The Energy Drink Overload Experiment

Energy drinks are everything wrong with modern society in a can: people believing advertising over their own bodies. They’re Pandora’s Tins of self-esteem problems persuading people that they’re uselessly broken in every way, but it’ll only take three dollars of soda to turn them into roller-blading success stories.

Unfortunately I can’t just list everything wrong with them and laugh. Writing for ZUG means I’ll have to drink them. ALL OF THEM. Instead of food for a day.

Mario has never looked so ominous.

Mario has never looked so ominous.

But first let’s look at the ingredients of my imminent doom:

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The Martini Madness Experiment

“Martini” is the most devalued word in alcohol after “Tequila” (a fine agave liquor reduced to poisonous battery acid by generations of slamming fratboys). Drinking something turns it into urine, and people still found a way to ruin Martinis even harder. There is no such thing as a Martini list, because there are only two types of Martini: anywhere claiming to have forty doesn’t know how to make even one. Things have gotten so bad that even Bond screws it up, and when Bond gets something wrong it legally no longer exists. He orders a Vodka Martini (which isn’t a Martini, that’s why it has a different name) then suavely specifies “Shaken, not stirred.”  Which sounds cool as an unlikely hell until you realise it means “Dilute it with lots of water and dissolve fizzy little bubbles in it. ”

"And can you make it pink with a bendy-straw?"

“And can you make it pink with a bendy-straw?”

I’ve decided to see just how far the mighty have fallen – by drinking them.  Bars might manslaughter Martinis into lazy alcoholic slushees, but how bad can things get when you really work at it?  I’ll solve this problem the way I solved everything as an undergraduate: drinking, strange tastes in my mouth and regret.  But first, a quick refresher course:

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The St Patrick’s Day Green Drink Experiment

This article first appeared on the now-defunct ZUG.com

I love St Patrick’s Day: it’s like Ireland bought the entire world a round just by existing. The clichés are a little annoying — imagine the world spent Independence day eating hamburgers until everyone threw up in public — but for some reason America sees the Irish as inoffensive comic relief that can be safely ignored.

Thanks a lot, asshole.

Thanks a lot, asshole.

The result is all of North America drinking in our honor, which would be awesome if they could handle it. Part of the problem is the poison people drink: green beer is the alcoholic equivalent of yellow-black striped lines, but jamming your face into it does more damage in the long run. You should only drink green thinks if you’re an aphid. Color-coding people is one of the most appalling things in history, and it’s not as if Ireland has a lock on the colour.

Vexillogical analysis indicates that everyone in Ireland should learn Arabic

Vexillogical analysis indicates that everyone in Ireland should learn Arabic

I’ve never spent St Patrick’s drinking green, because I’m actually Irish and not an idiot, but now I’m grabbing every green grog I can get my Gaelic grip on just to see what happens.

Don’t worry about the drinking dangers.  I’m a professional.

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The Trump Endurance Experiment

This article first appeared on the now-defunct ZUG.com in 2012. Minor edits have been made.
It is reposted to celebrate Trump’s recent humiliating loss to a Scottish wind farm.

Donald Trump personally proves everything Marx said about capitalism. He inherited his money, has been fired from more positions than a Decepticon jet engine, and now hires Z-list actors to pretend he fired them to feel better.

He paid this man to be an ego-prostitute

He paid this man to be an ego-prostitute

This is a multimillionaire with nothing better to do than reality TV, and he still had to make himself the judge to avoid being voted off.

Enough money to do anything and he chose "Celebrity Apprentice".

Enough money to do anything and he chose “Celebrity Apprentice”.

He drew attention to his YouTube account with the stupidest announcement of his life, automatically making it the stupidest announcement ever made, so I’m going to watch all 128 videos. (Or you can skip straight to the big announcement video in Part 3).

facesoftrump

There are five pages of these. I’m about to endure more pages of insanity and angry yelling faces than the Necronomicon.

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Risking My Life With Magic: The Gathering

This article originally appeared on the sadly defunct Zug.com

Magic: The Gathering is Fight Club for stamp collectors. The same dedication, group mentality, and dedication to annihilating every one of your colleagues, with only slightly less damage to your physical condition. It’s one of the most famous card games in the world and more profitable than poker. Because in poker at least one of the players still has money when they’ve finished playing.

To say nothing of shellcrotch exposure every time you start playing.

To say nothing of shellcrotch exposure every time you start playing.

Players buy cards containing magic spells to turn their love of reading and math into heroic battles. Wizards of the Coast turned my childhood dreams into a business plan (and that sounds like the plot of a book I would have read back then). But I’ve always avoided the game, because Magic is responsible for more people losing their lives to a fantasy land of endless murder than Game of Thrones. And profits more from their disappearance than the survivors in Game of Thrones.

THE EXPERIMENT
More person-hours go into Magic than the space program, so I’m launching myself into this world like a human Curiosity: venturing into a strange new land, learning a lot, and I’ve just realized that this analogy implies I might never come back. Magic is also known as “cardboard crack.” It makes World of Warcraft look like Farmville. This is by far the most dangerous experiment I’ve ever undertaken, and I once tried to set myself on fire from the inside out.

I’m going to play Magic Online Standard non-stop for an entire day. Longtime players tell me this is fairly normal, so I’ve already learned something: playing Magic screws up your idea of normal.  Continue reading

The Retro Gaming Drinking Experiment

This article first appeared on the now-defunct ZUG.com in 2010. 

The hardest part of most of today’s videogames is getting them out of the wrapping. With their auto-saves and instant respawns, modern videogames are like going back to preschool. Which is why I’m going to force myself to finish the hardest games in videogame history.

I've got enough retro emulation gear to convince my computer it's a Dalek.

I’ve got enough retro emulation gear to convince my computer it’s a Dalek.

The catch: I’ll be drinking every time I die. Because as an Irishman, I’m culturally required to drink when there’s a death in the family, and you can’t get more family than yourself (unless you’re Alabaman, in which case you’re hopefully drunk already).

Let the games begin!
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The Chicken Wing Suicides

This article first appeared on the now-defunct ZUG.com. The original was a five-part article. It has been edited to appear on one page.

Chicken Wings, the Eurekan combination of “How can we possibly sell these leftover scraps?” with “Wait a minute, people drink!” We can picture the naked poultry farmer running down the street even now, screaming about saucy chickens as he flaps in the breeze. And after completing his sentence he invented chicken wings!

There’s an amazing density of chicken wingeries in one street near my flat. It’s like the city planners were watching UFC while approving businesses (which explains why at also has shops selling nut-shields and martial arts movies). One block contains an impossible five wing joints, somehow sharing the cities bird-bit-budget between them until one finally closed – and another opened to replace it immediately.

The implications are terrifying – are Wings, like Mass and Energy, a fundamental conserved quantity of existence? Is all the universe’s “missing matter” eaten with Bud on Super Bowl Sunday? And far more importantly – how exactly are they reappearing after we digest them?

The Theory of Chicken Wings. (Standard Model included to increase scientificicness)

The Theory of Chicken Wings. (Standard Model included to increase scientificicness)

This demanded immediate and dangerous scientific experimentation. The Large Hadron Collider probes the laws of the universe by accelerating subatomic particles to incredibly high energies – Professor Wallybob and I decided to do the same with our stomachs! We’ll drive our digestive tracts to unexplored energy intensities by visiting all the wingsteraunts in one go, ordering the hottest “Suicide” wings at each. We will discover many things.

Not all of them good.

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The Homeopathy Experiment

This article originally appeared on the now-defunct ZUG.com

There’s a secret cure that some doctors don’t want you to know about. Simply shaking some easily available ingredients produces potions of magical well-being which cure all known ills. These elixirs are called “cocktails”. Those doctors are hepatologists.

"I'm worried about this liver x-ray. Hell, livers aren't even meant to show up on x-rays."

“I’m worried about this liver x-ray. Hell, livers aren’t even meant to show up on x-rays.”
(Source: Inspe | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos)

There’s also a drizzle of bullshit called homeopathy, but you’d pass out before cocktails could get you drunk enough to believe in that.  Homeopathy says that minute traces of other ingredients in water and sugar can solve all your problems. When your medical expertise is identical to Coca Cola’s advertising strategy, you might not know what you’re doing. The core concept is that the more you dilute an ingredient the stronger it gets. You might recognise this as the exact opposite of everything that exists. And from the fact that you don’t get drunk, high, stoned, poisoned, and whatever happens when you drink the urine of everyone who ever lived and died with every glass of water.

"I feel clean and dirty at the same time!" Source: Jborzicchi | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

“I feel clean and dirty at the same time!”
Source: Jborzicchi | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

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