четвъртък, 26 юни 2008 г.

Wine price trends

ECONOMICS is a highly specialised field. There is, for instance, an economics journal dedicated entirely to the economics of wine (aptly called the Journal of Wine Economics). A recent paper in that journal examined the effect of globalisation on American wine consumers. It turns out trade in wine has been a boon for American oenophiles:

For instance, the real price (in 1988 prices) for the basket of the entire Top 100 list [for the U.S.] was $4,313 in 1988; $3,132 in 1993; $2,533 in 1999; and $2,421 in 2004. That is nearly a 44% decrease in prices from 1988 to 2004. At the same time, there was no significant change in the quality of the wines on the Top 100 list...

Our econometric analyses show that the decreasing wine price over the past 17 years can be explained by the loss of shares of the Old World countries: Replacing a French wine with a U.S. wine lowers the average real price by 1.0%; an Australian wine by 1.1%; and a wine from non-incumbent countries by 1.5%. To put it differently, replacing an Old World wine (French, Italian, etc.) with a New World wine (US, Australia etc.) lowers the average real price by 1%. Replacing an Old World wine with a New-New World wine (Chile, South Africa etc.) lowers the average real price by 2.5%. The increased presence of newcomers puts significant downward pressure on prices.

Fascinating, but one question immediately comes to mind. What has recent dollar weakness meant for American wine drinkers? Less wine for the money, it seems. The real price of wine increased in 2004 and 2005 (the last year for which data was published). It's quite likely that trend has continued in subsequent years. What would be particularly interesting to know is whether the dollar's decline has boosted consumption, domestically and globally, of American wines, and whether that increased demand has affected the quality of American wine production.

вторник, 10 юни 2008 г.

'Slow movement' wants you to ease up, chill out

'Slow movement' wants you to ease up, chill out - ENTIRE ARTICLE LINK

-- Edgar S Cahn is fighting for your right to be lazy.

Other activists might devote their time to reversing global warming or saving the whales. But the 73-year-old attorney is battling to preserve a commodity that he says is more fragile than the environment and more precious than oil -- time.

Cahn is a leader in the "slow movement," a national campaign that claims that speed kills. Its leaders say that Americans are so starved for time, our need for speed is destroying our health, families and communities.

They say we live in a culture in which being overworked has become a status symbol. Cahn created TimeBanks USA, a nonprofit group that treats time as money, to put the brakes on people's high-velocity lifestyles.

TimeBanks members barter blocks of time known as "time dollars." One member may, for example, buy groceries for a stranger in exchange for someone else walking their dog.

петък, 6 юни 2008 г.

Physical manifestations of a hangover

Toasting the Joys of Imbibing Properly

Got a hangover? Search Google, and you’ll find a thousand home remedies, from mild palliatives (buttermilk, honey, bananas) to shock therapy (pickle juice, kudzu extract, raw
cabbage)। If you can drag yourself into Walgreens or Rite Aid, there’s usually a potion or two that promises relief।

The problem with these cures, the British novelist Kingsley Amis (1922-95) wrote in his now-classic 1972 book “On Drink,” is that they deal only with the physical manifestations of a hangover. What also urgently needs to be treated, he observed, is the metaphysical hangover — “that ineffable compound of depression, sadness (these two are not the same), anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear for the future” that looms on the grizzled morning after.

Amis’s ideas for curing a physical hangover were fairly routine, though a few of the crazier ones will make you laugh. (“Go up for half an hour in an open aeroplane, needless to say with a non-hungover person at the controls.”)

сряда, 4 юни 2008 г.

Red wine compound seen protecting heart from aging

I know this study is true since I have been doing the same experiments for years and my heart is definitely younger then many...I still fall in love, go to Bikram yoga, do Tai-Chi, run downhill from the Overlook spot above Sonoma and drink a lot of wine to confirm the tests.


Red wine compound seen protecting heart from aging

By Will Dunham

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A natural compound found in red wine may protect the heart against the effects of the aging process, researchers said on Tuesday.

In their study, mice were given a diet supplemented with the compound known as resveratrol starting at their equivalent of middle age until old age.

These mice experienced changes in their gene activity related to aging in a way very similar to mice that were placed on a so-called calorie restriction diet that slows the aging process by greatly cutting dietary energy intake.

Most striking was how the resveratrol, like calorie restriction, blocked the decline in heart function typically associated with aging, according to Tomas Prolla, a University of Wisconsin professor of genetics who helped lead the study.

Much as Spaniard Juan Ponce de Leon once searched for the mythical fountain of youth, researchers now are seeking ways to extend the quality and length of human life.

In some studies, animals given a diet with greatly reduced caloric intake have lived longer than animals with normal diets. But perpetual hunger is a steep price to pay for greater longevity, some researchers say.

Resveratrol, found in abundance in grapes and in red wine, has drawn a lot of interest from scientists and some companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, which in April said it would pay $720 million to buy Sirtris Pharmaceuticals Inc, a company that is developing drugs that mimic the effects of resveratrol.

Some studies have shown that in high doses, resveratrol extended the life span of fruit flies and worms and prevented early death in mice fed a high-fat diet. Continued...