HashOut: 2007/07/12
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Perfect Pitch

Perfecting Pitch with IVL Technologies' On-Key Karaoke Hand Held Microphone cum PlayerIt won't change the world, but it will change your voice. Canda-based IVL Technologies' On-Key Karaoke Hand Held Player looks like a simple microphone, but as you warble into it, a microprocessor "corrects" your pitch.

The idea came to IVL's president Phil Scott in 1983 when he took up the flute. Frustrated by his own tin ear, he conceived an instrument-pitch detector that transformed musical notes into digital format. It didn't sell well, but it spurred Scott to search for other applications, including pitch detectors and harmonizers for commercial karaoke systems.

"Karaoke's the modern equivalent of the family singing around the piano," says Scott.
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Prevent Painful Hangovers

Preventing Painful HangoversEveryone has his own hangover cure: caffeine, exercise, greasy food, Bloody Marys -- even the pills and potions sold in by chemists. But none have been proven to cure hangovers, says Jeff Wiese, an American associate professor of medicine who has spent several years studying the condition. Caused mainly by dehydration, hangovers are best treated by drinking water and taking paracetamol, which is easy on the stomach. (Heavy drinkers, who are at risk for liver disease, shouldn't take paracetamol without a doctor's okay.)

Luckily, recent research indicates you can prevent post-drinking pain. Try these tricks before your next night on the town:

Bet on B. Swallow a daily multivitamin that contains B-6. It speeds the elimination of alcohol from the blood, leading to faster recovery.

Have an H2O chaser. Alcohol is a diuretic. It impairs the kidneys' ability to retain water, resulting in dizziness and nausea. The fix: Down a glass of water after each drink, and another before bed.

Cut down on congeners. These impurities from the fermentation process inflame your body's tissues, much like a virus does. Choose top-shelf brands, or clear drinks, like vodka, which have fewer congeners than darker booze, like whisky.
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