but since kvetching makes me feel better, I won't. Instead, I'll offer some helpful advice on improving your drinking to help you get past the electoral ass-clownery ...

I call your attention to this fascinating article from Wired Magazine: Drinking Too Much? Blame Your Glass. The article discusses a new study of British beer drinkers, the results of which indicate that an optical illusion caused by the shape of a curved glass can dramatically increase how much you drink, and the speed at which you down your drinks.

Experimental psychologist Angela Attwood of the University of Bristol suspected that the shape of a beer glass, which can give the appearance of different volumes to the same amount of liquid, might also distort a drinker's perception of how much alcohol is being consumed. She developed a test in which a carefully selected group of social drinkers was assigned to drink either about 177 milliliters or about 354 milliliters of beer or soft drink from straight or curved glasses. The participants watched an "emotionally neutral" nature documentary while they drank, so that they wouldn’t be 'sitting there with nothing to do but drink,' according to Ms Attwood, whose team videotaped the drinkers over two sessions.

After watching video of both sessions and recording how much time it took for the drinkers to finish their beer or sodas, Attwood’s team found that one group consistently drank much faster than the others: The group drinking a full glass of lager out of curved flute glasses. Here is how the article describes the conclusions:

"Attwood believes that the reason for the increase in speed is that the halfway point in a curved glass is ambiguous. Social beer drinkers, she says, naturally tend to pace themselves when drinking alcohol, judging their speed by how fast they reach (the) half-full (point of their glass). Another experiment in which participants were asked to judge different levels of fluid in photographs of straight and curved glasses showed that people consistently misjudge the volume in fluted glasses, Attwood says. A simple solution to this problem would be to mark beer glasses with the accurate halfway point, she says. 'We can’t tell people not to drink, but we can give them a little more control.'”

So ...

If you are really pissed off about the tone of the electoral campaign and decide to apply an alcohol-based solution to your mood instead of cranking out another sourly critical blog post, use a curved glass. It will help you drink more, faster, so that you can drown out the background racket more efficiently.

Don't thank me ... it's all part of my ongoing effort to help you cope with the lunacy. And Bob, the next one is on me.

Have a good day. Remember to give someone else the keys to your car if you decide to take this approach ... you want to live long enough to vote.

More thoughts tomorrow.

Bilbo

* One of whom was almost certainly me!

7 comments:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

This is extremely plausible. It also gives a new twist to the term "beer goggles."

Duckbutt said...

Some people habituate to drinking all of thefluid that's in a container. Therefore, if there were 6 or 7 oz. bottles, then people will feel satisfied with less.

Drinking a 6oz. can of Izzy Clementine satisfies me, while it takes a full can of a cola beverage.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

A great suggeation for dealing with the neverending election blues!

John said...

Thank you for sharing this important information!

Aaron said...

If you're looking for the opposite effect, try drinking your beer from a snifter or oversized red wine glass. The true "halfway" point is much lower on the glass than perceived; therefore, you drink slower.

Mike said...

Tell poor Bob it will be over soon. I've got a cave I can rent him for a couple of months.

Big Sky Heidi said...

I'm tired of election politics; but two more months is too long to drink through!