Corporate coffee

Pretty funny corporate dig at elite coffee culture. It’s just a shame that Macca’s coffee is often not so hot, precisely because it’s too hot.

So much of what they do is actually alright. If McDonalds was serious about coffee they’d have properly trained people, not machines turning out their coffee. 

What Maccas do right:

1. The beans are “rainforest alliance” – which is a much better form of fair trade.

2. They grind on consumption – unlike some “cafes”.

3. They turn over beans pretty quickly which means they’re unlikely to be stale.

4. Superauto machines turn out a consistent product.

Point 4 is positive and negative. Superautos produce a product below the quality of hand crafted coffee. A barista finetuning the grind to meet the conditions will produce a better coffee every time. Maccas mass produced approach will also fall short of the quality a cafe using freshly roasted (in house) beans will produce. But it is consistent. Unfortunately the only inconsistency is caused by their high school aged coffee producers (they’re not baristas). Coffee extraction occurs at the push of a button. But the frothing is still manual. And too often the McCafe-ers are guilty of frothing the milk to the boiling point of water (milk boils and loses its pleasant flavour at about 65 degrees).

If you can find a McCafe that doesn’t burn the milk you’ve got it made now that McDonalds has introduced free wireless nation wide.


The best bits – January 31, 2009

Here's what has excited me from the blogosphere today.



It seems like just last week I was telling my dad that someone should create an Obama hope poster effect creator. And you know what. They have. Here.

Mind your own beeswax

Tim suggested I write about a link between candles and climate change. I can do better than that.

Every year, at around this time, climate change hippies call on us to cut down on carbon consumption by switching off our lights. Unfortunately, this is largely counter productive. As it encourages the use of candles. Everybody knows candles are only to be used for the following reasons:

a) Electrical emergencies
b) birthday cakes
c) romantic dinners
d) to light fuses of things you’re going to blow up
e) religious ceremonies if you’re a Catholic or High Anglican.

Any other reason, say aesthetics, or salving your crushed eco-conscience is right out. Earth Hour is a PR stunt. It doesn’t actually do anything. I don’t know Jennifer Mahoney – I don’t know what her qualifications are. But she’s a primary source whose findings match nicely with the objectives of this post – so I’ll share these quotes from her less than objective site and a post on earth hour.

“[the first] Earth Hour was held during a time of peak electrical load, so any electricity generation displaced would be peak load, probably running on natural gas. Such generation produces about 500 grams of CO2 for every kilowatt-hour.”


“So turning a 100 watt light bulb off for an hour saves 50 grams of CO2, or 13 grams of carbon. A candle is mostly carbon by weight, and candle wax is only moderately less dense than water at room temperature. This means that burning just 5 cm of a typical 2 cm diameter candle will produce more CO2 than running the 100 watt light bulb for an hour. If the light that was turned off is fluorescent, then even less candle can be burned if there’s to be a net reduction in CO2.”

Double whoops. Candles are not only moderately effeminate – they’re also bad for the environment.

I’ve written a little about Colony Collapse Disorder and the impending doom of the US Ice Cream industry.

 Climate Change is killing bees. All over the world Queen bees are left to their own devices. They can’t save themselves. The finely balanced eco-system is on the brink of decay. Seriously.

 Colony Collapse Disorder could well be climate change’s most significant impact. You think the global financial crisis that was caused by the sub prime mortgage collapse is a bad thing? That collapse has nothing on colony collapse. Do you have any idea the staggering number of US products made with honey as an ingredient? Millions. Literally. Ok, I made that up. But there’d be a lot. Whole product lines will have to close down. Hokey Pokey Ice-cream… popular breakfast cereals… not to mention honey jumbles… this is a big deal.

But you know what else is under threat. We’ve covered the economy, the world’s bee population, the breakfasts of champions… but wait, there’s more. Candles. Genuine beeswax candles will be a thing of the past. And WE’RE BURNING THEM. Well not me. I wouldn’t (except for the aforementioned acceptable reasons). I’m straight. I’m not a candle kind of guy. But YOU are burning them. You know who you are. And not only are you killing the environment – you’re adding to the relative scarcity of wax products and driving up prices.

If bees die out wax will become a much sought after commodity. Prices will skyrocket. How then will Maddam Tussauds produce their ecclectic range of affordable wax based entertainment? You are burning the chances of future British Royals to bee(sic) immortalised in wax. What would Kate Middleton say? Other than “stop burning those candles”. Heathen.

So what should we be doing with candles you ask? Since we can only light them on particular occasions for specific reasons. Good question. Bank them. Wait for the stupidity of others to create a candle currency – a trade in what will soon be earth’s most valuable commodity. Victoria Beckham will thank you when Maddam Tussauds are able to incorporate her new hair extensions into her waxy self. 

Wax banks could be hives of activity. Alternatively you could put your candles in a cupboard and mind your own beeswax. Still you don’t want to be court in a bee sting – or in some honey pot of wax corruption so perhaps it’s just best for you to steer clear of candles altogether. Leave them to misguided hippies and go about your daily business.

No comment

Dear Readers,

I don’t like to beg. Really. It is so unbecoming. Desperate even.

I’m getting more visitors than ever before to this blog. And less comments. 

Why don’t you comment? Don’t you love me? Am I boring you?

It’s really not that hard to comment. Is it? You don’t even have to have anything useful to say. Is it because I used to insult commenters I disagreed with? I’m a changed man. Promise. Try me. 

I do get a lot of comments from people trying to sell Xanax and viagra. But that’s no good for the self esteem.

It makes me sad. 

Is there a topic that would evoke more comments? Something that would generate a “buzz” or some controversy maybe?

That’s enough grovelling for now. And pandering. Don’t make me use my sad eyes.


The best bits – January 30, 2009

Here's what has excited me from the blogosphere today.


Hit for headline writers

There’s a set formula for writing hackneyed cricket headlines that goes as follows:

“{Subject} hits {players name} for {six} or {actual figure based on the story}.”

You can alternate that with a passive voice format for variety. But very rarely should you ever leave that trusty formula completely. Unless you want to be interesting and engaging.

Case in point: CA hits Symonds for $4000

Ok, so I may be exaggerating- the SMH to its credit doesn’t have a whole lot of those. At the moment. But it’s such cliched headline writing.


I’m a long time fan of David Letterman’s Late Show – back in my single, uni days when I was a nightowl I’d often tune in for his acerbic, incredibly dry take on the preceding day’s events – Australia gets his stuff a day behind.

The Huffington Post has a page of Letterman highlights – and they’ve just posted a link to Cracked’s “nine most awkward Letterman moments” where Letterman demonstrates an obvious disdane for several of his guests. It’s a mark of his power and influence that these guests will appear on his show probably knowing they’re about to be relentlessly mocked.

Here’s Letterman with Paris Hilton – just after her release from prison. Which according to Letterman might be here legacy. It’s painfully good.


The best bits – January 29, 2009

Here's what has excited me from the blogosphere today.

Crystal clear pool

Speaking of beautifully designed things… Gizmodo just posted a link to this Aussie designed glass pool table – complete with a special surface that emulates the friction and movement of felt. The privilege of having this bad boy in your living room will cost you a cool $38,000 or thereabouts. But hey, Plasma televisions cost that much back in the day – and look at them now.


From the desk of: other people

One of the things I really enjoy about blogs is being able to draw on the collective wisdom of people trailblazing a path that we plan to head down in the not too distant future. At the moment I’m enjoying a bunch of blogs from students currently studying at theological college.

I’ve subscribed to for quite a while because Dan (who doesn’t blog enough) kept sharing really interestng posts from it via google reader. I like it’s style – that is to say I really like Ben’s style. He’s got a great post at the moment full of tip for people embarking on theological study. It’s well worth a read. One of the sad things about using a RSS reader to get all your content is that you lose the really nice design work people have done on their blogs.

Another absolutely superb design (it really is stunning and functional) – matched by great content and the longest,  most philosophically deep “about me” page I’ve ever read – can be found at Dan Anderson’s papermind – I know Dan in real life (or IRL for you internet people). He’s a top bloke and is currently considering the purpose of studying  philosophy while studying theology. The discussion is written in a style somewhat representative of Sophie’s Word – although the protagonists are a pair of slightly distracted philosophers. Worth a look thus far. Dan was also kind enough to add my blog to his blog roll so I’m responding in kind with this little plug. Did I mention that I really like his design? I do. WordPress is aesthetically quite pleasing.