Coded green.

Saturday 4 August 2001


Pic of the day: This picture taking before attempted intake of alcohol, but while listening to some song about red red wine. The song was kind of funny, really.

Alcohol revisited

It's Saturday, and good Norwegians are seriously drunk. While not quite up to Finnish standards, Norwegians have a solid tradition for downing most of their alcohol all at once, typically on Friday and Saturday night. I don't venture outside on those night if I can avoid it, because men randomly are transformed to beasts. And I am not trained in subduing beasts. Someone could be hurt. This would be doubly sad if that someone was me. So I generally stay away until they have put back on their masks of civilization.

I recently read the July issue of Scientific American. They went pretty far in recommending that people take up drinking alcohol if they don't already. In moderation, of course. There is a growing body of evidence (and has been for some years now) that people who drink small quantities of alcohol are less likely to suffer heart attacks and circulation problems in general.

I'm trying once again to drink, but it isn't much fun. I tend to get a headache - not the next day like other humans, but within half an hour. The quantity of alcohol to give me a headache is less than that needed to dilute the blood vessels, giving the famous warm and fuzzy feeling, or approximately the same. Since I can do the warming trick with a few seconds meditation normally, this seems like a poor trade. Sure, the headache is moderate enough that I can block it too, but it is still a drag. Evidently I am after all some kind of mutant, even though I still can't shoot energy beams. :)


I wonder if it may not be true what my online friend ARJ said, that the perceived positive effects from moderate drinking come from other factors. People who drink in moderation tend to have higher education, better income, and more control of their own work and daily life. The control bit is known to be very predictive of cardiovascular health, as well as various other "lifestyle" health effects. People in subordinate positions with little freedom to control their own work tend to develop a load of stress-related symptoms, and some of the most serious of these are cardiovascular ... that is, related to heart and circulation.

It may even be that people who drink to excess are generally lacking practice in controlling their own activities. And many people who don't drink alcohol at all do so because they or people close to them have had problems with controlling their drinking in the past. Others who generally feel in control of their lives may feel that they will certainly also be able to control their alcohol consumption, and often this happens too. Even so, the number of people who gradually sink into alcoholism is enough to give pause. The sheer amount of damage - in lost lives, health and property - far exceeds the sum from illegal drugs. Despite this, alcohol is recommended while even having milder drugs on your body is enough to land you in jail. The hysteria here is much less than in America, thank the Light, but it is still a bit out of proportion.

Being the scientifically minded person I am, I try almost every year to drink some alcohol, but every time I soon give up. The discomfort is simply not worth it. And then I come up with these good reasons why it probably wouldn't do any good anyway ... :)


So anyway, after a few teaspoons of Baileys, I quit while the headache was still barely noticeable.

And then I spent almost an hour looking at ChromaZone, the psychedelic screensaver from Gibson Research, while playing the song "One life to live" (with Richi M) on repeat. This is still legal, though it might not have been if our elected representatives had ever experienced it.

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