Sometimes, there are topics I gain interest in seemingly out of nowhere. Space was kind of gestured at me (I met an astronaut, Pete Conrad, when I was very young) but not really supported in any kind of long reaching way. Nobody influenced my interest in things like shamans and cave paintings, for example (and I still need to finish Mircea Eliade's book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, which I only read about half of and put down. So really, I need to restart it and read the whole way through.)
But, whatever the source, I am interested in shamans and cave paintings, and so was stoked to see this article from the Smithsonian about a full scale replica of Chauvet Cave that they've constructed in France (where the original Chauvet is, natch). If you don't yet know why this is amazingly cool, get thee to Netflix or your library and find The Cave of Forgotten Dreams to watch. It's incomprehensible just how amazing a space it is. It also amazes me that Chauvet Cave was discovered in 1994, but I didn't hear about it at the time.
But there are a lot of things I didn't know about at the time. For instance, the International Space Station, which captivates a lot of my interest now, was built while I was in high school. Piece by piece constructed in orbit, and I had no idea. I wish I'd become a space nerd far earlier, really I do. But a thing my dad would have thought was really cool is there's an intersect of space and beer coming out on April 13; namely, Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene, Oregon is releasing Ground Control, which is an imperial stout they've brewed from yeast they launched into space.
That I can tell, the yeast wasn't left in space, but rather was launched (encapsulated in vials), reached a certain space altitude, and returned to earth. So, kind of gimmicky sure, but it was yeast that went into space and survived, remaining healthy enough to be used for brewing. Yeast can be kind of sensitive, so this does hold some real interest beyond "fuck yeah, space beer." They don't seem to have t-shirts or hats or anything, which is disappointing. It's also going to be a limited release, so I don't know if it'll come to my area or not. There are a couple places here in town which have fairly good beer selections.
Of course, I'm not particularly into beer, though I am inclined to be a beer snob on principle. But I dislike dark beers far less than I dislike light beers, and as I mentioned last week, I did drink an Irish Car Bomb on St. Patrick's day, which was interesting. The Guiness on its own tasted all right, it wasn't aversive to me when I sipped it before taking the plunge (to make sure I could). The hard alcohol (it's half a shot of whiskey and half a shot of Bailey's, essentially) was all right as well, probably because of the Bailey's. And the two together? Cancelled out the things I dislike about each other. So that was kind of cool. I'm not saying it's My Drink™ now or anything like that (I don't really have one of those. Whiskey Sours are....okay anyway. Rum and Coke might be the closest, I guess, if it's the dark spiced rum like Kraken or Cockspur).