Posts filed under ‘Entertainment’

The Most Popular Types of Liquor

If you’re throwing a party or just having some friends over, you may want to have the basics in your home bar.

A good place to start is with the most popular types of liquor.

At a real bar, there is often a stock of liquor at waist height below the bar with the most commonly commonly requested liquors. This is called the “speed rail” and it is normally stocked with:

  • Vodka
  • Gin
  • Rum (light)
  • Tequila

Many popular drinks can be made with these liquors but bars frequently stock these other popular liquors in the speed rail too:

  • Scotch (Whiskey)
  • Bourbon (Whiskey)
  • Triple Sec
  • Vermouth

Here’s a secret if you’re short on space or cash, or if you run out of Triple Sec. Triple Sec is an orange flavored liquor, so you can substitute other popular orange flavored liquors like: Grand Marnier, Cointreau or Curaçao. When it comes to selecting whiskey, click here to read more about Whiskey.

If you want to go all out with your bar, pick up some of the following and none of your guests will be unsatisfied:

  • Irish Whiskey
  • Canadian Whiskey
  • Tennessee Whiskey
  • Dark Rum
  • Brandy
  • Baileys
  • Agostura bitters

You’ll also want to stock popular tonics and mixers such as: Coke, ginger ale, club soda and cranberry juice. By the way, the Tanqueray Gin bottle was designed to look like a London fire hydrant.

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Photos: Jeff Simms (cc), Megan Morris (cc)

Sources: Orange Liqueurs, Hub Pages, Totally Free Bartending, Crunkish

November 29, 2010 at 2:00 am 1 comment

The Meaning of the PlayStation Button Symbols

By Chad Upton | Editor

We are surrounded by symbols and they’ve been around for a very long time.

In public places,  where people may speak many different languages, we often see symbols instead of words. Some examples include signs for bathrooms and restaurants and even many road signs.

In the West, we have a some common symbols in writing. Check marks often mean correct or yes and an X usually means incorrect or no.  In Japan, they have four symbols that are commonly used in surveys: X, Triangle, Circle and Double Circle (circle within circle). These four symbols make up a four point scale, although sometimes the double circle is omitted for a three point scale. The circle means good or satisfactory and the double circle means excellent. The X means no or bad. The triangle means average (or below average on the four point scale when the double circle is being used). These symbols are just as common as the checks and Xs in the West.

So, when Sony charged Teiyu Goto with designing the original PlayStation, he wanted the buttons to represent ideas rather than label them with arbitrary letters like everybody else. It didn’t take long for him to settle on the triangle, circle, X, square icons.

They were easy to remember because they were associated with meaning. The triangle represents a user’s viewpoint or perspective, making it a great button to launch maps or change the game perspective. The square represented a piece of paper, making it ideal for showing navigation lists and menus. The circle and the X mean yes and no, and they’re meant for navigating yes and no operations.

When asked about the impact of the design, Goto replied, “”Getting to use such simple symbols in a design is an extremely rare opportunity, and it was really a stroke of luck to me.”

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Sources: 1up, Japanese Translator

November 3, 2010 at 1:00 am 9 comments

Studios Pay to Have Movies Rated

By Chad Upton | Editor

I always find it funny when movies come out on video and they’re advertised as “unrated.”

The “unrated” designation seems to imply that the film is so outrageously sexual, horrific or crude that there’s no rating that could possibly classify how extreme it is. But, that’s not usually true.

While the unrated release may be more sexual, horrific or crude than the rated version, it also may not be. To me, it’s just like doing a math test, not handing it in and calling it “ungraded.” In either case, it doesn’t necessarily reflect the nature of the content — it just means that it didn’t get a stamp from somebody with elbow patches.

The movie rating process varies by country. In some places, such as Australia, movies are rated by the government. In other places, such as the United States, an independent organization handles ratings.

In the US, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) actually has a trademark on the ratings known as: G, PG, PG-13, R and NC-17. That means those ratings cannot be used without the permission of the MPAA. That adds credibility to the rating system, but it also adds digits to their bottom line. You see, when a filmmaker or studio submits a film for rating, they pay $2,500 – $25,000 to have their film rated (based on cost of the film and the annual revenue of the studio).

The MPAA also has an agreement with the major studios: that all theatrical films will be submitted for rating. That’s why most movies that you see in the theater have a rating. It’s not a legal requirement, at least not in most places. In fact, it’s a business decision.

Even though it costs a lot of money to have a film rated, it can be well worth it. The rating that a film receives can dramatically impact the film’s success at the box office. For many films, the lower the rating, the wider the audience. But, in the case of movies that are targeted at older teenagers and adults, higher ratings may be more appealing. This is part of the phenomenon that contributes to the status of the “unrated” marker.

The rating a movie gets is so important that studios will often re-cut and resubmit a film for rating multiple times, until it receives the rating that they want. It’s all marketing, they know how they’re going to promote the film and the rating has a lot to do with it. Each time they resubmit a film, it costs $2,500.

The factors that contribute to ratings include: sexual content, violence, profanity, drug use and other material that may offend some audiences. The interesting part is that films released internationally are often re-cut for each country or cultural area. Sexual content in America generally pushes the rating up while the same content in France and Germany is more socially acceptable and does not necessarily increase the rating there. On the other hand, extremely violent films may be re-cut and toned down for those same markets where intense violence is less acceptable to ensure a lower rating.

The ratings board is made up of 9 people (mostly men), ranging in age from 44 to 61. More recently, the board has been accused of “ratings creep” — the idea that movie ratings are becoming more lenient over time. A Clockwork Orange originally received an X rating in 1971, reserved for films that are recommended for adults over the age of 18. But the X rating is not part of the MPAA rating system that we know today. A Clockwork Orange was later given an R rating, which suggests that viewers under the age of 17 by accompanied by an adult. Clearly, it got a much lower rating the second time around.

The marketing of “unrated” films suggests they are similar to old X rated films. If you want to see an unrated film, check out some recent releases: The Hangover, Get Him to the Greek and Hot Tub Time Machine.

Broken Secrets

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Sources: Filmbug,, Wikipedia (MPAA, MPAA rating system)

October 8, 2010 at 4:00 am 3 comments

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