Here we were, acting all high and mighty, thinking that Four Loko and similar caffeinated alcoholic beverages were destroying the lives of young adults across the country, and now a bunch of egghead scientists have shown us the error of our ways. It turns out that Four Loko can actually be used to power automobiles.
A refinery in West Virginia has been turning the beverage, which is still being pulled from stores across the country, into ethanol and this is great news for Phusion Products LLC, the manufacturer of Four Loko. Now instead of simply wasting more than 2 million recalled units, these refineries can take the booze off their hands, recycle the good stuff, as well as the cans and the cardboard. It’s a win-win-win, friends. In related news, that college kid with the hose next to your car is just minding his own business.
Alas, refineries have some stiff competition in the form of black market hooligans. Dealers are using sites like Craigslist to peddle the banned drink in New York City and throughout the states in which the drink is already banned. A reporter for NBC New York used a hidden camera to purchase 12 cans of Four Loko for $80. Seriously? The 7-11 two blocks from my house still sells this stuff and I will ship to anywhere in the continental United States. Just let me know how many you need and we’re in business.
But hold my horses, I will. Despite NBC’s hard-hitting expose of this scandalous booze trade, there isn’t much success to be had by would-be hooch runners. Cops are cracking down pretty hard on the Internet drink trade, and it could be even worse if you’re responsible for selling the drink to someone who suffers an injury because of careless drinking. Sadly, a family buried its 18-year-old son in Florida on Monday after he was taken off life support. He was found unconscious on Jan. 3 after a Four Loko binge. And yes, I’d be happy to tell this story at your next birthday party.
- Refinery turning Four Loko into fuel. Man, your car is wasted. (Automobile Magazine)
- A hidden camera catches a man selling black market Four Loko in NYC. (NBC New York)
- Another senseless death is linked to Four Loko binge drinking. (LA Weekly)
- Before you turn to Craigslist to pick up a case of booze, keep in mind that the number of robberies via the classified site’s is on the rise. Most recently, a New Jersey man was robbed at gunpoint when he thought he was buying a Macbook. He could have been robbed safely at an Apple store. (Red Tape Chronicles)
- More intelligent criminals are now using Facebook and Foursquare to hunt their victims. By posting where they’re checking into and what places they’re visiting, people are giving thieves all the info they need to clean them out. Gonna be tough to check in to Arby’s when your laptop is missing. (AOL News)
KNOW YOUR STATS
- By 2007, ethanol production in the U.S. had doubled from 2004, as America was producing 6.5 billion gallons of the clean energy source (the U.S. produced 10.6 billion gallons in 2009). And all that ethanol still only accounted for 20% of corn consumption, so the popcorn trick was still an affordable option for first dates. (Ethanol Facts)
- In 1999, there were only 50 ethanol plants operating in the U.S. At the start of 2010, there were 187 plants pumping out the corn-based fuel with another 15 under construction. I’m no math major, but I believe that makes 202. Eat your heart out, Einstein. (Renewable Fuels Association)