Booze Views

By Scott LaFee

March 11, 2015 4 min read

Perhaps it's a stretch to think of YouTube as, say, the voice of parental wisdom, but researchers at the University of Pittsburgh suggest it could do a better job of warning about the downside of untempered alcohol consumption.

Right now, they say, it sort of has the opposite effect.

The researchers mined YouTube for videos about alcohol intoxication using five keywords: drunk, buzzed, hammered, tipsy and trashed. They identified 70 videos with more than 333 million combined views. Very few of the videos, however, depicted the negatives of drinking too much.

—Seventy-nine percent mixed alcohol with humor.

—Twenty-four percent showed people driving while drunk.

—Eighty-nine percent involved men; only 49 percent involved women.

—Forty-four percent referenced a specific brand of alcohol.

—There were an average of 23.2 thumbs-up for every thumbs-down.

"While we know that some viewers may be savvy enough to skeptically view music videos or advertisements portraying intoxication as fun," said lead author Brian A. Primack, "those same viewers may be less cynical when viewing user-generated YouTube videos portraying humorous and socially rewarding escapades of a group of intoxicated peers."

Primack said the findings suggest YouTube is an untapped medium for getting out messages about the health consequences of alcohol consumption.

Body of Knowledge

Nerve impulses travel at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. A prickling pain travels at 67 mph; a burning pain at 4 mph.

Get Me That, Stat!

To meet its french fry needs, McDonald's consumes roughly 7.5 percent of the potato crop of the United States, according to Andrew Smith, author of the Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food.

Doc Talk

Flu in the knees: an arthritis flare-up in the joints.

Phobia of the Week

Friggatriskaidekaphobia, paraskavedekatriaphobia and paraskevidekatriaphobia: all terms for fear of Friday the 13th.

Best Medicine

A woman, out for a walk, notices a little old man rocking in a chair on his porch. Approaching him, she says: "I can't help noticing how happy you look. What's your secret for a long, happy life?"

The man replies: "I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day. I also drink a case of whiskey a week, eat fatty foods and never exercise."

"That's amazing!" exclaims the woman. "How old are you?"

"Twenty-six."

Observation

"Red meat is not bad for you. Now, blue-green meat, that's bad for you." — comedian Tommy Smothers

Medical History

This week in 1553, Ambroise Paré published his second edition of "Method of Curing Wounds Made by Arquebus and Arrows," a continuation of his revolutionary ruminations on the treatment of gunshot wounds. One key: using simple dressings and ointments rather than cauterizing hot oils. Paré's labors eventually earned him the nickname "Father of Modern Surgery."

Last Words

"The ladies have to go first. Goodbye, dearie. I'll see you later."

American millionaire John Jacob Astor IV (1864-1912) was traveling aboard the Titanic with his wife when it infamously struck an iceberg and began sinking. As he was preparing to board a lifeboat with his wife, a group of female passengers appeared on deck. Reportedly, he gave up his seat and spoke his final words to his wife. His body was later recovered.

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

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