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"We were essentially being shell-shocked by rapid change. That was one of the things you needed science-fiction writers for back in the Sixties, because we could cope with the future."
- Peter Watts

Sparkers  
  A device used to deliver small amounts of electric current to chirpsithra, who use it for the same reason humans use alcohol.  

What will you have? Everyone has their favorite drink, I suppose. Electrical stimulation of the appropriate brain area would probably be cheaper for humans, too, when they learn how to do it. As a matter of fact, I seem to recall that Niven and Pournelle have written about this very thing in other novels like Ringworld Engineers (see droud).

I have to keep facilities for a score of aliens. Liquors for humans; sparkers for chirps; flavored absolute alcohol for thtopar; spongecake soaked in a cyanide solution, and I keep a damn close watch on thatů
From Niven's Laws, by Larry Niven.
Published by Owlswick Press in 1984
Additional resources -

In this story, another in the Draco Tavern series, Niven provides a classic alien viewpoint story. Unfortunately, I can't say much more about it without spoiling the story. The quote comes from Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing! From the collection listed below.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Niven's Laws
  More Ideas and Technology by Larry Niven
  Tech news articles related to Niven's Laws
  Tech news articles related to works by Larry Niven

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