Monday, June 22, 2009

Beer Goggles - Fact or Fallacy?

Last year researchers at the Manchester University published a study that said 'beer goggles' really do exist and the brain child behind the survey even published a formula to calculate their effect.

Many men have used 'beer goggles' to justify something they have regretted the morning after the night before.
This year some 'dickheads' from the University of Leicester are trying to rain on our parade as they try to chew up and spit out the only decent excuse us guys ever had for waking up the morning after a skinfull with the 'devil woman' lying next to you.........but if recent research is to be believed we can forget the 'beer goggles' excuse from now on!

A psychological study suggests that far from alcohol making men find women prettier, it might even have the opposite effect - making them less attracted to potential mates.
Apparently the demon drink also makes no difference to men's ability to judge a woman's age, and booze also makes no difference to a man's ability to guess a woman's age, the research found.

Scientists asked a group of 240 men and women in bars and cafes to look at photos of women and comment on their age and attractiveness.
Half the participants used in the experiment had consumed alcoholic drinks, with effects rated as 'relaxed and benign', 'blunted and disinherited,' 'boisterous and over-expressive', and 'unambiguously drunk.'

Some of the pictures of 10 young women aged 17 were digitally altered to make them appear younger or older. Make-up was also applied digitally to a number of images.
The findings showed that alcohol reduced the ability of women to guess the age of the photo models, but not men.
Both the effects of alcohol and prettifying a face with make-up had little effect on men's judgement.

Dr Vincent Egan, a Home Office advisor and his 'chuckle brother' colleagues, from the University of Leicester said: 'This study suggests that alcohol consumption and make-up use do not interfere with how old we perceive someone to be.'

Another interesting finding was that overall participants who drank alcohol actually rated all the women in the photos as less attractive, compared to the participants who hadn't drunk alcohol.

This seemingly flies in the face of the commonly held notion of 'beer goggles.' Participants consistently over-estimated the age of both mature and immature faces by an average of three and a half years.

Reporting their results in the British Journal of Psychology, the researchers wrote: 'Although alcohol limited the processing of maturity cues in female observers, it had no effect on the age perceptions of males viewing female faces, suggesting male mate preferences are not easily disrupted.'
'Beer goggles’ could really be the result of lowered inhibitions, or that people are more willing to take a risk.

They clearly didn't use subjects that were drunk enough. After only a few drinks when peoples' inhibitions loosen up it's much easier for them to be mean. You need to get people past that and to the pissed/drunk stage where people just don’t give a toss any more.

Eagan said: 'Men over-estimate women’s ages and this study backs that up' and added 'it also shows that drink has nothing to do with it.'

On a more serious note, they said the influence of alcohol should not be a mitigating factor in the case of a man accused of having sex with someone under-age.
'Our study suggests that even heavy alcohol consumption does not interfere with age-perception tasks in men, so is not of itself an excuse for apparent mistaken age in cases of unlawful sex with a minor,' they wrote.

However if the research from Manchester University needed confirmation then
the 'boffins' at Bristol University also claim ‘beer goggles’ really do exist, and it takes less than two pints to distort people's opinions.

According to one report, Vodka-drinkers were told to rate the appeal of 20 male and 20 female faces on a seven-point scale. The same faces were shown to volunteers who had consumed only soft drinks. The boozers scored the faces 10 per cent higher.
And the effect on men lasted up to 24 hours after alcohol consumption - giving blokes something more than just a hangover to worry about!

Scaremongering or not, in effect this report is saying one and a half pints is all it takes to make a bloke lose the ability to distinguish the difference between a beauty and a beast.

Once we've decided that 'beer goggles' are real, the next thing we need is a way to easily quantify the effect their having on our judgment in real time. That's where the easy to use Beer Google Calculator comes in handy, and is based on the formula originally developed by the geniuses at Manchester University.

Be sure to bookmark the Beer Goggle Calculator on your phone so that you can quickly find it in your time of need. And by 'time of need' I mean in a dimly lit soiled bar while you're waiting for drink number eleven.

As @ Monday 09 March 2009:

According to the World Health Organisation top of the table for per capita drinking in the World is Luxembourg (15.6 litres per capita) followed by Ireland, with the U.K not far behind at 13.7 litres.
Next is Hungary (13.6 litres), Moldova (13.2 litres), Czech Republic (13.0 litres), Croatia (12.3 litres) and Germany(12.0 litres).
We are ahead of Russia (10.3 litres) and also the United States (8.6 litres).

It remains to be seen if one of the upsides of this recession will be a fall in drinking as more people re-evaluate their lifestyles, values and finances!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

‘Best Bet Summer Special’ - English & Irish Lions Betting Tips with Betfair

Hello and welcome to my latest guest betting blog with Betfair. With the football all done and dusted for another season we now have to get our sports betting fix from somewhere else, and where better than South Africa for the British and Irish Lions tour.

Ahead of the main event there were six warm up games to get themselves primed for the World Champions. But Ian McGeekan’s men found it tough going at times. Here is a quick review of the action so far:

Royal XV 25-37 Lions

Royal XV (18) 25
Tries: Koch, Barnes, Roux Cons: Olivier, Viljoen Pens: Olivier 2

Lions (10) 37
Tries: Bowe, Byrne, Wyn Jones, O'Gara Cons: O'Gara 4 Pens: O'Gara 3

A slow start from the Lions saw them slip to an 18-10 half-time deficit, but a battling second half performance saw Tommy Bowe go over and Ronan O'Gara convert to reduce the Royal XV's lead. Late tries from Lee Byrne, Alun Wyn Jones and O'Gara saw a relieved Lions home to record an opening tour victory, against the stubborn Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace team in Rustenburg.

Golden Lions 10-74 Lions

Golden Lions (10) 10
Try: Frolick Con: Pretorius Pen: Pretorius

British and Irish Lions (39) 74
Tries: Roberts 2, O'Driscoll, Monye 2, Croft, Bowe 2, Hook, Ferris
Cons: Jones 6, Hook 3 Pens: Jones 2

As sluggish as they were in the tour’s opener the Lions were as slick, energetic and powerful in their second game as they finally put a marker down with an impressive and convincing win over the Golden Lions.
Tries from Brian O'Driscoll, Ugo Monye, Tom Croft and two from Jamie Roberts helped them into a 39-10 half-time lead at Johannesburg's Ellis Park. A brace from Tommy Bowe and further scores from Monye, James Hook and Stephen Ferris will have made South Africa sit up and take notice.

Cheetahs 24-26 Lions

Cheetahs (14) 24
Tries: Dumas, Du Preez, Uys Cons: Potgieter 2, Strydom Pen: Potgieter

British and Irish Lions (23) 26
Tries: Ferris, Earls Cons: Hook 2 Pens: Hook 4

Bloemfontein was the next venue on the list and a third Lions win out of three was secured, though they were severely tested against a determined Cheetahs side. Converted tries from Stephen Ferris and Keith Earls gave them a flying start. But when Ferris was sin-binned late on the Cheetahs took full advantage and closed the gap to just two points with eight minutes of the match still remaining. This set up a tense, nervy finish for the tourists but they stood firm and held on for a narrow victory.

Sharks 3-39 Lions

Sharks (3) 3
Pen: Kockott

British and Irish Lions (7) 39
Tries: Mears, Phillips, Fitzgerald, Byrne, Heaslip Cons: O'Gara 3, Hook
Pens: O'Gara 2

Things were much more straight forward against the Sharks in Durban. They would have been frustrated to only have a Lee Mears try to show for their first half efforts, as they dominated their Super 14 opponents. But they were more clinical in the second half with Mike Phillips, Luke Fitzgerald and Lee Byrne all going over. Jamie Heaslip completed the scoring right at the final whistle to give the scoreline a comfortable look.

Western Province 23-26 Lions

Western Province (12) 23
Try: Pietersen Pens: De Waal 4 Drops: De Waal, Pietersen

British and Irish Lions (18) 26
Tries: Bowe, Monye, M Williams Con: Jones Pens: Jones 2, Hook

As the first test gets ever closer so does the quality of the opposition and the Lions endured their toughest game yet, needing a late James Hook penalty to overcome Western Province in a soggy Newlands.
The Lions fell behind 9-6 early on but Tommy Bowes fourth try of the tour and a second from Ugo Monye gave them a 18-12 advantage at the break. Martyn Williams increased the lead but Western Province fought back and leveled the scores just after the hour. Defeat was looking a real possibility, before Hook held his nerve to calmly convert a long range penalty between the sticks with just three minutes remaining.

Southern Kings 8-20 Lions

Kings (3) 8
Tries: Mbiyozo Pens: Van der Westhuyzen

Lions (3) 20
Tries: Monye, penalty Cons: O'Gara 2Pens: O'Gara 2

The final warm-up game proved just as tough though coach Ian McGeekan will be pleased at the resilience showed after a second half onslaught by the Southern Kings. Jaco van der Westhuyzen put the Kings ahead early on before two O'Gara penalties and a Monye try put the Lions ahead. They pulled clear with a penalty try in the second half before a tight finish was ensured when Mpho Mbiyozo reduced the arrears.

The British and Irish Lions V South Africa – 20th and 27th June, 4th July.

Lets face it, these are the games everyone is waiting for. Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg play host to the three tests and The Lions will hope they can re-create the events of 1997 when they last toured South Africa.
On that occasion Jerry Guscott and Co. came away with a 2-1 series win, but the current crop of Lions will have to be at their best if they are to overcome the World Champions.

Betfair has variety of bets available if your want to bet on the Lions this summer.

Here is a selection to get you started:

Series winner:

South Africa 4/9 Lions 12/5 Draw 37/1

Series correct score:

Lions to win:
1-0 119/1 2-0 69/1 2-1 4/1 3-0 16/1

South Africa to win:
1-0 139/1 2-0 35/1 2-1 5/2 3-0 5/4

Drawn series:
0-0 999/1 1-1 69/1

Selected 1st Test Odds:

Lions 13/5 South Africa 2/5 Draw 33/1

Winning margin:

South Africa under 12.5pts 11/5 South Africa over 12.5pts 5/4
Lions under 12.5pts 7/2 Lions over 12.5pts 7/1

First team to score a try:

Lions 2/5 South Africa 6/5 No try 9/2

My 'best bet' prediciton:

The Lions victory in 1997 was based on a solid defensive unit, and I expect that to be the bedrock of any victory charge this time round. The Springboks have an imperious backline themselves and it is a tall order to expect the Lions to score a hatful of tries. Therefore I would back all the matches to be low scoring affairs. But in all honestly I can't see beyond the World Champions in this one.
I predict a 2-1 series win for the South Africans at 5/2.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Today's Latest Tabloid Transfer Gossip

With the 2008/09 football season only just complete transfer speculation is already rife up and down the country, and also abroad in as far as which players 'may' be joining what clubs in time for the new season in August.

Real Madrid, Manchester United, Lyon, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Tottenham, Sporting Lisbon, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, AC Milan, West Ham, AZ Alkmaar, FC Twente, Aston Villa, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Espanyol, Newcastle, Barcelona, Arsenal, Rennes, Everton, Birmingham, Blackburn, Coventry, Benfica, Olympiakas, Sunderland, Wolves, West Brom, Reading, Middlesborough, Wigan, Fulham, Derby, Colchester, Stoke and Leeds are all caught up in transfer gossip today.

Is your Club involved?

Here is a round up:

Real Madrid could use strikers Alvaro Negredo, 23, and Alberto Bueno, 21 as part of a cash plus players deal to lure Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso to the Bernabeu - Spanish paper AS

Manchester United winger Cristiano Ronaldo - who seems certain to join Real Madrid after United accepted an £80m bid - had reportedly secured a deal with Real that guaranteed the Spanish club would pay him £20m in compensation if a deal to bring him to the Bernabeu did not go through by 30 June - Press Association

Valencia have turned down a reported offer from Chelsea for David Villa, with the Spain international seemingly set to join Real Madrid instead, according to the player's agent - Press Association

Barcelona are preparing a bid for Liverpool midfielder Yossi Benayoun - Daily Mail

Real Madrid striker Alvaro Negredo has revealed that if he is forced to leave the Bernabeu then Liverpool would be an attractive destination - Sky Sports

AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo has received Italy coach Marcello Lippi's blessing to move to Chelsea this summer - Daily Star

French club Lyon have declared an interest in signing former Arsenal midfielder and captain Patrick Vieira from Inter Milan - Press Association

Sporting Lisbon have initiated talks with Manchester United about re-signing winger Nani on an extended loan spell or arranging a player-plus-cash exchange involving their captain, the attacking midfielder Joao Moutinho - The Guardian

Atletico Madrid say they are not willing to part with Argentine striker Sergio "Kun" Aguero, believed to be a Chelsea target - Spanish paper AS

Chelsea's summer transfer plans have been dealt a blow by Bayern Munich placing a £65m asking price on midfielder Franck Ribery - The Times

Blues striker Didier Drogba has ruled out an £18m transfer to Manchester City this summer after sources revealed he wishes to remain at Stamford Bridge - The Sun

AC Milan midfielder Clarence Seedorf has turned his back on a summer move to Chelsea after insisting: "I have a contract with Milan." - Daily Star

In addition, the Stamford Bridge club have turned their attention to AZ Alkmaar striker Moussa Dembele after a £12m deal for FC Twente striker Marko Arnautovic broke down after his medical revealed a foot fracture - Daily Mail

West Ham have joined Chelsea in the race to sign Manchester City's 19-year-old striker Daniel Sturridge, who is out of contract this summer - Daily Mail

Tottenham Chairman, Daniel Levy, has placed a £12m asking price on 24-year-old Bentley, who is interesting Aston Villa - Daily Express

Spurs will battle it out with Sunderland and Stoke to sign centre-back Richard Dunne from Manchester City - Daily Mail

Also, Spurs' Brazilian striker Giovani dos Santos is set to join Spanish club Espanyol on a year-long loan with a view to a permanent £5m switch - Daily Star

Barcelona midfielder Yaya Toure could move to England this summer, but his agent claims he will not be joining Arsenal because he has received better offers from other clubs - The Independent

Newcastle are also preparing for a huge clear-out, with high-earning stars such as midfielders Kevin Nolan, Alan Smith, Jonas Gutierrez, Joey Barton and Geremi peddled to clubs at home and abroad - Daily Mirror

Manchester City target, Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o, is set to leave Barcelona for Inter Milan with Zlatan Ibrahimovic moving to the Nou Camp - Daily Mail

Everton are set to complete the signing of 23-year-old Cameroon midfielder Stephane Mbia for £8m from Rennes - The Sun

Birmingham are preparing a raid on rivals Aston Villa for £5m-rated centre-back Zat Knight - The Sun

Birmingham are also closing in on a £3.5m deal for Coventry defender Scott Dann - Daily Mirror

Blackburn striker Matt Derbyshire's proposed permanent move to Greek side Olympiakos is on hold until the future of fellow Rovers striker Roque Santa Cruz is resolved - The Sun

Blackburn will revive their interest in Benfica's Ivory Coast defender Marco Zoro this summer - Daily Mirror

Wolves are set to snap up keeper Marcus Hahnemann on a free after the 36-year-old was released by Reading - Daily Mirror

Wigan are also on the lookout for a new keeper with Derby County shot-stopper Roy Carroll top of prospective new Latics manager Roberto Martinez's list - Daily Mail

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate is ready to offer £350,000 for Colchester winger Mark Yeates - Daily Mirror

Fulham are looking to hijack Birmingham's bid for American defender Oguchi Onyewu - Sky Sports

Fulham are the new favourites to sign Middlesbrough midfielder Gary O'Neil in a £5m deal - Daily Mirror

Stoke and Wigan are both chasing wantaway Middlesbrough striker Jeremie Aliadiere - Daily Mirror

Another Middlesbrough player set to move this summer is Turkish international forward Tuncay, who has admitted his desire to quit the club - Daily Star

West Brom are pressing ahead with attempts to sign midfielders Youssouf Mulumbu and Juan Carlos Menseguez - who spent the second half of last season on loan at the Hawthorns - on a permanent basis even though doubt remains over the future of manager Tony Mowbray - Press Association

Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford has warned the League One club he could run down his contract and leave Elland Road for nothing next summer - Daily Mirror

Thursday, June 04, 2009

After-Dinner Sports Tales - Wade Dooley

As promised here is the second installment in my quest to bring you some of the most humorous after-dinner tales, as told by some of Britain's most famous sporting legends.

Last month I wrote about an after-dinner tale as told by ex-footballer and pundit Rodney Marsh.

Today I am turning to the sport of international rugby union and an after-dinner sports tale told by the former England international and British Lion Wade Dooley, the 6'8" tall second row forward, who won 55 caps, was a World Cup finalist in 1991 and won the Grand Slam with England in 1991 and 1992.

Here is one amusing excerpt from a speech made by Wade at a sporting dinner.

"After England's Grand Slam victory against France at Twickenham in 1991, amid the post-match changing room disarray and celebrations, the mighty Mick 'The Munch' Skinner decides to take an early bath so that he can get on the beer undisturbed.

The changing room door opens and the then Prime Minister John Major (a keen rugby follower) is escorted in by the President of the RFU to congratulate the victorious England team.

The first person they meet is a very naked Mick Skinner emerging from the bath/shower area, busily drying himself off with towel in his left hand while attending to his vanity, jiggling his lunchbox/meat and two veg with his right hand.

John Major is confronted by Mick who holds out his right hand and greets the PM with the welcome: 'Yo John! Top man, large, bosh, put it there, how's it hanging?' (Mick always talks in Geordie code like that).

To the horror of the RFU President and the amusement of the England players - and all credit to the Prime Minister who must have momentarily considered a quick exit - John Major took the hand that had seconds earlier been in contact with Mickey Skinner's lunchbox and retorted, 'Obviously not as well as you, Mr. Skinner'."