“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road”*…
Introducing the DestapaBanana from Argentina:
In case the images didn’t give you enough information, I’ll explain the device in a bit more detail. The DestapaBanana bores a hole through the length of your banana and then you pour a sweet filling (like caramel, chocolate, or strawberry sauce) into the reservoir. Once sauced, you can eat the banana right away or you can put it in the freezer and eat it frozen later.
For starters, this device does nothing else and won’t work with bananas that have a lot of curve to them. Additionally, I think a straw would do the same thing if you really are fond of this idea. Or, you could dip the banana in a sauce and not waste part of your banana. And, finally, let’s not forget the most obvious thing here that injecting sauce into a banana transforms it from a health food into a tube of pure sugar…
More at Unclutterter.
As we pierce the peel, we might we might recall that it was on this date in 1955 that the first consumer microwave oven was introduced to the public. n 1947, Raytheon demonstrated the world’s first microwave oven, the “Radarange,: a refrigerator-sized appliance that cost $2-3,000. It found a some applications in commercial food settings and on Navy ships, but no consumer market. Then Raytheon licensed the technology to the Tappan Stove Company, which introduced a wall-mounted version with two cooking speeds (500 and 800 watts), stainless steel exterior, glass shelf, top-browning element and a recipe card drawer. It sold for $1,295 (figure $10,500 today).
Later Litton entered the business and developed the short, wide shape of the microwave that we’re familiar with today. As Wired reports, this opened the market:
Prices began to fall rapidly. Raytheon, which had acquired a company called Amana, introduced the first popular home model in 1967, the countertop Radarange. It cost $495 (about $3,200 today).
Consumer interest in microwave ovens began to grow. About 40,000 units were sold in the United States in 1970. Five years later, that number hit a million.
The addition of electronic controls made microwaves easier to use, and they became a fixture in most kitchens. Roughly 25 percent of U.S. households owned a microwave oven by 1986. Today, almost 90 percent of American households have a microwave oven.
More on Harry’s hardware– and guns in hundreds of other films– at IMFDb, The Internet Movie Firearm Database.
* Mae West
As we take cover, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was released. Written by Wiliam Goldman, directed by George Roy Hill, and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford as the titular outlaws, the film was a commercial and a critical success: it was the top-grossing film of the year (with a box-office of over $100 million) and was nominated for seven Academy Awards, of which it won four.
Manchester-based design firm Dorothy commissioned illustrator Tracy Worrall to create “Rock ‘N Roll Zoo.” It’s a collection of prints featuring 77 fantastical animals inspired by song titles. Included are playfully literal depictions of The Doors’ Peace Frog, Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell, and other strange beasts rock stars have used as lyrical metaphors… animals are grouped by species, so the Pixies’ “Monkey Gone to Heaven” gets to hang out with the Beastie Boys’ “Brass Monkey,” the Kink’s “Apeman,” and the Goodies’ Funky Gibbon; while the various pigs of rock–the Beatles’ “Piggies,” Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs,” and Pink Floyd’s “Pigs on the Wing”–are lumped into the same sty…
In addition to the full print, [there are] boxed set collections, including the Indie Kid collection (featuring “Elephant Stone” by The Stone Roses, “Monkey Gone to Heaven” by Pixies and “Beetlebum” by Blur) and [as below] the ’80s collection (featuring “Bat Out of Hell” by Meatloaf, “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, and “Hungry Like a Wolf” by Duran Duran)…
Just as our ancient ancestors drew animals on cave walls and carved animals from wood and bone, we decorate our homes with animal prints and motifs, give our children stuffed animals to clutch, cartoon animals to watch, animal stories to read.
- Diane Ackerman
* George Orwell, Animal Farm
As we walk the dog, we might recall that it was on this date in 1998 that a federal judge in St. Louis ruled that the Fort Zumwalt High School marching band would not be allowed to play Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” in its ’60s medley. The song had been banned by the high school superintendent on the grounds it promoted drug use…. even as one waxes nostalgic, one notes that “White Rabbit” was the nickname of Owsley Stanley, the Bay Area’s preferred purveyor of LSD.
Whether it’s getting food, a cup of coffee, or making a cash withdrawal, you can get a lot of things without leaving the comfort of your car.
That now includes paying your final respects in a drive-thru window.
A new service has opened in Saginaw, Michigan called “Drive-thru viewing” at Ivan Phillips’ Funeral Home…
More (including a revealing video) at “Drive-thru open coffin viewing now available in US at funeral home.”
* Mark Twain
As we muse on mortuary madness, we might recall that it was on this date in 1934 that Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd was killed. A bank robber who was, simultaneously Public Enemy #1 and a folk hero in Depression-era America, Floyd was cornered and shot to death in an Ohio field by lawmen led by legendary FBI agent Melvin Purvis. His body was returned to his native Oklahoma, where his funeral was attended by between 20,000 and 40,000 people, and remains the largest funeral in Oklahoma history.
Readers will know of the evening in 1816, on the shores of Lake Geneva, when a challenge from her husband-to-be and his friend Lord Byron led Mary Shelley (then, Mary Godwin) to create Frankenstein. What’s less well known is that this same challenge led another guest to create that other great figure of 19th-century gothic fiction – the vampire.
The first fully realized vampire story in English, John William Polidori’s “The Vampyre”… establishes the vampire as we know it via a reimagining of the feral mud-caked creatures of southeastern European legend as the elegant and magnetic denizens of cosmopolitan assemblies and polite drawing rooms.
“The Vampyre” is a product of 1816, the “year without summer,” in which Lord Byron left England in the wake of a disintegrating marriage and rumours of incest, sodomy and madness, to travel to the banks of Lake Geneva and there loiter with Percy and Mary Shelley (then still Mary Godwin). Polidori served as Byron’s traveling physician, and played an active role in the summer’s tensions and rivalries, as well as participating in the famous night of ghost stories that produced Mary Shelley’s “hideous progeny,” Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.
Like Frankenstein, “The Vampyre” draws extensively on the mood at Byron’s Villa Diodati. But whereas Mary Shelley incorporated the orchestral thunderstorms that illuminated the lake and the sublime mountain scenery that served as a backdrop to Victor Frankenstein’s struggles, Polidori’s text is woven from the invisible dynamics of the Byron-Shelley circle, and especially the humiliations he suffered at Byron’s hand…
Find the rest of this twisted tale (if not eternal life) at “The Poet, the Physician and the Birth of the Modern Vampire.”
* Bela Lugosi
As we make the Sign of the Cross, we might send metrical birthday greetings to Samuel Taylor Coleridge; he was born on this date in 1772. A poet, literary critic, and philosopher, Coleridge is probably best remembered for two poems, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, and for his prose work Biographia Literaria. Coleridge and his dear friend (and partner in founding the Romantic Movement) Wordsworth were contemporaries of Byron– who went out of his way to insult them in Canto III of Don Juan.
* Isaac Bashevis Singer
As we concede that context is critical, we might send shocking birthday greetings to a man who exercised free will whether he had it or not: the enfant terrible of French letters, Arthur Rimbaud; he was born on this date in 1854. With his buddy, Symbolist poet Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud was a leader of the Decadent Movement; fueled by absinthe and hashish, he succeeded in shocking a literary establishment that was nonetheless awed by his visionary verse, which influenced modern literature and arts, inspired various musicians, and prefigured Surrealism.
All known literature is written in the language of common sense—except Rimbaud’s
- Paul Valéry
“Once a photograph of the Earth, taken from outside, is available… a new idea, as powerful as any in history, will be let loose”*…
Plato suggested that “man must rise above the Earth —to the top of the atmosphere and beyond—for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.” Benjamin Grant and his colleagues at Daily Overview mean to help.
Our project was inspired, and derives its name, from an idea known as the Overview Effect. This term refers to the sensation astronauts have when given the opportunity to look down and view the Earth as a whole. They have the chance to appreciate our home in its entirety, to reflect on its beauty and its fragility all at once. That’s the cognitive shift that we hope to inspire.
From our line of sight on the earth’s surface, it’s impossible to fully appreciate the beauty and intricacy of the things we’ve constructed, the sheer complexity of the systems we’ve developed, or the devastating impact that we’ve had on our planet. We believe that beholding these forces as they shape our Earth is necessary to make progress in understanding who we are as a species, and what is needed to sustain a safe and healthy planet.
As a result, the Overviews (what we call these images) focus on the the places and moments where human activity—for better or for worse—has shaped the landscape. Each Overview starts with a thought experiment. We consider the places where man has left his mark on the planet and then conduct the necessary research to identify locations (and the corresponding geo-coordinates) to convey that idea.
The mesmerizing flatness seen from this vantage point, the surprising comfort of systematic organization on a massive scale, or the vibrant colors that we capture will hopefully turn your head. However, once we have that attention, we hope you will go beyond the aesthetics, contemplate just exactly what it is that you’re seeing, and consider what that means for our planet…
Tour the Earth from above at Daily Overview.
* astronomer Fred Hoyle
As we put perspective into purposeful practice, we might send insightful birthday greetings to Lewis Mumford; he was born on this date in 1895. A historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and cultural critic, Mumford is probably best remembered for his writings on cities, perhaps especially for his award-winning book The City in History. (See also The City– the extraordinary film that Mumford made with Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke, from an outline by the renowned documentarian Pare Lorentz, with a score by Aaron Copland.)
Mumford’s approaches to technology, its history, and its roles in society were acknowledged influences on writers like Jacques Ellul, Witold Rybczynski, Amory Lovins, E. F. Schumacher, Herbert Marcuse, Thomas Merton, and Marshall McLuhan. In a similar way, he was an inspiration for the organicist and environmentalist movements of today.
Unfortunately, once an economy is geared to expansion, the means rapidly turn into an end and “the going becomes the goal.” Even more unfortunately, the industries that are favored by such expansion must, to maintain their output, be devoted to goods that are readily consumable either by their nature, or because they are so shoddily fabricated that they must soon be replaced. By fashion and build-in obsolescence the economies of machine production, instead of producing leisure and durable wealth, are duly cancelled out by the mandatory consumption on an even larger scale.
- Lewis Mumford, The City in History