The Consumer Category
We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.
PLUGGING her book of fiction The Queen of Four Kingdoms (‘The epic true story of a rich and riveting period of French and English history, all witnessed by the captivating and complex heroine Yolande”), Princess Michael of Kent shows off some remarkable gems. She remains very uncommon in the Sunday Times interview:
I have a tray brought to my bedroom at 9am. Breakfast is served on my Herend china and I sit in an old armchair so I can read the papers. I have zero-fat yoghurt with cinnamon, which is meant to be a fat-burner, and a pot of ginger tea made with grated ginger. This I have with lavender honey and one plain Ryvita. Life is a battle against the expanding waistline, so some mornings I just have a fresh juice made from five vegetables that my manicurist told me about. It’s frightfully good.
TO write I Am Malala: The Girl who Stood up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, Christina Lamb spent a year in Birmingham with Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban. A few extracts from it. One notable fact is that her mother, Tor Pekai, is illiterate.
I had travelled up from London by train with her agent. As I am quickly to discover, there is a circus of people around Malala, including a leading PR company, an investment-banker friend of the family, do-good celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, and even former prime minister Gordon Brown, who hired Malala’s dad as an adviser to his own role as global education envoy for the UN. Everyone wants a part of her.
BREAKING BAD is a show that divides everyone straight down the middle. You’ve got people who haven’t seen it and you’ve got people who love it, constantly tweet about it and make everyone else hate it even more. There is no middle ground.
On the Mental And I Love It side of things, one fan spent $9,900 on the underpants worn by Walter White from Breaking Bad. One can assume that Walter White had more than one pair of undercrackers, but there you go.
The show collaborated with Sony Pictures and Screenbid to hold a 10-day auction, where fans could bid for all manner of things.
JUXTAPOSITION of the day: The title of Sharon Osbourne’s book (Unbreakable) looks somewhat hyperbolic when put next to Malala (I Am Malala):
HOW do you want to die? Dudefood has created a new way: the oreo-breaded deep-fried ice-cream. A tribe of tame Iowans lick the filling out; then the biscuits are mashed, the Iowans regurgitate the cream; the crunchy goo is mixed into ice cream; coated in egg; stuck to biscuit bits; and then it is deep-fat fried in oil:
I wasn’t sure how well the Oreo cookie filling would work as part of a breading so I went through a package of cookies removing the filling from each cookie. Don’t worry though, because I didn’t let it go to waste. Instead, I mixed the cookie filling right into the ice cream! Yep, Cookies and Cream ice cream, mixed with Oreo cookie filling breaded in Oreo cookies!
One pint ended up being enough for five pretty decently sized balls of ice cream and after those sat in my freezer for about 30 minutes — mixed with the Oreo filling of course — I dipped each one in an egg wash and then rolled them around in crushed up Oreo cookies before placing them back in the freezer for another ten minutes or so. Then, just to make sure the breading was thick enough, I dipped each ice cream ball in the egg wash once again and rolled them in the crushed up Oreos a second time before putting them back in the freezer.
After 30 minutes my ice cream was finally ready for the deep fryer so I dropped each ball of ice cream in the 375° oil for about ten seconds, snapped a few photos and then started to eat! This is one of those times when I wish I owned a restaurant or a food truck or something just so you guys could actually taste the stuff I make because just saying over and over how great it is doesn’t do it any justice. This Oreo Cookie Breaded Deep Fried Ice Cream was good!
JACK Kerouac was so unimpressed by the cover his publishers stuck on The Town and the City, he sketched the one he wanted for OneThe Road.
DRIVING home I was stopped by the police. One copper leaned in the window and said he could smell marijuana. I told him was mistaken, which he must have been: there was never any weed in the Peugeot, officer. He ordered me from my car and the usual nonsense followed before I was sent on my way. Which all leads to this question: can the smell of marijuana attract member of the opposite sex as well as the police? In 1981, the makers of Stash perfume thought so:
“HE must have been drunk because when he came off the plane, he took his top off and shouted ‘come on then’ in a Manchester accent and was trying to get the captain to fight him,” Says an eyewitness to events on an easyJet flight arrived at Manchester Airport from Malta. “Then he carried on taking all his clothes off. I have no idea why. The woman he was with gave him a slap for it. He’d had an altercation with other passengers and the captain had come down the plane to calm him down.”
DEAR Lord the egregious Margaret Hodge is getting boring on this subject. She seems to ignore the manner in which every time she opens her gob on the subject of corporate tax she has to be corrected. It simply is not true that Facebook is avoiding tax in the UK:
However, those numbers are not reflected in its accounts. In common with fellow American technology leaders Google and Apple, Facebook funnels the vast majority of its income from advertisers targeting its 33 million British users through Ireland. “This is yet another example of what appears to be deliberate manipulation of accounts of economic activity to deprive the British taxpayer of a rightful tax contribution, according to the profits they make in the UK,” said Commons public accounts committee chairwoman Margaret Hodge. “I am getting fed up of this constant stream of stories and little sign of a challenge from HMRC and a strange silence from government.”
Drunk Jack Kerouac debates ‘hippie” and its meaning with a pompous William F. Buckley – Fernanda Pivano just gets it
JACK Kerouac, author of the classic, On the Road liked a drink or three.
In this video, Kerouac talks with writer Fernanda Pivano. He is three sheets to the wind:
In 1965, Kerouac was on the magic box again. William F. Buckley was in the chair, whose pomposity and self-regard is hilarious.
THE Associated Press journeys to Vernon Center Middle School Connecticut middle school. Students are screaming “HUMP DAY”. It’s distracting the teachers.
The news report is here:
It’s all a remarkable non-news story. But it got us wondering what adverts we quoted in our youth. A poll of Anorak Towers revealed these gems:
HOW to unpack a Morrison’s calculator; and how it stacks up against a WHSmith calculator and a calculator from Canon, This is not an unboxing video. This is an unpacking masterclass:
Spotter: Brady Haran
JOE Thompson, 12, took 16 months to fly from the Abu Dhabi to his native Weston-super-Mare, in Somerset. No, not a RyanAir booking gone awry. Young Joe became terrified of flying. The Times reports that he was only able to return to the UK after “months of preparation by a hypnotherapist, who accompanied him on the journey home.”
One word: boats.
But we’d be wrong. His father ways he was unable to obtain the visa required for a trip by land and sea. So. Joe had to fly or remain in AbuDhabi forever.
Or maybe take a cruise ship?
But, then, what about another word: drugs. We get no word on them. But they do work.
YOU’LL have seen the news that Silk Road, the online drug bazar, has been taken down by the FBI. There’s a number of fun questions surrounding what actually happened.
For those who don’t know Silk Road was part of the “deep web”, the bit where Google doesn’t go. And it was a trading shop for just about anything: from heroin through computer trojans and all the way to hit men. All highly illegal of course and it seems the the bloke running it was a bit of an extreme libertarian. Which is going to cause problems for nice cuddly libertarians like me of course.
WHO stole Thomas Dambo’s My Little Pony statue? He soon finds out. The pony rustler is contrite and helpful. Dambo, a Danish artist and designer working out of Copenhagen, is now looking for someone to help him rehouse the pony:
HOW can you prevent your face from being known by the authorities searching the American-corporation-owned web? Wear a burqa. A beard? Be old and grey (the ultimate invisibility cloak)? Dutch designer Simone C. Niquille has an idea how you can dodge facial-recognition software: wear clothes covered in pictures of other people. Her “REALFACE Glamoflage” T-shirts are great. She says:
“I was interested in the T-shirt as a mundane commodity. An article of clothing that in most cases does not need much consideration in the morning in front of the closet…I was interested in creating a tool for privacy protection that wouldn’t require much time to think in the morning, an accessory that would seamlessly fit in your existing everyday. No adaption period needed.”
ARE some books unfilmable? Does reading the book first spoil the film and vice versa?
Stephen King’s The Shining is a cracking read. Stanley Kubrick film adaptation of it is also fantastic, a capacious, sinister spine-tingler. But when the film came out many of the book’s fans were upset. Scenes had been omitted from the book’s version of life at the Overlook Hotel. But did you see that lift full of blood? Young Danny riding his tricycle over the wooden floor and then onto the oh-so-silent carpet? Once seen, never forgotten.
The book is not the film. The book is the book. The film is the film.
King might be relieved. As he says:
“I am not a cold guy. And with Kubrick’s The Shining I thought that it was very cold.
“Shelley Duvall as Wendy is really one of the most misogynistic characters ever put on film. She’s basically just there to scream and be stupid. And that’s not the woman I wrote about…I met him [Kubrick] on the set and just on that one meeting, I thought he was a very compulsive man.”
King’s great novels work because they put us into the heads of his characters, because they convey psychological as well as external struggles, because their inner monologues can pour forth out of his prose. It’s part of what makes him a great writer. It’s also why there have been so many lousy films based on Stephen King books — because all of that is lost in the translation. And Kubrick would have been a lousy novelist, his meticulous detachment resulting in, we could presume, so pretty turgid and lifeless writing. But luckily, he was a filmmaker, and his gifts as an aesthete are what made him such a singularly fine one.
Laura Miller says King was right to be unimpressed by Kubrick:
King is, essentially, a novelist of morality. The decisions his characters make — whether it’s to confront a pack of vampires or to break 10 years of sobriety — are what matter to him. But in Kubrick’s “The Shining,” the characters are largely in the grip of forces beyond their control. It’s a film in which domestic violence occurs, while King’s novel is about domestic violence as a choice certain men make when they refuse to abandon a delusional, defensive entitlement. As King sees it, Kubrick treats his characters like “insects” because the director doesn’t really consider them capable of shaping their own fates. Everything they do is subordinate to an overweening, irresistible force, which is Kubrick’s highly developed aesthetic; they are its slaves. In King’s “The Shining,” the monster is Jack. In Kubrick’s, the monster is Kubrick.
Kubrick understood the importance of taking a story and meticulously reworking it for an entirely different medium. The director was a master of genre cinema, stripping it down and blowing it up in its purest form. In fact two other successful King adaptations, Stand By Me (The Body) and The Shawshank Redemption (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption) are both riddled with inconsistencies between book and film – although not quite as fundamental as The Shining. King has highlighted these two films, along with Misery (1990), as his favourite cinematic interpretations.
It’s all about entertainment. You get to gorge on the book and the film.
Here is one of the illustrations I did for Nick Offerman’s new book Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man’s Fundamentals for Delicious Living.
So stoked to be sharing this with everyone. Had a lot of fun working with him on it. He’s the best.
ZOD knows there aren’t nearly enough stereotypes about lazy Americans spending too much time in their cars, so it’s a good thing Honda and Sony are sponsoring something called “Project Drive-In” in an attempt to #SaveTheDriveIn, which is not exactly trending on Twitter even though it has been tweeted (in sponsored posts) by such noted celebrities as Will Ferrell.