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Life in Brief — Week of Nov. 3

Use a narrow wine glass
to reduce consumption

If you are trying to cut down on the amount of wine you drink, choose a narrow glass.

Drinking from a wide glass or pouring the wine while you hold the glass might get you a heavier-handed pour, researchers from Iowa State and Cornell universities said.

A glass of wine is rarely an exact measure. The scientists set out to test some of the conditions that might affect the pour. We’re not accurate when we try to determine volume, said Laura Smarandescu, co-author and an assistant professor of marketing at Iowa State.

“If you want to pour and drink less wine, stick to the narrow wine glasses and only pour if your glass is on the table or counter and not in your hand — in either case, you’ll pour about 9 percent to 12 percent less,” said co-author Brian Wansink, director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell.

Participants in the study were asked to pour what they considered a normal glass of wine; the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that’s 5 ounces.

If they were pouring into a wide glass, they poured about 12 percent more than if they poured into a narrow wine glass. The same was true when people held a glass, rather than pouring into a glass on the table. People poured 9 percent more white wine into a glass than red — because of the contrast of color. Food and other things on the table had less effect.

— Mary MacVean

Los Angeles Times

Hints from Heloise:

Bathroom wash cloths
rolled into wicker basket

Marion E. in Simi Valley, Calif. writes: I purchased three dozen washcloths in colors matching my guest bathroom, rolled them up tightly and stuck them into a pretty wicker basket, just like you would do with flowers.

I put out a small basket for occasional guests and a large one for parties. The used cloths go into a wicker basket on the floor. It’s attractive and very hygienic.

— King Features

Monday most likely day
to give up on cigarettes

If you are thinking of quitting smoking, it is probably Monday.

Researchers monitored Google search queries from 2008 to 2012 in English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish. Almost every week, queries about smoking cessation peaked on Mondays.

The study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that the number of queries in English on Mondays was 1 percent larger than Tuesdays, 11 percent larger than Wednesdays, 22 percent larger than Thursdays, 67 percent larger than Fridays, 145 percent larger than Saturdays and 59 percent larger than Sundays. Only in Russian did Monday queries come in second to Sunday.

“Monday is also the day you’re more likely to get a headache, the flu, a stroke,” said the lead author, John W. Ayers, a research professor at the San Diego State University Graduate School of Public Health. “Is there a biological explanation, a sociological one? It could be the interaction of both.”

Though the reasons remain unknown, Ayers said, it may be that anti-smoking advertising should concentrate on the times when people are most likely to be thinking of quitting. This kind of information, he said, “has immediate import for how we manage public health interventions.”

— Nicholas Bakalar

New York Times


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