Cup of Brown Joy – Elemental

May 9, 2008

Tea inspires some seriously strange sentiments at times, but seldom much stranger than this…

Are you being cheated on PPC advertising?

December 13, 2005

Another common stats question that comes up involves pay-per-click advertising (such as Google AdWords and Overture). Often, a PPC advertising system will show that it sent more traffic than your own statistics say you received.

Does this mean you’re being cheated? Maybe.

But maybe not.

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Surprise — Caffeine boosts brain activity

December 1, 2005

From the “well duh!” department this morning, this just in from a group of Austrian researchers…

Apparently functional magnetic resonance imaging scans performed on the brains of 15 subjects who had just consumed caffeine equal to that found in two cups of coffee, showed increased activity in the frontal lobe where the working memory is located, and in the anterior cingulum that controls attention.

Dr. Florian Koppelstatter of the Medical University Innsbruck says they were able to see from the scans that caffeine exerted increased neuronal activity in distinct parts of the brain along with changes in behaviour.

The study participants who were subjected to a 12-hour period without caffeine and a four-hour period without nicotine, another recognized stimulant found in cigarettes, were apparently better able to remember a sequence of letters after consuming 100 milligrams of caffeine, and their reaction times on short-term memory tests also improved.

After twelve hours without caffeine and four hours without a smoke break, I’m guessing that their crankiness level increased considerably more than their short term memory skills…

Civil Liberties Mugged

October 19, 2005

For those of you feeling a bit iffy about your civil liberties these days, Acorn has a set of “Disappearing Civil Liberties” mugs

Freedom of speech and the press — gone. Protection from unreasonable searches and seizures — vanished. Speedy and public trial — pfft. Pour in a hot beverage and watch the Bill of Rights disappear.

On the other hand, I suppose you can watch your rights come back as your coffee or tea cools…

Or use it to drink a nice chilled alcoholic beverage and have no more worries…

(via BoingBoing, who notes that much like the Bill of Rights, these mugs are much more fragile than they look)

Pamela Anderson owes it all to coffee

October 13, 2005

Just when I think I’ve heard everything, someone goes and sends me this.

Apparently in a recent interview for a British publication, Pamela Anderson mentioned that she owes her… Ummm… “Perky Breasts” to a steady intake of espresso and cappucino, and that she thinks that all other “anti-aging” products are worthless…

Honest, I don’t make this stuff up — details here.

National Coffee Ice Cream Day

September 6, 2005

According to Morning Coffee & Afternoon Tea, it’s National Coffee Ice Cream Day… Who knew?

They have links to a lot of recipes for making various coffee-enhanced ice creams. I’m sorely tempted to try some of them, except that I’m allergic to dairy — and it doesn’t help that coffee ice cream (especially with some chocolate) is one of my weaknesses…

Anyway, it all looks wonderful (particularly the Coffee Ice Cream Pie) — if you aren’t dairy-challenged, be sure to check it out!

Internet Teapot

April 9, 2005

So how do you track that an elderly person is okay, without invading their privacy? In Japan, at least some folks do it with teapots
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FCC denies states ability to force unbundling

April 3, 2005

Apparently the FCC isn’t going to allow states to force telcos to provide unbundled DSL—which means that they can continue along their merry way, forcing customers to buy voice services (and I suppose whatever else they want to require) in order to get DSL.

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Coffee and Mushrooms

March 31, 2005

INeedCoffee has a new (and lengthy) article on the Role of Fungi in Coffee Plantation Ecology.

It’s interesting and all, but I was expecting we’d learn some deep dark secret of how some exotic bean got its exotic flavor by some sort of symbiotic relationship with a psychotropic fungus of some kind… Instead it seems to pretty much say “a healthy coffee mountain will have lots of various fungi.”

Oh well… There’s always Tonx’s terrific Amanita Muscaria photoset to look at on Flickr while checking out his Latte Art…

I always wonder what coffee goes best with those…

Good Coffee & Crap Coffee

March 25, 2005

I’ve just been reading through the comments on Mark Prince’s “What the heck is wrong?” article over on CoffeeGeek. Mark compares the coffee industry to the wine industry, both in terms of market perception and how each of them treat consumers. There are some great pointed comments about how the consumer is treated in the comments as well.

There damn well should be. I piss and moan a bit about Starbucks coffee, but I still go there and frankly, as common as it is, it’s about as good as it gets for a lot of people. No surprise there. If people want to step up from robusta-in-a-can, then they can go buy old and crappy beans at most supermarkets, go to Starbucks, or an independant coffee house.

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