Archive

Posts Tagged ‘drinking’

Playboy Names My University One of Top 10 Party Schools

April 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Middlesex college, UWO campus - Photo Credit: Mark Russell

Yes, my alma-mater, the University of Western Ontario, home of world-class scientific research, has been named #4 on Playboy’s annual ranking of the Top 10 Party Schools in North America. [WARNING: Link NSFW]

How is this prestigious list determined?

We gather info from thousands of students from our Playboy on-campus Facebook pages, survey our students reps at schools across North America and interview countless others. We draw up stats (male-female ratio, winning percentage of sports teams, etc) and add bonus points for schools in the vicinity of beaches, ski slopes and music scenes.

In other words, they just kinda pick and choose.

But still…Woooooo! Partaaaay!

My favourite occasions were always Rick McGhie at the Wave on Wednesdays, Friday afternoons at the Grad Club, and Pancake Keggers for St. Patty’s Day.

Let’s see, can I find a picture of my drunk self from University?

Well, that’s the morning after… in a bed other than my own. Close enough.

Party on!

The Physics of Beer

March 17, 2011 Leave a comment

So it is St. Patrick’s day. A day which we all use an excuse to get drunk in the middle of the day and pretend there is nothing wrong with that.

Since I have gone out for lunch with my boss who felt it prudent to feed us all drinks for 2 hours, I am in no condition to describe the physics of ANYTHING to you good folks right now.

But, I do have a treat. I did track down a couple of cool videos for you. The first describes the science and physics of beer bong. The second describes (a bit dryly, I admit) the physics of the age old party trick of picking up an olive and putting it in a martini glass without using your hands. It also describes the physics of beer bong, in a more ‘chalkboard’ type fashion.

Enjoy!

Happy New Year!

January 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Well I’m back. After a nice long break and a whole lot of slacking I’ve returned to good ole’ Calgary and my place of employment.

The holidays were a lot of fun, if busy. When you live in a different part of the country than all your friends/family, coming home for a week or so is quite an ordeal.

An awesome ordeal, though.

Over many beers, pints, shots, and chocolates I caught up with most of the people I wanted to see. A successful trip indeed.

But now I have returned to real life, my cubicle at my office overlooking downtown Calgary and it is good to be back. Travelling is stressful even when on vacation and I’m glad to have a little down time.

I realize the irony that coming back to work seems like “down time”, but I think many of you know exactly what I mean.

So over the coming weeks expect me to be back to full blogging form. My enthusiasm for science/skepticism has not wavered, though my diligence in posting everyday has in the last few weeks.

So Happy New Year to all, hope your hangovers have subsided by now and you are as ready as I am to start a great new year of scientific discovery!

When Do Students At My University Drink Most?

December 31, 2010 Leave a comment

The University of western Ontario

A study published in the Journal of American College Health did a study of 415 students at a “large University in Southwestern, Ontario, Canada”. Which, of course, means the University of Western Ontario.

What did the results show?

Findings indicated that alcohol consumption varies considerably as a function of time of the academic year. Overall trends indicate that students drink more heavily at the beginning of each semester and less during exam periods. Daily patterns indicate that most drinking occurs on weekends. The highest drinking days in the first academic year included Halloween, New Year’s Eve, and St. Patrick’s Day.

Surprising? No. Nostalgic? Yes.

Happy New Year’s Western!

The Science of ‘Beer Goggles’

August 18, 2010 Leave a comment

Oh yes, we’ve all been there.

You knock back a few pints, maybe a few jager bombs and the party really gets started. You think maybe it’s the dimly lit dance floor, or maybe its because you have no idea what time it is, but that girl (or guy) your are dancing with suddenly seems a lot more attractive.

Colloquially, it is known as the Beer Goggle effect. Alcohol is making everyone in the room seem more attractive than if you were sober. It is a well documented effect, and psychologists are trying to nail down what exactly is happening to our brains when this happens.

A study recently published in the journal Alcohol (they have a journal for everything these days, even *guh* homeopathy) may shed some light on whats going on here.

Many studies have shown that when humans rate a person’s face as “attractive”, this is largely due to high levels of symmetry in the person’s face. For example, their nose isn’t crooked (like mine) or their eyes aren’t at different heights, things like that. Any asymmetries will cause attractiveness scores to fall.

So the way this study worked was the experimenters went to a bar after everyone had a chance to down a few drinks. They showed 64 students a series of pictures, some of whom were sober (the control group), and some were intoxicated. The students then rated a series of photos of faces, symmetric and some asymmetric, as attractive or not attractive.

The conclusion was that alcohol worsens our ability to detect symmetry in a peoples faces, consequently making them appear more attractive (not surprising).

What WAS surprising about this study though, was that alcohol affected women’s abililty to detect symmetry more than men. So women actually have a stronger “Beer goggle” affect than men. Crazy.

Of course, guys tend to get much more rambunxios when they are drinking than women, so that’s why this result may be surprising.

But cool stuff. Next time at the bar if you are worried about bringing home an ugo just make sure you look at them in bright light, before turning out the light.

Cheers everyone!

My Awesome Trip to Ontario or Why I Haven’t Written Posts in Awhile

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m back everyone!

I hope you enjoyed my Top 10 Sci-Fi movie countdown while I was away on vacation. I got some great comments and nobody has told me I was way off base with my picks (yet).

So what have I been up to? While I currently reside in Calgary, Alberta, I grew up in Ontario. I made a 10 day trip back home to visit friends and family.

I had a fantastic time too!  I made it back to London, Ontario where I went to the University of Western Ontario.

There, I visited the lab where I did my M.Sc and had drinks at my favourite pub Molly Bloom’s.

Molly Bloom's Irish Pub, London, Ontario

I felt totally sick in the morning, thanks in large part to my lab buddies sneaking Vodka shots into my beers without my knowledge. I had a great time though.

I then headed north to visit friends in Port Elgin.

Port Elgin, Ontario

There I had some great BBQ, saw great friends and had great times.

Beer Can Chicken

After that, I travelled to Ontario’s capital, Toronto. There I stayed for a few days going out for dim sum and drinking at the Bier Markt downtown.

Good Times Being Had

I also had a great time on a patio the following night along Bloor Street.

After partying it up on the streets of Toronto, I headed northeast to my hometown of Peterborough.

Peterborough, Ontario

There I got to see a whole whack of my family, as it was my Mom’s 50th Birthday and we had a big party for her. It went really well and I had a great time.

The following day, I got to see two of my best friends from high school get married!

The ceremony was beautiful, the location was fantastic, and the party afterward, well…I don’t quite remember. But I have some blurry photographic evidence which leads me to believe it was awesome.

More Good Times Being Had

After 10 days of this, you can imagine I am pretty exhausted. I need to get back to work to actually relax.

But thats what I was up to while I was gone, but of course science never takes a holiday, and I got some great stuff to write about in the coming days. Stay tuned…

Scientists Get Drunk and Name a New Dinosaur

July 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Even dinosaur nerds have a sense of humour. At least, when they are out drinking.

From xkcd

A new dinosaur discovery, published this past week in the Journal of Paleontology, led to the most difficult part of discovering a new dino friend: what to name it.

So, after a few rounds, some Yale grad students thought of a great one. You ready?

Mojoceratops.

Yup, Mojoceratops perifania was first discovered in 2008 when a post-doctoral fellow at Yale University was rummaging through some old fossils at the American Museum of Natural History.

Skull of Mojoceratops

While looking through a pile of bones thought to belong to a dino named Chasmosaurus, he realized that the skulls looked a little weird. Then BAM! it hits him, a brand new dino species.

Mojoceratops used to live up near yours truly in Western Canada. I really need to go check out some of the dinosaur museums around here.

Also kind of makes me want to go rummaging through my old closet and see what cool stuff I can find there…