Swill: We Drank a Bottle of Coca Leaf Liqueur, For Science

first_img The Best American Liqueur The Most Refreshing Sparkling Waters to Sip On Right Now Editors’ Recommendations Koy Gear Aims to Revolutionize Men’s Everyday Apparel Rum 101: An Introduction to the Different Types of Rum and How They’re Made The Best CBD Coffee Brands for Energy Without the Jitters Swill is our bi-monthly column dedicated to liquor, wine, beer, and every other delicious dram that falls under the broader umbrella of booze. But it’s more than just tasting notes scribbled on a cocktail napkin — Swill is about getting outside of your comfort zone, trying new things, and exploring the big, wide world of libations. One week you might catch us halfway through a bottle of single-malt scotch, and the week after that we might be buzzing on some Ugandan moonshine made from bananas. This column is just one big boozy adventure, so grab yourself a glass and join us for another round.The world has no shortage of exotic liquors that supposedly have secondary effects. Absinthe can supposedly make you hallucinate, damiana liqueur is an aphrodisiac, and according to that country song, large quantities of tequila can apparently make your clothes fall off.Well the other weekend, I happened across yet another one of these strange spirits — but this one was different. Instead of making you see little green fairies or suddenly decide that going nude sounds like a great idea, this stuff will allegedly give you an energy boost.Agwa De Bolivia, as it’s called, is a new-ish herbal liqueur made with a blend of 37 different botanicals — the most noteworthy of which just so happens to be the coca leaf.Coca leaves, as you may or may not be aware, are what the drug cocaine is derived from. Technically they’re just one small part of the Agwa recipe, but in theory they should be able to give you a bit of a pick-up — if you drink enough, that is.So what’d I do? I drowned a whole 5th, of course! Here’s how it went down.First of all, it’s worth mentioning that this is a delicious drink. A little strange, for sure — but definitely pretty tasty. After the first shot, it was immediately clear that coca leaf is just one piece of the puzzle.There’s a lot going on here: the ingredients listed on the bottle include Chinese green tea, African mint, Amazon guarana, ginseng, lavender, cucumber, and something called Argentinian black mountain tea — and you can taste a lot of them. The resulting brew is a peppery, herbaceous liquor with a dry (and slightly minty) finish.After imbibing about two thirds of a bottle, I started to feel a bit more pep in my step. Maybe I was just drunk and succumbing to the placebo effect, but there was definitely a small buzz of energy pulsing through my body. Its impossible to tell if it was from the coca leaf, or just the guarana and caffeine, but I did feel a noticeable change. As far as i can tell, it works just as advertised.I can’t really remember what happened after I finished the rest of the bottle, but I do know that the overall experience was a good one. Agwa De Bolivia is something you should definitely try out. Keep an eye out for it at the liquor store.last_img read more

Great research horrible commercialization Why investors see Canada as a potential hotbed

Today, the MolecuLight is in the hands of doctors in North America and Europe, allowing them to see bacteria on human skin in real time, which allows for better treatment of chronic, infected wounds.DaCosta’s device is an early Canadian success in a health technology field that had become one of the hottest spaces for startups — and one in which Canada is well-positioned to take advantage, even if access to the massive U.S. health care industry is the primary target for most investors.“It’s a three and a half trillion dollar industry, just in the U.S. alone. When you have that much spend, it just creates opportunity,” said Jeff Becker, an industry analyst with Forrester Research focusing on healthcare.But according to Becker, it’s more than just scale alone that is driving the new flood of interest. Recent policy changes in the U.S. — and the need for hospitals and doctors to play catch up after being slow to adopt digital technology — are accelerating interest in the sector. Real estate, health sectors in need of tech disruption, Whitecap Venture Partners says How to finance a Canadian tech startup, from pre-seed to series D Canada risks losing its artificial intelligence edge as adoption lags and the tech goes mainstream The first change was the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, which encouraged “value-based care” instead of a traditional fee-for-service model where doctors and hospitals bill for each procedure.“Instead of paying hospitals for the number of visits it sees per year, we’re going to calculate how much that hospital should be spending to care for its community and then incentivize it if it comes in under that number,” Becker said.“This put providers on notice that growth strategies in health care could not just be focused on keeping beds full. We need to shift the focus on keeping the population healthy.”The second change came with heavy incentives to adopt electronic health records, which opened up reams of data for various software systems, internet-connected medical devices, and artificial intelligence applications.“We created a surplus of data and we created an economic pivot that moved patients from the hospital and to the ambulatory, and then into the home,” Becker said.“So now, everyone is racing to create the digital front door to engage consumers at home, keep them healthy, optimize care delivery, and get them care in the lowest cost place of service that meets their needs.”All that data from electronic health records also creates an opportunity to build powerful new artificial intelligence tools, which can optimize care.This creates a huge opportunity for Canada, and in particular the cluster of research hospitals and universities in southern Ontario and Quebec, according to Sam Ifergan, president and CEO of iGan Partners, the venture capital fund that invested in MolecuLight.iGan recently closed a $100 million venture fund, with another $100 million in co-investment committed from partners — money will be targeted at early-stage health-tech startups.Ifergan said they focus their investments on the cluster of leading universities and research hospitals in southern Ontario and Quebec, and in particular the Greater Toronto Area, because it allows iGan to be hands-on with the startups, and shepherd them through the business challenges associated with commercializing academic research.“All these universities, there’s so much money being pumped into them, so there’s great research, but there’s horrible commercialization,” Ifergan said.Ifergan said that he likes to invest in companies that have more than an idea; they need some patents and a proof of concept, and clinical evidence. It still takes time and money to get regulatory approvals, and bring a commercial product to market, but a lot of heavy lifting is already done.“The government had already poured, like, $10 million into the research by this scientist, right? So we’re taking that and commercializing it,” he said. “That takes a lot of know-how. It’s not pure science, but it takes engineering and business acumen.”In traditional venture capital investing, the truism is that a fund will write cheques to 10 startups, and nine of them will fail, but hopefully the tenth will go public or get acquired, and that exit will cover the other busts.Ifergan called that approach “spray and pray” but he said in health tech, they go for a more steady strategy. He said their companies tend to get bought up by big American or European distributors.“We’re not swinging for the fences each time. So some companies are not going to make huge returns, but they’re not going to be zeros,” he said.Reliability also makes healthcare an attractive investment vehicle further up the food chain. This week DW Healthcare Partners closed its fifth private equity fund, raising US$610 million. In total, the firm has US$1.43 billion under management.DW Healthcare co-founder and managing partner Andrew Carragher said that they like to buy profitable healthcare businesses with around $50 million in revenue.Carragher said that it’s still enormously difficult to sell new products and services into the health care system, because of strict budgets and complicated bureaucracy. He said a company can get a product to market, and then stagnate because it’s so difficult to grow to the next level. In Canada, it often means a provincial government studying the technology by committee before deciding if it meaningfully improves outcomes and offers value.“I consider ourselves as sort of the bridge to get people over that chasm, and it’s a big one,” he said.“The value that we provide to these founders, and to the companies, is that we spend our entire lives penetrating and selling and building sales forces into hospital systems in the U.S. and Canada, and it is really a unique skillset.”• Email: [email protected] | Twitter: About 13 years ago, Dr. Ralph DaCosta noticed something unusual — a fluorescent glowing red mass of bacteria — while looking at the insides of a lab rat in his microscope as a PhD student in Toronto.The glowing bacteria wasn’t directly related to his research, but it planted the seed of an idea: what if it was possible to make bacteria visible to the naked eye?Eventually he filed a patent, but it didn’t really go anywhere until 2014, when a Toronto-based venture capital firm wrote a cheque for $4 million to help him commercialize a handheld fluorescent imaging device.It’s a three and a half trillion dollar industry, just in the U.S. aloneAnalyst Jeff Becker read more

Girl Power Hasbro returns to 1stquarter profit as sales of girls toys

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Associated Press Posted Apr 21, 2014 4:45 am MDT Girl Power: Hasbro returns to 1st-quarter profit as sales of girls’ toys strengthen PAWTUCKET, R.I. – Hasbro returned to profitability in its first quarter, driven by sales of girls’ toys such as My Little Pony and Nerf Rebelle. The prior-year results were dragged down by restructuring charges.Its latest earnings topped Wall Street estimates but revenue was short of what analysts expected.Toy makers are facing a weak environment globally due to the uncertain economy and popularity of electronic gadgets. The first quarter is the seasonally smallest for toy makers, coming after the key holiday quarter which can account for up to 40 per cent of revenue.Hasbro Inc.’s sales of girls’ products were strong however, up 21 per cent. Sales of My Little Pony Equestria Girls dolls also resonated with customers.The boys’ category reported a 2 per cent increase in sales, helped by Nerf and Marvel products. This was partially offset by weakening Beyblade sales.Game sales fell 4 per cent, hindered partly by declining sales of trading card game Duel Masters.Sales of preschool products slipped 4 per cent due to soft sales of core Playskool items.Sales for the entertainment and licensing division rose 13 per cent thanks to the inclusion of Backflip Studios. International sales increased 5 per cent, led by Europe and Latin America. In the U.S. and Canada, sales edged down 1 per cent.The Pawtucket, R.I.-based company earned $32.1 million, or 24 cents per share, for the period ended March 30. That compares with a loss of $6.7 million, or 5 cents per share, a year earlier.Stripping out favourable tax adjustments of 10 cents per share, earnings were 14 cents per share.The year-ago period was pulled down by restructuring charges totalling 14 cents per share. It also had favourable tax adjustments of 4 cents per share a year ago.Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected earnings for the latest period of 10 cents per share, on average.Revenue edged up 2 per cent to $679.5 million from $663.7 million, but missed Wall Street’s estimate of $690.1 million.Last week rival Mattel Inc. reported an unexpected first-quarter loss, hurt by soft Barbie sales and markdowns to clear excess inventory.Hasbro shares rose $1.05, or 1.9 per cent, to $55.66 in afternoon trading after rising as high as $56.91 earlier in the day, which FactSet said was an all-time high. Its shares had been down slightly so far this year. FILE – In this Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, photo, the cat Monopoly token rests on a Boardwalk deed next to a die and houses at Hasbro Inc. headquarters, in Pawtucket, R.I. Hasbro Inc. reports quarterly financial results on Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File) read more