Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

March 05, 2008 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2008-03-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.







uew rules A look at the big news events this week and how important they really are. Conveniently rated from one to10.

Shortly after being named the winner of
an election described as a sham by many
American onlookers, Russian president-
elect Dmitry Medvedev received a phone
call from President Bush yesterday.
The Russian media said Bush called
to offer Medvedev congratulations,
but White House spokeswoman Dana
Perino wouldn't describe it as such.
What a tease. it seems Medvedev's
first major test will be to figure out if
Bush likes him or likes him likes him.
The venerable late-night comedy show
"Saturday Night Live" took criticism last
week after casting Fred Armisen, an actor
of white and Asian descent, to imitate
black presidential candidate Barack
Obawa in sketches. The show's producer
Lorne Michaels defended the decision,
saying several cast members tried out
and Armisen's impression was the best.
His Obama wasn't bad, but this whole
debate draws attention away from the
real problem: "Saturday Night Live" hasn't
been consistently funny in a decade.

According to an article in Monday's
issue of The Wall Street Journal, a
slowdown in the number of houses
being built has created a huge
3 shortage of sawdust and driven prices
through the roof. Sawdust, used in
manufacturing, is also commonly
used to help clean up vomit, meaning
North Campus bus maintenance
could soon become more expensive.
But don't worry, the University will
just tack it onto next year's tuition.

Drin king untilynou're
red. in the face
The science behind "Asian flush" and other alcohol intolerance symptoms


The developers of Scrabulous, a
Facebook application that allows users
to play a clone of the classic word nerd
board game Scrabble, are trying to work
out a deal with Mattel and Hasbro,
who own the rights to the board game.
Mattel and Hasbro had threatened to
sue the developers, but are now working
on a bid for Scrabulous - possibly for
millions of dollars. Moral of the story:
If you want to get rich, steal someone
else's idea and put it on the Internet.

Editor inChief. AvdrewcGrossvav
MaaingEditor- abe Nelson
Photo Editor Shay Syeviola
Junk Drawer:Brian Tengel
Center pread design:LanTruvva
R s j sCoerephoto: Shay Syovivla




llfl;-I-FIW A - --


The BTB Cantina
It's a restaurant. It's a bar.
It's - what, exactly?
In a town where your weekend
watering hole is a mark of your
identity, the opening of a new bar
means self-evaluation.
This is especially true for Ann
Arbor's most recent personal-
ity test, the opening of the much-
hyped BTB Cantina last month.
The cantina has been a campus

talking point from its conception.
It was an innovative idea. The peo-
ple who brought campus a classic
drunk food, the BTB burrito, were
going to cut out the middleman
and get customers drunk them-
Now that the cantina is open,
though, students making explor-
atory first visits don't quite know
what to make oftit.
Is it fast food? Is it a bar? What
time should you go? Should you go
at all?
Ann Arbor has nothing like the
cantina, a place where cheap, quick
grub is coupled with an imported-

beer-and-tequila bar that offers a
$230 shot. And the idea of a BTB
location with chic leather couches,
or even various seating options,
must also boggle a few minds.
Walking into the cantina, locat-
ed in a nicely sized space above
Good Time Charley's, customers
are greeted with bright lighting
and up-tempo Mexican music. On
a weekend night, the atmosphere
is festive, but not too loud. There
are plenty of people, but also avail-
able seats. The bar is accessible,
and some of the bartenders con-
spicuously red-eyed and cheerful.
But something is a little off. It
seems like the cantina's custom-
ers, employees and even owners
are confused about how things
are supposed to work. People
don't know where to stand in line,
when to show ID and whether or
not they're supposed to bus them-
"Customers are still trying to
figure out where to form the line,"
BTB co-owner Adam Lowenstein
said. "They're trying to figure it
out. We're still trying to figure it

Since the cantina is a late-night
restaurant, minors are allowed in
anytime. And it shows. Besides
Scorekeeper's, BTB Cantina might
be the only bar where it's safe to
bet that 30 percent of the clientele
is underage. But at least the fresh-
men at Scorekeeper's are savvy
enough to own fake IDs.
Although legal drinkers are sup-
posed to receive wristbands at the
cantina's entrance after showing
identification, many students said
they've gotten in without even
seeing a doorman.
Despite what may be a younger
crowd, the cantina still draws cus-
tomers of all ages who simply love
Dustin Locke, Rackham gradu-
ate student and BTB devotee,
accompanied his friend Heather
Lowe on her first visit to the can-
tina last Sunday afternoon.
Locke said he latched onto the
idea of the cantina because a Mexi-
can-flavored hangout reminds him
of places near his home in Dallas.
"I really like how they man-
aged to make it consistent with
the other BTB, but kind of nicer,

trendier," Locke said.
Lowe also approved of the
atmosphere, calling the cantina's
margaritas the "perfect post-exam
"It's sort of like the perfect col-
lege hangout - cheap food, you
can get drinks, across from the
school, basically," Lowe said.
For Locke and Lowe, the canti-
na is a source for cheap meals and
acceptable mid-day drinking. Both
said they don't plan to patronize
the cantina after dark.
"We might be a little out of the
age-range to be on South U at
night," Locke said.
The most enigmatic aspect of
the cantina is when to go.
Even the cantina's owners are
unsure about its identity in that
respect. Lowenstein said he had
imagined the cantina would be
mainly a pit stop for before or after
going out, but initial attendance
rates might suggest otherwise.
"It's not necessarily a destina-
tion place - maybe it could be, who
knows?" he said. "It's been more of
a bar scene than we expected."

F or many college students, drinking is a way to relax.
But for a certain subset of people, there's nothing
relaxing about an after-class beer. Consuming even
a single alcoholic drink brings them embarrassing or
unwanted attention, and physical discomfort.
"I get called tomato, cherry. Or I'll be compared to some-
thing red in the room," LSA junior Annie Layno-Moses said.
"Like, 'Hey, you're as red as that girl's lipstick."'
Layno-Moses experiences a condition known as an alcohol
flush reaction. It is also commonly referred to as "Asian flush
syndrome" or "the Asian glow" because it occurs frequently
in certain Asian populations. Several studies estimate that
about 50 percent of Chinese, Japanese and Korean people
have this condition, weakeningtheir ability to process alcohol.
But these terms are somewhat misleadingbecause any person
can experience this reaction, regardless of their ethnicity.
As it turns out, whether or not someone gets a flushed face
after drinking, and a slew of other symptoms including nau-
sea, vomiting, increased heartbeat and dizziness - is dictated
by the same thing that determines most of our other physical
traits: our genes.
When most people drink alcohol, enzymes in their guts
break it down and turn it into things that the body can elimi-
nate as waste or store for energy. Butsome people have genetic
mutations thatkeep the enzymes from doing their job, causing
acetaldehyde - a toxic substance - to build up in their blood
when they drink.
Robert Winfield, director of the University Health Service,
said certain ethnicities may be able to tolerate alcohol better
than others for the same reasonthat men typically have ahigh-
er tolerance than women - they come equipped with stomach
enzymes that are more efficient at processing alcohol.
There are different genetic variations that all result in com-
plications with this enzyme, but what the exact effects will
depend on the kind of hereditary machinery you're packing.
As with other genetic quirks, you can thank mom, dad or both
for this one.Each parent bequeaths a copy of the gene that
codes for acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2), the enzyme
that breaks down alcohol's toxic byproduct, acetaldehyde.
Drinking side effects differ in intensity, depending on wheth-
er a person has one, two or no mutant copies.
Studies suggest that the ALDH2 mutation that causes alco-
hol flush is dominant, so one dose of the mutant gene will
result in physical symptoms. But the dominance is "incom-
plete" because the physical reactions of people with one nor-
mal gene and one abnormal gene differ. In some cases, such
people experience hardly any symptoms - the regular copy of
the gene picks up the defective copy's slack by making enough
enzymes to eliminate the toxins before too much builds up.
People who have a double dose of mutated genes will almost
certainly show flushing symptoms when they consume alco-
hol. Not surprisingly, it's almostunheard of for these homozy-
gous individuals to end up as alcoholics. Large-scale studies
throughout several populations have shown that there is less
alcohol use and abuse among Asians.
The enzyme disorder is so effective in deterring alcohol
abuse that some alcoholism recovery methods have tried to
recreate it. Drugs like Antabuse that help recovering alcohol-
ics stay off the bottle by recreating the effects of the genetic
condition. Antabuse works by temporarily impairing the
ALDH2 enzyme to create toxin build-up as experienced by
people with the genetic mutation. When the drug leaves the
system, the body is once again able to process alcohol.
If alcoholics can be convinced to ditchthe bottle when they

By Arikia Millikan / Associate Editorial Page Editor
Your body has two primary enzymes to break down alcohol. Alcohol dehydrogenase converts alcohol into acetaldehyde, a toxic substance.
Normally acetaldehyde is rapidly converted to acetic acid by acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, and eventually carbon dioxide and water. But with-
out a functional acetaldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme, acetaldehyde builds up in the bloodstream, causing alcohol flush reaction.

experience the physical symptoms of alcohol flush reactions,
yet people who are genetically bound to the symptoms contin-
ue to drink, what does that suggest about other forces at play
reinforcing the appeal of drinking? Never underestimate the
power of peer pressure.
While some with the condition get embarrassed by their
blushing phenotype or sick of feeling too sick, and quit drink-
ing, others refuse to let their symptoms keep them away from
the keg line.
Several Facebook groups bring togetherrthose who have the
conditions to share possible remedies and alcohol flush pride.
("I get the Asian Glow/Flush... But I'm not fuck'd up dum-
bass!!," "I Rep the Asian Glow.. so what?" and "Asian Glow is
Damn Sexy").
Layno-Moses, who has one Filipino parent and white
parent, said she continues to drink a few times a week even
though her symptoms caused by the condition can be danger-
ously drastic. She said that for her, there is no in-between or
tipsy - "It's either completely sober or completely drunk."
"Otne and a half shots andI'm wasted," Layno-Moses said.
"It doesn't matter how much I drink or how often I drink, my
tolerance doesn't change."
WhenLayno-Mosesdoes drinkwithinherlimit, sheexperi-
ences the symptoms typical of alcohol flush reactions, includ-
ing hot skin, heavy sweating and fatigue.
"I definitely feel it in my stomach and I do get the Asian

flush," she said, describing it as "very red skin, like I'm blush-
ing, that lasts the entire night."
Layno-Moses said the most she has ever had to drink in one
night was four shots, which resulted in her getting sick and
experiencing a hangover for the first time.
Layno-Moses said her two brothers also experience the
same symptoms. And while her parents undoubtedly have
some combination of mutated alleles between the two of them,
she said she hasn't really discussed the condition with them.
Mary Jo Desprez, administrator of the University's alcohol
policy and community initiatives program, said most people
who have the condition know about it from family get-togeth-
ers long before they have a drink.
Facebook has provided a sounding board for those with alcohol
flush to vent, share stories and remedies and take pride in their
symptoms. The following quotes were posted on the walls of
related Facebook groups.
The wall
Displaying 10 of 26 wal posts. Write Somethitg SetAll
NicoleTangie (Sudbury, ON) wrote
I sufferfrom asian glow....after like a few sips i'm super red...it sucks and
everyone thinks i'm already drunk..
Marilyn Caylor (London) wrote
Just drink in dimly lit bars & clubs, or show off and ask your white
friends who don't hang out with Asians if they want to see a cool trick! I
am half Vietnamese & half German, but still mutated, apparently.
Jason K (Australia) wrote
"werd drinking more is the best way. i go red for like 2-3 hours then im
normal and still drink. i also heard that taking mylanta or any of those
antacid tablets work wonders without any effect"
Hon-Wai Pang (Leicester) wrote
i get weird experiences when taking pepcid ac..the first time i took it i
kept throwin up after having a couple of pints lol and then the second
time i took it i got tired and almost fell asleep.. but overall it does help
lessen the asian flush

Have a thought to improve campus life?
Bringyour ideas to MSA 's
W hat To F.
Date: Thursday, March 6, 2008
Time: II a m.- 3 p.n.
Location: Mason Hall Lobby
You can also send your ideas to

Back to Top

© 2024 Regents of the University of Michigan