Should Walmart be selling worthless shoes?

Interesting video here:

Most people would say, “hey, what do you expect for such a low price?” But that’s just the thing–Walmart consumes resources and sells junk–real, literal junk–to people that just can’t afford to spend that much money, leaving them once they’ve realized they’ve wasted their money, fooled by Walmart yet again.

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Walmart – “Nuke it from Orbit” approach to Unionizing stores

Reuter’s has the story of how Warmart, or Walmart, would rather cut its own hand off than see even an inkling of fair wages for workers. You read it in Supercenter first, folks. That is a fictional account of how this has been Walmart’s M.O. for quite some time now.




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Internet goes crazy over colorblind dress. Picard tortured to reveal true colors.

Cardassians, amirite?

I made this thing.

Visit youtube to see my latest project – Elements of Science Fiction, the Video series destined to be targeted for take down on warrant-less copyright claims!


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The Book of Eli Review & Deus Ex Machina focus

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Moon Review & Character study focus

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Snowpiercer Review & Allegory focus

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CFO steals $95,000 from employee vacation benefits at Wet Seal clothing company

It’s not aberrant behavior, it’s how you get ahead in business. This week, the chain clothing store “Wet Seal” surprised employees by shutting its doors immediately, after indicating to employees that such a move would not happen. This, according to signage left in the windows of these stores, left many with unpaid vacation and paid time off hours.

In an economic world where there are no consequences for senior managers and executives, of course this is going to be the case, where they can betray employees for their own financial benefit.

During the implosion over this last year, the Chief Financial Officer had his salary bumped by $95,000 when the company acknowledged it was already in freefall.

But that’s not fair! You may say that the CFO’s salary increase had nothing to do with the benefits lost by employees, and this is exactly the problem, this shell game of wealth destruction while top executives find ways to pay themselves.

And the business managers and executives get to just cross the street and draw additional six-figure salaries without any obligation or consequence to their employees. Let’s not forget that such vulture capitalism is celebrated enough in our society that the wealth obtained through such activity can launch a person to the Oval Office itself.

In today’s world, with value and resources becoming increasingly scarce, it is destruction, it is liquidation, it is the dismantling of value and productivity that our corporate masterminds cherish, and until government regulation holds them accountable to the American people, it is away from the American people that value and wealth will flow.

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Outdoor Propane Beer Brewing – All Grain System

I thought I’d share with my fellow homebrewing community the system by which I am able to brew 45 gallons of beer in a single batch. It begins with my 35 gallon mash tun, custom made, and capable of mashing 75 lbs. of grain. This eventually leads to three “keggle” style brew kettles boiling not more than 12 gallons each, but if a bit more concentrated that my target gravity, I’ll wind up adding Spring or Distilled water from the jugs you get at the grocery store (guaranteed sterile) to my 5 gallon Cornelius kegs at a ratio of usually 1:4 to drop my alcohol percentage. I find that adding during fermentation is uneccessary and low gravity beers are far more prone to contamination, due to less acidity as a ward against contamination.

Feel free to post any questions here or on the YouTube videos. I will be uploading more after my next brew session to cover some of the issues related to boiling and cooling.

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David Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” is a must-read

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Five Habits of the Highly Successful Homebrewer

I am often asked by the aspiring homebrewer what they can do differently, or what they can focus on in order to bring their craft brew to the next level. It’s well enough to take proper precautions with sanitization, but if you are still finding your beer ordinary, or too “driven by the kit”, here are some pointers to make your beer even better:

1. Take Notes. As much as we try to limit the number of variables that affect a beer, we can never predict exactly what may change, right or wrong, during the brewing and fermenting process. And on those rare occasions when you’ve captured lightning in a bottle, you want to be able to go back to your recipe notes and see an honest account of your process. Forgot to add those flavor hops at the last 20 minutes of the boil and added them at 10? You never know, that could be the thing that did it. Write it down. Barring that, amend your recipe to account for changes.

2. Mono Hop. We are awash in a sea of new hop strains. How to keep track? If you find a hop you really, really like, why not try making a very malt-neutral beer, something like Pale Malt, or even Pilsner Malt, a touch of crystal malt for color and mouthfeel, something like Crystal 20 or 30, and don’t even do a one-hour boil. Just go 40 minutes, let the flavor and aroma dominate. Play around with the timing of your additions, but favor the last 5-minutes and flame-out. This will give you a keen indication of what this hop really has to offer, and you’ll pick it out better in beers that have several hops. Even high Alpha Acid hops can have interesting flavor profiles, just be discreet with how long you boil them. A simple software recipe calculator will give you an indication of how bitter it will be, aim for around 20-30 IBU. It doesn’t have to be bitter to be flavorful. Wyeast 1056 or 2112 is a good pick for yeast.

This one time I got to put my beer and cider into cans. Awesomeness.

3. Side Boil. If you have burners that can boil, and if you have pots that hold liquid, you could fill your stove out with experimental variations on your primary brew. There is such a thing as too small (you have to taste these, after all, and at intervals during the conditioning process), so I recommend just a under a gallon, so that you can ferment in two growlers (I know you have a box full of these things), but be sure to get the right sized stopper, a #6, and don’t forget the airlock. Just make sure to follow rule 1—take notes on what’s going on! Cooling can be a hassle, but with a small size like this, an ice bath is easy enough, just never put glass in an ice bath, put the pots themselves in there. Because of the low commitment, this is a fun time to play around with exotic fruits and spices. As much as you loved that Habanera Ale, upon looking at a case of 56 bottles, regret will set in.

4. Taste Boldly. See what commercial micro brewers are doing, track down limited releases. Take time studying the flavors as you taste, is it the yeast that makes the beer? The malt? The strength? (It’s always the strength, but beyond that, what is it?). Often, you’ll get a good description of the recipe on the brewery’s website (or even the bottle!). If you trust them to do well, try out beers you would not ordinarily drink. Back in 2012, Elysian made a Beet (yes, the infernal tuber) Bock beer, and because it was Elysian, I had to try it. The beer was a total disgusting mess, but still.

5. Reverence for Classic Styles. It is fun to go off the map, and it is fun to brew for just one’s self. But it’s also helpful to calibrate you technique, your palette, and your brew system by brewing a beer according to classic style. This also helps orient you to the basic building blocks on which you can experiment and invent. This also helps remedy bad habits and certain ruts you might be stuck in without knowing it. For instance, it might turn out you really don’t love that Abbey Ale yeast in your IPA as much as you thought you did. No to mention, it’s a great reason to submit your beer into a competition and get feedback from judges who are considering it as a classic style. And if you really blow it, just never admit to having tried for a classic style in the first place. But seriously, keep aiming for a perfect example of a classic style and you might be amazed at your results. Some are obviously harder than others, you aren’t going to get a Light American Lager that tastes like Pabst Blue Ribbon, but you might just like what you make instead. My recommendation is 11B, Southern English Brown, to get started because you aren’t going to see that in the States very often.

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