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25 July 2017
Morning Sedition

It’s Still an Open Container

Grolsch Blikbeugel

Grolsch Blikbeugel

I've only been in love with a beer bottle and a mirror.

— Sid Vicious

Grolsch has announced its Blikbeugel in time for koninginnedag. (As a man who doesn't drink beer, I seem to be posting a lot in the zymurgy category.) For those of us who don't speak Dutch, this means they've come out with a gizmo that snaps onto a can turning it into a bottle. Here's the translation, such as it is, of their announcement, courtesy of Babelfish:

Grolsch Blikbeugel

Grolsch introduce the Grolsch Blikbeugel in the week for koninginnedag. With this innovative gadget you make a clamp of your can with one click!

The Grolsch Blikbeugel have been developed from the idea that blikje are indeed more compact and you it more easily take along, but drinks less nicely than a flask. With the Grolsch Blikbeugel you and there become the drinkgenot of a bottle preserve the ease of use of the blikje to added. The set-up piece clicks you on the blikje and the blikje drink now as a clamp bottle. The can clamp can be hung for the ring, as a result of which you rather have yourself hands for other activities. The can clamp can be used several times.

In the week for koninginnedag (as from Monday 25 April) the Grolsch Blikbeugel available in hypermarket and slijterij are. The can clamp is provided in an action packing from 11 blikjes Grolsch?3 cl existing for 8.49 euro (recommended retail price). The Grolsch Blikbeugel are an one-off action and in a restricted oplage are brought out.

Babelfish Translation of Golsch Press Release
Golsch Press Release (Dutch)

Bottle It

Bottle It Spout for Canned Beverages

This isn't an original idea, however:

Why Didn't I think of that?

Bottle It™ Turns Any Beverage Can into a Longneck Bottle

AUSTIN, Texas (BUSINESS WIRE) - ImageMark, Inc., a Texas-based marketing company, recently launched its newest product, Bottle It™, a plastic "bottleneck" that snaps onto any beverage can, immediately converting it to a longneck bottle.

The product is currently being distributed to retailers and sports facilities.

Bottle It™ was designed and patented in the early nineties. The idea for the plastic longneck was born when the inventor experienced a run-in with the law while drinking from a glass bottle on the beach. Since glass is prohibited on beaches, the police confiscated his entire ice chest full of glass-bottle longnecks. Because he found aluminum cans distasteful, the inventor set about designing a way to turn an ordinary beverage can into a longneck and, of course, one that could be used on the beach.

The Bottle It™ unit is reusable, leak proof, easy to use, and completely eliminates the aluminum can taste. It comes in eight different colors and fits 12 ounce and 16 ounce cans. Retailers have reported that it has already had tremendous appeal among sports enthusiasts, beach-goers, golfers and boaters. It has also been successful with corporations and university organizations since it can be imprinted with company logos, fraternity/sorority letters, etc."

INVENTUS - September 1999 Newsletter

Montage of Bottle It Spouts

Montage of Bottle It Spouts

Bottle It was created by Imagemark, a design house specializing in branded products.

As our tagline clearly states, "We don't BRAND your merchandise. We Merchandise your BRAND." Imagemark's main object with this solution is to leave our client's mark, or brand on their customers mind...

"Solutions" by Imagemark

Assuming you didn't get one from a company promoting its brand, you can order one from Promo Place or Add Your Imprint.

If you get one of these, especially from Grolsch, be sure to avoid the open-container laws:

New York City Administrative Code, Section 10-125, Consumption of Alcohol in Public
b. No person shall drink or consume an alcoholic beverage, or possess, with intent to drink or consume, an open container containing an alcoholic beverage in any public place except at a block party, feast or similar function for which a permit has been obtained.
c. Possession of an open container containing an alcoholic beverage by any person shall create a rebuttable presumption that such person did intend to consume the contents thereof in violation of this section.

New York City Administrative Code, Section 10-125, Consumption of Alcohol in Public

Drunker than Cooter Brown

Cooter or Turtle

Cooter (Not Drunk)

People who grew up in the south often use a variety of expressions to describe intoxication or drug-induced befuddlement. One of them is "Drunk(High) as Cooter Brown" or "Drunk(High) as Cooty Brown":

Drunk as Cooter Brown; drunker than Cooter Brown -- Very drunk indeed. Who the proverbial Cooter Brown is no one seems to know, but this may have originally been a black expression from the Carolinas. 'In Texas we'd call him drunker than Cooter Brown.'

Whistlin' Dixie: A Dictionary of Southern Expressions by Robert Hendrickson

DRUNK AS COOTER BROWN - adj. phrase. Also "drunk as Cooter, ~ Cooty Brown. Chiefly South. Very intoxicated. "This is a Black expression very familiar to the informant, who is from New Jersey. She says it is current and, so far as she knows, it 'came up with the Blacks from the Carolinas.' She thinks it probably derives from some proverbial drunkard."

Dictionary of American Regional English, Volume 1 by Frederic G. Cassidy

A peculiar expression, indeed. Wherever could it have originated? One confabulated explanation has it that during the Civil War, a man named Cooter Brown had family on both sides. Not wanted to fight for either North or South he stayed drunk for the entire war. This is, of course, ludicrous as he would have been drafted by the first side to find him and thrown in the brig for a few days to sober up.

A more likely derivation is from "cooter," the slang term for a turtle. Another spelling is "coota." The derivation seems to be the West African words "kuta," "nkuda," or "kuts," all meaning a turtle. (I wrote up a similar influence of West African language on southern slang in my entry on the origins of the phrase shotgun shack.)

Now, what does it mean to be as drunk as a turtle? Slow, lumbering, unable to perform any complicated task. It may not make a lot of sense, but it's the best explanation I've seen.

Malt Does More Than Milton Can…

Zymurgy Magazine

Oh many a peer of England brews
Livelier liquor than the Muse,
And malt does more than Milton can
To justify God's ways to man.

— A.E. Houseman, "A Shropshire Lad"

My comment on Marmite being the first legitimate zymurgy posting resulted in a few queries about the zymurgy category and why I have one. (But none about why I have an "aardvark" category. Go figure.) Anyway, here's what the OED has to say:

zymurgy (noun) Chem Biochem the branch of applied chemistry dealing with the use of fermentation in brewing etc. Etymology: Greek zume leaven, on the pattern of metallurgy.

Oxford English Dictionary

And, no, in case you were wondering, I don't do homebrewing and never liked beer. (I just like showing off.) I've seen the Houseman quote butchered on t-shirts on St. Marks that say, "Beer does more than Milton can, To justify God's ways to man." You'll find them between the "Fuck You, You Fucking Fuck" and "Do I Look Like A Fucking People Person?" shirts.

Marmite, Vegemite & Promite (Oh My!)

Marmite Fan

Buying bread from a man in brussels
He was six foot four and full of muscles
I said, do you speak-a my language?
He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich

"Down Under", Men At Work

Marmite is a disgusting, noxious blend of yeast residue left over after fermenation, salt, and vegetable flavors. (No, I am so not making this up.) It tastes, well, like salty chemical waste. As a skilled chef, I am absolutely befuddled that people will eat Marmite when they could eat actual food. Besides the British who created Marmite, nobody eats this stuff except for the Australians. They like it so much they created two homegrown alternatives: Promite and Vegemite. Comparisons may show the products have a slightly different taste, but I doubt this matters except to fans.

Marmite Jar (front)

People simply binned the by-products of brewing before they knew any better.

History of Marmite,

Uh, no, they binned it because they knew it wasn't food. Even Marmite's manufacturer admits not everyone likes this glop:

Ever taken a good look at engine grease? Like a real up-close look? Ever compared the two? A pot of Marmite and a thick scraping of burnt oil? Exactly.

Birth of Marmite,

Marmite Jar (back)

But that's not the best part. It seems that Marmite is running television ads — what better way to attract people to eat axle grease that tastes like it's made from ebola cadavers — that cause children to need therapy:

LONDON (Reuters) - A Marmite advert that parodied 1950's science fiction film "The Blob" has been banned from all childrens' programmes in Britain after leaving kids too scared to watch television, the advertising watchdog has said.

Two Marmite adverts featured a giant brown blob rolling along a crowded street, terrifying some people who tried to flee while others ran towards it with delight.

The advert ended with Marmite's slogan: "You either love it or hate it".

"Marmite blob ad 'terrified' children", Reuters, 16 March 2005

Oh, and this posting is a historic occasion; it is the first legitimate posting in the zymurgy category. (What a truly frabjous day this is!) I'll leave it as an exercise to debate whether or not that was why I posted it. Ok, I won't leave it as an exercise. It wasn't. I just noticed it when I was checking off categories, that's all. (And, technically, it isn't the first legitimate one. The Starck beer package was really the first, but it was borderline.)

Design That’s Stark. Errr, Starck.

Philippe Starck's package design for Kronenbourg Beer

Philippe Starck's Package Design for Kronenbourg Beer

The designer Philippe Starck has created a very clever beer bottle for Kronenbourg:

For his new collaboration with Kronenbourg, Philippe Starck has designed this new bottle of french premium beer. His goal was to put elegance in drinking to the bottle. For this, he choosed the champain glass shape. The transparency of the glass was to show the beer, good and healthy product with nothing to hide. The other new idea was to add a cork to the bottle the way to keep it, if needed. This bottle is only available in a selection of hype bars, restaurants and hotels.

OBJECTS by, the online store of Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck's bottle for Kronenbourg Beer

Philippe Starck's bottle for Kronenbourg Beer

The package features a special ink, since image and presentation are more important, of course, than the underlying quality of the beer:

The can is decorated with a new ink developed by Crown specifically for the project. The silver ink creates a 'pearl-like' quality when rotated under light. The resulting effect adds a luxury appeal to the already successful brand. "We adopted a promotional can with a crisp, modern look to reflect the high-quality of beer inside the package. The elegant visual appeal of our new can effectively reinforces the premium brand image of Kronenbourg 1664," explained the marketing manager at Brasseries Kronenbourg.

"Promo Lager Can's Pearl-Like Ink" in Packtalk

While Starck created a simple, clean package, he may have been picked for reasons other than pure design skills:

I venture that plenty of people are likely to buy his products purely for the Starck brand - itself a useful marketing tool.

"What can I do?" he protests. "I am concerned. But I hope that my tribe is a smart tribe. I want to be the last barometer of the product. If people buy just because of my name, I regret it."

Starck adds that he works for both extremes of the monetary spectrum, and that his work for "wealthy clients" allows him greater freedom to design for the masses.

But this formula hasn't always proved successful. Starck's affordable collection for US discount retailer Target was discontinued after a season.Target has been vague about its demise. Starck claims that design was "not in their DNA".

Nonetheless,the Starck brand is growing at a phenomenal pace. The designer claims that studies have shown that when the word `Starck' is slapped on a product, its sales rise by 45 per cent.

Interview with Philippe Starck

But if you want one for your collection, best act fast:

The promotional cans will be available in supermarkets throughout France until the end of the year. The group has not announced any plans to use the new can beyond that time.

Beverage Daily

Welcome to Citizen Arcane
(The Words of a Blind Man Describing the Sun)

Zen Enso

(All is flux; nothing abides.)

(This image graces the covers of the hand-made, limited-edition greeting cards I made for the Winter Solstice, and I thought that both it and the accompanying text were equally appropriate here as the inaugural posting. So I have included the card's contents as the first posting.)

I took this at the Vomitorium 2005, an outdoor theatre performance in New York City's East Village drawing parallels between the Roman Empire's insatiable consumption and George W. Bush's America. Complete with excessive food ingestion and induced vomiting, just like the Romans. (Hey, it's New York.)

Intermission featured dancers swinging pots of fire.

Given the low light levels and a recalcitrant flash, I shot using a combination of manual and automatic. When the flash failed to go off for this shot, the shutter speed dropped like a stone; as a result the film was exposed for well over a second.

Believing the shot ruined, I was pleasantly surprised, both by the result and by the steadiness of my hands.

Since the sixth century, Zen has been represented by a circle. The wheel variant of enso says that life revolves in circles yet everything is mutable. We find ourselves at the same spot this time every year, yet things are always changeable, if we choose to act.

A scholar named Wang
laughed at my poems.
The accents are wrong,
he said,
too many beats;
the meter is poor,
the wording impulsive.

I laugh at his poems,
as he laughs at mine.
They read like
the words of a blind man
describing the sun.

— Han Shan


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