Tuesday, December 18, 2007

‘Klimakatastrophe’ picked as Germany’s word of year. AND: 5 Drinking Stories That Put Yours To Shame

From Reuters:
The Society of the German Language (GfdS) has picked “Klimakatastrophe” (climate disaster) as its “word of the year”, an annual honour awarded to the term the prestigious Wiesbaden-based group feels has captured the spirit or dominated the headlines and public discussion of the year....
And, if sweet liquor eases the pain* here's some trivia from MentalFloss:

Turns out, the best drinking stories in history are actually, well, historical. So raise a glass to your forefathers and marvel at these tales.


1. Admiral Edward Russell’s 17th-Century Throwdown

Think you can drink like a sailor? Maybe you should take a moment to reflect on what that truly means.

The record for history’s largest cocktail belongs to British Lord Admiral Edward Russell. In 1694, he threw an officer’s party that employed a garden’s fountain as the punch bowl.

The concoction? A mixture that included 250 gallons of brandy, 125 gallons of Malaga wine, 1,400 pounds of sugar, 2,500 lemons, 20 gallons of lime juice, and 5 pounds of nutmeg.

A series of bartenders actually paddled around in a small wooden canoe, filling up guests’ cups. Not only that, but they had to work in 15-minute shifts to avoid being overcome by the fumes and falling overboard.

The party continued nonstop for a full week, pausing only briefly during rainstorms to erect a silk canopy over the punch to keep it from getting watered down. In fact, the festivities didn’t end until the fountain had been drunk completely dry.

2. The London Brew-nami of 1814

The Industrial Revolution wasn’t all steam engines and textile mills. Beer production increased exponentially, as well. Fortunately, the good people of England were up to the challenge and drained kegs as fast as they were made. Brewery owners became known as “beer barons,” and they spent their newfound wealth in an age-old manner — by trying to party more than the next guy.

Case in point: In 1814, Meux’s Horse Shoe Brewery in London constructed a brewing vat that was 22 feet tall and 60 feet in diameter, with an interior big enough to seat 200 for dinner — which is exactly how its completion was celebrated. (Why 200? Because a rival had built a vat that seated 100, of course.)>>>MORE

*Phil Hartman voicing Troy McClure in the Simpsons' "Bart's Inner Child" :
{A few weeks ago, I was a washed-up actor with a
drinking problem. Then Brad Goodman came along
and gave me this job and a can of fortified
[drinks from a can]
Ah...sweet liquor eases the pain.}


Oh, hi! I'm Troy McClure. You might remember me
from such self-help
videos as "Smoke Yourself Thin"
and "Get Confident, Stupid". Well, now
I'm here to
tell you about the only real path to mental health.
right, it's the Brad Goodman
squints at cue cards] something-or-other...

-- Troy McClure introduces "Adjusting Your Self-O-Stat",
"Bart's Inner Child"-- Troy McClure describes how
self-help aided him, "Bart's Inner Child"