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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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A Simple Way to Charge Your iPhone in 5 Minutes
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Spotting the “low battery” notification on your phone is usually followed by a frantic search for an outlet and further stress over the fact that you may not have time for a full charge. On iPhones, plugging your device into the wall for five minutes might result in only a modest increase of about three percent or so. But this tip from Business Insider Tech may allow you to squeeze out a little more juice.

The trick? Before charging, put your phone in Airplane Mode so that you reduce the number of energy-sucking tasks (signal searching, fielding incoming communications) your device will try and perform.

Next, take the cover off if you have one (the phone might be generating extra heat as a result). Finally, try to use an iPad adapter, which has demonstrated a faster rate of charging than the adapter that comes with your iPhone.

Do that and you’ll likely double your battery boost, from about three to six percent. It may not sound like much, but that little bit of extra juice might keep you connected until you’re able to plug it in for a full charge.

[h/t Business Insider Tech]

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Trying to Save Money? Avoid Shopping on a Smartphone
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Today, Americans do most of their shopping online—but as anyone who’s indulged in late-night retail therapy likely knows, this convenience often can come with an added cost. Trying to curb expenses, but don't want to swear off the convenience of ordering groceries in your PJs? New research shows that shopping on a desktop computer instead of a mobile phone may help you avoid making foolish purchases, according to Co. Design. Ying Zhu, a marketing professor at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, recently led a study to measure how touchscreen technology affects consumer behavior. Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, her research found that people are more likely to make more frivolous, impulsive purchases if they’re shopping on their phones than if they’re facing a computer monitor. Zhu, along with study co-author Jeffrey Meyer of Bowling Green State University, ran a series of lab experiments on student participants to observe how different electronic devices affected shoppers’ thinking styles and intentions. Their aim was to see if subjects' purchasing goals changed when it came to buying frivolous things, like chocolate or massages, or more practical things, like food or office supplies. In one experiment, participants were randomly assigned to use a desktop or a touchscreen. Then, they were presented with an offer to purchase either a frivolous item (a $50 restaurant certificate for $30) or a useful one (a $50 grocery certificate for $30). These subjects used a three-point scale to gauge how likely they were to purchase the offer, and they also evaluated how practical or frivolous each item was. (Participants rated the restaurant certificate to be more indulgent than the grocery certificate.) Sure enough, the researchers found that participants had "significantly higher" purchase intentions for hedonic (i.e. pleasurable) products when buying on touchscreens than on desktops, according to the study. On the flip side, participants had significantly higher purchase intentions for utilitarian (i.e. practical) products while using desktops instead of touchscreens. "The playful and fun nature of the touchscreen enhances consumers' favor of hedonic products; while the logical and functional nature of a desktop endorses the consumers' preference for utilitarian products," Zhu explains in a press release. The study also found that participants using touchscreen technology scored significantly higher on "experiential thinking" than subjects using desktop computers, whereas those with desktop computers demonstrated higher scores for rational thinking. “When you’re in an experiential thinking mode, [you crave] excitement, a different experience,” Zhu explained to Co. Design. “When you’re on the desktop, with all the work emails, that interface puts you into a rational thinking style. While you’re in a rational thinking style, when you assess a product, you’ll look for something with functionality and specific uses.” Zhu’s advice for consumers looking to conserve cash? Stow away the smartphone when you’re itching to splurge on a guilty pleasure. [h/t Fast Company]

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