Science: Booze is good for your brain

Large amounts of alcohol are known to have an ill effect on the brain (aside from headaches), but new research suggests that lower amounts can actually improve your brain function. That’s right, booze not only makes you feel smarter, it might actually make you smarter, too.

Researchers have found that lower amounts of alcohol, we’re talking a drink or two tops, can help improve the function of the glymphatic system, which helps clear waste from the body. Mice that were given small amounts of booze showed had less inflamed glial cells in the brain than mice that weren’t given a drop. Meaning, the alcohol actually helped the mice clean their brains faster than if they’d just stayed sober.

So if your brain could use a good cleaning, maybe relax with a couple drinks and let the booze do the work.

Don’t drink beer like the ancient Greeks

“Name an IPA after me, not that jerk Pliny.”

When you think of drinking in the ancient world, you probably think about wine. You’re not wrong. But it turns out that cabernet sauvignon isn’t the only paleo booze out there. Especially in the cradle of democracy.

Researchers have discovered a lot of evidence that the ancient Greeks brewed and drank beer. At the sites of two ancient Greek towns dating back to 2000 B.C., scientists found some buildings associated with brewing and grains used to make beer, as well as a whole bunch of cups near the grains.

The only thing is that because the cups are shaped in a way that drinking out of them would be very difficult, researchers believe the ancient Greeks drank beer with straws. And who does that?

Foolish scientists teach orca to speak English

Researchers spend countless hours every year observing animals to try to understand how they communicate. And aside from a few bird owners, no one has bothered trying to teach animals how to talk like us. Until now.

Wikie the orca has learned how to imitate certain sounds, including the word “Hello.” Researchers say they taught the beast how to say a few different words to demonstrate the species’ mimicking abilities. Of course, they forgot that they were teaching English to freaking killer whales. Once they know what we’re saying, there’s no doubt they will use it against us. The only consolation we have is that Wikie lives in an aquarium in France, where her skills won’t be of much use.

The up side is that Wikie was also taught how to mimic fart noises incredibly well.

Support hangover research

Without accredited hangover clinics, sufferers will continue to concoct their own dangerous, unproven back-alley remedies like the Prairie Oyster.
Without accredited hangover clinics, sufferers will continue to concoct their own dangerous, unproven back-alley remedies like the Prairie Oyster.

Every weekend, countless Americans suffer from crippling migraines, nausea and apathetic television watching. Why countless? Because nobody is counting.

Hello, we’re The Guys, and we’d like to take a momentary break from comedy to talk about a serious medical crisis in this country: the hangover. We’ve all suffered them. And yet we know so little about them.

For instance: U.S. companies estimate that they spend over $148 billion dollars every year to cover paid sick days or lackluster, irritable performance while trying to “soldier” through a hangover. And while other illnesses are brought on by what some would consider irresponsible or even immoral behavior, like mono or tennis elbow, there is almost no funding allocated to researching this more common ailment.

But, we and Alyson Mitchell — a professor and John Kinsella Chair in the department of food science and technology at the University of California, Davis — want to change that. And we need your help.

By donating to the SeriouslyGuys We’re Doing Important Scientific Hangover Research Foundation, you’ll be providing The Guys with the means to pioneer career- and marriage-saving medical procedures. Every dollar you donate will go towards supplies for our experiments, which could one day lead to effective treatment or even a cure.

Please, give generously. We promise to try to keep it down.

[Special thanks to Patrick H.]

Lifting your breasts by the boobstraps

Who would have predicted that these women would advocate supporting breasts with nothing but the invisible hand of the free market, and that Donna Reed would be the welfare queen?
Who would have predicted that these women would advocate supporting breasts with nothing but the invisible hand of the free market, and that Donna Reed would be the welfare queen?

For at least the past 500 years, breasts have received support through the wearing of brassieres. But, what if breasts have become overdependent on that support to the point where they have lost all ability to support themselves. What if what seemed like a good idea is just creating a welfare state of freeloading boobs?

That’s one Frenchman’s theory, anyway. Professor Jean-Denis Rouillon of Besançon CHU studied 300 women’s breasts for 15 years — which is actually a pretty small sample compared to the amount The Guys have ogled in the same time period.

He found that women who permanently unclasped their bras developed firmer, perkier breasts and less back pain over time. His hypothesis is that sedentary, supported breasts just become weaker and fatter, while those forced to fend for themselves develop stronger self-support systems.

We know what you’re thinking: but, what about the children? They need assistance because their breasts can’t support themselves yet!

Rouillon also found that girls who began wearing bras from the onset of puberty were reliant on them for the rest of their breasts’ natural lives because they never developed their own cupping skills in the face of adversity.

More research is needed at this time, but if his hypothesis holds up, it may be time to turn those freeloaders into freeswingers.

Drink yourself thin

It’s Thursday, and if you don’t have happy hour plans, now is the time to change that. But don’t waste your happy hour socializing, have a goal. How about you try to drink like a Czech? Because as it turns out, the Czechs are mere mortals after all.

A study has found that people in the Czech Republic, the biggest beer drinking country in the world, have the same size bellies as any other human. There’s nothing special to their abilities, aside from probably being able to rally quickly after heaving to.

Doctors measured weight, waist to hip ratio (WHR), and body mass index (BMI). In men the beer intake was weakly associated with WHR, although only among nonsmokers. Beer intake had no relationship to BMI. In women, there was no relationship at all between beer consumption and WHR, and a weak inverse association with BMI. (Inverse association is science-ese that means BMI was lower among drinkers.) Conclusion: It is unlikely that beer drinking has anything to do with obesity.

You have your homework, America. Get to it, and don’t worry about getting fat!

Ducks threaten our manhood

The study of duck penises has been used as an example of wasteful government spending by conservatives. But researcher Patricia Brennan argues that criticism of the project is rooted in a lack of understanding about what they are doing.

She said that ducks have corkscrew-shaped penises that are fairly long. And their studies have also uncovered that behavior in males–wait, corkscrew-shaped? This is clearly a threat to male human men everywhere. We need to analyze this threat!

(via Brooke H.)

Choosy moms choose HPV

"My daughter? She doesn't have to worry about cancer because we laugh over salad every day."
My daughter? She doesn’t have to worry about cancer because we laugh over salad every day.”

Despite calls for a cure for cancer whenever a new erectile dysfunction pill is developed, more parents are choosing not to vaccinate their daughters for the human papillomavirus (HPV) now that said cure actually exists.

The vaccine — commonly known as Gardasil — immunizes the recipient from HPV, a family of viruses that cause genital and anal warts and most cases of cervical cancer. HPV infects nearly all sexually active human beings on planet Earth, even if they only did oral or butt stuff or just once with some girl who lives in Canada. (Basically, if you’ve “done it,” you have it.)

44 percent of parents, however, do not plan to immunize their daughters. 16 percent hold concerns that the vaccine is unsafe, citing research by Some Guy on the Internet and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. And those who probably did no “research” at all just assumed it’s bad because it’s a vaccine.

Way to go, Jenny McCarthy! Way to go!
Way to go, Jenny McCarthy! Way to go!

17 percent, however, said their daughters don’t need it because they know their child isn’t sexually active. Fortunately, the vaccination is only effective prior to sex because, again, everybody has it, so it’ll be easier to catch their daughters and ground them for lying at their Purity Ball.

UPDATE: Bikes only contribute more spandex to environment

Although bicyclists don't exhale enough CO2 to contribute to greenhouse gases, there is concern over the amount of performance enhancing drugs they leak into the French countryside every July.
Although bicyclists don’t exhale enough CO2 to contribute to the greenhouse effect, there is concern over the amount of performance enhancing drugs they leak into the French countryside every July.

In case you were wondering, riding a bicycle does not contribute a damaging amount of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

That announcement comes from the office of Ed Orcutt, a ranking Republican member of the Washington state House of Representatives Transportation committee, who recently had to retract a written statement claiming otherwise. In a letter to a bike shop owner, Dan Carlson, Orcutt defended his proposal to attach a $25 fee to bicycle sales over $500 by claiming:

A cyclists has [sic] an increased heart rate and respiration … Since CO2 is deemed a greenhouse gas and a pollutant, bicyclist are actually polluting when they ride.

What’s the deal? Are those who fail science doomed to run as Republicans?