Archive for the ‘beer’ Category

About Cinco de Mayo, the American holiday

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

Julie Barlow and Jean-Benoȋt Nadeau, authors of The Story of Spanish, point out that Cinco de Mayo No Hecho en México, Actually
Cinco is as American as apple pie. So is the U.S. Hispanic melting pot.

Exactly how Cinco de Mayo turned into the signature celebration of the United States’ 52 million Hispanics is a bit of a mystery—especially since it is hardly celebrated in Mexico outside of the State of Puebla. Cinco de Mayo has no association with Mexican independence. It commemorates a battle on May 5, 1862, in which the Mexican army vanquished the well-equipped French forces of Napoleon III.

No one knows exactly why Hispanics in California began celebrating Cinco de Mayo at the end of the 1860s.

It was a good excuse for a party?

What we do know is that in the 1970s cultural organizers in San Francisco selected Cinco de Mayo from among a slate of holidays as the best pan-national Latino celebration in the U.S. It was a savvy choice. Most Mexicans had never heard of the holiday, so it didn’t carry the risk of pitting different Hispanic nationalities against one another.

I had never heard of cinco de mayo until quite recently, either. Neither had several friends and acquaintances from Latin America, who found out about it once they moved to the USA.

What does The Most Interesting Man in the World have to say about this?

By the way, Bronx native Jonathan Goldsmith is The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Buy the book, drink the beer. Skol!

UPDATE,
The article’s author left a comment! Thank you!

[post updated with info on TMIMitW]

The Peruvian elections Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 6th, 2011

LatinAmerThe big news of the week was yesterday’s Peruvian election of Ollanta Humala as their next president:

Financial markets, which have been riding a roller coaster during the long campaign, are sure to take a win by Mr. Humala badly, analysts said. Investors viewed Ms. Fujimori as the candidate who would maintain the policies of openness toward foreign investment and trade, which helped Peru grow by 9% last year. Mr. Humala, who has made sharply contradictory statements on economic policy, would face pressure to immediately send signals to the market by revealing who would serve in key positions, such as Prime Minister and Economy Minister.

BRAZIL
Lagarde, on Visit to Brazil, Vows Speedy IMF Reform

Dilma’s first big test
The political wounding of Antonio Palocci, the president’s right-hand man, comes at an awkward time, when the battle to cool the economy has only just begun

CHILE
Video: Michelle Bachelet on UN Women

Volcano erupts in Chile

COLOMBIA
Colombia kills FARC commander
Colombian authorities said they killed the top-ranking security chief of the rebel group FARC
, Alirio Rojas Bocanegra, known as “El Abuelo,” member of the FARC Central Command.

CUBA
Fábrica de españoles

GUATEMALA
Ethics and politics get divorced

ECUADOR
Congressman McGovern visits Ecuador

SUMMARY: Congressman James McGovern traveled in Ecuador from November 13 to 18, to visit sites at issue in the Chevron-Texaco oil pollution case, and Ecuadorian border communities affected by refugees and other aspects of the violence in Colombia. Congressman McGovern met with Government of Ecuador (GOE) Ministers and President Correa, and while taking no position on the unresolved Chevron-Texaco suit, expressed concern about the humanitarian, health and environmental impacts of oil contamination on local affected communities and the humanitarian situation on the border, and pledged to draw greater attention to the plight of refugees. Foreign Minister Salvador and Vice Defense Minister Miguel Carvajal asked McGovern for the U.S. Congress to investigate the March 1 Colombian attack against a FARC camp in Angostura, along the northern border of Ecuador, which McGovern did not agree to.

HAITI
New Study Questions Quake Toll In Haiti

MEXICO
Mexico City Retailers Pause

Retailers have put expansion plans on hold in the Mexican capital after the megacity’s government enacted a virtual three-year moratorium on openings of grocers, convenience stores and hypermarkets in an effort to shield traditional markets and small family-run bodegas from corporate competition.

Soul-searching amid the debris
Mexican individualism and violence

PARAGUAY
Police in Paraguay Seize 2.1 Tonnes of Cocaine Adulterate

PERU
Today’s video: Toss up

PUERTO RICO
A pun gone wrong: Coors Light “Emboricuate” Ads Brews Outrage Among Puerto Ricans

VENEZUELA
Venezuela: The Brazil connection

Why I am not blogging much lately: the “gimme!” culture of Venezuela. Venezuela’s not alone.

The Perverse Gasoline Subsidy in Petrostates

The week’s posts,
Venezuela: Welcome to Club Hugo
Ollanta Humala’s shell game
The short answer is, No

At Real Clear World,
Bolivia Invites, Then Disinvites, Accused Iranian Terrorist

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Washington’s Fortitude

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Being brewed in NYC (h/t Aaron),
George Washington’s Beer Being Brewed in NYC

George Washington is famous for many things. Yet it’s safe to say few know the nation’s founding father created a recipe for beer.

The New York Public Library owns the recipe and is partnering with Coney Island Brewing Company in Brooklyn to recreate the brew.

They’ll make just 25 gallons to celebrate the library’s centennial. It’ll be called “Fortitude’s Founding Father Brew.”

I suggest they brew several hundred gallons and send it to DC so the legislators can continue to spend like drunken sailors. You surely can’t expect that they’d have the Fortitude to seriously tackle the budget.

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Lend a hand

Friday, July 31st, 2009

afterbeers_ps-0436

Nice Deb has the photo that Thomas Lifson posted,

Sergeant Crowley, the sole class act in this trio, helps the handicapped Professor Gates down the stairs, while Barack Obama, heedless of the infirmities of his friend and fellow victim of self-defined racial profiling, strides ahead on his own. So who is compassionate? And who is so self-involved and arrogant that he is oblivious?

Lifson finds an analogy to government health care. Go read it.

North Korea celebrates 4th of July with beer and rockets

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

North Korea launches beer advert
Because nothing in a beer ad says “refreshing” like chemists in labs, assembly lines, antiquated buildings, and North Korean Communist party officials:

Meanwhile the rockets are flying in the overall direction of Japan. The UN forbids that,

Resolution 1874, which was approved last month and which condemned the North’s nuclear test, was the third to be passed by the U.N. Security Council against the country since 2006. All three ban North Korea from launching ballistic missiles.

Obviously the North Korean regime f*rts in the overall direction of the UN as far as that’s concerned.

Ed asks, “Could a Taepodong-2 be next?”

Pick your “glass hold”, please

Friday, May 29th, 2009

For the “take with a grain of [margarita] salt” file:
The Beeb says ‘Glass hold’ reveals personality.

If the study is accurate, you probably want to hang out with

THE FUN-LOVER

This type of drinker could be a man or a woman. They tend to be sociable and convivial and “like a laugh”.

They take short swigs from bottled drinks so they don’t miss out on chipping in with the conversation.

The bottle is held loosely at its shoulder for ease. This type of person is always happy to extend their social circle. The best way to approach them therefore is to leap directly into light, good-humoured conversation and make them laugh.

However, it’s probably a good idea to stay away from the browbeater, whether the study is accurate or not.

Coming soon to a microbrewery near you?

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

cask-componentsOregon is raising their beer tax from $2.60 to $52.21 a barrel

If it passes, Oregon will overnight become the most taxing state for suds, one-third higher than the next highest beer tax state, Alaska. The state may do this even though Oregon is the second largest microbrewery producer in the U.S. The beer industry and its 96 breweries contribute 5,000 jobs and $2.25 billion to state GDP. Kurt Widmer of Widmer Brewing Co. says the tax would “devastate our company and small breweries throughout the state.” Adds Joe Henchman, director of state projects at the Tax Foundation, “This microbrewery industry has gravitated to Oregon in part due to low beer taxes.”

For Oregon to enact punitive taxes on its homegrown beer industry makes as much sense as Idaho slapping an excise tax on potatoes or for New York to tax stock trading. Even without the tax increase, taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in a glass of beer, according to the Oregon Brewers Guild.

Considering the ruinous state of New Jersey, I wouldn’t be surprised if the geniuses in Trenton follow the Oregon tax trail.

How beer saved civilization

Thursday, July 10th, 2008


George Will explains the Survival of the Sudsiest

The development of civilization depended on urbanization, which depended on beer. To understand why, consult Steven Johnson’s marvelous 2006 book, “The Ghost Map: The Story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic — and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World.” It is a great scientific detective story about how a horrific cholera outbreak was traced to a particular neighborhood pump for drinking water. And Johnson begins a mind-opening excursion into a related topic this way:

“The search for unpolluted drinking water is as old as civilization itself. As soon as there were mass human settlements, waterborne diseases like dysentery became a crucial population bottleneck. For much of human history, the solution to this chronic public-health issue was not purifying the water supply. The solution was to drink alcohol.”

Often the most pure fluid available was alcohol — in beer and, later, wine — which has antibacterial properties. Sure, alcohol has its hazards, but as Johnson breezily observes, “Dying of cirrhosis of the liver in your forties was better than dying of dysentery in your twenties.” Besides, alcohol, although it is a poison, and an addictive one, became, especially in beer, a driver of a species-strengthening selection process.

Johnson notes that historians interested in genetics believe that the roughly simultaneous emergence of urban living and the manufacturing of alcohol set the stage for a survival-of-the-fittest sorting-out among the people who abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyle and, literally and figuratively speaking, went to town.

To avoid dangerous water, people had to drink large quantities of, say, beer. But to digest that beer, individuals needed a genetic advantage that not everyone had — what Johnson describes as the body’s ability to respond to the intake of alcohol by increasing the production of particular enzymes called alcohol dehydrogenases. This ability is controlled by certain genes on chromosome four in human DNA, genes not evenly distributed to everyone. Those who lacked this trait could not, as the saying goes, “hold their liquor.” So, many died early and childless, either of alcohol’s toxicity or from waterborne diseases.

The gene pools of human settlements became progressively dominated by the survivors — by those genetically disposed to, well, drink beer. “Most of the world’s population today,” Johnson writes, “is made up of descendants of those early beer drinkers, and we have largely inherited their genetic tolerance for alcohol.”

Dave Schuler adds to James Joyner‘s post by saying,

The connection between civilization and beer is even stronger than George Will alleges. Nomads can do a lot of things but it’s darned hard to brew mead or beer unless you adopt a sedentary habit. There are anthropologists who believe that human beings founded the first permanent settlements in order to brew mead or beer. Beer-drinking anthropologists, naturally.

I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying a beer in Joyner’s company and have seen George Will drink a beer too, so we can all drink to that.

Beer continues to refect man’s history: Last year The Incontiguous Brick posted on how Biofuels cause higher beer prices when German farmers switch to those crops instead of growing barley. And of course, in the presidential campaign this year, Cindy McCain is an executive at an Anheuser-Busch distributor in Phoenix. Stephen Bainbridge explains why beer stocks are a good place to park your money during a downturn.

The perfect topics for a hot Summer afternoon: beer and books.

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Study: Canadian Beer Drinkers Threaten Planet, eh?

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Study: Canadian Beer Drinkers Threaten Planet

Scientists have found a new threat to the planet: Canadian beer drinkers.

The government-commissioned study says the old, inefficient “beer fridges” that one in three Canadian households use to store their Molson and Labatt’s contribute significantly to global warming by guzzling gas- and coal-fired electricity.

Expert Joanna Yarrow says,

“People need to understand the impact of their lifestyles,” British environmental consultant Joanna Yarrow tells New Scientist magazine. “Clearly the environmental implications of having a frivolous luxury like a beer fridge are not hitting home.

Clearly Joanna doesn’t understand that a beer fridge is a necessity, not a frivolous luxury.

In the spirit of Canada, here’s the beer fridge/wine cooler at casa de Fausta:

[the photo will be brought to you as soon as the camera battery recharges Photo ready.
Apologies for the inconvenience]


(I just realized we’re out of beer. Will have to go buy some as soon as the store opens.)

The beer fridge is right next to the fridge featured in the Tim Blair Fridge Project

Over at Tim Blair’s, Canadians aim for title.

Of course, if you’re worried about cooling beer bottles and cans, there’s always buying the keg…

PS,
For those of you in a hurry for their beer to cool, Adam and Jamie proved that the fastest way to cool a six-pack is to spray it with a CO2 fire extinguisher.
Beer + carbon emmissions = cool!

Update: More beer news around the world
Ed has the goods on the Guinness stout keg heist.
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