More on beer or coffee (forget the tea)

One prized Christmas gift was the John Adams (HBO Miniseries) from David McCullough’s book. Adams had a bulldog’s pursuit of liberty. Such thinking was shaped in part by the Age of Reason or Age of Enlightenment.

And, coffee played a role in the Age of Enlightenment. Steven Johnson in his book, The Invention of Air , discusses the coffeehouse culture that thrived during the Age of Enlightenment. Coffee replaced beer as the daytime drink of choice. Else, he says, “the entire culture basically was drunk all day long.” As a result, he says “the coffee house was a great hub of Enlightenment-era culture.” has an enlightening presentation by Johnson here.

Coffee, tea or beer

C.S. Lewis wrote of his daily routine in Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life.

I would choose always to breakfast at exactly eight and to be at my desk by nine, there to read or write till one. If a cup of good tea or coffee could be brought me about eleven, so much the better. A step or so out of doors for a pint of beer would not do quite so well; for a man does not want to drink alone and if you meet a friend in the taproom the break is likely to be extended beyond its ten minutes.

Daily Routines is an engaging site bringing us “How writers, artists, and other interesting people organize their days.” Much more lies behind Daily Routines.

Mystery bookstore


I love the play here. Wish the originating website had more information on where is the bookstore and who was the photographer. Miami, maybe? Or a place where one would want otherwise to be in Miami?


When you were a child, did you ever hold a secret like a swift gulp of air waiting and waiting just to exhale? Is anything more agonizing to hold than a secret?

The Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff may be familiar but I ran across it and it brings a pet peeve to mind:


One issue we’ve been debating at Conscious Cup Coffee is whether to continue to offer bottled water. We’ve had reasoned arguments on both sides. Those who favor retention point to stories about drug levels in muncipal water supplies. I’m unsure whether bottled water resolves that issue because, to the best of my knowledge, drug levels aren’t tested for bottled water.

My biggest concern, other than sourcing locally, is the waste stream. Opportunities to recycle outside of the home are minimal. Walk through the commercial districts in our area and not one recycling bin can be easily found.

A couple of facts from Green Upgrader:

90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself
80% of plastic bottles are not recycled

What will motivate people to recycle their bottle waste? California is seeing some success in increased recycling because the state demands a deposit on the bottles. Is money the motivation? (This reminds me of days trolling the boatyard near our home along the Ottawa River picking up bottles to reclaim the deposit and buy baseball cards.)

I just dug out my bph-free water bottle and stainless coffee to-go cup. We offer a discount at the cafe to those who bring in reusable drink bottles. Iced water is available free from a lovely, red urn.

Next step with my Chamber of Commerce is to promote use of recycling bins in the fronts of stores alongside the trash cans. I just bought one for the cafe.

Divine Rationalizations

“I distrust those people who know so well what God wants because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”

Susan B Anthony

In The Travelers Gift, author Andy Andrews writes that Lincoln worried instead whether he was on God’s side — a more demanding, challenging and fruitful position.

An argumentative list

The Independent touts the following 50 Greatest Visionaries. Among them:

Martin Luther King 1929-1968


“I have a dream,” he declared to a vast crowd at Washington’s Lincoln Memorial on 28 August 1963. The dream was that Americans could be Americans, regardless of skin colour. The FBI stalked him as if he were a communist, and a white racist killed him but, 40 years later, the Barack Obama story is bringing King’s vision closer to reality.

The Independent’s list is quick, as a newspaper does, and engaging. A great reading list? Who do you think is missing?


You’ve got to like a person like Ron McClamrock, Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. He shows shortcuts through the thickets like:

Kant’s Ethics: The Short Version

  • How would you like it if everybody did that?
  • If you do something because you’re a dick, but then it works out okay anyway, you’re still a dick.


If it is indeed too easy to be social, then David Tveite offers advice on avoiding assholes on Facebook.

Do they have one or more lines from John Lennon’s “Imagine” in their quotes section?
That song sucks ass. There, I said it. Okay, it’s catchy and has a positive message and whatever, but I can’t possibly be the only person on the planet who thinks the lyrics sound like the sentiments of a ninth grader who just tried pot for the first time. (More)

Perhaps the link to Philosophically Beatles needs rethinking.