By Grant Jacobs 20/11/2010

* Oh My Goodness.[1]

Pointers to a few of the less ordinary things I’ve seen on-line over the past day or two.

Alcoholic energy drinks, containing a mix of caffeine and alcohol, are not the way to go. There’s been a number of articles on the levels of alcohol in caffeine drinks and the effect of mix (reportedly more potent than alcohol alone). This article in the LA Times looks at why alcohol and caffeine is a deadly mix. Consider this quote:

Scientists aren’t sure exactly how the body processes the combination of caffeine and alcohol because the combination – at least in the quantity seen in these alcoholic energy drinks – is too dangerous to test on humans in scientific experiments.

Hmm? (True?)

It makes me wonder what the situation in New Zealand is with these type of drinks.

(Whilst getting this sorted, I ran into an excellent story from Deborah Blum in Slate, telling how US authorities countered bootlegging with spiking the alcohol sources.)

University rankings Egypt’s Alexandria University has shot up the international university rankings, apparently largely at the hand of a single researcher who published ’320 of his own articles in a scientific journal of which he was also the editor’. (I can’t help thinking that they ought to revise the scoring so that it weighs down rare outliers, so that the scores reflect the institution as a whole, rather than being susceptible skewing by a few individuals.)

Carnal Carnival Lead off with a title opening ’OH YES! YES!! YES!!!’ the theme this month is – well, you guessed – orgasms. Check it out. You know you want to. Of course, it also shows that scene from When Harry Met Sally.

Front line medical infections Wired has an article relating how front-line medical teams are exposed to infections from those they seek to assist.

Caveat tweetor? Twitters might take note. Apparently, China has sentenced a year of hard labour for a re-tweet. Yikes.

Dawkins reads hate mail in this fire-side setting. (YouTube video.) I get the rare crank mail, but no way near what he gets. The most recent was a comment that in it’s entirety reading ’DELETE THIS F**KIN POST’ (modified, with asterisks replacing a few letters) and some rather skewed ’science’ sent through my contact form.


[1] I know it’s usually Oh, My G-d. Seeing as the expression conveys surprise, I prefer to do that directly without evoking something I don’t believe in.

Other lighter fare on Code for life:

Friday fare

Another one bits the dust: Goodbye Walkman

Fainting kittens – feline myotonia congenita?

The best places to read

Science, bloggers, activists, and science as ’the one true global culture’?

0 Responses to “OMG*”

  • Nice list. With the alcohol/caffeine stuff, did you see the research earlier in the year apparently showing that caffeinated alcohol drinks gave people a false sense of their own sobriety? Safety hazard.

    Regarding the “g-word” I usually substitute “bob”. Sounds similar.

    I am particularly partial to the phrase, “As bob is my witless”

    OMB might need somewhat more explanation though.

  • did you see the research earlier in the year apparently showing that caffeinated alcohol drinks gave people a false sense of their own sobriety?

    No, I never saw that. If true, the two sound like a dodgy mix. My knee-jerk thought is of coffee after a couple of wines over dinner, thinking along the lines of: would this make you feel more sober, leaving you vulnerable to being worse off than you realise. (Think driving home after said dinner, etc.)

  • Finally found the reference: (

    Specifically looked at caffeine containing energy drinks mixed with alcohol (eg vodka and red bull). Found that those drinking the mixes drank more, had higher blood alcohol levels and were more likely to intend to drive home.
    “These findings suggest that consuming energy drinks mixed with alcohol may reduce perceptions of alcohol impairment, and thus, increase one’s confidence in operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.”

    This one looks at effects in mice:(

  • Thanks! More to read… 🙂

    I think I’ve read Deborah Blum (or perhaps it was someone else?) writing something similar, probably on her blog, Speakeasy Science (over at the PloS blogs). Good name for a blog, eh?

    Guess the short message is don’t mix your poisons! (Cuing this from a slight misuse of the expression “What’s your poison?”)