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"Lonnie the Cat - he'd read about the evils of drinking, so he quit reading."

You can download Bob Dylan's radio show, Theme Time Radio Hour. Episode 3 is themed: drinking.

Theme Time Radio Hour


"If there is one more item of Uzbek propaganda claiming that we do not drink fermented horse urine, give death penalty for baking bagels, or export over 300 tonnes of human pubis per year, then we will be left with no alternative but to commence bombardment of their cities with our catapults," Borat said.

Kazakh press secretary Roman Vasilenko said he was worried that some may take the Borat routine seriously.

"He is not a Kazakh. What he represents is a country of Boratastan, a country of one," Vasilenko told Reuters.

...Boratastan! Hahahaha

Another article. This time with a video!



Techno Tuesday

Thanks Sam

The Tale Of Tokyo Rose


Gentlemen Start your Whiskey!


Living Better Than Billions Of Humans


From the Pronounciation Dept.

"... Ahmadinejad, pronounced ah-ma-deen-ah-ZHAD, affirmed Iran's..."

So THAT's how you're supposed to say it. I've made my JAD->ZHAD transformation. Have you?


WoTD: Funcle

A fun uncle :)

Congrats, Zac!

The devil came down to New York

The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself, is right in the house. And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil came here. Right here [crosses himself] And it smells of sulfur still today. Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum, the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly. As the owner of the world.



Were we not supposed to talk about it today. Did I not get the memo? Yarrr!

Stephen Colbert Bridge

Hungarians rule. The best part, though?
"Hungary Hungary Hiplomat"


When will you die?

I will live to be 83 years old, how about you?

WOTD: Passive requestive

Coined by me, I think. It turns up zero hits on google, but I think it's a useful and descriptive phrase for someone trying to get something without being very up-front about it.

e.g. "It would be nice if there was some whisky at this party." "Those rib tips look really good." etc.


WOTD: Deus ex machina

Deus ex machina is a Latin phrase that is used to describe an unexpected, artificial, or improbable character, device, or event introduced suddenly in a work of fiction or drama to resolve a situation or untangle a plot (e.g., having the protagonist wake up and realize it was all a dream or an angel suddenly appear to solve all the plot problems of a story that won't resolve itself by the characters). The phrase has been extended to refer to any resolution to a story which does not pay due regard to the story's internal logic and is so unlikely that it challenges suspension of disbelief, allowing the author to conclude the story with an unlikely, though more palatable, ending. In modern terms the deus ex machina has also come to describe a person or thing that suddenly arrives and solves a seemingly insoluble difficulty. While in storytelling this might seem unfulfilling, in real life this type of figure might be welcome and heroic.

The notion of deus ex machina can also be applied to a revelation within a story experienced by a character which involves the individual realizing that the complicated, sometimes perilous or mundane and perhaps seemingly unrelated sequence of events leading up to this point in the story are joined together by some profound concept. Thus the unexpected and timely intervention is aimed at the meaning of the story rather than a physical event in the plot.

The Greek tragedian Euripides is notorious for using this plot device.

The Latin phrase (deus ex māchinā, plural deī ex māchinīs) is a calque from the Greek ἀπὸ μηχανῆς θεός ápo mēchanēs theós, (pronounced in Ancient Greek [a po' mɛ:kʰa'nɛ:s tʰe'os]). It originated with Greek and Roman theater, when a mechane would lower actors playing a god or gods on stage to resolve a hopeless situation. The phrase is often translated as "god from the machine", where the machine referred to is the crane device employed in the task.

The pronunciation of the phrase may be a problem in English. The Latin phrase would originally have been pronounced something like ['de.ʊs eks 'ma:kʰɪ.na:], in other words with machina stressed on the first syllable, and with the ch pronounced as in the Scottish word "loch" — similar to an English k — but English-speaking people may be influenced by the modern English machine ([mə'ʃi:n]), resulting in a mixed pronunciation. Some English speakers face further difficulties in pronouncing the e in Deus [e], which is only approximately rendered as [AY] and is much closer to the ay in day. See also Latin spelling and pronunciation.


Way to round out Patriot Week, President Asshole

Washington Post: A Defining Moment for America:
The president goes to Capitol Hill to lobby for torture.


The Strike Of Crossed Legs

Like strikes?
Wives and girlfriends of gang members in one of Colombia's most violent
cities have called a sex ban in a bid to get their men to give up the gun.

Dozens of women are said to be taking part in what is being called the
"strike of crossed legs", a move backed by the mayor of Pereira.

The city in Colombia's coffee-growing region reported 480 killings
last year.

This reminds me of something.

In My Country, There Is Problem

US President George Bush is to host White House talks on British comedian Sacha Baron Cohen.

Cohen, 35, creator of Ali G, has infuriated the Kazakhstan government with his portrayal of Borat, a bumbling Kazakh TV presenter.

And now a movie of Borat's adventures in the US has caused a diplomatic incident...



In order to pass himself off as a foreigner, Sacha writes his alleged notes in Hebrew, and uses occasional Polish words (Dziękuję thank you, Jak się masz? how are you?, Dzień Dobry good day, Przepraszam sorry) when speaking to people—not using Kazakh or Russian (the state and official languages of Kazakhstan). This has nearly had Borat exposed as a fake in midfilming. He has also lapsed into Hebrew while purporting to sing the Kazakhstani national anthem (in fact a simple reciting of major Kazakhstani cities) at a Savannah Sand Gnats game. In Hebrew, he kept on repeating a famous folk song: קום בחור עצל וצא לעבודה (kum bachur atzel ve'tze la'avoda) [...] קוקוריקו קוקוריקו התרנגול קרא (kookooriku kookooriku ha'tarnegol kara) ("get up lazy guy and go to work [...] cock a doodle do the cock has crowed"), and also called Kazakhstan a "hole" (חור). The hair and mustache are real, and it takes Baron Cohen six weeks to grow them. The suit has never been washed, which may cause him to smell "foreign" to those he encounters, adding to the apparent authenticity of his character.

Week in review: Baathists vs. al Qaeda

The United States Senate, years too late, announced that they've concluded there was never any link between the regime of Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda. "In fact, Saddam's regime mounted a large, but unsuccessful, effort to nab Zarqawi when he was in Baghdad before the war."

Then, hot on the heels of President Bush's September 11 celebration, elite Syrian forces prevent an attempted takeover of the US embassy in Damascus. "Four attackers detonated the car bomb before attempting to storm the compound, the Syrian ministry said. The Syrian forces met the attackers, and an embassy guard was killed battling them, the ministry said."

Thanks, Baath party.


It's a good thing they're opening this museum...

Not only will it be interesting to see for Cryptonomicon fans visiting England, but Bletchley may come in useful - as in Battlestar Galactica - if our computers are destroyed and we're attacked by an enemy using Enigmas to encrypt. (Link via Schneier on Security.)


This made me laugh out loud. I was just looking around for news about my childhood congressional district (MN CD5: Minneapolis), which may soon elect Congress's 1st Muslim (depending on outcomes in elections today and in November... he's favored in both, as far as I know). There probably won't be any news reported on the outcome 'till later tonight, but check out the news from St. Paul:
Republicans are worried that primary voters will choose a convicted felon, Jack Shephard (who lives in Italy and would face arrest for arson charges if he returned), instead of Obi Sium, an Eritrean-American, because of the latter’s name. The winner on Tuesday will face (or maybe not?) the Democratic incumbent, Representative Betty McCollum.

Are you still in Minneapolis, Paul? Did you vote today?

Sparks+Wormwood= End of Days

Although Thujone is the active ingredient in Absinthe people think the magic ingredient is wormwood. Yuck.

"Thujone (C10H16O) is the chemical compound notable for its presence in the alcoholic beverage absinthe. It is a colourless liquid with a distinctive menthol odour. It is a ketone and a monoterpene, and is found in two stereoisomeric forms: (+)-3-thujone or ?-thujone and (-)-3-thujone or ?-thujone. Its formal name is sometimes given as bicyclo(3.1.0)hexan-3-one, 4-methyl-1-(1-methylethyl)-,(1S-(1-, 4-, 5-?))-(9CI); other names include isothujone and thujanone. It is used as a flavouring agent in certain foods and is a compound in a number of other food additives. It boils at 201°C and is insoluble in water although it is readily soluble in ethanol or diethyl ether." -Wiki

"A star called Wormwood falls onto the Earth poisoning the freshwater sources such as streams and rivers (This is believed to be a comet that falls but disintegrates before striking; the remains of which fall on the rivers and lakes, thus poisoning the waters. Thousands will die from drinking it. It is believed and accepted by some that believers will be spared this judgment.)" - Wiki

Johnny Walker Blue index

This great article by way of Gridskipper

In the mercurial world NYC nightlife the playing field for Blue Label is remarkably level.

So here’s the math: Blue Label wholesales for $176.92 a bottle New York City (as of 7/26/06). A standard 750ml bottle yields a little more than twelve 2 oz. servings (if the bar is pouring less than 2 oz. serving it will be kicked off the index for general stinginess). So a tumbler of JWB costs $14.74 wholesale. Divide that by how much it costs on the menu to get the index: $65 a drink at the SoHo Grand gives it a whopping JWBI 4.41–-meaning their mark-up is roughly 441% percent.

Though the math can, and will, be applied to any establishment, we'll start with some of the higher-end downtown hotels.

Downtown Hotels Average JWBI: 2.75
Soho Grand $65 (cost) // 4.41 (JWBI)
Tribeca Grand $65 // 4.41
Soho House $48 // 3.26
Gansevoort $42 // 2.85
Ritz Carlton (Battery Park City) $35 // 2.37
Matsuri/Maritime Hotel $30 // 2.04
W Union Square $30 // 2.04
60 Thompson - (Kittichai)* $25 // 1.70
Rivington Hotel - (Thor) $25 // 1.70
The Mercer [Mr. Balazs doesn't rock Blue Label]





Chinese Proverb

"Marrying a woman is like buying a horse: I can ride you and beat you whenever I like."

Read about why China is the only country in the world where the suicide rate is higher for women than men.


WOTD: Hematospermia

n. Hematospermia, or the presence of blood in semen, is most often a benign and idiopathic symptom, but can sometimes result from medical problems such as a urethral stricture, infection of the prostate, or a congenital bleeding disorder, and can occur transiently after surgical procedures such as a prostate biopsy. It is present in less than 2% of urology referrals, although prevalence in the overall population is unknown.

EG I got Hemtatospermia, like vanilla icecream with rasberry topping.


WOTD: Retrocopulant

a. Copulating backward, or from behind.


Pundit Wars: The Neocon Menace

This is definetely the best one I've seen. Props to the guy who made this. It may not look like much, but if you check out the competition, this shit deserves an Oscar.


Happy Labor Day.

Happy Labor day all

Oral Sex

"Parents, brace yourselves." With those words, Oprah Winfrey introduced news of a teenage oral-sex craze in the United States. In the Atlantic Monthly, Caitlin Flanagan wrote, "The moms in my set are convinced—they're certain; they know for a fact—that all over the city, in the very best schools, in the nicest families, in the leafiest neighborhoods, 12- and 13-year-old girls are performing oral sex on as many boys as they can."

Are they right? National statistics on teen fellatio have only recently been collected, but the trend seems to be real. Johns Hopkins University Professor Jonathan Zenilman, an expert in sexually transmitted infections, reports that both the adults and the teenagers who come to his clinic are engaging in much more oral sex than in 1990. For men and boys as recipients it's up from about half to 75 to 80 percent; for women and girls, it's risen from about 25 percent to 75 to 80 percent.

In some quarters, that might be regarded as progress, but how you feel about it probably depends on whether you are a teenager or a parent of teenagers. I am more than a decade away from being either and so regard myself as a neutral in this debate.

Moreover, as an economist, I feel uniquely qualified to opine on why it is happening...

Posted thanks to Ivan.

''Crikey! This Really Hurts!''


Space Elevator News

In a few weeks, scientists from across the world will gather in the New Mexico desert to compete for one of the strangest - and most ambitious - technological competitions ever devised.

Some researchers will unveil robots, powered by solar panels, that will climb long lengths of cable. Others will demonstrate materials so light and strong that mile-long stretches of the stuff could be hung in the air without snapping. And some will highlight their plans to launch satellites carrying sets of mini-probes tethered together, to discover how they behave in space.
All these different projects are united by one extraordinary goal: to build a stairway to heaven...

One day you'll ask: Where were you, when they built that ladder to heaven?

Infamous Independent Filmmaker Joshed By Infamous Artist

Hundreds of Paris Hilton albums have been tampered with in the latest stunt by "guerrilla artist" Banksy.

Banksy has replaced Hilton's CD with his own remixes and given them titles such as Why am I Famous?, What Have I Done? and What Am I For?

He has also doctored pictures of her on the CD sleeve to show the US socialite topless and with a dog's head.

A spokeswoman for Banksy said he had doctored 500 copies of her debut album Paris in 48 record shops across the UK.

She told the BBC News website: "He switched the CDs in store, so he took the old ones out and put his version in."

But he left the original barcode so people could buy the CD without realising it had been interfered with.

Banksy is notorious for his secretive and subversive stunts such as sneaking doctored versions of classic paintings into major art galleries.

His spokeswoman said he had tampered with the CDs in branches of HMV and Virgin as well as independent record stores.

He visited cities including Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and London, she added.

A spokesman for HMV said the chain had recovered seven CDs from two Brighton shops but was unaware that other locations were affected.

No customers had complained or returned a doctored version, he said.

"It's not the type of behaviour you'd want to see happening very often," he said.

"I guess you can give an individual such as Banksy a little bit of leeway for his own particular brand of artistic engagement.

"Often people might have a view on something but feel they can't always express it, but it's down to the likes of Banksy to say often what people think about things.

"And it might be that there will be some people who agree with his views on the Paris Hilton album."

A spokesman for Virgin Megastores said staff were searching for affected CDs but it was proving hard to find them all.

"I have to take my hat off - it's a very good stunt," he added.


WOTD: Carpetbagger

Origin: 1868

Before the grip (1879), the suitcase (1902), the tote bag (1900), and the Backpack (1914) had their days as travel accessories of choice, Americans traveling light packed their belongings in carpetbags, invented in the 1830s. Long before Samsonite, the carpetbag was valued for its durability, for it was made of two sturdy pieces of carpet sewn together to which handles were attached.

It was this carpetbag that Northern adventurers brought with them to the South after the Civil War, having little in the way of luggage to slow them down as they sought political office and profit in the land of their defeated enemy. North and South, carpetbaggers were denounced. "A great deal of bitterness has been shown in all the conventions in regard to the presence, and great prominence as members, of what the Louisiana people call 'carpet-baggers'--men, that is, who are new-comers in the country," wrote a Northern reporter in 1868. "I would sooner trust the Negro than the white scalawag or carpet-bagger," declared one unreconstructed white southerner in that same year.

Carpetbagger has outlived the carpetbag. It still refers to someone who has newly come to a place with pretensions to take charge, especially a politician.


I read somewhere that Hillary Clinton was called a cartpetbagger, and I thought it had something to do with lesbianism.

Mos Def

Mos Def is awesome! He's so cool - Black Star, solo, acting, whatever. Last week he started filming a movie with director Michel Gondry called Be Kind Rewind where his coworker Jack Black becomes magnetized and destroys all the videotapes, so they have to reshoot/ reenact all the movies together on home video starting with Ghostbusters and working their way on from there. It's gonna be great!

Also last week, he was arrested for singing about Hurricane Katrina in public.


WOTD: Peccadillo

n. A small sin or fault.

[Spanish pecadillo, diminutive of pecado, sin,, and Italian peccadiglio, diminutive of peccato, sin both from Latin pecctum, from neuter of pecctus past participle of peccre, to sin. See ped- in Indo-European Roots.]


Via my mother, an exciting Minneapolis news story. When the old neighborhood isn't drinking the rest of the country under the table (see a few posts down), we keep ourselves busy with vigilante heroics.

Four men, one with a handgun, forced their way into a third-floor apartment, apparently to burglarize it, police said.

But one of the men in the apartment won the fight for a Samurai sword...

NYC Drinkface

Lifted from Gridskipper.