Strange but True: Shape of Glass Affects How Fast You Drink

Because drinkers monitor their intake with reference to the halfway line of a glass, drinking speed varies depending on the shape of the glass. 

What's the Latest Development?

British researchers have determined that the shape of your beer glass affects how quickly you imbibe you draught, which may influence public health campaigns of the future (and how alcohol sellers market their product). In an experiment, 160 college undergraduates were asked to drink beer and lemonade from straight-sided glasses and flutes, which curve outward toward the lip. "A full straight glass of beer was polished off in 11 minutes, on average. A full flute, by contrast, was down the hatch in seven, which was also the amount of time it took to drink a full glass of lemonade, regardless of the type of vessel."

What's the Big Idea?

University of Bristol researcher Dr. Angela Atwood, who led the study, hypothesizes that beer drinkers who wish to pace themselves through the evening monitor the amount of beer remaining in their glass, likely by referencing the halfway mark. "A curved-sided glass, though, makes exercising such judgment hard—as she demonstrated by calling her volunteers back a week later and asking them to estimate from pictures how full various glasses were." The results of the study may provide public health officials and brewers with contrasting conclusions about what type of glass is best to serve up a beer. 

Photo credit:

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less