Wine is the most fascinating, complex and outright-sexy drink most women, and even some men, enjoy.
Most people dont know this viceis actually pretty healthy for you. I mean, yes, people. It is alcohol, and Im definitely not telling you to abuse it.
However, I am telling my fellow anxiety-ridden, health-freak friends not toquestion whether youre an alcoholic for having a glass of wine every night.
For you, my fellow complex women, it simply means youre giving your body a chance to relax (in moderation, of course).
Here arefive very simple facts that prove why wine actually improvesyour personal life. (I wont accept cash as a thank you. Buy me a bottle of wine, instead.)
Wine could improve your sex life.
Getting a little tipsy off of your favorite wine never hurt anyone. An Italian study showed that women who have two glasses of wine enjoy physical pleasure much more intensely, as opposed to women who dont drink wine at all.
This is a pretty solid reason to drink wine if youre in a relationship, am I right? Or, if youre single like me, it gives you reason to hone your independence and enjoy your own body. It gives you all the more reason to get to know yourself a little better (however you mightinterpret that).
Red wine is good for the heart.
Red wine, typically more than white, has antioxidant properties and contains something called resveratrol, a natural phenol from plants. Its also suggested that resveratrol is a preventative antioxidant for cancer and heart disease.
It is said to be found in the skin of grapes, and obviously, grapes make wine. Its healthy, its natural and its good for you in moderate amounts.
Youll always look classy.
Whether youre on a date or with friends at a bar, ordering a glass of your favorite wine is never a wrong choice.
You are most definitelythe classiest person in the room. Ordering a glass of wine, as opposed to a beer, says, Im a woman, hear me roar.
Itssubtle enough thatyoure not outright saying, Im getting trashed tonight, but youre not hiding from your own shadow, either. Youre owning your body, but inviting any kind of play you might want to get from this date, or that guy staring at you from across the room.
Own it, girl. You are totally in control.
Wine is fat free.
Need I say more? I mean who needs food when you can have wine? Just kidding.
We need food, butthink about it. No matter how much you consume, you are consuming zero fat. None. Nada. It makes you feel empowered AND is fat free. So never feel guilty about enjoying a glass (or a few).
Wine can help relax youwhen youre overthinking everything.
I find if Im having trouble making a complicated decision or if Im overthinking options to the point of exhaustion, I sit back with a glass of wine in hand to relax my thoughts a bit. A little bit ofwine helps ease my worries and helps me think things through a bit more simply.
It alsohelps you go to sleep. The clearer life becomes, the more relaxed you are and the deeper the sleep youll get. Of course,wine can cause some serious hangover headaches the next day, so again, moderation is where its at.
A glass of wine a day keeps the nightmares, anxieties and depressions away. So drink up, and drink responsibly.
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According to the FDA, NHS and Health Canada; the average adult should consume approximately 2000 – 2500 calories per day. This is a general guideline and your personal daily calorie intake will depend on your exact age, lifestyle (i.e., how active you are) and height/weight.
Business Insider recently visited 14 popular fast food chains in the United States to see what a single meal of your entire daily calorie intake would look like.
Depending on your level of nutrition knowledge the results may or may not surprise you. Be sure to check out Business Insider to see all of the fast food restaurants reviewed.
[via Business Insider]
McDonald’s – 2,010 Calories
Starbucks – 2,030 Calories
Subway – 2,010 Calories
KFC – 2,940 Calories
Burger King – 2,990 Calories
Taco Bell – 2,080 Calories
Wendy’s – 2,480 Calories
Chipotle – 2,045 Calories
On Oct. 17, 1891, “Colonel” William Heyward, owner of the Standard Buffet at 231 Broadway in New York City, across the street from the old Post Office (now replaced by City Hall Park), explained to his head bartender that he was going to replace the latter’s subordinates with a quartet of barmaids brought in from London and asked him to train them in the intricacies of American mixology and supervise their work.
Nobody in the world was better fitted to that task than the man before him. William Schmidt, alias “the Only William,” was the most celebrated bartender and mixologist in America, a consummate artist at mixing drinks and, equally important, an eloquent and precise explainer of the intricacies of his art. Indeed, at the time, he was on the verge of publishing The Flowing Bowl, his landmark book dedicated to the topic.
With William’s tutelage and recipes and the charm and brisk efficiency characteristic of British barmaids, the Standard Buffet would be packing them in with a trowel. There was only one problem: William would have none of it. “He could not afford to endanger his professional standing by consenting to work as [the barmaids’] director,” he told the Colonel. That same night, his last at the bar, he told his regulars simply, “I will not stand behind the bar with a lady.”
He was a little more voluble to the press, as was his wont. “English barmaids can draw ale, but do you think that all of them put together could mix a ‘La Premier’ that would be fit to drink? And how about a ‘Life Prolonger,’ ‘Anticipation,’ ‘Sweet Recollections,’ Brain Dusters’ and ‘Canary Birds.’ Could they mix them?”
Now, this was as fair as it was strictly grammatical, which is to say not much. No barman in America would be able to mix those drinks either, not unless William taught him, since they were all his original creations and none had as yet appeared in print. But playing fair was not the traditional American way when it came to women and bars.
In England, when one entered an alehouse, coffeehouse, tavern, or inn—anywhere drinks were sold across a bar—it was customary since time immemorial to see a woman behind that bar. She pulled the pints of ale, opened the bottles of wine, poured the drams of brandy, rum orgin and even mixed the Punch, Gin Twist and other typical English drinks.
In fact, it was women who made the first experiment in modern bartending possible, when James Ashley decided that all the Punch sold at his new London Coffee House would be mixed to order in front of his customers, and that he would sell it in quantities as small as a “tiff” (basically, a juice glass). Ashley was the host, but his head barkeeper, Mrs. Gaywood (alas her first name has yet to be uncovered), and her crew of young women did all the actual mixing and serving of drinks, and collected all the money for it. That was in 1731.
Yet when the next major advance in the art occurred, which saw ice incorporated into the drinks and a far greater variety of individual beverages mixed to order, women were almost entirely absent. That took place in America, in the opening decades of the nineteenth century. There, women had been excluded from behind the bar since Colonial days. Certainly, by the beginning of the nineteenth century the barmaid was, as one American who came across them in England noted in 1826, “a character rarely known in the United States.” Where one was found, what’s more, it was generally considered to speak badly for both her character and that of the bar. That taboo—sometimes, in some places made explicit by law, otherwise “merely” customary—lasted until the 1960s as a general matter, albeit with ever more frequent exceptions, and it still lingers to this day in dark, festering little pockets of the bar world.
Unfortunately, bartending as a profession hasn’t received the historical study warranted by its longstanding importance in daily life (and here I’m not just talking about mine). I know of no book dedicated to this precise historical conundrum—why were there no barmaids in America?—and at this remove it remains a riddle. At the time, even Schmidt, the most floridly articulate of nineteenth-century bartenders, when pressed to justify his belief that “it was wrong to intrust [sic] ladies with the tools of his trade,” could only offer the tautology, “I don’t think that their place is behind the bar” because “behind the bar is no place for a woman,” and mutter darkly that “I doubt that any barmaid will ever succeed in making a good mixed drink.”
It would have been good if one of the journalists who seemingly hung on William’s every word had persuaded him to expound on those reasons. For the first, the idea that behind the bar is no place for a woman, he would have probably said something like this:
“Here in America our bars are rather rough places, even the fanciest ones, and always have been. There’s drinking, of course, and you know how that makes men act, and there’s usually some gambling going on, whether it’s euchre or faro tables or just dicing for drinks. There’s smoking and spitting and Lord knows there’s foul language and all kinds of other swinish behavior, from pissing in the cuspidors to passing out drunk on the floor to gut-puking and worse. And that isn’t the worst of it—there’s also the fisticuffs and the flying chairs and the gunplay. People get shot in our bars. We don’t want to subject women to that, or any of these things.” (Okay, he wouldn’t have mentioned the pissing and the puking, but no doubt he would have thought about them.)
There is some truth in this. American bars were rough. The American propensity to haul out a gun and say it with lead is nothing new, and even a marble palace of mixology such as San Francisco’s Bank Exchange Saloon, the home of Pisco Punch, had the occasional shooting, like when someone put a bullet through Joseph Hayes’ brain at 7:30 one Monday evening in 1888 (nobody didn’t see nuttin’). As for the smoking and spitting and swearing and gambling and whatnot, well, sure.
But men smoked in England, gambled there, drank and behaved badly there and the barmaids managed to take it in stride. (Fine, the spitting was a purely American thing, caused by our habit of chewing on plugs of tobacco.) And if there was less shooting, there was still some. And back in the eighteenth century, when every would-be gentleman carried a lethal little stabbing sword at all times, English bars had witnessed a shocking amount of bloodshed, and the barmaids managed to survive that well enough.
But you didn’t have to go all the way to England to find female bartenders thriving. America is a big place and American women are plenty tough and determined. Despite custom and law and all those men, some women always found their way behind the bar.
A thorough examination of the lives and careers of these pioneers deserves a whole book, not a couple of paragraphs in a drink column, and I hope one day soon they will get one.
In the meanwhile, a few names that would have to be included.
One would need to begin with Catherine “Kitty” Hustler (1762-1832), who was immortalized (as “Betty Flanagan”) by James Fenimore Cooper in his 1821 novel, The Spy, set during the Revolution in the so-called Neutral Ground that lay in Westchester County, New York, between the British lines and the American ones to their north. Born Catherine Cherry in Pennsylvania, she married Thomas Hustler, a Continental soldier, in 1777 and—the important part—supposedly kept a tavern in the Neutral Ground (that part is hard to document, understandably), where she either invented or helped to spread that quintessential American drink: the cocktail. She was keeping a tavern outside Buffalo when Cooper met her in the 1810s.
Then there’s Martha King Niblo (1802-1851). Born in New York City to a porterhouse-keeper, she grew up in the trade (one of the only sanctioned paths for women to work behind the bar was as part of a family business, a fact which, in the 1850s, led Fritz Adolphy, a St. Louis beer-garden proprietor, to legally adopt all 90 of his barmaids when the city fathers moved to get rid of them). When her husband, William Niblo, opened “Niblo’s Garden,” an outdoor space dedicated to music, relaxation and refreshments north of the city in what is now SoHo, Martha ran the bar. She may also have invented the mighty Sherry Cobbler, one of the most popular drinks of the nineteenth century. She certainly took a large hand in popularizing it.
San Francisco would deserve a chapter of its own, covering everything from the saloon where, as a British traveler found in 1853, “three comely-looking American girls tend bar, and are deep in the mystery of making rum punches, brandy smashers and gin cocktails,” to—well, you could take your pick. San Francisco in the early days was a wide-open town, where standard American norms and taboos were very much open to renegotiation and, in 1852, of the 127 retail liquor establishments listed in the City Directory, 20 were kept by women. Now, the majority of these were in the “Barbary Coast,” the city’s rowdy vice district, and were probably, let us say, extended-service establishments. But they also included bars like Mrs. Waters’ Arcade, which featured concerts, Mrs. Whitney’s large saloon, on Commercial Street, and above all Ellen Moon’s Cottage, on California Street. Mrs. Moon, a Welshwoman who came to the city from Australia, was something of a local fixture, running first the Cottage and then the much-beloved Ivy Green, on Merchant Street, until her suicide in the 1863.
One could go on: Why shouldn’t there be some recognition of women, such as Christiana Berresheim, in 1911 the oldest barmaid in Massachusetts and the only one in Boston; the “smart, dashing” Kate McMillen of Cincinnati; or even poor Jane Robinson, shot to death behind the bar of her and her husband’s saloon in Dennison, Ohio, in 1882?
Of course, these are the rare exception; their names only recoverable now with much digging, but they were known in their day and are enough to have proven to someone like William that women could do the job. Nor were those bad conditions William and his ilk deplored immutable. That is proved handily by the experience of one San Francisco saloonkeeper who, in 1886, installed behind the bar of his large establishment on Fourth Street a young woman who was ready “with a demure look and a condescending smile for the highly respectable habitués of the place, and a mixed air of superiority and indifference for ordinary ‘drunks’ and loudly dressed ‘dudes.’”
“No ruffianism,” he told a reporter, “no loud swearing or vulgar language, no fights or glass breaking are ever seen or heard in my place nowadays, and I attribute the peaceful and church-like state of things to the presence of my lady bartender, while at the same time I never did a better business.”
This suggests that what was really keeping the women out was the fact that whatever men said, they didn’t want to clean up their behavior and they were keeping the women out so they didn’t have to.
But that’s too simple and puts women on a pedestal. As our Fourth Street saloonkeeper noted, “of course there are girls and girls,” and there were plenty working behind the bar who would, if anything, have encouraged rowdy behavior.
So far we’ve just been talking about women in the “respectable” saloons. There were also plenty of women working in low dives, tough women such as Frances Schultze and her barkeeper, Martha Zutgesell, who beat the hell out of a strike-breaking cop when he tried to drag a striker out of their Chicago saloon in 1903. Or Jane Hynard, Mary Miller and “Bertha,” all hauled in on the same night in 1879 (from separate bars) for breaking the New York Excise law, or Salina Freeman, an African-American bartender from Richmond, who, in 1900, got fined $10 for sparking a five-way rumble in another saloon.
In fact, the further down the socioeconomic scale one goes, the more one is likely to find a woman behind the bar, which—those bars not coincidentally being the most dangerous, although often not by a lot—neatly turns the “no place for a woman” argument on its head.
That leaves us with William’s other argument: that women were incapable of mastering the intricacies of the craft. Here, he did actually attempt to explain what he meant:
“I do not think that a bartender should be merely a beer slinger… I believe that a conscientious bartender, who knows his business, should have a higher aim than simply mixing drinks. It is his privilege to prescribe for his customers the drinks that will suit them best the different hours of the day. The art of properly mixing drinks and calculating their effect is a delicate one, and much too difficult for ladies to learn.”
I’d like to hear what Mrs. Gaywood or Martha King Niblo would have to say to such obvious horseshit. I’m sure Lottie Brummer and her sister Annie, Nellie Lanhan and Maggie Connolly, Col. Haywood’s four barmaids, had a good laugh at it and all or William’s other fulminations. Sure, it took them a little while to get up to speed. But after a week training with one Sam Bergen, who taught them the basic recipes, and another week or two of practice, they did just fine.
“American drinks?” one of them told a reporter from the New York Sun a month into the gig, “Oh, we’ve found them no trouble… American drinks are very easy to make, really. As for cocktails—and those we find are the most common drinks by far—we learned to make them in no time. We’ve also learned all about fizzes, and, in fact, everything that has ever been called for.”
The only thing that gave them any trouble was a popular bit of foolishness known as the Pousse Café, which involved layering various spirits and liqueurs on top of one another in a tiny cordial glass. To be honest, that one gives me more than a little trouble, too. I’ll bet it even vexes a modern bar-master like Jeffrey Morgenthaler orIvy Mix, maybe just a bit.
And yet Schmidt kept claiming that he wanted women out from behind the bar because they couldn’t mix the drinks. Indeed, years later, he convinced another reporter from the Sun, too lazy to double check thing in the paper’s morgue, that the women actually “gave up in despair” when confronted with orders for the various American drinks, rather than mixing them to their customers’ satisfaction, which is what really happened. (As far as I can determine, the women lasted at the bar until sometime in mid-1892, when Hayward ran into some of his periodic business problems; eventually he and William were reunited.)
So if it wasn’t about mixing drinks, and it wasn’t about protecting the precious flower of American womanhood from the foul atmosphere of the bar, what was the taboo against barmaids about?
Any answer, I think, would have to be sketched out along these lines. During Colonial times, men fell into the job of tending bar, particularly in parts of the country where women were in short supply. With the diminished class system that prevailed over here, it wasn’t seen as a somehow degrading or unmanly service job. It was seen for what it was, a moneymaking job with a fair amount of independence and just enough craft to earn its expert practitioners the respect of a nice-sized chunk of the populace. The more men mystified that craft part of the job by mixing up outlandish concoctions, tossing drinks between cups in long liquid arcs, dashing this and that into the glass with knowing winks, setting things on fire, so on and so forth, the more they could justify their high pay—and their exclusive possession of the job.
Having spent an inordinate amount of time at modern craft cocktail bars, most of which (but, shamefully, not all of which) have no problem at all placing women behind the bar, I can confidently state that they’re fully as capable of mystifying the craft with pointless razzle-dazzle as the men are. And that, I believe, is progress.
Bender Bending Rodriguez may be a fictional robot from a canceled sci-fi cartoon show, but to fans, he’s so much more than that. This misanthropic, lovable antihero has anger issues and every sort of vice, but under the filth is a heart of gold. Before you start your next binge-watch of Futurama, take a gander at these fascinating facts about Bender.
10 things you never knew about Bender
1) It’s canon that Bender is a Mac
In the season 1 finale, the Planet Express crew takes a tour of the Slurm Factory where we get to see them hang out with good ole’ Slurms McKenzie. Earlier in the episode, Professor Farnsworth scans Bender with a new device called an F-Ray, whereupon we discover that our dear friend Bender is powered by a 6502 microprocessor, the same processor that was used to power the Apple II. In an interview with Vulture, writer David X. Cohen explained why. “This is straight from me,” Cohen said. “When I was in high school, I spent many of my teen years until five in the morning programming video games of my own invention, so I became extremely and intimately familiar with this chip. It ran at 1 MHz—we’re used to hearing GHz nowadays—and so you had to be a nimble programmer to get it to do what you wanted it to do.”
2) Apple was all over Bender’s funeral
In season 7’s “Forty Percent Leadbelly,” the world briefly believes Bender has been killed by a train. Apple funded Bender’s funeral, though apparently in the future, the company barters for ad space. During the funeral, folk artist Silicon Red sings Bender a Mac-themed eulogy, including the lyrics:
3) Bender has a John Hughes connection
Bender was named after John Bender from The Breakfast Club. Played by Judd Nelson, John Bender was a tough bully from the wrong side of the tracks who hid a soft and sensitive side underneath his gruff demeanor. We have no idea how that inspired Bender.
4) Bender’s antenna is a multitool
Bender’s antenna is more than just a transmitter. Over the course of the series it has been a beer tap, a popcorn butter pump, a flusher, a snooze button, a timer, a voice mail notification system, a voicemail deletion button, an audio tape dispenser, a pager, an unintentional cable signal blocker, and a timer for Bender’s internal digital camera.
5) Bender came off the assembly line like this
Bender was built in the year 2996 in Tijuana, Mexico, by Momcorp, and he came off the assembly line as an adorable little tyke, though one with attitude. His first words as a baby were, “Bite my shiny metal ass,” spoken as he enjoyed his first beer.
6) Bender is mortal
Unlike other robots, Bender does not have a backup unit to house his data in case his body is destroyed. Momcorp saw this as a defect and had Bender ordered to be destroyed, but he was saved by Hermes. This also means if his hard drive is destroyed, he will die once and for all.
7) Despite being born in 2996, Bender is one of the oldest beings on Earth
In the movie “Bender’s Big Score,”we learn that Bender is actually millions of years old thanks to his use of the Time Sphere. Time travel through the Time Sphere is one way, so each time Bender is sent back in time he’s forced to wait thousands of years in the limestone cave under Planet Express. There is no exact accounting of how old Bender currently is on the show.
8) Bender has a soul
Although he lacks a backup unit, Bender apparently does have a soul. In “Ghosts in the Machines,” he is killed by Lynn, an ex-girlfriend and suicide booth. His ghost haunts the Earth, only able to communicate by possessing other robots until he proves himself worthy of resurrection by saving Fry’s life. Apparently, his soul left his body without his hard drive being destroyed. At least he had fun as a ghost.
9) Don’t assume you know Bender’s family history
Bender’s grandmother was a bulldozer. We learn this fact in “The Beast with a Billion Backs,” when Leela is trying to shame him into trying harder during a game. Leela shouts, “Come on, Bender, your grandmother could push harder than that!” Bender says, “No crap! My grandmother was a bulldozer.” Way to gender shame, Leela.
10) Bender’s most common words are only partly what you’d expect
Although his character is known for a wide range of profanity, it isn’t until “War is the H-word” that we officially learn Bender’s most frequently uttered words. They are:
Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance.
Posters in LA targeting Meryl Streep over her links to Harvey Weinstein are a swipe back for her criticism of the president, says the artist behind them
A rightwing guerrilla artist in Los Angeles has claimed responsibility for posters that depict Meryl Streep as an enabler of Harvey Weinstein, calling them revenge for the actor’s criticism of Donald Trump.
Sabo, a former US marine who considers leftism a “disorder”, told the Guardian on Wednesday he created the posters that show Streep with a red stripe across her face and the text “She knew”, a reference to accusations that she had knowledge of Weinstein’s alleged sexual abuse of women.
Sabo, 49, said he and two collaborators conceived the campaign as retaliation for Streep using her latest Oscar-tipped film, The Post, to bash Trump. “She’s swiping at us so we’re swiping back.”
In the late 1990s, something weird happened that made everyone suddenly start giving a crap about wrestling. It was called “The Monday Night Wars,” and it basically boiled down to this: Two wrestling programs went head-to-head every Monday night in a battle to nut-slap each other out of existence. What made it so damn addicting was that you could watch these organizations being pricks to each other in real time. They poached each others’ stars on a regular basis. WCW would announce WWF spoilers live on the air to prevent people from switching over to their show (which was taped). Hell, at one point, WWE sent a group of wrestlers to interrupt WCW’s live broadcast, which was being performed in the next town over.
Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve never worked in the industry. The only people I’ve ever wrestled didn’t know it was going to happen until I pounced on them. I don’t know how contracts work or the process they use for creating an episode of RAW. But I do know what made me start watching wrestling, what made me continue watching wrestling, and what eventually made me say “Fuck wrestling.” And I know a whole titload of people who feel the same way. The short version is that WWE has lost sight of what makes a TV show (not just a wrestling show) interesting. The long version is a lot more complex. So for the people who aren’t afraid of words, let’s break that down …
#5. The “Creative Department” Basically Doesn’t Exist
Some time around 2008, the WWE switched its content from beer, cursing, blood, and ass to a TV-PG rating. Wrestling fans love to speculate as to why that happened, but there’s no single underlying reason. You could easily write several books on possible causes, ranging from the double-murder/suicide of Chris Benoit the previous year to an attempt to clean up so they could sell more toys and video games. They’re a publicly-traded company with stockholders to protect. So be it. But there’s a reason I’m bringing this up, and it’s a pretty important point.
When fans talk about how the Attitude Era was so much better (and they talk about it constantly), they often attribute its high ratings to the adult-oriented content. While I’m sure that cursing and titties did play a role in its popularity, what they forget to factor in (aside from the fact that the Monday Night War itself was a huge selling point) was that in that era, every major character had a storyline. Stone Cold was fighting back against a corrupt boss who was actively trying to keep him from becoming the face of the company. The Undertaker had a dark secret from his past: a little brother, whom he thought had died in a fire, was found to be alive and coming for revenge. Mick Foley was slowly going insane and developing split personalities. He was easily manipulated by Vince McMahon, and was being used as a pawn in a greater plot.
Nobody does a “fuck your mother” look quite like Vince.
It sounds silly, doesn’t it? Then again, Star Wars was about a boy with space magic and a sword made out of light who defeated his robot father with love. The point is that everyone had a deeper motivation than just “I want to be the champion.”
I can’t remember the last good storyline in the modern era of wrestling. They’ve started a few, but it doesn’t feel like anyone in the company knows how to follow through and deliver on them. For instance, they created a mysterious redneck cult called “The Wyatt Family” who are super creepy. They often speak in vague, ominous riddles, which is pretty cool, because it makes you want to stick around to see what it all means. For months, the WWE built up their coming debut, and when they finally arrived, it was pants-shittingly awesome:
So they’re coming after Kane? Awesome. Why? What do they want with him? In the following weeks, we’d find out that they were going to show him the true meaning of the word “fear,” and they were going to turn him into the demon that they know he is. Even more awesome. So they’re going to recruit him into their cult? Turn him to the Dark Side?
Nope, they had a match, and after the Wyatts won, the plot was over. Kane didn’t join their cult. The Wyatts didn’t progress into a bigger, better story. It turns out that Kane just needed some time off to go film See No Evil 2, and having the Wyatts “injure” him was a means of explaining his absence from TV.
Keep in mind, this is the most interesting story they’ve had in several years. The majority of the others boil down to, “I want to win this match because I can wrestle better than you.” They set up a match between The Rock and John Cena one year in advance, based entirely on the storyline “John Cena talked shit about me.” That’s not an exaggeration. That was the whole story: a “meet me in the playground after school” beef. And what that tells us as fans is, “If these two extremely popular guys wrestle each other, you will buy tickets or subscribe to our network, no matter what.” I’ve put more effort into wiping my ass than the “creative” team put into that booking, and that’s become par for the course in the WWE.
So how do they fix that? A good start would be to come up with defined stories for every single person who enters that ring. Give them a reason to be there. Hell, give us a reason to be there — make us come back next Monday because we have to find out what happens next. This isn’t some radical idea. This is TV 101. It’s something they understood back in the Attitude Era, and I’m blown away that they don’t understand it now.
#4. There Is No Longer Any Suspense Or Surprise
In the industry (and for hardcore fans), championship titles mean one thing: This is the person the WWE has marked as the company’s highest standard. For most other fans, it is a prop. It’s the reward that a hero receives for overcoming the odds and defeating the villain, or the trophy a villain receives for being extra good at evil. Either way you look at it, whoever holds that title is the good guy or the dickhole, as both a performer and a character.
There’s a very simple formula that all of wrestling has used since the invention of pay-per-view, and it goes something like this. Good guy wrestles bad guy every week for a month. He loses most of those matches because the bad guy is a cheating asshole. They then have a match at a pay-per-view, and the good guy finally wins the title. The audience feels vindicated. Now, you either up the ante for their story and take it to the next level, or that match becomes the ending point to their feud, and you introduce a brand-new story with a brand-new dickhole.
And you know his name is Chad.
It doesn’t always play out that way, but that’s the general idea. It’s Pavlovian; you feel good when the hero wins, so you keep coming back for that payoff. It’s emotional heroin. It’s a way to coax people into buying tickets, and it totally works. If you’re going to see a title change hands, you’re going to see it there, so you might as well buy a ticket and see it firsthand, right? Actually, it’s not quite that simple.
Let’s go back to 1999, when WWE hit their highest ratings. Because of the Monday Night War, both companies had to constantly surprise the audience. They were forced to do something every week that, if you missed it, made you think, “FUCK! Why did I pick that night to feed my kids?!” The easiest way to accomplish that was by throwing away the old pay-per-view payoff format and make new champions on the totally free TV show. That year, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship changed hands 12 times. Six of those times happened on regular TV.
In 2015, the title changed hands four times (two of which happened in the same pay-per-view). Of those four, exactly one happened on RAW. In fact, if you don’t count the one time they held a tournament to claim a vacated title, the last time a heavyweight championship was “legitimately” fought for and won by a challenger on regular TV was November of 2010. Before that, June of 2009. Before that, July of 2006. Before that, September of 2003.
And the belts are really weird-looking now.
But that’s the big title, right? What about the Intercontinental Championship? It’s not as important in the eyes of regular fans, so there should be more flexibility in moving it around. In 1999, that one changed hands 10 times (technically 11, but that’s the year Owen Hart died, so there was a special circumstance involved). Five of those were on TV. In 2015, it happened five times — only one of them wasn’t on a pay-per-view.
So what am I tuning in for, exactly? There aren’t any compelling storylines, so it’s definitely not for that. I’m not being surprised by an underdog coming out of nowhere and upsetting the champion. Any time they introduce a match and say, “This is for the title,” I can say with near-certainty that the title is staying right where it is. You can predict the outcome of those matches before they even start. It takes away 100 percent of the suspense. At that point, I’m just watching two guys pretending to fight … and that’s just kind of weird.
If the WWE wants people to start giving a crap again, they’re going to have to reintroduce the element of surprise. If not with the championship titles, then at least with some good old-fashioned heel turns (good guy suddenly turns bad) or face turns (bad guy suddenly becomes good). That used to be a weekly occurrence back in the height of wrestling’s popularity, but now they follow the same rules as title switches, which is “NOPE! If you want to see that, you’ll PAY for it, fucker!”
#3. There’s Something Modern Wrestlers Don’t Understand About Their Roles
One of the most valuable assets in all of wrestling, regardless of the company, is a good heel. Someone the fans genuinely hate. It’s a lot harder than it sounds, because a lot of guys who try end up sounding like an actor who’s playing the role of a villain, instead of a man with genuine disdain for the audience. The person who can do that is vital because when he finally gets the shit kicked out of him by the hero, the audience feels retribution. His defeat is their reward for tuning in week after week. He is an emotional catalyst.
But there’s a second part to that role. Given enough time, most heels will inevitably develop a following. Or another wrestler will need to take over that spot in order to prevent the show from becoming a bucket of dead squid. At that point, the villain needs to flip and turn into the hero. Very few people are able to do that.
For example, here’s what Alberto Del Rio looks like as a heel:
Every part of that is fucking vile. Not just his actions — beating up a lowly ring announcer — but also the look on his face, the sound of his punches and kicks, the way he smugly holds up his belt to the crowd as if to say, “There’s not a goddamn thing you can do about it.” Watching that makes you want to hurt him.
That is what Alberto Del Rio was born to do: Be a remorseless punching machine. He plays the part of an evil turd perfectly. Here’s what he looks like as a babyface:
Every part of that is fucking vile. Not just his ridiculous “I’m a good guy now” speech, but also the way the words unnaturally flop out of his stupid suckhole. The fake gas station manager’s smile. Trying so hard to convince us that he’s on the level. He wasn’t trying to trick the audience there — he’s just that bad at playing a babyface. Watching that makes you want to hurt him.
Now I want you to take a look at Stone Cold Steve Austin as a heel:
That’s a pretty damn good heel. It feels like he’s going to come right out of the screen and kick your ass, just for having the gall to watch him on TV. Let’s see what he looks like as a babyface:
Oh. Well, hell. It’s almost like he kept the same exact ass-kicker attitude, except he pointed that aggression toward established heels instead of established faces. Huh. That’s weird. I thought that when a wrestler went from villain to hero, he had to put on a big-ass smile and give everyone an enthusiastic thumbs-up. I mean, I know that Stone Cold became one of the biggest stars the WWE has ever seen, but surely he was a fluke, right? Nobody else could make that work …
This is why people have a hard time accepting guys like The Big Show, Roman Reigns, and John Cena as babyfaces. When they’re playing heels (or at least thugs), all three of those guys can pull off “scary ass-kicker.” We know that when they enter the ring, someone’s getting skull-fucked. But when they switch roles and become babyfaces, they turn into smiling, thumbs-up, pandering jackasses, and it’s embarrassing. It’s not that the audience doesn’t believe in them as good guys. It’s that we don’t want them representing us.
Let me put it this way, because this is a huge topic of debate among wrestling fans:
The hero in that ring represents the audience. He or she is a projection of who we want to be. They’re not just defeating the villain for their own purposes … they’re saving us from his bullshit. When we see ourselves projected into the spot of the good guy, we want that representation to be badass. We don’t want to be Superman. We want to be Wolverine or Deadpool or Punisher. Sometimes, Bugs Bunny:
The people who want to see John Cena turn heel aren’t just saying it because they’re sick of him playing Superman. That’s a big factor, but it’s not the whole reason. A huge part of their argument is that they know what happens when you take a stale, played-out babyface and inject him with ruthless brutality and anger: He becomes unpredictable, he becomes a threat … he becomes interesting. Then, after a year or two, when you finally switch him back to the hero role, he keeps that ruthless attitude, and we back him 100 percent. Every guy in the videos I linked above has gone through it, and it made them better characters.
But what you don’t do is start high-fiving audience members and sucking their assholes for cheap pops. Am I right, people of beautiful NORTH CAROLINA?! The second a babyface starts doing that is the second we start firing up the “boooooring” chants.
A man has driven a sports car across 21 countries, starting at the most northerly pub in the world and finishing at the most southerly.
Ben Coombs, 38, from Plymouth in Devon, drove 20,000 miles across three continents from the Arctic Circle to the southernmost tip of Chile.
It took him seven months to complete the challenge.
Mr Coombs described the final pub as “a dive”, but said “it’s the journey that matters, not the destination”.
The idea for the adventure came while he was having a pint in a pub on Dartmoor.
The journey started on the Norwegian island of Svalbard in an abandoned mining settlement called Pyramiden, which has a population of four.
Mr Coombs said finding the northernmost bar “was an easy investigative process”.
“Pyramiden is less than 700 miles from the North Pole, is the northernmost settlement on earth with a permanent civilian population, and has only one bar,” he added.
“The residents all live in the only building still functioning – the town’s old hotel – which happens to have a still-functioning bar.”
To find the most northerly and southerly pub, Mr Coombs looked for licensed premises where anybody could walk in off the street and buy a beer.
Although there are bars in Antarctica they are located on bases and are not accessible to members of the public or are not licensed, he said.
So Mr Coombs looked for the southernmost settlement outside Antarctica, and came across Puerto Williams in Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
From Pyramiden, Mr Coombs drove his green 20-year-old TVR Chimaera, called Kermit, across Europe to Southampton from where the car was shipped to New York in August.
He then travelled across the United States to California, before heading south to Mexico.
A number of friends joined him for various stages of the journey in the two-seater convertible car.
“Central America quickly passed beneath our wheels, before we shipped the car around the Darien gap from Panama to Colombia,” Mr Coombs said.
“Then it was just the small matter of an 8,000-mile drive across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Argentina to get to the last bar on earth.”
The final destination was Puerto Williams, where Mr Coombs arrived on 12 February and found the southernmost bar.
“It’s a bit of a dive actually,” he said.
“We’re talking plastic patio furniture inside, Chilean line dancing on the TV, and a menu which consists only of lager and cheap whisky.
“There are probably more appealing places to travel 20,000 miles to get to, but that’s not really the point. It’s the journey that matters, not the destination.”
Municipality near the US border says brewery that makes Corona, Modelo and other beers is using so much water from wells that region is becoming bone dry
A brewery satisfying Americans thirst for Mexican beers such as Corona is sucking so much water from wells in an arid region near the US border that it has left one municipality bone dry, according to a local mayor.
WE HAVE NO WATER FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION, Mayor Leoncio Martnez Snchez of the municipality of Zaragoza, wrote in single-sentence letter to Coahuila state governor Rubn Moreira.
Zaragoza is currently suffering through water shortages so severe theres barely a drop of water when you open the tap, Martnez told the Guardian.
A nearby brewery run by the US firm Constellation Brands currently draws water from wells drilled to a depth of 500 metres, and Martnez said that plans to increase production at the plant would aggravate the current situation, especially as the federal government ramps up plans for fracking in northern Mexico.
Were worried because were already being impacted by this extraction of 1,200 litres of water per second by the brewery, he said. Its contradictory that while Constellation Brands has industrial amounts of water to make beer, the municipality of Zaragoza doesnt have 100 litres [per second of water] of water to give people to drink or use in their homes.
The brewery which sits in the municipality of Nava, 45 kilometres south of the US border at Eagle Pass, Texas makes Corona and other brands of beer such as Modelo for export to the United States. Constellation Brands, which bought the plant in 2013, subsequently announced a $2.27bn investment to expand the facility and a glass factory, saying it would churn out 20m bottles of beer per day by the end of 2017.
Martnez says the deep wells supplying the brewery are located approximately 20 kilometres from the municipal seat and have caused water supply problems in Zaragoza since being drilled a decade ago.
[The government] gave them this land and these wells on a silver platter, he said.
Constellation Brands said in 2014 that the Nava brewery would implement water-conservation practices and recycle 30% of the water it uses. The expanded brewery would also create 2,500 jobs, the company said.
Hurricane Irene’s march through Vermont’s Mad River Valley in 2011 tore down bridges and turned roads to rubble in towns like Waterbury. The storm littered businesses and city offices with debris and sewage, and damaged close to 100 homes.
One of its victims was The Alchemist brewpub, which owners John and Jen Kimmich had built from the ground-up into a darling of the craft beer scene, known throughout New England for Heady Topper, its standout India pale ale.
When the waters receded, very little in the brewery was salvageable. If the Kimmichs were ever going to make Heady Topper again, they would have to start from scratch.
“We had a decision to make ― either make an insurance claim and sell our business, or double down, focus on growth and rehire everyone,” says Jen Kimmich. She and her husband opted for the latter, rebuilding on higher ground with a stronger structure.
In the face of a changing climate, craft breweries such as The Alchemist are feeling the impacts. More than 5,000 craft breweries now operate across the U.S., and many were built in affordable but precarious locations, like floodplains or forests, making them especially vulnerable to extreme weather events like Hurricane Irene and shifting climate patterns that threaten their business.
Breweries rely on raw ingredients such as hops, water and grain, and supplies can be choked off by drought, storms or pests. These problems will only become more intense with climate change, scientists say.
Climate swings have already resulted in U.S. hop shortages that had brewers sourcing from as far away as Argentina. To survive the next climate-driven hop squeeze, Kimmich has a plan. “The best way we can mitigate that risk is to pre-pay for hops,” she says. “That puts us first in line in case there’s another shortage.”
The Alchemist isn’t alone in pre-paying for hops. Most craft breweries purchase hop contracts ― several years in advance, in some cases. However, if hop shortages become more frequent, which scientists have predicted will happen in some regions due to climate change, there may not even be a line for buyers to wait in. Nature has a habit of throwing a wrench into things.
Aeronaut Brewing Co. in Somerville, Massachusetts, experienced that firsthand this year, when hops the operators expected from western Massachusetts were delayed, then canceled.
“Unfortunately, due to the late-season warm weather this year, the crop was not ready until way later than expected,” says Ben Holmes, co-owner of Aeronaut. “Finally, when [they] were about to harvest, they were hit by a bad blight, which knocked out the entire crop.”
Aside from shocks to his hops supply, Holmes has had to contend withrising utility bills imposed by the city to address its aging sewer and storm drainage systems, which officialssay are ill equipped to handle major storms and rising seas.
“As Somerville tries to cope with climate change, we are facing bigger and bigger challenges with flooding, mitigation of which is requiring major infrastructure investments which are incidentally being tacked onto our water bill proportional to use,” Holmes says.
Since his brewery uses a lot of water ― not just for beer, but also for cleaning tanks, hoses and kegs ― Aeronaut ends up paying a lot toward Somerville’s cost of preparing for climate change. In fact, craft breweries across the nation are investing in wastewater treatment and solar power generation to offset rising utility bills.
New Belgium Brewing Co.’s solar panels, for instance, generate almost 5 percent of the power for its packaging facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. Louisiana’s Abita Brewing Co., meanwhile, has installed an anaerobic digester to convert waste into biogas that’s recycled back into the brewery.
But Steve Frazier, head brewer at The Brewer’s Art in Baltimore, Maryland, says it’s not always easy for small craft breweries to enact resiliency measures like hop contracts or infrastructure buildouts because the return on investment isn’t as obvious. What’s more, he says, “smaller outfits can’t usually budget for big efficiency projects when they are just fighting to stay relevant, or trying to meet production demands.”
Aside from hops, Frazier also worries about the effects climate change will have on beer’s other main ingredients: barley and water. While the amount of water used to make beer varies, it is estimated to take roughly 20 gallons of water to make a pint of beer. Many large craft breweries ― like New Belgium, Sierra Nevada and Stone ― have opened production facilities on the East Coast, in large part to lower distribution costs, but also, Frazier believes, to soften the blow of continued water scarcity in the West.
“I don’t think any of the West Coast breweries that have recently opened East Coast facilities would come right out and say it, but I bet it will get really expensive to brew beer out West in the next 20 years if water gets any more scarce,” Frazier says.
While not a direct solution, dozens of craft brewers have signed the Brewery Climate Declaration, which calls attention to the effects of climate change on the industry and outlines actions breweries are already taking. That includes Michigan’s Brewery Vivant sourcing 100 percent of its energy from renewable sources and California’s North Coast Brewing Co. diverting more than 90 percent of its brewery waste from the landfill.
“We hope that by signing onto pacts such as this one, and doing everything we can to keep this topic visible, we can make it clear that businesses must give a damn about climate change,” says Holmes of Aeronaut Brewing.
Kimmich agrees. “On the heels of our president pulling out of Paris, we want to show that if the government won’t move in the face of climate change, business leaders will,” she says. “The writing’s on the wall. The science tells us that climate change is real and it’s just speeding up. These storms are just crazy. I’m sure there’s more to come.”
Is being sober finally trendy? Juice crawls are just one of many booze-free events in the US catering to millennials who are ditching the hooch in favor of clarity
On a Saturday afternoon in Manhattan, Rachel Floyd and her boyfriend Paul Isham take a shot of a dark yellow liquid called Mother F*#%in Fireball.
It kind of makes my leg hair follicles feel like theyre standing out, says Isham, a 33-year-old audio visual technician whose grey hoodie is decorated with a Bernie Sanders sticker and button. Floyd, who is wearing a Feel the Bern-themed Christmas sweater, throws back the small plastic cup. Oh man. I feel that right up here, she says, bringing her left hand over her head.
The 26-year-old clinical psychology grad student is on her eighth shot of the day, but she could still pass a breathalyzer test. The Mother F*#%in Fireball is not the cinnamon whiskey teenagers steal from their parents around Christmas its an orange-based drink with a spicy kick from a mix of cayenne, ginger and oregano oil.
Floyd is on a juice crawl, a monthly event in which participants hop to three different shops and sample more than 19 flavors with names such as Purple Rain and Dr Feelgood from 2oz plastic cups. Its just one of many booze-free activities that have popped up in major US cities to serve a growing number of young people who are ditching the hooch.
This group is not full of recovering addicts, but rather people who value mindfulness, spandex and green juice. For those 35 and under, cutting back on booze no longer means social suicide. In addition to juice crawls, there are now sober day raves, alcohol-free bars, boozeless dinner and dance parties, and a sober social network that organizes group outings and launched a dating app so popular it has temporarily shut down.
The long line outside of Shine, a booze-free event that combines food, water with Australian flower essences, meditation and enlightertainment (music, a talk and a film) is full of people who either do not drink or are trying to cut back. Since 2014, when the gathering was first launched in LA, Shine has spread to New York and now regularly sells out to crowds of more than 100 people, who the founder describes as mindful tastemakers and spiritually curious.