Bobcat Banter Ep1: Trumped up Charges

Donald Trump has polarized the political world, pitting liberals against conservatives with a newfound intensity that has consumed newsfeeds and disrupted Thanksgivings around the country. In liberal Athens, Ohio, conservatives are about as commonly accepted as Miami fans or teetotalers, but can you really judge a Trump supporter by his cover? I spoke to Cole Neuhart, a member of the OU College Republicans, and Dan Kington, a member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO), to find out more.

(Music courtesy of Martijn de Boer (NiGiD), ccMixter)

Bobcats can Vote! Early Voting in Athens, Ohio

 

Election Day is still two weeks away, but you don’t have to wait to cast your vote. Early voting is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Athens Co Board of Elections Office, 15 S. Court St. Voting early can help you to avoid long lines on Election Day, and only takes about 10 mins. I asked Penny L. Brooks, Deputy Director at the Board of Elections Office about the reasons to vote early and the how many votes have already been cast. 

Monday update: what you need to know post-parents’ weekend

Whether they were banging their heads at Skeletonwitch’s first show back at the recently rebuilt, The Union Bar or cheering on a Bobcat victory at Peden Stadium, Bobcat moms and dads came out all over town to show their kids a thing or two this weekend.

via GIPHY

As Parents’ Weekend comes to an end we look forward to the coming week. Here are some reminders and fun things to do to get you through it.

1. The first presidential debate is on Monday

The first debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will kick off tonight from 9-10:30pm. The debate has already sparked a number of controversies such as whether moderators should fact check candidates in real time. The increasingly polarized nature of this year’s campaigns promises to make this a heavily watched event, with some experts predicting 100 million viewers (i.e. as many as watched the last Super Bowl). If you’re looking for a fun way to numb your political pain look no further than DebateDrinking.com

2. Bring a raincoat

As we enter the first full week of fall, expect lower temperatures with highs in the high-60s to mid-70s and rain almost every day this week.

3. Movies to see at The Athena

With the rain incoming, a movie just uptown might be the perfect midweek activity. See Don’t Think Twice a new star-studded comedy about improv actors, or the newest documentary from legendary director Ron Howard, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week. Here’s a full list of showtimes.

4.  Cafe Conversations: Journalism

Come to Baker Center Front Room on Wednesday at 5pm for a presentation by Media Arts and Studies Professor David Mould. Publish and (maybe) Perish: The Dangers of Journalism in Shady Regimes is an informal presentation on Journalism in countries with minimal free speech and students are encouraged to participate in the discussion. There will be free coffee for the first 50 attendees. A livestream will also be available.

5. Career and Internship Fair

Don’t forget to stop by Baker Center on Monday between 10am and 3pm. Hundreds of employers from a wide variety of industries will be present to network with and talk to about career opportunities in your field.

 

Donkey Coffee: a refreshing alternative to corporate cafés

For seasoned Athenians, Donkey Coffee probably isn’t a major revelation. For many of us, the locally owned café, tucked just off of Court St., is just as prominent as the ever ubiquitous Starbucks, perhaps even more so, and for good reason.

While the difference in coffee quality is negligible for most anyone who doesn’t consider themselves a connoisseur, the atmosphere most certainly is not.

Sure, the baristas are just as young and hipster-esque as the ones in your favorite national coffee franchise but with them, you get a sense of authenticity that is immediately apparent. At Donkey you never feel as though the people behind the counter were chosen to fulfill some sort of preordained corporate diversity mandate. As the kilt-laden latte-ist elegantly prepares your coffee with a four-inch fixed blade sheathed at his waist, you get the feeling that the coffee shop you’ve found yourself in is in fact the antithesis of corporate coffee. You get the impression that even while they have a featured flavored concoction every month, a pumpkin spiced latte is as welcome in here as the bubonic plague.

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The atmosphere of the sitting room is equally foreign to those of us who have grown accustomed to the predictable minimalism of big-name chains. Instead of carefully designed matching seats and stone-tiled fireplaces, there is a mismatched melange of tables and chairs seemingly scavenged from the attics of a hundred grandparents. There are old boardgames on every shelf, murals of 1960’s music legends on the walls, and a dim sort of lighting that makes one feel oddly philosophical. It’s the kind of place where you could feel welcome to sit for many hours studying for a big exam or else locked in spirited political debate without fear of having overstayed your welcome.

The fun doesn’t stop at coffee and good atmosphere, though. Donkey has that beautiful sense of “why not?” that one can only ever seem to find at a local joint. Twice a week, for instance, they host an open stage, one a slam poetry night in which willing wordsmiths gather to bare their beatnik souls and snap each other their praises; the other an open mic for amateur and expert musicians alike to spend some time practicing in front of a supportive audience. They also host a wide variety of concerts and performance art shows, a full list of which can be found on their site. I challenge you to find any of these things at your local Starbucks.

Donkey’s sense of its customers’ needs is never more clear, though than during exam week. During finals, Donkey is open 24 hours a day so that students can come and get their caffeine fix even into the wee hours of the night to fuel their marathon study sessions.

In short, Donkey is a fantastic coffee shop, but what sets it apart from all the rest is everything else that it is. So next time you’re thinking of stopping in at Front Room for your daily dose of java, consider walking a bit further down the road for an experience that’s a little bit different.

6 Belgian Beers that are Brewed by Monks

 

When you think of monks, you probably think of bald heads, flowing robes, and vows of silence, but unless you’re Belgian, you probably don’t think of beer. Even if you haven’t heard of them before, Trappist Breweries and the monasteries they support have been around for hundreds of years. There are currently only 11 licenced Trappist breweries in the world, six of which are in Belgium. Their rarity, as well as their reputation for quality, make the Trappists some of the most sought-after beers in the world.

1. Trappistes Rochefort
(Adam Barhan https://www.flickr.com/photos/adambarhan/)
(Flickr, Adam Barhan)

Established in 1595, Rochefort is the oldest Trappist brewer still currently making beer. They sell three styles of Dark Belgian ales ranging from the 6, the lightest at 7.5%ABV up to the 10, weighing in at a mighty 11.3%ABV.

2. Orval
(Morgaine - https://www.flickr.com/photos/morgaine/14978747067/in/photostream/)
(Flickr, Morgaine)

La Brasserie d’Orval opened its modern brewery in 1931 in the Gaum region of Belgium, but there is evidence of brewing going back to the first days of the Abbey in 1628. Though they only make one beer (6.2% ABV) it is highly coveted as one of the best dark ales in the world for its rich, malty flavor.

3. Trappist Achel
(Flickr, Christer Edvartsen)
(Flickr, Christer Edvartsen)

Trappist Achel is only sold in two varieties outside of the monastery: the 8 Blonde which is the lighter, and the 8 Brune, being its darker counterpart. Achel is the smallest Belgian Trappist brewery by volume, only producing 120,000 gallons of beer per year.

 

4. Chimay
(Flickr, Smabs Sputzer)
(Flickr, Smabs Sputzer)

Chimay is one of the most prolific Trappists, it is sold all around the world and can be found in many US supermarkets. It comes in four varieties: Blue label (Dark), Dorrée (Blonde), Red label (Dubbel), and White label (Trippel).

 

5. Westmalle Trappist
(Flickr, Georgio)
(Flickr, Georgio)

Westmalle Trippel is considered one of the best trippels in the world. Its quality has not gone unnoticed as it is one of the largest Trappist breweries by volume (3.2 million gal. per year)

 

6. Westvleteren Trappist
(Andreador, via commons.wikimedia.org)
(Andreador, via commons.wikimedia.org)

Westvleteren is known as one of the greatest beers in the world, but it’s also one of the hardest to get. In fact, in order to buy a case you have to make an appointment to drive to the monastery in rural Flanders. Otherwise, you can try your luck in the tourist stores of Brussels but limited quantity means bottles are regularly sold for 15euro apiece (1.75euro at the monastery).