Birth of canned beer: Jan. 24, 1935
A new era in beer drinking begins in America when the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company puts 2,000 cans of its beer on sale in Richmond, Virginia. It’s the first time canned beer is available to the public and it’s an instant success. According to a survey taken soon thereafter, more than 90 percent of Krueger beer drinkers in the Richmond market say they like the idea.
In truth, Krueger executives had been dubious about how well beer in cans would work. But the American Can Company convinced them that it had come up with a special coating that would keep beer from chemically reacting with the tin inside the can. It helped that American Can agreed to install the canning equipment for free.
The can company had been working on putting beer in a can since 1909. But the containers couldn’t withstand the pressure from carbonation — up to 80 pounds per square inch — and exploded. Then Prohibition went into effect in 1920 and the project was put on hold.
But when the experiment was revived almost 20 years later, it was a very different story. Within three months, over 80 percent of distributors in the U.S. were handling Krueger’s canned beer, and Krueger’s was eating into the market share of the “big three” national brewers–Anheuser-Busch, Pabst and Schlitz. The big beer companies got the message and followed suit. By the end of that first year, more than 200 million cans of beer had been sold.
And beer in cans had some clear advantages. People who bought canned beer didn’t have to pay a deposit while those who purchased beer in bottles did. Cans were also easier to stack, more durable and took less time to chill. Some breweries tried out cans with conical rather than flat tops, but they didn’t stack and ship as easily.
As it turned out, cans were actually better for the taste of beer than bottles. Beer’s main enemies are light, oxygen and heat. A can’s complete opacity blocks out the light that can make a beer taste “skunked.”
Their popularity grew during the 1930’s, then took off during World War II, when U.S. brewers shipped millions of cans of beer to soldiers overseas. After the war, national brewing companies began to take advantage of the mass distribution that cans made possible, and were able to control their costs much better than the local breweries which had always dominated the beer business.
Today, canned beer accounts for approximately half of the $20 billion generated in beer sales in the U.S. every year.
Can't remember something? Close your eyes
Closing your eyes when recalling an event can help you remember sights and sounds more accurately, according to a study at the University of Surrey in the U.K. The researchers also said that if you also know the person asking you questions about an event, your recall is often better.
For the study, published in Legal and Criminological Psychology, scientists showed 178 participants a film of an electrician stealing from a house after completing a job. Four different groups were then asked 17 questions to recall what happened: those with eyes open, eyes shut, those who had a friendly introduction with the interviewer and those who didn’t.
Groups with eyes closed or a friendly rapport with the interviewer answered three quarter of the questions correctly. The other two groups were able to answer only 41 percent of the questions right. Similar results were seen in a second test, where volunteers were asked what they remembered hearing in a mock crime scene.
Even if you don’t have a relationship with a person questioning you, the researchers said that just closing your eyes can have a big impact on memory. They said that these techniques could help police when they’re questioning witnesses about a crime.
NEXT: The birth of canned beer
Many may mix alcohol with medications
A high percentage of Americans may drink alcohol while they’re taking medications, such as sleeping pills or blood pressure drugs, and that increases the chances that they’ll suffer side effects, notes new research at the National Institutes of Health.
The researchers analyzed surveys from 27,000 people age 20 and older who reported how much alcohol they drank during the past year, and which medications they used over the past month. They found that 41.5 percent of the people who reported drinking alchohol also were taking medications that could interact with it. The researchers determined that this seemed to be particularly common among older adults–almost 78 percent of people ages 65 and over reported both drinking and taking such medications.
The scientists pointed out that side effects tend to occur more frequently with older people because as their metabolism slows down, so does their ability to break down both alcohol and certain medications, “creating a much longer window for potential interactions,”
Medications ranging from sleeping aids to blood pressure drugs to pain pills can cause problems when when taken with alcohol, such as nausea, headaches, loss of coordination, internal bleeding, heart problems and difficulties in breathing.
Poor sleep in teenage years tied to risky behavior later
If a teenager has poor sleeping habits, he or she may be more likely to engage in risky alcohol or drug use or sexual behavior later, according to a study published in the journal _Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research. _
Researchers from Idaho State University analyzed data about sleep patterns and alcohol and drug use through a nationwide survey of 6,500 adolescents.They found that teenagers who reported trouble going to sleep at least once a week were more likely to binge drink, engage in sexual behaviour that they later regretted when drunk or take illicit drugs in the years to come.
The worse the sleep problem, the stronger the link seemed to be. Those who found it difficult falling sleep almost every day were 33 percent more likely to experience these issues than teenagers who found it easy to go to sleep. .
Researchers found the fewer the hours of sleep adolescents reported on average, the greater the odds they would subsequently experience a host of problems, including relationship issues triggered by alcohol misuse. But an extra hour of sleep seemed to offer some protection - each additional hour was linked to a decrease in the odds of binge drinking.
Study says kids should cut back on pizza
Pizza is now a major source of calories, saturated fat and salt for American kids and a team of researchers recommends that parents should start paying closer attention to how much of it their children eat.
Scientists at the Illinois Prevention Research Center analyzed questionnaires about the diets of children from ages two to 19 that were completed every two years between 2003 and 2010. And they found that on any given day, about 20 percent of the children ate pizza. And, on the days when they eat pizza, they end up consuming more saturated fat, more salt and more calories overall. On those days, teens consume an average of 230 extra calories, and younger children consume an average of 84 extra calories, compared with the days on which kids don’t eat pizza.
Those extra calories are similar to what occurs when children eat fast foods, according to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics.
The researchers suggested that parents limit their kids’ pizza consumption to one or two slices per meal and encourage them to balance it out with healthy food, like a salad. They also recommended that pizza manufacturers and restaurants do their part by reducing the saturated fat and salt levels and increasing the whole grain content of their pizz_as._
Stress lowers empathy for strangers
Stress may be the main reason we can have a hard time being sympathetic to strangers.
According to a new study, published in the journal Current Biology, a team of Canadian and American researchers determined that in both mice and humans empathy is stronger between those that recognize each other, and barely noticeable between strangers. They also recognized that for both mice and humans, stress levels rise in the presence of strangers.
For the study, the researchers tested both mice and students with a stress-blocking drug, and monitored their response to seeing another in pain. Mice that had the drug were more compassionate and empathetic to an unfamiliar mouse, than those without the drug. Students were asked to watch a stranger put their hand in a bucket and rate the level of pain. Those who took the drug rated higher levels of pain, had more pained facial expressions and even touched their own hands, compared to those without the drug.
Curious about how stress affects people when they meet someone new, the researchers had another group of unfamiliar students play a fun video game as an “ice breaker” before testing. After working together on the game, there was no longer stress between the strangers. Researchers say this suggests that while stress can block empathy, icebreakers are an effective way to reduce stress levels when meeting new people.