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Japanese juice company invents wearable robot that feeds you tomatoes while you run
11:30 am



Japanese juice company Kagom have done the impossible; they’ve created a wearable 18 lbs. robot that fits comfortably on your shoulders and dispenses succulent tomatoes into your pie hole whilst you go about your morning jog. The robot, called Tomatan, holds up to six medium-sized tomatoes. When you feel the need for a snack or suffer from hunger pangs while on your run, just pull the lever and a lovely tomato plops into your mouth.

This is the solution we have all been waiting for.

“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” says Shigenori Suzuki of Kagome.

If you feel the 18 lbs. Tomatan is just too heavy, never fear, there’s also the “Petit-Tomatan” (which is half the weight of the Tomatan). The Petit-Tomatan will be tested out at Tokyo Marathon on Sunday. Should be interesting.

Watch the Tomatan in action, below:

Via Death and Taxes and IB Times

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Jack White declares war on bananas
01:03 pm



Rock and roll riders are always a lot of fun, whether it’s Van Halen‘s demand to have the brown M&M’s removed from their candy bowl (instituted as a foolproof test to see if a venue’s operators were fulfilling the more demanding portions of the rider) or Iggy Pop‘s riders, which, as DM has documented, are hilarious.

On February 2 Jack White played the McCasland Field House on the campus of University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, in support of his latest album, Lazaretto. During the show White complained about the publication in the campus newspaper, four days earlier, of the full contract between White and the school.

According to Consequence of Sound, White said from the stage, “Just because you can type it on your computer doesn’t make it right.” The newspaper has cited the Freedom of Information Act. Yesterday the William Morris Entertainment revealed that it was placing the school on a blacklist from any future Jack White concerts as well as those of any artist represented by William Morris Entertainment. (In an addendum to the original Consequence of Sound article from yesterday evening, it is explained that William Morris denies banning OU from future Jack White shows—while pointedly remaining mum about other acts on its roster.)

Moral: Do not fuck with lawyers.

The main reason for White’s irritation, as well as that of William Morris, was the revelation of White’s fee, which comes to $80,000. White’s contract includes a full recipe for guacamole, reproduced here, as well as an unexplained demand that his tour remain a “NO BANANA TOUR.” The rider explains that the person tasked with preparing the guacamole must be “careful not to mush the avocados too much. We want it chunky.” White’s dressing room, the rider stipulates, should be stocked with aged salami, a pound of “high-quality” prosciutto, beef jerky, dried fruit, cashews, and almonds.

The performer’s alcohol requirements include bottles of red and white wine, Veuve Clicquot champagne, and Bulleit Bourbon (aged 10 years), although these were apparently waived for the OU show—those items are crossed out and the words “No Alcohol” are written nearby with a Sharpie.

At the start of the “meals” section, there is a stern warning: “PLEASE NOTE: this is a NO BANANA TOUR. (Seriously). We don’t want to see bananas anywhere in the building.” It is not explained why bananas are not allowed to enjoy Jack White’s concerts, along with all the other fruits and vegetables.

Here’s the full rider, so you can see for yourself.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Marilyn Monroe’s prizefighter-style diet is all protein and fat
01:04 pm



While I loathe the popular tendency to obsess over what women eat, this 1952 Marilyn Monroe interview from Pageant Magazine is probably the only celebrity diet I’ve ever found to be interesting. A 26-year-old Norma Jean lists off her meals and she sounds like she was eating like a prizefighter—complete with a Rocky Balboa-style raw egg concoction.

I’ve been told that my eating habits are absolutely bizarre, but I don’t think so. Before I take my morning shower, I start warming a cup of milk on the hot plate I keep in my hotel room. When it’s hot, I break two raw eggs into the milk, whip them up with a fork, and drink them while I’m dressing. I supplement this with a multi-vitamin pill, and I doubt if any doctor could recommend a more nourishing breakfast for a working girl in a hurry.

Dinner. My dinners at home are startlingly simple. Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops or some liver, which I broil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat, and that is all. I must be part rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots.

P.S. It’s a good thing, I suppose, that I eat simply during the day, for in recent months I have developed the habit of stopping off at Wil Wright’s ice cream parlor for a hot fudge sundae on my way home from my evening drama classes. I’m sure that I couldn’t allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods.”

High-protein, some vegetables and the odd hot fudge sundae—sounds pretty consistent with what a doctor might prescribe today, but really out of the ordinary for 1952, when America was very much in love with starches, but dieters were mostly fearful of fat. The only thing I find truly weird is the raw eggs and warm milk mixture. I guess whatever it takes to get those guns and those gams, right?
Via Eater

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Alcoholic Oreos, for when you can’t vomit fast enough!
03:32 pm



As a connoisseur of disgustingly sweet margaritas—with a young adulthood lubricated by MD 20/20 not so far back in my rear view mirror, no less—I’m not one to turn up my nose at a dessert-oriented booze-stuff. Alcoholic Oreos however, are clearly a monument to man’s arrogance and shall someday be punished by an angry God. This sinister aberration—the unholy creation of a mad scientist, no doubt—is made by combining the liquor of your choice with Oreo pudding mix, scraping the filling off some Oreos, and spooning the alcoholic mixture betwixt the newly emptied cookie halves.

After that, I suppose you just start wolfing down these bad boys like you’ve given up on life—or maybe just cut out the middleman and just throw them directly into the toilet?

Either way, it’s a race between diabetes and alcohol poisoning—may the best death win!

Via Foodbeast

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The grossest lollipops. EVER.
10:37 am



As I am more gourmand than gourmet, and more human garbage disposal than either of those things, I refuse to turn up my nose at any dish I’ve never eaten. Texture doesn’t throw me off (I love escargot and gelatinous Chinese mushrooms) nor does appearance (paneer saag—looks unholy, tastes of the heavens). But I have a mental block over the traditional Scottish dish, haggis. It’s not the idea of a sheep’s heart, liver and lungs boiled with fat and oatmeal inside its own stomach—I’ve no aversion to organ meat. For me, it’s the trypophobia—fear of a dense collection of holes, or rather the revulsion I feel upon seeing the honeycomb pattern of something like tripe, which is the casing of haggis. (Trypophobia is not however, named for tripe—they’re false cognates.)

I was actually under the impression that there would be no way to make haggis seem more repellent to me, but then some culinary sadist went and produced them in hors d’oeuvre “pop” form. Yes, like a haggis lollipop. A tripe lollipop. A tripe fucking lollipop garnished with a little tartan bow. In an attempt to overcome my completely irrational phobia, I’ve been subjecting myself to the images from this tutorial for haggis pops over and over again, and if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to narrate my disgust.

Guts! No problem there! I can watch graphic surgeries or brutal Hollywood gore with no problem. I cook my own meat—guts mean nothing to me, man.

This is where I start to get uncomfortable. This is the stomach and while I can’t see the honeycomb holes, I spot a glimpse of the villi—tiny little wormy hairlike structures that aid in digestion by increasing surface area. I don’t like villi either.

That is a disgusting amount of villi and I am openly shuddering right now. The tiny residue of cavewoman survival instinct and my brain is screaming at me to find whoever this person is and save them from the poison they are about to eat.

Oh thank God, we’re back to guts.

Hey it’s starting to look like food!

Okay, it is food now.

What are you doing?!? What are you doing with that?!? Nothing should ever look like that!! You’re making something evil!!

There is no God. We live in a bleak amoral universe. When we die, we’re meat, just like these… pops.

[Vomits. Screams. Pours bleach in eyes. Self-immolates.]

I honestly hope that you don’t share my lizard-brained aversion to the tripe surface of haggis, and I hope you’ll check out the full tutorial below—Burns Night has come and gone, but it’s never to early to start planning your next haggis-based soirée! If you are a fellow trypophobic, I sincerely apologize, I and hope you understand that the people of Scotland are at least partially responsible for your current condition. Blame them!

Via Instructables

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Marlon Brando egg advert mystery solved: The strange story of Joe Flynn and his scrambled dream
07:45 pm



Click here to read larger image.
Some years ago, my Dad’s uncle, Art Berkell, passed away, leaving behind a lifetime of clutter for us to deal with. I grabbed what I thought I could use; filing cabinets, a desk, lots of Kodachrome slides. I trucked it off to storage and figured, like everyone else who rents a space to keep crap, that I’d bring it all home when I had the room. 

Many years went by, and I finally decided to either donate the stuff or chuck it. Filing cabinets just don’t hold the same fascination for me in the computer-age world that they once did; they’re just big steel boxes that take up room, so they were the first items on the chopping block. There was still some stuff in the drawers, though, so I emptied it into a box and brought it home to parse through, just in case there was anything important in there. Most of it was garbage—travel receipts, tax snippets, business cards, forms—but one thing caught my eye: a folder with a name scrawled on it in Uncle Art’s handwriting: Joe Flynn.

I know “Flynn” is a fairly common Irish name, but there was an actor named Joe Flynn who did a lot of television and Disney movies in the 60s and 70s, so my curiosity was piqued. To my surprise, the folder indeed contained clippings of the actor, and correspondence and old legal papers indicating that Uncle Art had been a plaintiff in a lawsuit against Mr. Flynn. There was also a pack of matches labeled “Joe Flynn’s Personal Eggs,” featuring a caricature of the actor, as well as a snapshot of a delivery truck painted in a similar fashion, and other related clippings. I’m thinking, what the hell was this? My family has been here in L.A. for 90 years, we’ve crossed paths with lots of interesting people, but of all the stories I’ve heard, I never remembered anyone referencing Joe Flynn. I picked up the phone and called my Dad, and asked if he remembered any kind of connection between his uncle and the actor.

He immediately replied, “Oh, that’s that goddamn egg thing.”

He went on to tell me what he remembered about “Joe Flynn Personal Eggs.”  Apparently, Flynn, an Ohio native, had a few chickens in his backyard. On Sunday mornings in the late 1950s and early 1960s, he would go out to the henhouse and personally select a giant basket of fresh eggs for breakfast. His neighbors and actor friends would crowd around the table for omelettes and scrambles, which Joe gleefully served with a flourish. It was a fun, invitation-only affair, like an exclusive poker circle, and a great way to recover from a long night of partying.

Unfortunately, everything changed when actor Wally Cox slipped up and told his friend Marlon Brando about the breakfasts. Brando immediately called Flynn and demanded to be included. Soon, Sunday mornings weren’t enough; he started showing up at Flynn’s door at all hours, demanding his “personal” eggs. In desperation, Flynn offered to always have a bowl of freshly scrambled eggs on hand, ready to be delivered, by driver, whenever Marlon was hungry… if only Marlon would stop haunting his kitchen in the middle of the night. This arrangement worked for a short time, but Brando soon insisted that Flynn cater to his friends as well, as a premium for his “continued best-friendship.”

By this time, Flynn was spending a good portion of his week cracking and freezing tupperware bowls full of eggs, and he finally announced that he would start charging people for his “personal egg” services. As my Dad remembers it, Flynn figured people would stop pestering him for eggs if he put a price on them, but because he priced them so reasonably, the plan backfired. Flynn was forced to lease a separate property in Van Nuys in order to raise enough chickens and eggs to keep up with the increasing demand—which is where dear old Uncle Art enters the narrative; with his older brother Al, he held the deed to the vacant lot on Orion Avenue where Flynn moved his operation.

Legal correspondence regarding the Orion Ave. property sent to my great uncle, Art Berkell, found in the filing cabinet. Click here to read larger image.

Facing rising costs (and apparently prodded by Brando), Flynn decided to sell his eggs, pre-scrambled and frozen, to the general public. He bought ad space, had his promotional materials printed, and built a small cinder-block warehouse curbside on the Orion Avenue lot.  The public wasn’t buying, though, and after struggling along for several years, a tired and disgusted Flynn was on the verge of shuttering the whole operation when everything changed in the spring of 1962. Producer Ed Montagne (The Phil Silvers Show) contacted Flynn and offered him a significant part on the new sitcom McHale’s Navy as Captain Binghamton, the role for which he is probably best remembered.  The show was a moderate hit, and Flynn quickly realized his egg endeavors could benefit from his newfound notoriety.

Click here to read larger image.

This is where the story gets a little strange and spotty; I’ve had to fill in some blanks with conjecture. Apparently, not content to simply deliver eggs to his customers, Flynn envisioned installing a strange, compressed nitrogen-powered “personal egg tank” in people’s houses, which would be topped off weekly (or even daily) with liquid eggs from his own fleet of delivery trucks. He invested a large chunk of his acting salary into inventing such a system, and by the mid-to-late 1960s had actually installed it in a number of homes around the Valley. From what I can gather, most of the people who bought into the service were other celebrities, not surprising considering the price of installation was equivalent to building a new swimming pool. Brando himself had a “deluxe” tank with a dedicated faucet installed in the kitchen of his Mulholland Drive home that dispensed not just eggs, but also a pre-mixed egg-flour batter for baking.

As the returns diminished from their friendship, Flynn, in a brazen attempt to exploit their association, published a bizarre, full-page ad featuring Brando’s likeness and apparent endorsement—without Brando’s permission. The copy I obtained was printed in a business monthly published by a local Chamber of Commerce, but I was told that it popped up in a number of Los Angeles area publications and circulated for roughly a year before Brando found out, and he was livid.  Legend has it that Brando ordered his handyman to fill his “personal egg tank” with cement so that it could never be used again. According to a long-time realtor who knows the property well (and for obvious reasons shall remain anonymous), the apparatus was still embedded in the wall of Brando’s former home as recently as 2009.

Threats, attorneys, lawsuits and more threats followed, and Flynn’s erstwhile egg empire cracked. By this time, sadly, Flynn had grown obsessed with eggs.  He refused to give up on the idea of installing egg tanks and selling liquid eggs, often referencing “my contribution to science” and “ending world hunger via eggs” as reasons to push ahead with his dream. In complete denial about his crumbling business, he continued to implore his famous friends to install his dangerously unstable delivery system, to uniformly disastrous results. This, I’ve gathered because of the numerous cancellation requests and angry demands for refunds scattered amongst the other papers, mostly dated around the same time my family was suing to evict him (and his chickens) from their property. Dad says Uncle Art (Uncle Al had died in 1969) was particularly pissed because Flynn never obtained the proper permits to raise livestock in what was a mostly residential neighborhood, and as the property owner, he was forced to deal with numerous fines and complaints from various city agencies. He ultimately won the court case, but Flynn dragged the eviction out long enough where Art was unable to make plans for the property, and he just dumped it on the market it in disgust. I’m pretty sure it’s all apartments now.

A coy letter from Jayne Meadows cancelling “personal eggs” for herself and husband Steve Allen. Click here to read larger image.
After weeks of further research, and asking my poor father an awful lot of questions, I was unable to find any trace of “Personal Eggs” after 1972, where the trail ends deep in the Los Angeles court system microfiche.  Sadly, there is no reference to it on Flynn’s Wikipedia or IMDB page.  As for Flynn himself, in the summer of ‘74 he was found naked and dead at the bottom of his swimming pool—some say under mysterious circumstances—at the age of 49, and his dream of pre-scrambled eggs for the hungry masses apparently died with him.  There is no record of Marlon Brando attending the funeral.

Click here to read larger image.

An angry letter from actor Bobby Troup. Click here to read larger image.


Posted by Cris Shapan | Leave a comment
New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’ Sunkist commercial
08:45 am



Around 1988, Sunkist offered New Order £100,000 to record a special version of “Blue Monday” for a TV spot. The ad campaign proposed new lyrics for the biggest-selling twelve-inch single of all time:

How does it feel
when a new day has begun?
When you’re drinking in the sunshine
Sunkist is the one

When you need a taste for living
Sunkist is the one

As you will hear below, Barney and Hooky did stop laughing long enough to get a deadpan reading of this ad copy on tape. However, according to the band, manager Rob Gretton nixed the deal before it could go any further. A mock-up of the ad eventually came out on the band’s NewOrder Story©, a home video documentary released the same year as the Republic© album (1993). It’s an entertaining program, though my doctor has advised me never to watch it again because of the effect Bono’s contributions have on my nervous condition.

Bernard Sumner talked about the ad in a 1999 Q&A with fans. One Peter Rees of Shrewsbury asked what the lyrics were supposed to have been, and Barney did his best to remember:

“How does it feel/When you’re drinking in the sun? Something something/Sunkist is the one/How does it feel/When you’re drinking in the sun/All you’ve got to believe/Is Sunkist is the one.” I didn’t write them. We got offered £100,000 to do it. I kept laughing when I was singing it, so Hooky got a piece of card and wrote “£100,000” on it, held it up, and I sang it perfectly. But then Rob Gretton turned up and he put the kibosh on it. There’s a remix of Blue Monday by Steve “Silk” Hurley and it’s got the Sunkist lyrics on it.

And Peter Hook discussed the commercial in a contemporary interview with SPIN:

Is it true that the band did a commercial for Sunkist?

“They asked us to try it. So we tried it and it sounded so bad that we couldn’t let them have it. They originally told us they wanted to use ‘Blue Monday’ and we thought, ‘Fine. Great.’ So then they said, ‘Right, when are you gonna do this voice over?’ Voice over? We tried singing the changed lyrics and we started rolling around on the floor. They were offering us a fortune, but the cringe part of it was too heavy.”

What were the changed lyrics?

“Sunkist is the one,” Hook says through clenched teeth. “Oh, never mind.”

In the clip from NewOrder Story© below, Sumner reminisces about the failed deal and the ad mock-up shows what might have been. It pairs the “Blue Monday” soda jingle with footage from Sunkist’s early 90s “Drink in the Sun” campaign (“the sun comes up with an orange grin,” barf) and New Order’s wonderful “Touched by the Hand of God” video. The beach-babe imagery is of a piece with the Baywatch video for “Regret.”

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Ghostface Killah live at ‘Toastface Grillah’ (plus free grilled cheese sandwiches)
02:14 pm



There’s a grilled cheese restaurant in Perth, Australia called Toastface Grillah, in obvious homage to Wu-Tang Clan member Ghostface Killah. This past Sunday Ghostface performed in the back alley behind the restaurant to a throng of delighted fans (who also got to eat grilled cheese sandwiches—total win-win).

According to a redditor named enigma2g, Ghostface “did an interview on an Australian radio station called Triple J and the host told him about the shop, Ghost replied by saying ‘I might go check that out.’ Pretty cool that he did.” Indeed.

Here’s Ghostface Killah live at Toastface Grillah singing “Wu-Tang Clan Ain’t Nuthing ta Fuck Wit” and “C.R.E.A.M.,” both off of their 1993 debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers):

via HUH.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Naughty but nice: Suck on these Kama Sutra-inspired lollipops (NSFW-ish)
11:26 am



If you have a taste for rude food or randy candy then you may enjoy getting your tongue around these “Kamasugar” lollipops by Italian artist and photographer Massimo Gammacurta. The lollies are inspired by erotic positions from the Kama Sutra and creator Gammacurta describes his tempting confections as “Sweet love-making,” giving each a sense of passionate frenzy by the use of color, drips and splashes.
More sweet treats, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
At long last, Paul Stanley’s ridiculous Folgers coffee commercial surfaces
03:39 pm



In 2000 Paul Stanley taped a commercial for Folgers coffee that never made it to air—it’s been hotly sought after for video scavengers ever since. Audio of the commercial has been on YouTube since 2008, but not the video. Yesterday, a YouTube user named John DiMaggio uploaded it for all to see. It’s a bizarre commercial set in a big top circus tent that doesn’t play to Stanley’s delirious, voluble strengths—in other words, why is Paul Stanley in this commercial and not Paul Williams? No reason that I can see.

The same year that he shot the commercial, Stanley discussed the commercial in an interview: “Life is strange. I got a call asking if I was interested in singing a Folgers commercial. And, like many other things, I thought, ‘Why not?’ I wasn’t at all concerned with who thinks it is okay or not okay, cool, not cool, rock ‘n’ roll or not. I had a blast doing it, and, like I said, isn’t that what this is all about?”

The word (as related by John DiMaggio) is that “focus groups asked ‘who is the old, creepy guy?’ and the agency pulled it.” Seems plausible enough. The soft-focus business with the trapeze artists reminds me of nothing so much as a Cialis commercial.

via Ultimate Classic Rock/Thank you Annie Zaleski!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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