Hangovers: drunken readers offer hope

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Letters Welcome to the last Reg letters of 2005 - an unsuprisingly swift trawl through what was left in the bottom of the mailbag after the Xmas hangover wore off. More on hangovers in a minute. Try this for openers, regarding ETL - whatever the hell that is:

Since I don't have a clue what ETL (or even Extract, Transform and Load) means, I have to fall back on the components of Kettle: Spoon, Pan, Chef and Kitchen, and remind you of the fascinating Microsoft Technet KnowledgeBase article whose subject was: "Kitchen: Selecting Blendolini Causes Choco-Banana Shake Hang [Q157668].

SYMPTOMS Your computer may randomly stop responding (hang) in the Choco-Banana shake recipe if you wait more than 10 seconds to select the blender after you receive the "Time to Blend" prompt. After adding the last ingredient to create the Choco-Banana shake, the Chef's Assistant prompts you to choose the blender. If you wait approximately 12-15.4 seconds before choosing the blender, the recipe stops responding. WORKAROUND If the recipe hangs, exit the Choco-Banana shake recipe. The rest of the program should work properly. When you return to the Choco-Banana shake recipe, make sure you click the blender within 10 seconds of the 'Time to Blend' prompt."

I thought this was considerably more informative than your article!

John Gray

Hmmm. Now, something a little more useful: how to avoid a hangover without resorting to the unthinkable (ie, not drinking). Our somewhat non-serious look at the shocking news that hangover cures don't work, provoked the following from Alex Dubinsky:

Sigh, when will these bullshit studies that do a little investigation and then jump to entirely inappropriate conclusions end? Or maybe it's the journalists' fault.

Anyway, the researchers found that no remedies TAKEN IN THE MORNING work. I doubt even that is true (especially pain relievers--codein will cure anything), but it says absolutely nothing about the products that have recently appeared that direct you to take them while drinking.

For fuck's sake, one treatment definately works. Drinking water and staying hydrated while drinking and before you sleep will make you feel enormously better in the morning. Also, waiting to sleep till you've sobered up helps me a lot.

But nooo, the headline "nothing works, period" is infinitely more appealing. Shame on you, Register. I think you're turning into a dumb tabloid.

We think you may be taking this a bit too seriously. In any case, the science behind the study might not be as robust as Reg readers normally demand:

About your hangover cure story.. It's not quite that simple. If you actually check the paper in british medical journal (http://bmj.bmjjournals.com/cgi/reprint/331/7531/1515) you'll find out 2 facts

1. It's metastudy. That is, they just gather results from other studies. So no new research was carried out. 2. They discarded most "cures" because the studies under study were not performed via scietific method or had too small sample or..

For example, ibuprofen was not included in the actual paper. Neither was, ahem, breakfast beer. One helps for hangover headache, other on hangover symptoms as many people know..

Nah, there's no hangover cure, except for getting drunk again, but at least there's remedy for the stonemasons.

Olli Männistö

No cure, eh? Read on...

Ok, to prevent that hangover: Before bed, take milkthistle. It will help your liver process the alcohol and its derivates faster. Also, take b vitamins. Antioxidants help protect your cells from the damaging chemicals that metabolism of alcohol creates. That's basically it. Drink some water if you are dehydrated.

Enjoy, Blake Davis

Serious drinkers know that a hangover can be avoided by the simple mechanism of not becoming sober. In the event that sobriety cannot be postponed (or-- better yet-- even avoided permanently), drinking a large glass of water and taking a B-complex multivitamin before passing out helps a great deal.

I think part of the problem lies with the group of people conducting this survey: "That, says Reuters, is the conclusion of a crack team from the Peninsular Medical School at Exeter University which tested pretty well every conceivable concoction - from aspirin to prickly pear - but found all of them ineffective."

I wouldn't relay on someone using crack to perform reliable research about hangovers, much less count on a whole "crack team" to produce sensible results. However, one should at least congratulate Exeter for being open-minded about such things.

Nevertheless, I wonder if they tested Marinol? After all, the active ingredient in Marinol is known to chemists as "Tetra- Hydra- Cannabinol", which is sometimes referred to as the "True Hangover Cure".... :-)

Chuck Swiger

1/ Vibtil, a Belgian medicine against liver diseases taken as an "anti-conceptive" or as a "morning after" pill ;) No prescription needed! 2/ 1L of water, drunk just before going to bed (For all those unfortunate enough not living in Belgium)


Fabrizio Marana

Oh, My, God! Is it possible, in this Internet age, that people still don't know THE cure for hangovers? Water is the one single, safe and certain answer! Drink as much water as your stomach can take just before getting to bed, and you're brand new in the morning. That's all there is to it. Of course, there's the issue of forgetting to drink it -- but that's not the cure's problem, it's the user's (yes, I'm a programmer).


FYI - from the secrets of college survival. . .

A quart of water (yes that means be near the loo or a convenient bush) every 3-4 oz hard liqour or 6 pack of beer help alot. Hangovers result from the body's need of large quantities of water to process alcohol. Apparently the joints and brain are the best places to get it.

Best way to not be affected (besides absitence) is to down a 8 oz bottle of olive oil every couple hours. Besides providing another punishment for your vice, it lines the tummy and causes you to piss the high priced beverage out without hardly a buzz.

Happy New Year


All of the above will come as a great relief to those of you who are bracing yourselves for a New Year's Eve liver bashing. And this year, we have an extra second's drinking time. Marvellous - or is it?

...but surely the right answer here is to make a tiny adjustment to the length of a second so that it is accurate? Anything less is simply bodging and as an IT professional I will have no truck with bodgers.

I know this "adding a second" workaround seems like a quick fix but these things add up and it's people like these so called "scientists" that cause untold trouble for time travellers everywhere.

Happy New Year, Mark Stanley xxx

Yes, Happy New Year to you too, and to all our beloved readership. Have a good one, and remember: El Reg recommends responsible drinking (= never mix absinthe, champagne, cider and sherry on an empty stomach. You have been warned). ®

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