Jobs May Have Dried Up, But the Booze is Flowing
There wasn’t any lack of Americans enjoying an extended liquid lunch on St. Patrick’s Day. But surprisingly, the one day of the year where everyone suddenly becomes Irish wasn’t a complete aberration.
In an intriguing twist to the frosty economic climate, liquor stores are seeing something of a boom as people enjoy the hard stuff during tough times. Local and state government’s response to the phenomenon? Make alcohol easier to acquire.
The most recent numbers courtesy of the Distilled Spirits Council (DISCUS) shows some interesting statistics. At bars and restaurants, spirit sales fell 2.2%, not a terrible drop in light of the hit most industries have taken. Spirits consumption at home, on the other hand, has actually increased 2.9%, with the local liquor store enjoying that trend. Beer sales remained flat for the most part, but in Ohio, a state decimated by the economy, sales of liquors containing more than 21% alcohol increased 5% last year. Other states with spikes in liquor sales include Oregon [4%], Idaho [4.7%], New York [4.5% increase in beer and wine between April and September], and Washington [5%]. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania could pierce the $2 billion alcohol sales ceiling for the first time in state history. The common thread appears to be beers waning popularity; even wine sales are up 22% among NASCAR fans. Who knew?
The most intriguing aspect may be how local governments are actually looking to make alcohol more readily available in light of all this drinking. Lubbock, Texas; Georgetown, Kentucky; and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, all cities where selling alcohol on Sundays is illegal, are moving towards reversing that law. Seaman, Ohio, a dry town for generations, is now selling alcohol for the first time and Saint Jo, Texas is exploring a similar move. Throw in the recent sale of alcohol at Kentucky state parks and booze may never have been easier to get. Bottoms up.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
Moon rock on display at US Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, AL (Big Think/Matt Carlstrom)In 1973, NASA valuated moon rocks at $50,800 per gram –– or over $300,000 today when adjusted for inflation. That figure doesn't reflect the value of the natural resources within the rock, but rather the cost of their extraction.
Researchers believe that the practice of sleeping through the whole night didn’t really take hold until just a few hundred years ago.
She was wide awake and it was nearly two in the morning. When asked if everything was alright, she said, “Yes.” Asked why she couldn’t get to sleep she said, “I don’t know.” Neuroscientist Russell Foster of Oxford might suggest she was exhibiting “a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern." Research suggests we used to sleep in two segments with a period of wakefulness in-between.
Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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