Sunday, April 17, 2005


Legislation hits the "Irish disease"

Ireland is initiating legislation designed to reduce binge drinking. The idea is to facilitate the licensing of new drinking establishments that promote safer drinking practices such as requiring these licensees to provide hot meals along with alcohol, limit pub hours, etc.

I've never been to Ireland but I'm told that alcohol consumption is their national pastime analogous to our sport of baseball. To me, the Irish attitude towards drinking is best characterized by the following anonymous aphorism:

"An Irishman is not drunk so long as he can reach down, take hold of a blade of grass and not fall off the face of the earth."
Certainly the essence of romantic imagery.

As a side note, the Irish are noted to be among the heaviest of European drinkers consuming an average of 4.5 gallons of pure alcohol per year. I found this statistic to be quite startling (and worthy of admiration) until I calculated that that corresponds to a paltry 2.63 standard 1.5 ounces of drinks of hard alcohol per day (see calculations below). Terribly disappointing.

For those wishing further enlightenment regarding the joys and perils of alcoholism, I refer you to this public service website.

40% (80 proof) alcohol for average distilled spirit
1.5 oz distilled spirit/drink = 0.6 oz alcohol/drink

4.5 gallons/yr = 576 oz/yr
576 oz/yr = 960 1.5 oz drinks/yr
960 1.5 oz drinks/yr = 2.63 (1.5 oz) drinks/day (assuming 365.25 days/yr. After all, drinking rarely stops on leap years)

(I cannot vouch for the accuracy of these calculations due to my above average alcohol consumption last night)

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?