Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Freedom, Pop Culture | Tags: Pizza Box Design, Small Inventions, Sometimes Big Rewards
When you use the term “invention,” what comes immediately to mind? I suspect that most of us think of something big and widely celebrated, and ignore the little ‘build a better mousetrap’ kind of plebeian invention that has brought a good business and success. I don’t know just when collapsing a pop can in your fist quit being a feat of strength and aluminum cans became so light that anybody could do it. Or the stackable can that fits neatly on top of another — I wish that one were more prevalent. There is always something new popping up at the grocery store that seems useful and fresh, but doesn’t get any major notice. This article from Slate is excerpted from a book about pizza box design, beginning with “the Package Saver,” that little white plastic tripod that was patented by first-time inventor and Long Island resident Carmela Vitale in 1985. From patent 4,498,586:
A temperature-resistant molded plastic device is described for use in boxes or packages such as pizza boxes where there is a tendency of large cover portions to sag downwardly to damage the soft pizza or other packaged products.
Here is a space-saving solution for cluttered pizza-eating situations that transforms into a serving stand to free up table space that would normally be eaten up by the box’s footprint. Perforated regions of the lid fold out to connect with tabs on the side and front flaps to lift the box base 6″ off the surface. Since the box is not losing heat by direct conduction, the pizza theoretically stays hotter longer than it would if sitting directly on a table.
Most inventions probably fall into the category of clever improvements rather than spectacular big new thing. Who would have thought that a simple pizza box could be re-invented in so many ways? The book is: Viva la Pizza!: The Art of the Pizza Box by Scott Wiener, now out from Melville House.
Here are the boxes that are the “rest of the story:” There’s The GreenBox, Hell’s Pizza Coffin Box, The VENTIT Box, and The Pizza Hut Hot Spot.
Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, Pop Culture, Television, United Kingdom | Tags: How Can He Be Alive?, Mystery Upon Mystery, Sherlock Holmes
O.K. So how can he be still alive? You saw him fall off the building. You saw him dead. A major tease from the BBC.
Filed under: Fun n Games, Humor, Intelligence | Tags: Stupendous Stupidity, The Darwin Awards, You Can Have Your DNA Done
The Fabled Darwin Awards for 2013 have been released:
Honoring the Least Evolved Among Us. And the winner is —
When his .38 caliber revolver failed to fire at his intended victim during a hold-up in Long Beach, California would-be robber James Elliot did something that can only inspire wonder. He peered down the barrel and tried the trigger again. This time it worked.
And the Honorable Mentions are —
- The chef at a hotel in Switzerland lost a finger in a meat cutting machine and after a little shopping around, submitted a claim to his insurance company. The company expecting negligence sent out one of its men to have a look for himself. He tried the machine and he also lost a finger. The chef’s claim was approved.
- A man who shoveled snow for an hour to clear a space for his car during a blizzard in Chicago returned with his vehicle to find a woman had taken the space. Understandably, he shot her.
- After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped. Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies. The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.
- A man walked into a Louisiana Circle-K, put a $20 bill on the counter, and asked for change. When the clerk opened the cash drawer, the man pulled a gun and asked for all the cash in the register, which the clerk promptly provided. The man took the cash from the clerk and fled, leaving the $20 bill on the counter. The total amount of cash he got from the drawer… $15. [If someone points a gun at you and gives you money, is a crime committed?]
- Seems an Arkansas guy wanted some beer pretty badly. He decided that he’d just throw a cinder block through a liquor store window, grab some booze, and run. So he lifted the cinder block and heaved it over his head at the window. The cinder block bounced back and hit the would-be thief on the head, knocking him unconscious. The liquor store window was made of Plexiglas. The whole event was caught on videotape.
- As a female shopper exited a New York convenience store, a man grabbed her purse and ran. The clerk called 911 immediately, and the woman was able to give them a detailed description of the snatcher. Within minutes, the police apprehended the snatcher. They put him in the car and drove back to the store. The thief was then taken out of the car and told to stand there for a positive ID. To which he replied, “Yes, officer, that’s her. That’s the lady I stole the purse from.”
- The Ann Arbor News crime column reported that a man walked into a Burger King in Ypsilanti, Michigan at 5 A.M., flashed a gun, and demanded cash. The clerk turned him down because he said he couldn’t open the cash register without a food order. When the man ordered onion rings, the clerk said they weren’t available for breakfast… The frustrated gunman walked away.
- When a man attempted to siphon gasoline from a motor home parked on a Seattle street by sucking on a hose, he got much more than he bargained for. Police arrived at the scene to find a very sick man curled up next to a motor home near spilled sewage. A police spokesman said that the man admitted to trying to steal gasoline, but he plugged his siphon hose into the motor home’s sewage tank by mistake. The owner of the vehicle declined to press charges saying that it was the best laugh he’d ever had and the perp had been punished enough!
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: Christmas, Christmas Carols, Josh Groban, The Nativity Story
I hope to stop in more throughout the day, but in case you don’t, I know my fellow elephants join me in wishing you and yours the very Merriest of Christmases! And Joy to the World!
Filed under: Music, Pop Culture, Religion | Tags: Chanticleer, Christmas, Christmas Carols, Julie Andrews, King's Singers, Nancy Wilson
I suppose I should have known from the start that since much of my favorite Christmas carols were hard to find audio recordings of, that finding them on YouTube would be even more unlikely. That obvious conclusion, nonetheless, escaped me.
BUT! While I haven’t necessarily been able to find the songs I most wanted to share, I have found some fun stuff that I hadn’t seen or heard before myself. The first of which is a performance of The Twelve Days of Christmas, which is usually one the most tedious and/or obnoxious carols around, but NOT when done by the King’s Singers with Julie Andrews. Dame Andrews doesn’t actually sing in this one, while it’s her special, she’s just there for comedic effect. Although everyone should own at least one of her various Christmas albums.
The second is the sultry stylings of legendary jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson in That’s What I Want for Christmas. Often imitated, never equaled.
And last but not least, Chanticleer, perhaps the best men’s chorus in the world, performing in the Medievil Sculpture Hall at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City in front of the Neapolitan Baroque Créche and Christmas Tree. The tree is beautiful beyond compare, the acoustics in the room are breathtaking. Many PBS stations will replay the performance each year — watch the whole performance if you can.
Filed under: Music, Pop Culture, Religion | Tags: Christmas, Christmas Carols, Herb Alpert
Nobody beats the original by Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music, but one of my favorite things is Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass’ Christmas Album. We grew up with it, and last year I found this rare footage on YouTube. The whole album is a classic; one that everyone should have.
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: Christmas, Christmas Carols, King's College Choir
I love traditional English carols, particularly the less familiar ones. They always remind me of my English grandma. Sussex Carol was, “first published in the 17th century by Luke Wadding, a 17th-century Irish bishop, in a work called Small Garland of Pious and Godly Songs. It is not clear whether Wadding wrote the song or was recording an earlier composition.” It is performed here by the choir of King’s College, Cambridge, one of the best in the world.
Filed under: Music, Religion | Tags: Christmas, Christmas Carols, Old Toy Trains, Toby Keith
My tastes in Christmas music are all over the map. First choral, then jazz, now country — and who knows what next. I like an eclectic mix. Now, I’m generally not very big on much country music — nothing wrong with it, it just isn’t usually my thing — but that means when I DO like a country song, you know it’s gotta be a good one. And so this is.
Old Toy Trains was, I believe, first introduced by Roger Miller back sometime in the late 1960′s and has since become a standard covered by many — but my favorite by far is this deep, cozy version by Toby Keith from the compilation CD, A Country Christmas. All the nostalgia of childhood Christmas wrapped up in one comfortable old song.
I liked it so much the first year I heard it, that I dragged out the old HO and set it up around the Christmas tree. *I* thought it was charming and watched it circle underneath the twinkling lights for hours; no one else seemed to even notice.
Then again, mine was no where near as cool as this guy’s. Now, THAT’s cool!
Filed under: Entertainment, Freedom, Heartwarming, Humor | Tags: Becoming Parents, Just Like Real Life, Wonderful and Most Wonderful
Here’s a delightful ad that’s actually honest about parenthood. Yep! That’s what it’s like, and who would trade it? Ever stepped on a Lego tile in your bare feet?
Filed under: Entertainment, Movies, United Kingdom | Tags: Lawrence of Arabia, Peter O'Toole, The Lion in Winter
Consummate actor Peter O’Toole has died in London at the age of 81.
From Lawrence of Arabia which brought him to stardom, he brought much pleasure to world audiences over the years. And there was Becket, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips, My Favorite Year, and even the Pixar animated Ratatouille. So many memories. His movies will live on.
Filed under: Freedom, Heartwarming, Israel, Music, Religion | Tags: It's Snowing in Jerusalem, The Great Carols, The Joy of Christmas
David Hobson – Carols by Candlelight – The Holy City
Monday, 24th December 2012
Sidney Myer Music Bowl — Melbourne, Australia
Go ahead, enlarge this one to full screen.
And once again the scene was changed,
New earth there seemed to be.
I saw the Holy City
Beside the tideless sea.
The light of God was on its streets,
The gates were open wide,
And all who would might enter,
And no one was denied.
No need of moon or stars by night,
Or sun to shine by day;
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away,
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away.
Filed under: Freedom, Heartwarming, Military, Music, The United States | Tags: Joy to the World, Mational Air and Space Museum, USAF Band Flash Mob
The United States Air Force Band performed a surprise flash mob at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum on December 3. Lovely!