Boulevard “Long Strange Tripel” ale

Having completely recovered from my India Pale Ale experience the other night, I ready a glass of the third in the Smokestack Series of ales from Kansas City’s Boulevard Brewing Company[*1] .

The Long Strange Tripel ale is lighter in color, and in flavor than either of the previous two entries in the Smokestack Series that I’ve sampled.  It is of course a more full-bodied beer than the mass market Bud/Miller/Coors stuff, and probably a bit more full than Boulevard’s Wheat beer.  It is not bitter at all (danke Gott) and I deem it most agreeable.

Now, all I need is a Jackrabbits win in men’s basketball vs. San Jose State tonight, and the evening will be complete.

Rose Bowl parade protests threatened

PASADENA, Calif. – There could be some discord during the Tournament of Roses Parade as demonstrators promise to raise issues during the holiday spectacle that has been going on for more than a century. Human rights advocates plan to protest a float honoring the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and anti-war activists, including “Peace Mom” Cindy Sheehan, intend to rally for peace.

What’s the Matter with California?[*1]
Rampant, unrestrained narcissism[*2] , possibly?  The whole freakin’ state is overrun with narcissists . . . the only reason why they don’t rename California to Narcissistia is because it would be too damn hard to spell–worse even than Massachussetts.

The Liberation Army Against Freedom

These are some of the funniest things I’ve seen on the Internet in a looooooonnnnngggggg time.

The Liberation Army Against Freedom web site[*1] .

The YouTube videos (English subtitles):
Arms Arriving[*2]
The Mother of All Rockets[*3]
Eternal Rains of Fire[*4]
Firy Mountain[*5]

The last one isn’t nearly as funny as the others, but oh, well.

That oughta keep all of us occupied (excuse the phrase) until Independence Day!

Hat tip:  Hot Air[*6]

Boulevard “Double-Wide India Pale Ale”

I admit up front–I don’t care for India Pale Ales.  I find them too bitter for my taste.  And the second in the Boulevard Brewing Company’s[*1] Smokestack Series of ales doesn’t disappoint there, with an IBU of 55, it’s quite bitter to my palate.  But it shares a lushness with the previous entry, the Sixth Glass ale, and has a sweetness which is unusual in an India Pale Ale.

Boulevard’s web site[*2] warns that this one is “not for the pedestrian palate.”  I’d have to agree there–if your tastes run to Bud or Miller or Coors or any of the mass-market American beers, you probably won’t care for the Double-Wide.  If however you’re a bit adventurous in your beer consumption, and don’t shy away from sampling microbrews or obscure foreign beers, you’ll find this one interesting at least, and possibly more.

Tet ’08?

Yeah, the bad guys are working on it (from StrategyPage[*1] ):

Sometime within the next six months or so, al Qaeda or Saddamist terrorists will attempt a Tet offensive.

No, Middle Eastern mass murderers don’t celebrate the Vietnamese festival of Tet, but trust that America’s enemies everywhere do celebrate and systematically seek to emulate the strategic political effects North Vietnam’s 1968 attack obtained.

But this time around, there is a counter-narrative to the NVA/VietCong/CBS/NBC/ABC defeatism (this, from an in-theater U.S. Army Lt. Colonel, via Michael Yon[*2] ):

While the mother went to make the tea, her little girl came in and sat down. We asked her how old she was and she did not know. She ran to her mother to ask and came back telling us she was six years old with a big smile. Her father came in shortly after and was thrilled beyond belief that we were in his home to have tea. We shared the only two tea glasses they had. After our visit we took a family photo for them and delivered it framed on Christmas Day.

The experience of war changes people. For some it is a negative change but most manage to absorb the experience and use it to make themselves stronger. I have said goodbye to a mortally wounded soldier in the hospital, spoken to grieving family members of our casualties, and tried to comfort soldiers who just lost their best friend in a single violent moment. I have been under fire, looked insurgents in the eye, and seen corruption up close. I have also seen people emerge from oppression and live with hope for the first time in years. I have seen children reach up and grasp the hands of American soldiers just because they trust them. I have felt the desire to help and then been given the resources to do it. Finally, I have felt the close knit camaraderie that develops when you serve with a group of people fighting for a cause larger than self. Yes, this experience has changed me. I am stronger, more driven, and humbled all at the same time.

We are the good guys, and we are winning in Iraq.

Has global warming stopped?


This article from the New Statesman[*1] (via FuturePundit[*2] ) says maybe so:

The period 1980-98 was one of rapid warming – a temperature increase of about 0.5 degrees C (CO2 rose from 340ppm to 370ppm). But since then the global temperature has been flat (whilst the CO2 has relentlessly risen from 370ppm to 380ppm). This means that the global temperature today is about 0.3 deg less than it would have been had the rapid increase continued.

For the past decade the world has not warmed. Global warming has stopped. It’s not a viewpoint or a sceptic’s inaccuracy. It’s an observational fact. Clearly the world of the past 30 years is warmer than the previous decades and there is abundant evidence (in the northern hemisphere at least) that the world is responding to those elevated temperatures. But the evidence shows that global warming as such has ceased.

The explanation for the standstill has been attributed to aerosols in the atmosphere produced as a by-product of greenhouse gas emission and volcanic activity. They would have the effect of reflecting some of the incidental sunlight into space thereby reducing the greenhouse effect. Such an explanation was proposed to account for the global cooling observed between 1940 and 1978.

But things cannot be that simple. The fact that the global temperature has remained unchanged for a decade requires that the quantity of reflecting aerosols dumped put in our atmosphere must be increasing year on year at precisely the exact rate needed to offset the accumulating carbon dioxide that wants to drive the temperature higher. This precise balance seems highly unlikely. Other explanations have been proposed such as the ocean cooling effect of the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation.

So, who is this Climate Change Denier, this know-nothing heretic who’s trying to rain on Al Gore’s parade?

David Whitehouse.  Who’s he?

David Whitehouse was BBC Science Correspondent 1988–1998, Science Editor BBC News Online 1998–2006 and the 2004 European Internet Journalist of the Year. He has a doctorate in astrophysics and is the author of The Sun: A Biography (John Wiley, 2005).] His website is[*3]

Meanwhile, at Power and Control[*4] , M. Simon reminds us that:

Science is based on doubt.

Religion is based on faith.

Prompted by the discussion at The Volokh Conspiracy[*5] .

Then there is scientism[*6] which amounts to faith in science. We know is not a scientific position, because science never knows anything. All science can say is “this is the best answer we have so far”.

More doubt, less faith about anthropogenic climate change, please.  The only thing that’s been proven so far is that politicians make bad scientists.

Boulevard “The Sixth Glass” Ale

It’s . . . yummy.

Its color was a robust reddish-brown in the wine glass from which I partook of its charms.  It has a bit of a thick feel in the mouth, not at all bad.  A bit creamy, actually.  It has not a harsh taste in it at all, being a mellow, well-behaved ale–actually, a bit sweet.  The 750 ml bottle is not nearly enough but at the same time, probably quite enough for an evening’s beverage enjoyment.  Trust me, you don’t want more than one bottle, unless you’re with friends.  Whoo, it’s starting to take it’s effect on ol’ filbert here.   Very nice.  I’ll be going to bed soon.

I’ll give it a full 10/10.  Very, very good.  If you see it in a liquor/package store near you, snap it up.  Good stuff, Maynard.

The Big Dig is Done

Kansas City Star[*1] :

Officially, Dec. 31 marks the end of the joint venture that teamed megaproject contractor Bechtel/Parsons Brinckerhoff with the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority to build the dizzying array of underground highways, bridges, ramps and a new tunnel under Boston Harbor – all while the city remained open for business.

The project was so complex it’s been likened to performing open heart surgery on a patient while the patient is wide awake.