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March 24, 2015 at 10:10am

Why Adam? Why Odd Otter beer? Here's why: rally behind Team Knowing Stuff

Drink Odd Otter beer so Adam C. Boyd can ask why. Photo courtesy of Facebook

The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor in New Jersey once reached a temperature of 920 million degrees Fahrenheit. Hawaii gets four inches closer to Japan every year. Ants never sleep, and a decapitated cockroach can live for weeks. The cracks in breaking glass spread at up to 3,000 miles an hour. A shrimp's head contains its heart. At freeway speeds, a drive to the sun would take about 175 years. It would also end badly for the car. How do we know these things? Science. So why didn't you know these things? You attended an American public school.

We live in a time of widespread scientific illiteracy, even as our pockets, homes and automobiles are crammed with technology that'd make Isaac Newton's cranium explode with delight. Studies have shown that almost half of all Americans have no idea how long it takes the earth to go around the sun, nor do over two out of five know humans and dinosaurs were never alive at the same time. In 1987, a documentarian found that many Harvard professors had no idea why seasons occur. It's difficult to have a rational conversation about DNA evidence, evolution, global warming or vaccines with people who know nothing about them. Lamar Smith, currently the chairman of the Congressional Science Committee, is a Christian Scientist, meaning he believes physical illness is a state of mind. Take that, germ theory of disease!

What can be done to stem this depressing and dangerous tide of irrationality? If only there were someone in this area willing, nay, demanding to stand in its way and shout proudly, "NO MORE!" But wait! What's this? From out of the west he comes: Washingtonian filmmaker Adam C. Boyd is working on a TV show to pursue that very goal. The Why Adam? Show aims to address the science behind everyday life. Why does food go bad? How does power reach your house from Alder Dam? What makes beer so delicious? Where do babies come from? Why does asparagus - well, maybe not all of those. The point is Adam Boyd needs your help. You, too, can be part of Team Knowing Stuff. Starting Saturday, April 4 and extending for a week, the so-called Why Adam? Show Science Summit will gather funds for and increase knowledge of the upcoming show. Odd Otter Brewing Company, for example, created a new batch called Why Adam? Belgian Dark. By simply buying and enjoying a bottle at Tacoma hangouts such as Meconi's Pub & Eatery, The Mix, The Office Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue or Stonegate Pizza, you strike a powerful blow for non-stupidity. And how often can one say that about drinking a beer?

If you'd like to learn more or make a donation, visit WhyAdamShow.com. And if you'd like to use the Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor as a Jacuzzi or drive to the sun, don't. Holy cats, man, you need Adam Boyd's show more than any of us.

July 8, 2014 at 10:00am

7 Seas Brewing 5th Annual Anniversary Bash commercial

Let it roll ...

Gig Harbor's 7 Seas Brewing celebrates its five-year anniversary Saturday with a huge bash. Shockingly, I can't find a promotional video pumping the party. If I were to create a video promotion for 7 Seas Brewing's 5th Annual Anniversary Bash, this is how it would go down. ...

("Rambo" by Ben Union plays.)

7 SEAS BREWING'S CO-OWNER MIKE RUNION: (Floating on a raft in the middle of Gig Harbor) You ever get the feeling you could just ... I don't know ... brew something incredible?

(Cut to a sinking yacht.)

AIRLINE PILOT: That yacht is going to sink!

7 SEAS BALLZ DEEP DOUBLE IPA: I'm on it! (The 7 Seas Brewing beer dives off the Jerisich Dock, using all of its 8.4 percent ABV and 82 IBUs, it pulls the yacht to shore.)

BEAUTIFUL REAL ESTATE BROKER: Look at the ballz on that beer; his malt is so firm!

MIKE RUNION: It's Ballz Deep ... (Cut music. Blackout.) And it will be at our 5th Anniversary Bash Saturday, July 12.

("Can't Get That Low" by C-Leb & The Kettle Black plays)

7 SEAS BREWING CO-OWNER TRAVIS GUTERSON: (Standing on top of Peacock Hill) You ever feel like drinking a beer can make you fly?

HARBORVIEW DRIVE WALKER ONE: I don't know why I feel so depressed.

HARBORVIEW DRIVE WALKER TWO: Maybe it's your beer? You got to get off the Blue Ribbon, girl. You're bringing all of us down.

7 SEAS RUDE PARROT IPA: What you need is a big juicy, tropical fruit hop nose girlfriend. Grab ahold of my can and let me show you what Simcoe and Citra hops can do to your attitude ... and altitude. (The Rude Parrot IPA and Walker One fly toward Fox Island.)

TRAVIS GUTERSON: That beer can fly! And so can you from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday at our brewery on Judson Street. But flying is for adults only, so leave the little birds in the nest.

("6 AM" by Perry Acker plays.)

MIKE RUNION: (Lying in Semel Homestead Park's meadow, long blades of grass between his teeth) We work to minimize our carbon footprint through efficient operations, responsible packaging and recycling programs. We also recycle our spent grain to local farmers as livestock feed. ... (Cutt's Ale cuts him off.)

7 SEAS CUTT'S ALE: Memo to Mother Nature: Don't think, even for a minute, that just because you've scheduled 80-degree weather Saturday, that I'm going to stay holed up inside the can cooler. I'm busting out my brilliantly clear reddish hue, intense nose of pine and citrus and pleasant lingering hop bitterness on 7 Seas' patio, kicking back with the musical styling of Ben Union, C-Leb & The Kettle Black, Perry Acker, Four On The Floor and Red Stone Sinners.

MIKE RUNION: Pack it in; pack it out!

("Resurrection River" by Red Stone Sinners plays)

TRAVIS GUTERSON: (Standing next to Mike Runion in their taproom, both wearing orange life jackets): Our brewery rose from ashes in 2008 after a fire tore through our first location, and in late 2012, we moved our entire operation to a 3,000 square foot brewing facility in downtown Gig Harbor. (They both extend their outer arms toward opposite walls.)

MIKE RUNION: This is our annual opportunity to say thanks to all those who have supported us and made this company what it is. And we are extremely thankful. A day of beer, food and music in our beautiful downtown waterfront. (They both extend both arms forward toward the outdoor patio.)

TRAVIS GUTERSON: Buck-B-Q will be serving up favorites off the grill and lighter salads, and Tizley's Euro Pub, serving up some vegetarian options and ratatoulle

(All the 7 Seas beers gather around their two creators.)

TRAVIS GUTERSON: And, of course, our beers will be front and center.

MIKE RUNION: Hope to see you all here.

(Cut music, fade to black. Cut to title screen with "7 Seas Brewing 5th Annual Anniversary Bash" floating in the middle of Gig Harbor.)

VOICE-OVER: 7 Seas Brewing is at 3006 Judson Street in Gig Harbor. The party is a 21 and older event. The cost is just $3 per person, 100 percent of which goes to the bands. Credit/debit cards will only be accepted for merchandise purchases, so bring cash for entry, beers and food. The Tap Room will be open for growler fills and merchandise only. Of course, good dogs on leash are welcome with their humans. Lifestyle Valet has graciously offered its shuttle service free of charge during the party. Walk, bike, designate a driver - just be sure to be safe!

June 25, 2014 at 9:22am

"Fed Up": Our sweets are a bitter pill to swallow

Is sugar the new cigarettes? The film "Fed Up" offers evidence in the affirmative.

Years before I got into the high-stakes, lucrative world of journalism, I once toiled in the bowels of a fast food restaurant. It wasn't nearly as glamorous as the movies portray it, and never was that more obvious than the time a rat the size of a hoagie sandwich got in after closing and jumped in the deep fryer like Sigourney Weaver at the end of Alien 3.

I won't elaborate further. Suffice it to say that if you ate fries at a fast food joint in Washington sometime during the mid-oughts and found they tasted slightly gamier than expected - a delicate amouse-bouche redolent of greasy vermin hair punctuated with a subtle undercurrent of rabies froth - now you know why.

I share that story to make a point: even if you did unknowingly eat rat fries, that isn't the worst thing you've ever eaten.

According toFed Up, the latest from writer-director Stephanie Soechtig, Oscar-winning producer Laurie David (An Inconvenient Truth) and Katie Couric, (who also narrates the film), sugar reigns supreme among the most corruptive comestibles lining shelves and plates across America, not to mention our digestive tracts and circulatory systems. And according to this documentary, we eat a lot of it, whether we know it or not.

Society's come a long way in regard to our health. We no longer use asbestos insulation or leaded gasoline, and we don't let the Flintstones hock Winston Cigarettes on TV anymore; but with our nutrition it's as if whenever somebody tries to admonish us about what we eat, all we can hear is the Archies singing "Sugar, Sugar."

There's a reason for that.

When thegovernment first issued dietary guidelines three decades ago, they were as blissfully ignorant as the rest of us to the long-term health risks excessive sugar intake could pose. The end result was virtually unregulated sugar content in our nation's food, and a generation of short-lived, sickly and obese children.

You'd think they would revise the guidelines as new information came to light, right? Perhaps they would, but "Big Sugar" is so entrenched in our government and our way of life at this point - with bottomless pockets to grease any palms - it could be that the hydra has too many heads.

Then there's the fact that we all really like sugar, and not just because it tastes good. It's addictive. Not like how Pringles are addictive. Like how crack is addictive. Sugar triggers the same biochemical responses in our brain as cocaine. If sugar were outlawed starting tomorrow morning, jonesing "sugar-tweakers" and warring cartels would make the whole country look like an episode of The Walking Dead by sundown. How do you take a generation of junkies that's grown up getting their fix daily and make them quit cold turkey?

Personally, I think I'd rather die than miss my next hit of sweet, sweet "S".

NOTE: Tacoma Farmers Market Executive Director Stacy Carkonen will be leading a post-film discussion of Fed Up following the 2 p.m. screening Saturday, June 28.

FED UP, opens Friday, June 27, The Grand Cinema, 6060 S. Fawcett, Tacoma, $5-$9.50, 253.593.4474

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma,

May 20, 2014 at 4:39pm

Chef Hudson Slater now reviews films ... and gives away appetizers

Chef Hudson Slater: He's fun! Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Several weeks ago Weekly Volcano food critic Jackie Fender gushed over Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge's head chef, Hudson Slater. Deservedly so - the man is on culinary fire.

Today, The Grand Cinema couldn't hold back its love for Slater any longer. The Grand announced it has invited the chef to host a post-film discussion after the 3:10 p.m. screening of Chef, Saturday, May 24. Let's read The Grand's handiwork:

Read more...

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Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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