In a few days, grills will be ceremonially set ablaze for Labor Day (“it’s the end of summer,” we’ll say, even though the first three weeks of September are still summer, technically and temperamentally). Many of those grills will be piled high with vegetables. Good: Direct heat and smoke can do lovely things to plant matter. But the most common technique for grilling vegetables, the kebab, is performed incorrectly by the vast majority of American grillmasters of the universe—even though most other countries mastered the technique sometime around the time it was discovered that fire hurts when you touch it.
Stabbing things with a skewer and putting them over open [...]
Most summer produce has a cult of worship; there are those who wait all year for the few weeks of tomato season, those who will serve fresh corn with every meal, those who will gorge on peaches until the sweet-tart juice carves furrows into their faces like Grand Canyon erosion writ small. But there is one item which rarely if ever inspires devotion. I’m speaking here of the noble eggplant.
Many people do not like eggplant. Common complaints are that it is spongy, or bitter, or mushy. All of these are symptoms of improper cooking. Because, friends, when eggplant is cooked properly it can achieve something few other fruits [...]
The whole day had been hot and sticky, in the high 70s and low 80s, one of the first truly gross New York summer days of the year, and yet Laurel and Devyn, two finalists on this season of The Challenge (formerly Real World/Road Rules Challenge) smelled fantastic. My friend wouldn’t stop talking about it. I couldn’t think of more than two questions to ask them, so eventually we asked Devyn what perfume she’s wearing. “Marc Jacobs Daisy!” she said, briefly looking up from her phone, where she was live-tweeting the finale.
This was the 25th season of The Challenge, which has been pitting former cast members of The [...]
When someone says salad, your first thought is probably a bunch of leaves, like lettuce or spinach or kale, plus some other stuff, and a dressing. Here’s the thing about the word “salad”: it means nothing. It doesn’t mean something cold; it doesn’t mean something raw; it doesn’t mean something with lots of different ingredients; it doesn’t mean something vegetable-based; and it CERTAINLY doesn’t mean a pile of leaves.
Leaves, even the stronger-tasting ones, are filler. No one has ever once thought, “Dang, this salad is good, but it’d be more good with more lettuce in it.” This idea of a leafy salad is perpetuated by make-your-own-salad joints that [...]
This here is Pickles, whom noted animal blog the Daily Mail says is three feet long and weights 21 pounds. "Everyone's obviously first reaction is like wow that cat is huge," said Pickles' new owner. You can find many more pictures of this large cat over here.
There is literally nothing on the internet that interests me today; the only thing I found interesting enough to read fully was this three-sentence description of Canadian primates on Wikipedia:
The only primates that live in Canada are human beings. They are only distantly related to the New World monkeys of Central and South America, and the species originated in east Africa. Humans first arrived in large numbers to Canada around 15,000 years ago from North Asia, and surged in migration starting 400 years ago from around the world, especially from Europe.
Which is pretty funny but not really enough for a post, you know? So I'm just going [...]
Here you will find a video of two Russians breaking into the Shanghai Tower, which when completed will be over 2,000 feet tall (the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet tall, for comparison), and climbing it all the way to the top of the scaffolding. The first two minutes are just the pair climbing stairs, and, like, the stairs don't have handrails but it's not all that dangerous otherwise so you can just skip to 1:55 or so to see them climb above the smog and mist of Shanghai and crawl up the scaffolding, which seems VERY dangerous and scary.
Eeeeeee the great Montreal band The Unicorns, which recorded one perfect, perfectly weird album (2003's Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?), are mulling a reunion.
Penner told the Kreative Kontrol podcast that the band recently acquired back the master rights to their 2003 full-length Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone? and might reissue it. Penner said the band discussed the idea of remastering the album and "including some other recordings that never made it out."
But, Penner added, "the important thing right now is that we might play some shows and maybe even record some new material while we’re at it. These are all maybes, [...]
"Horse Lives in House Like a Normal Person," reads a Huffington Post headline. This headline is followed by several pictures of a horse in a house. The story is not bylined, somehow, but I would like whichever intern or spambot or dog owned by Arianna Huffington who wrote it to know: this is a perfect headline for a perfect story. A+++++ would read again.
The new Hemingway App site yells at you for using long words, adverbs, long sentences, complex structures, and passive voice. I ran a post I wrote about "The Real World" through it, because I always thought ol' Ernie would really enjoy gabbing at length about a show that is seriously not even good, and here's what I got:
7 of 44 sentences are hard to read. 16 of 44 sentences are very hard to read. 14 adverbs. Aim for 3 or less. 11 words or phrases can be simpler. 11 uses of passive voice. Aim for 9 or less.
It's kind of a dickish website but, like, so was Hemingway.
• Flappy Board starring Shaun White Sage Kotsenburg, sponsored by Mountain Dew
• Floppy Birdeos (don't let the flying Oreos dunk too long in the milk!)
• Flap Aboard U.S. Airways (the bird would be a plane here)
• Flappy Curd, brought to you by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
• Flappy Goatherd, brought to you by the American Dairy Goat Association
• Nappie Bird, great one for Pampers or other diaper manufacturing concerns
• Chappy Bird, navigate a flying tube of chapstick through damaging cold dry air to get to the lips
• Crappy Turd, excellent for a satire site like The Daily Currant to promote their [...]
"Rangel called Sky 'the little perfect dog' who always seems to know what to do in a show ring. 'You put the lead on her, she puts the tail up.' With a laugh, he added, 'You put food in your pocket, and she’s like, "What do you want me to do?"’ He was as effusive in praising Sky as he was four years ago for Sadie. 'We love her,' he said. 'She knows she did something good. She’s a princess dog.'" —Westminster is, generally speaking, bad for dogs, as it encourages inbreeding, the dominance of "purebred" dogs, and impractical or downright dangerous physical traits, like brachycephalism (a flat face, [...]
"Dinets and his colleagues observed crocodile species on three continents—Australia, Africa and North America—and examined previous studies and anecdotal observations. They found that four species climbed trees—usually above water—but how far they ventured upward and outward varied by their sizes. The smaller crocodiles were able to climb higher and further than the larger ones. Some species were observed climbing as far as four meters high in a tree and five meters down a branch."
–Pictured: a crocodile that has climbed a tree.
Photo by Kristine Gingras
Major mafia round-up this morning in New York and Italy. Details to follow.
— FBI New York (@NewYorkFBI) February 11, 2014
According to CBS News, which had a reporter on the scene in Italy, a joint effort from Italian police and the FBI resulted in the arrests of dozens of members of the Italian 'Ndrangheta and our own homegrown New York Gambino crime family. The 'Ndrangheta are based in Calabria, in southern Italy, and, though not as well known as the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, have been much more powerful in the past few decades; it's estimated that their criminal efforts (mostly drug trafficking, extortion, and blackmailing) account [...]
The pignose frog, also known as the Indian purple frog, is one of the weirdest-looking frogs on the planet. It looks like a frog supervillain. It looks like a New York financial industry fatcat grown soft on the blood of the poor—but only on the outside, as its eyes and mind remain hard and cold and shrewd. It looks like Danny DeVito could play it in a movie without unduly taxing the makeup artist. It looks like what you would imagine Karl Rove would look like if your only knowledge of Karl Rove came from the descriptions of others. And it's purple. What kind of animal is purple? Not [...]
Considering it's humanity's longest-running reality show, "The Real World" has been remarkably stagnant structurally. For 28 seasons over 22 years (!), "The Real World" was thus: several attractive people of varying degrees of interestingness between the ages of 18 and 26 are picked to live in a large house, outfitted by Ikea, in a city. This season, the 29th, which takes place in San Francisco, is different in two major ways. One of those is advertised, constantly: This season's seven cast members are each recently out of long-term relationships, and halfway through the season, all of their ex-boyfriends and -girlfriends move into the house as well (the season [...]
Flappy Bird (2013-2014) was a game for the iPhone which, in the span of perhaps a month, half a year after it was uploaded, rocketed up the charts of the App Store and became The Game of the Moment before being deleted by its creator for reasons that remain unclear. It was a maddeningly difficult challenge in which you played a small bird, cursed to move forward, forced to tap the screen to stay afloat. You existed in a world of pipes: Pipes grew upward from the ground, emerged downward from the heavens, never to meet. Only by drifting through the narrow space between the pipes could you survive.
NBC has an exclusive deal in the States to show the Olympics. Right now, as I write this, the Olympic Opening Ceremonies are happening live in Sochi. I just learned that there is a country called Dominica, which is geographically close to but not the same as the Dominican Republic. Cool fact! But it's the kind of cool fact I had to learn through a garbage bootleg BBC stream originating in Estonia or Mars or something because NBC is waiting another eight hours to show the Opening Ceremonies. (Right now, NBC is airing the Steve Harvey [...]