No one here gets out alive: Doors’ food porn

I still get shivers when I listen to Robby Krieger’s solo on L.A. Woman or his pounding lead on Morrison Hotel.

December 1969, Los Angeles, California, USA — The Doors at the Morrison Hotel — Image by © Henry Diltz/CORBIS

I was a huge Doors’ fan when I was a teenager.

It’s a phase most of us embrace and then grow out of.

The Doors’ iconic album, Morrison Hotel, was released exactly 50 years ago, today, on February 9th, 1970.

On the eve of the album’s half-centennial anniversary, rock stars collided at West Hollywood’s Sunset Marquis Hotel where music lovers and legends fêted the 50th anniversary of Morrison Hotel.

Hosted by industry trailblazers John Varvatos and Timothy White and sponsored by Jack Daniels, the homecoming celebration paid homage to the record’s release 50 years ago with poolside performance helmed by The Doors’ guitarist and co-founder, Robby Krieger.

Robby Krieger and Tangiers Blues Band – (a NYC group who have shared the stage with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Brandi Carlisle, and many more) – along with an impressive roster of acclaimed musicians lent their respective talents to some of The Doors’ time-honored greatest hits. 

There is so much beauty in the world: New Zealand edition

Beautiful, Emma (she of long-time carerrer of Sorenne back to Kansas days).

I’m looking forward to the end of Feb. when Canadian daughters 3 and 4 of 4 arrive for an Australian visit.
And Emma, you and partner are always welcome here.
There is so much beauty in the world.
And too many exclamation marks.

Mercier Kiwi Adventures

Samoa with Maria: Day 3

Posted: 08 Feb 2020 04:28 PM PST

On day three, we intended to hop on and off the bus to visit a variety of landmarks around Upolu. We had both done quite a bit of research on the Samoan buses and understood that they make a constant loop around the (basically circular) island, and there is no predicting when they will come, but if you hang out by the main road long enough, you can flag one down. Alright, simple enough. Well, when we told our Matareva hostess of our plans, she was horrified, saying we’d have to take at least three different buses in order to get to just the first of our several stops. Then she explained the we could sign up for their “Adventure Tour” which went everywhere we wanted to go, plus a lava tube. This was the first of many experiences we had in Samoa when someone seemed extremely helpful and knowledgeable about a system that didn’t made sense to us, but also their suggestions benefited them, so we while we wanted to trust them, it was hard to be certain. (The longer we spent in Samoa the more convinced we were that these people were too nice to mislead us, and I continue to believe/hope that that’s true.) In this case, the price for the tour was very reasonable, and fighting with multitudes of unpredictable buses sounded awful, so we decided to do it. And we’re so glad we did, because the tour was definitely a highlight of our trip, in ways that doing those things on our own, even if the bus plan had worked perfectly, would not have been.
We got in the van in the morning with a group of strangers, who by the end of the day felt like friends. We were accompanied by a man and two boys (perhaps 12 and 16) who were members of the family who owned Matareva Beach Fales. We assumed that the man was our tour guide, but soon found out that he didn’t speak English, and the two boys would be showing us around. They were hilarious and enthusiastic tour guides, with unorthodox but very entertaining methods, and I’m so glad we spent the day with them!


First we walked through some amazing native bush, with all kinds of incredible flora…
… to arrive at a lava tube. Our tour guides told us that it’s not on any websites or maps, but they’d like to make it more well-known in conjunction with their fales. It was too dark inside for pictures, but it was amazing in there, although extremely hot and humid (so much so that you could see the water in the air in the flashlight beams). There was also condensation on the walls, and when it beaded up on top of some kinds of lichen it glittered like gold. Our tour guides explained that people would shelter in these tubes (which are miles long) if there was a natural disaster, and showed us a grave deep inside it. They didn’t know the story of who the person was, but you can imagine hard times.


Next, we headed to Savaia, where there is a Giant Clam Sanctuary.
Having no underwater photo-taking ability, I am reduced to internet photos, but I can assure you that this is exactly what these clams looked like! Unbelievable, right? They are amazing! The ones that colour were mostly about 120cm (47in or almost 4 feet) long. And we learned that if you drop a rock on it, it will shut on it, then jettison it out with a jet of water! Click here for an underwater video around the sanctuary (apologies for the annoying music) and here for more information about endangered Giant Clams.


Also, bonus – sea turtles live there too! Unfortunately Maria and I were not together when another tourist pointed one out to me, so she didn’t get to see it, but I swam near it for several minutes, and it was amazing! There are places in Samoa that specifically advertise swimming with sea turtles, but they had mixed reviews on how happy the turtles were about coming into a confined space with people, so we decided not to go. But meeting this one in its natural habitat was so special!


Next, we headed to Togitogiga Waterfall.
(A note before I continue: In order for Anglophones to pronounce the Samoan ‘g’, it’s helpful to imagine that it has an ‘n’ in front of it, as it sounds much like the end of ‘ing’. So this waterfall is pronounced as if it was spelled Tongitonginga. I find this very cook, because keeping it in mind as I read Samoan made me much more able to find overlap between it and Māori.)
This beautiful waterfall was not only visually stunning but very adventurous (as promised by the tour name). We spent a little while swimming around the freezing water at the bottom (a welcome change from the heat of the day at first, but really too cold for extended enjoyment) and challenging ourselves to swim against the current to get near the bottom of the falls.
Then Walter, the younger of our tour guides, showed us how to climb up the side of the falls and where to jump into the pool. (This is a stock photo, as we were much too busy adventuring to take any.) On the left, you can see people jumping from one place we jumped from, but above them you can also see a little fence – we also climbed up and jumped from there. It was much more exhilarating, because you had to make sure to jump as far out as possible to make sure you cleared the lower ledge. It was not physically challenging to do so, but added an extra sense of adventure.
Our last stop of the day was to To Sua Giant Swimming Hole. Rather than regurgitating the information from this information panel, I thought I’d just include it – if you click on it, it should get big enough that you can read the words.
The whole area surrounding the swimming holes was very beautiful, although we explored very little. If we read the map right, this is the area where the lava tube connected to the swimming hole joins the ocean. Plus, look at that lovely little pool in the middle of the volcanic rock. Stunning.
This is the picture we took of the more open side of the lava tube. It was a bit overcast when we were there, for which we were very thankful, as it kept the temperature at a manageable 30C (86F), but it did mean that the colours of the water were a bit muted. It might also have kept some tourists away, because we were extremely lucky to find it mostly empty and ready for our exploration, whereas I’ve heard it can be quite busy.
Just for comparison’s sake, however, here is a photo of what it looks like under full sun.
This is looking back from the smaller of the two places where the roof of the lava tube collapsed. It was pretty exciting to swim through the tube part – I have a rather irrational fear of dark water, so I did take a deep breath or two before striking out into the tunnel, but it was worth it, and unsurprisingly, no sea monsters attacked me at all! Plus the view was amazing! So that’s a win for adventure.
This is looking down at that smaller pool from on top. I wish I could find a picture of looking up out of it, because seeing the light filtering down through all that lush greenery (and especially the ferns) was really special.
As I mentioned, the lava tube is connected to the ocean by an underwater section, so as the waves/tides roll in/out an enormously powerful suction is created. This causes an intense current within the swimming hole that changes direction rapidly every minute or so. There are ropes strung across the main section, and then one that you can pull yourself along to go through the tunnel. There is just enough of a threat in the idea of getting sucked into the underwater tube to get your adrenaline pumping, and this combined with the acrobatic potential of an underwater rope and a conveniently placed submerged rock results in some amazing playfulness, even in adults. By this time we had bonded with our fellow tourists and were ready to join together in all kinds of shenanigans and comfortable laughing with/at each other. This last bit was important, as we tested the limits of how far we could stray from the rope, how high we could balance on the rock, or which body parts we could link to the rope before the indomitable water inevitably returned us to our tightfisted grip on the lifeline. I think we all felt that we could do it forever and never get bored, but also realized fairly quickly that it was fatigue, not boredom, that would limit our adventures. What a workout! Walter again led the way in jumping from crazy heights (the exhilarating of the jump replaced immediately by the driving need to find the rope as soon as you hit the water), and then after that, we retreated to the car, exhausted but satisfied. Both of our young tour guides collapsed into the front seat in exhaustion, and were fast asleep by the time we got back to the fales. They’d made us laugh all day and shown us a truly amazing adventurous side to Samoa, and they deserved their rest.
The combination of adorable and entertaining guides, incredible sights, fantastic company, and invigorating adventure made this a day we will never forget!

High-paid banker ‘suspended over alleged food theft’

The BBC reports investment bank Citigroup has suspended a senior trader allegedly accused of stealing food from the staff canteen, media reports say.

The trader, Paras Shah, is reported to have been earning more than £1m a year including bonuses.

He was removed from his post as head of high-yield bond trading for Europe, the Middle East and Africa last month, the Financial Times reported.

Citigroup has refused to make any comment on the allegations.

According to reports, Mr Shah, aged 31, was suspended following allegations that he helped himself to sandwiches from the canteen at the bank’s London headquarters in Canary Wharf.

It is not clear how many times this happened or over what period of time the alleged behaviour occurred.

Today in National Poop Day: How to s*it, a guide

In 2016, San Diego photographer Jesse Karras was watching part of Jim Jeffries’ comedy special, Freedumb, where the comedian hilariously shares about teaching his son Hank to shit. At that present moment, Karras had a copy of Thich Nhat Hanh’s little Zen book titled ‘How to Sit’ on his coffee table. And the idea was born — a guide for how to shit.

That initial idea became “Have a Great Shit: The Best Bathroom Book,” which is released just in time for National Poop Day, Feb. 3. This holiday is a treasured American tradition that yearly falls the day after Super Bowl Sunday, a football game that is societally used largely as an excuse to eat as many buffalo wings and nachos as humanly possible. Thus, the day after makes for an extra poopy Monday…yet the act of pooping is rarely discussed.

Food safety and health doesn’t stop at the moment the food is swallowed.  It is critically important to monitor the health of our poops to ensure our digestion is working as it should be and we are purging our bodies effectively. As critical as this daily routine is for our physical and mental health, information on how to improve the quality of our shits is not often shared in pop culture. Karras was inspired to break the “poo taboo” to research the topic extensively and put together his findings into an educational, entertaining guide for how to have a great shit. The author also covers many other aspects of the bathroom experience, such as how to poop in different environments, how to improvise without toilet paper and how altering “poo-sitions” can affect the health of your bowel movements.

Our world may seem divided from time to time, but we stand united in our desire to have a great shit. Let’s all celebrate this year’s National Poop Day on Feb. 3 by sitting on the porcelain throne for a laugh while reading “Have a Great Shit: The Bathroom Book.”


Taken from: Have a Great Shit – The Best Bathroom Book – by Jesse Karras

  1. Roll call – Make sure you have ample toilet paper on the roll for your wiping needs BEFORE you sit to shit.
  2. Let it go – Not pooping when you have to go causes constipation and other unpleasant side effects. Resist the urge to resist the urge and take a dump when you have to go.
  3. Walk it off – Get some exercise each day to help activate your bowels.
  4. No loitering – Only sit on the can when you have to shit. Loitering increases the odds of hemorrhoids by forcing a shit before it is ready.
  5. Fat chance – Minimize high-fat foods like cheeses, red meat, and fried foods in your diet to reduce the chances of constipation.
  6. Vacation constipation – Consider taking a daily fiber supplement when you travel to stay regular and stave off the constipation blues.
  7. Eat your peas – Peas are loaded with more fiber than just about any other vegetable. Find out some of the best and worst foods for getting your daily fiber dose in the book.
  8. Chill out – Stress is a major cause of constipation and other health-related problems. Look for natural and healthy ways to reduce your stress like meditation, exercise, eating better, or therapy.
  9. Drink up – Your turds are 95% water so hey give them what they want. Soda and alcohol dehydrate you so chug twice as much water comparatively to keep regular.
  10. Chew on this – Thoroughly chewing your food before swallowing helps aid in the digestive process and minimizes bacteria and fungi that can cause indigestion and gas.

Gin infused with elephant poop hits store shelves

My friend Lynn likes her gin.

And running half-marathons.

But as a fellow food safety type she may not approve of this.

The makers of a South African gin infused with elephant dung swear their use of the animal’s excrement is no gimmick.

The creators of Indlovu Gin, Les and Paula Ansley, stumbled across the idea a year ago after learning that elephants eat a variety of fruits and flowers and yet digest less than a third of it.

“As a consequence, in the elephant dung, you get the most amazing variety of these botanicals,” Les Ansley said during a recent visit to their operations. “Why don’t we let the elephants do the hard work of collecting all these botanicals and we will make gin from it?” he recalled his wife suggesting.

Her idea came after a safari during which a wildlife ranger described an elephant’s digestive process.

After about five sizeable bags of dung are collected for a batch of 3,000 to 4,000 bottles of the gin, the droppings are dried and crumbled, then washed to remove dirt and sand. Eventually only the remains of the fruits, flowers, leaves and bark eaten by the elephants are left behind.

Those botanicals are then sterilized and dried again and placed in an airing cupboard. Think of it like a “spice cupboard,” Ansley said. Eventually, the remains are infused in the gin.

Chicken Lickin’! factory workers are caught using their mouths to strip the bones from birds’ feet before selling them to the public in Thailand

Are these chicken feet cooked before deboning, or raw?

Raven Saunt of the Daily Mail writes that factory workers were caught on camera using their mouths to strip the bones from chicken feet before selling them to the public. 

The footage was recorded by hygiene officials who visited the factory in Nong Khai, northeast Thailand, on Tuesday.

In the video, eight workers can be seen sitting down in front of plastic baskets full of chicken feet. 

Officials are standing around to watch them as they raise the feet to their mouths and begin tearing at them with their teeth.

The workers grip on to the bones before wrenching them out and spitting them to the ground.

The clip then jumps to show one of the workers using pliers to remove the bones from the feet which appears to take longer and leaves the foot looking distorted.

The video ends shortly after.

The footage was recorded by hygiene officials who visited the factory in Nong Khai, northeast Thailand, on Tuesday

Hygiene officials were outraged after learning that staff had been banned from using utensils by factory bosses who said it was ‘five times faster’ to process the chicken by mouth. 

They ultimately instructed the 31-year-old owner of the factory to change her methods. 

Provincial governor Ronnachai Jitwiset is now probing other factories in the region amid suspicions that others may be using the unhygienic method of food processing for one of the country’s most popular dishes.

He said: ‘There are several diseases that could be contagious through the saliva including influenza, herpes or even the hazardous like hepatitis A and B.’ 

Hygiene officials were outraged after learning that staff had been banned from using utensils by factory bosses who said it was ‘five times faster’ to process the chicken by mouth

Factory owner Nongluck Payakphrom explained that using pliers to strip the chicken feet was slow and inefficient but that she willing to change. 

She said: ‘When I first started the business we used pliers to strip the chicken feet but it took five minutes to finish one foot which is too long and the customers did not like the end product. 

‘I have changed the approach to let the worker use their mouth to strip it them the customer prefer it, which boosted sales. 

‘However, we understand that our approach has caused a backlash and we are happy to change.

‘The factory will be closed until the workers can use the pliers to process the feet as well as they do when using their mouths.’ 

Don’t eat dead snakes or food in containers that held dead snakes

The Hindustan Times reports at least 50 people from Odisha’s coastal Kendrapara district, most of them women and children, were taken ill after they consumed food from a container that had a dead snake in it, said an official on Thursday.

The incident happened during a community feast at Maa Shankatatarini temple in Chandan Nagar Deuli village under Pattamundai block of Kendrapara district where 30 families were having their meal. Many of the people were hospitalised after they started to vomit, said the official.

“They showed signs of food poisoning. However, many of them were discharged after administration of intravenous fluid,” said the medical officer of Pattamundai Sub Divisional Hospital, Chandra Sekhar Das. The community feast was organised by a women self help group of the area.

The presence of the dead snake was detected during the washing of the utensils.

And this is the only U2 song I can tolerate, largely because it’s rooted in a Tom Robbins novel. Otherwise, U2 is bloated and overrated.

Accused burglar poops on victim’s living room floor before arrest in Texas

Burkburnett, TX,  police arrested 40-year-old Matthew Caporale for burglary of a habitation Friday.

Police got a report of a burglary in progress on Patricia Court, and began searching in the area for a suspect.

A Schwan’s driver told officers he saw the suspect running down an alley and officers said they found and detained Caporale two blocks away.

The victim showed officers surveillance video and said Caporale is seen breaking a gate, going into the back porch and coming out holding a television, then returning and taking a leather Harley-Davidson jacket.

Police said the backdoor of the garage and entry door to the kitchen were kicked in.

The victim also showed officers where the intruder had defecated on the living room floor.

Arrest records shows a previous conviction for burglary and arrests for burglary, theft, assault of an officer and resisting arrest.

In Massachusetts, an Ashland woman was discovered to be the serial pooper in Natick.

An Ashland woman has been charged with eight counts of destruction of property for defecating in public around Natick, according to WHDH.

Andrea Grocer left piles of poop near the Natick Outdoor Store over the last few months, police said.

Grocer, 51, was arrested on Wednesday when police spotted her squatting in a parking lot just before 7 a.m., Lt. Cara Rossi told the station.

Police stepped up patrols in the area to catch the pooper recently. Police found toilet paper at some scenes, so they were able to rule out an animal.

This isn’t the first time an outdoor pooper has had a run-in with police. In 2018, poop found near a New Jersey school’s track confused an entire town — until police figured out the school system’s superintendent was behind the deeds.

But, Thomas Tramaglini likely wasn’t doing it for fun. He was an avid runner, and some speculated he was experiencing a phenomenon known as “runner’s trots.” A jogger from Colorado Springs, Colo., was nicknamed “the mad pooper” in 2017. A 51-year-old woman named Andrea Grocer has run in recent races in Massachusetts — including a No. 86 finish in the 2019 Cape Cod Half Marathon and a 52:24.3 time in the 2019 New Balance Falmouth Road Race last August — but police have not confirmed if the Natick poopings have an athletic connection.

Science of storytelling

Chapman and I have know for decades that when someone says they’re going to educate someone else about food safety stuff, it is doomed to failure.

The key to learning is, and always has been, storytelling.

Embed your data or facts within the story.

The Science of Storytelling (2019) shows you how to craft a compelling story using lessons from psychology and neuroscience. These blinks walk you through the steps of creating a narrative that grips your audience by subtly manipulating their brains. From demonstrating how to create a perfectly flawed character to explaining the power of stimulating details, Will Storr reveals the crucial elements that go into building a great story.