Reality Check, Please

Food Network apparently has a magazine and the first issue actually has a few interesting articles on food and economics. One, titled Reality Check, Please discusses design tricks on menus that restaurants use to manipulate diners’ psychology. For instance:

Menus typically show prices right after dish descriptions rather than in a column. Why? So you won’t go looking for a cheaper dish. If you see a chicken entree for $17, the restaurant doesn’t want you to notice that the chicken tenders two lines down up are $3 cheaper. Kevin Moll, CEO of Denver’s National Restaurant Consultants, says staggering the prices on a menu leads to a 10-percent increase in sales.

ThatsSoYummy has transcribed the article: Reality Check, Please.

Cardinal Stew

While looking for recipes for Steelers-inspired food, I came across this gem on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Cardinal Stew

1 – washed up cardinal quarter back
5 – mediocre offensive lineman
3 – legitimate pass receivers
2 – Steeler Coach wannabe’s

Toss ingredients vigorously in large (Super) bowl, Bake under extreme heat for 60 minutes. Cool by fanning with large yellow towel.

Throw it out.

Try again next Year

Props to the Post-Gazette for having forums.

Puli Escape Artist

Our puli puppy Tibor has been escaping from his pen lately. I wanted to see how exactly he was getting out every time we left the house. So I put him in his pen, and recorded this.

I feel horrible about having had him scale the pen 4 times, so the pen has been removed. I am completely in awe of his jumping prowess. Here is his new pen:

This is the pen that an escape artist gets

This is the pen that an escape artist gets

Preventing onion tears

Some good data on preventing onion tears. Instead of buying onion goggles, you should learn to cut onions correctly. I particularly like this part:

The placement of various foreign objects between one’s teeth (wine corks seem to be a particular favorite) is of questionable value, except when used as an excuse – if indeed one were needed – to open another bottle of wine.

Ian Hibell

Every once in a while you run across a completely insane story. Today I came to Ian Hibell, famed long-distance bicyclist, by way of the Darian Gap, an uncharted, impassible piece of Panamanian land that separates North and South America. Ian Hibell was the first person to do an overland passing of the Gap as he cycled from Cape Horn to Alaska in 1970-72. Here is a video of Ian during this trek:

In a sad twist of fate, Ian was killed at 74 years of age, struck by a car while riding his bike in Greece. The Economist and The Times both published touching obituaries for Ian. This quote is from the Economist:

Bikes rarely let him down. Escaping once from spear-throwing Turkana in northern Kenya, he felt the chain come off, but managed to coast downhill to safety. He crossed China from north to south—in 2006, at 72—with just three brake-block changes, one jammed rear-brake cable and a change of tape on the handlebars. In his book, “Into the Remote Places” (1984), he described his bike as a companion, a crutch and a friend. Setting off in the morning light with “the quiet hum of the wheels, the creak of strap against load, the clink of something in the pannier”, was “delicious”.

I hope to find a copy of his book.

Radiohead “House of Cards” video

Radiohead has just released an amazing video for “House of Cards” that uses no cameras, only lasers and visualization, to produce a sort of vector video game effect:

If you’re interested in the technique, you should check out the making of the video, which includes a cameo by visualization superstar Aaron Koblin. Oh, and they open sourced the data. Holy crap that’s awesome. Go Google, Radiohead and Aaron.