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Blogging

A blog is often a mixture of what is happening in a person’s life and what is happening on the Web, a kind of hybrid diary/guide site, although there are as many unique types of blogs as there are people.People maintained blogs long before the term was coined, but the trend gained momentum with the introduction of automated published systems, most notably Blogger at blogger.com. Thousands of people use services such as Blogger to simplify and accelerate the publishing process.

This blogging assignment has really shown me what blogging really is. Before this assignment I was unclear what it was and how it was done. Blogging is a great way to communicate with the rest of the blogging world. You inform millions of people of any topic of your choice. The things that flellow bloggers blog about can be very entertaining and intresting. There is definatley multiple blogs that satisfy any user. For this assignment I did enjoy the weekly blogs just to get a feel for the blogging world, although it is probably not something that I would do on my own time.

Whether you are blogging about a topic of intrest, you daily life, or just a specific event that one has taken part of, blogging lets the user express their opinions about a certain topic. I feel that blogging is a great way to communicate to other people of common intrest. Blogging is a very useful form of communication. Although it is different then email, text, facebook, etc. it is a great way to interact with people that you do not know often times and share your feelings and opinions. It is always a way for one to say or tell what they really feel without people knowing who you are specifically. With this being said blogging can also seem like a credible source but in reality you are not capable of telling whether it is or isn’t. Blogging is good for recreational use but as far as gathering information and facts for something it is not that best thing to use.

Bushmills Irish Whiskey

Every bottle of Bushmills begins life with malted barley grains, using an un-peated malted barley which means its dried with hot air rather than over a peat fire. This is why the whiskey is free of a smokey flavor you sometimes find in other whiskeys. The grains are grinded to a course flour or “grist”. That is then mixed with hot water in a large mixing vessel, or a mash tun, to produce a sweet liquid to produce a sweet liquid called “wort”. The sugars in the wort are essential in obtaining alcohol in the next stage.

Yeast is added to the sweet, malty liquid, which triggers alcohoicl fermentation. Thats when the worts sugars turn into alcohol. Fermentaion takes place in washbacks, the large fementation vessels, and produces an alcoholic liquid simila to the malty ale called “wash”, with a strength of around 8% alcohol by volume.  The next stage is where the whiskey obtains its first spirit. It is one of the most delicate operations in the process, bringing the wash to the boil to seperate alcohol and othe flavors from the water. Traditionally this happens in copper pot stills whose size and shape influence the character of the whiskey. Bushmills is triple distilled, which is typical of Irish whiskey. The new made spirit needs to mature in oak casks for at least 3 years.

Maturation in oak casks in critical to the Bushmills taste. A poor cask will turn a good spirit into a below average whiskey. Bushmills uses Spanish Sherry casks. After waiting 5, 10, 0r even 15 years the whiskey is still not ready. Perfect blending is need to create the perfect recipe for each whiskey. The blending stage involves combining different casks of whiskey to find consistent flavor. Different casks of malt whiskey are blended to find the right flavor, while malt and grain spirits are mixed for a blended whiskey. Bushmills makes both blends and malts which is unusual for a single distillery.

 All stages of the whiskey making process are carried out at the Old Bushmills Distillery. This includes the final stage of bottling. Bushmills is the only “grain to glass” distillery in Ireland and one of a handful in the world. This ensures unique quaility control and attention to the finest detail in every drop.

Government Closure

Over the past week the US government has been trying to come to a conclusion about how much budget cost they are going to make for the 2011- 2012 fiscal year. Republican leaders in the House and Democratic leaders in the Senate have been working toward a budget cut of $33 billion, but House Speaker John Boehner is seeking to cut as much as $40 billion. Without an agreement our government is at risk of closure. Many of the most immediate effects of a shutdown would be felt in Washington, where the Smithsonian museums and other tourist sites would close, keeping as many as 500,000 visitors locked out of the city’s main attractions. If the impasse continues until Monday, a slew of other services would be halted, including the processing of tax refunds.

In the event of a shutdown, the federal government does not actually stop functioning entirely: activities and employees deemed “essential” to keeping the nation safe and operational continue to perform. Congress, along with President Obama, presidential appointees and specific judicial employees, are deemed “essential” and not subject to furlough. Even those excepted federal employees, however, do not get paid until after the government resumes operations. According to a senior administration official who spoke to reporters in a Wednesday conference call, about 800,000 employees were affected by the shutdown in the government shutdown of 1995 – and a similar number of workers would likely be impacted were the government to close this week.

Government services

 Social Security: Social Security recipients would be largely unaffected by a shutdown, according to the administration official. Checks for seniors, those with disabilities, and survivors would go out as usual. But Social Security Administration employees could face furloughs, but the agency is still finalizing its plan.

  •  Homeland Security: Critical functions, like border control, would continue.
  • Mail delivery: The U.S. Postal Service is owned by the government but self-funded – so operations would continue uninterrupted.
  • Air traffic control: As a function of maintaining public safety, Air traffic control would be exempt from a shutdown.
  • Food inspection: Meat and poultry testing would likely continue, in accordance with federal mandates that those activities deemed “essential to ensure continued public health or safety” continue.
  • National parks and monuments: As the New York Times puts it, “The National Zoo would close, but the lions and tigers would get fed.” National parks and museums, including those on the National Mall, like the Smithsonian, would shut down – just in time for spring break.
  • Passport operations: All operations would be likely suspended, except for in cases of emergency.
  • International Revenue Services (IRS): The IRs would close, but the April tax deadline would stay in place – so Americans would still have to pay their taxes on time. But according to the senior administration official, the processing of paper tax returns (which accounts for about 30 percent of all returns) would be suspended – as would refunds associated with those returns.
  •  The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA, which is dedicated to supporting small businesses, would suspend approval of applications for business loan guarantees, as well as direct loans to small businesses.
  • The Federal Housing Association (FHA): The FHA would be forced to suspend approvals for new loan guarantees during peak home-buying season, according to the administration official.
  • Medicare: According to the administration official, Medicare is funded for the short-term – and would likely remain unaffected unless the government were to remain closed for a period of months or more. NIH, however, will not be able to accept new patients or begin new clinical trial.

Whether or or not this actually occurs this is a serious problem. Not only for all the people who could possibly be without pay but its a sign that our government is not where it needs to be. When a government is not on the same page over such a serious topic as this then we have no place to be helping other countries stablize their government when ours isnt stable itself.

An Irish Twist

      Jameson is a Single distillery Irish whiskey produced by a division of the French distiller Pernod Ricard. Jameson is similar in its adherence to the single distillery principle to the single malt tradition, but Jameson combines malted barley with unmalted or “green” barley. The most famous component within Jameson is the “Pure Pot Still” distilling tradition. When John Jameson, a Scottish businessman, acquired the Bow Street Distillery in 1780, it was producing about 30,000 gallons annually. By the turn of the 19th century, it was the second largest producer in Ireland and one of the largest in the world, producing 1,000,000 gallons annually. Dublin at the time was the epicentre of world whiskey production. It was the second most popular spirit in the world after rum, and internationally Jameson had, by 1805, become the world’s number one whiskey. Today, Jameson is the third largest Single Distillery Whiskey in the world.

 

Jameson Irish whiskey is produced from a mixture of malted and unmalted or “green” Irish barley, all sourced from within a fifty mile radius around the distillery in Cork. The barley is dried in a closed kiln fired by clean-burning anthracite coal to preserve its flavor. Like most Irish whiskey, Jameson is triple distilled for optimum smoothness. The philosophy is balance, ensuring that no one flavor element overpowers another. The end result is a sweet tasting whiskey. By the early 19th century, the distillery was producing one million gallons of whiskey per year and had grown to be the largest in the world. The production has now moved to the Midleton distillery and the Bow Street site is currently a museum and visitors center. Jameson is made following the original 1780 recipe that uses malted barley combined with unmalted barley and other grains. It is distilled three times in copper pot stills to create its famous smoothness and flavour. Jameson sells 30 million bottles a year around the world, making it by far the best selling Irish whiskey.

 

Jameson Comes in a variety of brands:

  • Jameson Original
  • Jameson 12 Year Old Special Reserve
  • Jameson Gold Reserve
  • Jameson 18 Year Old Limited Reserve
  • Jameson Rarest Vintage Reserve
  • Jameson Signature Reserve
  • Jameson Crested 10 Year Old

 

 

 

 

A Devastating Blow

As we all know a couple of weeks ago Japan was devastated by a massive tsunami, that was triggered by an even bigger earthquake. Cars, ships and even buildings being swept away in the Fukushima prefecture, after the 8.9 magnitude earthquake. The quake struck about 250 miles from Tokyo at a depth of 20 miles, shaking buildings in the capital for several minutes. A state of emergency has been declared at a nuclear power plant, where pressure has exceeded normal levels. Officials say 350 people are dead and about 500 missing, but it is feared the final death toll will be much higher. In one ward alone in Sendai, a port city in Miyagi prefecture, 200 to 300 bodies were found. In the center of Tokyo many people are spending the night in their offices. But thousands, perhaps millions, chose to walk home. Train services were suspended.

Even after the most violent earthquake anyone could remember the crowds were orderly and calm. The devastation is further to the north, along the Pacific coast. There a tsunami triggered by the quake reached six miles inland in places carrying houses, buildings, boats and cars with it. Outside the city in a built-up area a fire blazed across several kilometers. Japan’s ground self-defence forces have been deployed, and the government has asked the US military based in the country for help. The scale of destruction from the biggest quake ever recorded in Japan will become clear only at first light. The quake was the fifth-largest in the world since 1900 and nearly 8,000 times stronger than the one which devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, last month, said scientists. Thousands of people living near the Fukushima nuclear power plant have been ordered to evacuate. Japanese nuclear officials said pressure inside a boiling water reactor at the plant was running much higher than normal after the cooling system failed. Officials said they might need to deliberately release some radioactive steam to relieve pressure, but that there would be no health risk.

After seeing the catastrophic damage done I think it is safe to say that it is unethical to shift focus from one of the biggest earthquakes in history to talk about saftey of nuclear plants. Many lives have been lost and even more have been ruined. There is no telling how long it will take Japan to rebuild from all this. I believe that a natural disaster is one of the worst things that can happen to a country because it is 100% unpreventable.

Crown Royal is a blended Canadian whiskey , 40% alcohol by volume, 80 proof. The brand is currently owned by Diageo, who purchased it when the Seagram portfolio was dissolved in the year 2000. It is the top-selling Canadian whisky in the United States. The name came about when King George VI underwent a deeply painful root canal. He asked his wife Queen Elizabeth to find him an elixir to sooth his recently replaced crown. The queen then asked the president of Seagram company to make a quality elixir to be packaged in a crown-shaped bottle and dressed in a distinctive royal purple bag to be presented to the king. Like the packaging, the name chosen for the product was intended to reflect the quality of the spirit and as a play on words for its original intended use, a marketing concept that quickly caught consumer attention. It was available only in Canada until 1964.

Crown Royal is produced in one location, at the Crown Royal Distillery at Gimli, in Manitoba, Canada. Daily production of Crown Royal uses 10,000 bushels of grain and requires 900,000 gallons of water. The whisky produced at the Manitoba distillery is stored in 2 million barrels, stored in 46 warehouses, on over 5 acres of land. The whiskey is then blended and bottled in Amherstburg, Ontario.

Crown Royal comes in 5 different types:

Original– Crown Royal is a masterful blend of smoke, spice, oak, and a delightful hint of cherry. This sophisticated symphony of palate-pleasing taste make Crown Royal the finest whisky on the market.

                                         

 Black– the drink consists of a higher alcohol content (90 proof) as well as a darker, thicker liquid, while still retaining smoothness. This new variation is, on average, $5 more than the signature Crown Royal.

                                                               Reserve– This whiskey is aged for a longer period than the original.

Cask No. 16– It is made from over fifty blended and individually aged whiskies in 12 year old cognac barrels. These barrels are made of oak from the Limousin forest in France. The whiskies are designed to have a cognac type of finish with notes of rye, grain, and fruit.

XR (Extra Rare)– This limited-release special blend of Crown Royal is sold in numbered bottles, and is made from the last batch of whiskey distilled at the Waterloo distillery.

As we have all been watching the news lately we have seen that the African country of Libya is in a great deal of turmoil. This has been going on for sometime now, although recently it has gotten worse. Amnesty International said about 30 people have reportedly been killed in the “ongoing unrest which began early last month.” The head of interim government is eastern Libya has issued a no-fly zone over Libya. The country of Libya is turning to internation communities to help them stop the turmoil before more bloodshed occurs.

Murammar el-Quaddafi, that nations dictative monarch has had power for 42 years, since he was only 27 years of age. Colonel Qaddafi has also built a persona, in particular as a revolutionary still tilting at distant colonial powers, that in some ways resonates with Libyans who remember their bitter experiences under Italian rule. His personal mythology has helped him stay on top of a fractious, tribal and deeply divided society for longer than any other living leader in North Africa or the Middle East. It is hard to know what combination of fear, opportunism and sincere adoration drives supporters to attend the Qaddafi rallies that have erupted across Tripoli — the manic crowds chanting “God and Muammar and Libya, enough.” But the cult of Qaddafi began to take shape in 1975, just six years after the bloodless coup that brought him to power, when he published the Green Book, a grandiose and quasi-coherent work of a Stalin who aspired to become a Marx.

The main question being raised in America is how should we get involved, militaristic or diplomatic. My opionion is that we do need to help the deteriorating country of Libya but only to some degree. Throughout the world often time then not when a country is in trouble they count on us to save them and make it all better. I believe that America gets caught in the trap way too much. We have our on problems in the US that need to be solved first. I feel that we overlook our country and see it as perfect instead of trying to help the millions of people who are homeless, unemployed, or even just the crime in America. As one of the top powers in the world it is our duty to help but we can’t get caught so much in other countries. We need to make it a stable place to live and get out. I think America tries to be superman more than needed.

Knob Creek is a Kentucky bourban whiskey that is aged nine years to perfection. Althought it is not the top selling whiskey, it is the top selling bourban whiskey in the world. It is bottled at 100 proof, which is higher than the standard 80 proof that is the minimum required by the US. It is sold in a rectangular bottle with a corked and wax-sealed top. The bourbon itself has a dark, golden-brown color. The flavor is fairly distinct due to its light sweetness. According to the company, this is due to the long aging process, during which it absorbs more sugar than usual. It is aged near the center of the rackhouse due to the warmer temperatures there, which are claimed to produce a higher quality bourbon.

I am a current active in the fraternity Tau Kappa Epsilon. As a pledge we choose big bros to help us through the semester. Each family has there own bottle of alcohol and I was lucky enough to be in the family with Knob Creek. Although I not remember much of the night, I do recall the quality of this whiskey. It does have a very rich, sweet taste. It contains 50 percent alcohol, so therefore it kicks you in the face even with just the slightest waft. I had never tried this type of whiskey until i was given it by my big bro, but since then I have drinken it a few other time. The reason for its such sweet taste is because the extra aging of nine years allows it to absorb more of the sugar in the wood.

Lighter bourbon usually means less aging, which translates into a less complex bourbon with a lower alcohol content. Knob Creek is more sophisticated. It’s a darker bourbon, with higher alcohol content. This means Knob Creek isn’t the bourbon you usually first start with, but where you end up, after your palate has matured. Kudos if you did start with Knob Creek-you are well ahead of the curve. Knob Creek can often get the best of its drinkers because it is a stronger alochol. I was unaware of the alcohol content in it, because of this for some reason I thought I could drink it like water.  This infact, is exactly why it got the best of me last semester. For those who drink whiskey I would strongly suggest that you try Knob Creek, but do take it easy at first. Unless your the kind that like to wake up in a random house on the couch with three guys standing around you…

Borders Downsizing

Borders book stores have been on the decline for years now. My aunt who was manager at a Borders book store in Florida lost her job about 3 years ago due to the closing of her store. Since then the company has done nothing to improve its business. They have recently taken a $505 million loan from GE capital to fund its operations while in bankruptcy. Since 2005 they have closed nearly 1,000 stores because they cannot afford to keep them running.
 
 
With Borders trying to emerge with new focus on e-books and non-book products, I believe they are only hurting themselves by doing this. They are primarily a book store and with them trying to focus on something other than books is the wrong way to deal with this in my opinion. The operator of Borders has blamed the closing of stores on lower consumer spending and fierce competition. To become more successful developing a better online service is a huge priority in my opinion. Many shoppers today prefer to do so online. It is much more convenient to consumers to be able to do all shopping online. Many online businesses even offer cheaper sales and more discounts if ordered online.
Borders is second in revenue to Barnes and Noble, they have also been destroyed by internet-only retailers such as Amazon who has the electronic book “kindle”. The bankruptcy will only benifit other companys such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble from former Borders customers who no longer have a local store to go to.
With multiple large companies choosing to downsize due to inability to maintain revenue it is an obvious sign that our economy is not where it needs to be. Although it has showed signs of getting back to where we need to be its still not there. With the clsoing of major retail stores it shows that many customers are not buying products like they use to. Many consumers have turned to online shopping because of the significant price difference from online and in-store. As  soon as our economy get to where jobs are more plentiful and consumers are not as paranoid with spending money then large corporations should see a rise in sales. Hopefully this happens sooner than later and before more stores closes and more people lose their jobs. The only thing gained from this happening is the increased profit for online services. To me that is not worth the thousands of people who have lost thier jobs due to this problem.
Jack Daniels is a Tennessee whiskey. Jack Daniels uses a different process by  Charcoal Mellowing their whiskey drop by drop, then letting it age in thier own handcrafted barrels. Unlike many other whiskeys Jack Daniels does not have a certain amount of time it matures. Jack Daniels Tennessee Sippin’ Whiskey is ready only when tasters say it is. Instead of using a calender they use their senses, just like Jack Daniel himself did. In fact, more than a century later, the Tennessee Whiskey is still judged the same way. By the way it looks. By the way it smells. And of course, by the way it tastes.
 

Jack Daniel believed “Every day we make it, we’ll make it the best we can.” For      him, that meant mellowing his whiskey drop by drop through ten feet of sugar  maple charcoal.
Experience determines maturity. It’s what a whiskey experiences while inside the barrel and not simply how long it’s been there that gives it the rich color, character, and taste that we call mature. Mellowing whiskey through ten feet of sugar maple charcoal and placement in the barrelhouse—each contributes to how Jack Daniels whiskey matures. Age by itself isn’t a reliable measure of a whiskey’s quality and character.
The typical grain mixture for bourbon, known as the mash bill, is 70% corn  with the remainder being wheat and/or rye, and malted barley. The use of a mash bill that contains a relatively large percentage of wheat produces what is known as a wheated bourbon. The grain is ground and mixed with water. Usually, though not always, mash from a previous distillation is added to ensure a consistent pH across batches and a mash produced in that manner is referred to as a sour mash. Finally, yeast is added and the mash is fermented. The fermented mash, which is referred to as the wash, is then distilled to typically between 65% and 80% alcohol. Distillation was historically performed using an alembic or pot still, although in modern production, the use of a continuous still is much more common.
       Jack Daniels gives us many memorable night and even more night we can’t remember. No matter the situation or the occassion there is never a better choice than bringing everybodys best friend with you, good
                                                                                        ole Jack Daniels.