Zio Zeigler: An Inspiration for all Aspiring Artists

American artist Zio Zeigler is renowned for many things, but perhaps he is most famous for the painting and large scale outdoor murals that he has completed throughout the U.S. Inspired by the 1990’s graffiti movement in the Bay Area and Central Europe, he is often considered the premier exponent of art that transcends genres and bridges the accessibility of mainstream and cult work. His own output represents just a small fraction of Zio’s contribution to the local community, however, as he has also committed to using his gifts for teaching others and creating a symbiosis through various U.S. regions.

Art has always been considered as a medium that can draw people together, and Zio’s efforts have afforded youngsters a platform through which they can express themselves and build a better life. This means little unless a talented and dedicated artist is willing to collaborate and share his gifts with others, and thankfully Zio has remained a proactive player within multiple local art movements in various regions. He has also succeeded in making art more accessible to the general public, which in turn has helped to inspire others and create the next generation of visual artists.

Zio’s career is celebrated by Dewar’s ongoing Live True campaign, where some of the worlds’ most inspirational figures are recognised for their achievements and the impact that they have had on the lives of others.

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Designers & Sunglasses, A Good Match?

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Buying the right pair of sunglasses can be a significant challenge. Many buyers make their choice based on style instead of fit. While this may work in the short term, it may not be the best option over the long run. Given the fact that sunglasses are now being worn all year round, selecting a pair which can be worn on numerous occasions is prudent.

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The Decentralisation of Technology

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It’s rather easy to think nowadays, sat in our offices and living rooms, that the technology we use on a day to day basis is produced primarily in the West by Western companies; these producers have huge resources, a large, educated workforce to draw manpower from, and access to an infrastructure beneficial to technologically advanced products. For decades, however, many of our most-loved pieces of technology have been produced in the Far East in nations such as Japan and South Korea, though even this conception of the worldwide technology market is now underdeveloped, new players moving in from all sides.

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Drink of the Week: The Dirty Martini

the Dirty Martini.For my first Drink of the Week post of 2015, I thought I’d go back to my deepest cocktail roots.

Long before I discovered the pleasures of a perfectly mixed Old Fashioned, I was an inveterate drinker of martinis, usually vodka martinis and always with olives. You see, I love olives quite a bit and while I didn’t love martinis right at first, I did love how I felt after I finished one and I really loved how the olives tasted after they’d been soaking in alcohol for a while.

So, when I found out people were actually using olive brine in martinis, I was quick to jump on board the bandwagon. I was reminded of this when Drink of the Week manor was graced by the presence of an old and dear friend and her family. She makes probably the best Dirty Martini I’ve had and she helped me begin the process of perfecting my own recipe for a drink that deserves more respect from cocktail cognoscenti.

I believe that my friend’s recipe is a state secret, but here’s mine.

The Dirty Martini

2 ounces vodka
1 tablespoon olive brine
1 teaspoon dry vermouth
1-3 olives (near mandatory garnish)

Combine all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Shake very vigorously, probably until your hands are freezing. Strain into chilled cocktail/martini glass. Add at least one olive. Toast the mighty and so underrated fruit of the olive tree; it is tasty and nutritious and where would Italian food be without it’s oil?

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Careful observers will note I’ve left out gin…and gin is often listed as a possible ingredient in a Dirty Martini. As an official cocktail snob since 2011, I generally now tend to prefer gin over vodka, which is essentially unflavored. However, the herbal flavors included in gins simply don’t blend very well with olive brine, which adds plenty of flavor of it’s own in any case. Also, I don’t really like to shake my gin martinis (sorry, 007!) but I ALWAYS shake my vodka martinis (Thank you, Mr. Bond!) — and the Dirty Martini demands to be shaken.

Still, while vodka might not have the complexity of a gin or whiskey, that doesn’t mean all vodkas are the same. I mostly used a favorite old standby, Skyy Vodka and found the results predictably clean and crisp. I also tried 100 proof Smirnoff, which added a bit more alcoholic heat, but wasn’t bad, either.

Still, what might matter the most in a Dirty Martini is your choice of olives and olive brines. I had great luck recently with both conventional, pimento-stuff martini olives from California’s Armstrong Olives, and BevMo’s jalapeno and garlic stuff olives, a gift from my old pal. In the past, I’ve used everything from sometimes surprisingly good supermarket brands to Trader Joe’s excellent cocktail olives from Greece (the ones that come in the larger bottle are more mellow and definitely superior).

I will say that, for more salty brines, you might want to consider using less than a tablespoon. Also, unless you’re a complete expert in making these — and I’m not — you want to use precise measurements. I tried eyeballing this one at my friends’ house last Christmas Eve. The results were horrifically over-dirty. I’m surprised Booze Claus didn’t leave coal in my stocking the next morning.

  

Learning to Surf in San Diego

For adventurous guys who enjoy spending quality time in the water, surfing is an ideal sport. A combination of exercise, skill, and excitement, not to mention gains in one’s overall fitness level, ensures a challenging yet rewarding adventure for beginners. San Diego is home to some of the finest surfing spots on the West Coast, including beginner-friendly spots from Ocean Beach Pier to South Mission/Pacific Beach, which has over two miles of consistent yet relatively small waves for surfers of all levels.

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