Thursday, December 9, 2010

Four Loko still available, at premium prices | The Columbus Dispatch

The feds have banned shipments of the popular caffeine-alcohol cocktail Four Loko, but the 23.5-ounce cans aren't that hard to come by. Many convenience stores still have the drinks on their shelves. And if you can't find it there, many online entrepreneurs are willing to sell their stashes - for a price. Listings advertising "4 Loko for sale" have popped up on craigslist and eBay, some charging as much as five times the original price of about $2.50 a can. Alcohol sales are allowed on craigslist. And, despite eBay rules against selling alcohol on the site, a new wave of entrepreneurs have gotten around that restriction by selling the drinks as an "unopened collectible." A search for "Four Loko" on eBay yields more than 80 results, some shipping from as close as Dublin, Ohio. Bryan Crane, 26, of Louisville, Ky., might be the king of the Four Loko black market in the Midwest. His stockpile, inherited from his uncle's convenience store, is 1,500 cans deep. His selling price? $10 a can. "It's capitalism, I guess," said Crane, who is selling his 127 cases on craigslist. Business, he said, is booming. He's sold cans to more than 30 people, mainly college-age, so far - usually in shipments of seven or eight. "For whatever reason, people want them," said Crane, who doesn't have to worry about dipping into profits by sipping on the product. "I drank one, and it was the worst experience I think I've ever had," Crane said. "But if I can make money from it, I'm going to. We've probably got the biggest supply around." And prices are on the rise. Crane said the price of the fruit-flavored drinks will go up to $15 a can next week, and $20 the week after that. Many Loko lovers stockpiled the drink after Phusion Projects, a distribution company founded by three Ohio State University graduates, was ordered to halt shipments of the product last month. "The next day, we picked up like 12 of them," said Andy Lawless, an Ohio University senior from Columbus. But that was nothing, Lawless said. Some of his friends snagged four or five cases to sell to other Loko-craving students. Four Loko, which contains the equivalent of four or five alcoholic drinks and two cups of coffee per can, came under fire after being linked to a number of incidents on college campuses this year. That's when students began to stock up. "When people started to hear that they might be banned, they realized that they weren't going to be around forever," said Jesse Neader, student senate president at Ohio University. By the end of October, the drink had been banned in almost a dozen states, including Michigan and New York. In Ohio, various state agencies, including the attorney general's office, Department of Liquor Control and Department of Commerce lobbied to remove alcoholic energy drinks from stores. And last month, the Food and Drug Administration banned the shipment of Four Loko nationwide. Although the company insists its drink is no more dangerous than a rum and Coke, Phusion Projects said future shipments of the drink won't contain stimulants, a message that sent some college students into Loko-buying frenzy. "There are people that are now attached to the brand and will try to hold on to that as long as they can," said Micah Kamrass, undergraduate student government president at Ohio State University. For those not willing to shell out $10 a can, local convenience stores are still your best bet. Stores are allowed to sell whatever they have in stock. Yesterday, cases of the drink lined the floor at the Shell station at Lane Avenue and High Street. The same is true in Athens, where gas stations and bars stocked up on the drink in anticipation of a post-ban rush. "Some places down here have whole mountains of them," Neader said.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Ugly food caked data jack

I think we'll replace this one today :)

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart

Scientists Create Mice From 2 Fathers

An anonymous reader writes "Using stem cell technology, reproductive scientists in Texas, led by Dr. Richard R. Berhringer at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, have produced male and female mice from two fathers. The study was posted today (Wednesday, December 8) at the online site of the journal Biology of Reproduction. The achievement of two-father offspring in a species of mammal could be a step toward preserving endangered species, improving livestock breeds, and advancing human assisted reproductive technology (ART). It also opens the provocative possibility of same-sex couples having their own genetic children, the researchers note."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Posted via email from Tony Burkhart