Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Great Coffe Conspiracy

Most Barnes & Noble locations feature a Barnes & Noble Café, serving the same drink menu as Starbucks. B&N Cafés are owned and operated exclusively by Barnes & Noble, Inc but Starbucks Corporation has contracted with Barnes & Noble to operate cafes in Barnes & Noble superstores under the Starbucks brand. So the Starbucks logo is a prominent portion of the overall B&N café branding package, and is depicted on cups, architectural signage, and employee uniforms.

The Borders bookstore chain signed a contract with Seattle's Best Coffee in 2004 to convert Borders' in-store cafés to Seattle's Best cafés. As of 2006, approximately half of Borders' domestic superstores have completed the Seattle's Best conversion.

This then caused me to think there is a healthy rivalry between book store café's. But then I discovered that Seattle's Best Coffee has a parent company. Yes you guessed it that Starbucks Corporation is actually the parent company of Seattle's Best Coffee. Then to top that off Starbucks also owns and operates café locations within Chapters Bookstores in Canada.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fanta the Offical Drink of the Third Reich

Coca Cola has branded Fanta its assorment of fruit flavored sodas as a latin sensation. The name Fanta even seems like it might be Spanish. But in reality Fanta is a Greman name. The The Fantanas dancing around in Latin influenced party attire. It turns out that it is simply an omage to how much the Nazi's liked Latin America after the war. The fact that Brazil is the largest consumer of Fanta in the world seems to me to be a result of the close ties that Brazil had with Nazi Germany during the Vargas' administration.

This may seem like the crazed rambling of a conspiracy theorist but, Fanta was invented during World War II in Nazi Germany by the German Coca Cola (GmbH) bottling company. Coca-Cola continued export syrup concentrate to Nazi Germany despite much critacism. What truely intrigues me is that most non-German products and many imports where banned by the Nazis. But since the Nazis admired Coca Cola's ideals so GmbH was still allowed to import concentrate. Eventually, the difficulty of shipping Coca-Cola concentrate to Germany and its occupied states, due to the Allied blockades, led to the creation of Fanta.

The CEO of GmbH, Max Keith, needed to do something to keep the bottling plants in operation and the Nazis thirst for soft drinks quinched, so he came up with a fruit flavored drink made from whatever he could find. Using apple fiber left over from cider presses and whey, a byproduct from cheese manufacture, Fanta was created and became quite popular.

What is most shocking about all this to me Keith turned the Fanta profits over to Coca Cola after the war. Keith was investigated by Coca Cola after the war, and it is claimed that he refused to join the Nazi Party despite pressure to do so if this is true Keith was more scared of Coca Cola than the Nazis.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

My Favorite Poltical Party

Ciudadanos En Blanco is a Spanish political party.

In Spanish electoral law, a distinction is made between valid votes, blank votes (votos en blanco) and null votes. Blank votes are interpreted as correctly executed votes for "none of the above", and consistently about 2% of votes are blank. Voting "blank" is not the same thing as abstaining, and so it has been argued that blank votes should be recognized as legitimate by apportioning empty seats in representative bodies according to the number of blank votes.

This would mean that 2% of the seats would be left empty. Though this is not what currently happens. So the platform of Ciudadanos En Blanco is that, if elected, their candidates will leave their seats vacant, until such time as the Spanish electoral law is reformed to recognize blank by apportioning empty seats in representative bodies according to the number of blank votes.

So you have a political party that promises to do nothing. Sounds pretty perfect to me. We get all the benefits of America’s current do nothing congress but none of the problems.