Monthly Archives: September 2013

Beer Drinkers, Raise Your Mugs

ReinheitsgebotToday is “National Drink a Beer Day”, complementing Oktoberfest and many Harvest Fests held in towns and villages nationwide.

In the 1800s and until 1920, virtually every community in many areas of the country had at least one small brewery. Then came Prohibition and when that dark era ended in 1933, large, mass-market breweries dominated the industry. Today, there is an explosion in the craft beer market, with 2,347 microbreweries operating in the U.S. in 2012. The industry continues to grow at an estimated 15% annually.

In the northern regions of the U.S., roughly 35° north latitude and above, are found all the ingredients one needs to brew that secret homebrew recipe: barley and grain malts blessed by summer sun, choice backyard hops a group of friends may grow together as a collective effort, yeast cultured from a neighbor’s online college knowledge of amateur biochemistry, and coveted spring water from a local homestead well. These are the basic elements of a tasty brew, as dictated by Reinheitsgebot.

Until now, these small-scale efforts were mostly hit or miss. Now you can quell a thirsty crowd of friends and neighbors with gallons of freshly brewed gemütlichkeit from The Professional Microbrewery. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, this automatic brewing system is the perfect scale for the home brewmeister or the beginning craft microbrewery. Used as a pilot brewery for professionals, restaurants and taverns, our system takes the guesswork out of brewing, decocting, sparging, pitching and aging beer.  Any brew is possible: from hearty ambers ales to light pilsners, porters and stouts.  Now you have a chance to make beers that win competitions and bring smiles to lovers of craft beer.

So raise your glass with a hearty “Prost!” and enjoy a craft-brew favorite for “National Drink a Beer Day”.

Hammacher Schlemmer Introduces The Oilless Fryer.

New York, NY, September 17, 2013 – Continuing its 165-year history of offering the Best, the Only and the Unexpected, Hammacher Schlemmer introduces The Oilless Fryer, a kitchen appliance that cooks crisp, succulent fried food without any oil.

The-oilless-frierThe Oilless Fryer has an infrared heating element that heats to 400° F and its internal fan circulates the dry, hot air to cook golden-brown “fried” food.

“The Oilless Fryer creates the same texture and flavor of a deep fryer yet produces food with 80% less fat,” explained Hammacher Schlemmer’s General Manager, Fred Berns.


New York’s Gray Lady Celebrates Her Birthday

For 162 years, The New York Times has delivered the news to more people than any other local metropolitan newspaper.

new-york-times-birthdayThe paper was founded on this day in 1851 (three years after our business was established) as The New-York Daily Times by George Jones, a former banker, and Henry Jarvis Raymond. Raymond was both a journalist and a politician, a dual career that surely would be considered a conflict of interests today.

The very first front page ever published of this iconic paper exemplifies why its nickname is the Old Gray Lady. The vast majority of front pages from the life of the paper have been preserved for posterity. You can even get a copy of The New York Times’ front page from the day you were born, or any other date from 1934 to 2012. Your framed reproduction will be mounted in a wood frame and protected behind plexiglass. This beautiful memento also contains a circulated penny, nickel, dime and quarter from the year.

The New York Times was not the city’s first newspaper, but many of the others published up to that time were considered “class journals,” made up for particular classes of readers. Today, we might call that niche marketing. But the founders of the Times endeavored to present all the news of the day from all parts of the world, for everyone. The motto of the paper became “All the news that’s fit to print”. As readership has shifted to online content, the Times’ website uses the motto “All the news that’s fit to click.”

Even with the industry trend to online, the Times remains the third-largest circulation newspaper in the U.S. (behind The Wall Street Journal and USA Today).

No Special Glasses Required: Home 3D Printing Becomes Reality

For the designer, arts and crafts enthusiast or amateur inventor, advances in the technology of 3D printing can transform objects of your imagination into reality, right in your own home!3d Printer

Also known as desktop fabrication or additive manufacturing, 3D printing is a process for making a solid object by putting down successive thin layers of a material, often plastic resin, but also metal, nylon or other materials. The process is similar to a pastry maker creating a layer cake…but with thousands of layers and much more precision.

As with many traditional designs, 3D printing begins in two dimensions…if you can draw it, you can make it. The designer creates the object on a computer using software that can range from sophisticated and expensive Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages to free or inexpensive shareware to a program from Google called SketchUp.

The technology for 3D printing actually has been around for years. Manufacturers often use 3D printing to make prototypes before creating expensive molds for mass production. But only recently has 3D printing become quick and affordable enough for the hobbyist and home user.

We are pleased to bring you The 3D Printer that won Popular Mechanic’s Breakthrough Award. Over a thousand free designs, such as an iPhone case, bracelets and the Sphinx of Hatshepsut can be downloaded from a website, or generate your own using software. Print cartridges, available in 16 colors, produce a warm, viscous thermoplastic that hardens within seconds.

As 3D printing has become within reach of all of us, it has also grown more sophisticated and widespread in its professional uses. The medical industry has embraced the technology and already produces hearing aids, dental braces and prosthetic limbs on 3D printers. Based on research being conducted currently, it’s quite possible that several years down the road, a 3D printer could produce human organs like livers and kidneys for transplants.

In the home, you can use a 3D printer to create fun pieces like toys or jewelry. Picture the future when a repairman shows up to fix your dishwasher and doesn’t have the part he needs. No problem…call up the design and produce it with your 3D printer. And because anything that can be squirted through a nozzle can be produced on a 3D printer, imagine printing your special someone custom-designed chocolates for Valentine’s Day.

As the technology continues to evolve and open-source designs proliferate, people will start to customize and create many of their own products instead of running out to the store to buy them. Need just the right pair of shoes to complete an outfit? The day may be near where you can simply print them yourself.

Google Search engine celebrates 15 years with a candy bar.

Google LogoFrom a Silicon Valley garage to a name so synonymous with searching, it’s become a commonly used verb…today marks Google’s 15th anniversary.

The company began as an outgrowth of a research project by two PhD candidates at Stanford University in 1996. Larry Page and Sergey Brin originally named their new search engine “BackRub” because the algorithm involved checking backlinks to measure the importance of a site. The eventual change to Google is actually a misspelling of googol, the number 1 followed by 100 zeros.

If Google wasn’t already the world’s foremost search engine, it has diversified its offerings with an email platform (Gmail), a browser (Google Chrome) an office suite (Google Drive) and a social networking site (Google+).

But much of Google’s growth in recent months has been with its Android smartphone operating system. In the second quarter of this year, 79% off all new smartphones shipped globally were Android phones. Nearly 1 billion smartphones and tablets in use worldwide operate on the Android system.

After naming the first two versions of the OS Alpha and Beta, all releases of the Android system have been named after sweet treats, in alphabetical order: Cupcake, Donut, Éclair, Froyo, Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean.

And this week, to celebrate its 15th year, Google has announced that the next release will be titled Kit Kat. In a tie-in with Hershey, the owner of the Kit Kat brand in the U.S., specially marked Kit Kat candy bar wrappers offers the buyer a chance to win a Nexus 7 tablet, a Google Play app credit or a Kit Kat mini candy bar.