The presence of an attractive woman elevates testosterone levels and
physical risk taking in young men, according to a recent study in the
inaugural issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science
(published by SAGE).
Recent online articles discuss research that suggests moderate drinking of beer
may help prevent prostate cancer. The key chemical is called
"xanthohumol" which is found in hops. Xanthohumol has been shown to
limit the actions of estrogen and may help prevent breast cancer. The
article says that since estrogen and testosterone work in similar ways,
the chemical may help fight against prostrate cancer.
Another recent study says that beer
is a good source of dietary silicon, something that helps prevent
against weak bones. Beers made with malted barley rather than with
other brewing malts like wheat and corn are more likely to contain this
dietary silicon which could help with keeping bones from becoming weak.
Most beer styles that you will find out at your local store are made
mainly with a type of malted barley, often 2-row malt (common in many
ales and stouts) and pilsen malt (common in pilsner beers, which count
beers like Budweiser in their family).
The article also note that beers rich in hops also have high levels
of dietary silicon. So beers like IPA's which are beers historically
brewed in Britain and shipped to the queen's soldiers in India. This
was in the days before the Suez canal and refrigerated transport, so
vast amounts of hops were used as a preservative on the long trip
around the tip of Africa.
writing on the dietary silicon article, rightly notes that the expected
effect is small and has a negative second derivative. In other words,
too much drinking is bad for your health. He also doesn't attach much
significance to it.
This may be an insignificant result, but you can say a similar sort
of thing about most any study on most any subject. Each study is a
chip off the frontier of knowledge, if you will, and it's tough to make
definitive statements about any one study. But knowledge advances
study by study. We might not want to judge a particular chip off the
wall as being important, but let's look at the pile of rubble.
Personally, I have obtained a taste for IPA's, particularly IPA's
brewed in cities like Boulder and Longmont, Co., along the Front Range
of the Rockies. My favorites are Avery's IPA, Avery's Maharaja,
Boulder's Mojo, and Boulder's Mojo Risin.' I also like the Single and
Doublewide IPA's brewed by the folks at Boulevard Brewing in Kansas
City which has a flavor and mouthfeel similar to the Front Rage brews.
In my homebrewing, the last few 5 gallon batches I have made have
been hoppy ales and pilsners. I've brewed a couple of Cascade Pale
Ales, a couple of Hop Head IPA's, a couple of pilsners, and a new beer
I call Front Range IPA. The latter beer tastes similar to Avery's IPA
and Boulder's Mojo, thus the name. All my beers are malty (the Hop
Head uses 15 pounds of 2-row malt and the Cascade and IPA use 10 pounds
each). Each of those ales contain a lot of hops.
The question I have is this: do I have a taste for hoppy beers just
because I like them, or is my body sending me signals that, all else
equal, I have things inside me that could make susceptible to prostate
cancer, weak bones, or something else . In other words, is my taste
for malty, hoppy beers one of the ways my body defends itself?
While we wait for an answer to that question, Bottoms up!
People respond to incentives. When a product is profitable, that gives people an incentive to develop substitutes. These developments do not magically come about. They are the result of hard work, luck, and opportunity, and sometimes it takes awhile. From the Wall Street Journal:
From the time of the California energy crisis at the beginning of
this decade, it appeared that the U.S. was headed for an extended
period of tight supplies, even shortages, of natural gas.
While gas has many favorable attributes—as a clean, relatively
low-carbon fuel—abundance did not appear to be one of them. Prices had
gone up, but increased drilling failed to bring forth additional
supplies. The U.S., it seemed, was destined to become much more
integrated into the global gas market, with increasing imports of
liquefied natural gas (LNG).
But a few companies were trying to solve a perennial problem: how to
liberate shale gas—the plentiful natural gas supplies locked away in
the impermeable shale. The experimental lab was a sprawling area called
the Barnett Shale in the environs of Fort Worth, Texas.
The companies were experimenting with two technologies. One was
horizontal drilling. Instead of merely drilling straight down into the
resource, horizontal wells go sideways after a certain depth, opening
up a much larger area of the resource-bearing formation.
The other technology is known as hydraulic fracturing, or
"fraccing." Here, the producer injects a mixture of water and sand at
high pressure to create multiple fractures throughout the rock,
liberating the trapped gas to flow into the well.
The critical but little-recognized
breakthrough was early in this decade—finding a way to meld together
these two increasingly complex technologies to finally crack the shale
rock, and thus crack the code for a major new resource. It was not a
single eureka moment, but rather the result of incremental
experimentation and technical skill. The success freed the gas to flow
in greater volumes and at a much lower unit cost than previously
In the last few years, the revolution has spread into other shale
plays, from Louisiana and Arkansas to Pennsylvania and New York State,
and British Columbia as well.
The supply impact has been dramatic. In the lower 48, states thought
to be in decline as a natural gas source, production surged an
astonishing 15% from the beginning of 2007 to mid-2008. This increase
is more than most other countries produce in total.
The low-hanging fruit has already been picked. But the more profitable it becomes to pick ever-higher fruit, the more likely it will be to be picked. That's the profit motive at work.
A 35-mile rift in the desert of Ethiopia will likely become a new ocean eventually, researchers now confirm.
The crack, 20 feet wide in spots, opened in 2005 and some geologists
believed then that it would spawn a new ocean. But that view was
controversial, and the rift had not been well studied.
A new study involving an international team of scientists and
reported in the journal Geophysical Research Letters finds the
processes creating the rift are nearly identical to what goes on at the
bottom of oceans, further indication a sea is in the region's future.
Rivers as big as the Thames in England
that may connect sub-glacial lakes have been found deep under
the Antarctic ice, scientists said on Wednesday.
British researchers who discovered the plumbing system that
moves water hundreds of miles said it challenges the notion
that the lakes under the Antarctic ice evolved independently
and could support ancient life.
Trying to seek a solution to a difficult problem? Got a test tomorrow (assume it's not Friday or Saturday!)? Go to sleep.
Brain Keeps Working – Consciousness is dulled
during sleep, putting the brain “offline”. No new sensory input is
coming in, however elaborate processing continues. Thus, the same part
of the brain is active during sleep as during study.
– Individuals show more improvement on tasks after a night’s sleep than
after the same amount of awake time. However, if sleep is disrupted,
improvement is less likely.
Brain Seeks Solutions – Sleep enhances the ability to gain novel insight into a task or problem, so one may ‘wake up’ with a novel solution.