Category: Amusements

A good way to avoid travel illness, but you better hurry

published date
October 24th, 2006 by

A good way to avoid travel illness, but you better hurry

I tried out Eurofly today, which has an all business class service between Milan and JFK. There are only 48 seats on the Airbus 319, and more remarkably only 6 were full (including mine)! I knew something was up when they seemed to recognize my name when I checked in.

Unlike on most flights I was not really worried about catching the flu from a fellow passenger. On the other hand with a 12.5 percent load factor this route may not last long.

However, there are a couple of downsides you might want to consider before boarding: a flight attendant who seemed to be sneaking cigarettes in the galley (stinking up the plane) and an electrical power system that didn’t work. Luckily I brought along two laptop batteries.

Will barf bag ads save Alitalia?

published date
October 23rd, 2006 by

Will barf bag ads save Alitalia?

Flew the overnight flight from Boston to Milan on Alitalia. The plane was less than half full and I understand the company is essentially insolvent.

But they seem to have a source of incremental revenue: advertising motion sickness pills on the barf bags (in Italian only). I’m not sure barf bag users appreciate reading an ad that essentially says, “I told you so.”

Alitalia may need to find some other source of salvation.

I always wondered why some decaf drinkers looked addicted

published date
October 13th, 2006 by

I always wondered why some decaf drinkers looked addicted

As a non-user of caffeine I sometimes look down a bit on the crowds lining up patiently for their Starbucks fix. It might as well be a methadone clinic, I sometimes think. But what puzzles me most is the people in line who are waiting for decaf. They seem just as committed as some of the others.

Here’s a clue as to why. From MedPage Today (‘Decaffeinated’ Coffee May Be Anything But)

Caffeine-averse patients who think they’re getting a free ride by drinking decaf at Starbucks, for instance, should know that it may be laden with the stimulant, claims not withstanding.

Those who consume multiple cups of purportedly caffeine-free java should be aware that their cumulative daily consumption could easily add up to 85 mg of caffeine, the dose found in an average cup of the real stuff, the authors warned in the October issue of the Journal of Analytical Toxicity.

And here’s the key line to show I wasn’t simply imagining things:

So-called decaf coffee may also contain just enough of the psychostimulant to foster dependence in caffeine-sensitive people, the authors suggested.

Echoes of “The Non-Fat Yogurt” episode from Seinfeld?

This just in: Parents still clueless

published date
October 3rd, 2006 by

This just in: Parents still clueless

Your parents didn’t know what you were up to. You don’t know what your kids are up to. And I’ll bet your kids won’t know what their kids are up to either. From MedPage Today (Parents in the Dark About Teens’ Drinking and Drugging):

Asking parents about adolescents’ substance use and abuse is essentially a waste of time, found a researchers team…

[According to the researchers,] “investigators could save time and resources by limiting the number of questions asked of parents so that only basic information regarding substance use is obtained, or by omitting parent reports about substance use altogether, particularly for older adolescents.”

Cocaine makes a comeback

published date
October 3rd, 2006 by

Cocaine makes a comeback

Two items on the cocaine front. From the Durham Herald-Sun:

Eric Clapton is playing “Cocaine” again. The recovering drug addict and alcoholic… stopped performing the song… when he first got sober.

“I thought it might be giving the wrong message…[b]ut further investigation proved… it’s an anti-drug song…” {I wonder what he means by “investigation.” — DW}

Clapton also said he missed paying “Cocaine,” …just purely from a musical point of view.”

Meanwhile, back in New York (Maker of New ‘Cocaine’ Drink Gets Scolding From Lawmakers):

Outraged… lawmakers denounced the manufacturer of a new, highly caffeinated soft drink called Cocaine yesterday and called for a boycott of the beverage, saying it glamorized an illegal and deadly stimulant…

[Cocaine’s website] …offers recipes for cocktails like Liquid Cocaine, Cocaine Smash, Cocaine Blast and even Cocaine Snort.

The Times article goes on to talk about “condemnation” and “withering criticism” by various experts. It’s actually kind of funny to see the Times get so huffy. Meanwhile, the CEO of the drink’s maker says, “There’s a lot of irony and wordplay.” Actually, not that much.

Surprisingly, no one’s bothered to mention cocaine’s protective powers against tasers.