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Scientists Want More Money to Research Hangover Cures

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By Keith Wagstaff

Scientists at University of California, Davis, apparently unsatisfied with the preferred post-drinking-binge remedy of Bloody Marys and breakfast burritos, are arguing that the U.S. needs to fund more research on hangover cures.

Why? Because the "related absenteeism and poor job performance" associated with hangovers costs U.S. companies $148 billion per year, according to NBCNews.com. That comes out to about $2,000 per working adult.

Also, hangovers are terrible. "We really don't know much about a hangover and it is an incredibly puzzling response — the symptoms only show up after all the alcohol is metabolized and gone from the body," Alyson Mitchell, a professor at the department of food science and technology at UC Davis, told NBCNews.com. "The fact that something is the most toxic after it has been eliminated from the body [is unusual]."

While there is no magic cure for the hangover yet, science has confirmed that eating a pepperoni pizza before hanging out with your bros was totally a good idea:

Prior to drinking, people should eat a high fat meal, something that includes olive oil, meat, or dairy. The fat coats the stomach, meaning it takes the body longer to absorb the alcohol. The day after drinking, eating eggs helps replace cysteine, an amino acid lost from alcohol consumption. Our bodies don't easily replenish the amino acid, and cysteine-rich eggs help restore it. [NBCNews.com]

The reason that hangovers aren't as fun as, say, The Hangover, is that alcohol is a diuretic — as is caffeine, which is one of many reasons you should never, ever drink a vodka and Red Bull. That's also why drinking a glass of water with each alcoholic beverage can help prevent future pain.

Mitchell is so committed to preventing that pain and stopping your mornings from feeling like hell on earth that she put her scientific mind to the task of finding the perfect hangover food. What she found was yakamein, a Chinese-influenced noodle soup that is especially popular in New Orleans, according to The Atlantic:

The big bowl of liquid is loaded with sodium to replace all the salts that your body whizzes away due to alcohol's diuretic properties. The unctuous brisket sits in your stomach like a heavy sponge, slowing down the body's absorption of alcohol. The B-complex vitamins in the green onions might help ease an impending headache by preventing an accumulation of glutaric acid. That egg plays a part, too, being full of a chemical called cysteine that removes noxious acetaldehyde from the system. [The Atlantic]

As tasty as that sounds, people might be better off if they could just pop an anti-hangover pill on their way to work. (Or maybe if they drank a little less.) We say if Obama can commit $100 million to map the human brain, perhaps he can commit a tiny bit of research money to make our brains not feel like someone's stabbing them with an ice pick after having one too many.

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travel
The Real Bay of Pigs: Big Major Cay in the Bahamas
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When most people visit the Bahamas, they’re thinking about a vacation filled with sun, sand, and swimming—not swine. But you can get all four of those things if you visit Big Major Cay.

Big Major Cay, also now known as “Pig Island” for obvious reasons, is part of the Exuma Cays in the Bahamas. Exuma includes private islands owned by Johnny Depp, Tyler Perry, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, and David Copperfield. Despite all of the local star power, the real attraction seems to be the family of feral pigs that has established Big Major Cay as their own. It’s hard to say how many are there—some reports say it’s a family of eight, while others say the numbers are up to 40. However big the band of roaming pigs is, none of them are shy: Their chief means of survival seems to be to swim right up to boats and beg for food, which the charmed tourists are happy to provide (although there are guidelines about the best way of feeding the pigs).

No one knows exactly how the pigs got there, but there are plenty of theories. Among them: 1) A nearby resort purposely released them more than a decade ago, hoping to attract tourists. 2) Sailors dropped them off on the island, intending to dine on pork once they were able to dock for a longer of period of time. For one reason or another, the sailors never returned. 3) They’re descendants of domesticated pigs from a nearby island. When residents complained about the original domesticated pigs, their owners solved the problem by dropping them off at Big Major Cay, which was uninhabited. 4) The pigs survived a shipwreck. The ship’s passengers did not.

The purposeful tourist trap theory is probably the least likely—VICE reports that the James Bond movie Thunderball was shot on a neighboring island in the 1960s, and the swimming swine were there then.

Though multiple articles reference how “adorable” the pigs are, don’t be fooled. One captain warns, “They’ll eat anything and everything—including fingers.”

Here they are in action in a video from National Geographic:

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Pop Culture
The House From The Money Pit Is For Sale

Looking for star-studded new digs? For a cool $5.9 million, Top10RealEstateDeals.com reports, you can own the Long Island country home featured in the 1986 comedy The Money Pit—no renovations required.

For the uninitiated, the film features Tom Hanks and Shelley Long as hapless first-time homeowners who purchase a rundown mansion for cheap. The savings they score end up being paltry compared to the debt they incur while trying to fix up the house.

The Money Pit featured exterior shots of "Northway," an eight-bedroom estate located in the village of Lattingtown in Nassau County, New York. Luckily for potential buyers, its insides are far nicer than the fictional ones portrayed in the movie, thanks in part to extensive renovations performed by the property’s current owners.

Amenities include a giant master suite with a French-style dressing room, eight fireplaces, a "wine wall," and a heated outdoor saltwater pool. Check out some photos below, or view the entire listing here.

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

The real-life Long Island home featured in 1986's “The Money Pit”
TopTenRealEstateDeals.com

[h/t Top10RealEstateDeals.com]

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