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Archive for February 27th, 2009

empty_plantWithout a doubt this has started off a bleak year. 

The media tells us that “deregulation” and “unfettered free markets” has brought our nation to the brink of financial ruin.  I opened today’s newspaper and find articles telling me it’s worse than everybody says.  Oregon’s jobless rate was 9.9% at the end of January.  The highest in 25 years.   The equivalent of the combined populations of Salem and Corvallis (214,809) wandering around jobless!

I’m not trying to pile on the bad news, but folks the great American tragedy just got worse!

In restaurants and pubs all over the Northwest people are victims of deceit and reeling from the harsh effects of the “short pour.”  Let’s say after an afternoon of motorcycle riding you decide to stop for a local “refreshment” and the pint you were just handed with an inch of foam on the top is not a pint at all, but more like 20 ounces?  It turns out that the largest percentage of volume in a pint glass is in the top inch of the glass!

beergaugeIt’s difficult for me to perceive how the small height at the top of a pint glass can contain so large a volume discrepancy, but the economic crisis has taken hold of the Northwest brew pubs and as a way to increase revenue, establishments are manipulating the liquid fill height.  Is there no justice?  For now Oregon might have low taxation rates on beer and why so many small brewers go into business here, but the magnitude of the deficit is alarming!

Fortunately as economic viability collapses all around us we find HOPE.

Chris Holloway is a scientist who studied electromagnetic waves and was familiar with Piaget’s research — Piaget was a scientist in the 1800’s who studied human inability to distinguish identical volumes in different sized containers — developed a business card size visual aid called the Beer Gauge which when held next to your glass indicates how much liquid you received (or didn’t) before you pay for that pint.

Why, might you ask, did I bring this up?  Life is just too short and we need to add some humor to our economic discourse.

Full disclosure: I have no affiliation or receive compensation for endorsing the Beer Gauge.

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