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Last CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.  

Sober September

Photo: TomFoldes (iStock)

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It’s surprising to me now that I look back at my Dryuary experiment—in which I abstained from drinking for the entire month of January—with not dread or relief, but absolute fondness. All said, it was a really good month. And after a summer that was as full of fun and drinks as most people’s summers, if not more so, I feel like I’m ready to take a month-long break from alcohol again. Last time though, I feel like I was just anxious to get through the month. There was a lot of figuring out how many days I had left, and pondering how I would celebrate once I was done, instead of just enjoying my less-tired, less-bloated figure and less-achey head on Sundays. Now I’m looking forward to focusing on things like yoga, writing, biking, and figuring out how many different apple recipes I can pull off in a single month. I probably won’t write it up here again like last time, but you can always follow me on Twitter to see how my #SoberSeptember is panning out—or feel free to join me! Hey, at least this month only has 30 days. [Gwen Ihnat]


BrewDog launches beer.porn

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Today an email came across my inbox with the subject line “First craft beer TV network launches with parody porn site.” It is way too early on a Monday for this, I thought, rubbing my now-pounding temples as I reluctantly clicked the message open. Here’s the gist: Scottish brewery BrewDog, which also has a U.S. location, is promoting its new “beer TV network” ($4.99 per month for access) with a misguided marketing website called beer.porn. I fail to see how the two are at all connected, but maybe that’s because I spent a total of four seconds on the stupid site. I’m not alone in my antipathy: scroll through the replies to BrewDog’s tweet about it for some of the best eye-roll reaction gifs out there. Beer industry, if you want your brands to be taken seriously by consumers over the age of 14, you have to do better than this. [Kate Bernot]


Speed Reading 101

My obsession-du-jour is speed reading techniques. I’m a notoriously slow reader, and my 2018 goal has been to read one book a week. We’re nine months in and I’m falling miserably behind the mark, but these last few weeks I’ve noticed an improvement in my reading speed. One thing I’ve changed is instead of scanning my eyes over a line of text in one smooth motion, I’ve started to focus my eyes on only three points—speed readers call it “fixation”—and to read in groups of words instead of individually. This video above provides a good intro, as is Tim Ferriss’ tutorial. [Kevin Pang]

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