Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ale-8-One: Flat Ginger Ale or Nectar of The Gods

I came across Ale-8-One by fluke one winter when I was sunning my ass in Florida. I met a couple from Kentucky (Winchester, Kentucky to be exact...population: me, you & your rifle) they use this stuff for everything, from mix drinks to salsa.

On the way back home, instead of the usual overnight stay in Charleston, I veered way off course and met up with the Kentuckians, way out in the wild somewhere. They kept going on about this soda-pop I had to try before I left; so I packed up the truck and drove back into town and picked me up some Ale-8-One.

Known colloquially as Ale-8, it's a regional ginger-flavored soft drink, distributed only in Kentucky and portions of neighboring U.S. states Indiana and Ohio. It's a family-owned enterprise in the small town of Winchester. Still a closely guarded family secret, the Ale-8-One formula was developed by G.L. Wainscott in the 1920’s after experimentation with ginger-blended recipes he acquired during extensive travels in Northern Europe. He sponsored one of America’s first “name the product” contests, and “A Late One” was the winning entry. The drink’s logo, Ale-8-One, was adopted as a pun of its description as the latest thing in soft drinks.

Ale-8 could be described as a ginger ale, but with more caffeine, a fruitier flavor, less carbonation, and about 1/4 fewer calories than conventional soda. You ask me or Leroy, it tastes like flat Canada Dry ginger ale.

Hell Ride

Larry Bishop, Michael Madsen and Eric Balfour as Pistolero, The Gent and Comanche. Dennis Hopper, David(Kung Fu...the Legend Continues)Carradine, Michael Beach and a host of sexy chicks also join the fun.

After watching the Gent in action, I want to put on a frilly dress-shirt and ride.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Inglorious Basterds ... A Basterd's Work Is Never Done

Inglorious Basterds is an upcoming ensemble war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Despite it being a war film, the movie will be a "spaghetti-western but with World War II iconography". In addition to spaghetti-westerns, the film also pays homage to the WWII "macaroni-combat" sub-genre (itself influenced by spaghetti-westerns) as well as films by Jean-Luc Godard.

The title (and partial premise) of the upcoming film is inspired by Italian director Enzo Castellari's 1978 movie Quel Maledetto Treno Blindato (literally translated as That damned armored train and released as Inglorious Bastards in the USA).

The original plot was set in Europe during World War II, a group of American soldiers are in the process of being shipped off to military prison for a variety of infractions, ranging from desertion to murder. While they're being transported, a German air attack hits the convoy, killing most of the MPs and enabling five of the prisoners to escape.

The group decides their best bet is to head to neutral Switzerland, where they can avoid the fighting and prison. As they make their way to what they think will be freedom, they end up volunteering for a commando mission to steal the new prototype gyroscope for the Nazi V2 with help of the French Underground. Somehow the team must sneak onto the most heavily guarded train in German territory, steal the Nazis' most precious military hardware, and bring it back to the Allies without getting arrested again by their own side.

Tarantino's version follows Shosanna Dreyfus (Melanie Laurent) who witnesses the execution of her family at the hand of Nazi Colonel Hans Landa. Shosanna narrowly escapes and flees to Paris, where she forges a new identity as the owner and operator of a cinema.

Elsewhere in Europe, Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) organizes a group of Jewish soldiers to engage in targeted acts of retribution. Known to their enemy as "The Basterds," Raine's squad eventually joins German actress and undercover agent Bridget Von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger) on a mission to take down the leaders of The Third Reich. Fates converge under a cinema marquee, where Shosanna is poised to carry out a revenge plan of her own.

The Roman Temple of Evora, Portugal

The Roman Temple of Évora (also referred to as the Templo de Diana, after Diana, ancient Roman goddess of the moon, the hunt, and chastity) is located in the city of Evora, in Portugal. The temple is part of the historical centre of the city, classified a World heritage Site by UNESCO. It is one of the most famous landmarks of Évora and a symbol of Roman presence in Portuguese territory.

Although the Roman temple of Évora is often called Temple of Diana, any association with the Roman goddess of hunt stems not from archaeology but from a legend created in the 17th century by a Portuguese priest. In reality, the temple was probably built in honour of Emperor Augustus, who was venerated as a god during and after his rule. The temple was built in the 1st century AD in the main public square of Évora - then called Liberatias Iulia – and modified in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Évora was invaded by Germanic peoples in the 5th century, and at this time the temple was destroyed. Nowadays its ruins are the only built vestiges of the Roman forum, in an open square fronted by the cathedral and the bishop's palace.

The ruins of the temple were incorporated into a tower of Evora Castle during the Middle Ages. The base, columns and architraves of the temple were kept embedded in the walls of the medieval building; the temple-turned-tower was used as a butcher shop from the 14th century until 1836. This new use of the temple structure helped preserve its remains from further destruction. Finally, after 1871, the medieval additions were removed. Restoration work was directed by Italian architect Giuseppe Cinatti.

The Évora temple still has its complete base (the podium), made of both regular and irregular granite stone blocks. The portico of the temple, now missing, was originally hexastyle, six columns across. A total of fourteen granite columns are still standing on the north side of the base; many of the columns still have their Corinthian-style capitals sustaining the architrave. The capitals and the bases of the columns are made of marble from nearby Estremoz, while the columns and architrave are made of granite. Recent excavations indicate that the temple was surrounded by a water basin.