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Forget The Bar. Your Gut Can Make Beer – And It Can Get You Drunk


Five stories that have North Texans talking: Your gut can make beer, the suspected Navy shooter hoped to become a monk in White Settlement, have you seen the amazing Chipotle ad, and more.

Here’s a buzz-worthy medical mystery: A 61-year-old Texas man stumbled into an emergency room, complaining of dizziness. His blood alcohol level was 0.37 percent, almost five times the legal limit for driving in Texas. But he claimed he hadn’t had a drop to drink. “Yeah, right, sure,” the doctors and nurses said.  But, really, he hadn’t consumed any alcohol. Eventually, medical professionals discovered the culprit: an overabundance of brewer’s yeast in the man’s gut. It’s called auto-brewery syndrome. When the man ate or drank starch, such as pasta or soda, the yeast fermented the sugar into ethanol, and he would get drunk. It’s fascinating – read more about it on NPR’s The Salt blog.

  • Accused Navy Yard shooter hoped to become a monk: Aaron Alexis regularly attended a Buddhist temple in White Settlement, and Wat Budsaya members are shocked by what happened Monday, when he allegedly shot and killed 12 people in Washington’s Navy Yard. KERA’s Courtney Collins visited the temple yesterday. Alexis was learning Thai and chanted, they say. But Alexis did have run-ins with police in Seattle and Fort Worth after shooting car tires and a neighboring apartment. He was once accused of tampering with a friend’s car. And Alexis called Rhode Island police just six weeks ago to complain that he was “hearing voices.”

  • Ron Washington is scared: The Rangers aren’t so hot these days, and the coach is concerned about his job, he told a radio station on Tuesday. “We've all got to take blame for right now four our collapse, if you want to call it that,” Washington said. “I'm calling it a slump. I don't really think about that type of stuff. I know at some point in this game of baseball, we all may have to look for another job." But general manager Jon Daniels says he expects Washington to be back next season. [CBS Sports]

  • Texas continues to have highest uninsured rate: Almost 25 percent of Texans don’t have health insurance, compared to the national average of 15 percent. The rate was much higher among working-age adults, with 32 percent lacking health coverage.  Texas also ranked eighth in the nation in poverty, with 17.2 percent of the population living in poverty. For a family of three, that's less than $18,500 a year. [Texas Tribune]

  • Have you seen this awesome ad? Chipotle, the Mexican food chain, recently released “The Scarecrow,” a 3½-minute animated video. The whimsical ad has gone viral and is generating lots of buzz. USA Today reports: “For Chipotle, it's all about linking its name with the strong Millennial values to eat better, eat local — and brand lightly. It's all in the hopes that Millennials — who are the heart of Chipotle's target customer — will make Chipotle's better-for-you messaging go viral.” It's being called "the most beautiful, haunting infomercial you'll ever see,” Gawker reports. Take a look for yourself:

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.