Excellent Read: “Kavanaugh & the Blackout Theory”

First, some comforting news — everyone can read Paul Bronks’ twitter feed again!


 
I guess Saturday night is either the worst or the best time to post these links. The Washington Post has an article (from an ex-Yale prof!) warning Many teens drink. Rich ones like Kavanaugh are more likely to abuse alcohol. Affluence is a risk factor for dangerous behavior”.

In the NYTimes, Sarah Hepola:

One of the trickiest things about blackouts is that you don’t necessarily know you’re having one. I wrote a memoir, so centered around the slips of memory caused by heavy drinking that it is actually called “Blackout,” and in the years since its 2015 release, I’ve heard from thousands of people who experienced them. No small number of those notes contain some version of this: “For years, I was having blackouts without knowing what they were.” Blackouts are like a philosophical riddle inside a legal conundrum: If you can’t remember a thing, how do you know it happened?…

There are two kinds of blackouts. The more common is fragmentary, where slivers of the night are missing. The more extreme version is “en bloc,” where several hours can be wiped from the memory drive. Fragmentary blackouts start at a blood alcohol concentration of about 0.2, though they’ve been found at lower levels; everyone’s brain is different. En bloc blackouts happen closer to 0.3, and it’s worth noting that at 0.35, it is estimated that about half of drinkers will die, so blackout drinkers are getting up there.

A common bonding experience in drinking circles is “piecing the night together”— friends sitting around the next day, laughing as they scroll through text messages and camera rolls, trying to fill in the gaps in one another’s memories. Some of the missing dots are easy to connect: Oh, that’s right, we went to the bar! Others might be confounding: Wait, we went to a BAR?

“Piecing things together” is a phrase that jumped out at me when I read Judge Kavanaugh’s 2014 speech to the Yale Law School Federalist Society, in which he describes drunken heroics as a routine part of campus life; Senator Richard Blumenthal also leapt on this at the hearing, although Judge Kavanaugh deflected the inquiry, as he did every question about any possible dark side to his consumption…
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Late Night Open Thread: Nuisance Beavers


 
According to people who know these things, castor glands are not anal glands, and castoreum’s “fruity, vanilla scent” means it’s got a long history as a food additive. Right now, I’m just as happy I’m not a drinker.
 

Speaking of nuisance beavers…



Annals of Regression

I wish we were saying goodbye to this kind of stupidity along with 2017, but I fear not. “Unfiltered Fervor: The Rush to Get Off the Water Grid.”

One of the markers of civilized living used to be having water piped into your home, but that’s so twentieth century. Now we have “raw” “live” “real” water, untreated and ready to grow some algae.

There was a spring not too far from where we lived. My mother would occasionally take us kids along to fill up bottles of water for drinking. The spring was capped, and the water came out in a sluiceway that made it easy to fill the bottles.

I can recall drinking water from streams on hiking trips. That was before giardia became a big concern and before there were lots of people hiking in the mountains. I know, giardia comes from the natural animals that naturally live in those places. I never got sick from it.

I’m concerned about the lack of understanding of chemistry and biology shown by the people described in the article. The writeup is not bad. Here are a few of my thoughts as I was reading it.

At Rainbow Grocery, a cooperative in this city’s Mission District, one brand of water is so popular that it’s often out of stock. But one recent evening, there was a glittering rack of it: glass orbs containing 2.5 gallons of what is billed as “raw water” — unfiltered, untreated, unsterilized spring water, $36.99 each and $14.99 per refill

Santa Fe water rates are high, an $18.42 monthly service charge, plus $6.06 per 1,000 gallons for the first tier, and $21.72 per thousand gallons after that. The “raw water” is about $6 per gallon, a thousand times as much.

An Arizona company, Zero Mass Water, which installs systems allowing people to collect water directly from the atmosphere around their homes, began taking orders in November from across the United States…The system — called Source, which retails for $4,500, including installation — draws moisture from the air (the way rice does in a saltshaker) and filters it, producing about 10 liters of water a day and storing about 60 liters.

Gonna take a long time to amortize that initial investment.

There is some nonsense about fluoride. That’s kind of amusing – resistance to fluoride originally came from the right wing. General Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove” drinks only pure grain alcohol and rainwater to maintain his purity of essence from the fluoride put in by the gummint for mind control. This time around, it’s the hippies (or whatever we’re calling them today). Fluoride has been studied, and no harmful effects have been found at the levels added to drinking water. It’s kind of wonderful (to me anyway) that kids today have so many fewer cavities. That’s from fluoride.

I think it’s a federal requirement that water systems send out an accounting of the trace elements and potential bacteriological contaminants in their water. I know I get them twice a year and am always impressed that the numbers are so low. But that’s part of what the new water fanatics are concerned about: not enough “good” minerals and probiotics.

He said “real water” should expire after a few months. His does. “It stays most fresh within one lunar cycle of delivery,” he said. “If it sits around too long, it’ll turn green. People don’t even realize that because all their water’s dead, so they never see it turn green.”

Eh. The green is algae. If a closed bottle of “real water” turns green after one lunar cycle, also known as a month, it had algae in it to begin with, or spores. And who knows what else – E. coli, V. cholerae, S. enterica. Just thinking about that makes me want to boil water before I drink it.

The thinking seems to be part of the general desire to get away from the ordinary and brand oneself as special, along with magical thinking about the purity of nature and nature spirits. I wish we could turn this kind of energy toward dealing with global warming.

 








Late Evening Open Thread: Floriduh Woman! And the Horse She Rode In On Too!

The details:

After one drink too many, a four-legged animal might seem a better option than a four-wheeled vehicle.

But sadly for one Florida woman, the police did not agree – arresting her on Thursday for “drunk-driving” a horse.

Donna Byrne, 53, was arrested in Polk City, central Florida, for “DUI on a horse,” the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Friday.

Byrne is also accused of animal neglect for failing to provide proper protection for the horse, placing it at risk of injury or death while riding it along the busy road.

According to police, who were called by a passerby, Byrne appeared intoxicated when officers arrived on the scene.

“Ms Byrne was obviously not in any condition to be on the road. She not only put herself and the horse in danger, but also anyone who was driving on the road, which is typically very busy,” Sheriff Grady Judd said.

The horse was taken to a sheriff’s office animal shelter.

I really don’t want to know what this is referring to:

Byrne is also accused of animal neglect for failing to provide proper protection for the horse, placing it at risk of injury or death while riding it along the busy road.

Remember folks friends don’t let friends drink and canter.



Mai Tai Early Morning Open Thread

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Have your man place, into a large cocktail shaker, a jigger each of fresh lime juice, Diplomatico aged Venezuelan rum (for the flavour), and British Navy Pusser’s rum (for the kick), along with half a jigger of Cointreau, a heaping half of orgeat and a small spoonful of brown molasses sugar. Have him add tons of ice and shake like buggery. Pour into glasses and serve in the afternoon sun with a selection of snacks and the new Ball Park Music album.

Cheers to Walter, and his new mum Debit, and especially to our blogmaster, Cole – a fine and decent man who makes the world a better place.








July 3rd Capitol Hill meet-up

For a variety of reasons, I am in Washington, DC at the start of next week.

Would anyone want to go grab a beer or two around Capitol Hill on Sunday, July 3rd in the late evening.  I’ll supply the green balloons if you can recommend a good place to meet at 8:30.

 



Cheers! Open Thread

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Friday night drinks with my sweetheart. Two Caipirinhas – slightly more tart than I like, but just what I needed after an arsehole of a week. Sweet vermouth (Punt e mes, I suspect) on ice with an olive and a slice of orange for me, and a London Calling for him. A Gretzel with beer and cheese sauce. Tuna crudo with fermented chilli, onion, dill and flat bread. Shots of Tapatio Reposado to celebrate Gregory’s birthday. Some concoction with Poor Tom’s gin and who knows what else whipped up by Jamie, the adorable Scottish bartender. Two perfect replications of a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish, except crunchier and cheesier and oh-so-much-more-Filet-O-Fishier. An Old Fashioned made with rye, and a Red Hook. Two chocolate chip cookie and blackberry ripple ice cream sandwiches. Whisky from some damp and peaty god knows where, and a spectacular rum from Guyana that tasted of brown sugar toffee, even though we were just a little bit drunk by that point, because Jamie did the sexy eyebrow thing. One taxi home for special snuggles.

Don’t mind if I do, thanks.

Drunk posting on Balloon Juice very late at night and oversharing while giving your local a plug.

Life could be worse.

Happy Friday, kiddies. How have you all been?

I should inset some witty comment here about how the evil squirrel that lives in Donald Trump’s hair and controls him with little levers connected to steam-driven pistons has been huffing antifreeze and getting his Mexican birth certificate rape babies on, or how our entire political system is even more fucked than Jeb!’s chances of securing the Republican nomination.

But it’s time for bed – or maybe another drink.

Seriously though, come to Sydney. Come and see my friends Gregory, Naomi and the rest of the team at the Gretz. They’re lovely. And Gregory’s American. So you folks will understand what the fuck he’s saying.

This is your open thread.

Much love, and fuck you all.

Sarah

P.S. The real me is somewhere in the photo above. It’s like Where’s Waldo if Waldo was a grumpy, fictional old lady with impulse control issues and a pottymouth.