Wine for gamers, diet soda most popular among the overweight, Canadians drunker than a decade ago

Wine for gamers, diet soda most popular among the overweight, Canadians drunker than a decade ago

• Mike James, the Canadian-born operator of 8-Bit Vintners, knows that Generation Y is more about Half Life than the good life. He’s launched a wine that is best enjoyed with video games. Player 1, as it is called, is a blend of syrah and tempranillo, and should be paired with “Mega Man 2 on the Nintendo Entertainment System or Shadow of the Colossus on PlayStation 2,” says James. [Toronto Star]

• We’ve all been there, excitedly cracking open that robust-looking bag of chips only to find that a good portion of the bag is filled with air. So why do food manufacturers leave so much air in the bag? Is it all a marketing ploy? The New York Times, apparently lacking in actual news, looks into the situation and gets some semi-acceptable answers (Lay’s potato chip bags are only half-filled to prevent breakage) as well as some shady written statements. Uncle Ben’s, for example, says their box is larger than required to get a “quality seal.” [New York Times]

• Customers love the warm and fuzzy feeling that accompanies an eco-friendly purchase, but researchers from U of T are calling into question the benefits of that glow. According to a new study, eco-shoppers are less likely to demonstrate altruism and are more likely to cheat and steal, implying that the self-aggrandizing green high can cause one to become morally relaxed. The good news is that simply being conscious of that potential reaction can help guard against it. [Slate]

• Alcohol consumption in Canada has increased nine per cent over the past decade, says a new study from the Centre for Addictions Research, with B.C. residents being the booziest of all (their consumption has increased by 16 per cent). Researchers are recommending an increase in the price of alcoholic drinks to curb the trend. [Vancouver Sun]

• Consuming diet soda may not be the best way to avoid putting on weight during the holidays. The L.A. Times is reporting that those who consume diet beverages are more likely to be overweight. It’s difficult to tell whether the drinks are to blame or whether overweight people simply turn to diet drinks more often, but recent studies show that artificial sweeteners can promote weight gain in rats and that the brain can differentiate between real and fake sugar. Presumably trim experts suggest using diet beverages as a crutch to aid the transition to less sugar-laden drinks. [L.A. Times]