Drink up: The week’s wildest headlines, featuring coffee, tea, and cocktails

A landmark deafness treatment, a strange marathon feat, and other stories worth talking about.

  • The lactose intolerant, unwilling to pay for oat milk and unable to stomach the idea of going somewhere else, are suing Dunkin’ for discrimination. The chain is facing a $5m lawsuit from 10 customers who claim its surcharge on nondairy milk alternatives discriminates against people with lactose intolerance and violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. Sounds a little far-fetched, but do they have a point? Lactose intolerance affects ~36% of Americans, predominantly people of color.
  • A 52-year-old runner chain-smoked his way to a marathon finish line. A Chinese man, known to the internet as “Uncle Chen,” finished the 26-mile race in three hours and 33 minutes, all while puffing on a cig — an impressive feat, except it didn’t count. He was disqualified for violating the marathon rules, which, as of last year, prohibit smoking (as well as “open defecation”…). Definitely not advised, but still, kind of impressive.
  • It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, including in Saudi Arabia now. The Gulf kingdom, where alcohol consumption is illegal and warrants severe punishment, including public flogging, is opening its first alcohol-serving establishment — available exclusively to “non-Muslim diplomats.” To imbibe, patrons must receive clearance from the Foreign Ministry and adhere to monthly quotas. Hopefully, the drinks are as stiff as the rules.
  • An 11-year-old boy from Morocco who was born deaf can now hear, thanks to gene therapy. Aissam Dam became the first person in the US to receive gene therapy for congenital deafness after participating in a clinical trial at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Though noises initially startled him, he said: “There’s no sound I don’t like.” (OK, crying.) But his favorite sound, he said, is people. (That’ll pass.)
  • An American’s advice on how to drink tea has Brits steaming. In her new book, Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea, US chemistry professor Michelle Francl suggests adding a pinch of salt for the perfect cup of tea. The sodium ions in salt reportedly help make tea taste less bitter by blocking certain receptors in our mouths. But the friendly piece of advice has left Brits outraged — so much so that the US Embassy in London intervened, stating that the tip (keyword: tip) is “not official United States policy.”
Topics: Sound Smart

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