Monthly Archive: October 2017

Enjoy the Nectar of the Gods

Wine: How — and Why — to Enjoy the Nectar of the Gods

There is a good reason why wine was dubbed “the nectar of the gods.”

Wine is just one of those things that makes life better. Not perfect, perhaps, but certainly more agreeable and easier to live. Consequently, people have been using the beverage to celebrate, toast, and relax with for even longer than there has been written history.

How to figure out wine?

The word “wine” covers an encompassing variety of grapes, countries, tastes, and colors. Where to start, where to start?

Think of wine as being like cars. Do you want a sleek speedy model to take to the beach, or a vintage Rolls Royer to impress the collectors? Or will an old banger with dents and missing paint suffice?

Like so many things in life, understanding wine comes from researching the topic. Even if  only imbibing plonk, it is still important to know the background of the tipple of choice. Age is another factor when it comes to deciding on a wine. Young people – read under 22 and under – will drink whatever is on offer and not be able to tell the difference. The same person many bottles and 20 years on would be embarrassed to be seen drinking wine of their youth.

Where was wine first fermented?

According to The Scientific American, the first wine on record dates back about 9,000 years to a rice and honey concoction found on the shards of pottery in central China.  Alas, it was going to take the Chinese another 5,000 years to get the fermentation process right.

The areas around Georgia and Armenia are credited with being the first wine-makers to use grapes. Some 7,400-year old jars of the brew were found in the Zagros Mountins, which is modern-day Iraq.  Now that is truly aged wine.

When to drink wine?

In the 19th century, Jean Anthime Brillat-Savarin – have to give credit to the French for innovative names — wrote “A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine.” The question remains as to whether or not he included breakfast in his statement.

Weekend brunch, however, is a popular meal and time to begin imbibing for the day.

Other plausible reasons for popping a cork include – but are not limited to:

  • It is Tuesday.
  • Somewhere in the world it is 17:00.
  • My uncle just brewed a batch that has come of age.
  • Why not?

How to pick wine

The first and foremost consideration when choosing wine is budget. A downtown wine-o might only be able to scrape together $4.20 for a bottle of sherry. As a fortified wine, it is a higher alcohol content than regular vine which is generally 10 to 14 percent.

A rich wine snob who announces that this particular vintage has “raspberry on the medium-long palate and finishes with a mixture of tannic and a touch of barnyard” will happily drop $500 for a single bottle and think she got a deal.

How to open wine

It is wonderful to have a great bottle of wine, but how do you get the cork out so you can drink it?  Careful here, as the ways to get at the wine – which varies from hammering the cork into the bottle with a wooden spoon to the latest electric corkscrew on the market – as there are diverse and snobby wine tastings.

Time to call in the experts:

Given the wide range of corkscrew options from the traditional waiter’s friend to the often-used-in-the-suburbs wings model, people can delete the wooden spoon from their list of viable options.

Why should you drink wine?

It is fun; it leaves you with a floating feeling; it is good for your health.

Even the Mayo Clinic – which is about as reputable a medical source as can be found — advises that a glass or two of wine – red, in particular – helps with digestive and other body processes.

The “one or two glasses” a day suggestion explains why people are now choosing wine glasses that are about the same size as small fish tanks. True die-hard can opt for the wine glasses that hold a whole bottle, which makes it easy to stick to the recommended daily limit of “one to two.”

How to store wine

Outlets often offer a discount when customers buy a dozen or more bottle at a time. This forward planning requires a place to keep it. If you have a custom-made wine cellar in your basement it isn’t hard to store the bottles cork down to be retrieved as needed.

Small apartment dwellers are faced with a challenge. One option is to clean out your closet to free up some space. Really, do need 16 pair of running shoes that you never wear? Or how about that little black dress that will fit perfectly as soon as you shed another 10 to 12 pounds?

Armed with this information, readers are now ready to go forward the imbibe. Cheers.

Client-side Web Development

Client-side Web Development

Web development can be broken down into three parts: client-side scripting, involving the programs that run in the user’s web browser; server-side scripting, which involves everything running on the web server; and database tech, which controls all the server database’s information that supports a website. These three parts, when put together, create your web browsing experience.

Each of these three sections requires knowledge of specific languages. These languages are the code that scripts are written in. While there are “full-stack” developers, many tend to specialize. If you’re looking to learn to code or simply interesting in learning the basics so you can articulate better to those you want to code for you, keep reading.

Client-side scripting

Scripting on the client side includes any code that’s purpose to run within a web browser. These scripts run by enabling your web browser to temporarily download all the mandatory files from the site’s web server. This is what gives you the web page and being downloaded for the moment allows you to view the files with a lost internet connection, so long as you don’t leave the browser. JavaScript is the most commonly used client-side script, but we’ll start off with web design basics.

Web design as a concept includes all things needed to draft and complete the visual part of a website. As far as scripting is concerned, the two languages are HTML and CSS. These two languages give the developer control of the structure and color of the website. If you’re looking for a solid team of web designers, look no further than

HTML or hypertext markup language is the standardized language that gives structure. It also formats the content and page elements that you see when browsing. You can imagine HTML as a frame to the house that is your website, with the content and elements being the walls.

CSS or cascading style sheets is decorations and furnishing in this website-house analogy. This language enables programmers to permanently set patterns, placements, and colors for text, links, and elements. It saves the developer time by permanently setting the look and format for multiple pages. It has the added bonus of being its own separate file as to not interrupt with the HTML.

The two languages create the visual part of your web browsing experience. As technology develops, dynamic web pages have become normal. This takes more expertise on part of the developer as these pages are scripted to work on different browsers and mobile devices. The above however is only one of many layers and once the look is complete it’s time to move under the hood.

JavaScript and its frameworks

At the time of writing, the two most relevant programming languages in client-side scripting are JavaScript and ActionScript. JavaScript is used for various animations, games, apps and other dynamic or interactive online media. ActionScript is the language used for Adobe Flash audio and video. With Adobe Flash begin its phase-out process, we’ll only discuss JavaScript.

JavaScript is used in tandem with HTML and CSS to create interactive and personalized web browsing and app experiences. It’s been around for a while and thankfully for many, has various frameworks available that simply its use.

A JavaScript framework is a library of pre-written JavaScript which exhibits full-stack capabilities and allows for easier development when programming. Frameworks like AngularJS and jQuery enable a developer to do more in less time. This is major for professionals, especially when they’re working on big projects.

Final notes

The above may seem like a ton of information. If so, now you understand why developers specialize. The other two pieces of the puzzle weren’t mentioned. But, now have the gist of what goes into creating a web browsing experience on the client-side. If you plan to become a developer here are a few easy tips.

The basics of the languages can all be found online for free, as are practicing and testing your coding results. You’re a Google search away from everything you need to know about programming languages. Remember to have fun.