Month: August 2014


If you’re feeling wealthy and thirsty this Labor Day weekend, check out a few of these: Top 10 Most Expensive Libations. Excerpt (from the Number 10 slot):

“[A]t $100 a bottle, Sam Adams’s “Utopias” is too rich for my blood alcohol level. It does come bottled in a cute, brewing-kettle shaped bottle, and with an alcohol content of 25% by volume (strongest beer in the world), it gives a bit of bang for the buck.

“However, $7,686 was paid at auction for the first bottle of Tutankhamun Ale. It was developed by Cambridge University scientists who gleaned the recipe from hieroglyphics and brewing dregs from the catacombs of one of Tut’s in-laws. The remaining lot of beer was sold for about $76 per bottle.”

Also found Number Two fairly interesting:

“How crazy will the trendy, high-end vodka craze get? I’ve always been fairly certain vodka is all about a cool bottle and a hip name. Now I’m certain. “Diva” vodka seeks to trump all-comers — game, set, and burp. This triple distilled vodka, like many other vodkas, is also charcoal filtered. The charcoal in Diva’s case comes from a different array of carbon bonds; the vodka is filtered through crushed diamonds. But what really ups the price is the custom-made bottle. Inside each bottle is an array of real gemstones, the quantity and quality of which depend on how much you’re willing to pay. A high-end bottle of Diva (“low-end” being $3,700) will cost you more than a million dollars.”… Read the rest


“The minds of men always dwell more on bad luck. They accept ordinary prosperity as a matter of course. Misfortunes arrest their attention and remain in their memory.” William Graham Sumner, Folkways A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals (1906).

That 100-year-old observation has been borne out by modern science. Winifred Gallagher explored the strength of negative thoughts in her excellent Rapt, Attention and the Focused Life. Unpleasant thoughts and feelings like sadness, fear, and anger occupy our attention more than pleasant thoughts for the simple reason that the negative ones are more powerful. It’s a natural inclination and one we need to struggle against, just like we struggle against natural inclinations in many areas of our existence.

Read the rest

GKC Wednesday

Background: When I was the editor of Gilbert Magazine, I was responsible for the “Tremendous Trifles” column. It was occasionally hard to find a sufficient amount of interesting GKC material to fill the page, so John Peterson sent me a file full of Chesterton ancedotes. They were idiosyncratic, historical, and Chestertonian. He gave me permission to use them here. I hope y’all find them as interesting as I have over the years. Most of them have never been published.

Chesterton Short(s)

In 1922, during his lecture-tour stay in Chicago, Chesterton met with Sinclair Lewis and John Drinkwater to converse over illegal whiskey. They decided to collaborate on a murder mystery, a three-act play to be entitled, Mary Queen of Scotch, with each of them contributing one act. Not surprisingly, the three authors forgot about the project as quickly and easily as they had dreamed it up. [Mark Schorer, Sinclair Lewis, New York: McGraw-Hill, 1961, p. 304]… Read the rest