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What If We Lose Tomorrow?

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November 8, 2016 was one of the worst days of my life. I’m sure many of you feel this way as well. Yet in the aftermath, I was very angry with myself for not seeing this coming. After all, our entire history is based on white supremacy. So I am determined to not overlook the reality of this nation again just because I want a different result.

Therefore, what does it mean if Republicans hold on to both the House and Senate tomorrow. In a very real way, this would be a terrible result, for reasons I hardly have to state. It would lead to definitive evidence to Republicans that white supremacy is the ticket to electoral success, huge attacks on entitlements, more right-wing judges, the likely end of the Mueller investigation without a House committed to following it up, even more open voter suppression, etc. etc.

Now, I don’t think this is going to happen. That’s not so much because of the polling, which was so flawed in 2016, as because of two years of special elections where Democrats have consistently and significantly surpassed polling. That doesn’t mean tomorrow is a wave and we welcome Phil Bredesen and Beto O’Rourke into the Senate. But it’s possible.

On the other hand, it’s totally possible Republicans only lose 15 House seats while gaining 2 Senate seats and all hell breaks loose. What happens then?

The answer is, well, we just keep doing what we are doing. We have to have a long game as well as a short game in saving this nation. Yes, the election is critical. No doubt about that. But either way, we have a lifelong fight against white supremacy and fascism ahead of us, one made far worse by right-wing media and the social networks they can use to create spurious fears among old white people. The struggle for justice is a lifetime struggle. Things could very easily get worse, if not in 2018 than in 2020 or 2022. We face a Republican Party dedicated to destroying everything decent about this nation.

Moreover, voting is only part of our struggle. Even if we win, the structures of oppression remain powerful. The police will still murder black people, fascists will still run through ICE, Native peoples will continue to be oppressed. In many ways, the emphasis on the vote as the be all and end all of politics is a symbol of comfortable white liberalism, for whom it is easy to ignore all the other terrible things happening if the things that affect them daily are not a problem anymore. None of this is to dampen the enthusiasm for voting tomorrow–not at all! Rather, it’s to remember that our struggle must include voting and organizing, marching in the street and donating to candidates, working on issues outside of electoral politics and trying to take over the Democratic Party to make it a force for justice. We have to do all of these things at once.

We would do well to remember the generational struggles of our heroes of the past. Remember that W.E.B. DuBois was born in 1868 and died in 1963. He lived 95 years and was born at the peak of Reconstruction black power and died a few days before the March on Washington. He lived his entire life in an era of incredible oppression. Yet he continued to fight. This could be our future. The only choice is to not be too jubilant or too depressed after tomorrow and keep moving forward. It’s the fight of our lives.

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The NewsBlur iOS app also hits version 8.0

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Fresh off the heels of the Android app hitting version 8.0, today I’d like to announce the latest update to the iOS app. This is a huge release and it’s got a lot of new features packed in it. I also want to welcome David Sinclair back to the team. He’s the builder behind all the incredible features in this release. Really wonderful having you back, David, and thanks for making v8.0 of the best news reader on a phone. Here’s what’s new: * NEW: Save stories offline * NEW: Share stories from other apps into NewsBlur with the new share extension * NEW: Scroll vertically between stories (can be turned on while reading a story) * NEW: 3D Touch links in stories to preview them * NEW: search for sites directly from the feed list * Switching themes no longer reloads the story * iOS 12 compatibility fixes * Upgrading to a premium subscription now handles App Store payment updates * Fixed issue where locking the device while playing a video over Airplay would stop the video Here’s a preview of what a 3D touch on a link looks like:

And sharing stories from other apps directly to your blurblog is now easy to do from the share menu.

Now that David’s back there’s a lot to look forward to.

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4 public comments
satadru
7 days ago
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Share functionality for the Android app too please!
New York, NY
wmorrell
12 days ago
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When bringing up the share sheet, the top-level one (Message, Mail, Reminders, etc default) scroll all the way to the right for the … More icon. There is a NewsBlur option there that may be turned on.
MotherHydra
12 days ago
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Love that share sheet, finally. My big gripe continues to be the letter-boxing in landscape mode and the lack of a two-column layout in said mode. Complete waste of screen real estate.
Space City, USA
Ferret
13 days ago
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FINALLY SHARING YAY

A Colorado Firefighter Built His Own Shipping Container Home, and Found a New Calling Along the Way

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Nine shipping containers form the basis for a new multigenerational house near Denver.

Many of the corrugated metal walls are painted black and white, in shades by Benjamin Moore.

Making a house out of shipping con­tainers sounds easy enough: Just snap up a few neglected boxes from a local junk dealer, rack ’em and stack ’em, and create a bit of old-school prefab magic.

In 2014, while recovering from a work-related injury, Denver-area firefighter Regan Foster started exploring the idea of shipping containers for a new house he was planning to build. Two years later, he and his wife, Libby, moved into a home made mostly of the giant metal bins, having done much of the work themselves. They share the residence with their year-old daughter, Evie, and Libby’s mother.

In 2014, while recovering from a work-related injury, Denver-area firefighter Regan Foster started exploring the idea of shipping containers for a new house he was planning to build. Two years later, he and his wife, Libby, moved into a home made mostly of the giant metal bins, having done much of the work themselves. They share the residence with their year-old daughter, Evie, and Libby’s mother.

Photo by Benjamin Rasmussen

But recycling the detritus of global shipping has its complications. Like how to turn corrugated steel boxes that measure an awkward eight feet wide and 40 feet long into something cozy enough to call home. Or how to keep their metal floors from vibrating when you walk on them, or prevent the chemicals they are treated with from being released into the air. Or, perhaps most important, how to assemble it all so it doesn’t look like you live in the storage yard of the local port authority.

The Fosters unwind in the soaring, 960-square-foot great room. The family wanted plenty of space for hosting friends and events, as well as lots of bedrooms so they can rent the house to groups on Airbnb if they like.

The Fosters unwind in the soaring, 960-square-foot great room. The family wanted plenty of space for hosting friends and events, as well as lots of bedrooms so they can rent the house to groups on Airbnb if they like.

Photo by Benjamin Rasmussen

Luckily, Regan Foster likes a challenge. He’s an extreme DIYer and, until recently, a firefighter, the kind of guy who is used to working 24-hour shifts and given to starting his day with a plunge into an outdoor ice bath. The house he designed and built with his wife, Libby, located just outside the Denver city line in Adams County, harnesses nine shipping containers into a 3,840-square-foot structure that’s meant to be shared with friends and neighbors. "We believe community and family are a strong part of living a life well-spent," Regan says.

Many of the corrugated metal walls are painted black and white, in shades by Benjamin Moore.

Many of the corrugated metal walls are painted black and white, in shades by Benjamin Moore.

Photo by Benjamin Rasmussen

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Colorado Firefighter Built His Own Shipping Container Home, and Found a New Calling Along the Way
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Takes That Are Correct

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Granting that In-N-Out is tough competition, this is true:

What is the most overrated fast-food restaurant in the USA?

Shake Shack. I haven’t been to every cult fast food restaurant in America, but I’ve been to Shake Shack enough times to tell you that it’s not worth braving a line with 6,000 yuppies pushing strollers just to get a burger there. I’m convinced that Shake Shack’s success is strictly the result of savvy marketing and the fact that little kids go apeshit for crinkle fries. The best part of the Shake Shack burger is the bun, which is a Martin’s Potato Roll you can get at pretty much any grocery store. The fries are underwhelming to anyone above the age of eight. The special sauce is just undercover mayo. And the shakes are made of frozen custard that’s so dry it’s like sucking on a pile of dust. I’m not even sure how it comes out of the machine.

Does any of that stop me from doing a double take any time I see a Shake Shack out in the wild? Of course not. I’m drawn in like any other sucker. Oh wow, this airport has a Shake Shack! The Starbucks of burgers! Then I wait 20 minutes for a burger that I could have gotten in a tenth of the time from Five Guys. It’s not worth it. Five Guys may have the ambience of eating in a barn, but at least I get free peanuts.

There are definitely worse fast food restaurants than Shake Shack, like Jerry’s Subs or Burger King. But no one likes Burger King. If I’m eating at a Burger King, it’s because something awful has happened. You can’t be overrated if Americans generally consider you to be a last resort. You gotta be a true fast food destination, like Popeye’s (which is very much not overrated and is a manifestation of everything good about America). Shake Shack, like Chipotle, exists in that Fancy Fast Casual category where you get to pretend you’re being smarter and healthier for plunking down $4 extra to consume 1,500 calories worth of food inside the spiritual equivalent of an Apple store. I’d rather just to go an actual restaurant to get my burger.

Actually, Chipotle is another good candidate, although I think all of the ebola has made it less highly rated. But what puts Shake Shack over the top is that it actually has a star from the New York Times. I look forward to the 2-star review of Potbelly and 3-star review of Popeye’s this logically requires.

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davebelt
69 days ago
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Oh wow, this airport has a Shake Shack! The Starbucks of burgers
earth dimension c-138

Lumen: A Portable Breathalyzer That Measures Your Metabolic Fuel Usage

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Full disclosure: I am genetically predisposed to be skinny, yet am struggling to get rid of a potbelly because I cannot stop drinking beer and eating Oreos. We live in a crazy world, where an impoverished chunk of the population cannot get enough calories, and another chunk takes in so many calories that they are preoccupied with weight loss for the sake of health or vanity.

That is the reality. To paraphrase the old Chris Rock joke, there are millions of people on this planet for whom the ability to get fat would be amazing. It would astonish someone from a starving nation to see one of us relatively rich Westerners at an all-you-can-eat buffet. And it would amaze them even more to see this new device called Lumen, designed by frog.

Lumen is a small technology-packed item that you breathe into. The device then analyzes your breath to tell you whether you're burning carbohydrates or burning fat. Here's how they envision the device being used:

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What Lumen can do is an amazing technological feat, and one that previously could only be done in a lab. That the developers have created a portable device that one can use to instantly measure their metabolic fuel usage is pretty jaw-dropping.

Demand for Lumen is high, judging by the fact that it was 3,511% funded last week on IndieGogo, with $1,764,302 in pledges. And those who struggle with weight loss are sure to find the $249 device useful. It's just sobering to think about what someone from a developing nation would make of this--we have so much to consume, that we must create technological devices to tell us when we are taking in too much of it.

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davebelt
70 days ago
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Obesity and it’s associated health risks are a problem in the developing world too.
earth dimension c-138

A “CORNY” IDEA THAT MAKES SENSE — KEGS

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“For a quart of ale is a dish for a king,” an appreciative William Shakespeare wrote in A Winter’s Tale.  And yet – while Bard’s father was an official ale taster, and he enjoyed an occasional pint at The Windmill when not inserting drinking references into his plays – neither Shakespeare nor his characters home brewed.

Had Prince Hamlet taken up the hobby when not plotting revenge against his uncle, he would have stared at the carboy of his first completed batch of ale and rhetorically asked: “To keg or not to keg – that is the question.”

Why a beginner should consider corny kegs for beer packaging

Determining how finished beer will be packaged is the second most important decision a novice brewer will make after selecting a brewing system and its components.  Many start with bottling, usually as a cost-saving measure after an expensive outlay for equipment.  After a batch or two, however, the time-consuming processes of washing and sterilizing bottles, and filling them, has some brewers wishing for a faster, more efficient system.

corny keg

This article is written with the beginner in mind to help demystify the corny keg by providing some background information, explaining its anatomy and function, and examining some advantages of using them.

The corny keg is a fairly recent invention, known originally as a “beverage transfer tank,” created by the soft drink industry in 1957.  Coca-Cola

invented a system for restaurants called a “Post-Mix” in which a tank of syrup mixed with water and CO2 for carbonation as the drink dispensed into a cup.

While the first tanks were manufactured by the Firestone & John Wood Company, and later Spartanburg Steel Products, the vast majority were

produced by Cornelius, Inc., from Osseo, MN, and so all of these tanks came to be known as “corny kegs” regardless of make.

Homebrewers flocked to these immediately, purchasing surplus tanks and modifying them for beer.  It’s purely coincidental that corny keg

s hold 5 gallons and the typical homebrew batch is the same volume.

Today, the corny keg is obsolete in the soft drink industry and has been largely replaced by the drink fountain syrup bag-in-box, yet it continues to thrive in home brewing.  Many brewers prefer pre-used soft drink kegs as a reliable, cost-efficient alternative to new kegs that are more expensive.  Refurbished older tanks are becoming scarce on the market and sell quickly when they appear.

What is the corny keg?

The corny keg is a stainless steel upright cylindrical tank with rubber gaskets constructed to hold pressurized liquid up to a maximum of 130 psi.  It is 8.5 or 9 inches in diameter and from 22 to 25 inches tall, minus the draught line and gas line quick disconnects.  It comes in a variety of sizes, including 2.5, 3, 5, 10, and 15 gallons.  An empty 5-gallon corny keg weighs roughly 10 pounds and a little over 50 pounds when filled.

The corny keg’s anatomy has three main components: the lid, the gas-side post, and the draught-side post.  The oval-shaped lid provides access into the keg.  It is held in place through tension by a thick wire handle that folds over.

The lid has a shallow lip to hold a gasket ring that seals the gas and liquid in.  The lid has a pressure valve, enabling the user to depressurize the contents.  Most have a manual value, operated with a wire ring.  A few have an automatic type, known as a “Hansen valve.”  The Valves screw into the lid and can be swapped out.

The gas-side post screws onto the keg, using an 11/16 or 7/8 star wrench socket. It provides the link to the CO2 gas line through a gray connector.  The post also houses a spring-enabled poppet and a 1-inch gas dip.  O-rings are located on the post and the dip tube makes contact with either the gas line quick disconnect or the keg itself.

The draught-side post is identical in size to the gas side but uses a hex socket.  It also has a poppet and a long liquid tube going to the bottom of the tank and O-rings to prevent leakage at either the base of the keg or with the quick disconnect.

Corny kegs fall into one of two categories, pin lock and ball lock (the more common)

This is a distinction dating back to the soft drink days when Coca-Cola pioneered the former and Pepsi Co, which wouldn’t be caught dead using its rival’s method, adopted the latter.

corny kegPin lock tanks are roughly 2.5 inches shorter and a half inch wider diameter than their counterparts.  Pin lock quick disconnects use a connecting mechanism of horizontal pins on the posts to attach.  Of note, the gas side has two pins and the draught three, so the lines cannot be confused.

Ball lock posts, on the other hand, have ridges which ball in the connectors grip.  While there are conversion kits, pin lock and ball quick disconnects are not interchangeable.

The keg’s function is a simple application of physics.  Carbon dioxide pumps into the tank headspace until an equilibrium is reached.  As the keg is tapped, the gas presses on the liquid, forcing it up the liquid dip tube and into the draught line.  Like using a drinking straw, the liquid pours from the bottom up.  When the tap is shut, the CO2 flow stops when the new equilibrium is reached.

In addition to the time savings of cleaning, sterilizing, and filling one tank versus 53 bottles, there are other advantages to using corny kegs, including:

Force Carbing.  Kegging provides the flexibility to artificially carbonate, allowing the brewer to control the CO2 volume and completing carbonation in a fraction of the time as natural.

Lagering and FermentationStainless steel conducts cold well, enabling low temperatures to be maintained.  An airlock can be installed in place of the pressure release valve.  As the beer is already packaged, it is ready to serve at the end of conditioning.

The benefits of corny kegs are worth considering for packaging and serving your homebrew.

 

The post A “CORNY” IDEA THAT MAKES SENSE — KEGS appeared first on Homebrew Academy.

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