New sips and old trips colored in the week behind us.

Blak coffee in bed
Curious soda and coffee sippers can circle April 3 as the day to check out Inside Value recommendation Coca-Cola's (NYSE:KO) bold entry into the alternative-beverage market. The chilled "adult beverage," to be called Coca-Cola Blak, is part cola and part coffee. I've got dibs on mixing it up with a scoop of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream to make the original Blak Float.

If you're wondering why Coke would bother to roll out this caffeinated quasi-pop, just go the supermarket. You'll see that a 12-pack of Coke will run you about the same price -- if not less -- than a four-pack of Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) bottled Frappuccino or high-end energy drinks like Red Bull and Hansen Natural's (NASDAQ:HANS) Monster.

That's why concocting alternative beverages has become an industrial obsession. Roughly 400 different energy drinks have hit the market over past six months alone, and Coke is going to get noticed -- because it's Coke. It obviously has all the right retail relationships.

However, shelf space doesn't guarantee success. Remember New Coke? You whippersnappers who have no idea what I'm talking about, think about Coke's low-carb C2 fiasco. Coke can lead the hordes to fizzy water, but it can't make them drink. And that's why Blak is not a sure thing. Then again, I haven't met a person who isn't at least curious as to what this thing will taste like. That's a good start. Now let's see how Coke finishes it off.

An itch only a sweathog can scratch
Yes, you really can watch old episodes of shows like Welcome Back, Kotter and Chico and the Man on AOL. Time Warner's (NYSE:TWX) online subsidiary launched the service this week. In2tv allows free access to several episodes of classic -- yet not necessarily marketable -- shows to visitors of

AOL lined up sponsors to subsidize the streams. Even if folks aren't hungry to relive Eight Is Enough or Wonder Woman, the retro collection is wide enough to offer something appealing to even a nitpicker like me. In other words, I wouldn't mind streaming offerings like Pinky and the Brain and Freddy's Nightmare on a lazy day.

The key here is that AOL is looking to become an indispensable outfit even as the defections continue quarter after quarter at its flagship online service. Yes, I fear that loading up on all of these ancient shows may make the AOL brand feel as old-fashioned as the dial-up service it clung on too dearly to. That's something it will have to watch. It may want to consider either fresher content or even exclusive online content to keep the brand current. Still, I think it's doing the right thing by digging deep into the Time Warner vault to milk traffic and ad revenue. It's what the merger of Time Warner (a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick) and America Online was supposed to be all about -- marrying old media with new economy. It took a while, but it's finally coming together.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz loves to look back, even if it means he falls on his face going forward. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Foo l has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.