Most recent update:3/1/2004; 6:10:28 AM

 Thursday, February 12, 2004

CHATTER: Since Antiquity ...

A couple of items in the same mail run (my ISP seems to have had problems today, so I've got a big dump of stuff to wade through) ... first, from the Daily News (South Africa):

Contaminated food and water have been known to be sources of illness in human societies since antiquity.

Then ... the Daily Tar Heel:

Since antiquity, drinking games have been as omnipresent and varied as the cultures that have played them.

Gee ... do you think there's a connection?

8:29:51 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: For Your Next Departmental Meeting

Why does Washington State always seem to have the good beer (I was weaned on Ranier brewed for the Alberta market)? The Anchorage Press has an interesting report on assorted brews which obviously need to be ordered for your next Classics function:

If I step away from Christian beliefs for a moment, I can imagine an afterlife that includes cherished worldly effects, which for me would include beer. In Greek mythology, if I were noble or heroic, I might expect respite in Elysium, the beautiful fields where those favored by Zeus realize dreams unfulfilled as mortals. The Elysian Fields were well described in the Aeneid, but my vision includes not chariot maintenance and semi-clad goddesses, but free-flowing taps, oceans of brew and the lingering scent of hops - my reward for earthly deeds. 

In 1996, a brewpub opened on Seattle's Capitol Hill featuring fine ales and lagers, each named with a blissful afterlife in mind. Elysian Brewery and Public House offers the likes of Elysian Fields Pale Ale, Zephyrus Pilsner and Pandora's Bock, to name a few. At this year's Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival, we were lucky to sample Elysian's Cyclops Barleywine, a coveted winter specialty that's well received here and across the Pacific Northwest, where the brewery markets its products. Three other Elysian deities showed up, including The Wise Extra Special Bitter, The Immortal India Pale Ale and Perseus Porter. The good news for us mortals is that those three are here to stay.


The Wise Extra Special Bitter is the softest of the three beers you'll find in town. Honoring the goddess Athena, it's fittingly pretty, but hardly delicate. Shorn with a copper-red hue and crystal clear when held to the heavens, she rocks up to a thin white head, and fruit, citrus and a tinge of pine wafts off the top to entice the senses. An initial sharp bitterness brings you down to earth in the first sip, and caramel, biscuit and chocolate notes in a big, nutty, malty beer with medium body and ample carbonation. With a 6.2-percent alcohol content, Athena's easily in command of Wise Extra Special.

The Immortal IPA is a well-balanced tribute to life beyond our earthy trappings. The bitterness lingers long after the swallow. Immortal is the lightest in color, pouring golden amber below a dense, tannish head. Big malts support copious additions of fresh, aromatic hops that drift off the top even before the taste. The hop character seems to build as the palate adjusts to the onslaught of the beer's complexity, but the internal warriors don't fight with each other in this 6.2-percent brew. Compared to other Pacific Northwest examples of IPA styles, I find the Immortal's balance godlike.

Perseus Porter reflects the brooding half-god's penchant for revenge and victory. It must be the smoldering mythological battle fires that add the smoky tinge to this deep, dark beer's overall chocolaty aroma. Roasted malts highlight this complex, almost black beer, and the hops are somewhat citrusy, yet remain well masked by the beer's stronger malt and roasted character. Perseus Porter's would be a fitting reward after a day of slaying whatever dragons you face in your earthy endeavors. With a 5.3-percent alcohol content, you won't get slain if you have more than one. [more]

Almost makes you want to have a road trip ...

8:23:52 PM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

come on ... post!

5:38:06 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


pridie idus februarias

  • 11 B.C. -- the future emperor Tiberius marries Julia, daughter
    of Augustus -- it wasn't to be a happy marriage ...

5:36:01 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

these a.m. posting problems are getting annoying ...
5:23:35 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

CHATTER: That Figures

A meandering piece in the Scotsman about Valentinesish suggestions mentions:

Detailed research would probably prove that anything long, firm and edible or red, fleshy and edible had been used as an aphrodisiac in some culture or tradition at some time. Figs were said to be Cleopatra’s favourite fruit and the ancient Greeks celebrated their fig harvest with a ritual of vigorous copulation.

I'm trying to think of what "ritual" this might be referring to ...

4:59:23 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

AWOTV: On TV Today

7.00 p.m. |DCIVC| The Seven Wonders of the World: Ghosts of Wonder

9.00 p.m. |HINT| Foot Soldier: The Barbarians
Profile of the savage fighters who surrounded and then conquered
ancient Rome, ushering in the Dark Ages. Hosted by Richard Karn.

DCIVC =  Discovery Civilization (Canada)

HINT = History International

4:26:31 AM    Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.

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