Red Eye is a particularly potent flavored drink with a number of questionable substances which, manufacturers claim, give you energy, thus its slogan - "Energy drink with Attitude" It is a relatively new upstart to the flavored drink market, originating and available in Australia, as a bottled drink or on tap. From the bottle:

Red Eye is a lightly carbonated New-Age beverage containing a uniquely balanced and revitalizing blend of pure spring water, natural amino acids, vitamins and Amazonian guarana. It provides immediate enlivenment and refreshment in today's busy world. RED EYE with guarana is the perfect boost when you need an energy lift. Please enjoy in moderation.

It also contains Taurine, and recently removed Glucuronolactone from the ingredient list due to public concern. There are several types of Red Eye - gold, platinum, eXtreme and classic. Each has a creative and exciting mix of psycho-stimulants - note I did not say healthy. Basically each type has a base of amino acids and essential vitamins, as well as:

  • Classic - a 'hint' of guarana.
  • Gold - more guarana.
  • eXtreme - Gingko, Ginseng.
  • Platinum - Seven Gs - ginger, grapeseed, green tea, guarana, ginseng and ginkgo.

    It comes with the sort of packaging that makes you instantly suspicious. 330mL bottle, fairly similar to a beer bottle in size and color, but also flashy, stylish, eye catching. Another interesting note off the bottle points out (in caps):

    NOT SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 15 YEARS, DIABETICS OR PREGNANT WOMEN. SHOULD ONLY BE USED UNDER MEDICAL OR DIETETIC SUPERIVISION.

    I suspect this is a bad thing. At any rate it certainly isn't a good thing. However, it does taste quite nice for the sweet toothed of us despite the fact that one bottle also probably contains enough psychostimulants to run a small redneck army for several days. If you don't know anything about Guarana, Taurine or Glucuronolactone I suggest you look it up. It taste like a sweeter, tangier and generally more jazzed up type of creaming soda, if quite strong. Even if you dislike creaming soda, you might like this.

    Overall, despite the great taste, its on my avoid list. A few too many questionable substances and disturbing messages to boot. Compare with the Slurm drink from Futurama. After consumption, I get urges to drink lots of water in a vain attempt to flush my system.

  • The Red Eye Phenomenon.
    - What it is
    - Why it appears
    - What to do about it

    The Red Eye phenomenon is, as earlier mentioned here on E2, something that occurs when you take a picture of someone. If you have a compact camera and you've taken a few rolls of pictures, chances are that you have stumbled across the phenomenon.

    Why does this happen?

    If an eye had absorbed all light, then this wouldn't happen. In fact, if an eye had been theoretically flawless, the red eye effect would not have existed at all. What happens when you see the red eyes on pictures, is that the flash is reflected in someone's eye. The reflection is red because of all the blood vessels inside the eye.

    A bit more technical, please. Why does this happen?

    (this is a bit of a non-medical explanation, but I hope it is written in such a fashion that everyone can understand it)

    When light shines straight into an eye, thereflection is in the shape of a cone. This can be illustrated by holding a piece of cardboard with a hole in it up in front of a mirror. Shine a flashlight into the hole, and see if you can see a reflection.

    When you take pictures, in particular if you take pictures with a compact camera, the flash (source of light) and the lens (the observer) are fairly close to each other. This is our equivalent of holding the flashlight right next to your head - you will clearly see the flashlight coming back at you.

    So.. How do we avoid red eyes?

    Removing the red eye effect can only be done by posing a change somehow, so the light from the flash doesn't bounce back into the lens.

    If we go back to our flashlight-and-cardboard, there are several obvious ways we can avoid the reflection:

    • Turn off the flashlight. This is the point most people forget about. Obviously, if you can do without a flash, either by increasing the light in the room, by switching to a film that has a faster ISO value*, or using a faster lens**.
    • Diffuse the flashlight. If you hold a piece of (white) cloth in front of the flashlight, you will notice that the intensity of the flashlight is only a little decreased. It does, however, seem less piercing to your eyes. This is not a coincidence - if you hold a piece of thin white cloth in front of your flash, you can often drastically decrease the problem with red eyes.
    • Move the flashlight further away from your eyes. This is a bit harder with compact cameras, but if you have an SLR, you should definitely get an external flash that goes in the hotshoe of your camera. For one thing, these flashes are a lot more sophisticated than the internal ones. Besides, they are significantly further away from the lens.
    • Make the hole smaller. Put away your piece of cardboard, and take one that's got a smaller hole in it. Try the same trick with the flashlight. As you will see, you will get a reflection in much less of the cases. Making peoples irises smaller isn't that hard.
      • One, you could try to turn on the anti-red-eye function that probably exists on your camera. This function usually sends off a few short flashes, or it will shine some other sharp light into your victims' eyes. This makes their irises smaller, and the problem diminishes.
      • Turn on more lights. This has the same effect as above, but it also has some other advantages: One, you get more even light, two, depending how sophisticated your camera is, it might fire a less strong flash, giving a more natural light. Three: you might get away without using a flash alltogether.
      • Make sure your subjects aren't drunk. Have you ever noticed that if you take a roll of film at a party, how there seem to be more and more occurences of the red eyes? Not a coincidence. People who start to become intoxicated have slower reactions - this applies to eyes as well. The eyes just won't contract, leaving you with red-eyed pictures.

    *) ISO value: "Normal" film is 100 or 200 ISO. If you go to a store and buy some 800 film, the film will be more sensitive to light, and you will in many situations get away with not having to use a flash.
    **) Switching to a faster lens on a compact camera is obviously not possible. What few people realize, however, is that many of the entry-level zoom compact cameras have lenses that gather light much better when it is fully zoomed out. In low light, you should therefore consider zooming out and go closer instead of using the zoom to frame your pictures. On an SLR camera, look for a camera with a larger aperture.

    So.. What do I do if I get red eyes after all?

    Most photo editing programs have great tools for removing these. Some processors will remove them for you (if you ask) and quite a few photo stores sell pens specifically designed for "colouring over" red eyes (not recommended).

     

     

    -30-

    The Red Eye is a cocktail of the species that are meant to be consumed in the late morning following a particularly heavy night of drinking. The benefits of drinking to delay one's hangover are debated elsewhere, but since you might not be so inclined as to follow the argument, right now, we'll stick to the practice:

      Easy step-by-step instructions
    1. Pour an ounce of vodka into the bottom of a pint glass.
    2. Fill to about the half with tomato juice or V8.
    3. Top off the glass with a decent beer.
    4. Quietly crack a raw egg into the glass, discard the shell.
      Hint: drink quickly, try to finish the last third of the drink (the egg yolk) in one gulp.
      Optional additions include any or all of the following: a dash of lemon juice or angostura bitters; or, a pinch of black pepper or cayenne.

    Each of the ingredients in a Red Eye is said to have a beneficial effect on the abused liver and poached brain of the overzealous celebrant. And these four ingredients ought to be available in your kitchen, although you might have had to be thoughtful about hoarding beer and vodka for the next day. Drinking more alcohol is said to help encourage the body to stop processing methanol (which creates rather toxic byproducts) or to bring the vestibular sense back into the alignment it was in when one was drunk; vodka is considered the ideal liquor with which to attempt this effect, as it is the purest hard liquor. The tomato juice or mixed vegetable juice replenishes ions and vitamins that have been lost to urination during and following the previous night’s drinking. The beer is essential, as it cuts the nasty thick viscous texture of the tomato juice and makes the drink altogether palatable. The raw egg, the "eye" for which the drink is named, provides proteins to replace those that the alcohol may have denatured.

    Truth be told, no one mixes this drink because they like it, we mix this drink because the alternatives are much too painful to contemplate. The application of a Red Eye is tactical. It should be just the thing to convince your ill-treated body that it is time to wake up, straighten the kitchen, and start preparing ham, grits, redeye gravy, and eggs for the other poor souls writhing in the sunlight and groaning on the living room floor.

    A Red Eye is a coffee drink designed to keep you in some twisted state of consciousness, perfect for studying or reading. It's not advisable to write anything important after drinking one of these as it will almost certainly turn out to be complete and utter garbage when you look at it in the morning. I would also advise against trying to meet new people as you'll soon discover, much to your horror, that you can't stop talking no matter how hard you try.

    It's a simple premise, really, and one that was probably dreamt up, pondered over, and finally rejected with a breathy "Naaaaaaah" sometime around The Pyramids' design phase.

    Take one cup of strong, black coffee and one (or two, if you're feeling extremely lucky and/or suicidally insane) shots of espresso. Pour the espresso into the coffee. Add raspberry syrup (and milk and whipped cream if you wanna be a wuss about it). Drink very, very carefully. It'll keep you up for hours, the first of which you will be coherent enough to get some work done. After that there's a good shot your eyes will need to be hydrated and taped shut to allow for even the possibility of sleep, hence the name.

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