And hosted of course, by Bruce Carroll as Gene Rayburn.
Tune in tonight at 9PM Eastern.
Apple just cut the starting price of the Retina Display 13″ MacBook Pro by $200, and bumped the processor, too. The price on the 15″ big brother is staying the same, but the CPU got a bigger bump, it looks like.
If you’ve played with one of these, it’s hard to go back to a regular screen. I have, and I have — and it makes the display on my MacBook Air look kind of cheap, even though it’s a better screen than most any Windows notebook.
This story has been at the top of Google News for hours, and every time I see it I read it as “Expensive Agenda.”
Drunkblogging tonight’s State of the Union Address will begin at about 8:45PM Eastern. Check in at the PJMedia home page for the hottest and freshest link. We have a new liveblogging system that’s supposed to keep our servers from melting down, but we haven’t yet had the chance to test it against my liver.
Afterwards, I’ll deliver the Drunk Response to Rand Paul’s Tea Party response to Marco Rubio’s GOP response to the President’s speech.
The New Normal keeps getting weirder.
The saddest story you will read all day:
Maker’s Mark is getting a little less boozy.
The bourbon producer, known for its signature red wax-sealed bottles, is watering down its whiskey in an effort to meet rising global demand.
The change was first announced in a letter from company executives to loyal customers.
“Fact is, demand for our bourbon is exceeding our ability to make it, which means we’re running very low on supply,” wrote Rob Samuels, the company COO.
Samuels said that “after looking at all possible solutions,” the company was reducing alcohol by volume by 3%.
Fact is, all liquor is watered down.
The stuff in the casks is a much higher proof (typically close to 50% ABV) than the stuff in the bottles (typically 40-46% ABV, depending on the booze and the brand). Distilleries add water during the bottling process to even out the proof, since the alcohol will evaporate at different rates out of different casks. Ideally, the distillery will use the same water used to make the booze in the first place, so no foreign flavors are introduced.
This is why “cask-strength” Scotch confuses me. You’re going to have to water the stuff down a bit to make it palatable, and odds are you won’t have access to the same stuff from that one particular stream in the Scottish highlands or wherever.
What Maker’s is doing is adding more water when they move the stuff from cask to bottle — almost 7% more. You’ll want to add one less ice cube to your rocks glass, or a smaller splash of water, or use a little less sugar & bitters in your Old Fashioned. Because what Maker’s has effectively done here is to sell you 7% less booze in the same size bottle for the same amount of money.
To which I say: I’d take a Bulleit for Maker’s Mark.
S*** just got real between China and North Korea:
North Korean and Chinese officials are still haggling over what to do in response to China’s unprecedented vote to back UN condemnation of North Korean nuclear weapons development and what appears to be preparations for a third nuclear weapons test. China has made it clear, and very public, that such a test would result in less aid from China. That’s serious for North Korea, which is undergoing a famine and severe energy shortage. China is North Korea’s major aid donor and trading partner. Most North Korean exports are illegal items (weapons, drugs, counterfeit currency) that can only be moved to foreign customers because of Chinese cooperation. China wants North Korea to fix its economy with reforms (more free market activity, which saved China three decades ago). But the North Koreans only pay lip service to the economic reforms and instead move ahead in developing nuclear weapons and believing their own propaganda about what a swell country they are. The Chinese UN vote may also indicate that the Chinese will finally execute an option they have been working on for over a decade; backing a coup in North Korea by pro-Chinese officials. North Koreans are aware of these rumors and in the last year many senior officials were forcibly retired (or executed). While presented as an effort to get some younger leaders into action, it also appeared to be a purge of people with questionable loyalties (real or imagined.)
I’ve written many times going back many years that things won’t end well for North Korea. The country may live on for decades more before reunification, but the Kimocracy is doomed.
What intrigues me most is the set that looks like MSNBC circa 1998.
Sarah Hoyt, that is, with a must-read essay on our long national malaise:
Prepare for the worst, hope for the best and – to quote Heinlein – keep your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark. Metaphorically, at least.
I’m not going to tell you how to prepare for physical survival. It would be stupid. There are far better informed people. I do wish womeone who can’t eat carbs – for reasons other than diet – would have a list, though, since our storage is whimsical, to put it mildly.
What I’m going to tell you is how to keep yourself from being a depressed pile of mush, in the meanwhile. Because – trust me, I’m by nature a depressive, and I KNOW – if you are a depressed pile of mush, you won’t think clearly in an emergency; you won’t react quickly in a life threatening situation; you won’t take advantage of something getting unexpectedly better; and you WON’T survive, no matter how many plans you’ve made.
Read the whole thing.
CAUTION: Elvis and New Wave do not mix. Except when Billy Idol does it.
Synthesizers? Check. Elvis delivery? Check. Dry-humping the stage floor? Check.
This one came out the summer after my Junior year of high school, but St. Louis radio stations just weren’t playing it often enough for my tastes. A quick walk to West End Wax and seven dollars later, and I had the album. Cassette, actually. Wore it out before I became a Senior.
In a comprehensive six-year study of the mammalian family tree, scientists have identified and reconstructed what they say is the most likely common ancestor of the many species on the most abundant and diverse branch of that tree — the branch of creatures that nourish their young in utero through a placenta. The work appears to support the view that in the global extinctions some 66 million years ago, all non-avian dinosaurs had to die for mammals to flourish.
Scientists had been searching for just such a common genealogical link and have found it in a lowly occupant of the fossil record, Protungulatum donnae, that until now has been so obscure that it lacks a colloquial nickname. But as researchers reported Thursday in the journal Science, the animal had several anatomical characteristics for live births that anticipated all placental mammals and led to some 5,400 living species, from shrews to elephants, bats to whales, cats to dogs and, not least, humans.
They have got to come up with a better name than “Protungulatum donnae.”
RELATED: Dinosaurs went extinct immediately following Mexico asteroid impact. It wasn’t the only factor in their demise, but new dating techniques have the timing down to “a gnat’s eyebrow.”
Wiggle aside, Hooters — there are new breastaurants in town:
Next month, the Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery will open in Hallandale Beach with Tilted Kilt Girls sporting mini-kilts, midriff-baring white tops, and stockings.
And a group of Weston restaurateurs have signed an agreement to open 10 Twin Peaks.The main attraction at the restaurants themed as mountain-sports lodges are the “Lumber Jills,” serving in khaki shorts and red plaid tops. They bare their midriffs, too.
Owners of the specialty themed restaurants say the servers are entertainers. Breastaurants don’t hire their employees, they audition and cast them, said Joe Sloboda, a restaurateur behind the upcoming Twin Peaks South Florida franchise.
“We want to make sure people on our team will fit the role, with the right personality, the right skill-set,” he said. For example, the Tilted Kilt announced it will hold “casting calls,” this weekend from 12-5 p.m. for “all roles.’
I love this next bit, to which I’ve added a few extra bits in bold:
“Initially, customers are drawn in for the girls [who are all hot chicks],” Hanby said. “But what keeps them coming back is the great food [served by hot chicks], the selection of drinks [also served by hot chicks] and the unbeatable atmosphere [hot chicks].” he said.
Pretty girls serving OK food is nothing new. It might even be one of the oldest restaurant concepts. And it’s all innocent fun. When my wife wants hot wings, and I have to remind her that it’s a 12-hour drive to Culpepper’s (I used to walk there in ten minutes; sigh), she’s the one to suggest Hooter’s.
But how much room is there for the concept to grow? It’s a bit like Las Vegas. Having one Vegas (and it’s developmentally-disabled kid brother, Atlantic City) is great. But if every big city tried to do what Vegas does, they’d go broke — and possibly ruin it for Vegas, too. And there’s an upper limit on how many pretty young women have the looks, personality, and willingness to do the work.
I wish these new places luck — it’s a tough industry, even with scantily-clad servers. But we might be hitting saturation in this particular market.
A seven-inch gaming tablet for $250? It will comes down to the games — it always does — but this thing could be a killer. Read:
It’s smaller, the company says, but no less powerful — it’s keeping the Tegra 3 GPU the original build promised, not to mention 1GB of DDR3 RAM, 16GB of Flash memory, a 2-megapixel front facing camera and a 1,280 x 800 resolution display.
Wikipad’s President of sales, Fraser Townley, told us the gamepad design hasn’t changed much either. “We took the pinball wizard approach,” he said. “We made everybody in the room shut their eyes, and try the controllers. It’s not about the look, it’s about the feel. Once we got the feel right, then we could worry about the look. That’s how the ten inch was born, and that’s how the seven inch stayed the same.” The attachment boasts new buttons (now labeled a, b, x and y) with a chrome finish, but seems otherwise unchanged. Wikipad is mum on specific availability, but we’re told we can expect to hear more after Chinese New Year.
Could be the must-have Christmas gift for 2013.
Yes, our own Roger L. Simon is stepping down as CEO of PJMedia — but thankfully sticking around as “Roger the Writer” at the PJM home page and The Tatler.
Let me tell you briefly what kind of boss he was.
In PJ’s early days, we weren’t much more than a collection of bloggers with an ad network. As the company was preparing to launch, and I had no idea anything was going on, my phone rang one afternoon. I was immediately annoyed, because I don’t like to talk on the phone. But I picked it up anyway. The conversation went like this.
“Stephen? How are you? Great. Listen, it’s Roger Simon. Did you get the contract we emailed you last week?”
I’m already liking this guy, because he’s getting right to the point and not wasting my phone. Also, I knew him from his blog and a couple of his mystery novels. “I don’t know, Roger. I delete an awful lot of stuff. What is it?”
“We’re starting a blogger network, and we want you to be a part of it.”
“What do I do?”
“You keep doing exactly what you’re doing, and we put some ads on your page. Four times a year, we send you some money.”
“How much money?”
“That’s still more than I’m making now. Send the contract again and I’ll take a look.”
That’s how the whole thing started, with a quick phone call one summer day in 2005.
The next year was when my thyroid went nuts the first time, and I stopped blogging. I was so hyper and so angry and so depressed, I had absolutely nothing of interest to say. You might argue that I still don’t, but I was so depressed even I knew it. I never posted an “I’m sick” explanation, never called Roger, never said a word — just stopped blogging for six months. But I (ahem) did keep cashing the checks.
I’d broken the terms of my contract. PJMedia, Roger, had no reason to keep paying me. And 18 months later, when PJTV was born, he certainly took a risk bringing me on for an expanded role with the company. But he did.
Any boss who stands by you through that kind of thing is good people, a mensch. That’s the guy I’ve worked for and with these past seven years. And now that he’s laid aside the CEO mantle, I really wish he’d get to work on a new Moses Wine novel.
Hint, hint, Roger!