Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Barack's Brew

Once around the new cycle:

News: Faced with an uproar over race relations following the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. by Cambridge police, President Obama did what any reasonable person would do: He called the protagonists together for a beer.

Gates, Obama, Police Sgt. James Crowler and Vice President Joe Biden gathered for a cold one in the Rose Garden one recent afternoon to hash out their differences.

Views: Nothing like cooling off a couple of hot heads with alcohol. But beyond that, if the President wants to bring the country together, next time he might serve suds from an American-owned brewry. Crowler had a Blue Moon (made in Canada) and the President grabbed a Bud Light (now owned by a Belgium firm). What's worse, Bud Light is to
beer what tap water is to Pinot Noir.

Gates for his part ordered a Red Stripe (made in Jamaica) but emerged as the patriot in this gathering by settling for a Sam Adams, a Boston brew.

Biden doesn't drink alcohol for which we can all be thankful.

Personally, I would have offered up a selection from Washington's very own Capitol City Brewing Company -- which owns a brewpub just a few blocks from the White House.

It's name? "Equality Ale."

News: The Pew Research Center, who brought us the startling news recently that rich people are more happy than poor people and, the somewhat more dubious finding that Republicans are happier than Democrats, have boldly tackled another hot topic.

They found that 34 percent of American adults had taken a nap in the past 24 hours. Men nap more than women, blacks more than whites and Hispanics, the unhappy more than the happy.

Views: We've come a long way in this country. Naps used to be attributable to the three martini lunch. Now we understand that if you're an unhappy low-income male, you are good bet to dose off during the day.

According to the Pew people, napping is quite common at the lower end of the income scale; some 42% of adults with an annual income below $30,000 report they napped in the past day. As income rises, napping
declines. However, at the upper end of the scale (adults whose annual income is $100,000 or above) the tendency to nap revives and reverts to the mean.

What this means remains unclear. We do know that unless you're an airline pilot or a brain surgeon, most people find that a "power nap" in the middle of the work day actually improves your performance.

Indeed, the National Institute of Mental Health discovered in a study that a midday snooze reverses "information overload."

To underscore that point, the more I read or write about this subject, the heavier my
eyelids get.

News: Astronaut Koichi Wakata is returning to Earth with the underwear he used during his four-and-a-half-month space station stay so scientists can check them out. He says he kept them on for a month at a stretch.
They're experimental high-tech undies, designed in Japan to be odor-free.

Views: I knew some guys in college who would have been ripe for this experiment. Wakata, however, was getting funky in the name of science.

The Japanese textile makers who supplied the special nano fabrics and fasteners have announced the experiment a success. The garments can repel static, wick away water, kill bacteria, neutralize odors and "prevent fouling, or permanent odor infusion."

Sounds like just the thing for old editors.

Look for these products to hit the market in the near future. Just think of the convenience and savings if you washed your underwear just a once a month.

Or maybe not.

News: A truck driver had a lucky escape when his cucumber-laden rig rolled near a crocodile-infested river after hitting a buffalo yesterday.

Views: What's this, a "Saturday Night Live" skit? No, it's all true. According to the dispatch from Australia, the 22-ton freight truck came to rest on its side when it ran into a power pole, spilling its load of cucumbers over the

The driver sustained minor injuries and was taken to the Palmerston Health Clinic before being transported to Royal Darwin Hospital.

The story described the incident at taking place along the Arnhem Highway near the Adelaide River Queen Jumping Crocodiles tour site.

Remind me not to include a place with "jumping crocodiles" in its name on my bucket list.

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