Links for 5/10/13

Cleared for Departure is one of our most popular cocktails at Metrovino, but I’ve been remiss in dedicating a post to it. The recipe is now up at the cocktail section of the site.

Italy meets Texas with Pecaño, a pecan liqueur that appears to be inspired by the bittersweet liqueurs of Italy. As a native Texas, this sounds very interesting to me. They launched a Kickstarter today to bring it into full scale production.

More than thirty years after federal legalization, homebrewing is now legal in all fifty states thanks to Alabama finally coming on board. Now on to home distillation!

Want to be a street performer in St. Louis? You’ll have to audition for the city first.


Links for 1/7/13

Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy take to the pages of The Wall Street Journal to call for ending the War on Drugs.

A former anti-GMO activists provocatively recants.

Baylen Linnekin looks at the continuing difficulties faced by the FDA and restaurant chains trying to comply with new menu labeling laws.

Josh Barro Evan Soltas argues that increasing the earned income tax credit would be more effective than increasing the minimum wage.

A defense of e-cigarettes in The Guardian.

I’d once planned an April Fools Day post featuring a “Mile High Manhattan” fat-washed with Rocky Mountain oysters. Wynkoop brewing has beaten me to it, but for real.


Links for 12/17/12

Conor Friedersdorf recaps the most important ideas from 2012.

From Chris Snowdon, previously unpublished remarks from Christopher Hitchens on “the prohibitionist mentality.”

The Pretentious Beer Glass Company is appropriately named. My favorite: This dual-chambered glass for visually striking blends.

If you missed Aquavit Week, here are six more aquavit cocktails to try.

Plain packs legislation enters its absurd phase: Calls for banning stickers.


Links for 12/11/12

A new report rounds up the various ways governments around the world, including those in the United States, discriminate against atheists.

Anchor Distilling makes vodka flavored with hops. A flavored vodka I may actually like?

Temperance images from the 1800s.

The first rule of public health journalism is just assume everything your source says is accurate, no matter how far-fetched it sounds.

Bulgarians are not taking their smoking ban sitting down.


Links for 12/7/12

Remember when Marc Ambinder cited unnamed “Obama aides and associates” claiming that in Obama’s second term he would tackle reform of the Drug War, and a few civil libertarians took this as reason, against all evidence, to think that his second term may be better? Well that could still happen, and I hope it does, but there is no sign of it yet. In a must-read article for the New York Times, Charlie Savage looks at the options the administration is exploring to undercut state marijuana legalization measures:

One option is for federal prosecutors to bring some cases against low-level marijuana users of the sort they until now have rarely bothered with, waiting for a defendant to make a motion to dismiss the case because the drug is now legal in that state. The department could then obtain a court ruling that federal law trumps the state one.

A more aggressive option is for the Justice Department to file lawsuits against the states to prevent them from setting up systems to regulate and tax marijuana, as the initiatives contemplated. If a court agrees that such regulations are pre-empted by federal ones, it will open the door to a broader ruling about whether the regulatory provisions can be “severed” from those eliminating state prohibitions — or whether the entire initiatives must be struck down.

Radley Balko is on fire about this. Andrew Sullivan is Andrew Sullivan.

Breaking the Taboo, the documentary about the Drug War narrated by Morgan Freeman, premieres today. You can watch it on YouTube.

In better news for Washington state, these scenes of gay couples lining up for their marriage licenses are just fantastic. Officials in King County (Seattle) started work at midnight to get couples their licenses as soon as possible:

Asked whether the middle-of-the-night marriage license roll-out was necessary, King County Executive Dow Constantine said, “People who have been waiting all these years to have their rights recognized should not have to wait one minute longer.”

Walter Olson lays out the best case I’ve seen for not ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

My friends in the District will soon be able to buy spirits on Sundays.

Cigarette butts don’t always go to waste: It appears that birds use them in their nests, with the nicotine acting as a defense against parasites.

BuzzFeed writes the definitive obituary for Google Reader.


Links for 12/3/12

Clearing out some tabs…

“A 2010 survey by the Pew Research Centre, an American think-tank, found that 84% of Muslims in Egypt and 86% in Jordan backed the death penalty for apostates, compared with 51% in Nigeria and 30% in Indonesia.” — The Economist examines the challenges confronted by ex-Muslim atheists.

“If I needed toilet paper I would stand to attention and shout: ‘Detainee Manning requests toilet paper!'” — Glenn Greenwald writes depressingly about the abusive treatment of Bradley Manning.

Tom Junod continues his Esquire series on the Lethal Presidency of Barack Obama.

Gary Leff updates his list of the best credit card signup bonuses for frequent flyers.

Eater Portland and Drink Portland both highlight Metrovino as a destination for brunch cocktails.

22 flavored liquors to avoid. Or if you must, the new Vegas bar where you can probably try them.


Blog birthday links

Today marks the ninth anniversary of this blog’s existence. This is also the year that I’ve pretty much given up on frequent updates as a means of driving traffic, finding that it’s more effective to focus on writing substantive content and disseminating links via Twitter and other social media (follow me at @jacobgrier!). But for old times’ sake, here’s a round-up of recent links that have caught my attention.

Last week’s discussion of Google’s self-driving cars has been fascinating; Tim Lee has a good post on the topic. If this technology lives up to its promise it will revolutionize cities and make investment in light rail and streetcars in low-density cities like Portland appear even more absurd. Why spend money on transit that is expensive, runs on a set track, and offers infrequent service if efficient self-driving cars are the way of the future?

The Oregonian comes down hard against raw milk. In 2008 I visited a raw milk dairy for Reason magazine, drank the milk, and lived to tell the tale.

Having already banned most kinds of flavored cigarettes, the federal government’s next step may be a ban on flavored cigars. FDA regulation of premium cigars is potentially devastating for the industry.

Californians have less than two months left to enjoy foie gras before it becomes illegal to serve in restaurants.

Someone should do this for six-packs of beer.

FUDS: A Journey in Taste from Mouth to Toilet, Traveling the Ultimate Expanse of the Greeko-Japo Pan-American Dining Experiences.


Links for 4/20/12


The newest MIX Magazine includes a feature by Paul Clarke about floral cocktails. He includes two of mine from Metrovino.

The dumbest story of the week was about Obama eating dog as a child. For a much more interesting look at the topic, see this recent NPR report about evolving norms in China. (I ate dog once. It tasted terrierble.)

Dave Arnold’s primer on cooking with liquid nitrogen is fascinating, awesome, and a little bit terrifying.

New regulations in Japan may shut down its cat cafes.

Another shot at IP protection for magic performance: Teller takes a Dutch copycat to court.

One of my favorite Portland food writers, Jen Stevenson, has a new site dedicated to various events going on in the city.

[Photo by Thomas Boyd.]


Links for 2/1 12

The Caging of America:

The scale and the brutality of our prisons are the moral scandal of American life. Every day, at least fifty thousand men—a full house at Yankee Stadium—wake in solitary confinement, often in “supermax” prisons or prison wings, in which men are locked in small cells, where they see no one, cannot freely read and write, and are allowed out just once a day for an hour’s solo “exercise.” (Lock yourself in your bathroom and then imagine you have to stay there for the next ten years, and you will have some sense of the experience.) Prison rape is so endemic—more than seventy thousand prisoners are raped each year—that it is routinely held out as a threat, part of the punishment to be expected. The subject is standard fodder for comedy, and an uncoöperative suspect being threatened with rape in prison is now represented, every night on television, as an ordinary and rather lovable bit of policing. The normalization of prison rape—like eighteenth-century japery about watching men struggle as they die on the gallows—will surely strike our descendants as chillingly sadistic, incomprehensible on the part of people who thought themselves civilized.

The Economist explains what’s at stake in a fight over proposed tequila labeling regulations.

Lucinda Williams, The Shins, and Bone Luge all in one NPR podcast. Anna Brones is not on board with the Bone Luge. New York Times editor Sam Sifton isn’t either, but he would still “totally do it.”

Metrovino’s new chef Victor Deras takes the reins today. Eater asks him what he has planned for the restaurant.

Cheers magazine takes a look at the beer cocktails trend.


Links for 1/21/12

Long read for the day: 2010 Jacob Sullum piece on why Citizens United was essentially correct, protects speech, and changes much less than people think it does.

A brief history of Super PACs from Paul Sherman.

Chris Snowdon on the spread of campus smoking bans. There are now more than 600 smoke-free campuses in the US.

Derek Brown contemplates binge drinking.

The Bone Luge captured on video! The crew at Ludivine in Oklahoma City shows you how it’s done:


Links for 1/14/12

What is Austrian economics all about? Peter Boettke explains in Five Books.

How art history majors power the US economy.

The organization’s support for smoking bans and higher tobacco taxes is enough reason for me to never contribute to Livestrong. Contrary to popular perception, it turns out the group doesn’t channel the money it raises into cancer research.

Chris Moody scores the best presidential campaign interview: RuPaul on Ron Paul.

Lake Oswego realizes it actually can’t afford a streetcar.

Why your cat might have a craving for mushrooms.

The ballad of @horse_ebooks.


Links for 12/28/11

Gary Johnson officially declares candidacy for the Libertarian Party nomination. Ron Paul is topping the polls in Iowa. More voters are leaving the major parties to register as independents. Approval of Congress is at an all-time low. Is a libertarian moment on the horizon?

Another libertarian think tank in the pocket of Big Tattoo and Big Fish Pedicure.

Indian magicians seek official recognition of magic as an art form, so that they can receive government support.

Ryan Conklin rounds up some holiday beer cocktails.


Links for 12/17/11

“We are in solidarity with them even if they don’t know it.” An Occupy Portland protest intended to shut down the ports on Monday sent about 200 longshoremen home without pay, also affecting truckers. The protest was supposedly on behalf of the longshoremen, whose union opposed it. The arrogance of the protesters was remarkable.

“A feast of reason and a flow of soul” — Christopher Buckley remembers Hitchens.

There are too many great Hitchens pieces to link to them all. Biased by my own interests, here’s Hitch on the subject of smoking bans.

Andrew Sullivan endorses Ron Paul for the GOP nomination.

There’s a forthcoming book about food from Tyler Cowen. Self-recommending!

Another take on Pisco Sour jelly shots, inspired by mine from earlier in the month.


Links for 12/5/11

Happy Repeal Day, everyone! Today is the anniversary of the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment, which repealed Prohibition. I wrote about the holiday for the American Spectator on its 75th anniversary in 2008.

The Occupy evictions have brought welcome attention to excessive force by police officers, but as Radley Balko writes, the militarization of American police forces has been going on for a long time.

I imagine that very few students, right or left, would benefit from missing out on economics classes taught by Greg Mankiw.