Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Drive-By Sexting


Cop Swiped X-Rated Images Off Perp's Phone


NOVEMBER 29--A Connecticut man whose phone was confiscated by police after his arrest alleges that a Stamford cop forwarded sexually explicit videos and photos stored on the device to his own personal phone and then distributed the X-rated material to “one or more third parties,” according to a federal lawsuit.

William Vasilakos, 39, charges that the police officer, Michael Presti, arrested him in August 2008 and, rather than place the phone “in the custody of the Stamford Police Department,” he “kept the phone on his own person.”

The phone incident triggered an internal affairs unit probe of Presti. That review substantiated the allegations against the cop, who was subsequently disciplined, according to IAU Sergeant Ryan Devanney. Details of the punishment levied against Presti, Devanney noted, would have to be obtained via a public records request filed with the City of Stamford’s Law Department.

Presti, who works the midnight tour, could not be reached for comment.

Politically Incorrect Evolutionary Truths



According to a recent article in The Independent, the following are considered Inconvenient (and perhaps Politically Incorrect) Evolutionary Truths about humans:


    1 Beautiful people have more daughters

    2 Liberals are more intelligent than conservatives

    3 Most suicide bombers are Muslim

    4 Men like blonde bombshells (and women want to look like them)

    5 Humans are naturally polygamous

    6 Having sons reduces the likelihood of divorce

    7 What creative geniuses have in common with criminals

    8 The myth of the male mid-life crisis

    9 It's natural for male politicians to risk everything for an affair

    10 Men sexually harass women because they are not sexist

For the full article – and to get the scientific explanations for these findings – please click the link above

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks


Need a reason to be able to give thanks for something this Thanksgiving?  Howzabout we give thanks for the fact that we’ve got THIS guy?


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

G4: Zane Lamprey Interview

Zane Lamprey, host of "Drinking Made Easy" on HDNet, is interviewed on G4's "Attack Of The Show"

Airport Security From The New Yorker

For the full set of cartoons, please click the link below ... 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Message Board For Perverts Like YOU!



If this Web site uses Flash technology, do you think it’ll work on an IPad?

An excerpt from the full article on Jezebel:


Welcome to Dickflash, a twisted forum where flashers trade tips and tricks.

The forum is full of useful tips, such as:

  • How to obtain fake license plates for "carjacking."
  • How to properly photograph the act — "the tasks of keeping the dick & female in the same frame while jerking and being aware of your surroundings is somewhat overwhelming while at a spa or outdoor park," complained one commenter.
  • How to hide your genitalia with books and newspapers, just enough to avoid being caught. "It is all about positioning," commented the aptly-monikered "Crazy Jerking."

For the actual forum itself, go here:



Has Netflix Sounded The Death Knell For DVD's?

Please click the link below for the full article ...

NEW YORK | Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:23pm EST

(Reuters) - Netflix Inc will offer its first unlimited streaming-only subscription plan in the United States and raise prices on some of its other streaming and DVD plans, which accelerates the company's move away from its DVD-by-mail business.

Netflix shares rose 7.7 percent to $186.44 on the Nasdaq.

The move helps Netflix's efforts to eventually phase out sending DVDs by mail, said Gabelli & Company analyst Brett Harriss.

The Sunburnt Calf

Here's a new place I'd like to try out -- at least for their brunch, if nothing else.

NY1 reviews this new Aussie restaurant in Manhattan (please click the link below for the entire story) ...

Inside The Sunburnt Calf, St. Clair takes you to the place he grew up. On the walls you'll find murals of the outback, Australia ghost gum trees and Uluru Rock formerly known as Ayers Rock. The menu features dishes like crocodile chowder and kangaroo sausage with mashed potatoes, caramelized onions and pomegranate relish. If the descriptions leave you more terrified than tempted, St. Clair encourages you to take a bite.
"We have calf, we have barramundi, we have chicken. I mean, we do it all," says St. Clair. "But you should really try it. I mean I'd be willing to buy it for you just for you to try it."
But that's not the only deal St. Clair offers. There's a happy hour special during the week that's all you can drink for two hours for $20. And an all you can drink brunch special on Saturday and Sunday for $18.

Monday, November 22, 2010

NYC's Best Mexican Restaurants

The Village Voice has published its list of top Mexican Restaurants in New York City -- some interesting/surprising choices (including a few not located in Manhattan).

Check out the entire list here:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Coffee Cocktails



Lately, there seems to have been quite a bit written about how to make a cocktail out of coffee.

Consider this post to be closer to The Lazy Man’s Guide To The Coffee Cocktail.

Sure, mix a little instant coffee with Jameson’s or Bushmills, pour cream over the back of a spoon and before you know it – Booyahkasha! – you’ve got yourself an authentic Irish Coffee.

Or do you?

Some would certainly disagree.

For example, instead of using Jameson’s or Bushmills, why not use Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur (or if you’re a cheapskate like me, use Brady’s) so you already have the cream mixed in?

And for that matter, why be so limited? I mean, coffee is a worldwide beverage, so certainly other nations aside from Ireland have their own twist on this, no?

Take Mexican coffee – please!

Now, automatically, you’d say, “Ah, yes, just add a shot of Kahlua!”.

You disappoint me, Fredo.

Better yet, consider this: Patrόn’s XO Café is excellent for this purpose! This is a coffee liqueur made with tequila; add of shot of this into your coffee, then spray a mound of chocolate whipped cream on top and you’ve got yourself a most decadent dessert.

Then there’s Italian coffee – again, more than one way to skin this caffeinated cat.

To have an Italian coffee, you could add Amaretto – commonly, most folks might understandably use the very popular Disaronno, which would be an excellent choice. But then again, there’s also the very sweet Sambuca, often served in Italian restaurants with the three coffee beans – one for health, one for happiness and one for prosperity. Pour a shot of that into your coffee and believe me, you won’t need to add any sugar.

Now, have you ever heard of Jamaican coffee? Yes, Virginia, there is a Jamaican coffee.

Something called Tia Maria is a Kahlua-style liqueur that is often added to coffee after dinner in the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Alternatively, you could use rum cream. While Tia Maria isn’t necessarily all that hard to come by here in the United States, rum cream, by contrast, can be something of a challenge to find. In most cases, you’ll likely have to purchase it over the Internet, unless you’re fortunate enough to actually travel to Jamaica and buy some on the way home at the airport’s duty free liquor shop. And just what exactly is rum cream? Simple – I mentioned Bailey’s above. You’re familiar with Bailey’s aren’t you? Of course you are! Well, think of rum cream as the Jamaican form of Bailey’s – the only difference, of course, is that instead of using Irish Whiskey, they use Jamaican rum. Mighty tasty stuff, that rum cream.

If you recall way back when, I started out this post saying that it was the lazy man’s guide to coffee cocktails. While I feel as though I’ve held up my end of the bargain, I do understand that there may be some of you out there that are a little more, well, ambitious, shall we say. To those of you, I say merely that I forgive you. For you over-achievers out there, I would like to share with you a recent New York Times article called “Spiking Coffee, Opening Eyes”, which has some rather exotic recipes. Accompanying the article is the following video which demonstrates how to make some of these items:

Well, I guess that’s it for now – except for one thing: I’d like to leave you with a quote from the noted philosopher Rene Descartes, who once said, “I drink, therefore, I am”. I have adopted this as my own personal philosophy and trust that you will, too.

Siskel & Ebert on Film Criticism

Friday, November 19, 2010

How To Google Naked Germans

Click the link below for the entire story

Google Street View captures naked German guy inside trunk of his car

You can pretty much get a view of anything on Google maps -- even a naked German guy. 
Google Street View launched today in 20 German cities such as Berlin and Hamburg, but only after Internet users there forced the Internet search engine to blur 240,000 houses from their maps. 
One image that really creeped out Germans wasn't so much the homes -- but a photo of a naked man in the trunk of a car in the city of Mannheim. 
Google later blurred out the image.

The King’s Speech – Movie Review


Last night in my movie class, we saw the British drama, “The King’s Speech”, starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.

When the Duke Of York is forced to make an increasing number of speeches on behalf of his ailing father The King, he hires a therapist to help him overcome his stutter – but after he’s unexpectedly thrust further into the spotlight as King himself with World War II looming, will he be able to effectively reign despite this adversity? 

In 1920’s England, an aging King George V seeks to make fewer public appearances and wants to send his son Edward – rightful heir to the throne – in his stead.  But with Edward shirking his royal responsibilities, Edward’s brother Albert (Firth) is then forced to take his place.  The dutiful son winds up being pushed to make a speech before a huge crowd at Wembley Stadium, which is also being broadcast on the radio – but when his nerves get the better of him, his dreaded personal secret is finally revealed to the entire country:  The Duke Of York is a stutterer. 

As a result, his loving wife Elizabeth (Carter) urges him to seek help and Albert begins seeing a physician who makes him endure awkward and embarrassing exercises that eventually cause him to fire the doctor and resign himself to the fact that he will have to live with this affliction for the rest of his life.  Upon the recommendation of an authority, Elizabeth seeks out a speech therapist by the name of Lionel Logue (Rush), an Australian who is highly regarded for his success in this field, despite the fact that he uses some rather unorthodox approaches to treating his patients. 

Between Logue’s peculiar professional techniques and his penchant for calling The Duke “Bertie” (his family’s nickname for him), Albert is turned off to the treatment sessions – but once he and Elizabeth are astounded to find that Logue’s unusual methods are actually resulting in Albert making progress, he becomes encouraged and continues with his visits to Logue.  After Albert’s father dies, his brother Edward becomes King, but his reign only lasts about a year because he abdicates to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson.  Once this occurs, Albert unwillingly becomes King.  However, during the events leading up to his coronation, Albert’s advisors inform him that Logue is a fraud because he lacks professional training of any kind.  With this revelation, will Albert fire Logue and be able to successfully lead his nation as King George VI during World War II? 

With a combination of strong acting, intelligent screenwriting and clever direction, “The King’s Speech” is one of those rare movies that comes along once in a great while in which you are hard-pressed to find any flaws.  The major characters – especially Albert – are all very sympathetic both as written and in their portrayal and the choices of shots especially well done at times, allowing the audience to view stressful moments from Albert’s perspective during his struggles. Will this movie win an Academy Award?  Will it be critically acclaimed?  Will it be a success at the box office?  Well, my crystal ball seems to be on the fritz today, so I can’t make a prediction – but I certainly do hope that all three of those things will become true. 

Using the current argot, I would characterize this story as something of a “bromance” – although set in a historical context (particularly with a World War II backdrop in the third act of the film), the movie is essentially about the friendship, mutual respect and trust that develops over time between these two men and winds up being sustained over a period of many years.  One thing that can often alter a movie from merely good to great is when it takes you into another world and you are able to learn more about it than you previously did; such is the case with “The King’s Speech” as the story serves to educate us not only about stutterers, but also, the little “tricks” they use to overcome their condition. 

Surprisingly, this movie gets a rather undeserved ‘R’ Rating; although lacking in both sex and violence, the supposed justification for this rating is due to the fact that there is a good deal of cursing in the film – in particular, there are quite a few F-Bombs dropped by His Majesty Himself.  This is rather unfortunate because it can cause some people to be inclined to not want to bring their children to see this flick, which would be incredibly wrong.  If you want to experience a heartwarming and uplifting story about loyalty, friendship, duty and discipline populated with charming and admirable characters that tells an utterly fascinating and entertaining history lesson, then you absolutely must make it a point to see “The King’s Speech” – and when you go, if you do have kids, definitely remember to bring them along!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Casino Jack – Movie Review




Tuesday night, my movie class had a bonus screening of the comedy-drama “Casino Jack”, starring Kevin Spacey and Barry Pepper.



A successful Washington lobbyist and his partner set their sites even higher to gain more wealth and power with government legislators – but when their corrupt schemes are uncovered, can they evade legal action that might imprison them?


Jack Abramoff (Spacey) is, without a doubt, one charming, personable, charismatic guy – in addition to having a great sense of humor and the ability to quote lines from many famous movies, he’s a loyal family man, devoutly religious and staunch in his political beliefs.  Normally, these would be admirable qualities in anyone … and yet Jack is one of most unscrupulous, greedy, corrupt individuals in town – and considering the fact that Jack is a Washington, D.C. lobbyist, that’s certainly saying quite a good deal!  Together with his partner Michael Scanlon (Pepper), Abramoff soon becomes what Time Magazine refers to as a “Super-lobbyist” because of his fame, power and wealth.  


Unfortunately for Jack and Michael, success goes to their head as their greed and desire for even greater power in the federal government causes them to make some very bad decisions that will eventually haunt them.  First off, they deceive a tribe of Native Americans into paying them around $20 million which they believe will give them a competitive edge over a neighboring tribe in developing and running a casino in their home state.  This is followed up by a shady business deal with a dishonest casino owner who allows them to have a partial interest in his business in exchange for his freedom from having to hands-on manage the day-to-day management of running the operation. 


Before long, Jack and Michael find themselves in a great deal of trouble when everything falls apart.  First, the Native American tribe discovers that they have been taken for a large sum of money with nothing to show for their contribution, eventually deciding to seek restitution from Jack and Michael.  Then, the bumbling businessman assigned to run the casino winds up having a gangster acquaintance whack the casino owner after a disagreement, causing them all to be implicated in a murder.  As the Washington Post picks up on some of these shenanigans and the pair’s enemies decide that now is the perfect time to rat on them to the authorities, Jack and Michael are faced with possible prison time – but can these two expert connivers somehow manage to squirm their way out of this predicament?



As with some of Kevin Spacey’s movies, even if you can’t find too much to like about the movie itself, Spacey’s performance alone will make it worthwhile to see the film.  While “Casino Jack” is by no means a bad movie, it is certainly not for everyone – although told in a somewhat comedic fashion for much of the time, it’s also something of an intellectual, thinking-person’s film.  Additionally, since it has been inspired by relatively recent true events, some people might have a hard time with “Casino Jack” because it can be seen as yet another swipe at Republicans/Conservatives by the Liberal/Democratic Hollywood film industry.  While an argument certainly could be made for this, I personally found that who the party was that the Abramoff character engaged in hijinks was rather irrelevant – once you get caught up in the story, you realize it’s more about power, greed, corruption and betrayal.  Then again, if the recollection of the real-life news stories around this event remain vivid in your mind, then maintaining this level of objectivity about it may very well be difficult indeed.


Going back to Spacey’s performance for a moment, it really does rise above any of the film’s flaws or inconsistencies (which are rare and minor).  The movie opens with a monolog by Spacey’s Abramoff and that alone almost makes “Casino Jack” worth seeing by itself.  It’s easy to see why Spacey chose to perform in this role because it permits him to give a real tour de force display of his acting talents – Spacey’s Abramoff character not only recites famous lines from classic movies, but also, does spot-on imitations of stars such as Stallone (from “Rocky”), Pacino (“And Justice For All”) and Walter Matthau in addition to politicians like Reagan and Bill Clinton. 


After the screening, our instructor interviewed the film’s star, Kevin Spacey.  The interview opened on a real downer as a rather solemn Spacey announced to the audience that the film’s 47 year old director, George Hickenlooper, had recently passed away while taking “Casino Jack” around the country to show at special screenings in order to promote its upcoming release; he said that while obviously tragic, it also impacted him deeply because they became good friends as a result of working on the project together.  In sharing the story behind making the movie, Spacey said that he wound up getting cast through Facebook – particularly ironic given the fact that he was also Executive Producer of the film, “The Social Network”.  Basically, what happened was that Hickenlooper announced on his page that he wanted to make the movie and wrote on his Wall that he thought Spacey would be perfect in the role of Abramoff; a friend of Spacey’s saw this and told him about it – Spacey also liked the idea and asked his friend to “Poke” Hickenlooper.  They wound up getting together after that and the two collaborated on making the film as Spacey’s production company also produced it as well. 



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Part 2 Of How Much New Yorkers Drink


As a bit of a follow – up to my post from yesterday, "How Much Do New Yorkers Drink?", there is now an article that contradicts (or “refutiates” as ex-Gov. Palin might say) those findings.  Please click the link below for the full article …


New Yorkers more boozy than ever


Here’s sobering news: New Yorkers are imbibing booze in increasingly deadlier doses.

About 1,500 residents die annually as a result of alcohol-related deaths — from car crashes to poisoning to chronic liver disease — according to the city Health Department, which yesterday released its first comprehensive study on drinking.

“Alcohol misuse can also disrupt one’s well-being by jeopardizing work, finances and relationships,” said Dr. Thomas Farley, the city’s health commissioner. “Cutting down or quitting is possible.”

Alcohol also contributes to 1 in 10 hospital cases with emergency room visits, vaulting to almost 74,000 in 2009 from 22,000 in 2003 among New Yorkers aged 21 to 64.


By the numbers

1,537: City adults who suffered alcohol-related deaths in 2008.

100,000: Hospitalizations linked to alcohol in the city each year.

4,000: Alcohol-related emergency department visits by underage New Yorkers in 2009.

47: Percent of adult New Yorkers who say they don't drink.

Source: city health department


Now this information I DO tend to believe!

Argentina’s DWTS


Apparently, Argentina has their own version of the TV show “Dancing With The Stars”, which is a big hit here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.


Recently, they had a pretty interesting performance by one of their contestants …


Monday, November 15, 2010


From The Village Voice (follow the link below for the full story):

What's the ultimate form of terrible, tawdry, pop culture tribute? If you're President Obama, until today, you probably thought it was a vibrator made in your physical likeness. But oh, how wrong you were.
As sighted by the Voice's own Steven Thrasher, file this one under "Perfect Gift for Sociopathic Person Who Has Plants Instead of Cats in Your Life." It's disturbing:

How Much Do New Yorkers Drink?

I refuse to believe this. Click the link below for more details.

There's a new New York City drinking survey out, and chances are, you're a drinker, because more than half of New Yorkers of legal drinking age are (congrats!). We were surprised and vindicated to find, however, that New Yorkers on average (53%) actually drank less than the nationwide average (56%) -- so we're not quite the alcoholic sluts you think we are (commenter, we're talking to you). 

The report categorizes some important "types" of drinking, just in case you haven't ever seen an episode of Oprah: "Any drinking" is drinking anything alcoholic in the last month. "Heavy drinking" is drinking more than two drinks per day if you're a guy and more than one per day if you're a woman. And our old friend "binge drinking" is drinking five or more drinks in a single occasion in the past 30 days, also known as, "being a certain age and living in New York" and/or "going out."


How Geeky Are You?

To find out, take this quiz:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

All Good Things – Movie Review

This morning in my movie class, we had a bonus screening where we saw the love story/murder mystery “All Good Things”, starring Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst and Frank Langella.

When the heir to a real estate fortune marries a young woman of modest means, they start out living an idyllic existence – but once the marriage eventually turns sour, she disappears and he is suspected of her murder.
David (Gosling) is being a dutiful son, paying his dues by working his way up in his father’s real estate empire – but after a chance meeting, he is immediately smitten with Katie (Dunst), whom he marries against the best wishes of his aloof, manipulative father, Sanford (Langella).  The young couple make their way to Vermont to live something of a hippy lifestyle in the early 1970’s by opening a small shop selling natural foods – unfortunately for both of them, their business is being subsidized by the wealthy Sanford, who forces them to give up the store and return to New York City so David can resume his career in Sanford’s employ. 

Although David is now able to provide Katie with a considerably better life, they become less happy than they were back in Vermont.  The marriage begins to turn when David denies her request to start a family and things go desperately downhill from there.  Gradually, Katie picks up on some increasingly troubling behavior by David and learns from one of his long time friends about a horrifying childhood trauma he experienced.  The two wind up living somewhat separate lives while she studies to earn acceptance to medical school; all the while, his personal difficulties start to impact his work and he winds up losing his stature at his father’s company, allowing his younger brother to surpass him in Sanford’s choice to run the real estate empire upon his retirement. 

Soon, things become even uglier when David starts to physically abuse Katie.  At this point, she is at something of a crossroads – should she stay married to him and continue being David’s punching bag just so he can pay her way through medical school?  Or should she divorce him, but risk no alimony because the trust funds Sanford set up for David would be unavailable to her by law?  While Katie tries to find a way to force David into paying her off for a divorce, his personality turns darker and stranger.  Not long thereafter, David reports to the police that Katie is missing, but he becomes a suspect in her sudden disappearance.  Did David murder his wife?  And if so, can the police bring him to justice?
“All Good Things” was inspired by true events that occurred here in New York City almost 30 years ago; the case remains unsolved as this woman is still missing.  Many of us living in the city during this period have memories of the media reports of this case, but one question yet to be answered is whether the rest of the country will find it as fascinating as we did.  Given the fact that at its core, this was an intriguing, disturbing tale of a love story gone bad, I would like to think that it will have universal appeal – but we’ll certainly see once the movie opens. 

While I liked this movie on balance, there were some choices or flaws that bothered me somewhat.  To start with, I’ll now mention something that was intentionally omitted from my above story description.  The movie ostensibly starts to be about a recently-divorced New York City detective who may have just been given a break in a cold case which he wishes to re-open.  Roughly two-thirds of the way through the movie, the character is dropped completely and his story is never resolved.  This left me both confused and unsatisfied.  Was this done intentionally by the screenwriter or was this a choice made by the director in editing?  We may never know. 

Another thing that I felt worked against the movie is the fact that the story is not told in chronological order.  Instead, there are many flashbacks and flash forwards throughout.  In the beginning of the movie, I found it to take me out of the story (more than once, I think); eventually, however, once I picked up on the film’s rhythm, I was ultimately able to settle in and follow the story without too much else in the way of distractions.  If this sort of playing fast and loose with time is something that you might find rather jarring, then “All Good Things” may not be the right movie for you. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Brooklyn, You’ve Just Been Googled


My very own neighborhood in The BK – literally, just a few blocks from where I live – has been infamously documented by Google Street View.


Google Street View helps capture drug-ring suspects




Earth to drug dealers -- Google is watching!

Three brazen heroin dealers were captured in Google Street View images working their favorite Brooklyn drug corner, where they peddled their product to hipsters and other dope fiends, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

Multiple images captured along Jackson Street and Kingsland Avenue by the search engine's ubiquitous camera car show the trio milling about in front of the Neighborhood Grocery -- one of two East Williamsburg bodegas where they set up shop.

"A lot of people sell drugs in front of here. They have to clean up the streets. Children learn what they see," José Ruiz, 33, an employee of the Neighborhood Grocery, told The Post.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/druggies_snared_in_google_web_QZgVELDZvnvfGy6BMZlu9K#ixzz15BoLnkWR

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cool It – Movie Review

Last night in my movie class, we saw “Cool It”, a documentary about alternative ways to deal with the global warming issue impacting the earth’s environment; it was inspired by a book of the same name, which was written by Bjorn Lomborg, who is prominently featured in the film.

After Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, the earth’s global warming crisis was given a higher profile in the consciousness of the public – but what are the possible solutions?  Are the solutions that have already been set forth viable?  And is global warming even a crisis in the first place?

It would be both simplistic and wrong to say that Bjorn Lomborg is Al Gore’s nemesis – they are both in total agreement about the essential fact that global warming does exist as a problem to be solved.  Despite this, the two remain at odds with each other.  The reason for their differences are both many and varied, but suffice it to say that Lomborg has attempted to set out a detailed, articulate, well-thought-out analysis of the problem as he sees it – in doing so, however, he points out what he observes are flaws in the information that Gore has presented in his own documentary. 

Lomborg is an author and environmentalist who started out his professional life working for Greenpeace, then began to question his own beliefs, causing him to diverge somewhat from the mainstream environmentalist community.  Seen as both an iconoclast and a bit of a gadfly, he is a thorn in the side of environmentalists who buy into the perceptions conveyed by what seems to be a highly vocal and visible majority, causing him to collect a great many enemies as staunch in their beliefs as Lomborg is with his own.  In the documentary, Lomborg takes apart many of Gore’s arguments piece by piece, providing reasoned, thoughtful replies to both the statement of the original problem and proof of why some of the posited solutions aren’t viable -- in some cases, he even does so by showing an extensive cost-benefit analysis, proving that we can get a bigger bang for the buck elsewhere.  One of the best parts of the movie is how the so-called “Cap & Trade” solution works and why it would fail based on the greed inherent to free market capitalism.

The documentary does more than attempt to lionize Lomborg, it seems to want to deify him as well.  For one thing, he is shown as a loving son making monthly visits to his institutionalized mother diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.  Also, he is shown in an auditorium lecturing to an audience about his thoughts on environmental concerns and in doing so, the composition of the shot is such that he is in the same frame as what look like religious-type stained glass windows – thus giving the appearance that he could be a cleric preaching to his disciples. 

I must admit that I found this movie hard to follow – I’m not an environmentalist, a scientist or an engineer and the filmmakers try to cram quite a bit of elaborate scientific information into an hour and a half documentary; perhaps more than the average person might be reasonably expected to digest.  Also,  unless you’re fairly knowledgeable about the geopolitical discussion of the entire global warming issue (and again, I’m not that guy, either), then it’s fairly easy to get lost in this movie rather early on; I found my eyes glazing over more than once – not because it wasn’t interesting, but because I had a tough time keeping up with everything.

The post-screening interview was with both Lomborg himself and the documentary’s Producer/Director Ondi Timoner.  When asked about the financials, Timoner refused to answer; she said that the investors in the movie wished to remain anonymous and she didn’t want to share exactly how much the movie cost to produce.  Lomborg wanted to make it clear that he was in fact grateful to Al Gore for bringing the issue to the forefront because without him, there wouldn’t even be a discussion. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Steak Search

Keens Steakhouse at 72 West 36th Street in Manhattan

The Village Voice seems to think that Keens Steakhouse stacks up as a reasonably good alternative to Peter Luger’s Steakhouse:


The Verdict: The place is about 85 percent as pleasurable as Luger, all aspects considered.

Dinner for two, with a modest bottle of wine, with tax and tip: $170. The chop is $45.


Although I’ve lived for over 20 years in the same section of Brooklyn where Luger’s is located, I’ve never been to that restaurant – partly because they’ve got a reputation for being difficult to get into and partly because they’re a cash-only establishment (the only credit card they take is their own).  Keens, however, sounds like a place that might just be a good substitute. 

For the full Village Voice review, please click this link:


Another Look at Keens Steakhouse, Formerly Keens Chophouse

Recipe: The Stinger

From Esquire magazine, a recipe for the classic cocktail called The Stinger:



  • 2 1/4 ounces brandy
  • 3/4 ounce white creme de menthe

Glass Type: cocktail glass


Shake well with cracked ice -- and go easy on the crème de menthe -- then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. The Stinger is sometimes served with a pair of short straws. Don't tell anyone we said so, but the Stinger is almost as tasty if you make it with a good white rum, such as Brugal. You can call that a Picador, we suppose.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/drinks/stinger-drink-recipe#ixzz1506k1drT


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Ins And Outs Of Adult Toy Stores


With a drive-through adult toy store, customers don’t know whether they’re coming or going …


Sex toy drive-thru: Alabama shop to offer window service

HUNTSVILLE, AL -- Pleasures, a "one-stop romance shop" that challenged Alabama's ban on sex toys, has a new, unique claim to fame: It will feature three sex toy drive-thru lanes at its new University Drive location.

Pleasures owner Sherri Williams said the store will be the first such store in the country to sell adult toys through a drive-thru window. Items such as toys, lubes and stimulants will be delivered through the drive-thru drawer in a brown paper bag, according to the store's news release.

Williams and her store drew national attention during a long legal fight that sought to overturn Alabama's ban on sex toys on the grounds of a constitutional right to privacy.




I hope someone will have the decency to let me know when one of these becomes available for mixed cocktails …

From The Village Voice (see link below)

Shoot A Brew: For the Lazy Yet Hilarious Boozer, an Automated Cooler That Shoots Beer into Your Lap

It looks like a hoax and might very well be one, but the folks behind Shoot A Brew would like you to believe that this invention is just what you need to liven your next party without even having to get up out of your chair. This automated cooler -- priced at $295, no less -- is equipped with a catapult mechanism that sends cans of beer flying in a gentle arc to whoever is standing up to eight feet in front of it. Genius? Gimmick? Gift idea for your favorite tailgating uncle? Um, sure, all of the aforementioned. After all, beer cans are back.


New York City: The Stress Capital Of The USA

From The Village Voice (See link below):

New Yorkers: Most Stressed in the Country (We Wouldn't Respect Ourselves Any Other Way)

Relaxation is overrated. Which is why this new survey that New Yorkers are the stressiest people in the nation-- with 75 percent of us citing stress about money -- is, like, well, OBVIOUS. Who are the 25 percent of New Yorkers who don't have stress about money? Can we move in with them? And what kind of New Yorker areyou if you don't say you're stressed, regardless of the question?
A bunch of complainy New Yorkers talked to a bunch of complainy news outlets about their various stresses with the economy, their jobs, the cost of rent, their health, and their personal safety. According to them, things are hard!
What is not mentioned by most of the articles coming out about this study, which you can find here, is that stress levels have actually declined for New Yorkers in the past years: "The average level of stress reported in New York City was a 6.1 on a 10-point scale in 2008, down to 5.7 in 2009 and 5.5 in 2010," according to the report. (Don't worry, guys, we're still stressed.)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Can You Get An STD From AT&T?

From The Village Voice (see link below):

Hot on the heels of (but completely unrelated to)Sesame Street's "There's an App for That" there really is an app for that...that being that unpleasant burning sensation. Doctors and technology experts in the UK are developing tiny computer chips that you'll be able to plug into your computer or phone after moistening them with urine or saliva -- and find out if you've got herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or whatnot.
Apparently the devices are aimed at "technology-savvy" young people, who would be able to buy them for less than a buck in nightclubs, drugstores, and supermarkets. Doctors hope that they will reduce STDs among people who "are too embarrassed" to go to a doctor -- but not too embarrassed that their phone smells like pee.
Seriously, though -- good times, these. What it will save on co-pays!

Brunch Cocktail Alternatives – Part 2


(Note:  This article was also published on the Drinking Made Easy Web site, November 10, 2010) 

Looking for a little Hair Of The Dog That Bit You the day after a rough night? A few weeks ago, I made a post about Brunch Cocktail Alternatives. You may well consider this piece something of a follow-up because this post will discuss some additional brunch cocktails that'll take the edge off and get you to a (semi-) functional state again. If they seem interesting, check out the recipes, try them and please let me know what you think.

Let’s start with a little something called The Ramos Gin Fizz. The first time I ever heard of this one was a few years ago in an episode from the last season of “The Sopranos” and I immediately became fascinated with this cocktail. Unfortunately, the main stumbling block for me was where to find one of its main ingredients – the orange flower water. Eventually, a bartender set me straight on that one and advised me of several places here in New York City where it could be easily purchased.

According to The Art Of Drink, the history behind this cocktail is as follows:

This classic cocktail was created by Henry C. Ramos in 1888, in his bar in New Orleans, it was originally called a "New Orleans Fizz." Back before prohibition this drink was very popular, and because labour rates were so cheap, the Ramos brothers would hire a couple dozen "shaker boys" to whip up these drinks during fair time. The drink was so popular that it was still difficult for them to keep up with the orders. Over time the idea of a quality drink was replaced by a fast drink and the Ramos Gin Fizz slowly faded away. It is still made in bars and hotels, but very few outside of New Orleans. Hopefully with the resurgence of cocktails this drink will make a comeback.

Admittedly, the recipe can be a little daunting -- in fact, some bartenders might even refuse to make it for you should you order one! However, you can take shortcuts …


Here’s a recipe, again from The Art Of Drink Web site:


Ramos Gin Fizz

  • · 2 ounces gin (Plymouth)
  • · ½ Tbls egg white (powdered)
  • · ½ oz simple syrup
  • · ½  oz lemon juice
  • · ½ oz lime juice
  • · 1 oz cream
  • · 3 drops orange flower water
  • · 1-2 oz Soda water

Now, in the above video, you may have noticed that the bartender used an actual egg, which can be difficult when the recipe calls strictly for egg whites. However, the above recipe calls for powdered egg white; this is one way in which you can take a shortcut. Another way you can take a shortcut – and one which I can personally recommend because this is the way I make my own version of the cocktail – is to use the liquid egg white you might find in a container in the dairy section of your local supermarket; this way is arguably “healthier” because this version of the egg white is usually fat-free and/or cholesterol-free, so you can be somewhat self-congratulatory for making yourself something that won’t harden your arteries quite so quickly.

Do you know about a cocktail called The French 75? If you’re a history buff – especially, a World War I expert – you may have already heard of this drink. It was named after a type of armament that aided the French troops in the war. The Web site Ask Men tells its story:

The drink was allegedly created by a World War I fighter pilot of French and American origin who found champagne a little lacking in the potency department. The resulting drink was so powerful he said it felt like being on the receiving end of a French 75mm howitzer artillery piece -- hence the name.

Depending on your own personal tastes, the cocktail calls for either gin or cognac. Although often made with gin, by all means, go with that one if it’s your preference -- but if you’re a purist, then cognac would probably be your choice. As for me, I go with cognac in the cooler months and gin in the warmer months. For now, however, let’s use the recipe from Esquire

French 75

  • 2 ounces London dry gin
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice
  • 5 ounces Brut champagne

Glass Type: Collins glass


Shake well with cracked ice in a chilled cocktail shaker, then strain into a Collins glass half-full of cracked ice and top off with champagne.

Finally, for those of you who still crave the spiciness of The Bloody Mary but are looking for variations on that theme, you can still make that same drink, but swap out the vodka for a different spirit. Here are a few examples …

  • The Bloody Maria: Tequila
  • La Cubanita: Rum
  • The Ruddy Mary: Gin
  • The Bloody Geisha: Sake
  • The Bloody Fairy: Absinthe

For more ideas on Bloody Mary variations, check out this Wikipedia link.