Menus Subscribe Search

Follow us


(PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK)

(PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK)

The Wages of Microbrewing

• January 04, 2013 • 1:28 PM

(PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK)

Greedy beer-lovers are now paying triple-digit prices for their beloved ales. A look at their greed—plus, six other deadly sins in the news this week.

Welcome to a whole new year of transgressions! While the “seven deadly sins” may seem a misty morality lesson from the past, the cardinal vices are always with us–even in the strait-laced arena of research. Hold on to your souls for a quick rundown of how recent findings reflect our sinful natures.

Greed

Forget the champagne and grab a beer. With black-tie awards balls and a strong cult following, beer is breaking away from its frat-boys-and-bowlers image to be restored to its former glory. Alas, fanatic popularity comes with a price—$1,300 to be exact. This number isn’t set by the breweries themselves, but rather by black-market profiteers who buy exclusive brews at the bar to resell on eBay. Maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise that suds lovers can thwart the system: Drinkers of the beverage are better problem-solvers than their sober counterparts, researchers at the University of Illinois announced in April.

Slate’s Christian DeBenedetti hypothesizes the connection between big money and beer may stem from the beverage’s newfound sophistication—some brewers now treat their beer like wine, carefully cultivated into an aged and rich taste and served in 750-mil bottles. Microbreweries naturally release their unique blends in drips, leading a hyped crowd to obsess over the Internet to see if they missed their favorite beer being served at the bar.

Lust

Instead of secretly reading Fifty Shades of Grey on lunch break, go to American University and read the erotic novel for course credit. Taught by adjunct professor Stef Woods, the class will consider the novel’s depiction of violence, media hype, and its influence on American (presumably the country, not the university) sexuality.

Gluttony

With a love for elaborate buffets and banquets, Hong Kong threw out 3,600 tons of food waste a day in 2011. The city’s three landfills are nearing capacity, and the government and nonprofits like Friends of the Earth are brainstorming ways to combat the waste—ideas like recycling programs at local markets and increased charges for waste collection.

Sloth

Merely labeling your mundane goal “a New Year’s resolution” increases its likelihood of success. Just beware of “ego depletion,” a term coined by social psychologist Roy R. Baumeister to describe the moment when willpower is exhausted.

Wrath

Is the Chipmunks’ “Christmas Song” still lodged in your brain? Psychologists at Western Washington University may be able to help: In a paper titled “Going Gaga,” they recommend battling “earworms” by avoiding mental tasks that are too easy or too hard after hearing the song. These situations apparently either bore or exhaust your brain into a fertile breeding ground for misery-inducing earworms. The same psychologists hope the song studies can help us understand why intrusive thoughts occur and how to control them.

Envy

If only you were a smartphone. Think of the friends you’d have. A recent report by NPD finds that while there are 315 million people in the U.S., there are 425 million computers, tablets, game consoles and phones. Has anyone else seen Smart House . . .?

Pride

Who you are today may not be who you are next year, so don’t be so proud as to think you can’t change. A recent Harvard study demonstrates that although people recognize they have changed in the past, they underestimate how much they will change in the future. This can have practical consequences, such as causing people to pay for future opportunities because of current preferences. But don’t worry, that Forever Lazy® was definitely a great buy.

Sarah Sloat
Sarah Sloat is an editorial fellow with Pacific Standard. She was previously selected as an intern for the Sara Miller McCune Endowed Internship and Public Service Program and has studied abroad in both Argentina and the U.K. Sarah has recently graduated from the University of California-Santa Barbara with a degree in Global and International Studies. Follow her on Twitter @sarahshmee.

More From Sarah Sloat

A weekly roundup of the best of Pacific Standard and PSmag.com, delivered straight to your inbox.

Recent Posts

October 1 • 11:11 AM

The Creative Class Boondoggle in Downtown Las Vegas

On Tony Hsieh and the pseudoscience of “collisions.”


October 1 • 9:14 AM

Mysterious Resting State Networks Might Be What Allow Different Brain Therapies to Work

Deep brain stimulation and similar treatments target the hubs of larger resting-state networks in the brain, researchers find.


October 1 • 6:00 AM

Would You Like a Subscription with Your Coffee?

A new app hopes to unite local coffee shops while helping you find a cheap cup of good coffee.


October 1 • 4:00 AM

How to Plant a Library

Somewhere outside of Oslo, there are 1,000 newly-planted spruce trees. One hundred years from now, if everything goes to plan, they’ll be published together as 100 pieces of art.



September 30 • 10:09 AM

Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be to Blame

Trust in others and confidence in institutions is declining, while economic inequality creeps up, a new study shows.


September 30 • 8:00 AM

The Psychology of Penmanship

Graphology: It’s all (probably) bunk.



September 30 • 6:00 AM

The Medium Is the Message, 50 Years Later

Five decades on, what can Marshall McLuhan’s Understanding Media tell us about today?


September 30 • 4:00 AM

Grad School’s Mental Health Problem

Navigating the emotional stress of doctoral programs in a down market.


September 29 • 1:21 PM

Conference Call: Free Will Conference


September 29 • 12:00 PM

How Copyright Law Protects Art From Criticism

A case for allowing the copyright on Gone With the Wind to expire.


September 29 • 10:00 AM

Should We Be Told Who Funds Political Attack Ads?

On the value of campaign finance disclosure.


September 29 • 8:00 AM

Searching for a Man Named Penis

A quest to track down a real Penis proves difficult.


September 29 • 6:00 AM

Why Do So Many People Watch HGTV?

The same reason so many people watch NCIS or Law and Order: It’s all a procedural.


September 29 • 4:00 AM

The Link Between Depression and Terrorism

A new study from the United Kingdom finds a connection between depression and radicalization.


September 26 • 4:00 PM

Fast Track to a Spill?

Oil pipeline projects across America are speeding forward without environmental review.


September 26 • 2:00 PM

Why Liberals Love the Disease Theory of Addiction, by a Liberal Who Hates It

The disease model is convenient to liberals because it spares them having to say negative things about poor communities. But this conception of addiction harms the very people we wish to help.


September 26 • 1:21 PM

Race, Trust, and Split-Second Judgments


September 26 • 9:47 AM

Dopamine Might Be Behind Impulsive Behavior

A monkey study suggests the brain chemical makes what’s new and different more attractive.


September 26 • 8:00 AM

A Letter Becomes a Book Becomes a Play

Sarah Ruhl’s Dear Elizabeth: A Play in Letters From Elizabeth Bishop to Robert Lowell and Back Again takes 900 pages of correspondence between the two poets and turns them into an on-stage performance.


September 26 • 7:00 AM

Sonic Hedgehog, DICER, and the Problem With Naming Genes

Wait, why is there a Pokemon gene?


September 26 • 6:00 AM

Sounds Like the Blues

At a music-licensing firm, any situation can become nostalgic, romantic, or adventurous, given the right background sounds.


September 26 • 5:00 AM

The Dark Side of Empathy

New research finds the much-lauded feeling of identification with another person’s emotions can lead to unwarranted aggressive behavior.



Follow us


Mysterious Resting State Networks Might Be What Allow Different Brain Therapies to Work

Deep brain stimulation and similar treatments target the hubs of larger resting-state networks in the brain, researchers find.

Trust Is Waning, and Inequality May Be to Blame

Trust in others and confidence in institutions is declining, while economic inequality creeps up, a new study shows.

Dopamine Might Be Behind Impulsive Behavior

A monkey study suggests the brain chemical makes what's new and different more attractive.

School Counselors Do More Than You’d Think

Adding just one counselor to a school has an enormous impact on discipline and test scores, according to a new study.

How a Second Language Trains Your Brain for Math

Second languages strengthen the brain's executive control circuits, with benefits beyond words.

The Big One

One company, Amazon, controls 67 percent of the e-book market in the United States—down from 90 percent five years ago. September/October 2014 new-big-one-5

Copyright © 2014 by Pacific Standard and The Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media, and Public Policy. All Rights Reserved.