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A Boulder scientist fights the short pour

It all started about a year ago, when Boulder scientist Chris Holloway got into a discussion with the brewmaster at his favorite Boulder pub. The brewer insisted that a 22-ounce "bomber" bottle was nearly equal to two 16-ounce pints of nectar from the tap. He knew this because whenever he poured a bomber into two pint glasses, both glasses were "almost" full.

This was blasphemy to Holloway's mathematical instincts. After all, 22 ounces of beer could never be "almost" the same as 32 ounces. So Holloway got some of his physicist and mathematician friends together, and they helped him come up with the Beer Gauge. This little miracle — about the size of a credit card — can be held directly up to your pint glass and tell you exactly how much you're missing if the bartender doesn't quite fill it all the way or lets the beer foam take up a couple of inches.

It's a great way to get a head.

A good deal: Inmates pass a lot of time playing Gin, Texas Hold 'Em or Go Fish, but the decks of cards in state jails and prisons could soon serve another purpose as well. The Colorado Department of Corrections is considering using decks emblazoned with the photos of missing persons and unsolved homicide victims, according to a DOC representative, who says the program is "a work in progress."

Corrections departments in New York, Missouri, Ohio, Iowa, Washington and Texas already use or are introducing these cards in their jails in hopes that the images will spark tips from inmates — and maybe a confession or two. It's certainly a captive audience, and one that probably has a better chance of recognizing victims of crime.

The cards are made by Effective Playing Cards, which has produced more than thirty of the customized law-enforcement decks — including a statewide deck for Florida jails. The company claims its cards have helped solve four criminal cases there, with several more potential indictments on the way.

Soon, a full house could lead somebody to the Big House.

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