Feeds

Alcoholic Malaysian shrews cast doubt on UK booze panic

Research: Being drunk all the time is viable lifestyle

Intelligent flash storage arrays

In a shock development offering hope for the cohesion of British society - not to mention the finances of the British government and the operating model of the Reg - boffins have discovered that it is possible to live almost entirely on booze and yet remain fully functional.

At the moment, according to the latest research, the community containing the largest number of grog-soaked yet productive and orderly members is the pen-tailed tree shrew population of Malaysia. The diminutive, nocturnal alcoholic soricomorphs' favoured tipple is apparently fermented nectar from the buds of the bertam palm tree, which is about 4 per cent alcohol - roughly equivalent to bitter.

Boffins led by Frank Wiens of Bayreuth Uni in Germany said that the Malaysian shrews generally quaff sufficient palm tree alco-nectar that a human of the same size and habits would be drunk much of the time, according to the BBC. This was determined by analysis of the creatures' coiffure. Yet the boozed-up shrews spent little or no time lurching menacingly about the central gathering-places of the jungle, vomiting and scuffling incompetently with one another. Nor did they stumble home to their furry families only to receive a frosty welcome, followed by a night spent in the shrew equivalent of the coal shed, a nearby skip etc.

Rather, the cheery little fellows "barely seemed to get drunk at all," reportedly - they were more than able to hold their liquor. There may perhaps have been the odd stifled belch, hiccup or inadvertent furniture collision, then, but overall the shrews' evidently quite un-shrewish wives would be perfectly happy to have the vicar round at any time, despite the fact that they and their spouses' back teeth are usually awash.

Other scientists investigating the drinking habits of small furry animals have generally chosen more obvious methods, such as noting when rats became too drunk to remember things by the number of times they wandered onto a floor area which gave them painful electric shocks. (In that particular experiment, it was found that in fact a temperance regime destroyed the rats' memory faster than moderate boozing.)

All in all, the research would seem to have provided yet more proof - were it needed - that it's quite possible to drink like a fish (or indeed, as we would now say, like a shrew) and yet be an upstanding member of society. After all, as the boffins point out, all mammals including humans spring originally from small furry creatures like the tree shrew, which were around in the time of the dinosaurs.

And with Blighty's imperilled public finances now more than ever dependent on the swingeing mulcts laid upon the nation's drinkers, it's surely time for the present anti-booze hysteria to die down, and for us all to emulate our cheery, furry, diminutive ale-swilling remote ancestors. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.