Friday, March 5, 2010

Top 10 Links of the Week: 2/26/10 – 3/4/10

Great googly moogly, it’s been a big week here at the castle. (Yes, we live in a castle. The internet connection’s a little spotty, but the gruel is fantastic.) Thank you times infinity to both Lifehacker and BoingBoing, and to readers both old and new. It’s been wonderful.

And with that, the links!

1) Money Saving Mom
How I Plan My Freezer Cooking Day + Free Planning Worksheets!
31 Days to a Better Grocery Budget: Stop Making Excuses and Commit to Change
Crystal is on a massive roll this week, and listing all the stellar posts would take up about half this countdown. These two are just the first parts of ongoing series, which can be found all over her site. Get over there and start saving gazillions.

2) Get Rich Slowly: A Cautionary Tale
Oh no he di’int! Guest poster Maria spills the tale of her ex-boyfriend, an emotional and financial leech. The story is simultaneously shocking and relatable, not least because it illustrates the difficulty of maintaining economic objectivity in relationships. A great read, though some of the thread commentary might make you choke on your orange.

3) Stonesoup: Tips for Kitchen Glory – How to Get Rave Reviews for Your Cooking
In its own way, prepping a tasty meal can be a lot like standup comedy. It’s a skill (writing/cooking) with a valuable outcome (laughs/food) for which you receive recognition (clapping/burps). In this neat little post, Jules tells us how to increase the kudos.

4) Consumerist: Restaurant Bans Customer for Not Tipping Enough
Long story short: regular customer with a history of stiffing servers is charged an out-of-nowhere mandatory 18% gratuity on her party of three. She complains, and next time she shows, the restaurant refuses to seat her unless she coughs up an 18% tip. On one hand, tipping is voluntary. On the other hand, if you can’t tip, you shouldn’t eat out in the first place. (Edited because I got my facts wrong. Thanks, Krista and Anon.)

5) New York Times: Don’t Tell the Kids
Full disclosure: I had a bunny burrito once, and it was delicious. So this article on the re-emergence of rabbits as versatile, delicious, recession-ready meat made me salivate a little. Sorry, Bugs.

6) The Kitchn: How-to Tutorials Galore Home Hacks Roundup
The Kitchn comps their multitude of February posts on basic culinary skillz. As always, it’s thorough, informative, useful, and accompanied by a beautiful picture of an otherwise messy task.

7) The Atlantic: Europe to Antioxidants – Take a Hike
This one’s a bit dense, but essentially: you know how food manufacturers label their products with stuff like “A great source of ANTIOXIDANTS!” or “We shot this full of ANTIOXIDANTS, even though we’re not really sure what they do outside of foods in which they naturally occur!” European regulators aren’t standing for it. Tres bien! Molto buono! Sehr gut! However you say "very good" in Swedish!

8) Grist: Study suggests Junk Food Taxes May Beat Healthy Food Subsidies
Fascinating. In a recent study, psychologists created their own grocery store and told a bunch of moms to buy food for a week. They discovered two things:
  1. When they lowered the cost of healthy food (simulating a subsidy), the mothers bought a little more of it, but spent the savings on junk food.
  2. When they raised the prices of junk food (simulating a tax), the same women cut back on junk and bought significantly more healthy food.
It means (for the purposes of this single study) that taxing junk is more effective than subsidizing the good stuff. Hunh.

9) New York Times: Bridezillas on a Diet
Around 70% of brides-to-be try to drop weight before the big day, and about a third use dangerous methods (pills, fasts, etc.). Not good. But more importantly, can we drop the term “bridezilla” already, since it’s now being used as a code word for “engaged woman who expresses a preference about something”? Yeah, some ladies morph into buttercream-crazed harpies, but most of us are happy to be having a big honkin’ party. It’s reductive, man. (Does saying that make me a bridezilla?)

10) Weight Watchers: The Most Flavorful Cheeses
Fellow OPs, you have a friend in cheeses. Sweet/savory piece via Words to Eat By’s own Debbie Koenig.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

AV Club: Taste Test - Durian
Denizens of The Onion try the world’s stinkiest fruit and document their reactions. My favorite: “It looks like a bunch of baby aliens inside. I keep expecting them to turn over and say ‘mama.’”

Food Politics: Research Alert - Childhood Obesity and How to Fix it
Marion Nestle: compiling relevant articles about a significant political initiative, so you don’t have to.

Chicago Tribune: New charge on dinner tab is in bad taste
Some San Francisco eateries are adding surcharges to bills, claiming they’re for the waitstaff’s health insurance. It's kind of like the IRS taxing you, "for our kids education."

New York Times: The Claim – To Cut Calories, Eat Slowly
Grandma was right. Again. In fact, the only thing she was ever wrong about was this newfangled rock & roll.

NY Daily News: Rich Icelandic couple sued by former tenants for installing 'ugly' Ikea kitchen
Unrevealed in the article: the rich couple’s names are Tyler Durden and Marla Singer.

Slashfood: Does Cooking Make us Human?
Ha! Suck it, monkeys!

AND ALSO

“This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go
This is all over the interwebs, and deservedly so. MAKE Magazine Syyn Labs designed a complex, delightful, four-minute Rube Goldberg contraption for OK Go’s latest video, which appears to be filmed in one take. Mind blowing.



(Photos courtesy of Make Friends with Food.)

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure you read the Consumerist article closely. The customer complained because large groups were charged a mandatory 18% gratuity, and there were only three people in her group. I don't blame her for being annoyed.

Not to be rude, but do you actually read these things you link to?

Krista said...

Re: Restaurant Bans Customer for Not Tipping Enough- While I agree that if you can't tip, you shouldn't eat out, I think the restaurant lost big time here, and will probably end up in some kind of trouble.

It wasn't a party of six, it was a party of 3. Also, you can't add a tip to a bill unless it is clearly stated that you will be doing so. Their menu says that they will add a 15% tip to parties of 6 or more. Her party of 3 was required to pay a tip of 18%.

Tipping is 100% completely optional and in this case, the restaurant had no right to add it to her bill. She has a lawyer and is planning to sue. I would be shocked if she didn't win.

By the way, a restaurant can refuse service to anyone they want, as long as it isn't based on their color, nationality, etc. so she has no right to complain about that.

Kris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kris said...

Shoot. Thank you, Krista and Anon, for setting me right. I read the article and watched the video on CNN a few days ago, and should have double-checked to make sure I had the facts straight. My apologies, because it does change the argument.

Ultimately though, while the three-person part strengthens her case much more, I still don't think she's in the right. And lodging a frivolous lawsuit like that makes her seem more money hungry.

Anon, it's a good question. I read everything. Apparently this one, not too thoroughly.

Krista said...

Oh I agree. I think her lawsuit is ridiculous - but I think she won't have a problem winning it. Not based on the fact that they refused her service, but because they tried to charge her a different price than what was clearly stated.

I have a hard time believing that this restaurant is so good that she was so distraught that she needs to have a petition and bring a lawsuit.

mattg said...

FYI, I'm pretty sure MAKE Magazine didn't do the video. Syyn Labs did, though a MAKE-affiliated car does appear in the video, once in Lego form and once full size. As there are probably few representatives of the intersection between MAKE-nerdery and food-nerdery on this blog, it may not be a big deal, but I thought i'd point it out.

Amy (Super Healthy Kids) said...

Thanks for the links. While I haven't read the link yet, the "bunny burrito" reminded me of one day at Costco, my 9 year old snagged a sample of some "meat" and then the Costco lady told her it was LAMB. My daughter about spit it out and was visibly upset about having just eaten a "sweet little lamb!" Poor thing! She loves animals!!