Drinking makes you feel good, science claims

Everyone, stop what you’re doing, take a deep breath and collect yourself. The next sentence is so earth-shattering you will likely never view life the same way again. Beer makes you happy.

Researchers in Germany (of course) have found that a compound in beer called Hordenine activate the dopamine receptors in your brain. Meaning, your brain basically treats the compound as if it were dopamine. Scientists said Hordenine is found in beer because large amounts of it exist in malted barley, a key ingredient in beer.

Ready for some even better news? Barley is also used to make a lot of whiskies, so it seems likely to us that the same compound will be found in the brown stuff, too.

It’s Friday, go out and make yourself happy.

If you’re an alcoholic, Essen will pay you in beer

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade–unless you’re in Germany, then make shandy.

That’s exactly what the city of Essen is doing in an attempt to make its alcoholic homeless more useful. Essen is putting its homeless to work by paying them in cash, as well as three beers, a meal and some cigarettes for cleaning up the city each day. Critics say it’s cruel to give an addict the thing he or she is addicted to as a form of payment, no matter what the substance, and that the program will make the city no better than a crack dealer.

To that, the city says, “Happy Oktoberfest!”

Cow goes on a mission to ruin Oktoberfest

Just a day after we told you that there are radioactive boars in Germany, we have even more shocking animals news, and this time it affects Oktoberfest.

In Munich, a cow somehow escaped from the slaughterhouse and went on a rampage. First, it gored a jogger, sending her to the hospital. But more importantly, the cow then ran toward a field where workers were setting up tents for the Oktoberfest beer festival, which is just weeks away.

The beast was heading straight toward a worked, when it was blocked by a police vehicle that arrived just in time. Efforts to recapture the cow were unsuccessful, so authorities put it down the old-fashioned way. Because nobody messes with Oktoberfest.

You Missed It: End of 2013 edition

Choose your weapon and let's do this.
Choose your weapon and let’s do this.

If you’re reading this, congratulations. You’ve survived another year. We made it through a perilous 2013, filled with bad things happening, disappointing movies and famous people saying things they later related. Plus, one guy had an imaginary girlfriend. It was another year of everyone talking to each other, then eventually realizing that no one was listening, so they began shouting over each other. It’s time to close out the year, and good riddance. Join me as we look back on the insanity that was 2013. Self-medication is recommended.

January

Happy fiscal cliff!
In the first week of the year, the 112th Congress, in its last effort, finally reached a deal to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff, the only problem is that they didn’t get it done until Jan. 1, when we had already gone over the cliff. However, the language in the bill applied the deal retroactively. So we went over the cliff, but then Congress flew around the Earth at a really fast speed, going back in time by a matter of hours, and unthrew us over the cliff. They then made way for the 113th Congress and its plan of continuing to accomplish nothing.

Juicers need not apply
The Baseball Hall of Fame class of 2013 was … no one. No candidate received the necessary 75% of the vote needed to be inducted, it’s the first time that’s happened since 1996. For some reason, the sports writers who cheered on the steroid-era players like Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens and others, decided they weren’t inspired by these cheaters. It seemed like a pretty stupid move. You don’t want to make juicers mad.

The inauguration was dubbed over
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were sworn in for a second term in a small ceremony. Then, they were sworn in again the next day, because that was Martin Luther King Day, and they had already gone through the trouble of setting up streamers. Obama laid out his plan for the next four years, including some ideas he had hardly mentioned before. But who cares about covering any of that stuff? The media were more concerned about whether Beyoncé lip-synched. Continue reading You Missed It: End of 2013 edition

You Missed It: Three-way call edition

"Angela, how did I know you were going to call?"
“Angela, how did I know you were going to call?”

I’ve mentioned this before, but when my team is in the playoffs, it’s a pretty hectic week for me. It’s not because I’m nervous of fretting, or can’t think about anything else. It’s that I have to watch the entire game, regardless of what time I have to get up. Even more so for the Red Sox, because when I drink, they play better. This makes functioning the rest of the time a bit more challenging. My point is, if this ends up not being in English, you know why. If the Rams asked you to come out of retirement this week, odds are you missed it.

Uh oh, Germany’s mad
This week, it was leaked that U.S. spy agencies may have tapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone. It’s the latest in a series of revelations that America is spying on its allies. Merkel called President Barack Obama to discuss her concerns. He apologized for the incident, and said that he was really just trying to experience Oktoberfest vicariously through her because Michelle won’t let him go.

The candidate who won’t narc on you
Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who is running for governor found himself in an unwanted spotlight this week when photos surfaced of him at a party where there was underage drinking going on. The photos, from earlier this year, show Gansler, who is fairly easy to spot, in a crowd of teenagers in swimsuits and holding cups. In one picture, he’s holding up his phone. This is true: Gansler said he was not taking a photo of the party, in fact, he doesn’t even know how to use the camera on his smartphone.

Enter ice man
It was announced this week that Metallica will play a show in Antarctica this December. The concert is being done as part of a deal with Coca Cola, and will include an eight-day cruise with the band members. The band said they are excited to play Antarctica, because they have heard that penguins are big metalheads, and they want to shake a glacier loose by rocking so hard.

Turkish bodybuilder boards Angela Merkel’s plane, has a party

If you’re a head of state, you expect your plane to be pretty secure, right? It’s not like Air Force One is just left unguarded. That thing’s watched 24 hours a day. German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t have that kind of luxury.

It recently came to light that in late July, a Turkish bodybuilder high on ecstasy and marijuana, snuck on to Merkel’s plane as it sat abandoned one night at the Cologne airport. He then stripped down to his underwear, sprayed the fire extinguisher everywhere, hit random buttons in the cockpit, released that cool inflatable slide thing, and even danced on the wing.

Dude, Oktoberfest isn’t until late September.

The Octoberfest Report

And now a recap from the world’s second greatest drinking event of the year (right behind the day after Christmas): Octoberfest.

The main event, Munich, was the true success story this year. The 6.9 million visitors set a new record, consuming 7.5 million liters (1.65 million gallons) of beer, or one Shamu tank. That only works out to over 1 liter (or less than a quarter gallon) per person, but some of them were probably children who are famous for getting very drunk on very little.

But even more surprising is that, despite drinking more, there were only 58 recorded brawls in which fighters wielded their giant beer steins as weapons. Looks like their priorities — and hearts — were in the right place.

This year was also the first wet Octoberfest for the small Alabama town of Cullman. Located an hour from Huntsville, the city has anually celebrated Octoberfest since 1977 even though they had never repealed their Prohibition era laws against alcohol. Until this year. We don’t have any numbers from their event, but we can only assume they also had fewer fights with the addition of any alcohol.

That’s just math, people.