A team of Welsh scientists have spent long nights camped out in a busy nightlife neighborhood of Cardiff from 11pm to 3am with one goal-studying the way Welshmen stagger when they're shitfaced in order to build an accurate computer model of the phenomenon. They aim to use their data to help city planners design streets that are safer for late night revelers. Now this is some research I can get behind. The team created these animations to demonstrate what happens when various percentages of meeting crowds are drunk:

All Sober:


Half Drunk:

All Drunk:


As you can see, the "laminar flow" (people lining up behind others to navigate passages) of the drunken crowd is a bit off. "Drunks become irritants because they slow people's progress towards their goal," says lead researcher Simon Moore, which means "they may then become targets of violence." For once, someone protecting drunken louts themselves from violence, and not the innocent bystanders that usually get in the way of their fists. [New Scientist (sub required); image: Flickr]

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