Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Doctor's orders: drink up!

Alcohol sharpens your brain, say researchers (Telegraph - 1 August 2004 - Robert Matthews)

It is news guaranteed to raise a cheer among those who enjoy a glass or two: drinking half a bottle of wine a day can make your brain work better, especially if you are a woman.

Research to be published tomorrow by academics at University College London has found that those who even drink only one glass of wine a week have significantly sharper thought processes than teetotallers.

Not to be "that guy," but I think I already knew this. I was at a party once in high school (one of the half-dozen or so drinking parties I went to, if I recall) when a friend said one beer actually raised your mental acuity (but then more than one dragged you into the hall of mirros we know as drunkenness. I was stunned, electrified. Such a counter-intuitive wonder! (She was cute, though, so I didn't disagree.)

Days later I pulled out the Encyclopedia Brittanica (Micropedia) and read exactly what she'd said in the article on alcohol (?). Inadvertently true to the spirit of empiricism, I discovered in Germany that I'd never spoken better German than when I had a pint of Hefeweizen. (Of course, just stay out of the hall of mirrors and you'll be all right.) Reminds me how my dad often defends his cigar-smoking on the grounds that Freud, no dull blade, defended his smoking of cigars on the grounds that they kept his mind alert.

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