Anorak

The Consumer | Anorak - Part 5

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.

Designer makes pigeon shoes to attract birds

pigeon shoes japan

Japanese designer Kyoto Ohata attracts birds with her pigeon shoes. Ohata transforms her plain black pumps into wearable felt pigeons. She hopes birds will approach her to check out her pigeon feet as she strolls throughTokyo’s Ueno Park. As she says:

(translated) I like high heels as pigeons and I want to become popular with a group of pigeons.

pigeon shoes Japan
pigeon shoes Japan
pigeon shoes Japan
pigeon shoes Japan

Spotter: Neatorama

Posted: 6th, September 2019 | In: Fashion, News, The Consumer | Comment


Banned: Dairylea ad is too dangerous for kids

Like most of you, I’ve got Tango-induced tinnitus. But I won’t be getting DailyLea eye because the advert in which a woman is hit in the face by the cheese has been banned. The BBC says: ‘Parents of children with dairy allergies said it was “dangerous”, “disgraceful” and “insensitive”.’

On parent is Rina Cheema. Her son Karanbir “died after cheese was thrown at him at school in London in June 2017”.

A food fight can result in a fight for life. Why didn’t anyone tell the milkshakers? “Milkshaking’s power lies in the sheer ridiculousness of the situation,” said Vice, which featured instruction on how to make a milkshake to throw at someone with whom you disagree. “Someone’s thrown a milkshake at you! A milkshake! That’s silly as hell!”

DairyFree, naturally…

Posted: 4th, September 2019 | In: News, The Consumer | Comment


Haddon Salt was the king of fish and chips from Skegness to California

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Yorkshireman Haddon Salt run a fish and chips empire that in the 1960s exceeded 500 stores. Kentucky Fried Chicken noticed the immigrant’s success. In 1969 the chicken mongers bought all of the H. Salt, Esq. Authentic English Fish and Chips outlets. The NY Times:

An initial Google search revealed that this shop was the last gasp of a once-sprawling fish-and-chips empire with hundreds of locations that started with an immigrant’s secret family recipe, flourished into an eight-figure deal with Colonel Sanders and ended in collapse.

It took several years and the research help of friends to track down Mr. Salt. We found him in a remote retirement community in Southern California’s desert. The rest you can see in the film before you.

For every icon there are those who were almost famous. And perhaps they, even more than their conqueror, have the lessons we need to hear.

Image: H. Salt Fish and Chips restaurant on Vineland Ave. in North Hollywood.

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 28th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


The Making of a Steinway Piano – A Steinway & Sons Factory Tour Narrated by John Steinway

Posted: 21st, August 2019 | In: The Consumer, TV & Radio | Comment


The Beatus Facundus: beautifying good and evil

Beatus Facundus


We’ve not witnessed the end of the world. So the rich industry in predicting it continues. One day it really will be all over, the huge whimper triggering the race in the afterlife to scream ‘first!’. Beatus was not the first to peer into the future and see a decisive battle between God and the Devil. The Spanish monk created his Beatus Of Liébana in the 8th Century, a chronicle of the biblical book of Revelations. In the 11th Century King Ferdinand I of León, Castile, and Galicia wanted an updated version of Beatus’s work. So he shipped in a monk called Facundus to copy it. You can see lots more of the Beatus Facundus on Flashbak.

Posted: 19th, August 2019 | In: Books, Key Posts | Comment


Mike Tyson : marijuana marketing and short-term memory loss

mike tyson weed

Mike Tyson smokes a lot of marijuana. When former boxer told listeners to his Hotboxin’ with Mike Tyson podcast that he and co-host, former NFL player Eben Britton, burn about 10 tons of weed every month at his ranch and resort.

At Tyson Ranch, Tyson sells nine strains of weed, tincture and edibles. There are plans for “glamping” campgrounds. Would you stay at ‘Iron Mike’s’ place?

No idea. But the reporting on what looks a lot like a PR exercise makes no mention – not one – of the fact that Tyson served three years of a six-year sentence imposed in 1992 for raping a teenage beauty-pageant contestant. Not CNN, the Sun or the Mirror mention that. None of them mention that Tyson has convictions for assault and cocaine possession. Maybe it’s down to smoking too much and getting short-term memory loss?

As advocates for weed go, we can get better ones that Mike Tyson.

Posted: 15th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Still I Rise : Maya Angelou resurrected to sell helicopters to billionaires

Maya Angelu
‘A private chopper is a human right’

How do you celebrate the life and thoughts of Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014), the American poet and civil rights activist? Well, if you’re running the twitter account for Billionaire Magazine – “the Official Account for Billionaire Magazine. World’s Finest Marketplace. Buy & Sell Jet•Yacht•Supercar•Estates Non-Political” – you see her words as a tool with which to flog ridiculously expensive stuff.

“You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise!” says Maya Angelou in Still I Rise – her words now stripped of context and placed in the mouth of a private helicopter.

Still I Rise
Maya Angelou – 1928-2014

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise

Posted: 8th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


To the amusement park with Fernando Livschitz

Roller coaster

In Beautiful Chaos, by Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films, a trip to the amusement park takes an unexpected twist.

Spotter: Livschitz on Vimeo and Instagram.

Posted: 8th, August 2019 | In: The Consumer | Comment


UK Government profits from Canadian cannabis smokers

cannabis uk

At what point does the Government accept defeat in the war on cannabis? Glasgow food safety business R-Biopharm Rhône (RBR), a subsidiary of German parent company R-Biopharm, will supply test kits to a Canadian cannabis producer. The weed grower wants to rid their products of carcinogenic toxins. RBR makes kits that test for toxins in milk, spices, cereals and animal feeds. So why not put its skills to profit from the booming marijuana industry? Cannabis is legal in Canada. In the UK the law allows some medical use of the drug.

So here’s a renowned business based in the UK making money from weed. R-Biopharm Rhône product manager Claire Milligan tells the Herald: “Just like any other ingestible item, strict consumer protection legislation requires that cannabis products, including oils, cookies and cannabis plants themselves, should be tested for the presence of dangerous toxins. While the legality of cannabis products in the UK is currently the subject of wide-ranging debate, in those jurisdictions, such as Canada, certain states in the US, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands where consumption of cannabis products is permitted, testing for toxins remains of great importance. In the wake of the sale to our Canadian customer we anticipate further demand for our test kits in other regions where consumption of cannabis is legal as well as perhaps, at some stage, here in the UK.”

How do we feel about the UK doing business with companies whose produce is banned here? Any reputable British firm, which RBR certainly is, will pay taxes into the Treasury’s coffers. Some of that money will surely come from the Canada deal. Isn’t it a tad hypocritical of the UK Government to profit from the consumption of cannabis for non-medical use – the same drug it bans and arrests people for selling? How ethical is that?

Posted: 6th, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


CBD : the fight to regulate the new snake oil

marijuana art

Are all strains of CBD – cannabis extract cannabidiol – of equal worth? CBD is widely used in the UK to treat all manner of conditions, including: anxiety, pain and insomnia. The only US federally approved CBD-based medication is for epilepsy: Epidiolex is taken orally to help control seizures. The BBC says around 250,000 of us in the UK use CB regularly. It’s pretty clear more tests are needed. It’s pretty clear it helps some people.

A recent report by industry body the Centre for Medical Cannabis [CMC]blind-tested 30 products advertising themselves as CBD, bought on the High Street and online. It found almost half (45%) had measurable levels of THC, making them technically illegal in the UK.

Of course, the CMD’s research is intended to inform, campaign an enhance its position as “the UK’s first and only industry membership body for businesses and investors operating in cannabis based medicinal products (CBMPs) and cannabidiol (CBD) wellness markets”. With such a huge market on the horizon, CMD can expect some competition.


The researchers also found the presence in seven products of the solvent dichloromethane, which can cause wheezing and shortness of breath, at levels above food safety limits.

Some CBD products also contain very little of the advertised ingredient.

One sample, bought at a high street pharmacy chain, had no CBD in it at all and was selling for well over £50. Only 38% of the products tested had levels of CBD within 10% of the amount advertised on the bottle.


There is no legal requirement for these products to be tested, though some companies say they have rigorous testing regimes.

This is not about freedom. This is about regulation and profits:

CMC Confirms All its Members Products That Were Tested as Part of Their Groundbreaking UK CBD Market Study Had A CBD Content That Was Within 10% Of The Stated Content On The Label.

Or you could just, you know, buy some weed and smoke it…

Posted: 1st, August 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment


Annette Messager turned dead sparrows into art

Annette Messager sparrows

In 1971, Annette Messager was invited to participate in a show at Galerie Germain in Paris. She should come up with something to do with wool. She made a lamb’s wool jumper for a dead sparrow.

I found my voice as an artist when I stepped on a dead sparrow on a street in Paris in 1971. I didn’t know why, but I was sure this sparrow was important because it was something very fragile that was near me and my life. Like the people I love, these small birds were always around me, yet they remained strange and mysterious. So I picked up the sparrow, took it home and knit a wool wrap for it. Why? I can’t say. You want to do something and don’t know why – all you know is that you have no choice, that it’s a necessity.”

One dead sparrow in a hand-knitted jumper became part of a collection that the finder and artist Annette Messager in 1972 called ‘Les Pensionnaires’ (‘The Residents’).

Spotter: Flashbak

Posted: 17th, July 2019 | In: Key Posts, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment


Animated green screen tattoos

Tattoo artist Lee Rowlett uses green screen tattoos that let you play videos on your skin. Look out for them on every celebrity and footballer who wants to secure a new branding deal…

Posted: 17th, July 2019 | In: Fashion, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


Passengers take a four-storey slide to the departure gate at Singapore’s Changi Airport

To Singapore’s Changi Airport, where passengers can zip down a four-storey tall slide to the departure gate. Everyone gets a go so long as they’ve spent S$10 (around £6) at the airport shops.

All airports should work like this. Or why don’t airlines try trapdoors to vacate the plane quickly and save more time? Call me RyanAir, I have ideas…

Image via Changi Airport

Posted: 8th, July 2019 | In: The Consumer | Comment


See every cover of the great MAD magazine – from 1952 to now

Mad magazine cover 1

On Doug Gilford’s Mad Cover Site – “a resource for collectors and fans of the world’s most important (ecch!) humor publication” – you can see every cover since the magazine’s 1952 debut. Alfred E. Neuman is, of course, ever present.

mad magazine vintage

Spotter: Flashbak


Posted: 5th, July 2019 | In: Books, The Consumer | Comment


A plea for mirrors and no more weed from Lee Scratch Perry

Lee Scratch Perry has politely requested his fans relent from giving him weed. He has plenty. If you must give anything, give mirrors. The fabled reggae star tweets:

Lee Scratch Perry

You know what’s coming don’t, you? Yep, mirrors being reclassified as a Class C drugs.

Posted: 15th, March 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, Music, The Consumer | Comment


Corbyn’s Blue Period: Laura Murray, Minted Aristocrats and a £50m Picasso

Corbyn Picasso

Gabriel Pogrund has huge news. A scoop! “EXCLUSIVE: The mystery of who sold Picasso’s “Child with a Dove” for £50M in 2013, one of the most expensive artworks ever, is today solved.” Who?! “It was the family of Laura Murray, Corbyn’s top aide, who also gifted her a £1.4m house. By me & @ShippersUnbound.”

A tale of minted former communists, nepotism, huge sums of cash, the randy Spanish goat and the man who would lead the nation. What a story this promises to be. A little aside before we tuck in: Laura Murray us being sued by Rachel Riley, co-presenter of ITV’s Countdown, for alleged libel. Now read on in the Times

Today it can be revealed that her family was behind the anonymous sale of one of the most expensive artworks in history, Pablo Picasso’s L’Enfant au Pigeon (Child with a Dove), which was sold for £50m in 2013. She also owns a share of a £1.3m north London property transferred to her by her mother, reportedly saving up to £500,000 in inheritance tax.

Murray is the daughter of Andrew Murray, 60, a key Corbyn adviser who comes from Scottish aristocracy and whose grandfather served as the imperial governor of Madras. He left the Communist Party after 40 years in 2016.


Who dares say socialism doesn’t pay? These people sound like a well-stocked elite. If we vote for them, do we all get to be their equals? Bread today – Picasso’s and pricey London pads tomorrow!

The Times adds:

Laura Murray, great-granddaughter of the 2nd Baron Aberconway, an Eton-educated Edwardian industrialist, and Lady Aberconway, his wife, who was bequeathed Picasso’s masterpiece by the art collector rumoured in the family to have been her lover, Samuel Courtauld. The Aberconway family’s decision to pull the work from public display at the Courtauld Gallery in London and put it up for sale through Christie’s, the auction house, in 2012 became a cause célèbre.

Get those Bullingdon Club application forms in the post. Corbyn and chums can yet be saved. If Picasso’s Blue Period is good enough for them, so too is Boris Johnson’s.

The identity of the seller was a mystery at the time, although speculation pointed to the branch of the family that still owns Baron Aberconway’s 5,000-acre estate in north Wales. In fact, the transaction was overseen by Laura Murray’s mother, Susan Michie, an academic, and her uncle, Jonathan Michie, an Oxford economist and university friend of Labour’s communications director, Seumas Milne. Both declined to comment.

But is it a scoop, really? In 2010, the Guardian told us:

The painting came to London in 1924 with Mrs RA Workman who was, along with her husband, a major collector of impressionist and post-impressionist art. She sold it a few years later to Samuel Courtauld, and on his death in 1947 he left it to his friend Lady Aberconway, and it had been in her family ever since.

The facts were known for years. And a quick look at a family tree could trace a line from the toff to the Trots. But the timing of the Times’ report is interesting.

Comment from Murray and the Labour Party features there none.

Posted: 10th, March 2019 | In: Money, Politicians, The Consumer | Comment


An Epic caveat to a book review on German author and war hero Ernst Jünger

Nigel Jones in the latest issue of @HistoryToday. Junger

“Totally normal caveat such as you might find in any normal book review,” tweets Richard Smyth. He points us to a book review by Nigel Jones in the latest issue of History Today. The subject is German author and war hero Ernst Jünger (29 March 1895 – 17 February 1998).

Spotter: Richard Smyth

Posted: 28th, February 2019 | In: Books, Key Posts, Reviews | Comment


Meghan Markle to dress ‘genderless’ baby in a suit

Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle will “break with tradition” and raise the young Prince “genderless”. So says the Daily Star. Meghan will do away with traditional macho frilly lace, broaches and knickerbockers, preferring to dress the young sire in something more masculine and yet also more feminine, like a smart business suit with complementary document wallet and sensible shoes.

The paper also notes that the royal nursery will be designed in “gender-neutral colours” of beige and grey from the corporate pallet.

Says one Royal watcher to Anorak: “It’s what Chairman Mao and Bill Gates would have wanted.”

Posted: 25th, February 2019 | In: Fashion, News, Royal Family, Tabloids | Comment


Pristine copy of first Super Mario Bros game sells for $100,150

To the attic! An unopened copy of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. original 1985 game has sold at auction for $100,150.

From the auction house:

“Beyond the artistic and historical significance of this game is its supreme state of preservation,” says Kenneth Thrower, co-founder and chief grader of Wata Games.

Due to its popularity, Nintendo reprinted Super Mario Bros. from 1985 to 1994 numerous times, resulting in 11 different box variations (according to this visual guide). The first two variations are “sticker sealed” copies that were only available in the New York and L.A. test market launch of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1985 and 1986. Of all the sealed copies of Super Mario Bros., this is the only known “sticker sealed” copy and was certified by Wata Games with a Near Mint grade of 9.4 and a “Seal Rating” of A++.

“Not only are all of NES sticker sealed games extremely rare, but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years,” Thrower said. “This game may be the condition census of all sticker sealed NES games known to exist.”

A group of collectors joined forces Feb. 6 to purchase the game, including some of the biggest names in video games and collectibles as a whole. The buyers include Jim Halperin, Founder and Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; Zac Gieg, owner of Just Press Play Video Games in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Rich Lecce, renowned coin dealer, pioneering video game collector, and owner of Robert B. Lecce Numismatist Inc of Boca Raton, Florida.

“Super Mario Bros. is not only the most recognizable game of all time, it saved the video game industry in 1985,” said Wata Games President, Deniz Kahn. “In terms of rarity, popularity, and relevance to collectors, this game has it all. Mario is the most recognized fictional or non-fictional character in the world, more so than even Mickey Mouse. Super Mario Bros. launched the world’s largest game franchise and this copy is the only known sealed example from Nintendo’s test market release…

“Gieg called this example the equivalent of the valuable comic book, Action Comics #1. “This is first appearance of Superman of video games,” he said. “We all knew how hard it is to find an open copy of this version in nice condition, but to find one still sealed is truly something I thought I would never see, even after selling vintage video games for over 20 years”

Spotter: Heritage Auctions

Posted: 15th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, Technology, The Consumer | Comment


Katy Perry blackface shoes are racist

Katy Perry blackface shoes

You can see your face in Katy Perry’s shoes. Well, you can if you work as a black and White Minstrel. Perry’s shoes are no longer in store on account of them having a blackface design and so being based on racist caricatures.

Katy Perry Collections is not as woke as Katy Perry, and the offending footwear has been removed from sale. Did anyone buy the shoes?

“I’ve made several mistakes,” said Perry in 2017. “I won’t ever understand, but I can educate myself and that’s what I’m trying to do along the way.”

Mind your step as you go.

Posted: 12th, February 2019 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment


Walmart sells Hitler pillows

Hitler pillow walmart

Who wants to buy a pillow bearing the image of Hitler’s face and a swastika? People of Walmart do. The Fresno Bee:

When the Very Rev. Ryan Newman bought the pillow on walmart.com in November, he could see it featured large images of a bicycle and the Eiffel Tower, and the word “Paris.” What he didn’t see were Nazi party seals with swastikas, along with Hitler’s face on postage stamps with the German word “Reich” – referring to the Third Reich, the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945 – on the top near the pillow’s seams. The images cover several inches on each side.

Newman said he was dumbfounded, and then angry and upset.

“To me this is a symbol of hate,” he said. “This is a symbol of evil.”

Walmart were only following (online) orders:

A Walmart spokeswoman provided the following statement: “This pillow was listed by a third-party seller on our online marketplace and is in violation of our policy. We regularly scan our marketplace for these types of items, but, unfortunately, the offensive image wasn’t visible on the pillow’s photo and we were not aware of it until the customer reached out. We removed the item immediately and are reviewing the seller’s assortment.”

Anyone buy one and keep it?

Posted: 8th, February 2019 | In: Key Posts, News, The Consumer | Comment