Howto: make better salads

Bon Appetit's 20-tip roundup of salad-making tips is full of culinary wisdom, from the mechanical (how to use a salad-spinner properly and how to apply dressing for a good, even coat that doesn't turn delicates to mush) to the chemical (using salt to tenderize raw cabbage) to the culinary (toast your nuts, put chopped veg in your dressing, mix your vinegars). It's a great and timely piece for anyone getting ready to enjoy the summer's garden veg or anyone trying to get kids to eat more veggies. (via Kottke) Read the rest

A mysterious nonprofit made millions suing companies to put California cancer warnings on coffee

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) is a nonprofit that kicked off its mysterious existence by filing a string of lawsuits against restaurant chains and coffee roasters for not posting California Proposition 65 notices (the notices are mandatory warnings about the presence of "chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity") despite the disputed science behind their demands. Read the rest

Just look at this vintage "banana candle" recipe

Just look at it.

(Thanks, Seth!) Read the rest

California set to legalize eating roadkill

California bans eating roadkill in part because it's viewed as a temptation for poachers to disguise their kills as road accidents; but that means a lot of game goes to waste (at least 20,000 deer alone are hit by Californians every year -- some researchers put the number at 80,000), and the animals involved are left to die slow deaths by the roadside. Read the rest

Universal Studios is chipping their soda cups to limit refills

A room at a Universal Studios Florida hotel tonight will cost you $197-$536 (plus admission tickets to the park), but make sure that you do all your soda drinking in one compact session, because Universal has deployed the creepily named Validfill RFID system, which limits your self-service (that is, you do the labor) soda refills to two hours after purchase, and after the time window expires, "you are denied soda by a robot voice." Read the rest

Scientists finally explain why microwaved grapes emit glorious bursts of plasma

The mystery of the glorious fireball emitted by microwaved grapes (featured in my novel Little Brother) has been resolved, thanks to a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which Trent University researchers Hamza Khattak and Aaron Slepkov explain how they destroyed a dozen microwaves before figuring out that the grapes were just the right size and had enough humidity to set up standing waves that amplify the microwaves -- and anything roughly grape-sized will do the same. Read the rest

Netherlands court strikes down Dutch grifter's patent claim over Ethiopia's ancient staple grain teff

Teff is one of the oldest grains to have been cultivated, a staple for so long that its original cultivation date is lost to history and can only be estimated at between 1000 and 4000 BCE; it is best known as the main ingredient in injera, the soft pancakes that are served with Ethiopian meals. Read the rest

China legalizes eating a pufferfish bred to be nonpoisonous

Chinese fish farms have successfully bred seven generations of Takifugu rubripes and ten generations of Takifugu obscurus that lack the gene that causes normal specimens of these pufferfish species to produce a deadly toxin that means near-instant death for anyone who eats a fish whose poison has not been completely removed during preparation. Read the rest

Regular says she was banned from eating at the bar at Manhattan's scammy Nello restaurant because she might be a sex-worker

After marketing executive Clementine Crawford published an essay about being banned from eating at the bar at her favorite New York restaurant, Nello (a notorious ripoff joint), because the owner (already notorious for labor abuses) was "cracking down on escorts" and had decreed that only men would be permitted to dine at the bar, The Cut tried to get a comment on it from Balan, whose employees repeatedly hung up on them. Read the rest

#TacosForTeachers: crowdfunding to feed LA's teachers as they strike against privatization and austerity

Teachers in the Los Angeles Unified School District (America's largest district) are walking the picket line this week in the pouring rain, demanding an end to the billionaire dark-money backed privatization movement that funnels public education funds to the shareholders of racially segregated, underperforming charter schools. Read the rest

Chuck Wendig, Apple Reviewer

Chuck Wendig isn't just a fine novelist, he's also got a discerning sense of what distinguishes good apples from bad, and what elevates apples to true greatness. Read the rest

Court strikes down Iowa's unconstitutional ag-gag law

"Ag-gag" laws -- which ban the collection of evidence of wrongdoing on farms, from animal cruelty to food-safety violations -- are a sterling example of how monopolism perpetuates itself by taking over the political process. Read the rest

McGingerbread Hell: bakers celebrate McMansion Hell with delicious monster houses

Last month, he amazing architecture-snark criticism site McMansion Hell (previously) announced gingerbread house contest to create "the most nubtastic, gawdawful gingerbread McMansion in all of McMansion Hell!" Read the rest

Literal breadboarding, with toast and Vegemite

Vegemite has enough salt to be conductive, and is viscous enough to draw distinct traces with on suitable medium (say, toast that has been cooked such that most of the water has evaporated, making it a good insulator), as Luke Weston has ably demonstrated. Read the rest

McMansion Hell is having a gingerbread house contest!

Kate "McMansion Hell" Wagner (previously) has put out a call for "the most nubtastic, gawdawful gingerbread McMansion in all of McMansion Hell!" (no styrofoam or support materials allowed) with prizes starting at $200 and a t-shirt and 3 pins from the McMansion Hell store. Read the rest

Make: a gingerbread house zoetrope

Andrew Salomone writes, "I work as a preparator for The George Eastman Museum at the Kodak founder's historic estate in Rochester, NY. It's the world's oldest photography museum and has an extensive collection of early photographic and moving image objects, like zoetropes. The house itself is a local landmark and has put on an annual gingerbread house display for decades. This year, a couple of my colleagues and I decided to make a gingerbread house zoetrope and then wrote a tutorial about it. Read the rest

Cranberry orange-bread, 50 years later

Patrick Costello (previously) writes, "My mom shares her recipe for cranberry orange bread with help from my dad. They have been married for fifty years and they are still crazy for each other. The full recipe is in the video description." Read the rest

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