A headline shouts: "Charity says giving up alcohol for a month is futile", which sounds rather final and damning. It turns out that the British Liver Trust says it's better from the point of view of your liver's health to take a few days off alcohol a week throughout the entire year than remaining abstinent for January only, which isn't quite so prescriptive. It's what most people do in my experience anyway; I can't think of anyone who drinks seven days a week during every week of the year. The full story is here.
There are of course many reasons other than health why people go on the wagon, such as losing weight, saving money, taking it easy after a frantic Christmas break, making time to do jobs around the house, etc., and none of these reasons is futile. In this case, the strident headline is somewhat at odds with the actual message, and I wouldn't be surprised if some drinkers reading the headline only might conclude there's no point in giving up at all, which surely isn't what was intended. These people need to learn that the message itself is often not enough; how you deliver it can be equally important.
Another news story is about the woman who stole a 24 pack of beer by hiding it under her skirt. You can see the CCTV here:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, beer geek and pub crawler
48 minutes ago