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How to Stay Cool in Austin? Surprising Findings in Latest ResearchBy Daniel Strandlund
The world’s top scientists maintain that 89% of the human body is composed of water.1 What comprises the remaining 11%? While academics in the rest of the world still heatedly debate the answer, researchers at one of Texas’ top universities have irrefutably concluded that, for the subspecies of Texans known as “Austinites,” the primary ingredient in that elusive 11% is simple: it’s Shiner beer.
Sven von Ulrichson, a lead researcher in anthro-alchemical science here in Texas, writes in a recently published paper on the topic, “In my home country of Sweden, people have adapted culturally to deal with the cold. But in Austin, it appears that people have adapted biologically. It is not that Austinites are immune to heat, or that they sweat more efficiently than other Texans. Rather, the high frequency of Shiner beer occurrence allows Austinites not to care about the heat as much.”
This is a key piece of Ulrichson’s hypothesis: that while his research is primarily biological, its results suggest that Shiner’s benefit to Austinites is psychological. Ulrichson and his team did most of their field research at Deep Eddy Pool, just off of West 5th St on the western side of Mopac. Ulrichson and his team had observed Austinites in their natural habitat at a variety of swimming holes, and yet Austinites who regularly frequented Deep Eddy had more (and broader) smiles per capita than Austinites elsewhere.
“It was like watching a bunch of drunk otters splashing around in the pool. I admit, I was jealous. I almost had to recuse myself from my position as objective researcher,” writes Ulrichson in his forthcoming memoir, The Sunburned Soul. “This was government grant money we’re using, after all.”
It took weeks to discern the difference: Deep Eddy Pool is right next to Deep Eddy Cabaret, a family-owned neighborhood beer joint. Deep Eddy Cabaret sells tiny pitchers of Shiner beer, which allows the average Austinite to rationalize having his or her own pitcher rather than sharing one. Thus, the increase in aquatic frivolity. “Since 1951 when Deep Eddy Cabaret opened, Austinites have been cooling off with the combination of Deep Eddy Pool and beer from the Cabaret. It’s poetic, really: water and beer, the fundamental building blocks of Austinite physiology, together in the same neighborhood.”
Ulrichson goes on to say that his findings also suggest a possible cause of Austin’s pervasive weirdness. His report is highly technical and packed with jargon, but the one piece this blogger did understand was this: “More Shiner means less inhibition, less clothes, and more whimsy. It is premature at this stage to say so, but at the Deep Eddy Pool and Cabaret, we may be witnessing one of nature’s miraculous evolutions.”
The aging doctor pauses and dabs a brimming eye. “It is a beautiful thing to see such creatures at home in their natural habitat. When I think about Austinites at Deep Eddy, I can’t help feeling homesick for my native fjords.” Amen, Sven. This one’s on me.
Daniel Strandlund is a senior in the Master of Divinity program at Seminary of the Southwest from the Diocese of Alabama. When Daniel is not reading highly technical scientific reports or other sources of literary refinement, he can be found monkeying around at the nearest climbing gym or the walls of his apartment complex.
1. Scientists also maintain that 99% of statistics, including this one, are made up on the spot.
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