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Forgotten Foods: reviving weird old food and figuring out what should be brought back


Meg Favreau writes, "I thought you guys might be interested in this column I've been writing for the last year-ish -- I scour old cookbooks for once-popular recipes that have fallen out of favor, explore the (often weird) history of the food, and provide a recipe. Favorites include Welsh rarebit (the OG bachelor food, cooked in proto-microwave chafing dishes, and known for causing dreams so batshit that Little Nemo creator Winsor McCay did a long-running strip just about rarebit nightmares), beef tea (the chicken soup of its day, which tastes like hamburger water in the best way), and a Halloween about a booklet that juxtaposes candy recipes with testimonials about feminine ills (That ended up being posted on Table Matters' non-food sister site).

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Surfing crocodile

Enjoying the crest of a wave, this crocodile shut down Cable Beach near Broome, Western Australia, one of the country's most popular tourist hotspots. The animal has been slated for removal to the nearby Malcolm Douglas Wilderness Park. [Perth Now via Abroath]

Poultry shaming: Cultural Revolution confessions for chickens and roosters


You've likely seen pet shaming -- pictures of dogs with signs round their necks bearing Cultural Revolution-style admissions like "I eat my own poop." But you haven't lived until you've seen poultry shaming. Textile artist Amy L Rawson's got you covered.

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Edgar Allan Poe's interior design proscriptions


In The Philosophy of Furniture," an essay in the May 1840 issue of Burton's Gentlemen's Magazine, Edgar Allan Poe decries the interior design sense of the world (the Italians have "have but little sentiment beyond marbles" and the Americans worship an "aristocracy of dollars"). He ultimately describes his ideal room, and sets out the exact characteristics that Poe-compliant designers should hew to in order to make for harmonious interiors:

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Well-Sorted Version, an alphabetical Bible.


The Well-Sorted Version of the King James Bible takes all the letters in the Bible, preserves the order of upper- and lower-case letters, sorts the letters into alphabetical order, and "pours" the sorted letters back "into all the structure of books, chapters, verses, paragraphs, and words." Peter Harkins, who created the Well-Sorted Version, is accepting pledges to order the book in a limited, $300 edition, with cleat-sewn, acid/lignen-free paper bound into hot-foil-stamped leather, produced by the Grimm Bindery in Madison, WI, which will go into production if there's sufficient interest. There are also plans for cheaper hardcover/paperback editions and a $20 PDF version.

I once handled and enjoyed a similarly prepared edition of Joyce's Ulysses. It was a surprisingly great read.

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Nigerian restaurant busted for cannibal cuisine

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A hotel restaurant in Onitsha, Nigeria was reportedly shuttered after authorities confirmed it was selling dishes containing human meat. According to the Naija Zip, self-described as an er, "gossip news" site, police discovered two human heads on the premises along with weapons and ammunition.

"I went to the hotel early this year, after eating, I was told that a lump of meat was being sold at N700, I was surprised," a pastor who tipped off the cops was quoted as saying. "So I did not know it was human meat that I ate at such expensive price.”

Weird true facts that sound false

A great and endlessly entertaining Reddit thread asks for weird facts that sound made up, but aren't, like "The Ottoman Empire still existed the last time the Cubs won the World Series" and "When you get a kidney transplant, they usually just leave your original kidneys in your body and put the 3rd kidney in your pelvis." And:

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Sheep killers jailed

A couple from County Durham, England, will do jail time after decapitating a sheep and terrifying local children with the severed head.

Robert Carr, 28, was sentenced to 20 months for the bizarre attack, described by authorities as "beyond comprehension". Miranda Clark, 39, will spend up to eight months in jail. Carr and Clark pleaded guilty to charges of animal cruelty, child cruelty, destroying property and owning an illegal knife.

“Their initial attack on a defenseless animal seems to have served no purpose beyond providing some sort of twisted entertainment for the pair," prosecutor Gerry Sydenham said. "Not content with killing and mutilating the rare sheep, they then went on to traumatise a group of local children with the animal's severed head, before discarding it as an afterthought in a neighbour's yard.

Vibram golf-shoe


The photo above depicts an alleged new Vibram golf-shoe with two-tone uppers and individual toe-pockets. It's not clear whether this is real or rumor, nor am I sure whether this is terrible or wonderful. It is one of those liminal things, all right.

The "toe-shoe" folks at Vibram will launch a #golf shoe line in mid-February. (via Super Punch)

Nightmare fuel Pikachu


Den Chu's Pikachu evolved into something wonderfully nightmarish somewhere on its journey. If you look closely, you can just make out the electricity-storage glands under its forked tongue. I would happily give over my office to a 10-foot-long fiberglass version of this thing. (via Neatorama)

Couture Cthulu


Designer Thom Browne's Look 27 is the couture/runway version of what the smart businessperson is wearing on the streets of R'lyeh this season. Oh, who will think of the plight of the Elder God Cultist in the Grey Flannel Suit? (via M1k3y)

Portsmouth Middle School warns parents about Smartie-snorting epidemic and the risk of nasal maggots


Parents in Portsmouth, Rhode Island got a letter from the Portsmouth Middle School warning them that students may be snorting and smoking ground-up Smarties candies. The letter warns of risks of cuts, lung infections, nasal passage scarring, nose-wedged maggots (!), and future cigarette and drug use. John McDaid, a writer and local investigative blogger, got a comment from Portsmouth School Committee chair Dave Croston, who stated "I can say only that this behavior raises troubling issue of modeling."

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Flowers From Al, written with Charles Stross (conclusion)

Here's the second, concluding part of my reading of my 2003 short story "Flowers From Al," written with Charlie Stross for New Voices in Science Fiction, a Mike Resnick anthology (Here's part one). It's a pervy, weird story of transhuman romance.

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Shanghai hotel provides smog-masks for guests


Redditor Mthomaseddy snapped this photo of the elegantly packaged "gas mask" (apparently an air-filter mask, not something to be used in gas-attacks) that was waiting in his room at the Shanghai Fairmont when he checked in. China's pretty damned smoggy these days.

Shanghai hotels know how to pamper you (via Super Punch)

Twins born a year apart on New Years eve

I was a midnight birth, born somewhere between 7/16/71 and 7/17/71 (the doctor let my mom choose my birthday). For New Years babies born around midnight, the choice is more momentous -- a whole year's difference! But what about New Years twin births? A woman in DC delivered her twins in two different years, three minutes apart. Cory 16