And You Think You Can Drink

Wine After Beer, Better Fear–No More

Drinkers worldwide received tragic news this week, thanks to researcher Joran Kochling of Witten/Herdecke University in Germany. It turns out that his exhaustive study of alcohol consumption, some of which involved self-experimentation, revealed that it doesn’t matter whether you drink wine or beer first, the results are the same–hangovers!

This intrepid investigator managed to recruit 90 healthy volunteers willing to consume beer and wine in copious quantities from among the thousand or so people milling outside his recruitment station. He divided them into 3 groups. One group drank 2 1/2 pints of 5% lager, followed by 4 “large” glasses of white wine, (“large” was not defined–it could have been a quart for all I know.) The second group drank 4 large glasses of wine followed by 2 1/2 pints of beer and the third group could only have beer or wine, not both.

Degree of drunkenness was determined immediately after consumption by means of a simple interview with the imbibers, (Who knows how to say, “drunk as a skunk” in German?) Then, the next morning, said imbibers rated their hangover symptoms. A week later, each group was given their alcohol in reverse order and data was again collected.

It turns out that it doesn’t matter what you drink first, the hangover symptoms are the same.

Further investigation reveals that many researchers study the problem of hangovers–go figure.

Robots Want to Know More About You, And So Do I

The Eyes Have It

This may be a picture of a beautiful child, or a future psychopath. You be the judge.

In an effort to improve human/machine interactions, researchers at the University of Southern Australia are trying to help robots identify an individual’s personality type. Therefore, they’ve been recording peoples’ eye movements whilst doing everyday tasks, then administered a test to determine each person’s dominant personality trait.

It may be news to you that we fall into only 5 major categories of personality. According to the popular NEO Five-Factor Inventory, (the test they used), people display: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism to different extents. Whichever trait one scores highest in is one’s “personality type.”

To no avail, I tried to get pictures of eyes which demonstrate each personality type. This may be a closely guarded secret, I don’t know. There are plenty of eye pictures, but the personality trait they exhibit is left up to the viewer.

Then I had a brainstorm. It would be more helpful if we had robots which at least identified evil people so we could keep an eye on them! So, I went to gather a photo of the first evil man who came to mind, Rasputin the Mad Monk. I found many photos of the stern-faced killer, most of which would have cost me $30-$100 to show my readers. Are they worth it? Not hardly.

So, you will have to take my word for it that Rasputin’s eyes were asymmetrical, the left one being larger. Next, I looked at photos of John Wayne Gacy, the infamous killer clown. Low and behold, his eyes didn’t match, either. His left eye drooped! It could be that each man went around with one eyebrow down, and the other up–a perfectly diabolical look, or they were just mugging for the camera.

My point is, until further study, we would do well to avoid those who have something wrong with their left eyes.

(My apologies to all those nice people with weird orbs on the left side of their smiling faces, but you better be on your best behavior. I’m watching you. And, my left eye is larger because I squint…)


Self-Realization Through Prevarication


An older friend of mine, okay, he’s not a friend, he’s my brother, recently wrote about, “Who Am I?” He told of being asked this question by a psychologist who refused his answers of stock broker, husband, father, Catholic and what not. Like the doctor was some kind of guru, or something. Anyway, the first thing I thought, being his nicey-nice sister was, “I’ll tell you who you are–you’re an idiot!”

I didn’t post that comment to him, though, because I didn’t want to get a sock in the nose, or worse. Instead, I wrote, “You are a person who believes what psychologists say.”

You know? I get tired of these men and women of mental science sitting on mountaintops, whether real or imagined, spouting nonsense about our inner beings and having everyone think they’re correct. I say, just because one says something with confidence doesn’t mean that it’s true. Sometimes, you just gotta use your head, man, and figure it out for yourself.

For example, take the question, “Who am I?” I think most of us answer something about our occupations. Yet, there are doctors who have claimed, “we are what we eat.” Now, who is going to say, like JFK in Berlin, “I am a jelly doughnut,” (literal translation of, “Ich bin ein Berliner.”)  However, if we really are what we eat, I would be a pizza–interpret what you want from this information, it is rather revealing…

I think that people who answer, “I am so-and-so’s wife, husband, etc., and don’t elaborate on what that entails exactly, need to get a life of their own. I remember this woman in my watercolor class who identified herself as, “Dr. So N. So’s wife.” Yet she painted recognizable, if not spectacular, landscapes, unlike the rest of the class.

So, I say, when asked, “Who are you?” never let people know you’re partnered with someone. For more reasons than one, I suppose. Say something about who you wish to become, like, “I am a painter. By the way, heh-heh, you’d look good in cerulean blue.” Okay, you don’t have to put in that last part–I stuck that in to see if you were paying attention.

My point is, YOU ARE WHAT YOU WISH YOU WERE. Whatever it is that is disturbing you enough to cause you to wonder, “Who am I?” is most likely connected to some unrealized dream vision of yourself. Consequently, you get depressed thinking you’re going to die having accomplished nothing, and you ask yourself silly questions that will twist your brain up like a jogger’s panties.

“But, wise old crone,” you say. “Are you advocating lying to people?”

“Why yes,” I say. “If you tell enough people you are a musician, then you’d best start practicing that harp.” I call this manner of identifying oneself, “self-realization through prevarication.” Pretty snappy title for a new self-help book, huh?

That said, I am a humorist.