Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Funeral home offers drunk drivers a free funeral

If you live in Rome Georgia and are planning to drink and drive this New Year's, a funeral there home has a deal for you.
Between now and noon Thursday, drivers can visit McGuire, Jennings and Miller Funeral Home in Rome to sign a contract stating they plan to drink or take drugs and then drive on New Year's Eve.
If they die in a wreck that day, the funeral home will give them a free burial.
Services included in the package are a casket, grave, limousine and preparation of remains.
Funeral home officials said the program is designed to save lives by making drunk drivers think twice about drinking and driving.


Hollywood star Jennifer Garner is in shock because her request to appear on chef Ina Garten's cooking show
The Barefoot Contessa has been rejected.
The stunned star was snubbed because the actress wasn't a "real friend".
Jennifer Garner loves cooking  for her husband Ben Affleck and their two young daughters and often tries out new recipes from Garten's Barefoot Contessa show on the Food Network.

So Garner thought it would be a great idea to appear on Garten's show like she did with  Martha Stewart
(photo below) to see if she could help boost the profile of the show, but the request was denied.

Garner says, "I know somebody who is a friend of hers, and she says she's going to get us together.
"I tried to get on Ina's show... but eventually she just said, 'I'm sorry, I only use my real friends on the show.' I felt like, 'What are you saying? That we're not friends? I know everything about you!'"

On Ina Garten's website we find the following question and answer:

How can I be a guest on the show?
"As you probably know, all the guests on the show are really my good friends. Many people have asked to be guests, but my producer and I feel that it's more authentic if the guests continue to be my friends. Since the show is filmed in my kitchen in East Hampton, unfortunately, there's no extra room for an audience."

Man Calls 911 - needs ride to a bar

Maybe they should change their number, everybody knows about 911 now, even this guy. (above photo)
This fine citizen called 911 claiming he'd been beaten and shot at was really hoping his story would get him a ride to a bar.
Instead, 37-year-old Gregory J. Oras is facing charges of misusing the 911 system and battery of a law enforcement officer.
Oras called 911 three times before his arrest early Tuesday in Oldsmar, northwest of Tampa.
He told the dispatcher he had a broken nose and bleeding ears, and claimed people were shooting at him.
(maybe he meant he deserved to be shot at)
Police say he was actually looking for a ride to yet another bar.
The report also says Oras kicked a sheriff's deputy in the knees and a Taser was used to subdue him.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Prove you're not anti vegan

After the interesting debate following the post: "Plants like everything else fights to survive," we received a few orchestrated suggestions from our vegan friends to watch someone named Elaine on youtube.
The offer was for us to make a video proving we don't hate vegans or vegetarians.
We don't recall ever saying we hated vegans or vegetarians, but not to be bothered with minor details, the emails still challenged us to decide what kind of people we are.
Apparently we need to prove if we are kind or if  we are killers.
It seems the debate unnerved a few people and now some vegetarians want us to explain ourselves.
We watched the video and sorry people, we aren't sure what Elaine is talking about, she was all over the place.
She make one thing clear however, debate is forbidden unless we compromise our standards and make a video proving we aren't anti vegan.
Really, what does she care?
But, here's our suggestion instead:
Elaine needs to read the post "Plants like everything else fights to survive,"and all the comments, then she needs to make a coherent video.

Here she is:

Dish up the Black Eye Peas - It's New Year's

For over 300 years, black-eyed peas have long been associated with good luck, and by eating black eye peas on New Years Day you are assured good luck throughout the year.  
History tells us that black-eyed peas have been considered good luck in many cultures, and  hog meat is believed to be lucky because it represents prosperity.
So, here we go, enjoy:

Roasted Pork and Black Eye Peas

Roasted Pork
(for best results, roast a small pork roast in the oven first, roast it until the meat starts to fall apart)
32oz. of chicken broth (more if you want more of a broth)
1 medium onion diced
1 cup of whole baby carrots
1 cup celery diced
1 small package of dry Black Eye Peas (if you soak the beans overnight, the process will be easier)
Pinch of salt, white pepper, black pepper, chili powder, rosemary, thyme, oregano
A soup pot or even a slow cooker is all you  need now. 

If you are using slow cooker toss it all in close the lid
and allow 6 hours on low and that's it.
If you are using the soup pot start with the chicken broth.
Bring to a boil and add all the vegetables.
When it starts it's second boil reduce the heat
and add the beans.
Reduce the heat to a nice slow simmer.
Continue to simmer until the vegetable are tender.
Now add the pork and seasonings.
As the mixture begins to thicken,
taste and re season if needed.
Allow another 10 minutes to simmer.
Turn off the heat and serve with cornbread.


3oz. frozen or canned corn
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (without the stems)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 package corn muffin mix
1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
2 eggs
1 tablespoon minced shallots or green onions
Spray a 13 X 9 or 11 X 9 cake pan or better yet,
a baking dish with a non stick oil
and coat with granulated sugar.
In a mixing bowl combine everything,
mix thoroughly.
Pour mixture into your pan or dish
and bake in a preheated oven
at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
Then bake at 325 degrees an additional 20 minutes .
The cornbread will be a golden brown
and firm to the touch in the center.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Plants like everything else fights to survive

funny animated gif

We have been told, over and over,  if we want to save the planet, we have to stop murdering and eating our kill. (maybe someone should explain this to the plant, eating the fly in the video above).

We told you about the Swiss  government and their ethics panel weighing in on the "dignity" of plants and said that the arbitrary killing of flora is morally wrong.
The concept of what could be called "plant rights" is being seriously debated.
A "clear majority" of the panel adopted what it called a "biocentric" moral view, meaning that "living organisms should be considered morally for their own sake because they are alive." Thus, the panel determined that we cannot claim "absolute ownership" over plants and, moreover, that "individual plants have an inherent worth." This means that "we may not use them just as we please..."
We also discussed findings that suggest plants and vegetables when under threat, communicate the approaching danger to other plants nearby; and also call in help from other creatures.
Biologists at the University of Turin and the Max Planck Institute in Jena reported to have found evidence that plants sensed — and reacted to — the presence of hungry, leaf-chomping enemies.
Their response was to release an odor, similar to lavender, warning other plants to the presence of enemies
Wasps, the natural enemies of many predators, were drawn by the odor to the plant, killing the intruder or injected it with eggs that later killed it.
Then we learned about garden vegetables such as tomatoes and potatoes, and how they have been found to be deadly killers on a par with Venus fly traps, along with 50% of other Garden Vegetables,
according to research.
The research shows that they capture and kill small insects with their sticky little hairs on their stems and then absorb nutrients through their roots when the animals decay and fall to the ground.
At first it was thought that the murderous act was developed where the soil was poor quality, but even the home grown garden varieties have this ability, and they use it.
The researchers, publishing their finding in the ‘Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society’, said: “We may be surrounded by many more murderous plants than we think.
“We are accustomed to think of plants as being immobile and harmless, and there is something deeply unnerving about the thought of carnivorous plants," they added.

(watch the below video)

Many claim the moral high ground about eating, ignoring, the fact, we all kill to live.
When it comes to eating, death is a part of life.
Plant life kills, animals kill, insects kill, people kill, it's what we do to to stay alive, but let's not pretend to be superior just because we choose to kill something over another.
We respect animals and vegetables because they sustain our lives.
What we eat we do so with a sense of respect, for it is providing us sustenance.
Human beings kill for food, so do all inhabitants of nature, it's the food chain, and it teaches us there is no exception .
For those misguided individuals who believe you are contributing to a better world for animals by not eating meat, simply do not understand the basics of nature.
This means we eat our food with a sense of respect because it has an impact upon this world.
We agree, we should value our food for what it offers us.
It is the lack of respect for what sustains us that is wrong.
It is wrong to keep the food we eat them locked up in cages, pumping them full of hormones to simply make money.
But this doesn't make eating meat wrong.
It makes the process wrong.
Is there a moral justification for the killing other animals for food? - Yes. It's natural behavior. Animals kill other animals without concern for the rights of the animals they are killing for food.
We could argue the point, whether this is ethical or not, but remember, nature will continue to be the way it is, it doesn't care.
We will continue with our ethical position, and we don't really care what yours is, unless it interferes with ours.

The Sun Sets on Wendy's in Japan

With too much competition from McDonald's, Wendy’s has decided to close all 71 of its Japanese restaurants on Jan. 1, 2010.
Zensho, the Japanese company that runs Wendy’s Japan, decided not to renew its contract with Wendy’s, which runs out at the end of 2009.

Wendy's opened its first restaurant in Singapore this week, one of 35 new locations the company plans to build in the Asian nation within the next 10 years.
The opening comes less than one week after Wendy's announced it will temporarily leave Japan as it seeks a new partner to develop stores there.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Airport Food - how safe is it?

We got thinking about the SkyChefs thing and airline food, then we started thinking, what about the food sold at airports?
New discoveries have uncovered evidence that the food you're eating in airport terminals may not be much safer.
So, even before you get on the airplane with the SkyChef food, you may have to deal with the food at the terminal.

The food safety reports out of 800 restaurants at 10 national airports and have found hundreds of food safety violations.
We are talking about serious violations, which can make you sick, and the violations are common..
On the most recent inspection at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport there was at least one critical violation at 42% of its 57 restaurants. Reagan National Airport in Washington DC had 77% of its restaurants with violations.
The biggest offenders were grab-and-go sandwiches Some of those tasty sandwiches and other foods stored in refrigerators were above safe temperatures.
At the Detroit airport, salads at the Fuddruckers restaurant were stored at 60 degrees, it's suppose to be at 40 degrees.
Other violations occurred during food preparation, such as raw meats contaminating cooked foods.
At Reagan National Airport, a worker at Cibo Bistro and Wine Bar was observed handling raw chicken, and then preparing bread without changing gloves.
Spokespersons are just that,  they always spin the bad news into the best possible light.
So, this Reagan spokesperson states that it was likely an isolated incident.
Again with the rodent droppings, the presence of rat droppings at some establishments were also discovered.
New York’s JFK airport has been cited 11 times for the issue. Atlanta airport has been cited 12 times and now uses private inspectors to help with eliminating the problem.

But we are sure these were isolated incidents.
(sarcastically said by a Voodoo Kitchen spokesperson)

The National Restaurant Association says that the industry is committed to ensuring airport restaurant meals are safe for passengers. (blah blah, blah)
But here's some advice by Dr. Cynara Coomer for those who plan on eating at airport terminals.
"If you are buying cold food, make sure it feels cold and looks fresh -- otherwise move on. Make sure your food is well-prepared and cooked thoroughly enough to kill the bacteria. Try to eat foods that don't need to be stored at correct temperatures, and consider bringing your own food from home."

Restaurant inspections are conducted by local health departments. Airport restaurants' inspections can be looked up at these websites by searching for the name of a business or by searching for all inspections conducted at the airport's address or ZIP code.
Here's where to read inspection information for restaurants at the 10 airports examined by USA TODAY:
Charlotte Douglas International Airport:
Mecklenburg County inspection records
Search using the airport's address 5501 Josh Birmingham.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport:
Tarrant County inspection reports
Search using the airport's ZIP code 75261 .
Detroit Metro Airport:
Restaurant inspection data
Search for "Metro Airport" in the address field.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport:
Restaurants are inspected by the Clayton County Board of Health, which requires the reports be posted for customers to view at the restaurant.
Inspection information
JFK International Airport:
New York City health department inspection records
Search the airport's ZIP code 11430.
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport:
Inspection reports
Search the airport's ZIP code 63145.
Los Angeles International Airport:
Inspection summaries
LAX restaurants can be found by searching for the airport's street name as "World Wy" and ZIP code 90045. Full inspection reports can be requested from the health department.
Miami International Airport:
Inspection violation summaries
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport:
Inspection summaries
Sea-Tac Airport restaurants can be found by searching for the airport's Zip code, 98158, or putting "Sea-Tac" in the address field.
Washington Reagan National Airport:
County restaurant inspection reports, including a link for the airport

Denver SkyChefs have a problem - Roaches, Bacteria

With airlines charging $4.00 for a silly, little container of crackers and cheese, come to think of it, we're not sure anyone is even buying in-cabin meals and snacks.
But in the event someone is paying the $4.00 for in-cabin food, here's a heads up.
The FDA just gave us another reason not to waste our money.
Very yucky conditions have been found in a Denver kitchen preparing  around of 35,000 meals a day for airlines like American to United.
We can sum up the findings in the LSG SkyChefs facility with a four letters abbreviation which was used to describe the roaches and other insects found there: TNTC.
That stands for Too Numerous To Count.
Yes, you read correctly, the roaches and other insects were too numerous to count.
Here are some of the problems the FDA issued in a written warning to LSG SkyChefs.
  • Cart wash area - Live and dead roach-like insects too numerous to count (TNTC);
  • Repack area - Live roaches (TNTC), as well as ants;
  • Dish machine wash area - At least 13 dead roaches inside the machine loading area and 31 or more dead nearby the machine.
Inspectors also found evidence of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes, which causes serious foodborne illness.

Beth Van Duyne, a spokeswoman for LSG Skychefs, told us the company "cannot wait for that re-inspection to happen." The company took "immediate, effective and proactive action" as soon as it learned of the findings, she said. (where were you before the inspection Beth?)
"We make no excuses," she said. "This is unacceptable to the standards that LSG has held itself to for 70 years now."
No customers have canceled their orders, she said, and the company hasn't received any reports of illnesses or complaints from travelers.

Our Favorite Images - 2009

As this year comes to an end, we present our favorite images from 2009.
No captions,  we believe these pictures are worth a 1000 words.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Mice Close Pa. Capitol Cafeteria

Why has the cafeteria at the Pennsylvania Capitol buildong been closed?
Probably because it's infested with mice and health inspectors haven t inspected the place in four years.
State law requires annual checks for health and sanitation. (it's been four years)
Auditor General Jack Wagner said Thursday he received assurances in 2005 that the state Agriculture Department would inspect it. (that's like being told, "the checks in the mail.")
He says his auditors later received false assurances (lies) that it was being inspected regularly.
When an inspection was finally done last week, authorities found "excessive" mice droppings on food preparation equipment and in cabinets and utensil areas.
This is what we call an imminent health risk.
"There were mouse droppings around the facility too numerous to mention," said Justin Fleming, a spokesman for the state Agriculture Department.
Did we mention the leak that prevented the water in dishwashers from becoming hot enough to sterilize plates and utensils?
This is also was an imminent health threat.
Aramark Corp., the Philadelphia-based food service company that runs the cafeteria, voluntarily closed it at the request of state inspectors.
An Aramark spokeswoman, Sarah Jarvis, had absolutely nothing of value to say, so instead she said the problems were being corrected.
"Our priority is to ensure that the food served at the Capitol building is of the highest quality and prepared (in) the safest environment possible," she said. "We take all violations and suggestions very seriously" and promptly correct any problems. (promptly?)
The ground-floor cafeteria is now closed and is not expected to reopen until January.
It is a popular coffee and lunch spot for statehouse visitors and employees and may they rest in peace.

Fast Food - What's not to like?

All of us, well, most of us, okay, a lot of us enjoy fast food, including the rich and famous.
Thanks to TMZ, here here are a few photos of: Kim and Khloe Kardashian, Kevin and Nick Joanas,
Rhianna, Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, and Miley Cyrus.

Woman calls 911 when husband refuses to eat dinner

Deep in the heart of Texas – Prosecutors are looking at the case of a woman who has called 911 thirty times over six months for non-emergency reasons, including a call to complain that her husband refused to eat his dinner.
Last Friday, the woman allegedly made a pair of calls to 911, including a hang-up and another where a woman was heard screaming.
Police were dispatched to the residence and said police were told by her that "her husband did not want to eat his supper."
Sure, this woman sounds stupid, and oh yeah. she is, but she's not alone.

Here's a little list of other losers:

  • The woman who called 911 to ask a police officer on a date.
  • The lonely man who called 911 over 27,000 times.
  • The woman who called 911 because McDonald's didn't have McNuggets.
  • The woman who called 911 over lack of shrimp in fried rice from a restaurant.
  • The couple who called the police to settle a cold feet argument.
  • The man who called 911 because he was turned away at a nightclub. 
  • 911 call over missing box of orange juice from McDonald's. 
  • Man calls 911 to say he is hungry

      Mr.World Fitness Franco Carlotto Sues Whole Foods

      He's everything to everybody, he's a six-time Mr.World Fitness champion, actor, model and an inflated physical specimen.
      Who is he? why none other than Franco Carlotto, who claims a bowl of cereal took him down.
      The lawsuit is brewing up something big and Franco pointing his finger at Whole Foods, claiming a "defective" brand of "Whole Foods Market Organic Everyday Value Organic High Fiber Cereal" broke his teeth when he bit down down on a "portion of the cereal that had solidified to a hardened mass."

      In Franco's lawsuit, filed in L.A. County Superior Court, Franco claims he's furious because Whole Foods gave no warning of the "particular risk of hardening of the cereal" or "solidification of the cereal."
      This is kind of odd, most cereals get soggy after adding milk, don't they?

      Carlotto claims he sought medical treatment for the injury -- he's suing for an unspecified amount.

      Friday, December 25, 2009

      Thou Shalt Not Steal? - Priest tells congregation to shoplift

      It may be the eighth commandment but Anglican priest, Rev Tim Jones has advised his congragation to goth forth and shoplift.
      He said  that stealing from successful shops was preferable to burglary, robbery or prostitution.
      He told parishioners it would not break the eighth commandment "thou shalt not steal' because it 'is permissible for those who are in desperate situations to take food that they might not starve."
      "My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift," he told his stunned congregation at St Lawrence and St Hilda in York.
      "I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither."
      "I would ask that they do not steal from small family businesses, but from large national businesses, knowing that the costs are ultimately passed on to the rest of us in the form of higher prices."
      "I would ask them not to take any more than they need. I offer the advice with a heavy heart. Let my words not be misrepresented as a simplistic call for people to shoplift."
      'The observation that shoplifting is the best option that some people are left with is a grim indictment of who we are." 
      "Rather, this is a call for our society no longer to treat its most vulnerable people with indifference and contempt."
      He added: "The strong temptation is to burgle or rob people - family, friends, neighbors, strangers."
      "Others are tempted towards prostitution, a nightmare world of degradation and abuse for all concerned." "Others are tempted towards suicide. Instead, I would rather that they shoplift."

      The Archdeacon of York, the Venerable Richard Seed, said: 'The Church of England does not advise anyone to shoplift, or break the law in any way.
      'Father Tim Jones is raising important issues about the difficulties people face when benefits are not forthcoming, but shoplifting is not the way to overcome these difficulties.
      'There are many organizations and charities working with people in need, and the Citizens' Advice Bureau is a good first place to call.'

      Tuesday, December 22, 2009

      Merry Christmas from the Voodoo Kitchen

      Christmas Countdown - Christmas Layouts

       Christmas traditions always center around the kitchen.
      No matter where you are, these traditions recall the memories
        of the delicious foods we love.
      Eat, drink and Merry Christmas!

      From all of us at 
      the Voodoo Kitchen 

      Man with 5-inch knife stuck in chest orders coffee

      Did you hear the one about the man who walks into a coffee shop with a 5-inch knife stuck in his chest... stop us if you've heard this one before...
      A 52 year old  man who complained only that the weather was cold as he walked into a diner with a five-inch knife sticking out of his chest, and calmly ordered coffee.
      He said he had been stabbed during a robbery attempt half a mile away, then walked to the restaurant and called 911 from a pay phone.
      On a recording of the call, the man gives a vague description of his attacker before saying, "I'm gonna sit down at Bray's (the diner) 'cause they got a chair and it's cold out here."

      We are happy to report the man is recovering.

      Jesus and a Banana Peel

      We thought all our sightings for the year had come to a conclusion, but apparently not.
      Let's have one more, shall we?

      Lisa Swinton saw the face of Jesus in her banana peel.
      ‘‘I was like ‘Oh my God! It’s Jesus on a banana!’’
      ‘‘I got it out of the fruit bowl and was about to peel it and eat it when I saw his face,’’ she said.
      Even though she believes she saw Christ embedded into the banana, it didn't stop her from eating the blessed fruit, then throwing the holy peel away.
      ‘‘I put some photos up on Facebook – one of my friends said it looked like a monkey.’’
      Ms Swinton seems to have holy visions everywhere.
      ‘‘One of my friends said they saw the Holy Mother on their bathroom door and another saw an apparition of Mary on the mold of their shower floor,’’ she said.

      The Christmas You May Not Know

      Figgy pudding is a pudding is something like a white Christmas pudding containing figs. The pudding may be baked, steamed in the oven, boiled or fried.

      The history of figgy pudding dates back to 16th century England.
      We know of figgy pudding  because of the Christmas carol "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," which sings, "Oh bring us a figgy pudding" in the chorus, suggesting that it was a traditional Christmas dish served during the season and maybe was handed out to Christmas carolers.

      Good King Wenceslas is a popular Christmas carol about a king who goes out to give gifts to a poor peasant on the Feast of Stephen which is the second day of Christmas, December 26.
      The song is based on the life of the historical Saint Wenceslaus I, Duke of Bohemia. (907–935)

      12 Days of Christmas (song)
      It was first published in England in 1780, but it may be an older secular French  love song.
      It may have been about a woman, whose "True Love",  sent her gifts.
      Some believe the songs gifts are hidden codes or meanings to the teachings of  faith.
      There is some disagreement about this however because from 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not allowed to practice their Faith openly. At that time (according to those Roman Catholics), this traditional English carol was adopted as a catechism song for young Catholics.
      For them, it had two levels of meaning: the original surface meaning as the love song, plus hidden religious meanings.
      With the hidden meanings,  "true love" you hear about in the song, we are told, refers to God Himself.
      The other symbols or codes mean the following:
      2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
      3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity, the Theological Virtues
      4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
      5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the "Pentateuch", which gives the history of man's fall from grace.
      6 Geese A-laying = the six days of creation
      7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
      8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
      9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
      10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
      11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
      12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed

      Archeologists find first Jesus-era house in Nazareth

      This may not be food related, but we'll make an exception.
      Just days before Christmas, archeologists say they have found the remains of the first dwelling in Nazareth that can be traced to the time of Jesus.

      Monday, December 21, 2009

      Hot Spiced Cider

      This traditional holiday drink is perfect
      on cold winter evenings

      3 quarts apple cider
      8 whole cloves
      3 cinnamon sticks
      Small pinch of ground nutmeg
      2 (1-inch) strips fresh orange peel

      You can also add a splash of rum or brandy.
      You may want a fresh cinnamon stick for each serving.

      In a large saucepan, bring all ingredients to a boil.
      Strain and serve hot spiced cider hot in mugs.
      We also like to place a cinnamon stick and an orange peel with the mug or glass.
      Makes 12 cups of hot spiced cider.

      The Perfect Christmas Pudding

      We seldom use microwaves, but there are those moments like this when we make exceptions, especially when the dear old lady in the video happens to be Marguerite Patten.
      Marguerite Patten was a celebrity chef long before the current group of celebrity chefs.
      Born 1915, almost 95 now, and just as busy as ever, writing, broadcasting and, now, podcasting.
      Probably the world's most prolific cookery writer, Marguerite has a staggering 170 books to her name and worldwide sales amounting to 17 million.
      So, when Marguerite cooks, we pay attention.
      Here she makes the perfect Christmas pudding, in the microwave.
      We made it, we ate it and we loved it!!!

      Religious Sightings - Year in Review

      Let's take a look at the religious sightings and the competition that exists between them.

      Taiwan considering world's first junk food tax

      Taiwan has a plan.
      They just may be the first country to impose a tax on junk food in effort to control what the public eats, and oh yes, collect money.
      The Bureau of Health Promotion is designing a bill to tax food deemed unhealthy, such as sugary drinks, candy, cakes,fast food and alcohol.
      It's a little foggy where the revenue from the tax would go, maybe to finance groups promoting health awareness or subsidize the island's cash-strapped national health insurance program.
      The foundations of Taiwan's tax system are riddled with holes by the corruption of politics and debt obligations of nearly NT$4 trillion. (US$120.3 billion)
      Taiwan has problems with the national public works projects and education and a vicious cycle of national weakening, and sluggish economic growth.
      The bottom line is, it's all about collecting money.
      So, the junk food tax plan just may be the latest culprit in the corruption of Taiwan's politics.
      If passed, the bill is expected to take effect around 2011, says the bureau's director Chiou Shu-ti.
      Taiwan would be the first government in the world to impose a junk food tax if the bill is passed, and we can only assume this may open the floodgates of other countries just chomping at the bit to do the same.

      Sunday, December 20, 2009

      UPDATE: Brazil man stuck stepson with needles as revenge

      A Brazilian stepfather has come forward and publicly confessed to pushing dozens of needles into his 2-year-old stepson, saying Sunday in a jail cell interview that he intended to kill the boy out of spite for his wife and didn't think he would be discovered.
      His girlfriend,, Angelina Ribeiro dos Santos, paid to have the needles measuring up to 2 inches blessed by a woman who practiced the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomble, and convinced Magalhaes that inserting them into the boy would somehow allow them to be together, Santana said. Police, however, believe Dos Santos was out for revenge on the boy’s mother, though they did not say why.
      “According to his confession, he acted under influence of the woman, but it was he who stuck the needles in the boy’s body,” the inspector said.
      Roberto Carlos Magalhaes described mixing water with wine to dope the child before he and his girlfriend held the boy down and stuck sewing needles into him.
      "I did this two or three times a week during one month," Magalhaes said.
      The boy was too drunk on the wine mixture to cry while he inserted the needles, he said, but felt the pain after the alcohol wore off.
      "It was truly an unbearable suffering," said Magalhaes. "It was to get back at the boy's mother.
      I thought the needles would work their way through his body and kill the boy. It was a way to kill without anyone discovering."
      The boy underwent a five-hour operation in the northeastern city of Salvador on Friday to remove four rusty needles that most threatened his life, near his heart and in his lungs.
      Doctors said Sunday the child is doing well and will likely undergo two more surgeries, the next one on Wednesday at the earliest, to extract needles up to 2 inches long from his abdomen and spine.

      Along with Magalhaes, police believe his girlfriend, Angelina Ribeiro dos Santos, was also seeking revenge on Magalhaes' wife.
      Afro-Brazilian religions practiced in Brazil have no ceremonies, rituals or practices involving harm to people, said Nelson Inocencio, director of African-Brazilian studies at the University of Brasilia.
      He worried that the incident could hurt the image of the religions, of which Candomble is the most popular, and concentrated most in Bahia state.
      "What happened to this boy without a doubt could feed into the prejudice against Afro-Brazilian traditions," he said.

      Christmas New York Cheesecake

      Holiday traditions always center around the kitchen and food, and that's the way we like it.
      No matter where the the culture or holiday originates, our memories seem to always recall the aromas in the kitchen and the delicious tastes of the foods we love.
      We would like to share with you our Christmas New York cheesecake recipe, it's a holiday tradition here in the Voodoo Kitchen.
      You can choose your favorite graham cracker crust and any fruit topping, if you like, but we eat it just the way it is, plain and and delicious.

      Christmas New York Cheesecake
      Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8" spring form pan.

      • 2 8 oz. Cream Cheeses (softened)
      • 1 cup Sugar
      • 3 medium eggs 
      • 2 cups Sour Cream
      • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
      • 3 Tablespoona Lemon Juice
      • Cinnamon

      In a large mixing bowl, blend the cream cheese and sugar together with a fork until smooth.
      Add eggs one at a time, blending and creaming each one in smoothly with the fork.
      When it's well mixed, add the sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice.
      Mix on Medium with a mixer until smooth.
      Then, mix on high speed for about one minute.
      Now pour into floured spring pan and dust the top of the cheesecake with cinnamon.
      You may want to place pan underneath for any drippings.

      Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
      Turn off oven and let set in the oven without disturbing for one hour.
      Allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes and then place in refrigerator.
      Chill your cheesecake 24 hours before serving.

      Coors Light’s “Cold Activated Can”

      We just heard the commercial for the Coors Light’s "Cold Activated Can", which uses "thermal-chromic" ink to tell you when your beer is cold enough to drink.
      We realize this is a multimillion dollar campaign to promote their beer, but we keep asking ourselves, "how does this actually promote their beer, what's the attraction?" "Yes, the mountains turn from white to blue, but so what?" "Can’t you just touch the can?"
      People who know their beer have told us when drinking beer at 39°F or colder, (as Coors suggests) it's just too cold, the  beer loses it's flavor.
      A quality beer should be consumed between 50-60 degree.
      Perhaps Coors needs gimmicks or a beer that cold to kill the taste, who knows?
      But this we do know this, we have always been able to tell if a can or bottle was cold enough when we picked it up.

      As if the “Cold Activated Can” wasn't enough, may we introduce you to the "Cold Activated Glassware."
      (Glassware seen above)
      Now you can tell if the beer you just poured from your "Cold Activated Can" is cold enough when you pour it in one of these“Cold Activated Glassware." Wow, it just gets better and better.

      Village People threaten to sue chef Jamie Oliver

      The Village People are threatening legal action against celebrity chef Jamie Oliver after he allegedly dressed up as members of the band to advertise his latest TV show.
      To promote his latest cooking show, Jamie's American Road Trip, Jamie Oliver dresses up as a  cowboy, a policeman, a sailor and a construction worker.
      Sound familiar?
      Oliver is seen strutting through an airport dressed as the characters to the sound of the Village People's 1979 single "Go West."
      Now, let's bring in the lawyers.
      Attorneys for the band are threatening legal action for the infringing of trademark rights.
      The name and costumes are trademarked in the US and the Village People's attorney, John Giacobbi, claims the group was never approached to use the characters in the commercial.
      A lawyer for the Village People, the iconic group from the 1970s and 1980s, has threatened legal action against a British network for airing a promotion with star chef Jamie Oliver dressed as all six members.
      Channel 4 is running a trailer for Oliver's TV program and a spokesperson for Channel 4 insists the accusations are unfounded, stating: "We are confident that the promotional campaign for Jamie's American Road Trip does not infringe any copyright/trademark rights which the Village People may have. No parties have received a formal legal claim from the Village People and, if one is received, it will be vigorously defended."
      Note to village people: forget the lawsuit, and enjoy more publicity than you've had in years.

      Friday, December 18, 2009

      Attorney sued after biting off part of man's nose

      A Memphis attorney has admitted to biting off part of a man's nose during a confrontation at a restaurant.
      According to a lawsuit filed by Greg Herbers, (photo left) Mark Lambert (photo below right) bit off and swallowed part of his nose during a bizarre fight, in the bathroom.

      Lambert is a trial attorney with the Cochran Firm.
      The festivities began in the men's room when Herbers, a hairdresser in Memphis became upset because the urinal and stalls were occupied.
      Herbers says two men were together inside the same stall.
      (two men in the same stall?)
      He says Lambert began talking with the two men, in the stall.
      Herbers says he asked the men to vacate the stall because they were not using the toilet.
      He said the pair refused, it was about this time Lambert began yelling obscenities and showing aggression towards Herbers.
      Herbers says Lambert then pushed and grabbed him and bit off part of his nose.
      According to Herbers, Lambert and the other two men fled the scene.
      Herbers says he called police and was transported to an area hospital.
      In the complaint, Herbers claims he suffered permanent disfigurement to his nose and face and will need plastic surgery and possibly a prosthetic nose.
      The police report says Herbers entire left nostril was missing.

      America's First Medical Marijuana Restaurant

      We have a friendly cool vibe with a totally different concept!

      They have a Bud Bar and you can choose your strain from their Budtender
      If you enjoy the prospect of hanging out and smoking pot or eating with new friends,
      this may be your kind of place.
      Steve Horowitz, an owner of Ganja Gourmet, says the restaurant will not promote a party-like atmosphere.

      Be forewarned, the food laced with marijuana isn't cheap.
      A brownie is $10.
      A dozen lemon meringue tartlets cost $120.
      A whole pizza sells for $89, and a dozen sweet treats called Almond Horns cost $120.
      "The food is really good," said Jamie Hillyer, a 41-year-old medical marijuana patient who paid $12 for a serving of vegetable LaGanja. Hillyer said that he can't taste the weed in the food and that it gives him a "more mellow" buzz than smoking pot.
      Chefs are able to use marijuana in cooking because its key ingredient, the mind-altering drug THC, is fat-soluble, meaning it binds with oils or fats.
      Marijuana chefs put leaves or buds in a food processor and grind the marijuana into green flour. Then they add the flour to oil or butter, cook it slowly for up to a couple of days while the THC binds to the fat, and strain out the green flakes.
      The pot-infused oils and butters have a greenish tint and an earthy taste, but chefs say the flavor can easily be masked with garlic or other herbs and spices.
      Marijuana chefs say it takes 20 minutes to two hours for the pot-laced food to produce a high.
      The biggest problem, they say, is that users often eat too much, thinking the food isn't working. While you can't exactly overdose on marijuana food, people who eat too much may feel more sluggish or disoriented than they would like.

      So at Ganja Gourmet, customers are allowed to eat only one menu item every 45 minutes.
      Horowitz said the restaurant will offer courtesy rides home for customers who feel they can't drive.

      "I hope the launch of Ganja Gourmet will set the standard for other Colorado distributers and distributers around the nation so that those suffering from illness get the best service possible," Horowitz said.

      Any pothead can make pot brownies. Gourmet chefs are taking the art of cooking with marijuana to a higher level. (it seems all chefs say that these days)
      Employees wear tie-dyed T-shirts that proclaim, "Our food is so great, you need a license to eat it."

      The customers at the Ganja Gourmet must show a medical marijuana card that proves they have a doctor's permission to use pot.

      Thursday, December 17, 2009

      Santa Causes Obesity - Study Says

      Yes, Santa has a belly, but so what?
      Do we really want Santa looking like the skinny guy in the picture above.
      If you can believe it, there is a study by Monash University public health expert Dr. Nathan Grills
      (seen below right) who claims Santa is promoting obesity — and damaging millions of lives.

      These experts say Santa should be used to promote a healthy lifestyle.
      The study suggests that  Santa slim down by avoiding cookies, mince pies and milk, and snack instead on his reindeers' carrots and celery sticks.
      "I wouldn't go as far as saying that Santa causes obesity - it's more about raising wider issues around advertising and public health," he said.
      He also found a correlation between countries that celebrate Santa and large numbers of fat children.
      "Santa promotes a message that obesity is synonymous with cheerfulness and joviality," Grills wrote.

      More disturbingly, Dr. Nathan Grills also fears Santa also has the potential to spread infectious diseases, Grills said Santa's close-up contact with sniffling, coughing kids made him a one-man outbreak waiting to happen, with swine flu the biggest seasonal concern. "Unsuspecting little Johnny gets to sit on Santa's lap, but as well as his present, he gets H1N1 influenza," Grills warned.
      Grills said he donned a Santa suit himself — and deemed the experience a public health nightmare. "I was kissed and hugged by snotty-nosed kids at each performance and was never offered alcohol swabs to wipe my rosy cheeks between clients," he wrote.

      Dr Grills wants a public debate on Santa's image and whether his image should be associated with unhealthy foods.Given Santa's popularity Dr Grills argues that "Santa only needs to affect health by 0.1 per cent to damage millions of lives".
      Our advice to Dr. Grills, public health expert extraordinaire: Oh, shaddup, you're getting a lump of coal.

      We like Santa enjoying his bottle of Coca Cola.