Wine Essentials

How Wine Aerators and Decanters work

Copag Direct

The History of Solitaire

Troilus and Cressida

Shakespeare's Little-Known Tragedy


A Non-Smoker's Opinion on Ecigarettes

Friday, April 26, 2013

There is truly a potpourri of men's jackets to choose from. A man could choose jackets such as the safari design, the cotton jacket, the utility version, and the leather design of jacket to name a few. Perhaps one of the most popular jacket designs, however, would be the Men's Bomber (or Flight) jacket type of coat. These types of jackets have had a long and rich history, beginning with the soldiers in flight during World War I. In 1915, many of the planes at that time had what is called an open cockpit, meaning that the pilots were exposed to the air and to the elements. The men were distributed heavy duty flight jackets of leather, and thus the Men's Bomber jacket was born.

Although they have been producing Men's Bomber Jackets for almost a century, they still remain popular today. They begin being mass produced in 1926, and they have underwent several modifications since their early incarnation. Bomber jackets were first marketed as the A-2 and was even more popularized during the second World War. The A-2 Bomber jacket is much sought after today and can usually be acquired for between $200-400 depending on type and manufacturing specifications. Today, the Bomber jacket is popular today with the biker crowd as well as the Air Force. The film "Top Gun" saw a renaissance of the Bomber style of jacket.

There are many manufacturers of this type of jacket design nowadays. The most popular version of this type of jacket is the A-2, which has been made from the 1940's to today. There are several manufacturers of the A-2 leather jacket, including Cockpit USA, US Wings, Lost World Inc., Eastman Leather, Good Wear Leather Coat company, and Gibson and Barnes among many others. These manufacturers' jackets can be costly, however, at an average of $800 each. There are a number of companies that offer a jacket with a similar design, including L.L. Bean's "Flying Tiger" jacket that can be had for around $200-300 however.

The Bomber Jacket is an interesting product with a great deal of history attached to it. The high quality leather apparel makes it well worth the price.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The word “corset” comes from the French word meaning “a kind of laced bodice” and was originally used as an undergarment to slip the figure of males and females. Corsets originated in Italy and were introduced to France in the 1500s. The original corsets would flatten the bust pushing the breasts up and narrowing the waist producing a look that emphasized the curves of the woman.

Corsets were first made from an iron frame with a velvet covering but in the 16th century the iron was replaced by wood and whalebone as the materials were lighter and more comfortable.

In the 1700s the most popular style of corsets was the inverted conical shape that provided a stark contrast between the heavy skirts worn in the same era. The primary purpose of corsets was to improve posture, raise the shape of the breasts and create a slimming effect.

In 1917 during WWI women were asked to stop buying corsets because of the metal used to make them. This amassed 28,000 tons of metal that could be used in the war.

During the 21st century the corset has been used by the fashion industry to describe designs similar to traditional corsets without the heavy metal and discomfort of wearing one. Modern corsets have boning for shape but it is made out of a lightweight wire and has little effect on the body in regards to the shape.

In medicine people with scoliosis or spine difficulties may wear a type of corset that protects the torso and allows it to heal. In 1968 Andy Warhol was shot and required to wear a corset the rest of his life.

Corsets remain a fashionable item for wardrobes and can be used to create a slimming shape of the waist or can be used under or over garments depending on the style of the wearer. Modern corsets are a lot lighter and more comfortable than their historical counterparts.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Everyone knows that Instagram is one of the most popular apps of all time. I don't anyone eats anymore before posting their meal on Instagram first, complete with stylized filters and a detailed description of what they're about to consume.

The ubiquity of mobile devices has made documenting our lives easier than ever. Instagram has taken that power to a whole new level by giving us access to the creative tools to make our memories into a form of artistic expression. Easy to use filters and tools can make the most mundane of subjects look amazing. On top of all of that, we now have the ability to share our work and connect with other people through the medium of photography. It's a fantastic way to get insight into our own daily lives and those of the rest of the world. But I've recently discovered a new way to preserve and display the very best of my photos.

Did you know that there are ways to print your Instagram photos directly onto a wood canvas? The process involves a newly developed technology that is similar to tattooing. The ink is actually injected into the wood. This results in gorgeously vibrant and accurate colors and makes the resulting print resistant to heat and humidity. You can even hang them in the bathroom. But it's not just the extreme durability of the wooden canvas that makes this an attractive option. The wood itself adds a unique impact, enhancing the effect of most Instagram filters and complementing your subject in ways traditional canvas never could.

This stunning effect is accomplished by using no white ink when transferring the digital photo onto the wood. Every spot in the picture that would be white instead allows the natural wood grain to shine through. Therefore, photos with large sections of light colors are especially striking. Consider a landscape with a vista of open sky. Now imagine how amazing it would look to have the shapes of the surrounding landscape accented by the gently swirling patterns of natural wood. The pattern plays very well with most filters, too.

Companies like even promise that they use only sustainable materials in their canvases. This includes both inventoried wood and sustainable inks. They also treat their workers fairly and use only non-harmful chemicals in their custom printed wood canvases. This is an entirely American made product. Woodsnap has also teamed up with American Forests, the nation's oldest non-profit conservation organization, to plant one redwood tree for every Woodsnap canvas sold. This is a fantastic way to get truly unique, durable art for your home, preserve your best artistic endeavors, and help the environment at the same time! 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

One thing that the Nerdy Culturist likes is hunting.  Hunting season is here, and the holiday season is upon us, too. What a great time to start thinking about holiday gifts for the outdoor sports enthusiast in your life.

One thing you probably won’t need is a gun – you’ve got that covered already. And clothes for the occasion are usually piled up under the tree at Christmastime. So how about treating yourself to some high-quality gun accessories and reloading supplies, right now?

Is it time for a replacement barrel, maybe? Or how about a new choke tube, which runs about 55 bucks?  You could also get a bag that holds and store a bunch of choke tubes! That could come in very handy on a hunting trip.

If you’ve got a little more than 250 bucks to spend, you might want to think about buying a conversion kit that improves firepower, accuracy and performance.
A good rifle scope could run you anywhere for $70 to $120, so if you don’t consider it “cheating” to use a scope, then go for it.

If your style is to sit in position and wait patiently, a gun stock with a good swivel may be the way to go, and it only costs about $90 to get a good one.
Is that old rifle case all worn out from years of use and exposure to the elements? Then pick up a nice, new water-resistant case for around $70.

Not every gun-related purchase needs to be expensive. A rifle strap – which can start at about $4 and goes up to about $20 for a good one – is always a welcome accessory for any serious hunter.

Or, if you want to be ready for action the moment a duck or deer is in your sights, you could get yourself a lightweight mountain sling for about 15 bucks (for 15 ducks, sorry, I couldn't help myself!)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hello, my nerds. As you know, the season of gift giving is just around the corner and now is no time to impose your credo of awesome nerdness. Nerdy gifts are great if given to fellow members of the nerdom. But never fear! The Nerdy Culturist is here to guide you past the sticky coolness and into the realm of acceptable gift-giving.

A Guide

Finding the perfect gift for someone can be difficult. It is important to figure out what their hobbies are or what fashion items they may like before starting your search. It is crucial to purchase a gift that you know the person will like and not likely take it back for something else. Shopping for women is typically easier than for a man. Women are more into beauty products and accessories than men are. A lot of people choose perfume gift sets to buy for women in their lives. Finding a scent that you can picture the women wearing and enjoying is fun and will allow you to test a bunch of different brands.

Purchasing perfume gift sets for presents can be costly. Often times you can find good deals on perfume when shopping in department stores or on the Internet. Making sure that the person you are purchasing the gift set for is not allergic to any type of perfume or lotion is important. You do not want them to breakout or have an allergic reaction to your thoughtful gift. Some people think that giving perfume gift sets as gifts can seem like you are trying to tell the other person that they stink. That is not the case at all. Many people buy these gift sets to allow the women in their life to pamper themselves and stay smelling beautiful all day long.

Bath and body products are great presents for either men or women. Cologne gift sets are always winners (Check out this RocaWear Cologne Gift Set for only your most un-nerdy friends). Men like to smell good, just as women do. There are also sets which have shaving cream, lotion, and other items that men enjoy as well. Great gift ideas are easy to find when you are shopping online or in a store.

Friday, October 05, 2012

LED stands for light-emitting diode. You might already own an electronic device that uses this energy-efficient lighting technology, such as a battery operated smartphone and digital camera. You can save money on your electricity bill, as well, through the use of modern LED lights.

Conventional incandescent lighting wastes about 90 percent of the energy given off by the bulb in the form of heat energy. Another disadvantage of using incandescent bulbs is that you end up with poor illumination in a room or area of the home. Lastly, as conventional bulbs generate excess heat in an enclosed room you might become uncomfortable from the warm, stale and humid air. During the summer season electricity bills tend to run higher. LED lights are brighter and don't waste as much heat energy.

Manufacturers produce LED bulbs in varying shapes and sizes. However, you should have no trouble replacing incandescent bulbs with LED units. You can utilize your existing light sockets, including those in small track lighting and recessed fixtures. You don't have to spend extra money hiring an electrician to upgrade your equipment. LED bulbs also last 25 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Some estimates are that LED lights can keep your home lit up for close to 10 to 20 years.

Use the Energy Star label as a guide if you are unsure about which LED bulbs to purchase. The U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency work together to run this energy-efficiency program. The administrators of the Energy Star program run tests on LED bulbs before these products reach store shelves to make sure consumers like you are not ripped off or experience less than stellar performance and quality.

LED lighting will eventually replace incandescent bulbs. It not only saves money, but it can save the environment as well.

 For more information on LEDs and saving on energy costs, go to U.S. Department of Energy: LED Lighting and our friends at LA LED.

Aerators and decanters are very useful items that should be in the tasting kit of every wine aficionado. While many feel they only need a simple corkscrew and wine glass, those in the know find these two additional tools to be invaluable items.

Anyone who has watched a wine-taster will have seen the familiar ritual: holding the glass up to the light, and then swirling the wine around the glass a few times before sniffing it. Only then is the wine ready to be tasted. To the layperson this may appear to be an amusing or even pretentious display, but each of these steps in wine tasting serves a clear purpose.

By holding the glass up to the light, the taster is checking for sediment. Though this is most common in very old wines, even younger wines can have a few stray pieces of peel in the bottle. While sediments are generally harmless, most people find them to be very unpleasant when they are imbibed with a fine wine. What is the solution to this problem? Use decanters to remove the wine from the sediment. Because undisturbed solids will rest at the bottom of a bottle, carefully decanting the wine allows them to be left behind in the bottle. Many wine aficionados also enjoy serving a good wine from a beautiful decanter as well.

When experienced tasters swirl wine, they are aerating it. To prevent spoilage, the air in wine is replaced with nitrogen. This preserves the wine but masks both the flavor and aroma. Aeration will put the air back into the wine. For serving wine, the easiest way to do this is with aerators, which increase the surface area of the wine while it is being poured. This allows air to enter the wine without unnecessarily shaking it. 

Fore more information on wine aerators and decanters, visit our friends at Wine Essentials.