Re: If lager were a Spanish verb, the first-person present tense would be lago (meaning [among other things]* "lake"), and I would love a lake of lager, for a brief while anyway.

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I like beer. You know, Beer brand beer.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:15 PM
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There's this brewery Lightning in San Diego County that makes a good lager, but I have no idea how far east they've made it.

May I recommend some DOUBLE HOPSPLOSION FACEBEER ARGH from Freakin' Retarded Brewery? Because, as Blume can attest, that's the kind of beer I like.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:17 PM
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I guess the first-person present tense would be likelier lajo, so let's assume an exception here.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:18 PM
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More helpfully, I rather like Pilsner Urquell, but I note from its wiki page that it tends more toward the ale spectrum for a pilsner. (Which probably explains why I like it).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:21 PM
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2: It's probably the HOPSLOSION! types of ales that helped draw me in the "huh, what's over here?" direction. Also: something seems wintry about lagers, without having that overly flavorful in-your-face winter-beer taste.

It should be clear from the above: I don't know what I'm talking about.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:23 PM
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I wonder what lager would be if it were a German word.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:25 PM
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5: wait, so you have an aversion to, or liking of HOPSPLOSION! type beers? Because if its the latter, I don't quite follow how you get to lagers. I also don't quite follow the wintry thing, but we can get to that latterly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:28 PM
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7: I thoroughly enjoy hops and hoppy beers. Some beers are over-hopped, IMHO

Sierra Nevada does an EXTRA-HOPPED version of their regular beer. That's too much for me. Regular Sierra Nevada is towards the outer rim of my hop tolerance.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:32 PM
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7: Yeah, I was confused by that since to me, lagers are more of a summer thing. Crisp and refreshing.

Then again, I just ordered some bizarro cherry beer (not a lambic, this just tasted like someone had stirred a spoonful of cherry cough syrup in) at a bar on Wednesday, so you probably shouldn't trust my judgment on beer at all.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:32 PM
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8: we've talked about this before, but my problem with Sierra Nevada is not the hops, but the fact that it's crappy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:33 PM
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I'm a little too buzzed to contribute contributionally to this discussion, but it's on cabernet sauvignon, and I apologize.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:34 PM
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6: The Germans have words?!?!?! They must be stopped!11one1!!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:34 PM
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I had a Unibroue Maudite today. Mmm, tasty.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:36 PM
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we've talked about this before

Right. The over-hop wars are well-established. I'm saying I've gone over to lagers and am disappointed in the selection and, like, what gives, man? I want more lagers to try. Some are really good.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:37 PM
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Nathan Williams presumably has advice for you, but yeah, try Lightning if you can find it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:38 PM
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Wouldn't the "lago" mean "I lake"?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:39 PM
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13: At the wine bar on Hillhurst? No, that's a wine bar...damnit, I know where serves those.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:40 PM
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Wrongshore should (a) drink more wine and (b) keep commenting.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:41 PM
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Then again, I just ordered some bizarro cherry beer (not a lambic, this just tasted like someone had stirred a spoonful of cherry cough syrup in)

That's a pretty accurate description of what Lindemans is pleased to call a lambic. Other cherry lambics taste very different.

It wasn't Unibroue's Quelque Chose, was it?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:42 PM
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16: It would be a homophone and thus vary in meaning.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:42 PM
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I haven't had it in a while, but I remember really liking North Coast's Scrimshaw


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:42 PM
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18: only if no more pizza. Damnit, that was a pizza bridge too far.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:43 PM
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Yes, that's a common problem with pizza bridges. If I recall, Calavatra prefers Calzones.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:45 PM
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I think it was an entire bridge too far.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:46 PM
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19: I've never had the Lindemanns, but this was nothing like a true lambic, which I love. It was so weird.

I don't know what it actually was; I was somewhat emotionally upset at the time and the waiter was rattling off things and I just picked something that sounded different.....fitting that what I ended up with was not particularly good.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:47 PM
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25: you probably punched him, in your anguish, and he dumped his purple drank into some MGD by way of revenge.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:48 PM
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25: Hah. It was kinda hoppy; switch out the MGD for Sierra Nevada and that seems more likely.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:48 PM
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||

I rather love this.

|>


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:51 PM
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It wasn't Unibroue's Quelque Chose, was it?

Heh, I didn't care much for that beer either, Ben. Too sweet, and being served warm really didn't flatter it. Might be better if the bar had thrown in some spices and treated it more like a mulled wine.

Stanley, not too sure what to say since I never really liked lagers. I drank Guinness all through college because it was the only non-lager that I could routinely find around. Have you tried Kirin Ichiban? It seems to have a bit of a heartier flavor than most, and could work pretty well for the winter. How about Brooklyn Lager? I've liked pretty much everything I've tried from them (this was particularly exceptional), and heard good things about the lager.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:53 PM
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I've never had the Lindemanns, but this was nothing like a true lambic

Neither is Lindemans, see, that's the joke.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-26-09 11:58 PM
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30: Oh, oh, I'm so tempted to be snarky.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:00 AM
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There's also always Yuengling for a cheap but above average lager.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:02 AM
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30: Oh, oh, I'm so tempted to be snarky.

About your misspelling, which I silently corrected?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:02 AM
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Have you tried Kirin Ichiban?

Yep. I like it. Runs about $10 a six pack around here, which I consider a bit much for what it is. But I'll buy one at a bar if that's the best choice for what's around that fits the mood (this sort of decision is filed under going-to-a-bar-in-the-first-place-logic).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:03 AM
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33: This is what I get for biting my tongue, isn't it?

And yes, God knows why I stuck that extra n in there. Must be all the German floating around.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:04 AM
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At the wine bar on Hillhurst?

Yes. With the tasty Brazilian food.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:04 AM
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33: This is what I get for biting my tongue, isn't it?

A genuine expression of confusion and interest in what you might have been thinking of, yes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:05 AM
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Damn fine wine bar.

I tried to check out El Prado (the wine bar part of the burgeoning Spaceland empire) but they didn't have proper food so back to Masa.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:07 AM
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37: Ah, sorry. I meant that yes, I had gotten the joke. Of course I got the joke!

(Though given my poor command of English, it's easy to see how you'd arrive at the opposite conclusion).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:07 AM
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There's also always Yuengling for a cheap but above average lager.

I submit that what are called "chubby" Yuenglings in Philly, the 32 ouncers, actually taste better than Yuengling anywhere else. Perhaps because they warm up? I don't know.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:07 AM
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I've never been to El Prado, but I did go to that "wine for the people" place on Sunset near Alvarado the other day. Despite the name, it's not unbearable.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:11 AM
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That place is all right. And you know, the people all go there.

The wine bar explosion is already peaked. Where is the fern bar explosion?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:13 AM
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Or the chocolate bacon bar explosion.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:14 AM
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43: That just sounds dirty.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:18 AM
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What's your interest in fern bars, Wrongshore?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:18 AM
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You just know that the cover shot of the Vosges bacon bar was chose because of the spumy bursting-forth quality of the bacon piece.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:19 AM
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spumy bursting-forth quality

Sexy.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:20 AM
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34: Oh wow, that's the price of a good microbrew around here. I can see why it's not a staple. Do you guys get Great Lakes brewery around your parts? If so, you might want to check out the Elliot Ness amber lager and the Dortmunder Gold. Their stuff tends to be about $8-9 for a six-pack around here, and it's mighty tasty.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:26 AM
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For Czech lagers, there's Gambrinus, Krusovice, Staropramen, Velkopopovicky Kozel, Budvar, and the aforementioned Pilsner Urquell.

All are pretty decent, and each brand does several different lagers. I like the 'premium' Krusovice lagers, but they are all good. The bog-standard cheapo Gambrinus is still nice. Czech dark beer, which is basically a dark lager rather than an ale/beer, is also nice.

With German lagers I usually just buy Becks or DAB.

Other lagers: I like, Asahi [they do a black one, too, like a Czech dark lager] and some of the other Japanese ones like Kirin.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:28 AM
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I like the 'premium' Krusovice lagers,

Me too. I just couldn't figure out how to spell it. The Krusovice dark is really nice.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:33 AM
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48 and 49: Almost none of those names rings a bell, but I have an ear at one beer shop: a roommate works there part time. Even he thinks I'm a bit weird on the lager kick, but I'll certainly pass 'em along.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:34 AM
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The king of lagers is the Bock. The German varieties, having awesome names like Optimator, Salvator, Maximator are the best. There's a lighter version called a Maibock which is also good. San Franciscans should go to Suppenkueche for a fantastic variety of authentic German beers.

American varieties of lagers are usually not so good, but Sam Adams (of all brewers) made a mean Double Bock and Triple Bock. Shiner Bock is fine, but it's not really a Bock. It's pretty much the Yuengling of Texas, which isn't a bad thing.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:34 AM
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Holy crap, I should go to Suppenküche! The last time I was there was like a year ago and I walk by it all the time!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:36 AM
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Basically, I don't get out enough.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:36 AM
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re: 52

Bocks are stronger/sweeter, no? When compared to 'standard' lagers. Which might explain why I've not really been enamoured of the ones I've had.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:39 AM
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Hey, ttaM, do people actually drink Baltika beers anywhere you've been in Eastern Europe? I like their #7 all right.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:39 AM
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And the Pennsylvanians should enjoy Stoudt's, which is an authentic German-style brewery in Dutch country. And how could I forget the Maerzen, which although named for the month of March, is actually consumed during Oktoberfest, which is really in September.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:39 AM
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Bocks are at least stronger.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:40 AM
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re: 51

Most Czech breweries seem to do a 10° (the lightest/lowest alcohol content - 4% ish), 12° (5% ish), premium (posh 10° or 12° version), and black/dark lager. All are good. Czechs sometimes seem to mix the dark with the light, in one glass. I've never done it from bottles but I've seen it being done in pubs fairly often.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:42 AM
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re: 56

I've only really been to the Czech Republic [in Eastern Europe] and I've never seen Baltika. Czechs are quite happy with their own beer.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:43 AM
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Bocks are usually a bit stronger and a bit sweeter. Rogue, which is pretty much the best American brewery ever, makes a Dead Guy Ale which is a good Maibock. Their ales are much better, though.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:44 AM
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re: 58

I tend to stick to the 4-5/5.5% alcohol range, by personal taste. I've had a few with higher alcohol content that I've liked, but not many.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:44 AM
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The Eastern European beer scene is highly balkanized.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:44 AM
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Don't know how widely they are sold, but I do quite like some of the Penn Brewery beers. My favorites in order:
Penn Märzen - I really like this one, I think only spring availability and seems to be limited even then (they also make an Oktoberfest Märzen, sold as Oktoberfest)
Penn Gold - a Munich Helles Lager
Penn Dark - a Dunkel lager
Penn Pilsner - their standard


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:44 AM
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Speaking of German beer, Bostonians should go to Boston Beer Works for their Alt Beer, which is one of the few authentic varieties of this beer I've found in the US. Otherwise, you have to go to Duesseldorf to get it.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:47 AM
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I love this shit.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:47 AM
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60: A quite fair answer. Trips abroad are convincing me we're getting shitty export beer here in the US. Not that we don't ask for it, but, you know, well, fuck.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:49 AM
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53: say hi to Craig the bartender for me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:50 AM
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Ben,

If you walk by Suppenkueche every day and don't go, you are stabbing me in the eye. Figuratively. That place is awesome. It's just too bad the Fritz place down the street is gone. Their ads (Ceci n'est pas une Fritz) always amused me and their fritz were damned good.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:51 AM
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It's just too bad the Fritz place down the street is gone

It's not gone.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:52 AM
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Um, it was gone last time I was there. So it's back?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:52 AM
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Bock beer isn't really lager at all, but a style of brewing beer that tends to produce strong, slightly sweet to very sweet, caramelly dark beer. Very nice in winter, not supposed to be drunk at any other time. Nice, but not what you're looking for if you want a proper lager.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:53 AM
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There's a place called Frjtz on Hayes, if that's what you're thinking of. It was closed for several months but they reöpened next door.

They also now have a location on Valencia.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:00 AM
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It is. I must have just caught it while it was closed.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:01 AM
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Most classification systems put Bocks in the lager category, and the Maerzen is specifically meant to be drunk at Oktoberfest.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:17 AM
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There's a couple of American companies you should check out - German immigrants in the 19th century included a number of master brewers who set up operations in the New World, and some of the very best ones have been brewing for over a hundred years.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:21 AM
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the Maerzen is specifically meant to be drunk at Oktoberfest.

Today, most seem to be, but it appears to have originally been a more contingent association.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:26 AM
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Apropos of nothing, "The Budweiser Menace" (complete with official A-B response).


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:43 AM
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78 was me. It was a Stimulus Comment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:47 AM
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I've never had the Lindemanns, but this was nothing like a true lambic, which I love.

Me too! I have an immense stein which can hold five normal measures of lambic. It's a lambic pentameter.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:31 AM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:56 AM
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Isn't part of the deal that lager lends itself pretty well to industrial mass production? The best lagers I've had haven't been microbrews, they've been good-quality industrial beers. I remember Vailima, the Samoan brand (well, the good Samoan brand. If you happen to find yourself in Samoa, stay away from Manaia, which is nasty.) fondly, but not because it was anything particularly different from any other German-style lager.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:30 AM
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My son loved Baltika in Russia, , but I can't remember which number. Good, cheap, and strong. Russia has extremely relaxed liquor laws.

I love their Communist apparatchik nomenclature: #1--#12. You can't just order a Baltika.

Baltika is post-communist and foreign-owned, I think. The apparatchik nomenclature must be irony.

There's a whole bunch of European beers that are like American beers, except good: Becks, Pilsner Urquell, Grolsch, St. Pauli, and 2 or 3 others I can't remember. That's what I drink when there's money available, but I'm really staying within the American frame.

Weird Belgian beers are fun and interesting, but I haven't found one I'd drink every day even at a reasonable price.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:33 AM
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Nah, I don't think lager is particularly friendlier to industrial production than ales (the other class of beers). In fact, it's a bit more annoying in that fermentation is slower and you need to do longer cold storage (what "lagering" means). Also, the common American mass-market lagers are a nearly flavorless style - and while this can be considered a criticism of the taste preferences of its consumers, it means that there isn't a lot of room for error. You can hide an awful lot of production sloppiness under a big roasty porter or hop bomb.

There might be more industrial experience making the things, since they're popular today, but I don't think that reflects an underlying advantage.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:49 AM
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Huh. I'm not a wildly informed beer snob, but this "there isn't a lot of room for error" is sort of what I meant. My sense of a good lager is a beer with a fairly simple, clean flavor; you're not looking for an excitingly different take on lager, you're looking for perfect execution. And perfect execution of something simple is what industry is for.

Darker beers, a craft brewer is going to be able to come up with interesting, complex recipes and flavors that an industrial brewer is unlikely to attempt. But for a nice clean simple lager, a factory will do you just fine.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:54 AM
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Eerily on topic - I have this silly Joy of Cooking Daily Calender that I got for Christmas. Today's entry? "Lager beer, defined."


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:59 AM
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Ah. Well, it's probably true that it's easier for mass industry to make a consistent lager than it is for a smaller producer; what I was addressing was whether it is easier for mass industry to make a different kind of beer; I still think it is. Consider, say, Guinness, which is certainly a mass-industry non-lager.

Most of the flavor range of beer is within the scope of the big industrial brewer; it involves changing the variables (malt bill, hop schedule, mash schedule, yeast strain, fermentation temperature, etc.), but not the process. At least until you get into truly wacky things like modern wood-aging, or additional funky microbes.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:00 AM
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Sure; it's not that an industrial brewer couldn't perfectly duplicate any given craft beer (barring weird extremes like lambics with microorganisms that have been living in the rafters of the Belgian brewery since the fifteenth century and get sulky and die if you try to move them), it's that they're not going to attempt to duplicate the full variety of possible craft beers because they don't think it would be profitable -- the market for any individual unusual beer isn't big enough.

For a lager, though, there's (IMO) a fairly tightly defined space of possible good lagers, and so an industrial brewer is just as capable of aiming for that target as a craft brewer, and somewhat more capable of hitting it perfectly and reliably.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:08 AM
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Damn, all my points have already been made again. But yeah, Scrimshaw Pilsner. I remember Dock Street making a good Czech Pilsner, but I don't know what their status is lately. Closed and reopened?

You can also check out Vienna Lagers. They're closer to the Oktoberfest/Märzen end of things. The famous ones nowadays are Mexican beers like Doe Equis Amber and Negra Modelo.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:15 AM
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"Doe" s/b "Dos". And I even previewed three times trying to get the damn umlaut right.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:19 AM
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I guess the first-person present tense would be likelier lajo, so let's assume an exception here.

Are there Spanish infinitives that end in -uer? Like laguer to lago? I don't remember any, but it seems like there's no reason they shouldn't exist.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:19 AM
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Dr. Alvin Weasely:

On a superficial level, a glass of beer is a cool, soothing beverage. But in reality, a glass of beer is peepee-dickie.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:21 AM
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I started drinking Baltika in Petersburg, where it's considered a soft drink, and now I drink it at the Russian Baths. I can never remember which numbers are which.

The first beer I ever drank was in Prague, a freshly bottled Pilsner Urquell. My beer-drinking career since then has basically been a quest to recreate that original moment of bliss. Pilsner Urquell in the U.S. is not as fresh and not nearly as good. I've had better luck in the States with Czech beers like Krusovice and Staropramen -- they're quite good at the beer garden in Astoria, at least.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:21 AM
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Velkopopovicky Kozel,

Used to be better, along with most CZ beer, Prazdroj and Budvar (US: Urquell and Czechvar) excepted. Around 2002, smaller breweries became efficient by makiing worse beer, IMO, a really heartbreaking development in the case of Kozel. Still, the cheap dive off of Loretanske namesti that serves it is one of the nicest places to sit in Prague, and the beer is still better than US megabrews.

Large regional breweries in the US seem to do OK unless they're run by accountants-- the biggest issue I have with local ones near DC is poor QC inroducing high variance and insane costs-- if a decent bottled beer is $4/500ml, I'd rather drink wine or tequila. Bohemia Obscura brewed in Yucatan and consumed there is not bad.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:22 AM
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fairly tightly defined space of possible good lagers
If you replace "lagers" with "american light lager, derived from pilsner", I'll give you that. Lots of the interesting things people have mentioned are non-pilsner-derived lagers, or more traditional/stronger-flavored varieties of pilsner. </nitpick>


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:44 AM
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I have the impression that there was at some point a diaspora of German brewers to developing countries, meaning that there are a lot of places you can go and find a very nice locally made German lager.

(My second year in Samoa there was a crisis -- the strain of yeast at the Vailima brewery went bad. For a week or so there was funny-tasting beer or beer that exploded, and then there was just no beer at all for a month while they shut the brewery down, cleaned it out, and had a new strain of yeast flown in. The funniest bit was the letters to the paper about the immense social improvement from there being no beer available for a week; there were pages and pages of letters about how there had been this rugby tournament and that village dance that had been unexpectedly pleasant and violence-free. And then the beer started to flow again, and everything returned to normal.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:44 AM
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re: 94

I was thinking, 'where's Loretanske namesti?', and then looked at pictures online. I've been there, but not sure which dive you mean.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:47 AM
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96: Alexander Cockburn defends Prohibition for that kind of reason. In the 1910s a lot of prohibitionists were socialists; in the 1910s the two parties ran a fusion candidate in Minnesota who got 10-15% of the vote for governor or something.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:51 AM
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98: yes, Prohibition is famous for its low levels of violence.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:55 AM
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I'm sure the lull in violence only would have lasted until the homebrewing industry got going (there was some Samoan homebrew, but it was foul, unpleasant stuff that no one drank by choice. But in the absence of actual beer, needs must.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:56 AM
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88: and so an industrial brewer is just as capable of aiming for that target as a craft brewer, and somewhat more capable of hitting it perfectly and reliably.

An industrial statistician I worked with once categorically stated something like, "We know what quality is: deviation from target.*" (by some measure, doesn't matter which). It is an interesting statement on several levels given the broadness of the term "quality" (and he was of course using it narrowly), but assuming the target is a good one, you in fact generally aren't looking for the interesting new variation in your car engine, toilet paper or climbing rope. But within foodstuffs, do people really want the target every time? (Once again assuming that you like the target state; Another Pizza Hut pizza inside quality specs, woohoo!) For beer maybe, but in general I do not think that I do. But I can imagine others having a different opinion.

*Somewhere Robert Pirsig is kicking himself and saying, "Fuck me, no need to go crazy and write a book and all that shit."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:01 AM
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Memorial to the murdered prohibitionist who put my great great grandfather out of business and thrust my mother's family into the lower middle class.

The story. He had it coming to him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:03 AM
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2: I submit that beers which advertize their extreme hoppedness are formally the same as hot sauces with names which play on the their effect on ones' ass the next day. Not that I deprecate either one, mind you.

Also 96.2 made me smile.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:04 AM
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99: At the neighborhood level it was, according to Cockburn, and on the net. But the bank robberies and gang wars got the PR.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:05 AM
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which dive

U Cerneho vola, poorly marked entrance under the loggia.

Oh, yeah, in the US, CZ beer in a freshly tapped or rapidly consumed keg can be OK, but bottled beer fares badly unless it's made the trip in winter. Hey, wait-- that means that beer in stores RIGHT NOW might not be disgusting. Unfortunately, Budvar (labelled Czechvar) is sold in 335 ml instead of 350ml bottles. The fuckers.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:08 AM
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From the second link in 102:

The picture below shows Arensdorf and the members of the jury that set him free out drinking in the town the day of his acquittal.

I'm sure that was a fair trial!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:09 AM
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I knew a guy whose father woked in a quality old-country Polish bakery in Chicago around 1960 or so. His company was bought out by a national bakery, and they sent in scientific bakers whose job was to approximate the original product at a lower price. Cost-cutting for a cheaper product and wider market was the problem, not Science or industrial organization.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:10 AM
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Prohibition is famous for its low levels of violence

Emerson is right in 104 - I'll chase up the reference, but in terms of overall violence, plus reduction in liver disease and similar, Prohibition was one of the most successful public health interventions ever carried out. Just goes to show that there's more to life than health I suppose.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:11 AM
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Soft drink soft porn, 1890-present.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:15 AM
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98: A friend some years back spent some time as a doctor serving a number of bush communities in interior Alaska (most of them primarily Native American). She said it was always evident within minutes of arriving at a new community the extent to which alcohol had permeated it. Her categorization of medical cases in most of them: Chronic alcoholism, direct results of acute alcohol abuse, and gruesome (think chainsaws and snowmobiles) accidents and violence stemming from acute alcohol abuse.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:15 AM
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110: You know, if there's an area where I'm tempted to reach for genetic/ethnic variation based differences in behavior, it's in responses to alcohol. It's a class of explanation I generally resist, but it really seems to work there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:19 AM
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106: Outside agitator. Had it coming to him.

As I've said, in Minnesota the polish and German Catholic priests accepted moonshining as a form of civil disobedience and told people they didn't have to confess it. A tech at St. John's Abbey helped set people up with non-toxic copper equipment.

German and Irish Catholics agreed on this, but the German Catholics were very traditionalist and resisted Archbishop Ireland's Americanization of the church. There are still two Catholic traditionalist newspapers published in the area, one of which has left the Church entirely.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:21 AM
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I think the American "micro-brew" industry is totally corrupted by an uncritical reliance on MORE HOPS as the only metric by which beers can be judged. Seriously. Have you tried Bell's Two-Hearted? It's like running along behind a combine with your toungue sticking out so that it's constantly splattered with silage. Yuck. Surprisingly, their lager is pretty decent, although I don't have it very often since I don't really like lager.

There's some brewery in Madison that really deserves the appellation "micro-brewery" -- the guy who makes the beer is also the delivery driver, and he hasn't got a refrigerated truck, and he doesn't pasteurize his product. So you can only get it within a 20 mile radius of his brewery. Or at least that's the story I heard.

What are good Polish beers? I've only had a couple, most recently Zywiec, which is decent, but unremarkable.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:25 AM
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111: Yes, it does seem that way. In her case, she burnt out on providing medical care in that environment pretty quickly over the period of a few years, despite otherwise enjoying the back country and Alaska in general.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:26 AM
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If Bourbaki did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. (In French). From Language Hat.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:28 AM
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101: Yeah, that's the way brewers use the word "quality". It's the ability to keep making the same beer over and over so that the customer knows what to expect.

One advantage that big brewers have is simply the bigness. At every stage in the process where beer has to be moved from one tank to another, they move two tanks into one that is twice as large. So by the time it's being bottled a great deal of averaging has smoothed out any batch-to-batch variations.

Of course, the ability to make a lot of beer carries with it the necessity to sell a lot of beer. Hence the appeal to the broadest spectrum of customers, and even to people who don't like beer.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:34 AM
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113: That's not true of American microbrews as a whole, although it is true in some regions. There is quite a bit of pushback in places like Colorado which prize balance above all.

And even here in Nor Cal, I like the hops just fine, but the really ridiculous ones are just so much macho posturing. What was once pretty damn hoppy is now quaintly tame.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:37 AM
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111: Reading about gin in 18th century England makes this sound more plausible.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:37 AM
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118: More, or less, plausible?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:41 AM
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I'm not a huge lager drinker (too many wonderful ales in England), but I'd have thought Budvar and Staropramen shouldn't be too hard to find in the US, and they're great.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:48 AM
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118: More: sudden introduction of cheap hard liquor, even to a population used to drinking beer/cider/etc., leads to really ridiculous levels of drunkenness and associated squalor. (Plus the whole revolution-from-above bit of building industrial capitalism, yes.) But their descendants don't seem to have the same problems. It wouldn't surprise me at all - though this is irresponsible data-free speculation - if there was genetic variation in how much hard alcohol + social stress leads to addiction, and addicts had lower fitness, so that it was bred out of the population.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:48 AM
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Yeah, that's the way brewers use the word "quality". It's the ability to keep making the same beer over and over so that the customer knows what to expect.

Syndicated opinion columnists also adhere to this principle. Thus, George Will is a high-quality writer and thinker.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:50 AM
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101: it is no coincidence, comrades, that the standard statistical test for "are these two samples different, on average?" was invented by a brewer (at Guinness).


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:57 AM
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I once planned to write something about Will. I bought all of is book at about $2 each, and planned to pick out the most embarrassing pieces and the most telling slips of the mask.

But I couldn't stant to read even one of those books. It was just too awful, like arguing with a Holocaust denier.

I'm absolutely sure that Will does not believe in democracy at all except as ridiculously defined by him. He'd be perfectly happy with a poll tax plus a literacy requirement, and probably even a re-disenfranchisement of black Americans.

He really hates actual America, though he's skilled at sucking up to some Americans to set them against the rest, and doesn't seem to feel obliged to explain why he he's so angry, and so convinced that times are horrible.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:58 AM
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Second Grolschlager, which is available in many places. Also fairly widely available: Samuel Smith Lager, Old Scratch Amber Lager.


Posted by: cib | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:00 AM
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Who knows, there could be quite a variance between what Will actually thinks and George F. Will©-brand commentary.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:02 AM
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It wouldn't surprise me at all - though this is irresponsible data-free speculation - if there was genetic variation in how much hard alcohol + social stress leads to addiction, and addicts had lower fitness, so that it was bred out of the population.

Or even something slightly subtler -- there are plenty of Irish drunks, but they (IMAnecdotalE) tend to be the class of drunk who can mostly show up to work hungover for a couple of decades before they blow their livers out, rather than the class that freezes to death passed out outdoors in their early 20s. I'd engage in irresponsible data-free speculation that particularly hard-hitting quick-onset addiction, rather than addiction at all, is what gets bred out of the population.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:02 AM
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Have you tried Bell's Two-Hearted?

Yes, and it's magnificent. It used to be one of my staples until they pulled out of the Chicago market. The Hopsolution Ale that came back when they re-entered the market just isn't the same. It's got some balance for an IPA, and is probably my favorite piney hop beer.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:02 AM
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124: I remember a column of his extolling the virtues of public caucus voting: standing and publicly stating your vote instead of hiding in a booth. I wonder what he thinks about card check as opposed to the holy secret ballot?


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:04 AM
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123: In Mirowski's "Effortless Economy of Science" there's more on brewing, econometrics, and science. Joule was a brewer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:06 AM
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i don't know how is the clip coz can't watch it at work, but
APU No 1 Borgio
i mean i hope their sales will go up after this my contribution to the thread or someone somewhere will decide to distribute it over here and elsewhere, that would be like great or maybe they are exporting their products and i don't know, anyway


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:06 AM
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127: Right. It's a mistake to follow the health of the organism, rather than whether it was likely to have successful offspring. Sometimes they line up, sometimes they don't.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:09 AM
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127: sure - it's only genetic variations which impede your ability to have and rear reproductive (as opposed to non-fucked-up) offspring which will be selected against. There would be very little selection pressure on functioning alcoholics (or functioning meth-heads, etc.).


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:10 AM
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Who knows, there could be quite a variance between what Will actually thinks and George F. Will©-brand commentary.

Absolutely. He's a Straussian in that respect. The people he writes for do not deserve the truth, any more than the average voter deserves the vote. He gives people what he thinks they need, or rather, he convinces people of what he wants them to think.

Quite a few very influential Americans (Scalia is another) are deep down completely hostile to our actual political system.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:13 AM
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Shorter Emerson: conservatives are enemies of reason, democracy, and modern civilization.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:18 AM
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115: If Bourbaki did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. (In French). From Language Hat.

The roughly one-third of that thread that I can understand is hilarious. I should work on understanding the rest.

122: Thus, George Will is a high-quality writer and thinker.

Dammit, just when I've finally calmed down over the last George Will column on climate change. (I was seriously pissed off. Especially at their ombudsman's failure to issue a correction, or respond to my letter.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:19 AM
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Apu beer has no International distributor, though from their English website maybe they're working on it.

I don't follow video but a lot of the Mongol videos seem very well done. Are Mongol films to be seen in the major centers?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:20 AM
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the best our movie i liked was Ekh Burdiiin Domog, never watched it again since my childhood though
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinema_of_Mongolia, there are some other links, hope you'll find the videes to watch if to follow them


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:26 AM
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Babelfish is ever so helpful:

The human word is as a cracked cauldron where Bourbaki beats melodies to be made dance the bears, when one would like to tenderize stars.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:26 AM
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o


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:28 AM
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I think that a Mongol film festival might be a hit, it would be a lot of work though, I suspect.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:32 AM
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Does The Story of the Weeping Camel count as a Mongolian movie?


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:43 AM
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I hadn't seen this one before. Now Will's editor says that Will is entitled to draw opposite conclusions from data than scientists draw and publish them in the Post, and that those who disagree should "debate him".

Pardon me while I go bang my head against a brick wall.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:44 AM
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woh, both links failed, how unusual :), but no time to correct
142, the girl from my apartment block was the movie's film director, her diploma work iirc so i think it counts that


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:51 AM
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Looks lie a movie about Mongolia. To me movies by Mongols would be the thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:51 AM
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if there's an area where I'm tempted to reach for genetic/ethnic variation based differences in behavior, it's in responses to alcohol

There are ethnic differences in ethanol metabolism, specifically relating to people of Asian descent (including Native Americans), so that's likely part of it.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:55 AM
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The trouble is that Chinese may not metabolize alcohol well, but don't have problems, and the Japanese don't either, but still manage to drink too much.

Maybe it's length of exposure of a given group rather than racial category. As Cosma suggested, I think.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:59 AM
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Oh yeah, I've been meaning to ask you about that movie, read. I just picked it up at the library to watch with my kids.

||
Bay Area readers: have you come across any unusually good guitarists playing in BART stations? I've just learned that one of the country's greatest guitarist-composers is destitute, living in a borrowed car in SF and playing for change.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 11:02 AM
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They'll do that. John Fahey too.

My recent piece about impaling bankers is the leading internet source on "apodictic" v. "problematological". Poor Michel Meyer.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 11:05 AM
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This reminds me of the one movie I remember seeing set in Mongolia: Urga (Close to Eden). I remember liking it but I don't remember details of the story -- only the landscapes.

Has anyone else seen that? I should watch it again.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 11:08 AM
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I think there's some confusion is this thread over what is meant by "lager", as it can mean several different things (as has been mentioned above).

All beer is commonly divided into two categories, ales and lagers, based primarily on what temperatures the yeast used can handle and where the yeast hangs out in the brewing vessel (in general: ales: warmer and on top; lagers: colder and on the bottom). But within these two classifications there's huge variation based on all the other variables of brewing, so saying "I like lagers" doesn't really mean much if "lager" is being used in this sense.

Then there's lager in the sense of a style of beer derived originally from the Pilsner style (or its German derivative Pils). It's the familiar light colored, moderately malty, moderately hopped drink most people think of when they think of beer. Almost every country in the world has at least one example of this style: Heineken, Budweiser, Carlsberg, Jupiler, Foster's, Tsing Tao, Kirin, Harp, Castle, etc. etc. etc.

I'm assuming Stanley meant the second when he said "I like lager" or words to that effect. So recommending a Doppel Bock doesn't make much sense, though they can be delicious and are lagers in the first sense discussed above.

The thing that got me to really understand the different flavors in beer and gave me the vocabulary to talk about what I like was homebrewing. In particular, smelling different kinds of hops allowed me to understand which part of beer flavor came from the hops. From that it was easy to deduce that the rest came from the grain/malt used. So if you can find some hops to smell, Stanley, I think that would help you.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 11:09 AM
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Yeah, smell my hops. Columbus, in particular, is especially reminiscent of its, um, closest relative.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 11:14 AM
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148: I thought Weeping Camel was very sweet (make of which what you will).


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 11:20 AM
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I did not know that that the popularity of the light lager style was so new:

In 1953, New Zealander Morton W. Coutts developed a process known as continuous fermentation. Continuous fermentation allowed the production of lager at a much faster pace, albeit with a reduction in flavor development. This development made possible the mass production of lager beer at a rate competitive with ales. As this technology was adopted worldwide, the light lager style emerged, quickly becoming the most popular style of beer in much of the industrialized world.

There are ethnic differences in ethanol metabolism, specifically relating to people of Asian descent (including Native Americans), so that's likely part of it.

The metabolism issue doesn't appear to be specific to asians in general:

According to the CDC catchment study, incidences of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome per 10,000 total births for different ethnic groups were as follows: Asians 0.3, Hispanics 0.8, whites 0.9, blacks 6.0, and Native Americans 29.9.

other stuff I did not know:

In the case of blacks, the risk of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome remains about sevenfold higher than for whites, even after adjustment for the frequency of maternal alcohol intake, occurrence of chronic alcohol problems, and parity (number of children borne) (16). This raises the question of some kind of genetic susceptibility, the nature of which is unknown.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 11:21 AM
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147: A Us businessman who has had to practice tells me that a lot of the Japanese trouble with drinking seems to be caused by the social condition of `drinking, and therefore not responsible', not by any correlation with physical ingestion of alcohol. His best evidence was an business emergency for which almost all the rowdy pukers suddenly sobered right up, much faster than he thought was consistent with physical inebriation. (Though some of them seemingly were also physically inebriated.)

Culture irrupts again!

'Student' published his t even though his employer claimed his work as their trade secret, didn't he? Do English IP crusaders refer to this, one way or the other?

...shouldn't quality be the multiplicative inverse of distance from target?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:07 PM
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154: there is a genetic difference which is specific to Asians, which is the gene that causes near-immediate facial flushing (along with some other stuff like headache and nausea). That difference is presumed to account for a lot of the difference in rates of alcoholism, as the side effects can make drinking even a moderate amount kind of unpleasant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:11 PM
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In support of 155, AB reports that her Japanese colleagues (and, as colleagues, they were of course expected to vacation and get butt-wasted together) would begin acting drunk upon consumption of their first thimbleful of sake. Say what you wish about metabolism, that's culture, not chemistry.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:24 PM
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||

I've not been commenting (or even lurking) all day because I discovered first thing this morning that my client has no base drawings for the elevations of this building, meaning that I have to trace someone else's PDF of this Shingle-style* house.

I am, literally, not getting paid for this. Sigh.

* read: intentionally complicated in elevation

|>


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:27 PM
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155: Folklore says it was previous employee of Guinness who published some trade secret, so they forbade all their employees to publish about anything, just to be safe. Stigler no doubt has details.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:27 PM
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157: I worked at a lab with a bunch of Japanese guys when I was 16, and damn, we had good parties. Even if it's all faked, those guys would open up so fast, going to catatonically shy to singing Beatles tunes at full voice after one beer. So so fun.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:31 PM
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156: Something specifically E. Asian not shared with Mongols and Native Americans, maybe. But Japanese have learned to drink a lot; not bust-out drunk drinking, but heavy normal drinking.

I realize that it's unscientific to say that culture has any effect on behavior, but maybe it does.

Cosma's (I think) theory that, at first exposure, those genetically susceptible to extreme alcoholism tend to be weeded out in not too many generations makes sense to me. The racial theories, much less so.

it's one particular kind of alcoholism that gets weeded out. Northern Europeans have learned to thrive with very high rates of alcoholism and a heavy drinking. In fact, when the Japanese reached modernity, they became heavy drinkers, and the successful alcoholic cultures rule the world.

Contemporary Russian alcoholism lends support to the belief that, genetics aside, social collapse can lead to alcoholism. Earlier Russian alcoholism lends support to the belief that certain kinds of essentially hopeless societies (Czarist and Communist), in the presence of cheap alcohol, can lead to widespread alcoholism.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:32 PM
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I think that loosening up shy obsessive people is an alcoholic universal. Shy obsessive people are good workers, but they have to loosen up now and then or they implode.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:35 PM
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Which is why we love the stuff. Yay, alcohol!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:38 PM
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I am possibly the only person in the world who becomes less social with the consumption of alcohol.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:40 PM
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Even if it's all faked, those guys would open up so fast, going to catatonically shy to singing Beatles tunes at full voice after one beer.

Well exactly. The whole point was that the general culture is so insanely uptight that you can't afford to waste any time in getting to "loosened up."

In contrast, old-line WASPs were similarly uptight*, and they seem to have handled it by maintaining a permanent state of sozzletude without ever loosening up.

* similar in shape, if not size


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:42 PM
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I am possibly the only person in the world who becomes less social with the consumption of alcohol.
Far as you know.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:43 PM
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Speaking of alcohol, I am about to go enter what might possibly be the scene of my life that most resembles a Three's Company episode, and it turns out those are not wacky fun good times, but somewhat terrifying social ordeals. I will drink.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:43 PM
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Hm. How do you manage to get through life, if I may ask?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:43 PM
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164: We'll have a few drinks and talk about it.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:44 PM
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167: Are you the bubblehead blonde or the uptight brunette?

Or, god help you, the clumsy buffoon?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:45 PM
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168: I'm social all on my own, sans-alcohol. When I drink, I want to curl up in the back corner and only talk to people I know well. It's when I'm sober that I do the amazingly ridiculous only when you're drunk sort of stuff. It's an odd existence. (And I'm sure I'm not the only one, despite my earlier claim).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:46 PM
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Heavy drinking for most Japanese involves smaller quantities than for me or, say, nattargrammatt's people. Freals. The genetic thing Sifu mentioned is true, and it does extend to populations of Asian descent including Native Americans. There are exceptions, of course; I knew a woman in Japan, a petite flower of a person, who could drink every Japanese man I ever met under the table. I don't think I ever saw her appear drunk when we drank together.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:46 PM
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173

In Taiwan I was told of a prostitute, one of whose specialties was drinking men under the table. I don't believe that it was her own clients she did this to, I think that it happened to guys who someone wanted to take down a peg. I didn't get the whole story.

171: That just sounds unnatural, against God and reason. It must be one of those rare recessive genes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:50 PM
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170: Definitely clumsy buffoon.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 12:51 PM
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172: Heavy drinking for most Japanese involves smaller quantities than for me or, say, nattargrammatt's people. Freals.

I remember, on a very poorly funded trip to Japan, being both shocked by the concept of a dance club with an "all you can drink" cover charge, and stunned (given the price of everything else) by how low that price was. They had to have been assuming that the average customer was going to have fewer than two drinks.

My New Zealander friend and I probably drank the night's profits for the whole place.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:01 PM
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156: Something specifically E. Asian not shared with Mongols and Native Americans, maybe. But Japanese have learned to drink a lot; not bust-out drunk drinking, but heavy normal drinking.

From what I understand, the severe form is limited to East Asians, and only about half of them, yes.

Interestingly, one theory suggests that it's an evolutionary adaption to the availability of alcohol in Asia; the deleterious effects of too much drinking were present there well before the rest of the world caught on, so a trait that caused people to be less likely to drink to excess would be adaptive.

Presumably Emerson disagrees with this view. I'm not sure I buy it, either.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:01 PM
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I like "nattargrammatt" as a name.

I want to know if there's a documented connection between turning 27 and losing one's immunity to hangovers.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:06 PM
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If you loosen it to mid-20s, sure.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:09 PM
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176: a trait that caused people to be less likely to drink to excess would be adaptive

But I thought the idea wasn't that E.Asian are less likely to drink to excess so much as that "to excess" is a much, much smaller amount?

177,178: Yeah, mid-20's sounds about right. Probably for the best.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:12 PM
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I just almost retyped this comment word for word in response to Cala.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:13 PM
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Not when I want a beer it is not!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:13 PM
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179: well, right, which means they're less likely to develop a dependence, less likely to get liver problems, etc. etc.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:13 PM
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Chinese, Jews, and Italians ruin drinking by making it part of family and religious rituals. What a bunch of crap. Alcohol is for busting out.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:14 PM
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161: I realize that it's unscientific to say that culture has any effect on behavior, but maybe it does.

Now you're trolling.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:19 PM
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From Tweety's link: "Most people pretty much stop drinking at 25. Most of the rest pretty much stop at 30. The rest are lifers."

Interestingly, I quit drinking at around 25, started again around thirty, and am now on track to be a lifer.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:19 PM
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181: Wait, you're getting hangovers from "a beer"? That's just crazy.

182: I was under the impression that dependence at least, if not the liver problems, would occur with drinking to excess even when "to excess" is two beers. I admittedly do not have a terribly sophisticated understanding of the mechanisms for this stuff, though.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:28 PM
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180, 185: By "stop drinking," y'all mean something like "stop binge drinking" or something, right? Because if you are talking about "drinking" in the sense of "any, ever" I think I only know maybe two people over 30 who aren't "lifers."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:30 PM
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Nattargrammatt seems like it could be a name in Inuktitut, like Atanarjuat.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:32 PM
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Alcohol has very little effect on my (lack of) sociablilty. I have inhibitions of steel.

Mid 20s sounds right. Mid 30s is when I started redefining "hangover" to include even the lower-level grumpiness and shot nerves.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:32 PM
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186: well, the deal is the physiological effects associated with this particular genetic marker kick in before the other negative physiological effects, so you're not likely to develop tolerance, or even necessarily be interested in drinking to excess, however that's defined. Again, just repeating somebody else's theory, here.

187: "pretty much" is I think the key phrase. Also important to note that the person who (I think) said that was one of the world's all-time alcoholics.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:33 PM
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I'm always trolling, Cosma. I feel guilty when I'm not.

I stopped having hangovers when I stopped trying to find out how much I could drink, at about age 20-21. These were serious, incapacitating, 24-hour hangovers. Since then I've been a steady heavy drinker with something like 3 serious hangovers in 40+ years. (One was the morning after Reagan's 1984 victory).

My liver functions were apparently fine six months ago. I tend to drink slower and less now, but only by about 30-40%. I've always drunk lots of coffee in the morning, and according to recent studies, this has more than a short-term beneficial effect.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:38 PM
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I am also in the alcohol makes me less sociable, at least with strangers, camp.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:40 PM
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And.... the draft is passed off to the next co-author in the chain.

Time to start titrating the caffeine in my blood supply with beer, I think.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:43 PM
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Did you go to bed last night, Cosma? Or did you just get up early?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:45 PM
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I want to know if there's a documented connection between turning 27 and losing one's immunity to hangovers.

Urk.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:50 PM
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190: Okay, I getcha. Interesting.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:52 PM
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194: I just got up early. I stopped being able to really pull all-nighters around turning 30. (Sadly, I have never been immune to hangovers.)

And it looks like I picked a good time to start drinking.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:53 PM
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I've already lost my ability to put away scads of food without feeling full or its having much effect on my waistline.

I like "nattargrammatt" as a name.

It's a common mistake.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 1:57 PM
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||
I would like to take a moment to rant that the American health insurance industry sucks hairy balls. This isn't news, of course, but I feel the need to vent over the latest insult. My girlfriend just went to refill her BC prescription, discovered it had been moved into a pre-auth category, and then upon consultation with her doctor, discovered that the health plan doesn't cover BC at all. This is the more-expensive PPO plan she just switched to (during the now-closed open enrollment) from a HMO plan, in order to get better coverage for her talk therapy, which was basically not covered at all under the HMO. Of course, when she was researching this switch and trying to find the full benefits guide to compare them, her HR office and the insurer's office both said the other should have it, and refused to provide it.

Turns out her union bargained away BC coverage for the PPO specifically, presumably to save a few bucks. Why would they care? They're ~all men.

Normally, not covering BC wouldn't even be permitted under state law, but there's an exception for self-insured entities that just use BCBS/Aetna/etc. as administrative agents. They can do whatever they want.

&^%&(^%(&%^(&^(KILL KILL KILL.
|>


Posted by: Famous Dead American | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:02 PM
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197: One of the good things about a financial meltdown is that it flushes out the most egregious fraudsters. Every time the economy hits the skids a bunch of high flying financial wizards turn out to be total frauds.

Also, much sympathy to 199. I do recommend against actually killing anyone, even if they really do have it coming. The paperwork is a bitch.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:07 PM
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199: This is why I want to kick people talking about market competition in the shins. They're competing on the basis of who can better screw the customers.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:08 PM
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199: Just get pregnant and make them pay for all *that* care -- stick it to 'em!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:12 PM
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Turns out her union bargained away BC coverage for the PPO specifically

Agh! For fuck's sake.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:13 PM
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Just get her pregnant: that'll show 'em. Yeah, yeah, assuming heteronormativity..


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:13 PM
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I'd be interested in pwnage control coverage, myself.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:14 PM
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199 is why I think the idea of an "educated consumer" is inherently pernicious. The whole point of the [expletive deleted] market system is supposed to be to simplify things.

So, yeah, kicks seem in order. Perhaps even a pyramid of insurance-co. executives' heads (beside the bankers' pyramid), to encourage the others.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:15 PM
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200: It's an interesting question whether there's really more fraud during booms, or if the "bezzle" is roughly constant and it just gets more exposed after booms end.

(But: $80,000 teddy bears? Were they sewn by Joseph Cornell or something?)


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:20 PM
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I always initially think that Joseph Cornell is the guy who wrote Joe Gould's Secret.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:22 PM
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I always initially think of him as the guy who wrote The Hero with a Thousand Faces.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:27 PM
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Try "Lager of the Lakes" by the Bell's Brewery if you ever get a chance. A solid lager to be sure. I also enjoy Mother Lager from Magic Hat, which tastes a bit like Carlberg, but better. Though come to think of it they may have discontinued...


Posted by: Max | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:31 PM
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I think M/tch M/ll's prescription is probably what Stanley's looking for. Bocks and the like really don't seem "lagery" to me, even if they technically are. And in fact the terminology is now basically meaningless -- the test for whether a yeast is a lager strain or not is ridiculously technical, involving how the strain deals with a particular sugar. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with where in the tank or at what temperature it ferments. So yeah: lager is only a useful term as it refers to a style.

And on that score I'd back up what everyone's saying about Pilsners. That sulfury, almost-skunky saaz hops hit is what those beers are all about, to me. You might want to try out some schwarzbiers, too, which are interesting if only because they're so expectation-defyingly light.

But mostly: don't waste too much time on lagers. They're fine, but not that interesting. They swept the brewing world because, at the time, they were a technical revolution: lagering techniques produced beer of more consistent quality, and beer that didn't go bad as quickly. We've fixed those problems, though, and the advantages in terms of variety and intensity of flavor have always been on the ales' side.


Posted by: Tom | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:31 PM
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But they're what he likes, Tom. What he likes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:33 PM
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197: And it looks like I picked a good time to start drinking.

Looking up the Penn Brewery beers last night brought to my attention that Penn Brewery is looking for a new home. You should organize your local neighborhood to provide some incentives for them to locate within walking distance of your home. Hopeless for me, but you and JRoth have a shot.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:34 PM
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Well, I have often thought that what we really needed was a brew-pub...


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:39 PM
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They can serve scallion pancakes.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:42 PM
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On the other hand, this would involve me learning something about local politics, rather than treating it as ignorable background noise.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:43 PM
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206: The thing that the people pushing markets uber alles ignore is that industries and companies have a strong interest in deceiving their customers. Part of the information contained in the price of a good is the time and effort required to dig through the seller's bullshit vs. the perceived negative consequences of being taken for a ride. It's not just a matter of how much value to I place on $item: the price also reflects how much I value the time and effort required to determine that the thing being offered is in fact not $item but rather $resembles_but_is_not_item. That effort can quite easily exceed the cost of the item in question.

I think this dynamic is behind the crash.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:49 PM
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I have a very simple and retrograde idea about the crash. Financial institutions make more money by taking on more leverage and more risk — until they don't. Regulations explicitly or implicitly kept them from placing risky, leveraged bets. Having reduced regulations to old-fashioned levels, we have been rewarded with an old-fashioned financial crisis. All the rest - the quants, the specific instruments, the particular sources of money looking to Make Money Fast - is noise. (d2 may now explain all the reasons this is idiotic.)


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 2:58 PM
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197: Grown men who collect teddy bears are people too, Cosma. And this was a tiny scam affecting only instituitons, not people. You're so heartless.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:03 PM
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219: Impartially considered, I suppose, collecting teddy bears is no worse and perhaps better than collecting books.

Our local artisanal vodka, carefully saved for just such an occasion, is really good stuff.



Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:08 PM
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Looking up the Penn Brewery beers last night brought to my attention that Penn Brewery is looking for a new home. You should organize your local neighborhood to provide some incentives for them to locate within walking distance of your home. Hopeless for me, but you and JRoth have a shot.

They'd like to be in a walkable neighb (which we assuredly are), but also are interested in staying on the Northside (certainly the Northside wants to keep them). Trouble is, there are 2 other historic brewery buildings in town, and both are spoken for. Anything else will be a stepdown, regardless.

That said, there's a reprieve. What I don't get is why, if they're looking to relocate, have they sold off equipment. Uh, guys, you'll still be needing that stuff.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:09 PM
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218, etc.: I think that this crash is going to be big enough to actually change some peoples minds, and to force others to just shut up. I suspect that the battle two years from now will be between those who want to impale the people in finance and the people who want to impale immigrants. I think thta a lot of the dog-and-pony kabuki philosophical debates will disappear.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:09 PM
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220.last: I've been wondering how it is.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:14 PM
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But: $80,000 teddy bears? Were they sewn by Joseph Cornell or something?

Joseph Beuys! Now that would be awesome.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:17 PM
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The whole idea of artisanal vodka is ridiculous.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:19 PM
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221: At a guess, the restaurant made money while the brewery didn't.

222: Someone remind me, as the child of immigrants am I supposed to side with new-comers, or to kick the ladder away after my parents climbed it for me?

223: "smooth" is the word that comes to mind. (N.B., not "smoove".)


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:19 PM
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225: Why?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:19 PM
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222 - I don't think impalement is appropriate. The French showed us the way: Tumbrils and the National Razor. It's humane and entertaining, as well as instructive. There's something sordid about impalement, something cheap.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:21 PM
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No, I'd like to keep speaking of Bocks as Lagers. I'm still fighting the "Ale isn't just like beer, it is beer!" battle.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:22 PM
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226.2 Both.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:22 PM
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I'm social all on my own, sans-alcohol. When I drink, I want to curl up in the back corner and only talk to people I know well. It's when I'm sober that I do the amazingly ridiculous only when you're drunk sort of stuff. It's an odd existence. (And I'm sure I'm not the only one, despite my earlier claim).

Strange. Me, I generally want to curl up in the back corner and only talk to people I know well. Then if I drink a little, I want to talk more. Then if I drink more, I want to go back to the corner and the people I know well. But the optimum sociability is definitely at nonzero alcohol intake.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:42 PM
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I basically only ever want to talk to people I know well, but I become more receptive to others' efforts to talk to me when I've had a little to drink.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:48 PM
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148 i haven't seen the movie yet, JMcQ
i've watched her next movie, with the yellow dog
thought, how very simple, almost like a documentary, very realistic


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:49 PM
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Let me rephrase that. I am basically only ever comfortable talking to people I know moderately well. Frequently I wamt to talk to people I don't know well.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:49 PM
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And even when really drunk, I use phrases like "the optimum sociability is definitely at nonzero alcohol intake", and people give me funny looks.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:51 PM
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Laydeez.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:51 PM
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But there might be local optima, or even saddle points, iykwimaityd, along the continuum.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:53 PM
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234: I bet they wamt to talk to you too, ben.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:57 PM
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Even if it's all faked, those guys would open up so fast, going to catatonically shy to singing Beatles tunes at full voice after one beer

In your face, japanese guys:

His measure also would redefine what it means to be intoxicated in Utah, gutting a Utah Supreme Court ruling that said simply being a drunk is not a crime. Under Valentine's bill, it would be illegal for anyone to look like they are drunk.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:57 PM
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In fact sociability is not, strictly speaking, a function of alcohol intake; there are hysteresis effects, and both first- and second-order phase transitions depending on other aspects of my evening.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:57 PM
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Alcohol doesn't really make me any more comfortable talking to people I don't know well. It does, occasionally, make me more receptive to entertaining the idea of compensating for that discomfort by making out. The inhibitions are almost always sufficient to preclude anything other than entertaining ideas in my head.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 3:57 PM
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222: . There's something sordid about impalement, something cheap.

Only if you reuse the stakes without cleaning them. Either use disposable (use for heating afterwards) wooden ones or go for stainless steel and a quick steam cleaning. Some country out there might be willing to loan us those if we can't produce them in the US anymore.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:02 PM
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231: Two beers makes me more, how do we say it, voluble in my talking. It does not, however, make me more sociable. A lot of alcohol keeps me firmly in my corner. I really feel far more comfortable talking to new people sober, where I am least slightly less likely to make a fool of myself by talking non-stop.

||

My laptop is dying. (Close to five years old at this point). I really want to buy a new one. Remind me that this is a very bad idea and just because my fellowship happened to dispense this month and I have the money in my account is not a reason to buy it.

|>


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:06 PM
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242: I'm pretty sure you can get handcrafted artisanal impalement stakes in Williamsburg. You might be able to barter for them, even.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:06 PM
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Impalement gives them a day or two to reflect on their errors. Many are fully rehabilitated by their expiration date.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:06 PM
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Alcohol makes me more entertaining and outgoing, but I wouldn't really call it sociable: actual sociability requires some ability to listen and respond empathetically to other people.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:12 PM
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I don't know how to do wrought iron or steel yet, but cast iron should be plenty strong enough for impalement stakes, and I manage that. (With equipment and supplies.)


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:12 PM
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s/I manage/I can manage/


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:13 PM
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243.last: If you cave, remember that we're in a crunch, so there are hella good deals on nearly new second hand laptops to be had. Plus if the seller is sloppy you might get all their credit card info. And porn.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:13 PM
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243.2: Have you looked into all the options for getting your laptop paid for by someone else? Your advisor, some sort of grant, etc.?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:15 PM
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250: Hah. I'm in the humanities. But thank you, truly, I appreciate the idea.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:18 PM
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251: Then it's clearly your patriotic duty to buy, buy, buy (while appropriately problematizing the concepts of "patriotism", "duty", "purchase", "possession" and "computation").


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:22 PM
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251: Have you tried praying to Jesus? Many people I know who have done that were blessed with good fortune afterwards.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:29 PM
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253: I think I've spent all my religious favors, but I'll consider prostituting myself to the Trinity in return for a little Christian prosperity.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:43 PM
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Alcohol makes me more entertaining and outgoing, but I wouldn't really call it sociable: actual sociability requires some ability to listen and respond empathetically to other people.

An incredibly important distinction.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:43 PM
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Cosma is right, but it only works if your laptop is 100% Made in the USA.

Let us know which one you pick.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:45 PM
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You could get an Eee PC. They manage to be both cheap and sexy, a rare combination.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:47 PM
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257: Can you run powerpoint presentations off those?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:48 PM
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258: Some of them run Windows XP, in which case yes; some of them run Linux, where I don't know how good the alternatives are (there's OpenOffice, I guess).

Probably you shouldn't listen to me about laptops because I use Macs paid for by other people. But I have heard good things about the Eee and they look cute. (I'm sort of infatuated with smallness in electronic devices, though.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:53 PM
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Forward this comment to seven friends and you will receive a new PC.

A man who read this comment and did not forward it died a gruesome death the next day by being impaled on a stake.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:53 PM
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259: (I'm sort of infatuated with smallness in electronic devices, though.)

IYKWIMAITYD


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:55 PM
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259: I think I need a more fully functional computer, though god knows it would be a wonderful thing to not have to lug around the 4-7 lb. beasts.

And I think I'm too much of a Mac user (and computer illiterate) to go backwards now.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:56 PM
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It does, occasionally, make me more receptive to entertaining the idea of compensating for that discomfort by making out.

Got plans for your evening yet?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 4:58 PM
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i got the other day a very nice spam, Indian looking, with the goddess' picture saying that have to send it to 4 people and will get rich in 4 days, to ten - in 2 days, if to nobody you'll never know what were the chances etc
i was to forward it, but instead accidentally deleted it, so felt kinda sorry for that, because the picture was really really nice


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:02 PM
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262: Well, the new MacBook is beautiful and awesome and a surprisingly big improvement over my old PowerBook. So at least fulfilling your patriotic duty would be a rewarding experience. Or maybe you could barter for artisanal handcrafted Macs in Brooklyn.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:07 PM
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264: Dude, that's my fiance you're asking out.

265: And yeah, I'm a little worried about the beautiful part - I think it is seriously affecting my good judgment.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:10 PM
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266.1 to 263? And, uh, either you misspelled fiancee, or you and Di need to clear some things up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:14 PM
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247: After giving this some serious thought, I realized there are plenty of wrought iron fences in Beverly Hills that would only need a bit of modification to make a first class impalment venue.

It's nice when the people and the supplies are in the same area.

Right now, it's the people losing their jobs who are offing their families and then themselves. That needs to change.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:16 PM
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267: I always forget when to add the extra e. And yes, you're correct, I also misnumbered. Probably time to stop commenting for the happy hour.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:17 PM
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258: yes, if you have the OS

Also, convert your prez to pdf. Just so much nicer.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:19 PM
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265: hand-crafted artisanal macs. (Dunno about the Brooklyn bit.)


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:24 PM
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Let me revise and extend my remarks in 226.3: deceptively smooth.


Posted by: Cosma | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 5:58 PM
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Alcohol makes me more entertaining and outgoing, but I wouldn't really call it sociable: actual sociability requires some ability to listen and respond empathetically to other people.

If you set yourself a high enough standard, you can be confident of failure. Screw "other people".


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 6:14 PM
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Dude, that's my fiance you're asking out.

Shit, I keep forgetting that if I don't write "Confidential to Di:", you can see my comments too.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 6:28 PM
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Sociability requires other people to listen to me.

218 I think ignores the communicative role of technological progress in the dialectic between "sensible regulation" and "dude, it's an awesome idea to trade your hundred million dollars for my one million."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 6:32 PM
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250: Hah. I'm in the humanities. But thank you, truly, I appreciate the idea.

I'm getting my new computer paid for by the department. Ha!


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 6:46 PM
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274: I can! But that's ok, whatever Di wants is fine, I'll stop acting all possessive like.

276: You have the luxury of attending a significantly richer institution than I do.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 6:56 PM
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(But: $80,000 teddy bears?

Bobo!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:02 PM
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278: Just imagine how wonderful this crisis would be were Monty Burns in charge.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:05 PM
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263: My plans for the evening both called in sick, so it looks like I will be having a hot date with Matt Damon/Jason Bourne at home.

266: Aww, you're so cute when you're jealous. Matt's just a friend, he means nothing to me!

277.1: Whatever I want?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:06 PM
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Whatever.

(Um, minus the torture of cute and cuddly living beings. And possibly a few other things along those lines).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 7:08 PM
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276: You have the luxury of attending a significantly richer institution than I do.

Actually, the deal there is that the guy who founded Overstock.com got an MA in philosophy at Stanford, and donated money to the department specifically for the grad students.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:28 PM
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282: That's a very sweet deal. Do you think I could be an honorary grad student? Or wait.....how many computers can you get? Can we work out a deal?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:33 PM
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276: Ben gets all sorts of computer-related treasures for free.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 8:58 PM
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282: There's a terminal MA?


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 9:09 PM
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Or wait.....how many computers can you get?

We have a discretionary fund, for books and such. Computers count as a "such".

285: there is.

And regarding the update, I'm not just a little bi.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:35 PM
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There's certainly a wide variation in departmental arrangements at your university.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:37 PM
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Yes, there is.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:40 PM
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I'm not just a little bi

I hadn't even intended that suggestion! How fortuitous.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-27-09 10:41 PM
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A bear is not "a little bi". As tous les Canadiennes know.

But is a bear a w-lfs-n? Probably in some myth somewhere.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-28-09 9:36 AM
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And on that score I'd back up what everyone's saying about Pilsners. That sulfury, almost-skunky saaz hops hit is what those beers are all about, to me.

That's not the saaz hops, per se, that's the result of the beer becoming skunked from exposure to light (which acts upon the hops, of whatever variety, to produce that skunky smell). The green bottles pilsners typically come in don't protect much against that. Nor the clear bottles Corona and cousins use. Here's a relatively good rundown of the phenomenon.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 9:04 AM
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So being exposed to light makes beer bad at cribbage?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 9:10 AM
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I would expect that beer that had been exposed to light would be bad at cribbage, certainly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 9:13 AM
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292: I don't believe "skunk", in the way that you seem to be using it, is specifically a cribbage term, young ben, so your inference is unfounded.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 9:18 AM
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294: Actually, I meant "illfounded".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03- 2-09 9:20 AM
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