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Archive for the ‘booze’ Category

I know these are NOT acceptable in recycling where I live
because they ‘tangle everything (else) up!


These Biodegradable Beer Six-Pack Rings Could Save the World’s Oceans

biodegradable-6-pax

With scientists warning that the oceans may contain more plastic than fish by 2050, shit’s getting real with the health of our marine life. It’s high time we found an alternative to clogging the seas with plastic.

Saltwater Brewery may have found one. The Florida-based brewery recently unveiled a new biodegradable six-pack ring, which is also safely edible for sea-dwelling creatures.

We’ve all seen the shocking images of fish, turtles, and dolphins trapped in the plastic rings used to hold six-packs of beer together, but fish and animals can also die from ingesting the packaging, and plastic hangs around on ocean beds long after it’s dropped. During the Marine Conservation Society’s report of litter on Britain’s beaches last year, 960.8 pieces of plastic or polystyrene were picked up per kilometre of the beaches surveyed.

Saltwater’s new invention, however, is 100 percent biodegradable. It’s also highly sustainable, made from the wheat and barley remnants leftover from the beer-brewing process.

 

MORE: Our Oceans Could Contain More Plastic Than Fish by 2050

 

The invention is being welcomed by both environmentalists and animal welfare campaigners. In a statement, Sara Howlett from the RSPCA told MUNCHIES: “This is a heartening idea as it has the potential to cut down on the large number of animals that are harmed by this kind of litter.Litter of any description inflicts such needless suffering to animals and so far this year, the RSPCA has already received 592 calls to its cruelty line reporting incidents where animals have been hurt, injured, or affected by litter.”

But will edible beer packaging catch on or is this just a passing publicity gimmick? Beavertown Brewery, an independent craft brewery based in London, currently uses a system of reusable clips on their six-packs, which are supplied free of charge to shops who sell their beer. They don’t have plans to change this system but salute what Saltwater are doing.

“Saltwater Brewery’s initiative to have a less negative impact on wildlife is really important, and let’s hope bigger breweries follow their example,” says Kamilla Hannibal, Beavertown’s digital content manager. “It’s important to dare to try new things and take sustainability seriously in any way you can as a company.”

With countless bars and now even discount supermarkets jumping on the recent craft beer bandwagon, perhaps eco-friendly packaging is set to be the next big trend.

Just don’t forget to stick the can in the recycling, too.

Thanks to MJS

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cabin-LST

So yesterday i was at my friend’s cabin in the crowsnest pass, helping him remove some stones from a walkway near his cabin in order to build up a small retaining wall, and when we started to remove some of the stones from one particular area, we discovered a small flat metal cover buried under the lawn. More importantly we also discovered a small hole under that cover that did not make sense. We then dug out the rest of the cover and then took it off, to find a concrete entrance to a large underground storage room.. A large space hidden from view for possibly decades, if not longer..

It turns out that the crowsnest pass was a lively area during Alberta’s prohibition era around 1916 (who knew Canada had prohibition? I didn’t..) And many of the coal miners living here back then made back yard stills and hidden wine cellars to get around the law.

This log cabin dates back to that era, and is full of past secrets and stories that we may never know completely. But it looks like we found one of the stories totally by accident.
~ D. Scott Moore

Thanks to LST

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A great Canadian invention. http://cbc.sh/EAl5xCm;
not sure – think the facebook video was edited/a little different

Thanks to AP

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html

Thanks to MjS

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(Reuters Health) – Getting more exercise throughout life is tied to a reduced risk of abusing alcohol that requires treatment, according to a new study from Denmark.

In a group of adults followed for 20 years, those who reported being more active in their free time were less likely to need hospitalization or treatment for an alcohol use disorder, but the direction and explanation for the relationship is unclear.

“Although we and for that matter others have not proven a causal relationship between physical activity and risk of developing alcohol use disorders, it is likely that there is a causal link,” said Dr. Ulrik Becker of the National Institute of Public Health at the University of Southern Denmark in Copenhagen, coauthor of the new report.

“We know from other studies that physical activity reduces the risk of other psychiatric problems . . . as well as studies that seem to show that physical activity increases the benefit of treatment in alcohol use disorder patients,” Becker told Reuters Health by email.

Researchers used data from a series of four surveys mailed to more than 18,000 adults in Copenhagen between 1976 and 2003, including questions about their leisure time physical activity, medications, alcohol use and smoking.

The researchers divided respondents into three groups based on leisure-time activity level: high levels of activity (more than four hours per week), low levels (two to four hours per week), and sedentary. About half of the respondents reported high levels of activity throughout the study. In 1976, 20 percent reported being sedentary, which decreased to 10 percent in 2001.

The researchers linked these questionnaire responses to national patient registries of all people given outpatient treatment or admitted to a hospital for an alcohol use disorder in Denmark through 2011.

By the end of the study, 736 people, or four percent of the original group, had been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder. People who reported low or high levels of leisure time activity had similar risks for an alcohol use disorder, but people in the sedentary group had a higher risk, the authors write in Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Men and women who reported at least low levels of physical activity were 30 to 40 percent less likely to be diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder than those in the sedentary group.

Activity at work was not associated with alcohol use disorders, the authors write.

“These results strengthen the general recommendation of increased physical activity and add to the long list of beneficial effects of physical activity,” Becker said.

Likely more than half of what determines alcohol use disorders is genetic, but environmental factors, like physical activity, are also important, he said.

“It’s an interesting observational study and demonstrates there’s some correlation,” said Michael T. French, who was not part of the new study but directs the Health Economics Research Group at the University of Miami.

French studied a large group of U.S. adults in 2009 and found that heavier drinkers tended to exercise more, which does not align with the new results.

“Like the study of ours, the most you can say is that there seems to be an association,” French told Reuters Health by phone. Their findings may have differed because French’s study included a range of alcohol use, whereas Becker’s study was limited to the most extreme drinkers who ended up hospitalized, he said.

“They are hypothesizing that less physical activity or a sedentary lifestyle is going to affect your risk of an alcohol use disorder,” French said. “It’s equally possible that acquiring a disorder is going to lead to a sedentary lifestyle.”

“They decided they’re going to look at physical activity as predictors, but we thought it was more plausible to look in the other direction,” he said.

French stressed that at this point, trying to explain why activity influences alcohol disorders, or vice versa, is only conjecture.

“It’s an interesting topic, worth exploring, but I would be cautious when interpreting the results,” he said.

SOURCE: http://bit.ly/1FvDo1v Alcohol and Alcoholism, online December 27, 2014.

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Opération Nez Rouge volunteers helped more than 76,000 people across the country arrive home safely by acting as “designated drivers” during the holiday party season.

Some 52,000 people volunteered their time for the 31st year of the campaign, giving rides to people too tired or who had consumed too much alcohol to drive their cars themselves.

“For us, the goal of keeping the roads safe during the holiday season is once again reached,” said Opération Nez Rouge spokesman David Latouche.

People use the service by calling a hotline where drivers are dispatched to wherever the client is with their car.

The volunteers then drive the client’s car home with them, so they don’t have to get behind the wheel themselves.

Though the program is free, donations are accepted.

Making a difference

The service was available in 99 Canadian regions, in seven provinces.

As usual, the service was most popular in Quebec, with more than 55,000 rides.

“You make a difference in your communities. And you have to continue your work by reminding your fellow citizens to go home safely throughout the year,” Latouche said to volunteers.

This year, about $1.5 million in donations were collected.

Latouche says these funds will be donated to local youth organizations.

Nearing 2 million rides

Since the program began in 1984, Operation Nez Rouge has helped over 1,992,000 people get home safe.

Next year, organizers expect the program will reach two million rides.

“By approaching this historic milestone, Opération Nez Rouge is consolidating its position as a major player in road safety in the country, and establish itself as a fixture in raising awareness for responsible driving,” said Nez Rouge founder Jean-Marie de Koninck, in a statement.

Last year, Opération Nez Rouge gave more than 82,000 rides.

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alcohol

The tequila sure looks real, so do the beer taps. Inside the hospital at the National Institutes of Health, researchers are testing a possible new treatment to help heavy drinkers cut back — using a replica of a fully stocked bar.

The idea: Sitting in the dimly lit bar-laboratory should cue the volunteers’ brains to crave a drink, and help determine if the experimental pill counters that urge.

True, there’s no skunky bar odour; these bottles are filled with coloured water. The real alcohol is locked in the hospital pharmacy, ready to send over for the extra temptation of smell — and to test how safe the drug is if people drink anyway.

“The goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it very strictly,” said lead researcher Dr. Lorenzo Leggio, who is testing how a hormone named ghrelin that sparks people’s appetite for food also affects their desire for alcohol, and if blocking it helps.

17 million Americans abuse alcohol

Amid all the yearly resolutions to quit, alcohol use disorders affect about 17 million Americans, and only a small fraction receives treatment. There’s no one-size-fits-all therapy, and the NIH is spurring a hunt for new medications that target the brain’s addiction cycle in different ways — and to find out which options work best in which drinkers.

“Alcoholics come in many forms,” explained Dr. George Koob, director of NIH’s National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, which has published new online guides, at http://www.niaaa.nih.gov, explaining who’s at risk and what can help.

What’s the limit? NIAAA says “low-risk” drinking means no more than four drinks in any single day and no more than 14 in a week for men, and no more than three drinks a day and seven a week for women.

Genes play a role in who’s vulnerable to crossing the line into alcohol abuse. So do environmental factors, such as getting used to drinking a certain amount, not to mention how your own brain’s circuitry adapts.

Treatment can range from inpatient rehab and 12-step programs to behavioural therapy and the few medications available today. Koob, who specializes in the neurobiology of alcohol, says it usually takes a combination and ultimately, “you have to change your life.”

Yet a recent review for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality estimated that less than a third of people who need treatment get it, and of those, less than 10 per cent receive medications.

Three drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat alcohol abuse. One, naltrexone, blocks alcohol’s feel-good sensation by targeting receptors in the brain’s reward system — if people harbour a particular gene. The anti-craving pill acamprosate appears to calm stress-related brain chemicals in certain people. The older Antabuse works differently, triggering nausea and other aversive symptoms if people drink while taking it.

Recent research suggests a handful of drugs used for other disorders also show promise:

  • Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute found the epilepsy drug gabapentin reduced relapses in drinkers who’d recently quit, and improved cravings, mood and sleep by targeting an emotion-related brain chemical.
  • A study by NIAAA and five medical centres found the anti-smoking drug Chantix may help alcohol addiction, too, by reducing heavy drinkers’ cravings.
  • And University of Pennsylvania researchers found the epilepsy drug topiramate helped heavy drinkers cut back, if they have a particular gene variation mostly found in people of European descent.

Back in NIH’s bar lab, one of about a dozen versions around the country, the focus is on ghrelin, the hormone produced in the stomach that controls appetite via receptors in the brain. It turns out there’s overlap between receptors that fuel overeating and alcohol craving in the brain’s reward system, explained NIAAA’s Leggio.

In a study published this fall, his team gave 45 heavy-drinking volunteers different doses of ghrelin, and their urge to drink rose along with the extra hormone.

Now Leggio is testing whether blocking ghrelin’s action also blocks those cravings, using an experimental Pfizer drug originally developed for diabetes but never sold. The main goal of this first-step study is to ensure mixing alcohol with the drug is safe. But researchers also measure cravings as volunteers, hooked to a blood pressure monitor in the tiny bar-lab, smell a favourite drink. Initial safety results are expected this spring.

“Our hope is that down the line, we might be able to do a simple blood test that tells if you will be a naltrexone person, an acamprosate person, a ghrelin person,” Koob said.

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