Do I sense that
there is a new Bond Film due to be released and this is a sponsored plug for it?
James Bond's famous preference for shaken martinis is probably due to the fact that his heavy drinking means that his hands tremble so much he actually lacks the coordination to stir them, according to a festive-season medical research study. "We conclude that James Bond was unlikely to be able to stir his drinks, even if he …
When I first read reports about this study (maybe on El Reg, maybe elsewhere) I kept having this recurring vision.
I'm sitting on a plush leather chair stroking a white cat as my secretary escorts one of my minions into the office. "Jaws, I have a job for you," I begin as I toss him photos of the doctors who authored the report.
If you read the report on the Beeb, they make it quite clear for the rabid Daily Mail crowd (which you appear to be a part of based on your comment) that the Doctors did this report as a laugh in their spare time. They did not do it in their work time, so quit your belly aching about them doing more productive things. They were off work, and managed to come up with a study that might just convince a few people to slow down on the booze over Xmas.
What have you done to try to make the world better in your spare time?
More to the point, do these doctors have nothing better/more productive to do?
Yes, God forbid they spend a weekend having a bit of a lark. How dare they do anything for their own amusement?
Well, AC, we can't all be saints. I suppose we sinners should count ourselves lucky that we have your example to aspire to.
"**Each unit is roughly half a pint of beer or one pub measure of spirits. If you as a man have one large/normal gin-&-tonic or one lonely beer on five days each week, for example, that's your lot. You cannot have any more booze than that - according to the government."
I assume that you're mid-research, drinking heavily, and hence counting each finger twice.
1 pint = 2 units (fairly mild stuff). x5 days = 10 units (call it 15 if you have decent beer). That's rather less than the recommended amount. Likewise, it would be 5 Units if you just had a 25ml G&T. Indeed, you can drink a pint of fizzy lager stuff AND a single G&T every day of the week, and you'd be then hitting the recommended 21 Units, or just stick to proper beer and still neck a pint every single day and be inside recommendations.
> 1 pint = 2 units (fairly mild stuff)
Very mild stuff. That's for 3.5% ABV beer, which is less than most stuff available these days.
Most beers you see these days are between 2.5 and 4 units per pint.
I've got some Gouden Carolus for Chrimbly which comes in at 6 units per pint. And it's gorgeous :-)
>a bottle and a half of wine (or corresponding amount of concentrate) every day. That is alcoholism level
>consumption by any standard.
Not in the Georgian era.. I seem to recall that a gentleman of the era would routinely get through 2-3 bottles of wine a day.
Strangely enough, I appear to have just bought two Georgian-pattern high-capacity glasses. Hic haec hoc!
If I had to wake up every morning, try to save the world, risk getting my balls slapped with a heavy knotted rope, suffer jet lag permanently, endlessly watch my favorite lovely lady getting fed to the lions etc I would probably be on drugs, slightly alcoholic and probably have a very bad attitude..
James Bond actually fares quite well considering the odds.
The yanks got men that wear capes and spandex, we were lucky and got James Bond.....
Long live Bond, James Bond
>Most of us aren't Double O assassins, of course, and a Bond-esque boozing level of half a bottle of spirits per day - let alone a Fleming-esque full bottle a day - will indeed shorten our lives noticeably
Given alcohol's well-documented effects I would have thought that that half bottle would shorten James' survival odds during car chases, sniper target duty, piloting failing aircraft and other random mayhem requiring superlative coordination quite a bit.
More so than being tipsy endangers us in our heroic struggles with rampaging computer mice, punishing annual performance reviews and badly-styled Powerpoints (TM).
But that's just my ill-informed self. Thanks for putting me right ;-)
Carry on, James.
Meanwhile, in other studies where government consumption guidelines are followed, marijuana causes you to go on homicidal rages, forget your baby in the swimming pool, fail in school, drive recklessly, rob your friends and neighbors, engage in premarital sex and, most tellingly, to engage in homosexual behavior with your dealer in order to score another hit. All of those things were once in anti-marijuana campaigns here in the US.
It doesn't matter what the vice or issue is, there is always somebody out there who will position worst case possibilities as near certainty and use popular culture images in their examples. Christ, even the 'real' Superman was once depicted by the New York State Republican Party as being a petty criminal, willing to kill, because he grew up without his father as a role model.
If you go back and look at all the 'studies' of fun substances and activities it's easy to see why people who know nothing about a subject will often spout off with insane statements whenever that subject comes up. You'd think people would be able to look into something and assess risks for themselves, but I suppose that means they'd have to assume responsibility for their decisions. Can't have that.
"It doesn't matter what the vice or issue is, there is always somebody out there who will position worst case possibilities as near certainty ..."
You ought to read up on Seventh Day Adventist and Mormon research on the evils of caffeine. It gives terms like "anecdotal" and "cherry picking" new meaning.
"there is always somebody out there who will position worst case possibilities as near certainty"
And then there's people like me that'll cherry pick an article that makes their claims look stupid: http://www.weirduniverse.net/blog/comments/no_water_for_25_years/
To wit: Dr. Walter G. Kendall, age 81. A dentist, bicyclist, and horticulturalist, drank a glass of water.
It was the first glass of water he had drunk in 25 years.
He reportedly "suffered no ill effects," and followed it by several cocktails.
FFS, he's not like "the Doctor" and regenerates, they are different actors - of course it is fiction! They make have thrown a little tradecraft in since Daniel Craig took over the role but its still fantasy and a little bit of satire.
BTW, my best friend tries to treat alcohol and women similar to Bond (inability to deal with reality and contempt for the opposite sex), and he looks like a tramp (at 44 years old.). Not an advisable career choice.
as to how Bond liked to leave his women.
The books generally don't have much to do with the films (Moonraker being the worst, where the only similarity was the name of the villain), and their whole attitude would be unacceptable today but as Lewis said, they are works of fiction not a life guide.
As the physician who was asked to provide the maximum *allowed number of alcohol units for consumption freely admits to pulling the number out of his arse, then it follows that any critique of a subject's drinking that relies on these units is by definition , bollocks; when applied to a fictional character, doubly so.
*All hail Nanny!
One of the (many) fundamental failings of the "recommended maximum units of alcohol per week" nonsense is that is assumes that the effects of alcohol are discrete and linear. There is no mechanism for, e.g., factoring in the positive effects of alcohol in managing stress, so someone with a high stress job might genuinely be able to absorb more units with beneficial effects, before the negative effects starts to outweigh the positive ones.
Another ignored phenomena is that, for some individuals, drinking is a displacement activity that displaces other, more harmful, actions (over-eating, narcotics, etc). For this population, although alcohol may (or may not) be problematic in itself, it is less problematic than the alternative.
Yes, the positive aspects of alcohol are always ignored by the killjoys. When I was nursing, I worked on a very progressive unit for the elderly where, as a team, we decided that allowing our residents to be adults and have alcoholic beverages in the evenings if they wished was a good thing. We rapidly discovered that it reduced the need for sedation at night - definitely a bonus -, the number of falls, and, in those who drank ales and stouts, their need for laxatives went down. In addition, the patients and their relatives reported a marked improvement in quality of life measurements.
Fiction alert! We have this thing called "fiction", which means that people make up stories right out of their imagination. It pleased Ian Fleming to invent a person who behaved much as he himself did (smoking, drinking, driving fast cars, gambling, etc.) yet didn't suffer the ill consequences that Fleming inevitably did. (Granted, Fleming was somewhat older).
If you really want to see what an earnest concern for scientific facts and consistency can do to a beautiful fantasy, read Larry Niven's immortal demolition of Superman's romance with Lois Lane:
"Fiction alert! We have this thing called "fiction", which means that people make up stories right out of their imagination."
Doctors produce fiction as well.
Richard Smith, a member of the Royal College of Physicians working party that produced the recommendations, told the paper the limits were prompted by “a feeling that you had to say something”.
Seriously. Have these "Boffins" have nothing better for doing that working out how a fictional character would perform based on his penchant for drink? IT'S FICTION! ESCAPISM! It doesn't have to make sense!
And to think of all the hours they have spent working out all of this crap when they could've been working on a cure for cancer. The mind boggles.
"Seriously. Have these "Boffins" have nothing better for doing that working out how a fictional character would perform based on his penchant for drink? IT'S FICTION! ESCAPISM! It doesn't have to make sense!"
Yes they have, but they thought it would be more fun to read every James Bond book with a pencil and a tally-pad on-hand. I really don't have a problem with that. And if they've got their name in every newspaper and every UK media outlet and bought a few drinks for their efforts then frankly: good work!
Have you not ever played a drinking game while watching a film, or read a book and then discussed it?
There are many benefits to shaking over stirring, depending on what you require the outcome of the drink to be. Mixing will combine both flavours into an even blend, this can be done with tea with milk for a different flavour of the same ingredient. And whilst this is subtle to most the difference can be considerable.
Stirring a drink layers the flavours in a different way, this will create noticeable differences between different cocktail makers, depending on how fast it is stirred, how long for and also what angle.
I believe what Mr Bond is in fact doing is burtonising the drink, so that it tastes the same no matter what bar he is frequenting.
Connoisseurs of martinis will tell you that only a phillistine would ask the drink to be shaken; stirring is better for some reason -- shaking "bruises" the drink or some such nonsense. The line in the books was "Stirred, not shaken" -- which was intended to display to the reader that Bond was a connoisseur. When they started making the films, one of the writers realised that "Shaken, not stirred" just sounds better, so they went with that, making a mockery of the whole thing.
Me, I'm not a connoisseur of vodka martinis, but will generally ask for Plymouth rather than London gin.
Um, I'm pretty sure that's not the case. This is a good excuse to go back and read the novels. My recollection is that Bond's insistence on his (vodka, not gin) martinis be shaken reveals his common roots -- that despite the tux and the debonair attitude, he was the son of a prostitute, an abandoned orphan groomed by MI6 into a successful assassin. That his suavity and poise was a thin shell over an unprincipled, low born killer.
In Thunderball, M sent Bond to a health clinic because of his poor results in a physical assessment due to all the booze and fags.
Bond got into a squabble with one of the SPECTRE guys and got stretched on a rack, so it wasn't that great for his health ultimately. Boiled him in a sauna by way of revenge though, which was quite classy.
Bond drinks so much as a form of self-medication against the psychological damage which makes him an ideal 00 agent: the man's clinically depressed, almost suicidally so.
I'm not sure how the good doctors managed to read all the novels totting up Bond's units without noticing that part of the picture, nor what it says for how much attention they pay to the symptoms with which their patients present.
My mother refuses to see a GP unless they're a smoker, as non-smoking GPs will simply blame every single symptom of everything on her smoking and thus not notice if anything else is wrong with her. (And she used to be a big cheese in the NHS, so knows of what she speaks.)
As far as I'm concerned any spy, assassin or high level politician who doesn't drink, too much, is a serious psychopath and should be disqualified from holding the job.
If someone is sacrificing themselves for what they perceive as the greater good, but those decisions make them so sick with grief and remorse that they attempt to dilute that with booze that makes them a normal Human. When they're all clear eyed and driven and have no debilitating psychological side effects that makes them a dangerous lunatic.
As little as I like Obama, or even Bush MkII, I have greater respect for them because both are famously worried about their impacts on others. The emotional baggage is a big part of why Bush was never at the White House and Obama drinks constantly. Cheney or Putin on the other hand are scary fuckers. Cheney only drinks socially (and not at all anymore as the child's heart he is currently using can't handle it) and Putin is a teetotaler, the decisions those guys make don't bother them at all, and that's really bad.
Presumably by this "medical" analysis, the Russians couldn't have shot straight enough to drive the Germans back thousands of miles from Stalingrad, Moscow, et al. Bond is exceptional, much like Chuck Norris, not Charles Bukowski in a tux. I've known people who could drink all night, take an hour nap, and be at peak form. Not for amateurs.
You can't "bruise" vodka or vermouth, any more than you can preserve the memory of the original molecules in a homeopathic solution.
For those seeking a justification for the movie version, shaking dilutes the drink more than stirring and might make cheap Russian vodka more drinkable
It's been awhile since I read the novels, but I think Fleming even covered this in the books. It was, I think, You Only Live Twice where Bond contemplates that he's in his early forties, has a few years until retirement, "too many years", and he'll probably be dead before then. The novels made it clear that Double-0 agents had a very short life expectancy, and it's natural to assume that they would spend that time living it up without thought to golden years that they will most likely never reach.
This is not rocket science. The only interesting thing about the study is that someone got paid to do it.
"Researchers" coming out with a study stating that shouting bad latin and waving a stick around will not make lightning bolts materialise out of nowhere to strike your foes?
Or that 90% of the stunts depicted in Fast & Furious XXXVII cannot be done due to the physical limitations of the infernal combustion engine?
What pisses me off most about this article, is that El Reg has insulted true boffins everywhere by calling the wanksticks that did this study, as "boffins".
<- No Shit Sherlock, cos the outcome of this study was fucking obvious before they even started.
Been there, done that, nursed the long termers and the Korsakoff's psychosis patients, steered friends through alcoholism. I still despise the insultingly artificially low limit* that, as mentioned before, was pulled out of hat, and the guilt-induction by medical and related staff if anyone admits to going to as many as 25 units a week!!!**
*I have the same opinion about the BMI.
** To be clear, I rarely drink 21 units a month, let alone a week.
The choice of drink and when in the plot it is taken says a lot more than that. I think Fleming meant it as a subtle but powerful affirmation of Bonds character, that he is often shaken rarely ever stirred by events in his tumultuous life as a secret agent.
Through the deaths of many love interests, and other life changing events to any normal person, he maintains a philosophically cool, calm and collected composure of a British aristocrat, from a family with a long tradition of military service. Cleverly ensuring the Bond character could never be hijacked by any other country, those awfully brash Americans in mind, or any other class.
In ordering one drink he makes a statement about class, culture, tradition, responsibility, sacrifice, service to Queen and country. All the very best of British.
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