Friday Links: Bunnies and Breaking Bad Edition

My bosses have been out this week. By bosses, I mean my editor, who’s on vacation this week and next. And my lifestyle-coordinator-manager XFE. He’s abandoned me for a cross-country golf trip with his dad to celebrate Senior XFE’s retirement.

This means I have to single-handedly run a multimedia information empire (hey, we post videos sometimes), and attend the approximately bazillion meetings that my work boss attends (including meetings to discuss work products that cannot be worked on because of mandatory attendance at said meetings where we discuss the potential work products that can someday be worked on if one is not in meetings.)

Literally, one of my notes from a recent meeting suggests we take a Facebook poll on which filter to use on an Instagram of our forthcoming infographic, and then write an online story about the poll results, which we should then pin via our association Pinterest account and reblog on our campaign/initiative’s Tumblr. Obviously, tweeting from our various Twitter accounts along the way. It was all very META. And hopefully, a joke.

Wait, what was I saying? Oh yes, not only am I booty-cheek deep in all that outlined above, BUT, I also have to care for and feed myself this week, including setting my own alarm, which I failed to do this morning. (And also, feed and care for my chubby cat. But really, that’s just a footnote.)

As a result of managing my own life in both a professional and personal sense, I am quite the tired bunny. In fact, I’m such a tired bunny, I stole this gif of a tired worker bunny from this Texan, who is a freaking hilarious genius.

 

Every time I’ve felt stressed out the last couple of days, I’ve looked at that gif. It slays me.

Here’s some other things from around the InterWebs that have helped me get through the week.

  • In honor of Shark Week, a video of a dissection of a Mako shark. Spoiler alert: his last meal was a 200-pound seal.
  • I feel like every year, just as Porktober is poking its pointy pink ears up over the horizon, there’s a story warning about bacon shortages. Here’s this year’s. And now I’m going to be obssessed about Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus. Awesome.
  • The Duggars better watch out. Deadbeat dad Orlando Shaw, who has 22 kids from 14 different women, says he’s got a reality show in the works. I dunno, if they couldn’t get All My Babies’ Mamas made, what chance does this guy have?
  • I hate WalMart and I love libraries. We need more of this.
  • Sephora is nirvana and I run around like an insane person who’s never been exposed to toiletry products every time I go in there. Which is why I try to order online instead.
  • Did you know there are an estimated 23,000 nuclear weapons in the world? That and other world enders are outlined in this terrifying infographic. Might as well hit up the casino (casino.org produced the infographic. No subtlety there.)
  • And finally, the most amazing thing in the history of ever (in just six minutes): a middle school musical version of Breaking Bad. These kids deserve an Emmy. Or, at least, a trip to Comic-Con next year.
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Maybe the Hogs Were Concerned About the Impact of a Potential Bacon Shortage?

Those animals, man. They are totally out to get us.

I don’t think I’m being paranoid (anymore) when I say that the animal kingdom has thoroughly turned on us.

The evidence is stacking up and has been well documented on this website.

  • Think badgers are cute little woodland creatures incapable of eating a midget porn star? Think again. Or chasing children? Nope. Or jumping out of the water and terrorizing adults. Wrong-o.
  • Perhaps you believe sea lions are adorable, doe-eyed water friends who like to eat fish, not celebrity’s legs? Au contraire, mon frère.
  • Are you entranced by the majestic wonder of an owl soaring through the air? Sure, that’s all well and good until it uses that impressive wind span to soar into attack mode on a running trail.

Do not get me started on sharks.

However, this little story out of Oregon definitely takes the animal kingdom revolt against humans to a whole other terrifying level. Blech.

“Authorities are investigating how a farmer in Oregon managed to be eaten by his own hogs.

A family member found what was left of Terry Vance Garner, 69, when they went to look for him a few hours after he’d left to feed his hogs – some of which weigh more than 700 lbs.

“For all we know, it was a horrific accident, but it’s so doggone weird that we have to look at all possibilities,” Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier told the Register-Guard newspaper.

Agreed, County District Attorney Frasier. That is doggone weird.

Frasier said the family member first noticed Garner’s dentures at the farm’s hog enclosure, then saw pieces of the man scattered around.

Pause. Eeeeewwwww. Continue.

Watch out, dude. Those are cute pink killing machines.

The district attorney said Garner may have simply keeled over from a heart attack while feeding the animals. Then again, perhaps the hogs knocked him down, killed him and ate him, he added. There had been reports of the hogs behaving aggressively towards Garner before, even biting him once.

Or maybe someone else killed Garner and let the hogs dispose of the body. Frasier said he is also investigating the possibility of foul play.

Wow. This Frasier guy has got a whole lot of theories. He’s going to be doggone busy in the days and months ahead. Maybe he should call those Scooby Doo kids and get them on the case.

Garner’s brother Michael said the old farmer loved his animals, which he’d had since they were piglets and which helped him deal with his post-traumatic stress disorder from the Vietnam war.

Michael said a sow bit Terry once, but only because he accidentally stepped on its piglet, killing it.

“He said he was going to kill it, but when I asked him about it later, he said he had changed his mind,” Michael told the paper.

That might be one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read. You’ve got the therapeutic animals, the Vietnam war, dead piglets, and missed opportunities that come back and haunt you all in three sentences. Dang.

Packs of man-eating hogs go out for the night to forage on human limbs. Allegedly.

John Killefer, who heads the Animal and Rangeland Sciences Department at Oregon State University, said killer hogs are unusual but not impossible, noting they “are more omnivorous than other farm animals.”

So here’s a couple of things I didn’t know – that hogs could get up to 700 pounds, that they could be called “killer,” and that they are “more omnivorous than other farm animals.” Speaking of which, could I please get a copy of that color-coded Farm Animal Omnivorous scale that Professor Killefer apparently has access to? I want to take it with me next time I go to a petting zoo.

I found this other, slightly more morbid story in the LA Times. The first quote kills me.

“All we know is he died some way, and the pigs ate him. Most of him,” Garner’s brother, Michael Garner, told the Los Angeles Times.

Garner, a Vietnam War veteran, raised the giant hogs — larger than most of those sold for food — and provided piglets as 4-H projects for local youths.

“He’s an animal lover. He couldn’t do anything else with them. He wouldn’t sell them to eat, or anything else,” his brother said.

I haven’t asked XFE what he thinks about this, but I will personally be dedicating my excesses at this year’s Porktober to the memory of poor ol’ farmer Garner. He lived a good life, met with a, erhm, disturbing end, and provided us all a lesson: eat your pigs before they eat you.

It’s a Pork-Tastrophe in the Making! A-PORK-alypse!

Everybody stay calm. We’re aware of this latest crisis and we’re planning Porktober accordingly.

As you may have heard, The U.K.’s National Pig Association, an esteemed organization if ever there was one, is predicting a pork shortage in 2013.

The U.K.’s National Pig Association said the European Union’s pig herd is declining significantly as pig farmers have struggled to cope with feed costs that have been driven up by global drought. Sow herds are shrinking by between 9.6 percent in Poland to 1.3 percent in Germany.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Who cares about the EU’s pig problem? So what if herds are shrinking in Poland and Germany? I buy American pigs from American slaughterhouses.

But let me clarify here: They’re predicting a GLOBAL pork shortage.

According to the always subdued Daily Mail:

Next year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts that the nation’s per-capita supply of pork will drop to its lowest level since 1975.

All the evidence predicts that come 2013, there will be far fewer pigs around to satisfy the nation’s appetite for those irresistibly salty, succulently fatty strips.

Let’s let that sink in for a minute – no BLTs. No biscuits and sausage gravy (I suppose you could just have biscuits and plain gravy, but really, what’s the point in that?). No chorizo and eggs. Basically, breakfast would become obsolete. And what kind of salad can you really eat if there are no Baco-bits (actually, Baco-bits aren’t made with real bacon, so you might be alright still eating a salad).

The point is, this is a very bad thing. The Washington Post notes:

Global food prices have risen to record levels in recent months, driven in part by a severe drought in the United States and Eastern Europe. More than half of all U.S. counties were declared primary disaster areas this growing season because of extreme dryness and heat, the Associated Press reported.

The price of corn and wheat rose by 25 percent from June to July of this year, and soybeans rose by 17 percent, according to the World Bank.

Even the Major League Eating organization has taken action on this important issue, suspending all bacon-eating contests.

“We cannot, in good conscience, allow [top ranked eater] Joey Chestnut to eat bacon during a global pork shortage,” Shea said in the release. “We estimate that Joey alone could eat 20 pounds of bacon in 10 minutes of competition.”

The release also says MLE is encouraging its competitors to avoid bacon in their daily meals.

The one exception to the no-bacon rule is a bacon-wrapped-scallop-eating contest, since they are “really delicious” and “mostly scallop anyway,” according to Shea.

Damn straight. There should definitely be a “really delicious” exemption for all food rationing.

With that in mind, I want to assure all Porktober participants (trademark pending. I’m not kidding. We’ve actually applied for a trademark on the term “Porktober.” No word yet on whether it’s been granted.) Anyway, do not worry about your Porktober consumption schedule. For now, at least, pork supplies are abundant, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s monthly cold storage report. Yes, that is a thing.

 Pork supplies are particularly abundant, a major reason hog prices have declined by about 20 percent in the last 90 days….. Hog slaughter, by contrast, was up 5 percent from a year ago due to a larger number of animals. Hog inventories have been at record levels this year.

So, we’ve started hoarding. Like Doomsday Preppers, we’re preparing for the A-Pork-alypse. We’ve already procured the sausages for the pigs-in-a-blanket and the bacon is on order. We’ve already given our butcher a heads up on our pig needs and he’s assured us we’ll all be alright. The rest is up to the pig gods.

Awesomeness: Vosge’s Mo’s Dark Bar

I have a new favorite thing in the whole entire world. Sorry, cezi receli. Our affair, while brief, was passionate nonetheless.

Alas, today I discovered Mo’s Dark Bar from Vosges Haut Chocolat. (You have to say that while swanning around waving your arms to and fro, by the way).

Mo

Here’s a little tip: If you want me to do any type of favor for you in the future, bribe me with a Mo’s Dark Bar or two. Anything at all – pet sitting, laundry, errand running, paper writing, caring for your children (I use the word “caring” quite loosely. What I really mean is “leaving them to fend for themselves with a box of saltines lying nearby.”)

I’m familiar with Vosges, a chocolate (excuse me, “chocolat”) maker out of Chicago. My friend Emilia and I got familiar with Vosges when I visited her in New York this past summer and we took a chocolate tour (HIGHLY recommended). And, that same Emilia brought us a lovely box of them when she stayed with us for a night (she had just been in Chicago for work).

Hmmm, funny, I don’t remember bringing her a gift when I stayed with her.

Anyway, so I know a bit about Vosges. But none of their varieties have ever really tickled my taste buds.

Until now.

Mo’s Dark Bar is 62% dark chocolate with hickory smoked uncured bacon and Alderwood smoked salt. I only really comprehend what about half of that means, but I know it adds up to pure, unadulterated and barely legal deliciousness.

I love, love, love the combination of sweet and salty. It’s a scientific fact that that is the best flavor combination in the world. This bar delivers with the dark chocolate (I like my chocolate dark to the point of bitter) and the smoked salt. Perfection.

Then you add bacon and well, you’ve got a mouth party. The bacon gives it a bit of texture, similar to toffee, which I am not a fan of since it invariably gets caught in my teeth. And, well, bacon is better than toffee, obviously.

mo's interior

And my girl Katrina Markoff (founder of Vosges) describes the bar perfectly:

“I began experimenting with bacon + chocolate at the tender age of 6, while eating chocolate chip pancakes drenched in Aunt Jemima® syrup, as children often do. Beside my chocolate-laden cakes laid three strips of sizzlin’ bacon, just barely touching a sweet pool of maple syrup. And then, the magic—just a bite of the bacon was too salty and I yearned for the sweet kiss of chocolate and syrup, so I combined the two. In retrospect, perhaps this was a turning point; for on that plate something magical happened, the beginnings of a combination so ethereal and delicious that it would haunt my thoughts until I found the medium to express it—chocolate.

From there, it was just a matter of time…and what began as a love of salt and sweet quickly unraveled into an obsession.”

Guuuurrrl, I hear you so clearly. I feel like we could be friends. Be my friend, Katrina. We can hang out and make pancakes (apparently, there is a Mo’s Bacon Pancake Mix!!) and braid each other’s hair and share issues of US Weekly.

I really could use some sort of hookup inside Vosges since this lovely Mo’s Dark Bar is $8 a slab at Whole Foods. This could become a very, very expensive obsession. Anyone need their car washed? Will work for Mo’s.

Two side notes: Damn you, Caroline for tipping me off on Mo’s (and thank you). And Amy, our own little maker of chocolate-covered bacon, you can have some too — it’s gluten free.