Aloha! Judging by the clues, you’re here to learn about booze, and friend, let me tell you: we’re not here to disappoint. First, assuming you know absolutely zero interesting facts about alcohol – gasp! – we recommend starting with our original post to catch up on all the historical boozy goodness before stumbling your way back here.
Ready for more tipsy trials, tribulations and tantalizing tales? Let’s do this.
10 (More) Things You Didn’t Know About Booze
#1 There’s a space cloud with enough alcohol to make 4 trillion trillion drinks.
Discovered in 1995 by British astronomers atop Mauna Kea Volcano, the cloud known as G34.3 – catchy, huh? – apparently holds enough alcohol for every person on Earth to consume 300,000 pints of beer, per day, for a billion years. Located approximately 10,000 light years away near the constellation Aquila, this boozy celestial beauty also happens to be 1,000 times larger than the diameter of our entire solar system.
Good on ya, G34.3.
#2 In professional rifle competitions, alcohol can actually enhance your performance.
Now, we are certainly not condoning finishing that 6-pack of craft beers in your fridge and pulling out the rifle for some backyard target practice, but for professional shooting athletes, alcohol was prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (until January 2018), as it was seen as a performance enhancing drug due to its ability to slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure, a surefire advantage when it comes to hitting the target in shooting events like biathlons and rifle competitions.
#3 It’s prohibited to use the word ‘refreshing’ to describe alcoholic beverages.
Introduced by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), it is illegal to refer to any alcoholic drink as ‘refreshing’ in commercial advertisements. Regulated under the Federal Alcohol Administration Act (FAA) by the Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) – enough acronyms for you yet? – other prohibited alcohol advertising regulations include claiming that wine or malt beverages include distilled spirits, using the word ‘pure’ unless it relates to a specific ingredient, and claiming distilled spirits are ‘double’ or ‘triple’ distilled unless it’s accurate.
#4 Over 8,000 Russian teachers were paid in vodka in the late 1990s.
Suffering from a deep economic crisis in 1998, more than 8,000 teachers in Russia’s Siberian region of Altai were compensated with 15 bottles of vodka each in lieu of waiting further to receive their wages (an estimated $3.4 million, in total). While authorities offered to pay in alternate goods like glasswear, toilet seats, bicycles, bras and coffins, the majority of the teachers opted for vodka, as it was the most easily traded or sold for food and other basic necessities.
#5 Rum caused the only armed takeover in Australian history.
A valuable form of currency in the late 1700s and early 1800s, rum was an important way of life in the land down under. In 1789, the New South Wales Corps, dubbed ‘The Rum Corps’, was created to maintain order in the area, but instead used their power and wealth to establish a monopoly on Australia’s rum supply and trade for approximately 17 years. When Governor William Bligh eventually attempted to end the rum trade, the New South Wales Corps invaded the Government house and arrested him, kicking off two subsequent years of military rule. In a book published in 1855, author William Howitt referred to this as the ‘Rum Rebellion,’ as it’s been known ever since.
#6 The people who built the Great Pyramids of Giza were compensated in beer.
In addition to records of wages being paid in beer in Mesopotamia, ancient Egyptian workers who were tasked with building the Great Pyramids of Giza were also paid for their efforts in the sweet stuff – most likely in 4 to 5 liters of beer per day – as well as buried with jars of beer and bread for the afterlife, discovered more than 4,000 years later in preserved tombs just nearby.
#7 Herbert Hoover skirted Prohibition at the Belgian embassy.
While indulging in a post-work cocktail was obviously illegal during Prohibition, 31st President Herbert Hoover found a workaround to ease his plight. Though he publicly supported Prohibition, he often stopped at the Belgian Embassy on his journey home – which was technically considered foreign soil – for a martini-fueled nightcap.
#8 ‘The Star Spangled Banner’ was put to the tune of a drinking song.
Set to the then well-known ‘To Anacreon in Heaven’ by Englishman John Stafford Smith, lawyer Frances Scott Key wrote the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner approximately 205 years ago to the tune of a somewhat silly, self-indulgent English drinking song largely praising wine and love.
#9 Right this minute, roughly 0.7% of the world’s population is intoxicated by alcohol.
It’s estimated that at any given time, approximately 0.7% of the world’s population – currently around 7.53+ billion – is drunk. That means there are roughly 52.7 million drunk people out there, y’all. You’ve been warned.
#10 Per job requirements, the original Playboy Bunnies had to be able to identify 143 brands of liquor.
As part of the training regimen for the opening of the first official Playboy club in Chicago in 1960, potential Playboy Bunnies, in addition to mastering the ‘Bunny Stance’ and ‘Bunny Perch’ maneuvers, had to correctly identify 143 different brands of liquor and properly garnish 20 kinds of cocktails.
Mahalo for reading our latest list of interesting alcohol tidbits, and don’t forget to sign up for one of our oh-so-enjoyable Maui Craft Tours to learn about the local spirits, beer and wine made right here on The Valley Isle. Cheehoo!