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So Portugal won ESC 2017! Well, okay, I didn't vote for him, but it was certainly a beautiful performance, and I'm very happy Portugal will finally - for the first time! - be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 2018. ^_^ My votes? Croatia (what an astonishing vocal range!) and Belgium, both of whom fared hugely better in the popular vote, versus the initial jury results - curious! I sort of wish I'd placed a bet on Portugal, but so it goes. I'm pleased they introduced that separation of the jury and public votes - it's quite interesting to see just how different the two opinions can be, with Croatia languishing around 18 points following the juries, only to receive something like 110 points from the public.

And the Doctor Who that preceded it: hoo! Yes, that was a good one. Not faultless, but as hugely (if you'll excuse the irony) atmospheric as it was, I'll happily forgive any minor flaws. I'm certainly also delighted to see the return of some political relevance to the show, which has been rather absent for much of its post-2005 run. Kudos! Pony: aaargh. Yet again, stamped out of the "take a potentially amusing situation, then repeat it a few times to be sure we get it" mold. Such a pity, as Rarity and Sweetie Belle have such potential, but that wasted both their time. Still, the resolution was adorable. ^_^ I haven't watched either of the two "leaked" episodes yet, as the audio on both was rather wonky - I'd rather enjoy them properly.

Music video for the day is one of the odder I've seen in a while. ^_^ May not be entirely safe for work. Tame Impala: The Less I Know the Better. And, whilst it lacks a video, the Asteroids Galaxy Tour cover of Safety Dance is a delightfully fresh take on a modern classic. ^_^

Quite a handy (and official) site, though sadly, UK only: TVPlayer - effectively, a web-based Freesat relay, so you can watch any of the usual channels online, via their apps, on consoles, and so on. As such, their ads are unaffected, but it's easy enough to mute that tab as necessary. None are in HD, but for things like Mystery Diners, that hardly matters. =:) It's all free, though they also appear to offer subscriptions, starting with one simply removing ads for £2/mo, to £6/mo or £60/yr for adding some premium channels and a catch-up service.

Rav_Bunneh offered up another sketch of me! ^_^

If you feel you need a UV filter on a lens, be sure it's a good quality one.

I don't know anything more about it at present, but it sounds intriguing: Root, a bank account for software developers, "with full API access". Likewise, I don't know the eligibility requirements, but it's a facet of Standard Bank South Africa. The press release gives some useful examples of what you can do with a Root account.

The home brewing is progressing. ^_^ The cider was at 1.038 on Tuesday, reflecting a possible 4.3% ABV - surprisingly, it actually tasted good! Sweet, of course, being only about half done, but it did show off quite a good, well-rounded apple flavor, not merely some Strongbow clone. Whew! Sadly, I remain frustrated in my attempts to obtain malic acid without being ripped off on the postage (paying twice as much as the tub, when it only weighs a couple ounces? Bleah!) - I made my way on Thursday to a brewing supplies shop, only to find them out of stock. ^_^;; Still, I did pick up some Northern Brewer hops, which ought to be able to provide a very nice dry hopping for some IPA kit, and a "Diabolo" Belgian kit, along the lines of Duvel - as you'd expect of a much heftier brew, rather more costly than most beers and ciders: same price per kit, but only making 9l rather than 23l, which means it'll still be a bit more than a quarter of Duvel's cost. =:D And, there's a "vodka" kit on the way, which will make 21l of 14% vodka/white rum, for even less than a beer kit, given it's just yeast, charcoal, and finings. That'll be destined to be turned into a variety of cocktail necessities, like spiced rum, Southern Comfort (which I learned is actually peach based, as far as the flavor goes!), and gin, plus probably some other fun infusions. Supposedly that ersatz vodka's actually beautifully smooth, in addition to being ridiculously cheap - less than Coke. =:D And all entirely legal, as there's no distillation involved, just fermentation.

And there we go! Got the Diabolo kit made up on Friday evening, with an OG of 1.081 - a little higher than their nominal 1.075, but that shouldn't cause any problems beyond perhaps being slightly stronger than the intended 8%. ^_^ And the cider was down to 1.030, with bubbling still progressing - the taste is, unfortunately, thinning out a bit, but it was still a pleasant concoction. As a precaution, I added a tiny bit of tannin and two teaspoons of citric acid, just to help ensure it has something of a "dry" edge. Trouble with tannin powder is it's so strong! Even the barest invisible dusting on a fingertip is mouth puckering, so even with 23l going, I only added a sliver (about 3mm x 2mm) - in both cases, it's obviously better to under-augment than over, given it's easy enough to just add a bit more if necessary.

Irksomely, I'd actually intended to get a 20% kit for the spirit base, not the 14%. For now, I've made it up per instructions, and sent off a query to the vendor, to gain their opinion as to whether that particular strain will go to 20% if given more sugar. If so, that's easily done. I can also scoop some out into a separate bottle and test it there, rather than risk considerably sweetening the whole bin if it fails to progress; and then there's always the option of obtaining just the yeast I intended (the kit also includes liquid charcoal for purification, and finings to get the yeast to clump together at the bottom, for ease of separation).

Why are all mouthwashes and toothpastes mint flavored? Why not banana or apple? Or, for a sushi fan, otoro? Or rum?
Why are all mouthwashes and toothpastes mint flavored? Why not banana or apple? Or, for a sushi fan, otoro? Or rum?

Probably because (in the general public's mind at the very least) mint == fresh. (And the others aren't.) Put another way, it's not so much about the taste as much as about the feeling that you're being sold. (Or, maybe, about your breath's scent.)

That said there could be a marketing opportunity in there!
That's probably the essence of it. It doesn't make any more sense than the current perception of pink=girl, blue=boy - indeed, rewind to the Victorian days, and it was the opposite. But perception counts for so much, of course, for better or for worse - even now, British and American audiences are only now starting to - very gradually - warm to the notion that animation doesn't have to mean "for kids". Again, even that's quite a recent thing, when you consider all the Looney Tunes and suchlike were produced for adults - but, sometime around the rise of TV-oriented animation, it seemed to gain a push toward children, almost exclusively.

I wonder if there's a "fun toothpaste" Kickstarter in there somewhere.. =:D (Indeed, I recall seeing a whisky flavored toothpaste, although given it appeared to be somewhat alcoholic, might fall foul of legislation these days =:)
I'm not sure I'd say British and American audience are "only now starting to very gradually warm to the notion that animation doesn't have to mean for kids."

Heavy Metal (which granted was a bit niche-y and concept-y and somewhere between R- and X-rated) was around in 1981. Beavis & Butthead was targeted at the arguably adult 20-something MTV crowd. Rocko's Modern Life (and Angry Beavers, etc.) was more or less targeted at them, too. The Simpsons has been targeting adults since what, 30 years ago? Granted I don't know of much that targets people over the age of maybe 35 or so exclusively, even now... and I have somewhat of a hard time envisioning what that would even look like, since society expects people of that age to be settling down a bit or otherwise "growing up." Maybe some day we will all be coming out of the movie theater having watched a classically animated show targeted at 40-year-olds, but would that be the most effective vehicle for that message? Even among my own friends, a whole lot of them kind of "washed out" in their mid/late 20s, and turned into boring shells. :P

Anyway, my guess is that what you (and the entertainment industry) may be seeing is that people who are adults are more visibly watching and discussing animated work more than they used to. With social media, etc., it's easier to talk about and share such things... in the old days it was, what, comic cons? Art clubs? Or else just not bringing the topic up over beer or with your kids' friends' parents or whatever. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think it's a perceptual shift.

Back to the real point, I agree that mint = fresh, and I don't think it's strictly a conditioned response. Mints specifically have a pretty "bright" and pleasant flavor, and they tend to have a pretty... what's the world... not quite a floral aroma, but at least something that's pretty clean smelling. Let's consider the options. Do you want a toothpaste that tastes like pine? Or soap? Maybe cilantro? :)

Growing up, I recall a range of cinnamon toothpaste. As I look for it, I see a few brands offer it now.

I guess maybe lemon or lime might work but I assume those are pretty hard to replicate without (citric) acid, and I think brushing acid onto your teeth might be a hard sell. Maybe it would offset the fluoride? :)

Icon chosen due to prevalence of teeth. :P
Or how about toffee favours or even choc flavoured toothpaste.
We'd absolutely zero out dental problems. =:D I know I recall a few fun flavors from when I was a leveret, but even those child-oriented offerings seem to've vanished, leaving them with the same Mint Everywhere™ mantra. You'd think there'd be at least some other toothpastes and mouthwashes. Maybe it's all distribution? Look at crisps: in the UK, it's all Walkers and KP, and in the US, Frito-Lay and a few other minor players - couple that with the few supermarkets, especially in the US, and it's probably very difficult to get beyond being a hobby business. But, I'm entirely theorising.

(I would love to see much more local produce in supermarkets, but the sole exhibitor thereof I'm aware of has been Waitrose)

BTW, I sent you a PM?
and i replied .. i think.
Huh! Weird.. maybe something's b0rked with LJ messaging? I didn't receive anything, I'm afraid. If email's any easier, I'm just my name at lapinity.com. ^_^
Cuuute sketch :)

And thanks for the pro tip on the UV filter. I have been hiding from the 35*C weather indoors today pursuing https://www.cloudynights.com/classifieds/ for bits 'n bobs for my TV-85 (I blame thewayne for this), so this is timely :)

As a (mostly former) home brewer, I'm following your cider 'n brews tales with much interest too. My home brewing has been the spark for at least one brew pub concern to date, which I am secretly rather proud of too.


Edited at 2017-05-21 12:19 am (UTC)
May not be entirely safe for work.

My favorite descriptor line, like how 'wet paint' begs a touch. I thought the Glass Animals video I posted was odd, though tame, but this one... I'm peaked by the bestial association though the ending is strange, and the vomit/painting scenes just don't blend (other than the colors). More primal less Pollack! :D

From the filter guy: But I come today not to educate you, but to mock others.

Great article. I bought my Hoya filters because they were the brand my local "Studio" (for lack of a more fancy photography store euphemism)stocked and promoted. I was young, it was my first SLR camera, and of course the store would not carry something inferior. But that was before the influx of lower quality for lower price additions to seemingly good brands, and who would believe that a company like Hoya would compromise optical quality for a few dollars? Oh, and I never noticed any softness in my photos with any of their filters. But as my experience with photography beforehand was limited to a Brownie Box Camera, an Instamatic, and a Polaroid 'Swing,' maybe I was less discerning then some ;o)