Charles Phoenix's outrageous Cherpumple dessert concept will be a parade float

Charles Phoenix's famous Cherpumple concept (stacked CHErry, PUMpkin, apPLE pies baked in a layer of cake) is being made into an epic parade float.

Former Disney Art Directors Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily are crafting a 10-foot-tall Cherpumple wedge -- which Charles, the Ambassador of Americana himself, will be seated on -- for the Anaheim Halloween Parade on October 27. To see it for yourself, the fun starts at 6 PM in downtown Anaheim.

Here's a peek:

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NEW PARADE FLOAT: Oct 27 I’ll be riding in the @anaheimhalloweenparade on this GIANT #Cherpumple slice ... by @kevinandjody ... careful what you wish for in life #dreamcometrue

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This morning's progress on the Cherpumple with some sweet scenic painting by Jody. Looks practically good enough to eat. @_charlesphoenix @anaheimhalloweenparade #cherpumple #cherrypumpkinapplepiecake #paradefloat #plywoodmagic @cityofanaheim

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Wall o'frosting. #scenicpainting @anaheimhalloweenparade @_charlesphoenix #dontlickit

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*"Cherry pie in white cake; a pumpkin pie in yellow cake, and apple pie in spice cake!"

Charles Phoenix previously on BB

Paul Allen, Microsoft co-founder, RIP

Paul Allen, billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, philanthropist, science fiction fan, and founder of Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture (formerly the Experience Museum Project), has died from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65.

"From technology to science to music to art, I’m inspired by those who’ve blurred the boundaries, who’ve looked at the possibilities, and said, “What if...? In my own work, I’ve tried to anticipate what’s coming over the horizon, to hasten its arrival, and to apply it to people’s lives in a meaningful way." -- Paul Allen

Allen's professional timeline is quite something:

  • 1953: Paul Allen is born January 21, 1953 in Seattle, Washington
  • 1968: While at Lakeside School, Paul meets Bill Gates. A friendship that would later produce one of the world’s most innovative companies, Microsoft.
  • 1969: Attends first rock concert, where he sees Jimi Hendrix at Seattle Center Coliseum
  • 1975: Founds Microsoft 
  • 1982: In September, Paul is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Nearly eight months later, doctors said he had beaten the disease.
  • 1983: Officially resigns from Microsoft in March
  • 1986: Founds Vulcan Inc. in Seattle as an investment and project management firm with his sister, Jody Allen
  • 1988: Establishes The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
  • 1988: Purchases the Portland Trail Blazers
  • 1988: Rescues Seattle Cinerama from demolition by purchasing and restoring the theater
  • 1990: The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation makes its first grant.
  • 1990: Becomes a billionaire at age 37
  • 1995: Makes his single biggest investment to date by purchasing a 18.5% stake in Dreamworks
  • 1996: Purchases the St. Paul’s Hospital in London, which would reopen later after renovations as The Hospital Club
  • 1997: Creates Vulcan Productions, an independent film production company
  • 1997: Purchases the Seattle Seahawks, preventing the NFL team from relocating to California
  • 2002: Donates $14 million to the University of Washington to construct the Paul G. Allen Center for Computer Science and Engineering
  • 2003: Launches the Allen Institute for Brain Science (AIBS) with $100 million in seed money
  • 2004: SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately-based effort to successfully put a civilian in suborbital space, winning the Ansari X Prize
  • 2004: Opens the Flying Heritage Collection, a private collection of warbirds, in Arlington, Washington
  • 2008: Lifetime philanthropic giving reaches $1 billion in total
  • 2009: Becomes a minority owner in Seattle Sounders, the MLS team
  • 2011: Releases memoir “Idea Man”
  • 2011: Announces the launch of Stratolaunch Systems. The venture’s goal is to create an air launch to orbit system
  • 2012: Opens the Living Computer Museum, an interactive collection of vintage mainframes and machines, to the public in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood
  • 2013: Announces expansion of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, aiming to model it after the Brain Science Institute
  • 2014: Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl over the Denver Broncos
  • 2014: Pledges $100 million to support efforts to stop Ebola outbreak in West Africa
  • 2014: Founds the Allen Institute for Cell Science 
  • 2017: Locates the wreck of the USS Indianapolis
  • 2018: Dies on Oct. 15 in Seattle of complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma

More about Paul Allen in this statement posted by his umbrella company Vulcan Inc.

And here is the New York Times obituary.

Fendi accidentally made a 'vulva' scarf

Fendi is taking a beating online after creating a pink scarf that resembles female genitalia, bush and all.

The Italian luxury fashion brand took down their £750 vulva-like "Touch of Fur" shawl after the internet got wind of it (blue and red versions are still available).

The Guardian humorously notes, it "makes you look like you’re being born."

If you like the look of labia, are ok with wearing real fur, and have $990 to kill, this scarf is still available from online retailer Farfetch.

Fendi’s £750 ‘vulva’ scarf makes wearers look like they’re being born

Watch when Lyft passengers find out their driver is actually Chance the Rapper

There's nothing more fun than a prank that brings great laughter to its victims, and this is what Chance the Rapper does when he becomes an undercover Lyft driver for a day. He drives unsuspecting passengers around Chicago and chats with them about all sorts of things, including rappers. It takes a while, but these passengers finally realize who they're really talking to, and their reactions are priceless (especially the last woman, who comes after you think the video is over, so watch to the end).

Chance pulls this stunt to bring attention to his charity, The New Chance Fund, which raises funds for art and literature enrichment in the Chicago public schools.

Booze in a 'juice' box

In Japan, you don't have to drink your sake from a cup or a glass or even a bottle. If you're in the mood for a little imbibing on your walk home from work and don't want to worry about having to recycle a bottle or a can, or maybe you would just rather sip your booze from a straw, then these neat, one-serving cartons of sake are for you.

Onigoroshi (Demon Slayer) is the brand I find in every convenience store I've ever entered in Japan. Shelved with the wine and other spirits are these cool cartons, 180 ml of 13-14% alcohol goodness with a straw.

While picking up a couple mini cartons for research, I noticed a new one I'd never seen before. It's bigger, holding 270 ml of sake and touted as ureshii ookisa or Fun Size!

I like the idea, just make sure you don't slip one into your child's lunchbox.

Photos by: Thersa Matsuura

Climate change will make beer much more expensive

Over the next century, higher temperatures and an increased number of droughts will hit the global barley supply, pushing beer prices way up. University of East Anglia economist Dabo Guan and his colleagues developed multiple scenarios based on several climate and economic models. Nature:

The researchers then simulated the effect of these droughts and heat waves on barley production by using software to model crop growth and yield on the basis of weather and other variables.

They found that, globally, this extreme weather would reduce barley yield by between 3% and 17%. Some countries fared better than others: tropical areas such as Central and South America were hit badly, but crop yields actually increased in certain temperate areas, including northern China and the United States. Some areas of those countries saw yield increases of up to 90% — but this was not enough to offset the global decrease.

Finally, Guan and his colleagues fed these changes in barley yield into an existing economic model that can account for changes in supply and demand in the global market. This enabled them to look at how reduced barley production would affect pricing and consumption of beer in countries, as well as trade between nations.

In the worst-case scenario, the reduced barley supply worldwide would result in a 16% decrease in global beer consumption in the years of extreme-weather events. Prices would, on average, double...

One goal of the research, Guan says, was to make tangible how "climate change will impact people’s lifestyle... (If people) want to drink beer when we watch football, then we have to do something."

painting: François Jaques, "Peasants Enjoying Beer at Pub in Fribourg" (Switzerland, 1923)

Trump joins past Republican presidents in new version of The Republican Club painting

Andy Thomas, the artist who creates wonderful paintings depicting historical presidents from each party hanging out, has updated The Republican Club to include Donald Trump. It was spotted on the White House wall during an interview with the president on CBS News.

The artist, who lives in Missouri, United States, was "ecstatic" to discover his art displayed in the White House, he told Time. Republican congressman Darrell Issa reportedly gave it to the President.

"A lot of times gifts aren't really hung up, they're just pushed into a closet somewhere," Mr Thomas said.

Shortly before Trump's election, I'd painted Trump into an earlier variant of Thomas's painting (below; and made a few other tweaks) in expectation of the big win. Folks were mad that I'd called it but such is life in the death of the Republic. Why don't you get grandpa a jigsaw puzzle or something [Amazon].

Coca-Cola, trying to mix Maori with English, accidentally puts "Hello, death" on vending machine

In an attempt to blend English with Maori, Coca-Cola stamps a brilliant blooper onto one of their New Zealand vending machines: "Kia Ora, Mate!" Translation: "Hello, death!"

"Kia ora" is commonly translated as "hello" in Maori, while "mate" can be used as "buddy" in English. But in Maori, "mate" is not the kind of buddy you want to have – it's a word that is associated with "death."

What makes this so ironic is how on the mark the message really is. According to The Guardian:

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of obesity in the developed world with one in three adult New Zealanders classified as obese.

According to statistics New Zealand 50% of Māori adults are obese, as well as 18% of Māori children.

Image: © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

New David Bowie documentary in production at BBC

BBC Studios Production is completing a new feature documentary, David Bowie: The First Five Years, to air next year. Its the third in director Francis Whately's trilogy that has included "David Bowie: Five Years" (2013) and "David Bowie: The Last Five Years" (2017). The film will cover the Bowie's formative years as an artist, starting in 1966 up until the birth of Ziggy Stardust. According to the BBC, the 90-minute doc "traces his interest in everything from Holst to Pinky and Perky, from Anthony Newley to Tibetan Buddhism, and how he used all these influences to create not only Ziggy Stardust, but the material for his entire career."

The film also unearths a report, deep from the BBC Archives, following a BBC audition on Tuesday 2 November 1965 of a band called David Bowie and the Lower Third. Their audition material included Chim-Chim-Cheree as well as an original number called Baby That’s A Promise. The BBC’s ‘Talent Selection Group’ describe him as having “quite a different sound”, but also “no personality”, “not particularly exciting” and “will not improve with practice”. The BBC later appears to have changed its mind...

Contributors include Bowie’s first cousin and lifelong-friend Kristina Amadeus and former girlfriend and muse Hermione Farthingale - both of whom have never before been filmed talking about him; the late Lindsay Kemp in his last filmed interview, lifelong friend and producer Tony Visconti, former girlfriend and friend Dana Gillespie, lifelong friends Geoff MacCormak and George Underwood, Bowie's producer Mike Vernon, Bowie's early producer Tony Hatch, and Woody Woodmansey, the last remaining Spider from Mars.

Further highlights in the film include a deconstruction of Bowie classics including Space Oddity and The Man Who Sold The World through the eight track masters and previously unheard demos, alongside master tapes from songs that Bowie wanted to forget, such as The Laughing Gnome - a song that has a surprising link to the Velvet Underground; plus never before seen footage of Bowie’s journey through Siberia in 1973, just before he kills Ziggy off at the Hammersmith Odeon later that year.

"David Bowie specials coming to BBC Two and BBC Four"

I love the Garmin Tactix Charlie, so it'll likely get lost or broken

I destroy Apple Watches. It's not intentional. It just kinda happens. The first Apple Watch was a Series 1 piece of wrist candy. I loved how it kept reminders for me to take my medication, pay my bills, and all of the other things that my PTSD-addled brain refuses to keep track of on my wrist. I hated how slow it was to respond to requests and that it wasn't possible to hide apps that I never used from its interface. It died in a torrential downpour.

Same thing for my second Apple watch. It was a Series 2. While it was a little bit faster and the OS was a tiny bit more agreeable, it was unable to avoid being smashed by a passerby at a street market in Costa Rica. From the impact, it looked like it had met with a single, focused impact, like the tip of a knife or another object that wouldn't be agreeable to have in my body. I'm sure that it's over reacting to say that my Apple Watch saved my life, but I think about this often.

I am not made of money. I cannot afford to buy watch after watch (although that's kind of what I've ended up doing). Smartwatches provide me with a level of utility that makes my life a lot more manageable. It took some time, but I came to the conclusion that the best smartwatch for me was one that I could not kill.

Enter the Garmin Tactix.

I've owned three generations of Tactix: Garmin's military and police-focused GPS watches. I loved my original Tactix and wore it for a few years until it became apparent that, after too many battery recharges and battery upgrades, it was no longer the faithful companion it had once been. I sold it to buy my second Tactix (I'm not good at not buying watches), the Tactix Bravo. It was perfect. I adored it and wore it everywhere for close to two years. Unlike my Apple Watches, which needed to be charged, daily, the Bravo only had to be juiced up once every few weeks. It provided me with notifications from my Android handset or iPhone. It could control my music, tell me how hot it was outside, and without the need for a connection to a smartphone, let me navigate my way back to safety or find our car in a mall parking lot, via GPS. It was tough as nails, waterproof, and looked ridiculously bad ass.

Somehow, I managed to lose it on a trip into Mexico.

Garmin's Tactix line does not come cheap. At the time that I lost my Bravo, there was no way that I could afford to replace it. I went close to six months without a smartwatch. Appointments were missed, days went by without remembering to take my medication. Most frustrating of all was my compulsion to whip my smartphone out of my pocket every time that a notification came in. A few months ago, I got my hands on the latest iteration of Garmin's Tactix line, the Charlie.

I love it.

ISO=1077;S=30000000;EV=1.7;FLASH=Off;MOMENT_LENS=NO LENS


Everything baked into the Charlie feels like an upgrade from the Tactix Bravo. It's faster to respond to my requests. Its daylight-readable 1.2" display is large enough that I never have to squint to see what it's trying to tell me. Its GPS functionality kicks the holy hell out of what the last two generations of Tactix were capable of: the Charlie comes pre-loaded with TOPO maps, which can be upgraded via sideloading to show more detail from a number of different map sources. In combination with its ability to provide routable navigation data, it's a great companion on a hike. There's Built-in GPS and GLONASS nav hardware baked into it, plus a 3-axis compass, barometer, altimeter and gyroscope. If I ever get lost it's my own damn fault. That it can link to my InReach Mini is icing on the cake. Best of all is the fact that it's hella tough. With a titanium bezel and rear cover, stainless steel buttons and a domed sapphire lens, I'll have to work very hard to murder this thing.

As I'm getting older, tracking my health has become a lot more important to me: I have a responsibility to be here and healthy for my wife. The Tactix Charlie helps me with this as well. It has a built-in heart rate sensor and a bevy of apps and widgets that help me to stay in shape, track my training, stress level, sleep and step count. Despite all of this functionality, it's far from fussy. If I don't like a feature, I can remove it. Granted, compared to many smartwatches, it is freaking huge. But I like the size. It's easy on my old eyes and, with its dimensions and heft, there's no way that I can mistakenly leave the house without noticing that I'm not wearing it.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll own it for long enough to discover whether the battery will be easily user replaceable.

Images via Seamus Bellamy and Garmin

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