'awesomeness' on Serious Eats

Fold-out Anatomical Chart of a Pig from 1917 Book 'Bacon and Hams'

[Ilustration: Cooking Issues] Mad (food) scientist Dave Arnold, who pushes the limits of cooking technology at the French Culinary Institute shares the best parts of Bacon and Hams, a long out-of-print book, on FCI's Cooking Issues blog. ... the frontispiece of the book had a spectacular fold-out. At the time the book was written, fold-out anatomical charts were a popular feature in medical books. [Author George J.] Nicholls decided to do one of the pig. Brilliant. I've scanned it and converted it to a Flash animation for your enjoyment. As detailed in Arnold's post, Bacon and Hams author Nicholls also included a photo of himself "in Fancy Dress as a Side of Bacon, designed by himself, which took First... More

Archaeologists May Have Found Nero's Revolving Dining Hall in Rome

Associated Press This is amazing. Archaeologists digging on Rome's Palatine Hill have unearthed what they believe to be Nero's revolving banquet hall, which has been referenced in ancient biographies of the Roman emperor. The room was likely built "to entertain government officials and VIPs": The purported main dining room, with a diameter of over 50 feet (16 meters), rested upon a 13-foot (4-meter) wide pillar and four spherical mechanisms that, likely powered by a constant flow of water, rotated the structure. The hall, situated as it was, would have had one of the best views of Rome even without the rotating razzamatazz. Nero ruled from 37 to 68 A.D.—about 1,900 years before the first modern-day revolving restaurant would be... More

Berlin 'Grillwalkers' Sell Sausages Cooked on Wearable Grills

[Photograph: Punxatawneyphil on Flickr] The New York Times has a quick piece on Berlin's grillwalkers, who sell sausages from portable grills that they wear—gas on the back; hot, hot bratfest on the front. The innovative apparatus sprang up in 1997, when inventor Bertram Rohloff devised it as a way of skirting city street-vendor permits in the city. Without permits, "neither the grill nor the sausages could touch the ground." As he worked on the invention, Mr. Rohloff considered everything from burning charcoal to hooking the grill up to a car battery — which he rejected because it would run down in just 10 minutes — before settling on propane. He designed it with an automatic cut-off mechanism for the... More

The OctoDog Hot Dog Converter, Reviewed

Photograph courtesy of Cia_B The OctoDog is a zany little plastic contraption that converts ordinary everyday hot dogs into octopus-lookin' works of ... edible art? Blogger Cia_B recently got her hands on one and puts it to the test here. I especially like the photo she took (above), comparing an octofied wiener to the real thing. Brilliant. OctoDog, $16.95 plus shipping, from OctoDog.net... More

The Most Awesome Ice Cube Tray Ever

Saw this on Boing Boing, where the sentiment seems to be that the talking R2D2 ice bucket is a near-sighted scrap pile but that the Han Solo–frozen-in-carbonite ice mold that comes with it stone cold awesome. One commenter there laments that the shape of the Han Solice would limit it to highball glasses but another envisions pressing it into duty as a chocolate mold. Unfortunately, the set, which was only available by pre-order in the U.K., now appears to have been removed from websites there.... More

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