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Tag Archives: beer

  • Last Call
    Here is an article whose headline predicts that American society will become drunkards like the British one, but in disguise is actually a description of how the beer industry came to be ruled by two brands.

    And so, for eighty years, the kind of vertical integration seen in pre-Prohibition America has not existed in the U.S. But now, that’s beginning to change. The careful balance that has governed liquor laws in the U.S. since the repeal of Prohibition is under assault in ways few Americans are remotely aware of. Over the last few years, two giant companies—Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors, which together control 80 percent of beer sales in the United States—have been working, along with giant retailers, led by Costco, to undermine the existing system in the name of efficiency and low prices. If they succeed, America’s alcohol market will begin to look a lot more like England’s: a vertically integrated pipeline for cheap drink, flooding the gutters of our own Gin Lane.

    Although, I don’t really see this horizontal integration as as big of a problem as they say; the soda industry only has two players too.

  • Monopoly Is Theft
    After looking at Scrabble recently, here’s an article about Monopoly players and the making of Monopoly.

    The widows of Eugene and Jesse Raiford testified, as did seven other witnesses who claimed to have played monopoly as many as twenty years before Darrow marketed his game. Anspach even put Robert Barton, the former president of Parker Brothers, on the stand. Barton, who was pivotal in helping Darrow secure a patent for his “invention,” admitted under oath that he was fully aware of the game’s history and that he knew Darrow had not in fact invented it. The judge was unmoved. He dismissed Anspach’s complaint, ordering all unsold copies of Anti-Monopoly to be “deliver[ed] up for destruction.”

  • Making Gangnam
    A look at Harmonix’ new cash cow and how the process to bring Gangnam Style to Dance Central 3 for Xbox Kinect worked.

    Dixon will dance the routines herself. Near her standing desk is a dance pad and a Kinect. The entire Harmonix office is full of these dance stations, in fact. Easy to overlook amidst the general sprawl of equipment and mess, but they are there. Like the state-of-the-art motion-capture studio hidden in the basement and the various other pieces of NASA-grade tech left lying around.

  • The Myth of American Meritocracy
    A very good and very long article about how Asians are under-represented in the Ivy League, how Jews are way over-represented and how Harvard admission policies could be improved.

    The statistical trend for the Science Talent Search finalists, numbering many thousands of top science students, has been the clearest: Asians constituted 22 percent of the total in the 1980s, 29 percent in the 1990s, 36 percent in the 2000s, and 64 percent in the 2010s. In particular science subjects, the Physics Olympiad winners follow a similar trajectory, with Asians accounting for 23 percent of the winners during the 1980s, 25 percent during the 1990s, 46 percent during the 2000s, and a remarkable 81 percent since 2010. The 2003–2012 Biology Olympiad winners were 68 percent Asian and Asians took an astonishing 90 percent of the top spots in the recent Chemistry Olympiads. Some 61 percent of the Siemens AP Awards from 2002–2011 went to Asians, including thirteen of the fourteen top national prizes.

    Yet even while all these specific Asian-American academic achievement trends were rising at such an impressive pace, the relative enrollment of Asians at Harvard was plummeting, dropping by over half during the last twenty years, with a range of similar declines also occurring at Yale, Cornell, and most other Ivy League universities. Columbia, in the heart of heavily Asian New York City, showed the steepest decline of all.

  • Operation Delirium
    A look inside the chemical warfare testing that the US military performed on its own soldiers in the last century.

    To demonstrate the effects of VX, he was known to dip his finger in a beaker containing the lethal agent, then rub it on the back of a shaved rabbit; as the animal convulsed and died, he would casually walk across the room and bathe his finger in a Martini to wash off the VX. “I thought they were crazy,” a doctor who served under him told me. “I was going to New York, and Colonel Lindsey tells me, ‘How about taking a vial of nerve gas to New York to make a demonstration.’ And I am looking at the guy and thinking, If I have an accident on the Thruway, I could kill thousands of people—thousands of people. I said, ‘No. It’s that simple.’ ”


We went to a bit of Doors Open this year even though there wasn’t anything particularly interesting. We just went to some odd and ends that we haven’t visited before. We started off at the Drake Hotel. Can you believe I’ve never been here before? but I’ve never gone to a concert or hang out on West Queen West so I have just never been here before.

It’s a pretty cool place, designed with retro in mind. They have a few interesting art pieces that are consistent with the overall design of the hotel. The designers sure put a lot of thought into making an immersive environment but once all the hipsters are hanging around the rooftop patio or any of the other facilities, it loses a bit of its glamour.

Afterwards, we headed over to the Gladstone Hotel, but I did not like this hipster hangout as much because instead of being polished, it actually did look like a restored building. We saw rooms in both hotels, but I am actually not a big fan of the artist-designed rooms of the Gladstone. The modern feel of the Drake are more to my liking.

The next place we visited is Kasian which is an architectural firm located in Liberty Village. Liberty Village is another area of the city where I’ve never been to either! They have a open concept working area and were promoting that, but I don’t know if that appeals to me.

The final place we went to was the Roundhouse where Steam Whistle is brewed. We unfortunately got there too late to get a spot on the tour, but we still got our free beer ticket! I don’t know if they give away free beer tickets all the time or whether it was a Doors Open thing, but touring a brewery doesn’t really seem like a cultural education type of thing. The place was pretty busy though, and had a patio; so it’s a pretty good place to go after the ball game.

Afterwards, we had dinner at the Bistro on Avenue which was not giving out free wings because it was not part of Doors Open, but it supposedly had excellent wings. Its claim to fame is that it was opened by Louis Nemes who also opened the St Louis Bar and Grill. The wings are not so good.


I learned a couple of surprising things the other day:

  1. Some things are better together than apart, (like NKOTB – although Jordan Knight’s self-titled is not too bad), but as I found out Coffee and Beer is not one of them. I guess it doesn’t help that I didn’t like coffee or beer to begin with. Pauline ordered this at the Mill Street Coffee Porter at the Mill Street Brewery in the Distillery District.
  2. I’ve had an inkling of this previously, but the flash on my K200d is pretty good. It’s better at balancing than my D50 so there isn’t the deer caught in headlights affect.

Here’s a bonus point, 2.1 – it turns out that the camera DOES matter, and it’s not just the photographer. Those websites that rant about how you need to improve your photography instead of spending money on a new and updated camera? Ha BS, they’re just trying to sell their site!


last night i went to the fremont oktoberfest. it’s kinda weird wouldn’t you say, that oktoberfest was held in the middle of september instead of october? anyways, aside from that minor point it was just like the oktoberfest that we all know; drinking and more drinking.

this oktoberfest in fremont was a little different, when you pay your general admission, you got a mini 5oz plastic beer mug and 5 pogs. you can trade a pog for a (5oz) mug of beer from one of the 75 microbreweries. so it was more like a beer tasting festival than anything else. admission + the mug + 5 pogs cost $20USD which is kinda expensive if you think about it to stand around drinking a lil beer.

also bought another 5 cds, that’s 22 in like 3 weeks. gotta stop spending money!


lesson number 1 is to not blog after drinking, so i’ll take my advice and blog. i guess i’ll upload pictures tomorrow when i can figure out how to use photoshop properly.