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Friday, June 29, 2007

Advancing to a Cure for Cancer, HIV/AIDS

What a week it has certainly been for the medical field! While most were still blankly staring into the continued aftermath of the inanity of Paris Hilton finishing her jail sentence and claiming that it not only make a difference in her life, but that she wants it to make a difference in the lives of others and other Miss America contestant-like statements - scientists were working to actually MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Mid-week, there were reports of the workings of a current possible cure for cancer.

Yes, I said "cure for cancer"! Still thinking about Paris Hilton now?? It's a freakin' CURE FOR CANCER we're talking about now - you know, actual NEWS about something IMPORTANT! While "cure for cancer" may technically be jumping the gun, when this blogger sees an article saying that scientists have been working on a vaccine to cure cancer in dogs AND it's actually working AND it has the potential to help cure it in humans as well...

That's what I'd call a step in the right direction and it warrants the use of the phrase "cure for cancer" - dog, human or otherwise!

Coco is a 13-year-old Pomeranian with malignant melanoma and Callie, a seven-year-old golden retriever, has the same cancer. Tucson Veterinary Oncologist Mary Kay Klein has been treating both dogs with an experimental Canine Melanoma Vaccine. Dr. Klein says tests have gone so well that recently the vaccine was conditionally approved for commercial use in dogs.

"Dogs are very much like people. They tend to be the same age proportionately as you and I are when they get these diseases. The diseases look the same underneath the microscope," said Klein.

Right now only cancer vets are approved to use the dog vaccine. The next step is to make it available to all vets and work on a similar human treatment is in process.

If you think THAT is a reason to jump up on a table and sing the cheers for humankind and its prosperity - there's MORE.

I just read an article today that says that scientists have a potential cure for HIV. That's right - scientists have discovered a way to remove the virus from infected cells! While it's no cure for AIDS, which is a later stage of the HIV infection, if you can cure the HIV virus, you can cure AIDS before it even happens! Just think of the implecations if this potential cure makes it that last step to an ACTUAL cure that eventually gets approved by the FDA!

Never mind the potential capitalistic nature of drug companies and how they'll poorly handle the manufacturing and marketing and sales of the drug - we could freakin' CURE HIV AND AIDS!!

The scientists engineered an enzyme which attacks the DNA of the HIV virus and cuts it out of the infected cell. The enzyme is still far from being ready to use as a treatment, but it offers a glimmer of hope for the more than 40 million people infected worldwide.

"A customized enzyme that effectively excises integrated HIV-1 from infected cells in vitro might one day help to eradicate (the) virus from AIDS patients," wrote Alan Engelman, of Harvard University's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Current treatments focus on suppressing the HIV virus in order to delay the onset of AIDS and dramatically extend the life of infected patients. What makes HIV so deadly, however, is its ability to insert itself into the body's cells and force those cells to produce new infection. That enzyme was able to eliminate the HIV virus from infected human cells in about three months in the laboratory.

Okay, so the side effects are unknown thus far, and the method of using the enzyme needs to be further worked on before it can really be called a cure - but isn't this the biggest step forward we've had on the front against HIV and AIDS? Isn't this our largest push in a direction towards a cure? I say it's something to celebrate.

So earlier this week, a possible cure for cancer.

In today's news, a possible cure for HIV/AIDS.

Maybe this weekend we can finally get to work on cryogenics and subsequent immortality! Read more!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Florida Sheriff Has the Right Idea

It's so simple - I can't believe we hadn't thought of it sooner. We've all seen footage of sting operations, probably on the TV show COPS, where the police will leave a car in a high-crime area with something valuable inside and then just sit back and wait for some criminal to steal it so they can arrest another criminal. Maybe you've seen it and had a thought about "entrapment", or accused them of "creating a crime" when in reality they just created a controlled opportunity for crime rather than having to wait for that person to commit a crime somewhere else.

This idea is about a hundred times better. And we have Florida Sheriff Frank McKeithen, who created the Illegal Alien Task Force. So what's the plan? Well, it's based on the classic notion of "an innocent person wouldn't do that."

The task force gets several police cars together and have them all pull up with their sirens at a construction site. Then all they have to do is see who runs.

The task force chases down the runners and if they cut through private property in the pursuit, they can charge the runner with trespassing. If the runner is hiding on property while fleeing, they also have the option of charing them with loitering. If they get into a car to get away, odds are good that reckless driving or speeding become viable options. Once they're under arrest, a quick check for green cards or other proof of citizenship can lead to the wave of notifications to I.C.E. of who they suspect of being an illegal immigrant.

You can't even accuse the police officers of "creating a crime" - because they're hunting for people who already broke the law. The only crimes being created are created by the criminals who have decided to flee from the police. And if they weren't already in trouble with the law or afraid of being deported - they'd have no reason to run.

And you can't argue that it's not working - because over 500 people have been reported to immigration officials since November by this task force. And the real target is the construction industry, due to the long-standing Florida law prohibiting employers from knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. If you're working on a site and five police cars can manage to scare away your entire work crew - your business is obviously not using proper hiring practices.

"[B]uilders are worried the crackdown will deprive them of the labor they need to take part in a building boom in which Panama City's Beach cheap spring-break motels are being torn down and replaced with high-rise condos."

Hey, builders! Try hiring CITIZENS!! Yeah, those people who are legally allowed to be employed in your state and have a much lesser chance of running away from the job site due to police sirens!

I applaud this sheriff and the Illegal Alien Task Force he created. Finally, an idea that works to help combat the rampant illegal immigration in our land. If only more local and state law enforcement officers would offer to chip in and help out the I.C.E. and get these criminals off our streets and out of our country! Read more!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Waukegan Applies for Deportation Abilities

It's nice to hear some good news on the illegal immigration front. What with the amnesty bill still meandering through the upper levels of the government, it's nice to see that on a local level, there are those who haven't given in or given up in the fight against illegal immigration.

On Monday, the City Council of Waukegan voted 7-2 to authorize Police Chief William Biang to apply to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the power to enforce federal immigration laws. City officials say that while the details have yet to be hammered out, they assure the townsfolk that this is just a measure to further stop violent criminal offenders, and further punish undocumented criminals. Mayor Richard Hyde put it bluntly: "The purpose of this is to get those who commit felonies off the street and out of the country."

Apparently the federal government allows for local law enforcement to apply for this power, which can be granted after approval, certification and training. This program has been going on since 1996 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. I'm sad that I'd never heard about this program. I'm certainly going to write to MY city officials and suggest it.

Of course, my city alderman are the idiots who unanimously passed a ban on foie gras, and is "highly influenced" by Alderman Burke - the moron who wants to have city drivers pay a "congestion fee" and also wants to ban a radar that makes drivers safe. I doubt a logical and sensible idea like local deportation rights would go over well.

(At least, not until 2011 when I run for City Council Alderman!!)

So here's where we get into the debate and I get to point out things in the article that riled me up enough to actually post about this. I mean, it's news enough to hear about a fight in your backyard for a cause you actually believe in - but the idiocy of those against it just boggles the mind sometimes.

"Long a predominantly white, working-class city, Waukegan has seen an influx of immigrants from Mexico and other Central American countries in recent decades. According to 2005 U.S. census estimates, 38,000 to 50,000 of the city's 91,000 residents are Hispanic or Latino. Authorities don't have a good estimate as to how many undocumented immigrants live in the city." . . . "[Alderman] Cunningham objected because it could lead to racial profiling."

Yea, do the math. The huge influx of immigrants, many probably illegal, are from Mexico and other countries where Hispanic/Latino is the primary race. Do you really think the white guys are going to get asked to show proof of citizenship? The black guys not mentioned in the statistics? Or do you think it's going to be the huge number of Mexicans being asked to show that they're not illegally in the country?

It's not racial profiling. It's called MATH. And LOGIC.

Margaret Carrasco, 47, a former mayoral candidate, said there are some who 'will see this as a license to hunt down immigrants. Is that the society that we want?' She said the program would make law-abiding immigrants reluctant to call police to report crimes for fear that they would be arrested for being undocumented.

Hey, Margaret! I think we DO want a society that actively removes criminals from itself! I think a society that's able to govern itself by identifying those that are illegally in that society and then kicking them OUT of that society - that's a society I want to be a part of. Margaret Carrasco would apparently rather have a society that says, "Oh, there's a rapist on the loose somewhere in town - no big rush or importance catching this sex offender." Is illegal immigration on the same level as rape? Maybe not. But if the rapist is an illegal immigrant, and this policy is geared to deport undocumented violent criminals, then I feel safe in making that leap.

Oh, and did anyone else cringe at the stupidity of her reference to undocumented immigrants being "law-abiding"?

HEY! Being an undocumented immigrant is what's known as "illegal immigration" and that means you DIDN'T abide by the law. It means you BROKE the law. Again, this magical thing called LOGIC. I'm so sorry that you apparently never took (or slept through) Common Sense 101 in school. I've heard a lot of lessons on sanity and rational thinking get taught there.

This application, if approved, would allow the local law enforcement to just hurry along the process. Instead of having to wait on the federal I.C.E. agents after busting several illegal immigrants involved in a drug-trafficking ring, the police officers would be able to start the deportation paperwork themselves and save time in the process. Yes, if you're illegally here, and you commit a crime, the police should be informing I.C.E. and deporting you. Unfortunately, this process takes too long with not enough federal agents, and these criminals slip through the cracks or something else happens and the opportunity to deport them is lost.

Let's not allow that to happen any more. Please write to your City Council aldermen and tell them to apply for the power to enforce this federal law.

Especially if you're in Chicago, like me. Every city applying for this power is another step towards finally being able to properly enforce the immigration laws we already have - before our government winds up screwing us all over with an amnesty bill. Read more!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

PETA vs Michael Moore?

Is there anyone who is safe from the bony wagging finger of Ingrid Newkirk?

One would think that PeTA will not even resort to befriending liberal groups and personalities. Or rather, PeTA just doesn't make friends easily. Their idea of "making friends" is screaming: "HEY POOPYFACE! STINKY POOPYFACE IS ICKY BECAUSE HE HAS POOP ON HIS FACE! WIPE SOME POOP OFF YOUR FACE AND MAYBE I'LL LOVE YOU AND ENDORSE YOU NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO!" So who's under attack today? Well well well, if it isn't liberal pompous windbag Michael Moore!

Since PeTA apparently doesn't believe in the statement "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", their president has decided to follow in her hate-filled footsteps and take on the shock-umentarian himself with a scathing letter accusing him of being unhealthy because he eats meat.

"There’s an elephant in the room, and it is you," PETA president Ingrid Newkirk wrote in a letter to Moore.

Newkirk decided to go with a classic weight joke because Moore's new documentary about healthcare, titled "Sicko," is what's making him a hypocrite. He's making a movie titled "Sicko", but HE'S the Sicko because he eats meat! Fatty fatty meat-eater; that's the message the head of PeTA is trying to get across.

Hey bitch! Did you know that there are plenty of unhealthy VEGETARIAN foods, too? Did you know that Cheesy Poofs and Snacky Cakes and a variety of fattening foods are free of animal products and waiting to dole out some extra chins? No animals were harmed in the making of delicious sodas and chocolates, were they?

Just because you label your food intake in some "diet" category, like vegetarian or Atkins or South Beach, that doesn't mean the foods you consume will make you any healthier. You can always find new ways and varieties of foods to make you or keep you fat. I should know. I'm fat.

I'm fat, and I eat meat. I'm not fat BECAUSE I eat meat. I'm fat because I make poor decisions, am lazy and don't do things in moderation. My becoming a vegetarian wouldn't make me thin. It also wouldn't prevent any animals from being killed. Vegetarianism does nothing to the meat industry. The more vegetarians there are, the lower the prices go on meat to make up for the market flux. Same number of animals get killed, and better prices for meat-eaters! It's almost as if there were some kind of capitalist conspiracy behind it!

Maybe you could get Michael Moore to do some claptrap documentary about the capitalist meat conspiracy!!

Oh wait, you called him fat and made fun of him. I highly doubt he'll make that movie and change the world in favor of vegetarianism and all things PETA now...

Too fucking bad, Ingrid Newkirk. Who's the poopyface now??

"Read more about Ingrid's 'love-letter' to Moore)

Read more!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Radar Ban? - Why Alderman Burke Should Resign Immediately

It's a sunny afternoon, and you're cruising down the avenue. The top's down, you're soaking in the sunlight, and you don't care how fast your convertible is zooming down the street. You're too enraptured by whatever CD you've got in your sound system to notice a small sign as you're passing by. Suddenly, your Cobra Electronics device you just installed starts flashing and verbally warns you of a speed/redlight camera at the upcoming intersection. You look at the spedometer, and tone it down to a legal speed. You come to a full and complete stop at the red light. It turns green, and you accelerate once more as you drive on to your significant other's pad for some lovin'. All's well that ends well - no ticket for you, and no life-threatening crashes or injuries all around. What could be wrong with this picture?

Alderman Burke wants that device banned.

Because he'd rather have you endangering your safety and the safety of others than risk missing out on an opportunity to ticket you $90.

There's no doubt about it - Burke claims that the cameras used to ticket redlight-runners and speed-demons are just a way for the city to profit. "That is why all these cameras are being installed. ... The reality is that people blow through these intersections and they are going to be caught and they are going to be fined. It has become a big revenue source, absolutely," said Burke. In fact, he went on to say that these tickets are "budgeted in our annual appropriation ordinance" - that the government is DEPENDING on people to disobey the law.

"I don't think the [city's] goal is to allow the motorist to subvert the system that we are spending so much money on," Burke said. I don't know how much it takes to install the cameras or the costs to keep them monitoring and cranking out the tickets, but last year the cameras profited the city $19.8 million in total. At $90 a ticket, that's 220,000 tickets for the year, which is an average of 603 each day (or 25 per hour). Every hour, those cameras are netting $2,250 for the city - and they're complaining about how much they're SPENDING on the cameras?

As for "subverting the system" - is Burke suggesting that a system being utilized to alert drivers of an upcoming camera and possible ticket is the crime? That people being warned of getting caught for reckless driving is what's bringing down the cashflow system of the red-light cameras??

Hey Alderman Douchebag! Every single ticketing camera has a SIGN to WARN drivers!

The only difference between the current system and the Cobra Electronics device is that one is a small sign that many fail to notice before it's too late (if at all), and one is a few more bells and whistles going off to further alert the driver to slow down and play it safe or the camera will be issuing a ticket. Both do the exact same thing - warn the driver to slow down and obey the rules, because a camera is watching and will automatically ticket you. The only difference is the degree.

And if banning a product because it does a BETTER job than the GOVERNMENT of keeping drivers SAFE makes any sense to you - apparently you could be a douchebag alderman for the Chicago City Council like Burke.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

"Congestion Fee" - Why Alderman Burke Should Resign Immediately

In the Chicago Tribune (and RedEye):

Should motorists pay a toll for the privilege of driving in Chicago's central business district?

Ald. Edward Burke (14th) believes it's a good time to raise the question.

Burke on Wednesday introduced a resolution calling for a City Council hearing on the feasibility of levying a "congestion fee" on drivers who set tire downtown.

"Can it reduce pollution? Can it reduce traffic? Can it raise a revenue stream to help out the beleaguered CTA?" Burke asked. "It's certainly a very complicated issue and one that should not be rushed into. But I thought that as long as London is doing it, as long as New York is [proposing] it, perhaps it is an idea that Chicago ought to consider."

How much would be charged, how would tolls be collected and how much money might be generated for the cash-strapped CTA are the types of information the alderman hopes to gather by listening to experts at the hearing.

Mayor Richard Daley said he has an open mind on the congestion-fee concept. But he also has reservations.

With their narrow streets and absence of alleys, London and New York are "completely different" from Chicago, he said.

"Are you going to put [the fee] on all the aldermen who drive every day?" Daley asked. "What about all the trucks coming downtown? What do you do with them?"

"Let's not rush to that and scare everybody off," the mayor declared. "We are trying to keep businesses here and ... move businesses into the city."

There's never a good time to raise a question that foolish.

What Burke is proposing is seemingly the most backwards proposal that my rage-filled brain can remember ever having heard. I don't even know where to begin ranting about this atrocity – other than publicly calling for the Alderman's immediate removal from office on the grounds of sheer stupidity alone.

"Can it reduce pollution? Can it reduce traffic?" It wouldn't take the mental capacity of an 8-year-old to realize that tolls get paid at tollbooths, tollbooths cause lines of cars waiting to pay the toll, and huge lines of cars are the definition of 'increased traffic' that is all the while creating 'increased pollution' by having to linger and create exhaust in concentrated areas. "Can it raise a revenue stream to help out the beleaguered CTA?" It takes a twisted mind to propose charging people to NOT use your product. The idea of charging people money for driving instead of using the CTA just to raise money for the CTA is just absurd. I hope that Burke never works for Microsoft, or we all might have to pay a fee to use a non-Windows operating system!

As if city motorists don't have it hard enough already with congestion that kills fuel efficiency and loads of time as well as the exorbitant fees to park in any parking garage (unless you want to risk meters and outrageous parking tickets) – now this elected official is suggesting we charge them to have to suffer through all this?

This complicated issue that "should not be rushed into" is one that should not have been rushed going from the alderman's brain to his mouth, because it went straight from his mouth to our ears.

This is the most ridiculous idea I can recall coming from the city aldermen since the insane foie gras ban that passed unanimously (meaning that not a single alderman saw how foolish and wrong it was and they should all be ashamed). This "congestion fee" is foolish enough to warrant kicking Burke out of office immediately. The city needs more aldermen who are smart enough to not only come up with some good ideas for a change, but also know when to keep their mouths shut to avoid the bad ideas from ever getting out.

Just remember, folks. AARON SAMUELS FOR CITY COUNCIL ALDERMAN IN 2011! Time for someone with a shred of sanity and logic to help rule the city! Read more!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The 'R' Word?

Apparently there's a new word being banned from our language - though not a word you might expect and not a ban that should be taken lightly (if accepted at all). The word we're forbidden to use is "rape", but you can still hear it said on the air, in the papers, and especially in public conversation between people of any gender, race or ethnicity. You just can't use it in court. You especially can't use it in court during a trial over a rape conviction.

Oh, did I just say the R-word? I meant "sexual assault". Oh, I can't say that either? How about "nonconsentual sex"? Good, that one's still allowed. For now, at least - since the Nebraska judge who's on a word-banning rampage decided to let "sex" itself slide. So far, the list that the judge has allowed to be banned in sexual assault cases is: "rape", "sexual assault", "victim", "assailant", and "sexual assault kit". So I guess you can't even call them sexual assault cases!

How the hell can you be charged with a crime if the courts won't even let you use the name of the crime itself? Nebraska law offers judges broad discretion to ban evidence or language that present the danger of "unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues or misleading the jury." The most common word that has been allowed to be banned from courts is "victim" - because they claim it implies that a crime was committed. The word implies that the person was the subject of an action that is categorized as unwanted or unfavorable. A negative action is not necessarily an illegal action. A defendant could be the victim of a joke or the victim of a mugging - the word 'victim' doesn't mean a crime was committed. Being in COURT means a crime was possibly committed.

Can we not use the word "defendant" because THAT implies that a crime was committed and someone is defending either the action or circumstance or some other defense? It's a TRIAL - we KNOW that a crime was committed if someone's in CRIMINAL COURT. Banning the use of words that imply what we already know to be true is utterly ridiculous.

But it gets worse - because they wanted to also ban the words "sex" and "sexual intercourse", because those words supposedly imply a LACK of crime. The lawyers claim that using "sex" in a sentence inherently implies that it's consentual, which will bias the jury, so they should ban it from this case as well.

This is shaping up to be a horrible "rape"... I mean "sexual"... I mean "nonconsentual"... Um, a horrible "some-personal-and-private-act-that-may-or-may-not-have-been-legal" case.

What was the reason again for banning these words? Something about not wanting to mislead the jury? Oh, well I'm sure that all of the discussion about banning these words and reminding the jury that none of these words are being used so they don't prejudge anyone - that'll certainly keep them led in the right direction. What's that?

Oh - the jury is completely in the dark about this!

What could be more misleading to a jury than hiding the fact that certain words are not going to be used in this trial - words that describe what the trial is about and that they need to decide whether or not it happened and whether or not the defendant did it.

Did WHAT? You can't say it! How can they make an informed decision on the facts of the case to decide if the defendant raped the plaintiff or not if nobody's allowed to use the word "rape"???

None of this is right.

And even though the word "victim" is forbidden in that court of law, it is the court of law itself that has become the victim in this insane debacle.

Sorry, rape victims. To the Nebraska courts, you're all just "unwilling sperm recipients" now. Read more!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

24:7 Energy - A Generic Energy Drink

Today’s energy drink of mention is called “24:7 Energy” (Lemon Lime flavor) – or at least I THINK that’s what it’s called. I honestly haven’t found much documentation for it at all during my searches today. The can itself is rather simple. The numbers 24:7 appear in large digital-clock-style print, with the small word “ENERGY” underneath them. The bottom area of the can is just various blurry small versions of the main logo over and over. They were on sale at my local Walgreens, so I picked up the Lemon Lime and the Cherry Berry flavors, thinking I could check them off my energy drink checklist that I got from BevNet’s 2007 compilation.

I started consuming, and did my searches to find more info, like I did for Jolt Cola yesterday. Unfortunately, the beverage was nowhere to be found on my BevNet list. BevNet had no idea what this drink was. After several hours, I finally found some answers. It turns out that the reason it was on sale at Walgreens and that NOBODY knows anything about it – it because it’s technically a Walgreens item. One of those moderate knockoffs they can sell cheaper while making it exclusive to their store. So if you read this review and want one – you’re stuck having to go to Walgreens or you’re out of luck.

But since it IS an energy drink, and I DID consume it, I’m writing a review anyway.

As for the nutrition – I haven’t been able to locate any information on the caffeine levels or any of the other energy-centric ingredients like taurine and any others with complex chemical-sounding names. I can see on the ingredients list that it does contain taurine and caffeine (more taurine than caffeine, judging by the printed order) – but again, no idea on levels, so I can’t compare it to anything else. As for the generic nutrition info, this drink contains 30g of sugar per serving. And at a 16-ounce can, that’s two full servings. The 30g is only a few more than your standard can of soda, and I’m guessing it doesn’t contain more caffeine than your average soda, either. The sodium content is 120mg per serving, though. That’s 5% of your daily recommended value (and 10% if you’re like most consumers and drink both servings at once).

So now it comes down to the final ratings:

Appearance: 5 of 10

The can is just average, in my opinion. And that’s probably because it’s a “generic-brand” beverage sold exclusively through Walgreens. I mean the logo and design are nice, but what’s the point if the product name doesn’t generate any information off the bat? I shouldn’t have to search extensively just to find out minimal details. If it wants to compete, there should be more information with a basic search. I shouldn’t have to go to the manufacturer’s website (PriLabs, Inc.) just to find out that the beverage does indeed EXIST.

Taste: 6 of 10

The flavor was listed as “Lemon Lime” but all I got out of it was “bitter citrus”. That sour taste was not a welcome accompaniment to the taurine bitterness that most people clamoring against Red Bull will recognize. At least I’m PRETTY SURE it’s because of the taurine. One would think that with the extra sugar, it would be a sweeter beverage. Not the case. Just acid citrus.

Mouthfeel: 4 of 10

I like my energy drinks carbonated, and this one was barely effervescent. The taurine (or whatever it was) gave it that energy drink bitter aftertaste that lingers at the back of the throat. To make matters worse, the sugary nature of the drink didn’t add to a sweet taste, but it did contribute to a sticky feeling in my throat I attribute to overly-sugary products. If you’ve ever eaten a bunch of candy and felt that lump of sticky saliva on the back of your tongue, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Energy: 8 of 10

Within about 30 minutes of consuming the can, I started noticing the energy overload. I got a bit of the hand-shakes, felt twitchy on and off, and noticed the energy level rising inside me. Unfortunately, it didn’t last. It took less than an hour for the extra-energy twitches to fully subside, leaving me with nothing but my normal dismal energy supply after two or three hours in total. Maybe it’s the possibly-low caffeine level or a too-high taurine level – all I know is that it was a rocket start that a few hours later left me with null but dead weight. Good kick, but no follow-through.

Overall: 5 of 10

What can be said about this Walgreens-exclusive energy drink? Well, it gave me energy – at the price of a not-too-pleasant taste and aftertaste. The energy didn’t last long, but I suppose it would be of use to those who just need a boost to get over something strenuous or one last hour of study at 2am while letting you crash around 4am safely. It’s got its uses – I prefer something with a little more staying power, as I’m sure many would agree. Just like with most knock-off brands, the cost is a little cheaper, but the product is nothing but average.

And five out of ten is certainly a testament to “average”.

Read more!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Jolt Cola Makes a Comeback!

Kids today just have no idea how easy they have it! The past few years have been marked in the history books with this surge of energy drinks flooding the market - giving children and teenagers alike more energy than youth has ever known before. Amid the befuddled psychologists wondering if it's Attention Deficit Disorder or another order of attention-defying energy drinks at work, we adults can even admit to having a few in lieu of the generic coffeehouse fodder letting us work the nine-to-five without feeling like a lunchtime nap.

But for those who can remember...

Back in 1985, a drink hit the market. Created by Wet Planet, this beverage gave the up-all-night crowd a newer and stronger jolt to the system to cram longer, code faster, or work another thumb-callus in the arcade or on a Nintendo Entertainment System.

Not by coincidence, this beverage was named Jolt - and the marketing gurus took off.

Jolt has always maintained a few slogans, such as "The Coffee Alternative" and "Twice the Caffeine".

Don't get those two mixed up - a can of Jolt Cola has never tried to contain twice the caffeine as a cup of coffee. It does, of course, measure up to one, proving that it is indeed an alternative to coffee. A 12-ounce can of Jolt Cola contains 72mg of caffeine. The average 8-ounce cup of coffee contains about 70mg (but of course can vary from 60mg to 120mg, depending on the strength of your brand - the instant stuff is usually closest to 70mg). As for the "popular" colas on the market, Pepsi comes in at 38mg and Coca-Cola comes in at 34mg. And when you've got the Marble Madness, twice the caffeine per can of soda can really make the difference! (For those of you who, like me, Do the Dew, Jolt has 42% more caffeine. Sorry.)

So that was then - and this is now. What's so new about this 20-year-old cola?

The marketing gurus are at it again.

I was walking down the aisle where the energy drinks are kept, and the word "JOLT" emblazoned across the can just caught my eye. "Is it true," I exclaimed, "that you've finally returned, ol' pal?" Indeed, a giantesque can of Jolt Cola was staring back at me. The can itself is a bit of a marvel. It's shaped like a battery, with a plus sign on the nodular top, like you'd find on a battery. This is the look of the 23.5-ounce variety of Jolt Cola (the size the marketing geniuses focused on). What makes this can different from other cans of energy drink is that while it's an aluminum can, it's also resealable. Which is good, because I'm really not the kind of guy who wants to be chugging 23.5 ounces of what I already KNOW is a heavily-caffeinated powerhouse. There's also an ingenius dashed line running up the can that's SUPPOSED to show you how much Jolt Cola you have left in the can. Maybe mine wasn't working properly. Maybe it got warm too fast and ruined the effect. I just didn't see it happening, which was a bit of a letdown.

What WASN'T a letdown was the cola itself - the same tasty brew I consumed in my bounding-off-the-walls youth. As far as colas go, it's pretty standard. The caffeine itself doesn't mar the taste in any way, and while it's NOT a Coke or a Pepsi, it's just as tasty and full of cola flavor. It's got the same 27g of sugar you'd find in the other colas.

So now it comes down to the final ratings:

Appearance: 8 of 10

While I liked the nifty bottle, it's a little busy and the non-functioning meter was disappointing. Even so, the resealable cap more than made up for it and gave it a lot of bonus points.

Taste: 8 of 10

It's just as good as it ever was. Nothing spectacular to make it stand out by taste alone, but in no way bitter like many other caffeine- and taurine-laden drinks can be. A standard cola taste makes this energy drink all the more consumable.

Mouthfeel: 8 of 10

I like my energy drinks carbonated, and this one not only delivered like a regular cola, the resealable cap kept it fizzier longer. Unfortunately, resealing the cap does nothing to keep it cool, and we all know what a bummer warm cola can be. At least it wasn't warm FLAT cola... No aftertaste, no gritty feeling - just the occasional jolt-causing belch. The way it should be.

Energy: 7 of 10

While the cola packs the same punch as it ever did, the world around it kept evolving and perhaps our energy drink market-flood has desensitized me to the rush caffeine can give. It certainly kept me awake and alert, and I have extra energy that I'm assuredly wasting by typing a review, but it was nothing to write home about. And if you DID write home about it, your hand wouldn't be shaking all over the place. Which I suppose can be a good thing.

Overall: 8 of 10

What else can I say? It's got a long, rich history - and a rich taste to match. I wouldn't stay it's going to be setting a standard or setting the bar for the next one - this was just the first. I've got a list of energy drinks currently available on the market and a drive to continue reviewing. I hope you all enjoyed the review as much as I enjoyed this revamped blast from my past.

Blast? I meant "Jolt". Read more!