Your Eye Color Can Determine Your Alcohol Tolerance ... And Propensity For Alcohol Addiction
When the time comes for drinking, some of us can down eight shots and still beat anyone in the bar at blindfolded darts, while others have to be carted home after sniffing a single beer-soaked napkin. As with so many annoyances, you can blame your parents for this. Your baseline alcohol tolerance seems to be hard-wired into your DNA. A whole lot of other things are hard-wired into your DNA too, so researchers wondered if any other factor separates heavyweights from lightweights, and to find out, they looked at tens of thousands of drunks and not-so-drunks. Sure enough, a pattern turned up.
Blue-eyed people consistently hold their liquor better than those of us with brown-eyes. Early studies showed a connection, and attempts to reproduce those show the same thing. And this isn't a matter of race or anything where you'd expect wide genetic differences: All the research subjects were Caucasian, and the researchers corrected for sex and age, and still blue eyes always seems to mean more alcohol tolerance. If you think that means brown eyes dooms you to a life of a stumbling drunk, you've got tolerance backwards. Blue-eyed folk's high tolerance seems to put them on track for drinking more and for ultimately being more likely to become alcoholics.
Valiantly trying to explain these findings, scientists point to the substance responsible for eye color: melanin. Besides being a pigment, melanin has variants that play a role in sending signals along nerves. So if someone has brown eyes and more melanin, theorize researchers, their nerves respond more to all kinds of chemicals, alcohol included. This theory might leave you scratching your head a little. If the contrast in melanin between blue and brown eyes makes for a measurable difference in tolerance, you'd think the contrast in black versus white skin would make for an even bigger difference, like way bigger, but we're not seeing that.
Another questionable theory is that different colored eyes means different light enters the iris, changing what kind of hormones you squirt out. But the vaguer, surer theory is simply hey, this is just the way genes work, somehow. About a dozen different genes determine your eye color, and some of them evidently also determine how you welcome alcohol. Each gene usually has many roles, which is how only 20,000 or so genes can produce millions of genetic characteristics. Whatever the explanation, people now know simply by looking at you how easily they can get you drunk, which is why, personally, we recommend wearing sunglasses at all times.
Having A "Normal" And Easy-To-Pronounce Name Can Make You More Likable And Successful
If you happen to be born with the name John Smith, you're doomed to be boring, and that's just something you have to come to terms with. But the upside is that you'll be spared many hours of strangers struggling to pronounce your unfamiliar name, speculating about your shady past, and wondering if maybe you're one of those brothers who killed their own parents back in the '90s. In fact, there's a fair chance people will favor you over any of those people with names harder to pronounce, because sticking to "John" makes everything much easier.