Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings  I have been enjoying how the Stax and Motown sound has been getting a revival lately. The poster girl of this revival, Amy Winehouse, has been a let down. Back to Black was great album, but since then she has been a zombie on stage and a nut-job in the news. Anyone who says that she was great at Lollapalooza is a liar. So who do you turn to? Why not the band that backed her up on Back to Black, the Dap Kings. Like the Booker T. And the MGs for Stax Records, they are the house band for Dap Records. Sharon Jones has a phenomenal voice too. Its tough to be cool when one of your members has a unibrow, but they pull it off. Check out their myspace or hypemachine for a listen.

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For Kelly and her new found love.

Nation In Frenzy About Little Wizard Boy And All His Little Wizard Friends

December 19, 2007 | Issue 43•51 (From: The Onion)

 

NEW YORK—Delirium swept the nation this summer as the release of the seventh and final Harry Potter novel sent millions of Americans into a frenzy over some little wizard boy and all his flying wizard buddies going on another one of their little wizard adventures.

Enlarge Image Nation in FrenzyWIZARD FEVER: Just look at all the people in their pointy wizard hats.

Thousands lined up at bookstores to purchase the fanciful tale, which chronicles the exploits of the adolescent wizard with his pointy hat and glasses, as he and his magical little friends go traipsing into the forbidden forest and attempt to defeat the evil Hufflestuff people with the sword of destiny, magic potions, and other such fantasy dragon bullshit.

“I can’t wait to see what happens to Harry!” said Boston resident Julie Nolsteen, 28, just one of many grown adults with an unbridled desire to read about child sorcerers playing with their little cauldrons and frolicking around reciting magical spells.

Nolsteen proceeded to rub her hands together with anticipation and ponder the fate of her favorite character, some guy named Dumblededoo or something.

The entire nation has been all worked up ever since J.K. Rowling announced that she would be concluding the series, with men and women waiting with bated breath to see if all the tiny little wizards were going to do all their crazy magic curses again. Message boards flooded with comments from fans who eagerly wondered whether the wizard boy was going to be eaten by mean old witches, or if he and all his mystical pals were going to find the fairy crystal and have themselves a grand old wizard time.

“This is the most important book in the history of literature,” wrote one man wearing a robe with moons and stars on it, who was clearly unable to conceal his enthusiasm for flying horses and magic dust. “I hope Lord Voldemort loses!”

Although the fervor has subsided since the book’s release this summer, the promise of a new Harry Potter film next year has already gotten the whole country excited beyond all reason to see the little wizard boy fly around on his little broomstick for two and a half hours.

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Babies Everywhere

Nutrigrain
The last post about Willem Dafoe’s facial contortions got me thinking about another video that needs to be put on this website.  It is pretty old, but worth a watch.  

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Willem Dafoe, You Glorious Weirdo

Willem Dafoe
I posted before about how great I thought FunnyorDie.com was, and they keep putting out hilarious stuff.  Everybody has seen the “Landlord” and the new one everybody’s talking about is “The Green Team,” but this is especially appropriate for this blog because of certain people’s fascination with Willem Dafoe.  He manages to go through so many emotions with all those freaky facial expressions in this four minute clip.  I didn’t think he could top himself by dressing drag in The Boondock Saints, but going crazy to Hall and Oates wins. (more…)

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Mr. Belvedere Goes to Science Class

Mr. BelvedereOf late there has been some interest in the topic of Science!  And what better science to discuss than that related to our favorite topic: BEER!

Recently Dr. Ellen, PhD entered a post about the head on beer.   At first I considered Dr. Ellen Gives Good Head as the title of this post.  But upon further reflection, this title seemed crass and much below my patrician upbringing.  Since this topic is near and dear to our hearts, I decided to take a moment to offer our humble readers more information on the subject of all things beer…

Beer is a complex, heterogenious fluid and owes its origins to the Egyptians who discovered it quite by accident somewhere around 3100 to 3500 BCE.  To be sure, those early, intrepid Egyptians would be fast friends of this lot as beer was most likely discovered by laziness and an ensuing dare!

According to Charlie Papzian, former nuclear engineer and author of the unoffical homebrewer’s bible The New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, beer was most likely discovered by a lazy Egyptian harvester, who gathered grains in a vessel and left them outside.  At some point, it rained a bit and the grains began to germinate, the water in the vessel evaporated and the growing grain sprouts dried out (this cycle of germination and drying is now called “malting”).  This “Malted” grain now had the sugars maltose and dextrose present.  When the vessel containing this grain again filled with rain water, these soluable sugars were extracted by the water and held in suspension.

Now we owe a bit of the rest to our good friend, Mr. Yeast.  Mr. Yeast presumably was being carried about on the prevailing winds in the area then known as “the Fertile Crescent” around the Nile Delta and was deposited in the aforementioned vessle.  Mr. Yeast was quite happy to go about dining on this sugary concoction left in the vessel by the Egyptian Harvester.  Mr. Yeast realized that he had far too much to eat at this varitable banquet, so he quickly went about making copies of himself through binary fission (alas, there’s no romance story here…And Mr. Yeast could just as easily have been Mrs. Yeast [They don’t really have genetalia, you see]).  Now that there was a whole yeast clan…or “tribe” to keep things of the period, they quickly went to work eating all the sugar they could with the help of Mrs. Alpha and Mr. Beta Amalase-Enzyme.  The Yeasts and the Amalase-Enzymes worked themselves into a literal lather, and went about eating up all the sugars they could find….all the while expelling carbon dioxide gas and ethyl alcohol(yes, yeast farts too).

At some point this lazy egyptian harvester, we’ll call him “Noggin,” had his good buddy who we will call “Carl” over to his hut, presumably to help fix some of the straw-brick damaged in the spring Nile floods and to throw camel feces at passers by.  “Carl,” ever the astute observer, asked (translation provided):
Hey, Noggin? What’s that stuff in the vessel?(Hey, Noggin?  What’s that stuff in the vessel?)
Noggin:I dunno.  I had some grain in there, but I kinda forgot about it.(I dunno. I had some grain in there, but I kinda forgot about it.)
Carl:Dude, I dare you to drink it!(Dude, I dare you to drink it!)
Noggin:No way man, last time I took that bet I didn’t shit right for a week.(No way man, last time I took that bet I didn’t shit right for a week.)
Carl:Okay.  I’ll tell you what, I’ll drink it, but you have to cover my shift next week carving heiroglyphs in the pharos tomb.(Okay. I’ll tell you what, I’ll drink it, but you have to cover my shift next week carving heiroglyphs in the pharos tomb.)
Noggin:Dude!  That’s a fucking deal!(Dude! That’s a fucking deal!)

At some point, “Carl” woke up and reported having mystical visions and an extremely elevated spirit.  This “spirit water” became a big hit and soon enough all the kids were drinking it.

So now we’ll fast-forward about five millenia or so the the present day and the subject of head on beer.  While an “unclean” glass (not Kosher) will in some instances cause a head to form on beer, it is actually the process of nucleation (assisted and unassisted) that causes the formation of bubbles within the glass of beer.  The nucleation is the same basic process that allows the formation of crystals in a solution.

As we mentioned before, beer is a complex fluid and contains many organic compounds disolved within.  When beer is poured into a glass (Kosher or non) the fluid dynamics cause some of the dissolved carbon dioxide (from the yeast farts) to form bubbles through the process of nucleation, usually along the organic compounds suspended within the beer.  As more molecules of carbon dioxide accrete along the nucleation site, they become positively buoyant and float to the top of the glass.  If the bubble has had enough opportunity to gather additional organic compounds, the bubble – along with many other glorious bubble friends – will be suspended at the top of the glass in a wonderful layer of froth commonly refered to as “head.”

Now, as noted before, nucleation is also the process by which crystals may form in a solution.  Assisted Nucleation is the process by which nucleation occurs along a foreign substance – sometimes refered to as a seed crystal.

Much the same process may occur in your average glass of beer.  Take, for instance, the introduction of table salt, or sand into the fluid.  These foreign compounds have sufficient surface area to cause nucleation of carbon dioxide and accretion into larger bubles that will float the the top of the glass, and given the type of beer, ultimately form a “head.”  An untested but probable candidate for assisted nucleation is Mint Mentos.

Athough certain forms of bacteria may cause nucleation, there are many more strains of bacteria that are likely to destroy the “head” formed on beer.  This is due to the properties of bacteria to synthesize enzymes to turn substances into molecules the bacteria can ingest.  Many of these compounds have a catalytic effect and will actually destroy the surface tension of our lovely organic-coated carbon dioxied bubles and render the beer “headless.”

But don’t take my word for it!  Go out and test this hypothesis yourself!  Just stop into your local watering hole today (or on your lunch break) and ask for a pint of your favourite bitter – or “Light” for you Yanks.  Better yet, repeat the experiment two or three times before returning to work as you are likely to experience the same spiritual enlightenment as our explorer Carl from the narrative and it is guaranteed to make your workday afternoon much more pleasant!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed my journal entry.  If you have any suggestions for future journal entries, please contact me at mrbelvedere@thebruceblog.com.

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