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How Drinking Can Solve All Your (Word Association) Problems

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Here's a gem for your next round of barstool trivia: a recent study shows that people who have a couple drinks solve brainteasers faster—and get more correct answers—than their sober peers.

Jennifer Wiley, of the University of Illinois in Chicago, asked 40 men to play a few mind games to test creative problem solving skills. Half of the men enjoyed two pints of beer or two glasses of wine, while the other half drank non-alcoholic beverages. Then Wiley presented them with a series of words such as peach, tar, and arm, asking them to find one word common to all of them. (The answer is pit, for our sober readers.) The men with an average blood alcohol level of .075 solved 40 percent more problems than their teetotaler peers, and took about 12 seconds to complete the tasks—3.5 seconds less, on average, than the sober guys.

While the researchers note that being tipsy impairs memory, it also caused people to act creatively to solve problems, suggesting that innovation occurs when people experience distraction.

"We tested what happens when people are slightly merry, not when people drink to extreme," Wiley told the Daily Mail. "The bottom line is that we think being too focused can blind you to novel possibilities, and a broader, more flexible state of attention is needed for creative solutions to emerge."

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Pop Culture
Mister Rogers Is Now a Funko Pop! and It’s Such a Good Feeling, a Very Good Feeling
Amazon
Amazon

It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood for fans of Mister Rogers, as Funko has announced that, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the kindest soul to ever grace a television screen will be honored with a series of Funko toys, some of them limited-edition versions.

The news broke at the New York Toy Fair, where the pop culture-loving toy company revealed a new Pop Funko! in Fred Rogers’s likeness—he’ll be holding onto the Neighborhood Trolley—plus a Mister Rogers Pop! keychain and a SuperCute Plush.

In addition to the standard Pop! figurine, there will also be a Funko Shop exclusive version, in which everyone’s favorite neighbor will be wearing a special blue sweater. Barnes & Noble will also carry its own special edition, which will see Fred wearing a red cardigan and holding a King Friday puppet instead of the Neighborhood Trolley.

 

Barnes & Noble's special edition Mister Rogers Funko Pop!
Funko

Mister Rogers’s seemingly endless supply of colored cardigans was an integral part of the show, and a sweet tribute to his mom (who knitted all of them). But don’t go running out to snatch up the whole collection just yet; Funko won’t release these sure-to-sell-out items until June 1, but you can pre-order your Pop! on Amazon right now.

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