WET, upset, Beer and ciggies cost

Wakey, wakey

It’s taking time but more wine folk are waking up to the fact that the long loud call to government to change the WET system has backfired. This week an article appeared in The Canberra Times outlining the discontent of Frank van de Loo (Mount Majura Vineyard) and Ken Helm (Helms Wines) to the proposed tax changes.

Beer and a ciggie

The Annual Deutsche Bank’s annual Sin Index is always an interesting read. Beer and fags the simple staple forms of enjoyment for millions around the world. Ignoring the health issues they also gather vast amount of income for government coffers.

The most expensive city to drink beer and smoke with an average cost of $92.96 for a night out. A night out is five beers and two packets of cigarettes. Singapore is in second place $88.93

If only we knew

Alcohol: why do we drink it? Is the lead into an article by Claire Rostron a Senior Lecturer for, The Open University in The Conversation 25 May. She list the pros and cons the first the most obvious being people like the taste of it.

This Rostron puts down to us also liking sweet things apparently, “alcohol also seems to act on some of the same brain areas activated by sweet tastes.”

When a person says they want a drink they really are activing, “Dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in controlling reward and pleasure in the brain, plays a key role in motivated behaviour and is also associated with many forms of addiction.”

If the excuse it makes them feel better is used it could mean, “Stress is biologically mediated by the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis – a feedback system between the brain and the pituitary and adrenal glands. But acute alcohol consumption can stimulate this, increasing the production of several stress hormones including corticosterone and corticotropin. But the “stress” response also interacts with the reward effects from the dopamine system, so it may very well feel good.”

It may help overcome inhibitions but that is because the part of the brain associated with rational decision and good social behaviour is taken over by the mid brain dopamine neurons. Then it’s off with the kit and on the table dancing to Queen recordings from the 80s

Saying it helps aid sleep is neatly summed up as, passing out is not the same as sleeping. Using alcohol to ease pain is also a much touted reason Rostron argues, “Unfortunately, research suggests that this pain dampening effect is highly variable. And while some people do consume alcohol to help relieve chronic pain, it is possible for tolerance to occur such that pain relief lessens over time. Enhanced pain sensitivity may even happen in chronic drinkers.”

No it does not warm one up, in fact the sensation of warmth is false alcohol actually lowers core body temperature because the rush of blood to the skin’s surface is a means of body cooling. The last word to Claire Rostron

“All in all, alcohol has multiple effects on your mind and brain. If you do decide to have a drink, for whatever reason, do so knowledgeably.”

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