Mixer Mania #37 – Notably Negligent

Did you know that we have Ginger Beer to thank for the legal term of negligence. It all stems from the English 1932 case of Donoghue v. Stevenson, which resulted when Mrs. Donoghue drank a Ginger Beer that had been manufactured by Mr. Stevenson’s company. There happened to (allegedly) be a snail in the bottle, which caused Mrs. Donoghue to become sick. Mr. Stevenson was guilty due to negligence, which had previously not been used in legal matters. Here are some other infamous cases of legal negligence:

McDonald’s Coffee

Almost everyone out there knows of this lawsuit, which most point to as being ridiculous. After hearing the circumstances, though, many change their minds and can understand why the restaurant chain was punished as harshly as they were. When 80-year-old Stella Liebeck spilled a cup of java on her lap, causing third-degree burns, she asked for $800 to cover the treatments for her injuries. When McDonald’s balked, Liebeck sued and was awarded $2.7 million by a jury. Apparently, the franchise had received hundreds of complaints about the temperature of their coffee which was served much higher than other restaurants.

Coffee Caution Hot.jpg

Google Maps

In 2009, Lauren Rosenberg used Google Maps for a walking journey she needed to take and ended up getting hit by a car. The map service advised her to walk on a freeway void of sidewalks as part of her trip, resulting in the accident. Rosenberg sued Google (and the driver who hit her) for $100,000 to cover her medical bills. The case was eventually dismissed, as Google does have warnings about the reliability of their directions.

Los Angeles Dodgers

After a San Francisco Giants fan, Bryan Stow, was viciously beaten by two men, causing brain damage, Stow sued the Dodgers, alleging his attack was to be blamed on a lack of security presence at the opening day contest between the two teams. Stow was awarded $18 million, of which the Dodgers were found to be 25 per cent responsible, but still have to fork over $13.9 million to cover all of Stow’s medical bills and loss of earnings. Hostilities between Giants and Dodgers fans have existed for decades, even resulting in a couple murders.

Wendy’s Chili

In 2005, Anna Ayala of California sat down to a meal at a Wendy’s restaurant in San Jose. While eating, she claimed to have discovered a severed fingertip in her bowl of chili. She sued Wendy’s, however, Ayala had a checkered history of lawsuits against companies and it didn’t take long for investigators to poke holes in her story. Ayala was later arrested and charged with attempted grand larceny for the incident, which she pled guilty to and was sentenced to nine years in prison, serving four years. The finger belonged to a co-worker of Ayala’s husband. Wendy’s estimated their loss of revenue from the incident to be $21 million.

Mixer Mania #37: Bermuda Black

Bermuda Black

  • 2 oz Rum
  • 1.75 oz Stout or Porter Beer
  • Top with Ginger Beer
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

What are some other famous negligence lawsuits that have been filed in this crazy world? Whether legit or not, the subject matter is often quite interesting and often divisive.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
I was really looking forward to making this drink and it did not disappoint. If you try it and the Ginger Beer content is too high, you can even the drink out with more of the Stout/Porter Beer and the results will be absolutely delicious.

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Flavour Revolution – Lemon

When Life Gives You Lemons

I find stories of people turning their lives around to be quite fascinating and inspiring. Going through challenges makes for better people on the other end and some of the greatest things we know today were created by those who took risks, defied protocols, and pushed through adversity. Here are some fine examples of folks turning lemons into lemonade!

Walt Disney

Had Walt Disney been one to easily give up, we wouldn’t have an archive of wonderful characters, shows, movies, theme parks, and experiences. Countless times, it was speculated that Disney would destroy his own company with new ventures. This included the making of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – dubbed Disney’s Folly by the media – and the construction of Disneyland, which many believed had no chance of success. Disney had so much trouble raising funds for the theme park that he made a deal with the ABC TV network, exchanging programming for help in financing his dream. Everything worked out in the end, thanks to Disney’s risks.

Walt Disney Legacy

Henry Ford

The man who eventually brought the world the automobile went through a number of struggles before finally reaching success. Ford came from a farming family and was expected to take over the homestead, although he hated the work and lifestyle. Ford wanted a better life for himself, but simply leaving the farm didn’t guarantee anything. In fact, Ford was forced to file for bankruptcy twice, but he learned from his mistakes and gained a net worth of $188 billion. Ford was also one to look after his employees, offering them an unheard of $5 per day wage, allowing them to buy the vehicles they were making.

JK Rowling

The Harry Potter author, now raking in cash from her books, movie deals, theme park lands, etc. was once living off welfare and trying to complete her novel by travelling to various coffee houses, while caring for her infant child. Even when interest began swelling for her manuscript, she was advised to seek a day job, as it was unlikely she would make enough money solely on writing children’s books. While speaking for a graduating Harvard class in 2008, Rowling said: “It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”

Steve Jobs

Before he became the technological icon that we know him as today – creating devices such as the iMac, iPod, iPad, and iPhone – Jobs went through many hardships. Among them, he was an adopted child, struggled in school, dropped out of college course he could barely afford in the first place, and struggled to find his niche in the working world. Even running his own company would not provide smooth sailing. In fact, at one time, he was forced out of Apple, the company he created and would later bring back to prominence. Even in declining health due to cancer, Jobs never gave up hope or his dreams and kept working hard through it all.

Jobs Taking Over

Terry Fox

Fox was only 18 years old when he was forced to have his leg amputated due to cancer. The young man didn’t let that stop him, though, as he not only won national wheelchair basketball championships, but also embarked on a trip across Canada, running to raise money for cancer research. Fox’s Marathon of Hope lasted 143 days and 5,373 km, garnering $1.7 million in donations. Sadly, the journey had to be halted in Thunder Bay, Ontario, when Fox was too sick to continue, cancer returning to the athlete’s body. In honour of his campaign, the Terry Fox Run is done annually around the world and has raised over $650 million.

Rick Hansen

Sticking with Canadian content, the wheelchair-bound Hansen gave the opening address at one of my college convocations and his message really hit home with Mrs. Sip and myself. The crux of it was: “Failure is not having the courage to try.” Hansen is best known for his Man in Motion World Tour, an attempt to raise funds for spinal cord injury research by circumventing the globe in his wheelchair. Hansen had been crippled in an auto wreck at the age of 15, but that didn’t stop the man from raising $26 million over his 26 month journey. The song St. Elmo’s Fire was written for Hansen and his courageous expedition.

Oprah Winfrey

With a media empire that includes its own magazine, television network, and devoted fan base, one could certainly say that Oprah Winfrey did well for herself. When you learn of the broadcasting mogul’s humble and difficult beginnings, her success is all the more impressive. She had a strained relationship with her teenage mother, who was in and out of her life and was the victim of sexual abuse from family members. After running away from home, Winfrey herself became pregnant at age 14, although the baby died after premature birth. Once Winfrey entered the media world, it was a slow rise to the heights she currently enjoys.

Flavour Revolution: Floradora

Floradora Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Gilbey’s Lemon Gin
  • 0.5 oz Chambord
  • Top with Ginger Ale/Beer
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lemon Wedge

The phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” has been credited to two sources. First, Elbert Hubbard, a Christian anarchist writer, used it for the obituary of Marshall P. Wilder, a dwarf actor, who Hubbard wrote of: “He cashed in on his disabilities. He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.” Fellow writer Dale Carnegie has also been said to have invented the term, writing in his book ‘How to Stop Worrying and Start Living’: “If You Have a Lemon, Make a Lemonade.”

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This is an interesting drink. I used my Dark Ginger Ale, but kind of wished I’d used some Ginger Beer, perhaps Crabbie’s orange or raspberry flavour. There’s a lot of different tastes going on here, but the end result works. And if it hadn’t, I would have made lemonade from the lemon experience!

Bermuda – Dark & Stormy

Get Lost

The Sip Advisor would like to think that he’s of at least average intelligence… that said, when I began to research what to cover during our visit to the island nation of Bermuda, I was at a loss. Then, as if a miracle occurred, I finally realized that the Bermuda Triangle (something I’ve been fascinated by for years) was in fact a Bermudan topic that could be written about. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the fabled area, but don’t get too close… I wouldn’t want to lose any of you little sippers!

Also known as the Devil’s Triangle, the Bermuda Triangle’s boundaries were originally set as being between Miami, Florida; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and Bermuda, although these locations vary depending on who is covering the area. Among the theories attached to the phenomenon are compass issues; rough ocean currents; human error; pirates; inclement weather, including hurricanes and cyclones; masses of methane hydrate gas, which could cause a ship to lose buoyancy and sink rapidly; and even supernatural events, involving UFOs, aliens, and the lost city of Atlantis.

Bermuda Triangle Productivity

Despite all the hullabaloo, the Bermuda Triangle zone is sailed regularly, including by cruise ships. Mrs. Sip and I love our cruises – the perfect blend of relaxation and activity – but I feel I would be a little apprehensive going through the Devil’s Triangle. Then again, the Sip Advisor has always been open to a dance with the devil!

The very first recorded incident of trouble with the Bermuda Triangle occurred in 1918 when the USS Cyclops was lost on a trip from Barbados to Baltimore, Maryland. All 309 crew and passengers perished in the event. Following the Cyclops, five other vessels experienced the same fate.

The first airplane incident to occur in the Bermuda Triangle happened in 1945 when an assembly of five TBF Avenger bombers all went missing. The mission, known as Flight 19 included 14 airmen. Even more tragic, the group sent out to search for the Flight 19 group also disappeared, this time with 13 casualties. Since then, four other aircraft have vanished, totaling 17 crew and 75 passengers lost at sea. Steven Spielberg used the Flight 19 incident in his movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, speculating that the troupe met its end thanks to an alien abduction.

Chuck Norris Bermuda Triangle

Mysterious happenings relating to the triangle have also occurred on land. In 1969, two lighthouse keepers at the Great Isaac Lighthouse in Bimini, Bahamas, went missing and were never located. My theory is that they went for a long romantic walk on the beach and they are still walking to this day… that or some kind of murder-suicide plot.

Fleetwood Mac and Barry Manilow have both released songs based on the Bermuda Triangle, while there have been a number of movies and even a mini-series based on the location. For thrill seekers not willing to actually enter the Devil’s Triangle, perhaps the theme park ride Bermuda Triangle at Sea World in Gold Coast, Australia may have been more up your alley. The popular attraction, which included rupturing volcanoes, spaceships and aliens, and a watery plunge (seemingly covering every possible explanation for the phenomenon) was unfortunately closed in 2010 and replaced in 2013.

Bermuda: Dark & Stormy

Dark & Stormy Cocktail

With my curiosity now satiated, it’s time to sit back with a nice drink and toast all the souls that lost their lives in the Bermuda Triangle. Join me, won’t you!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
I had once vowed to never make this cocktail… or use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum for that matter, as the company holds a copyright on the recipe that goes against the unwritten bartender’s code of being able to share formulas without issue. Forgive and forget, I always drunkenly say! Usually when I see Ginger Beer among the ingredients of a cocktail, I automatically sub in Ginger Ale, but this time I used the legitimate version and even managed to locate an alcoholic orange-flavoured version of the product. All in all, the drink was quite tasty and I also enjoyed the Ginger Beer on its own.