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Trendy celebrity diets photographed like stately still lifes from the Renaissance
03:08 pm



Celebrity fad diet
The Beyoncé Cleanse
Italian photographer Dan Bannino has recently completed a cheeky art project, to translate a bunch of celebrity fad diets from our own time (as well as a couple from a few centuries ago) and depict them in the form of a magnificent still life by a great master, perhaps an inspired 17th-century “daubster” (hey, I had to look it up too) from Holland, Flanders, or some place like that. I can’t remember who said it, possibly someone from Monty Python, that the essence of comedy is to elevate the humble and bring down the lofty, and this series of photographs (which are quite pretty in their own right) certainly fits that paradigm.

Here’s Bannino’s comment on the series:

With this series my aim was to capture the beauty that lies in this terrible constriction of diets and deprivation, giving them the importance of an old master’s painting. I wanted to make them significant, like classic works of arts that are becoming more and more weighty as they grow older. My aim was to show how this weirdness hasn’t changed even since the 15th century.

I don’t think I knew that the “Cleanse” is so closely associated with Beyoncé. In fact, the Cleanse has been around for much longer than Beyoncé has been alive. It was originally called the Master Cleanse, as I believe it still is, and was developed by Stanley Burroughs in the 1940s and, decades later, promoted in his books The Master Cleanser and Healing for the Age of Enlightenment (both 1976)—by the bye, isn’t that second title just totally spot-on for a book that would come out today? Burroughs was, at least in that sense, way ahead of his time.
Celebrity fad diet
Charles Saatchi, Eggs diet
Celebrity fad diet
Gwyneth Paltrow, Strict detox diet
Celebrity fad diet
Bill Clinton, Cabbage soup diet
Celebrity fad diet
Kate Moss, Hollywood diet
Celebrity fad diet
Simon Cowell, Life-enhancing diet
Celebrity fad diet
Luigi Cornaro, Sober life
Celebrity fad diet
Henry VIII, Banquet diet
Celebrity fad diet
Lord Byron, Romantic poet’s diet

For the curious, here’s the real thing. This is the Dutch painter Willem Claeszoon Heda’s Breakfast Table with Blackberry Pie from 1631:
Breakfast Table with Blackberry Pie
via designboom

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Chilled Monkey Brains Bowl for your next Indiana Jones-themed dinner party
04:24 pm



I find these monkey brain bowls by FireBox amusing, but with a price tag of $58.59 a pop, maybe not enough to purchase. If they were a tad cheaper I’d probably buy a set of four. If you’ve got the extra dough to spend, these would make an excellent conversation piece for sure but you might get sick of eating red jello or cherry cobbler all the time.

Via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Abbie Hoffman’s radical granola recipe
12:54 pm



Radical activist and opportunistic prankster Abbie Hoffman’s infamous 1971 opus Steal This Book is part political manifesto and part handbook on getting things for free. The lists of goods and services he and his comrades thought should be automatically free to everyone, such as medical care (including birth control and abortions), higher education, and food, all considered unthinkably outrageous 43 years ago, have been subsumed by more recent movements as perfectly normal expectations in an affluent society.

The rhetoric doesn’t sound quite so jarring, either, except for the occasional bit of vintage slang. This Hoffman quote could easily be taken from a Russell Brand monologue:

Dig the spirit of the struggle. Don’t get hung up on a sacrifice trip. Revolution is not about suicide, it is about life. With your fingers probe the holiness of your body and see that it was meant to live. Your body is just one in a mass of cuddly humanity. Become an internationalist and learn to respect all life. Make war on machines, and in particular the sterile machines of corporate death and the robots that guard them. The duty of a revolutionary is to make love and that means staying alive and free. That doesn’t allow for cop-outs. Smoking dope and hanging up Che’s picture is no more a commitment than drinking milk and collecting postage stamps. A revolution in consciousness is an empty high without a revolution in the distribution of power. We are not interested in the greening of Amerika except for the grass that will cover its grave.

Food insecurity is still a massive problem in the U.S. four decades later. Hoffman’s advice on finding, stealing, and scamming free food contains nothing that a poor college student, couponing single parent, “recession wife,” or unemployed person doesn’t already know: crash wedding receptions, bar mitzvahs, and conventions, ask for vegetables, bread, meat, and fish that are about to be thrown out at groceries, wholesalers, market stands, and restaurants (although I suspect most people would draw the line at asking for leavings at the local slaughterhouse), ask for “charitable” donations at canning factories, eat off other people’s plates at restaurants before tables are bussed, form a food co-op, and hustle from caterers. With ubiquitous security cameras in every chain grocery store, shoplifting food is much more of a challenge than it was back then. It may be easier to qualify for food stamp benefits now but food is astronomically more expensive.


The scams Hoffman outlines to get food from restaurants and food delivery people are clever but sometimes require props and costumes (a nun costume?). Of course, many of his ideas are obviously outdated (slugs for vending machines) or silly. He advises that you line your pockets with plastic bags before you load up on food to take home from buffets, especially fried chicken. However, it’s hard to imagine anyone today actually taking him at his trollish word and trying to pour coffee into a bag hidden in their pocket for later. Not when you can get free coffee at Half-Price Books or bank lobbies.

Hoffman included recipes for cheap food, including “Hedonists’ Delight,” which starts “Steal two lobsters,” and this one for granola, which would probably cost $100 in raw materials from Whole Foods:

Hog Farm Granola Breakfast (Road Hog Crispies)

½ cup millet

½ cup cracked wheat

½ cup buckwheat groats

½ cup wheat germ

½ cup sunflower seeds

¼ cup sesame seeds

2 tablespoons cornmeal

2 cups raw oats

1 cup rye flakes

1 cup dried fruits and/or nuts

3 tablespoons soy oil

1 cup honey

Boil the millet in a double boiler for ½ hour. Mix in a large bowl all the ingredients including the millet. The soy oil and honey should be heated in a saucepan over a low flame until bubbles form. Spread the cereal in a baking pan and cover with the honey syrup. Toast in oven until brown. Stir once or twice so that all the cereal will be toasted. Serve plain or with milk. Refrigerate portion not used in a covered container. Enough for ten to twenty people. Make lots and store for later meals. All these ingredients can be purchased at any health store in a variety of quantities. You can also get natural sugar if you need a sweetener. If bought and made in quantity, this fantastically healthy breakfast food will be cheaper than the brand name cellophane that passes for cereal.

Abbie making gefilte fish, below:

Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Leave a comment
HOW did McDonald’s get such a shitty new mascot? (A ‘true enough’ story)
12:20 pm



According to McDonald’s website...

McDonald’s USA is offering guests new reasons to feel good about the fun and the food at McDonald’s with the addition of a new yogurt side option for kids and a Happy Meal brand ambassador.

This terrifying new brand ambassador is called “Happy” (which, of course, is only coincidentally the same name as Pharrell’s ineluctable juggernaut). On the twitterverse people are already joking that “this is the meal that eats you!” and so on. It’s a pretty hilarious example of corporate self-hypnosis.

Perhaps you’re wondering: How on earth did they ever think that box with teeth would do anything but terrify children? Well, as a denizen of big corporate culture for a number of years now, I’ll bet I can take a pretty good guess at what happened:

1. Several years ago, an older, very high-level McDonald’s exec figured that the Ronald McDonald character was getting a little dated. A little long in the tooth. Even Ronald’s break-dancing and fist-bumping was getting old. So he called a meeting with a bunch of the young energetic MBA sub-execs and commanded them in no uncertain terms to come up with something “new” and “hip” because the public was no longer being charmed by the sight of a ginger clown selling them processed meat products.

2. Hoping the older exec would eventually forget, the MBAs commissioned a series of marketing studies that, a couple of years and a few millions of dollars later, culminated in some zany, purple, googly-eyed mascot that, while not exactly registering off-the-scales consumer-wise, was not hated or despised either.

3. The MBAs showed the senior exec images of their proposed mascot along with specially-selected customer testimonials, but the exec hated the proposed mascot and told them to come up with something completely different.

4. Of course, the MBAs were out of ideas and a veritable parade of potential new mascots all tested in the single-digits customer-approval-wise. As the weeks and months went by and the senior exec grew more irritable, the junior execs grew more and more desperate, while maneuvering into trying to lay blame on each other for the delay as well as the crappiness of the original purple googly-eyed mascot. After a night of serious drinking, however, they grabbed a guy from the graphics department to help them. After a while, one of them suggested that they simply stick arms and legs onto a happy meal and use the “golden arches” as eyebrows. An enormous gaping maw was probably considered a little too scary-looking so they gave it teeth. Since it was well past midnight the MBAs agreed to work together to sell the idea to the senior exec, even if none of them was honestly all that hot on it.

5. The next day, fighting reasonably bad hangovers, the MBAs worked hard to sell their idea, claiming that “Happy” (as the new mascot was to be called) was not terrifying at all, but had “tested strongly in the key demographics” (of course, “tested strongly” meant fear, confusion, or out-and-out hatred, but they didn’t tell the senior exec that). They argued that “Happy” would be the centerpiece of a “surround sound” strategy and that Pharrell himself was days away from selling them exclusive rights to his song.

6. Though somewhat dubious, the senior exec was reasonably placated and gave approval to “Happy” as the new mascot. None of the MBAs, of course, really like “Happy” all that much so they’ve kept his introduction pretty quiet and, after a few months, will even more quietly phase ol’ “Happy” out.

And there you have it: The birth of a shitty corporate trademark.

And in case you’re wondering: Yeah, corporate culture really works like that.

Below, the WSJ weighs in on the controversial new McDonald’s mascot…

Earthworm lemon tart and squirrel crostini: Gourmet dishes made from ‘invasive species’
10:28 am



Grey Squirrel: squirrel crostini, white mulberry, goat cheese, hazelnut & purslane
What constitutes luxury is most certainly subjective, but it’s usually connected to rarity or scarcity, or at least the perception thereof. For example, beautiful pearls can be created through farming technology, but people pay way more for natural, rather than cultured. Diamonds aren’t particularly rare either, but De Beers controls output, manufacturing scarcity to control prices. Sell the common as fancy is the real challenge, but photographer Christopher Testani, food stylist Michelle Gatton and art director Mason Adams believe it can be done.

Invasive Species is a photo series of just that—non-indigenous animals upsetting the balance of their new habitats—prepared and plated to gourmet presentation. Some of it doesn’t look half bad, but I’m a little skeptical of its wider appeal. Gatton hopes that we might “reclaim our role as predators and not consumers to restore balance in nature.” It’s a noble goal, Louisianans have been trying to make Nutria meat happen for years. It’s lean, delicious and comparable to rabbit, but the meat of a giant swamp rat is a hard sell for most folks. Maybe all they need is an artsier presentation?

Nutria: nutria sausage gumbo, tiger shrimp, bell pepper & black rice

Canadian Goose: goose leg confit, autumnberry sauce, sweet potato mash

Jellyfish: peanut butter jellyfish, wakame & salted cucumber salad

Wild Boar: wild boar ribs, celery root & watercress

Periwinkles: steamed periwinkles in calvados cream broth

Lionfish: lionfish ceviche, wild fennel & red onion

Earthworm: lemon curd tart in chocolate & earthworm crust, crispy earthworm topping
Via feature shoot

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Lemmy is God: Image of Motörhead leader’s face appears on pancake
11:00 am



Yesterday Motörhead tweeted an image of what appears to Lemmy on a pancake. There’s no backstory to where the Lemmy pancake came from. Perhaps a fan sent it to them?

All hail the Lemmy pancake!!!

Via Cherrybombed

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Andy Kaufman’s bizarre ‘My Dinner with Andre’ parody
08:12 am



In 1981, the Louis Malle-directed My Dinner with Andre was released to instant and lasting acclaim. The daring film had almost no conventional narrative, and revolved entirely around a lengthy and intense dinner conversation between old friends played by theater director Andre Gregory and the absolutely wonderful actor/playwright Wallace Shawn. (If for nothing else, you surely know him as “Vizzini” in The Princess Bride. If you haven’t read his work, maybe consider giving his Essays collection a whirl, for starters. He is quite brilliant.) Thanks to the charm of the two performers and the compelling content of the conversation, this risky and limited conceit worked.

Given its massive critical success and utterly distinctive character, the film has been parodied and used as a punchline countless times across all media. A favorite of mine was a throwaway sight gag in a 1993 Simpsons episode which showed the effete Martin Prince character playing a My Dinner with Andre arcade game.

But perhaps the very first parody/homage/whatever to emerge was the Andy Kaufman gem My Breakfast With Blassie. Where Andre featured a perceptive meaning-of-life debate between two patrician theater mavens in an elegant Manhattan restaurant, My Breakfast with Blassie presented two wrestlers—Kaufman, who was immersed in his bizarre late-career wrestling phase at the time (thus the neck brace), and actual legendary wrestling world figure “Classy” Freddie Blassie—spending an hourlong and oft-interrupted chat burnishing their own egos and griping about germs and the banality of small-talk over greasy food in a noisy, homely diner. You also get to see Blassie totally beat Dr. Atkins to the low-carb punch. The film was released direct to videocassette in late 1983, only months before Kaufman’s death from cancer. It’s been reissued on DVD twice, once in 2000, bundled with the I’m From Hollywood documentary about Kaufman’s wrestling exploits, and on its own in 2009. It turned up on YouTube last week, so you can see it right here if you like, but you might want to watch it soon, in case it gets yanked.

After the jump, Kaufman and Blassie talking about the project on Late Night with David Letterman...

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘It’s Pie Face!’: Hasbro’s sadomasochistic kids’ game, 1968
11:58 am



What’s more fun than humiliating yourself in front of friends and family with a self-inflicted pie in your face?

“Pie Face,” made by Hassenfeld Bros (now Hasbro) in 1968, was a cream pie game version of Russian roulette. placed a whipped cream “pie” on the launcher, then took turns spinning to find out how many times to crank the launcher’s handles. It was randomly set to let the pie fly into the player’s face, positioned within the target.

According to the box “Pie Face” is “The most fun-filled action GAME you’ve ever played!”

The “loser” of this variation on the Russian roulette theme is kind of the winner, though, ‘cause at least they get to eat some pie and not die.

The whole “goo in the face” aspect of the song lyrics in the “Pie Face” commercial jingle would probably have to be revisited if they ever revive this game… And what’s a “mystery handle” aside from a great name for a punk band?

Via Tracy’s Toys and h/t Richard Swanson

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Salvador Dali’s cookbook is every bit as insane as you would expect it to be
11:28 am



Dali's cookbook
Front view and back view
In 1973, French publisher Felicie put out a remarkable “cookbook” (quotation marks are important here) by the great Surrealist master Salvador Dalí. It delivers everything you would expect from such a volume: visual flair, a winking sense of humor, a disregard for accepted norms, and a heightened feeling for the absurd. The book was called Les Diners de Gala—I think the idea here is a conflation of a “gala dinner” and his wife, whose name, of course, was Gala.
Dali's cookbook
According to one source, only 400 copies of the cookbook were ever printed, although it’s difficult to say whether that was actually the case or not—a copy is always on eBay—it’s possible that Dalí was merely trying to foster an air of mysterious exclusivity. The hefty volume has become quite the collector’s item; prices on Amazon range from $300 to $490. Let’s take a look at the table of contents, which I’ll leave untranslated:

1. Les caprices pincés princiers (Exotic Dishes)
2. Les cannibalismes de l’automne (Eggs - Seafood)
3. Les suprêmes de malaises lilliputiens (Entrées)
4. Les entre-plats sodomisés (Meats)
5. Les spoutniks astiqués d’asticots statistiques (Snails - Frogs)
6. Les panaches panachés (Fish - Shellfish)
7. Les chairs monarchiques (Game - Poultry)
8. Les montres molles 1/2 sommeil (Pork)
9. L’atavisme désoxyribonucléique (Vegetables)
10. Les “je mange GALA” (Aphrodisiacs)
11. Les pios nonoches (Sweets - Desserts)
12. Les délices petits martyrs (Hors-d’oeuvres)

I don’t know what most of that means, but I do know that the title of chapter 10, dedicated to “Aphrodisiacs,” translates to “I eat GALA,” so right there in the table of contents you already have a bald reference to oral sex. Well done!
Dali's cookbook
In the book Dalí discusses his loathing for a certain leafy green vegetable: “I only like to eat what has a clear intelligible form. If I hate that detestable degrading vegetable called spinach, it is because it is shapeless, like Liberty.”

In 2011, two noted Minnesota dance troupes, Ballet of the Dolls and Zorongo Flamenco, put on a staged piece in Minneapolis called “Dali’s Cookbook: A Gastronomical Inquisition” that was inspired by the cookbook.
After the jump, a cocktail recipe and a bunch more pics from the book…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Chewy calamari turns out to be a condom
09:06 am



A diner at a restaurant in Anhui province, China, was halfway through her seafood platter when she discovered the squid was incredibly “rubbery.” Mai Liang was disgusted to discover that this chewy calamari was actually a contraceptive.

“It was disgusting. My first horrific thought was: Is it used?” explained Ms. Liang. “Imagine my horror when I turned it over with my fork and it turned out to be a contraceptive.”

If this isn’t enough to give you the dry heaves, events took an even more bizarre twist when restaurant manager Yi Ze Teng picked up the condom and swallowed the offending item whole to stop furthering the argument with her customers! Ms. Ze Teng believes they had deliberately placed the condom in the seafood dish in order to claim a free meal:

“They said if I ate the condom, they would leave the matter, so I swallowed it.”

Perhaps that should have settled the argument, but the diners have now hired a lawyer to sue for compensation.
Via Metro

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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