Different Drinks Do Give You A Different Drunk, But Only Because You Expect Them To
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Does wine make you flirtatious? Do whiskey shots make you hostile? What about tequila—does it make you feel like a party animal? Here's the good news: the emotions you feel after drinking those drinks are very real. The bad news: you probably feel them just because you expect to.
Alcosynth Can Supposedly Get You Buzzed Without A Hangover
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It goes without saying that there are pros and cons to drinking alcohol. Some great pros, and some painful and dangerous cons. Most people like to enjoy a cocktail at a party for a sociable buzz. But going overboard means paying for it the next morning with dry mouth, nausea, and headaches. But the synthetic alcohol called Alcosynth could potentially be the booze alternative that strips away the cons while keeping the perks.
Sipping Espresso in Outer Space
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Though it might seem like a trivial perk for astronauts aboard the ISS, the development of an espresso machine that works in microgravity was actually a marvel of science and engineering. Created in collaboration between aerospace engineering firm Argotec and Italian coffee company Lavazza, every detail of the International Space Station's espresso machine was designed to handle the unique demands of fluid dynamics in low gravity. For example, the tubing, which is usually plastic on earthly machines, was swapped out for a sturdy steel that can withstand the immense pressure that's required to superheat water in space. The technology might be novel, but the rest is anything but: astronauts use the same Lavazza espresso capsules you'd find in a terrestrial grocery store, and the brew that results is virtually identical to standard Italian espresso, all the way down to a foamy layer of crema.
Key Facts to Know
The machine brews with superheated water. This requires a combination of heat and pressure, following the ideal gas law (PV=NRT). 0:49
Astronauts use zero-gravity coffee cups, which use surface tension to keep the espresso from floating away. 2:20
The water used comes from a combination of fresh and recycled sources, including distilled toilet water, sweat, and other waste. 7:02
Here's Why Taking A Shot Of Tequila Burns Your Throat
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Anyone who's ever taken a shot of hard liquor can tell you: it burns on the way down. But it's not the alcohol itself that's burning your throat. Instead, the ethanol in the liquid is making your throat's VR1 heat receptors more sensitive, prompting them to perceive your own body temperature as hot. (Of course, this doesn't mean you should do shot after shot without fear of consequences.) Learn more about the science of alcohol with the videos below.
Key Facts to Know
Alcohol triggers the VR1 heat receptor in your mouth and throat. 0:24
Ethanol and capsaicin both bind to the VR1 receptors in your mouth, but ethanol merely makes them more sensitive. 0:43
Ethanol lowers the activation threshold of your VR1 receptors, which means that your own body heat causes a burning sensation. 1:05
Cats And Dogs Drink Very Differently
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The most popular pets in the world might both drink from water bowls, but the ways in which they drink are quite different. In a general sense, dogs tend to be messier: they plunge their tongues past the surface of the water and curve them backwards into a scoop-shape, creating five times the acceleration of gravity as they pull them back into their mouths. This process creates a column of water that the dog catches and swallows. Cats, on the other hand, are a bit daintier. They don't go past the surface of the water with their tongues, preferring to lap without causing a splash. They pull up a smaller column of water, then close their mouths over it.