Oscar Wilde-Themed Bar to Open in NYC

A new bar opening up this month in New York City will look like a Victorian literary fan’s fever dream. Oscar Wilde, which will open in late June of this year, according to Time Out New York, is an intense homage to the 19th century Irish writer, to say the least.

The duo behind the bar, Tommy Burke and Frank McCole, already own a pair of New York City venues with a Wilde-adjacent theme. Lillie’s Victorian Establishment is named after one of Wilde’s friends, the actress and socialite Lillie Langtry, whose portrait hung in his living room.

An interior shot of a bar with opulent antique decor

When The New York Times got a glimpse at the future digs of Oscar Wilde NYC during its construction, the paper described its decor as "Lillie’s on steroids," and even if you haven't been to Lillie's, the "steroids" part is suitably evocative. Oscar Wilde looks like it was designed by a hoarder who deals 19th century European art. It's packed with marble lions, multiple antique fireplaces, and historic imports like glass panels from Italy, a Belgian player piano, and an English standing clock (plus 24 smaller timepieces). There are multiple statues of Wilde himself. It sounds a bit cramped, but there's plenty of space to park yourself with a drink—the mahogany bar is being touted as the longest in the city at almost 120 feet.

A view of the large wooden bar that reads "Wilde Whiskey Times" above

Like the space, the cocktails are designed to be opulent: The drink menu is "Champagne focused," according to a press release. "Extravagance is always in season," as the bar’s website proclaims. "Just like Wilde himself, we believe life should be lived to its fullest, with a touch of sophisticated debauchery."

The place hasn’t even opened yet, and it’s already living up to that mission. At the point that the Times took a look around in December 2016, estimates for the cost of decking out the space had reached $4 million.

[h/t Time Out New York]

All images courtesy Oscar Wilde NYC

Toddlers Are Now Eating as Much Added Sugar as Adults

We know excessive amounts of added sugar can lurk in foods ranging from ketchup to juices to “health foods” like protein bars. We also know Americans get too much of it, often consuming up to 19 teaspoons daily, exceeding the American Heart Association’s recommended limit of 6 to 9 teaspoons a day. That adds up to 66 ill-advised pounds of the stuff per year.

A new study that came out of the American Society for Nutrition’s conference last week demonstrates an even more alarming trend: Toddlers are eating nearly as much sugar every day as is recommended for adults.

The study, which was organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, examined survey data collected between 2011 and 2014 for 800 kids aged 6 to 23 months. Based on parental reporting of their food intake, the tiny subjects between 12 and 18 months old took in an average 5.5 teaspoons of added sugar per day. Older kids, aged 19 to 23 months, consumed 7.1 teaspoons. That’s at or near the recommended intake for a fully grown adult.

In addition to health risks including weight gain and reduced immune system function, sugar-slurping babies stand a greater chance of carrying that craving with them into adulthood, where complications like diabetes and heart problems can be waiting. The AHA recommends that parents avoid giving their kids sweetened drinks and snacks and look out for creative nutritional labels that disguise sugar with words like “sucrose” or “corn sweetener.”

[[h/t Quartz]

Science Has a Good Explanation For Why You Can't Resist That Doughnut

Unless you’re one of those rare people who doesn’t like sweets, the lure of a glazed or powdered doughnut is often too powerful to resist. The next time you succumb to that second or third Boston cream, don’t blame it on weak willpower—blame it on your brain.

As the New Scientist reports, a Yale University study published in the journal Cell Metabolism provides new evidence that foods rich in both carbohydrates and fats fire up the brain’s reward center more than most foods. For the study, volunteers were shown pictures of carb-heavy foods (like candy), fatty foods (like cheese), and foods high in both (like doughnuts). They were then asked to bid money on the food they wanted to eat most, all while researchers measured their brain activity.

Not only were volunteers willing to pay more for doughnuts and similar foods, but foods high in carbs and fat also sparked far more activity in the striatum, the area of the brain where dopamine is released. (Chocolate is one of the foods most commonly associated with increases in dopamine, working in the same way as drugs like cocaine and amphetamines.)

Presented with these findings, researcher Dana Small theorized that the brain may have separate systems to assess fats and carbs. Modern junk foods that activate both systems at once may trigger a larger release of dopamine as a result.

This study doesn’t entirely explain why different people crave different foods, though. Much of it has to do with our habits and the foods we repeatedly gravitate towards when we want to feel happy or alleviate stress. Another study from 2015 found that certain treats associated with high levels of reward in the brain—like pizza, chocolate, chips, and cookies—were considered to be the most addictive foods (doughnuts didn’t make the top 20, though).

It's still possible to turn down foods that are bad for you, though. While many people try to improve their self-control, one of the most effective ways to avoid an undesired outcome is to remove the temptation completely. Free doughnuts in the break room? Stay far away.

[h/t New Scientist]


More from mental floss studios