Bit of a bargain actually

No, not an ad, just an observation:

NOW is your chance to book a bargain break to the Algarve for less than £100 per person.

The amazing deal includes flights and accommodation in the sunny Portuguese resort.

£100 for flights and hotel for nine days? That’s a significant bargain really. How they’re doing it, it’s marginal revenue upon fixed costs. The apartment hotel exists, the flights will be running anyway. Why not gain some cash?

This is for March as well, weather could be good down here. Not a bad part of town either.

The bit that catches my eye. £10 a day? The difference in prices means that someone on a pack of tabs and two pub drinks a day would find it cheaper to be here – including the cost of the holiday – than in the UK Actually, forget the tabs, three drinks a day would do it. More a measure of the overtaxation of such things in the UK than anything else….

Twat at The Guardian alert

We would not expect a pub landlord to charge people different prices based on income, with a pint of beer costing some 20p and others £20. Even if such a system might be theoretically perfectly fair, we would recognise the almighty mess it would cause in practice.

They do and always have. Saloon bar was always more expensive than the public. And that’s before we even get to the difference in prices across pubs, some being expensive precisely to keep the riff raff out.

What would these people do if The Guardian wasn’t willing to pay them, eh?

Neat rhetorical trick

Rather than viewing Dry January as a threat to their business, the alcohol industry views it as a neat distraction from an inconvenient truth. Although alcohol consumption is declining overall, 4.4% of the population account for more than 30% of all the alcohol sold in the UK. But Dry January is not aimed at high-risk drinkers, as Alcohol Change UK makes clear. It would be potentially life-threatening for people in this group to suddenly stop drinking. They need specialist support to reduce their alcohol intake if they are to avoid harming their health or, worse, dying.

Abrupt alcohol withdrawal can kill. So there is a real danger that these campaigns play well with the alcohol industry as they distract attention from a group of people who are at the greatest risk of dying prematurely due to alcohol.

You’ve got to be really caning it – couple of bottles of spirits a day level – for going cold turkey on booze to kill you. So, nice rhetorical trick there but no cigar really.

Whoa! Kids are like booze?

Having a first baby in your thirties raises your risk of breast cancer for more than two decades, an overview of research has concluded.

Five years after giving birth mothers are 80 per cent more likely to get breast cancer than childless women of the same age and the risk is higher for those who start families later, it found. They have urged doctors to be alert to the problem in those with young children.

While delaying motherhood appears to increase the short-term risk, mothers still have a lower lifetime risk of breast cancer because childbirth becomes protective against the disease by the ages when most cases occur. The study found that 35 years after giving birth, mothers were 23 per cent less likely to get breast cancer than childless women of the same age.

Childbirth has previously been found to have contradictory effects on breast cancer risk, raising it initially while lowering it in the longer term, but the point where these effects cancelled each other out had been unclear.

Not drinking is dangerous, drinking is dangerous to a different degree, where’s the sweet spot, where’s the lowest total risk?

Babbies work the same way. Actually, near all of life works this way……

Booze Kills

Alcohol-related deaths among women are at their highest ever level, new figures have revealed.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that last year there were 8 female deaths from alcohol for every 100,000 people in the UK – the greatest number since records began in 2001. This was being driven by an overall rise in alcohol deaths among 55 to 74-year-olds in recent years.

Super. Now correct for demographic change, for the fat that the portion of the population which is 55 to 74 year old females has risen.

Our result is?

That is, has the rate among 55 to 74 year old females risen, thereby skewing the population rates, or has the rate among that subset risen thereby doing so?

Too drunk to fly

Sometimes we see pieces about pilots being “over the limit” without there being clear explanation of the manner in which this is over the limit to fly, not to drive. The flying limit being about a half pint of standard beer or so. A proper dalliance with the stewardesses the night before sorta level.

But this?

A pilot has admitted being almost 10 times over the alcohol limit shortly before a flight from Heathrow, police said.

Katsutoshi Jitsukawa was arrested at the airport after failing a breath test just 50 minutes before Japan Airlines (JAL) flight JL44 to Tokyo was due to take off with him in the cockpit.

The Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that the driver of a crew bus alerted police after smelling alcohol on the pilot. The flight was operated by a Boeing 777 aircraft, which holds up to 244 passengers.

A Metropolitan police spokesman said Jitsukawa pleaded guilty to exceeding the alcohol limit at Uxbridge magistrates court on Thursday.

Tests revealed he had 189mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood in his system, almost 10 times the 20mg limit for a pilot. The drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80mg.

Yes, that’s too drunk to fly.

I shall open an off licence in Chepstow. Totshill maybe

The Welsh government is proposing to set a minimum price per unit of alcohol at 50p in an attempt to combat problem drinking.

Flagons of wife beater cider at English prices a specialty.

Might even be worth looking at a ferry line from Minehead to Barry…..

So, we ICO Scrumpycoin to make it happen, yes?

This is actually serious as well, if anyone knows how to ICO an ERC 20 token say……

Sadly I’ll forget to use this excuse

Middle aged drinking may reduce dementia risk, new study finds

Analysis of more than 9,000 people found those who never touched a drop were around 50 per cent more likely to develop the degenerative condition compared to those who drink moderately.

Published in the British Medical Journal, the results challenge formal NHS advice, which recommends going teetotal to reduce dementia risk.

How unlike government advice to be wrong…..

Well, I dunno actually

Support is vital: from families and friends, health professionals and organisations. Drug and alcohol support groups are proved to help people stay sober and clean. And yet these preventive healthcare schemes are being slashed because of council budget cuts. In Warwickshire, for instance, the public health budget has been cut by £40 a head since 2014.

Do we actually have any proof that drug and alcohol support groups do this? And if so, are they a cost effective manner of doing so?

Genuine question.

Industry experts?

Whisky shops in Berwick and Carlisle are preparing for Scottish drinkers on booze cruises after the introduction of minimum pricing.

Industry experts have warned the new rules will mean drinkers may cross the border in search of cheaper alcohol.

What sort of expertise, other than sentience, do you need to predict that?

Could be, could be

Bordeaux wine production plummeted 40 per cent in 2017 due to frost – but will prices rise?

Depends upon substitution.

If people demand Bourdeaux and only Bourdeaux then yes, a reduction in supply will lead to a rise in price. If people are willing to substitute across a wider variety of drinks then, well, difficult to tell. Depends how much they’re willing to substitute.

At that point, with substitution, the question is wide open. If the same problems which led to the fall in supply also mean that what remains tastes like rat piss then substitution could be greater than the fall in supply, leading to falling prices.

So how do people learn to use it?

Children given alcohol by parents in the belief it will foster responsible drinking are more likely to become binge drinkers, a major new study has found.

The six-year analysis of nearly 2,000 12 to 18-year-olds revealed there were “no benefits” to introducing alcohol to teenagers at home and that doing so only encouraged them to seek it elsewhere.

Writing in The Lancet, the researchers say that despite a widespread folk belief that a parentally-supplied glass of wine over Sunday lunch or a quiet beer in the evening promotes a stable attitude to drinking, there is in fact no reliable evidence to back this up.

Instead, they show that the chances of binge drinking, alcohol-related harm or displaying symptoms of alcohol use disorder are all higher in children provided alcohol by parents.

Bit difficult, really.

The analysis found that, on average, 62 per cent of teenagers who were not given alcohol by their parents went on to binge drink – described as four or more drinks in one session – compared to 81 per cent who were.

Ah, that’;s where the problem is then. The definition of binge. What we want to know is which training system leads to more people harming themselves, not the number who get drunk once in their lives.


Just 4 per cent of the population consume almost one-third of all the alcohol sold in England, new healthcare data has revealed.

Seriously, what in hell does this matter in the slightest?

100% of the ballet in the Kingdom is consumed by well under 4% of the population. We are worried about this, are we? What percentage of the population eats kumquats in any one year?

Really, most fun

Britain’s alcoholism explosion – archive, 1970
19 January 1970: Monday is now established as ‘hangover’ day when 250,000 will stay away from work

Britain is in danger of an “alcoholic explosion.” Today, about 250,000 men will be absent from work because of heavy weekend drinking. The cost to the nation in a full year may be as much as £250 millions.

A report by the National Council on Alcoholism says both industry and the country as a whole are trying to hide the growing drink problem.


Pity no one told them of the Victorian love for St Monday…..

Well, this is rather the point

Although those price rises are rather fierce.

The Scottish government’s 50p minimum unit price for alcohol, which comes into force on 1 May 2018, will have a dramatic impact on prices, according to the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Some cider products will rise in price by as much as 90%, according to the IFS briefing note, which also found prices would increase across all alcohol types. The price of a 20 x 440ml pack of Strongbow would double, while a bottle of Tesco cream sherry would increase by 20%.

The minimum pricing policy, which comes into force after a five-year legal battle between the Scottish government and the Scotch Whisky Association, is intended to stop the sale of cut-price, high-alcohol drinks such as cider.

The IFS found that almost 70% of the alcohol units bought in supermarkets and off-licences across the UK between October 2015 and September 2016 were priced below 50p per unit. With a 50p minimum unit price, the cost of these products would increase on average by at least 35%, with lager and cider most affected.

I still don’t understand why they’re doing it this way. Why not change the duty levels? Why give the rise in margins to the retailers/manufacturers?

Really not sure about this

Wine glasses in the UK are now on average seven times larger than they were three hundred years ago, new research has found.

An investigation by Cambridge University identified a steady increase in the size of glassware from the early Georgian era and a rapid enlargement in the twentieth century.

Combined with an increase in the average strength of wine, the larger glasses mean today’s alcohol consumption from wine is likely to be far higher than in the past, researchers said.

For I recall those reports of how much people who could afford to drink actually drank back then. Couple of bottles a man at dinner sort of thing.

Now, obviously, those reports could be wrong. Also, wine drinking was very much a minority pursuit then. Near all except the richest would be drinking beer.

For breakfast.

For the new research, published in the British Medical Journal, the team obtained the measurements of 411 glasses from 1700 to modern day.

Seriously, this is what is being used as scientific evidence these days?

Drink driving

After years of falling deaths as a result of drink driving, the figure stalled at around 240 between 2010 and 2014, leading to fears that educating motorists was no longer enough to stop them from driving while drunk.

In 2015, the most recent figures available, there was a drop to 200, but a spokesman for charity the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety said the overall numbers were too low for this to be seen as a definitive reduction.

Hmm. However:

Breath tests for alcohol have fallen by a quarter over five years, figures show, as campaigners warn that drunk drivers are getting away with it.

The fall in breath tests also hasn’t caused a rise, has it? Meaning that we were possibly overdoing the number before?

So, what state would be able to do something about this?

Simon died in his small house, waiting to go back into hospital to dry out. He grew up in a town with men who’d had to dig out children from the Aberfan mining disaster; he died the year Grenfell Tower burned down. When such obvious tragedies strike, the politicians and the press vow to tackle the social injustices that caused them. But Simon was just one man dying in plain sight of his neighbours, his family and state officials. Far easier to chalk up his death to a fatty liver and booze, rather than inequality and austerity and the false promises peddled by politicians from Thatcher to May. A dead man, a dying town: he spent his last days being told he’s fit for work in an economy that has next to no work.

What’s left is a younger brother beating himself up about what he should have done and angry at others for letting them both down.

Before we part, Dave asks: “Why wasn’t there someone who could step in and help? Is that naive of me? To think that a modern, 21st-century society could do that for people who need it?”

How much power would a state need in order to stop a middle aged man drinking himself to death?

Simon had always been a pub man. But now he’d get up in the morning and start on a glass of watered-down scotch and a sci-fi DVD. By the end of a day, he’d have finished the DVDs, his fags and an entire bottle of Scotch.

Having been one of Blair’s strivers, Simon was now one of George Osborne’s skivers. He was moved on to disability benefits, before the Department for Work and Pensions assessors declared him fit for work. His money would periodically stop until his GP contested the verdict. This spring, he was moved on to universal credit, which meant six weeks with barely a penny. Again and again, it was Dave who had to bail him out. It was Dave who suggested jobs Simon could apply for, small businesses he might start. The younger brother was filling in for the state, while Si lived in ripped clothes and ate junk. “The government was abusing a vulnerable man.”

What, exactly, should those powers be? And ho would want to live in a state which had such powers?

So, an interesting little thought

Probably someone’s going to get here before us. However.

Advent calendars have all become rather more posh these days. Some of them have very much more in the value of the products (usually, to be sure, the “brand” composing much of that value) than the price of them.

And then, well, how many advent calendars get sold after the beginning of advent? And how many after Christmas?

So, there will be overstocks, somewhere, and what happens to them? At what price? And how do we find out? How do we buy them?

There are bourbon tasters, beer ones, wine, fizz etc. Some of which seem to be about £50 for perhaps £80 of booze. But overstocks? Would they get down to £10? For 500 pieces say? 10 people each in for £500, that’s doable isn’t it?

But would they get down to that price and if they did, where would they be for sale?


And, you see, I think it would be the booze ones which would fall furthest in prices. Because who is allowed to resell them is limited by law (no e-Bay, Poundland etc).

It might just be possible to take this recycling too far

At the close of the Rootstock sustainable wine festival in Sydney last year, Tasmanian distiller Peter Bignell looked around the tasting room at the carefully-spaced spittoons and thought: what a waste.

Together the spit buckets contained about 500 litres of discarded wine, which had been swilled then dumped during the two-day event.

Some wine had been dutifully spat out by responsible tasters keen to get to the end of their extensive list with tasting notes intact, but the majority was the largely untouched leavings of an overly generous pour.

For Bignell, whose Belgrove distillery in Kempton, Tasmania, is the only one in Australia that runs entirely on biodiesel, all this wasted wine was hardly in keeping with a sustainable event.

The obvious solution was to drink it again.

After 12 months at Poor Tom’s gin distillery in Marrickville, the spit bucket wine has been transformed into an 80-proof clear spirit that tastes something like an unaged brandy.

It is, reportedly, quite nice.

Distillation will obviously have thoroughly cleaned it. But still. It’s not as if the world is short of crap wine to turn into cooking brandy now, is it?