Famous chocolaterie Choccywoccydoodah based in Brighton, UK was given the bloody honor to create a ‘red wedding’ cake to mark the release of Game of Thrones season 3 on DVD and Blu-ray. Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, was the first to slice into the amazing creation which took over 20 hours to make and was filled with rum, raisins, and of course, more chocolate.
Plunging into the all white cake were daggers, swords and arrows all made of chocolate oozing with red chocolate blood (yum).
via Digital Spy
After last week’s startling announcement about Ron and Hermione’s relationship, J.K. Rowling surprised the world again today by releasing, in full, “The Ron Weasley Diaries,” which narrate the Harry Potter series through the eyes of his best friend. The Toast has been authorized to excerpt these diaries in part below.
My name is Ron Weasley and I have one friend. I think friends are better than brothers. I don’t think brothers are very good at all. I am eleven years old and I have never had guacomole even though I would like to. Today we are starting school and I still don’t know what math is.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that all animals aren’t just old men in disguise. Mom got a cat over the holidays and she won’t understand why I won’t let it in the bedroom. I’m sure it’s just a cat. I’m mostly sure it’s just a cat.
Why do you think there’s a wizard train but no wizard planes? I asked Mom but she just yelled something about a witch named Margaret Thatcher who murdered all the unionists and then started crying into her apron.
I should like to fly on a wizard plane.
Today I learned that England has a queen. Her name is lizzie (Sp?) and she makes dogs. Still no one will tell me what math is.
P.S. Now I have two friends ;)
Today I met a girl from France. Guess what? They don’t speak any English there, mostly just French all the time. Can you believe it. Well believe it, because it’s true, unless they were lying. I wonder if they think in French too. That seems awfully difficult, but maybe it’s easier to think in French if you’ve had a lot of practice.
I think I’d like to have sex someday.
I have finally tried gaucamole!!! It wasn’t very good though. Mostly it is a green mash that you dip tortillas in. It was very cold and it went all brown after a few minutes.
I don’t think I like guacamale.
Today we take to the woods, Harry and Hermione and I. We can’t tell anyone. I don’t know if we’re going to come back. So many people want us dead.
I don’t want to die. I’ve never even seen a movie. Seventeen years old and I’ve never seen a movie and I still don’t know what math is. Hermione says it’s called maths, but that doesn’t explain much. I don’t even know how many maths there are. Well diary, if I don’t die I will write back as soon as I find out what maths are.
Ron Weasley never wrote in this journal again.
One Daily Double, in which he wagered just $5, was particularly strange. Arthur's searching landed him a Daily Double in a sports category, a topic he knew nothing about. (Ever the joker, he tweeted he'd rather have sex with his wife than learn about sports). Most contestants will avoid their topics of weakness, but not Arthur. Instead, he wagered just $5 on the sports question, effectively making its specifics irrelevant. Trebek and the audience giggled, and when the question came, Arthur immediately blurted out "I don't know." But that wasn't a waste of a Daily Double, as he kept that question out of the hands of the other contestants. Winning in Jeopardy just means beating the other two, and this strategy made that possible.
Mexicoooo for the win!
The Millions has done another cross-pond cover comparison using the novels featured in the Morning News Tournament of Books; this year, unusually, I like the American version better every time. If you're killing time today, here's their comparison from 2013 (I love that weird cranberry jelly on the U.S. version of May We Be Forgiven), and 2012 (the British Cat's Table takes it), and 2011 (Freedom!), and 2010.2 Comments
Which headline is real? What is the meaningful difference between the fake and the real in this case? What are the modes of becoming and being in the realm of clickbait? What will happen to a certain blogger if someone submits one of her headlines to Headlines Against Humanity? At what point will she cease to be? [HAH]2 Comments
At the Smithsonian Magazine, Jessica Gross writes about sociologist Thomas Linneman's analysis of uptalk through the delightful-sounding study of "100 episodes of Jeopardy!, which he watched mostly in the evenings, on his couch with his dog at his feet." You will likely find Linneman's conclusion unsurprising: uptalk "might serve to reinforce existing gender norms."
Women uptalked more than one and a half times as often as men. Perhaps signaling a lack of confidence, uptalk was also much more common for incorrect answers as correct ones. Women answering incorrectly uptalked a whopping 76 percent of the time.
But then the analysis gets interesting: While men who were $10,000 ahead of their nearest competitors uptalked less than men who were $10,000 behind, women in the lead uptalked more frequently than their losing female counterparts. And while men correcting other men uptalked less often, their uptalk frequency more than doubled if they were correcting a woman’s answer.
Women’s uptalk doesn’t just indicate uncertainty, Linneman concludes; it’s also meant to compensate for success. Men, on the other hand, don’t want to seem uncertain around other men, but use uptalk when correcting women as “a weird form of chivalry,” he says. “They’re in a public arena, they’re telling a woman [she’s] wrong, and they know they have to be careful about how they do it.”
There is a theory about how uptalk became popular in Australia and New Zealand in the '50s, and then spread westward in the States in the '80s. But one linguist at Penn says that "uptalk has probably been the default pattern of speech for a thousand years or so in some varieties of English in the British Isles," and that people often also use uptalk to order multiple food items. "For example: I want two poppy seed bagels? One sesame? And a pound of lox?" That's probably better than I sound normally? Which is like, I'll take everything, bye? [Smithsonian]3 Comments
n. one addicted to immoderate tea-drinking
Today: SWANTS (pants made from a sweater)
Previously: Turkey Cakes
Katie is a producer in Texas. Katy is a copywriter in California. They are best friends who met at piano lessons in the early 18th century. In “Just The Tips,” Katy and Katie heed the siren song of “best life” advice in the realms of fashion, makeup, DIY, crafts, and home decor. Their efforts are met with only varying degrees of success; their spirits remain suspiciously undefeated. Follow them on Twitter and Tumblr.26 Comments
In 1941, as the British War Office searched for ways to help Allied prisoners escape from German POW camps, it found an unlikely partner: John Waddington Ltd., the U.K. licensee for Monopoly. “Games and pastimes” was an approved category of item to be included in care packages sent to captured soldiers, so Waddington’s set about creating special sets to be sent to the camps.
Under the paper surface of each doctored board was a map printed on durable silk showing “escape routes from the particular prison to which each game was sent,” Waddington’s chairman Victor Watson told the Associated Press in 1985. “Into the other side of the board was inserted a tiny compass and several fine-quality files.” Real French, German, and Italian currency was hidden in the stacks of Monopoly money.
MI-9, the intelligence division charged with helping POWs escape, smuggled the games into prison camps, where prisoners would remove the aids and then destroy the sets in order to prevent their captors from divining the scheme.
“It is not known how many airmen escaped thanks to these Monopoly games,” writes Philip Orbanes in The Game Makers, his 2004 history of Parker Brothers, “but 35,000 POWs did break out of prison camps and reach partisans who helped them to safety.”
oh my godddd happy friday
Heads Up, Haters: Dan Chamberlain Has Done It Again. And You Won't Believe How Good The Little Mermaid and Ke$ha Sound As A Duo.
First Ariel Speaks. Then Ke$ha Starts Synthing. Then The Beat Kicks In. Then We Raged At Our Desks Until Friday Was Over. All It Took Was A Perfect Mashup Called "Part Of Yr Wrld."3 Comments
"In the morning, it was drizzling. We were both hung-over. I collected my offensive hat, put on my dirty underwear, and prepared to leave. He walked me out and decided to get coffee. The temperature had dropped at least ten degrees, making my T-shirt unsuitable for the sudden chill. I had no umbrella. Ten steps from his door, we ran into a pretty woman and her friends. He introduced me. It was his ex-girlfriend. She was showered, well-dressed, older than me, and bolstered by her friends. I wanted to die. We parted ways, and I was pretty sure that I would never see him again.
Fifteen years later, we are still together."9 Comments
Recently, police at Barneys New York have been catching well-deserved heat for detaining and arresting black shoppers buying luxury items; also catching heat are the shoppers, particularly the nursing student Kayla Phillips, who bought her Celine purse with her tax refund and took the subway back to Canarsie and, according to some people, has no business buying a $2,500 purse anyway.
Tressie McMillan Cottom takes this issue on hard and perfectly: why "we hates us some poor people," because "first, they insist on being poor when it is so easy to not be poor. They do things like buy expensive designer belts and $2500 luxury handbags." Why might "they" do this? Tressie gets into it.
I learned, watching my mother, that there was a price we had to pay to signal to gatekeepers that we were worthy of engaging. It meant dressing well and speaking well. It might not work. It likely wouldn‘t work but on the off chance that it would, you had to try. [...] How do you put a price on the double-take of a clerk at the welfare office who decides you might not be like those other trifling women in the waiting room and provides an extra bit of information about completing a form that you would not have known to ask about? What is the retail value of a school principal who defers a bit more to your child because your mother’s presentation of self signals that she might unleash the bureaucratic savvy of middle class parents to advocate for her child?
[...] You have no idea what you would do if you were poor until you are poor. And not intermittently poor or formerly not-poor, but born poor, expected to be poor and treated by bureaucracies, gatekeepers and well-meaning respectability authorities as inherently poor. Then, and only then, will you understand the relative value of a ridiculous status symbol to someone who intuits that they cannot afford to not have it.
In 2008, I was named a bridesmaid against my will, and I prepared to suffer through all the standard requirements that come with the duty. Usually, you simply grin and bear these life necessities, but when the bride vehemently insisted that we all have dates despite the fact that several of us were single, I decided to respond to her myopia with outright insolence, with the support of and in the shared name of my bridal party cohorts.
On July 8, 2008, I posted the following ad to Craigslist:
“seeking awful date for awful wedding (w4m)”
i’m a bridesmaid in a terrible wedding. i need a date to ruin it with, preferably one that is either ridiculously unkempt or too hot to be able to enjoy with a straight face. i’ll buy you however many shots you might need to make it through this endeavor. you send me 25 words or less on why it should be you and a picture.
I got 57 responses. Two were potentially IRL dateable. Some were clever. Most did not follow the directions. Many fit the prototype for exactly what terrifies people about online dating. There was one offer of “inappropriate groping on the dance floor.” There was an invite to meet at a library to see if we could have fun together, “not sexually speaking.” There were minimal obscenities.
I have a very Dudley-Moore-in-Arthur approach to comedy: I appreciate the idea of a joke as much as the execution. And while I was tempted to let the whole thing end there, I’d unfortunately built some accountability into my prank. I compiled all the responses in a dossier, emailed it to friends and coworkers, and gave them each five votes. I promised to take the winner as my date. Some examples:
i specialize in single desperate girls and open bars. one question, do they have malt liquor or should i bring my own?
I love free food. I am possibly in theory, old enough to be your father, so that would always leave a nice impression
I'm awful I think. no one wants to date me. Im not sure what it is ,but hmm. If I'm not your awful that you had in mind. I can act. Sounds like fun. Free booze doesn't hurt.
dont believe in marriages, dont believe in faithfulness or religion for that matter. ever had tuaca? great shot, i'll have a few with whatevers coldest.
it all depends on how strange you want the date..... im including my pic of me in midevil gear...
I consider it a credit to my friends that they didn’t saddle me with a LARPing wizard. Instead, they had the foresight to think about what would work outside of an email thread, and they didn’t go the mean route (for me or the espoused). Or they just voted for the only guy to follow the rules and include a picture of a butt.
Neither one to shirk nor pre-plan, I did follow through, inviting winning contestant Nick two days before the wedding. He said yes, and I returned to my scrambled haze of bachelorette partying and rehearsal dining giving no consideration to what would happen when I met this stranger on The Big Day.
But then it was upon us. I had day-of bridal duties, so Nick was getting himself to the wedding, which was held on an island on a beautiful summer day. He’d missed a couple sell-out ferries and arrived late. All I knew for certain about Nick was that he was 20 years old and would be wearing a tie, which didn’t give me a lot to go off of—but when I made for the bar after faux-grinning through wedding party photos, something told me that I'd find my date in the middle of the swarm of people at the back of the party. I figured our cover was already blown, that everyone knew I’d brought some freak kid and was a huge wedding-ruining dickhead.
And then I saw Nick. That’s when I fell on the ground laughing.
The day before, you see, I’d gotten locked into a multi-hour stretch with the bride and she kept asking me about my mysterious date. I couldn’t tell her I had scoured the Internet for The Boy Least Likely to Succeed, so I had to make up a mysterious back-story. I’d been at a music festival a few days before, and met a guy in one of the bands, so I just sort of borrowed skeleton details from his life. Which, uh, didn’t totally work with what Nick was working with...
Nick: You told her I was the drummer from The Airborne Toxic Event.
Lindsey: Oh, hi, Nick! Basically, yes. I thought I was being generous in giving you a cool cover. I had spent all morning telling people about my drummer date. But suddenly, there you were. And you had one arm.
Nick: That’s not entirely accurate.
Lindsey: OK, you weren’t Def Leppard one-armed. But you had one arm in a sling and at the time it was very much non-functioning. I had to cut your meat at dinner. Perhaps now is a good time for you to explain how you found my ad in the days before such things went viral.
Nick: I had recently been shot. With a shotgun. At close range. But that is a story for another day. [Update: Or for today, it turns out.] I was out of the hospital but I wasn’t back in school, or working yet. I was significantly drugged and my days were comprised of waking up in the afternoon, watching ESPN, napping, watching more sports, and then watching primetime television. So I’d developed a habit of cruising Craigslist. There’s a lot of bullshit on Craigslist. But then I saw your ad, which was like this holy grail of posts.
Lindsey: In short, you were drug-addled and on bed rest. That is what prompted you, like so many of my beaus, to solicit a date with me. So there we stood. Well—there you stood; I was on the ground laughing. I think I said, “Hi honey. How’s your arm?” And I promptly made up a story about how you’d hurt it stage diving.
Nick: That was just the first wall you had me run into at full speed that night.
Lindsey: I have no idea what you are talking about, “Mike.” A week and a half before the wedding or picking you from amongst my many suitors the bride had requested the names of our dates to print name cards. It was apparently crucial. There were multiple emails, two calls in a row, and many texts about it. So I called up one of the other bridesmaids, freaking out: “I NEED A NAME.”
She was sitting in her living room with her cat. There was a long pause. And then she goes, “Mike Itten.”
Nick: You made me a one-armed drum-playing cat.
Lindsey: So I did. In my defense, both covers worked perfectly fine in a vacuum, even if neither worked at all with who you turned out to be. Oops.
The problem with you being named Nick instead of Mike was that the bride was a Ph.D. candidate, and the groom worked at the university for an undergraduate service project. They’d invited nearly a dozen undergrads to their wedding. A dozen undergrads who all knew “undergrad Nick” not “rock’n’roll drummer Mike Itten.” And Mike definitely didn’t know them. Not once he’d been introduced to our dinner table as Mike, sitting in front of his name card that said Mike. I remember a pretty silly case of mistaken identity when a bunch of kids came up to our wedding party table and wanted to know how some guy named Nick knew the bride and groom.
Nick: Saved by a drunken speech by the father of the bride.
Lindsey: Thank god for drunken fathers. I remember we’d played with a lot of ideas in advance—should we break up on the dance floor? should we get gross in public?—but once you were there, the absurdity of the situation itself was more than enough fun for us.
Nick: I remember the bride did try to be polite and get to know me, and I didn’t really have any direction from you on how to play my part—swooning, boorish? That felt a little high-wire.
Lindsey: I remember that happening. And I remember just kind of throwing my hands up and saying, fuck it. I'd thrown a stranger into such a weirdly intimate yet bizarre exercise for a group of people, and I'd backed us into a sideshow of corners, so we had plenty to work with.
Nick: It was fun. And it was good foxhole bonding.
Lindsey: That’s exactly what it was. It was totally goal-oriented from a shared angle. Friends or family can be fun at weddings, but sometimes, if you're in the trenches, you just want a professional. Not someone who’s going to immerse themselves in the interpersonal politics or have independent needs.
Wait, I think I just accidentally advocated for call girls.
Nick: You did. That is kind of what it was. But the transaction wasn’t money- or sex-based; it was adventure-based. Purely hoodlum. And that’s the whole spirit behind the trend, right? Just looking for someone who is detached from all the otherwise stressful elements and can therefore commit to having fun?
Lindsey: Totally. I wonder how it would have ended for us had we either embraced the wedding whole cloth or admitted our con. But I’m glad we did what we did.
Nick: We made our mark on the scene, left them wanting more, then got the hell out of Dodge.
Lindsey: Indeed. I had concert tickets. And Joe Strummer taught us that if we stay, the trouble could be double. So I invited you to a show, and you accepted. That’s when I knew you were a keeper.
Nick: Likewise. But you were easy to hitch my wagon to—I was underage and you were willing to sneak me into bars to see free concerts. My first bar, in fact! Thanks for that first, and for the lesson.
Lindsey: Thanks for saying yes.
Nick: Can’t have an adventure without saying yes.
Lindsey: We have said yes so many times since then. For the reader’s benefit: we never dated, but you did meet your girlfriend through me.
Nick: By saying yes to another one of your insane ideas. They usually work out, somehow.
Lindsey: Thanks. Improv demands a clever and willing partner, though. So: this wedding season, what should guests do?
Nick: Say yes to strangers. But only if there’s an open bar.
Lindsey Grad and Nick Hassell live in Seattle, where they still regularly attend parties they don't belong at, literally or just metaphysically.
See more posts by Lindsey Grad and Nick Hassell
Lucille: You might want to let that fire go out before you stick your face in it.
Lindsay: That’s funny, because I was going to say you might want to lean away from that fire since you’re soaked in alcohol.
Lucille: Mine was better.
Top Banana - 1x02
submission from Jacob Stockton
Luscious. Haunting. Anachronistic. Nougaty.
"... even housewarming gift." (With video.)
Highlights from the Zombie of Montclaire Moors Statue Customer Ratings & Review section:
"Everyone who passes by remarkes on the Zombie."
"Thanks, tax refund!"
"I ordered this for my husband's birthday and set it up as a surprise for him."
"We have had a lot of interesting comments about our GLEN ... and he looks very handsome against the red wood chips in the garden."
"Got it to scare the grandkids. And it did. The kids stay clear of it."
"For the holiday season, he is now sporting a jaunty Santa hat!"
"I've been setting it up in unexpected places for my husband to find. So far, having the Zombie crawling out of a gym bag in the closet got the funniest response."
"I'm afraid to put it in my yard because someone will steal it."
"I bought this product as a wedding gift for my son and his wife after they were married by a Grim Reaper impersonator."
"I thought that it moved, like the other skeleton I bought from Sky Mall, but it doesn't."
"... the birds that once made the railing surrounding my terrace their own personal home are now suddenly avoiding it once I put my zombie on my outdoor dining table."
"Unpacked and set up on the dining room table. My son (12) walked by and screamed."
"It never fails."
"My grown daughter covered its face with a towel while I was away and she was cat-sitting so she didn't have to look at it. Great purchase – it will be a mainstay around my house."
See more posts by Edith Zimmerman
Elaine, how come whenever I misplace my brown paper bag with the number 26 all over it, behind the lamp on my bedside table is always the last place I look?
Deborah Kogan has something epic to say:
Fast-forward to 1988: I am raped by an acquaintance the night before my graduation from college. The next morning, before donning cap and gown, I stumble into the University Health Services building to report the crime. I'm advised not to press charges. "They'll smear you," I'm told by the female psychologist assigned to my case. I don't want to be smeared. I've got a life to live. Twenty-five years later, while watching CNN lament the effects of the Steubenville rape on two promising lives—the rapists', not the victim's—I'll hold two competing thoughts: nothing has changed; I wish I'd been braver. I decide to Google my rapist's name, something I've never done in the quarter-century since the crime. His promise, I note, has been duly fulfilled. He's successful. He's married—to a woman who recently spoke on a "Lean In" panel with Sheryl Sandberg.
Because life's like that.
The whole thing is wow: "The author's 2002 book about her career as a war photographer was titled "Shutterbabe"—against her wishes." Don't miss a word of it. Or a word of this other article, which is mostly about men (and a few women) who are really, really great and righteous.
See more posts by Nicole Cliffe
Subscribing to a few things waiting for my imported feeds to hit...only several thousand people ahead of me...
“I must not forget, I thought, that I have been happy, that I am being happier than one can be. But I forget, I’ve always forgotten.”
—Clarice Lispector, Near to the Wild Heart