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January 23, 2012

Alain de Botton: The Glass of Life is Half Empty

From Open Culture: "Here are a few basic truths: life is essentially meaningless; your hard work won't dictate where your life goes; you will be struck down by death; and your loved ones and your achievements will whither and turn to dust. A grim way to look at things, perhaps. But a long line of philosophers, starting with the Stoics, have seen wisdom in taking a dim view. As Alain de Botton points out, a pessimistic outlook reduces our expectations, our envy, our disappointment, and it creates room for emotional upside and healthier life decisions. His talk (which features a sing-along to Elton John at the 29-minute mark) runs 38 minutes, and it's presented online by The School of Life, a London-based institution co-founded by de Botton in 2008."

January 23, 2012 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Prescription Beer Koozie

Screen Shot 2012-01-23 at 12.37.37 PM

What, you mean your doctor won't order one for you?

You need to consider becoming part of my concierge practice.

From the website:


Life throws a lot of problems our way.

Fortunately, there's a prescription that's been around for centuries.

Prescribe yourself some ice-cold beer with this prescription beer koozie.

In addition to washing away all of your worries and headaches, this koozie will keep your beer ice-cold and your hands dry — because drinking beer shouldn't be a problem.

Need a refill on that prescription?

Heading back to the fridge beats heading to the pharmacy any day.

So, get the world's best medicine (sorry, laughter, you're #2) and raise a toast to drowning your sorrows, one can at a time.


$12.95 (beer not included).

January 23, 2012 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Gray Cat watches Djokovic-Hewitt at the Australian Open

She's become a great tennis fan over the past week, prolly because that's what's been on TV here almost exclusively.

For those of you who've had your fill of Gray Cat (and you are legion, trust me, I read each and every email, wincing with pain as you tell me — sometimes in no uncertain terms — to cease and desist or else you're never coming back to bookofjoe again), I feel your annoyance.

But here's the problem: Gray Cat posts consistently rank in my top 5 every week.

Now, considering that I post 8 times daily, that means of 56 weekly boj posts, the kitty's appearances are in the top 10% — no small beer.

Only "BehindTheMedspeak" routinely makes it to those Olympian heights.

January 23, 2012 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: Inorganic.

Another: Not suitable for your batterie de cuisine.

January 23, 2012 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

Whisky Flavor Map


From Big Think:

This map is a handy guide to Scottish single malt whiskies, plotted on a grid with two sets of variables. Horizontally, from light (left) to rich (right); and vertically, from delicate (bottom) to smoky (top).

These are the main taste variables in the vast and bewildering universe of uisge beatha. In Scotland alone, over 90 distilleries produce over 2,000 brands of whisky. Many of those are blended; aficionados will prefer the single malt whiskies, i.e. whiskies produced by one single distillery, using only one type of malted grain, and aged in oak casks for at least three years. Even in the strictly defined and regulated category of Scottish single malt whiskies, there are still over 800 varieties, of which only a few are represented here.

[Whisky expert Dave] Broom developed the aforementioned grid, also known as the Whisky Flavor Map. The map allows samplers of single-malt whiskeys to explore taste relations between them, and discover new ones to their liking.

The horizontal axis differentiates lighter from richer flavours. According to Broom, the Glenkinchie 12 (years old), on the lighter end of the spectrum, "had light floral grassy notes." Clynelish 14, was "more textured, silkier, waxy and unctuous," so halfway between the Glenkinchie and the Singleton of Dufftown 12, with its "nutty, almondly, dried-fruit flavors."

The position on the vertical axis is determined by the whisky’s degree of "peatiness." Peat can be used to heat the pot stills in which the damp malt is dried, during which time the smoke gets into the barley — more time, more smoke, more smokiness. A Laphroaig 10, anyone? If less or no peat is used for the fire, the taste will be delicate rather than smoky, as with a Scapa 14.

[via Michael Castelein and Malts.com]

January 23, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

All-Weather Notebook


100-page (50-sheet) notebooks for any weather conditions.


4" x 6" or 3" x 5".


[via Fancy]

January 23, 2012 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

forScore — iPad app has every music score in the public domain


$4.99 doesn't seem a bad price at all to me for an app that compresses hundreds of pounds of sheet music into a single device that lets musicians access any score in the public domain any time they like from anywhere.


"Users can also annotate copy, personalizing the pages before they practice or perform."

[via the Washington Post]

January 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Cup Cat


Res ipsa loquitur.



January 23, 2012 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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