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New Study Shows Moderate Alcohol Consumption Boosts Immune Response To Vaccines

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monkeyBeer drinkers have clung to the hope that the brew is actually good for their health since those “Guinness is Good For You” posters emerged. Since then, numerous studies have found that beer can be good for people, at least in moderation, that’s the kicker. And since I prefer wine, I’m always psyched to read about how vino, especially red wine, can help with heart disease and cholesterol—provided I don’t drink the whole bottle myself. People who want to justify drinking may soon have a new angle to play up: it appears that when monkeys consume alcohol, their immune systems got stronger and their bodies had a more effective response to vaccines.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and University of California School of Medicine recently published findings in Vaccine. They conducted the study to learn more about the immune system, and how to help it fight off infections and better leverage vaccinations. After vaccinating 12 rhesus monkeys, who have immune systems much like ours, against smallpox, the team trained one of the groups to booze it up. The alcohol they drank was a 4 percent ethanol mixture, while the other group drank sugar water. They all also had regular access to pure water and food. Just like people, the researchers noticed that the monkeys’ drinking habits varied widely. They were also aces at beer pong.

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One-Armed Robot Bartenders And Smart Phone Home Breweries

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carl german robotFor many people, getting older means the bar experience becomes less enjoyable, usually because loud music becomes more detestable, or their bodies can’t take the boozy lifestyle anymore. I don’t like going out as much as I used to, but for me, it’s because waiting for a drink in some places becomes entirely unbearable. I feel bad for the three bartenders trying to serve 75 people at once, and so I’m very much behind bars and night spots inserting a couple of robot bartenders in the corner of the room. Luckily, there are more than one to choose from. The guy you see up there? That’s Carl.

Carl was developed by mechatronics engineer Ben Schaefer, who built the ‘bot from parts of disused industrial robots from the German firm KUKA. At the Robots Bar and Lounge in Ilmenau, Germany, Carl works alongside a human colleague, assisting in measuring out shots and adding them to mixers. A sensor-covered belt helps him to stay upright, and also alerts anyone should he fall or get stuck. And if you want a little conversation, Carl is programmed with some light social skills. Don’t complain to him about your wife or husband though, or he’ll just water your drinks down.

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In Star Drunk, All Phasers Are Set To Intoxicate

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Cinema is a kind of entertainment that goes well with alcohol. When watching a film like Withnail & I or The World’s End, it seems natural to be holding a pint glass or a flask in your hand. But because films are usually created in professional environments, you never expect the actors to be drunk while performing their scenes. Well, that is absolutely not the case when it comes to the non-cleverly titled Star Drunk, as seen above.

Directed by Chris R. Wilson and Zach Persson, it was a project to see just what happens when a short film is created entirely by people under the influence of liquid muses. It was written by Wilson, Persson, Jacqueline Gault, Tim Feeney, Roman Battan, and Josh Persson, who all got smashed and then wrote a script, with the agreement that anything the wrote down was going into the film. And as you can tell, drunk writers have the same approach to storytelling as sober hack writers. An obvious nod to space adventures experienced by those in Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek, Star Drunk falls into stereotypical territory from the first second and doesn’t let up. That said, I would watch an entire TV series of these guys slurring their mumbled exposition.

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Robot Used To Prove Zebrafish Don’t Wear Beer Goggles

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zPeople use the phrase “drink like a fish” without thinking about what it really means. They’re only taking one part of the equation into consideration. What we should be saying is, “Get hungover like a fish,” since fish never seem to be hungover. Perhaps we need to rethink the entire drinking thing. But that just sounds like sobriety.

After noticing that zerbrafish were oblivious when a crudely painted robo-fish was added into the mix, NYU-Poly’s Dynamic Systems Lab director Maurizio Porfiri began experimenting by putting the fish into tanks filled with varying amounts of ethanol. Sure, it was to test the level of companionship and attention given to the robo-fish, but also because all the fish’s older brothers and best friends said they would be total spazzes if they didn’t get ripped. (We picture this guy as the older brother.)

Strangely, the intoxication generally caused the fish to avoid contact with the robo-fish, which was made to resemble the opposite sex. They chose to swim around by themselves. Total loners, but with hearts of gold. Because this experiment successfully established a baseline for a controlled delivery of ethanol, it will serve as the foundation for further studies using the zebrafish, which have been a rising star in the scientific community as an alternative to the common lab mouse. Next up on the agenda is adding predators into the mix and testing reactions to danger. Just give them time to sober up first.

(Thanks to DVICE for the story, and for that one night in that Tijuana fish tank.)

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Star Trek Wines Let You Paint The City On The Edge Of Forever Red

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stEvil Nick Venable here. Let me speak to both fans and non-fans of Star Trek for a second. Let me know who you are by saying, “Oh yeah!” wherever you’re at. (Mwahaha. That’s as evil as I get these days.) So, do you guys just really want Star Trek-themed alcohol? Because people are definitely banking on getting drunk with your money.

Not long after we found out about Harvest Moon Brewing’s Vulcan Ale and their line of Trek-themed beers, Vinport is selling a limited edition Star Trek wine. It’s a red blend from the Viansa Winery in Sonoma, California, and you can purchase it from now until July 31. While you might want to buy one to sip out of your wine glass with the Enterprise base, the wine itself is secondary to the bottle labels, celebrating three of the most popular episodes of the Original Series.

CBS wisely chose to use the wildly talented artist Juan Ortiz’s retro posters that he began releasing last year. Every single one of his prints has a very distinct point of view, and the three episodes chosen reflect his work accordingly. The episodes chosen were “The City on the Edge of Forever,” “Mirror Mirror,” and “The Trouble With Tribbles.” If only wine bottles could increase in number the way those adorable little bastards do.

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Liquor Bottle Laser Fireball Funtime!

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Though liquor isn’t the mysterious elixir of the gods that it was once thought to be, it’s still pretty fucking awesome. It’s held in high esteem here at GFR, or at least by me it is, as I was too drunk to hear or see what any of my fellow writers had to say about it. But once the prize is gone, what of the glass bottle that held it? If you said, “Laser rockets!” then you probably read the headline.

Laser and general experiment enthusiast WorldScott took a bunch of liquor bottles and used one of Wicked Lasers’ 100mW Spyder III Krypton lasers — which rolls off the tongue so easily after a drink or four — to ignite black flash paper inserted partway into each bottle. The result is a nifty vertical flare above the bottle, and a Hellish fireball on the inside, accompanied by a zippered whistle. Expect and appreciate lots of extreme slo-mo. Check the video below and try to convince me that the slowed-down whistle sounds aren’t really an arsonist demon trying to convince me to burn down the neighborhood.