Archive for June, 2012

The Red SOLO Cup

THE RED SOLO CUP

Jake Jakubuwski

Copyright, 2012.

The ubiquitous and venerable veteran of cookouts, camping trips, picnics and parties — the large red plastic SOLO cup — has a practical use, aside from being a convenient carrier of liquid refreshment.

The various lines around the cup are not just for decoration. Nor are they an engineering concept that makes the sides of the cup stronger. Can a circle have sides?

Regardless, it seems, according to recent information on the Internet, that  the rings are actually graduations that allow the user to measure various drinks.

The bottom ring is the 1 oz. mark and is the pour limit for whiskey, vodka, scotch, etc. I oz. is a “shot”, right?

The second ring is the 4-5 oz. mark and indicates the pour limit for wine, champagne, and stuff like that.

The third ring is the 8-10 oz. mark and delineates the pour limit for stuff like Smirnoff Ice, Colt 45 and other malt type liquors.

The ring above that is the 12 oz. mark and is the pour limit for beer, Coke, Mountain Dew and other soft drinks.

What’s left over is for the ice to keep your drink cold. It’s also a splash shield for those that have had to much of a good thing at the one-to-eight ounce levels.

When I first saw this on the Internet, I though, “Nah!”. So I did a little quick research and the following links seem to substantiate what I had read earlier. I did not check with SOLO; but when schools like Northeastern University weigh in on the pro side of the argument, I figure that I’ll accept that as authentication that supports the claim.

http://www.northeastern.edu/open/pdfs/PDF/Husky_Headline_Alcoh1.pdf

Even KUNC, an NPR radio station, in Colorado had this to say 

http://www.kunc.org/post/did-you-know-lines-solo-cup-are-measurement-marks

Accepting stuff at face value, even from a normally reliable source, can sometimes put you behind the eight ball, so to speak.

The reason I say that is this: The following is a rebuttal to the idea that SOLO actually made their cups with customers mixology requirements incorporated into the design. Knowing what very little I do know about engineering the position that the self-stated engineer in this Reddit forum takes, makes more sense to me.

http://www.reddit.com/r/todayilearned/comments/uek11/til_that_the_lines_on_red_solo_drinking_cups_are/

After all, I have grabbed cheap plastic cups that did not have stabilizing rings around them and had the cup collapse in my hand and the contents wind up on the ground, in someone’s lap or all over the front of my shirt.

I have also experienced “vacuum lock” whereby it would take two strong men, a fair-sized chisel and a six pound hammer to separate them. You’d be better off just passing the bottle around. Been there and done that too!

Regardless, the red SOLO cup has become and American icon. From lavish lunches to landfills and tailgate parties, the red SOLO cup can be found in prodigious numbers. There was at least one song written about the red SOLO cup:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKZqGJONH68

From where I sit, it doesn’t make any difference if you believe that the rings on a SOLO cup are measurement rings to help you mix your drinks, or if they really are stabilizers to keep the cup from collapsing inward, or they truly are nesting ledges to keep them from vacuum locking.

What’s important to me is that they can be filled with Mountain Dew – no ice! I drink my Dew like a man … straight up! And I drink it from glasses, bottles, insulated mugs and red SOLO cups with no regard for quantity — jes’ fill ‘er up!

 

No BIG Drinks in The Big Apple

No BIG Drinks in The Big Apple

Copyright, 2012 by: Jake Jakubuwski

 

New York City. The Big Apple.  Everything is bigger, better and larger then life in New York.

Except BIG, sugar-based soft drinks in a cup!

Man, ya gotta love the Big Apple.

You can buy a gun in Manhattan but as of now you can’t buy a Big Gulp®.

You can buy three or four hotdogs with all the trimmings from a street vendor but they can’t sell you a BIG drink to wash them down with.

Mayor Bloomberg has declared New York to be statistically obese and he is danged well gonna do something about it — starting with banning the sales of those big, fizzy, sugar-loaded drinks that America, through the auspices of Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola Bottling Companies, has come to love — and demand.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not picking on Coke and Pepsi. There are dozens of other purveyors of high caloric content liquid refreshment who are industriously pushing their gut busting brews. Coke and Pepsi are simply the most famous.

Hey! Mr. Mayor!

This is America! This is the land of the free. Where Fast Food and Cholesterol Castles, of one sort or another, are on nearly every street corner.

We have an inalienable right to be obese if we want to be. Why else would BK, Mickey D’s, Wendy’s and Denny’s want to Super-size everything we buy? If they were blatantly contravening The Constitution by selling 2,000 calorie meals and 3,500 calorie soft drinks, I think you might have a case 

Otherwise, sir, I think you’re playing politics with our primary food chains refreshments — and that’s wrong, man!

Think about it: “Large” is the marketing strategy of the soft drink industry. “Large” when applied to cold, fizzy, drinks is one of the first words we learn to respond to in a positive manner by saying, “Yes!”

We are programmed to find “Large” acceptable and comfortable even as it applies to our waistlines. And here you are, sir, flying in the face of tradition and public drinking preferences.

Elmer Wheeler, the famous salesman, dramatically increased lunch counter drink sales at Woolworth’s by teaching servers to simply ask, “Large?” You, on the other hand are trying to reverse a proven, acceptable and profitable marketing trend simply because a large percentage of New Yorkers are now larger then you find acceptable.

When it comes to drinks “Large” is expected. And in the face of that custom you want to eliminate large drinks. Think about the potential ramifications of that action.

Aside from the psychological damage you may be causing GutBuster guzzlers; you could be instigating an economic disaster that we don’t need in light of today’s already woeful financial news.

I mean if you’re successful in banning great tasting, caffeine-loaded, sugar-saturated large size soft drinks what’s next on your agenda? No double or triple burgers? Saltless French fries? Donuts?

Speaking of donuts. I double dare you to ban donuts in the Big Apple. Do that and NYPD would do a Blue Flu the likes of which you have never seen!

Mr. Mayor, I don’t think you’ve thought this one through.

The result of all this anti-obesity mandating could result in New Yorkers slimming down. They would not need yards and yards of material for dresses and jeans. They would suddenly put a crimp in the wallets of bottlers everywhere. Slimmer New Yorkers (And ultimately Americans) would create an economic disaster that would start in the food sector and spread to clothing, shoes (Well, some folks do have fat feet) and even impact Bunny Bread, soda straws and large plastic cup manufacturers.

Wall Street would love that, I can tell you.

You might note that businesses affected by this macabre mandate are already offering unlimited FREE refills on all 12 ounce drinks. An underground cult of offended Big Drink Lovers is already planning demonstrations throughout the city.

I suggest that you rescind this ridiculous ruling and tell everyone it was a belated April Fool’s Day joke! Which many folks actually think it is. 

Make sure you are holding a 44 ounce sugar-caffeine-calorie-caramel loaded drink in one hand while standing in front of my cousin Vinnie’s hotdog cart as you make your announcement.