1. Boost your brain with beer

    Beer! It's one of life's greatest guilty pleasures -- but I've never understood why you've had to feel guilty about it at all.

    I've told you time and again how booze helps protect the heart, brain, and more. And now, a new study shows how beer in particular can make you smarter.

    We're not talking "smarter over time" or "beer drinkers tend to be smarter" but an actual, measurable boost in problem-solving skills the moment you even smell those hops.

    In a series of experiments, researchers from the University of Illinois in Chicago asked 40 young men to play a drinking game. (And no, it wasn't beer pong.)

    It was a word game. The researchers gave three words, and the men had to find a fourth that fits the pattern. For example, the researchers might provide "peach," "arm" and "tar" and expect the men to answer with "pit."

    Just one thing about this drinking game: Only half of the men got to drink during it. They were given two pints each, while the rest had to play sober.

    Turns out sobriety isn't all it's cracked up to be, because the men who had the beer solved 40 percent more word puzzles. They even did it faster, averaging 12 seconds per puzzle -- versus 15.5 seconds among the non-drinkers.

    Naturally, there was also a downside. The researchers say that while a blood alcohol level of 0.07 led to better creative problem-solving skills, it also took a little off the memory.

    So, it's true. You can drink to forget (at least while drinking -- because over time, a moderate booze habit can actually help preserve memory).

    But if you have a problem that needs solving, don't just have one drink. Have a second one, too.

  2. More tattoos, more booze

    From the Department of Unsurprising Research: French scientists have "discovered" that people with multiple tattoos and piercings party harder than those without.

    No kidding.

    People who go overboard with body modification are pretty much announcing to the world that they have a wild streak. Why anyone would waste time and hard-to-get research dollars confirming this is beyond me.

    Maybe it was an excuse to hang around in bars on someone else's dime, because that's where this study was conducted. And as people left, the researchers gave them breathalyzer tests to see how drunk they were.

    Those with tattoos along with pierced nostrils, lips, and God-only-knows-what-elses had higher booze levels than those without.

    Again, no surprise -- especially since other studies have found that people with heaps of "body art" (as they like to call it) are more likely to have risky sex, beat each other up, and steal things.

    Obviously, the tattoos and lip-rings aren't causing any of this behavior. People who engage in this behavior simply have a dress code.

    I wouldn't worry about someone who gets a tattoo of an anchor, Marine Corps logo, or "ELSIE FORVER" inside a heart -- but clearly, if there's a youth in your family collecting ink and punching holes in his (or her) skin, don't just ignore it.

    Clearly, something's going on.

    And whether or not they're engaging in risky behavior now, they're bound to experience something else later on: Regret.

    Up to half of all people who get tattoos later wish they didn't.

  3. After a heart attack, drink up!

    Forget the PC nonsense -- moderate drinking is a HEALTHY habit, and a beer or two at the end of each day can actually protect your heart.
  4. Heart patients: Just 'do it'

    Bouncing back after a heart attack doesn't mean you have to stop bouncing in the bedroom. Sex is actually the SAFEST cardiovascular workout around, even for heart patients.
  5. Barking up the wrong tree on cholesterol

    Think statins have been a success? You ain't seen nothing yet: The drug industry is hatching a plan to get everyone -- and I mean everyone -- on not one, but TWO cholesterol meds. One to lower cholesterol... and one to raise it. You just can't make this stuff up!
  6. New push to limit booze

    A stiff drink at the end of a long day is one of life's greatest pleasures -- so naturally, some people are trying to rob you of it.
  7. Booze for the brain

    Researchers looked at data on some 365,000 patients who took part in 143 studies published since 1977 and found that a moderate drinking habit can slash the risk of Alzheimer's disease, dementia, and other forms of cognitive impairment by 23 percent.
  8. Shrinks try to nix booze for seniors

    I'm sick and tired of the mainstream treating seniors like children. ... Researchers from Britain's Royal College of Psychiatrists are urging their government to tell seniors they shouldn't have more than 1.5 units of alcohol a day. That's only half a bottle of beer!

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