Tag Archives: marketing

Future Forecastings: 2013

As we welcome a New Year, it’s time once again to unleash the groundless hunches, uneducated guesses and baseless predictions our new media have trained us to love so much. To honor our noble modern traditions: jumping to conclusions, inflaming passions for ratings’ sake, and of course biased, uninformed prognosticating on world events… we give you this list of things that may happen in the coming year.

  • Upon hearing of rampant unrighteousness among penguins, the “Westboro Baptist Church” will sail to Antarctica to protest. The penguins will get a bit annoyed but for the most part tune them out.
  • I will somehow be bitten/tusked by a wild boar and a tiger, thus completing the rare feat of having been bit by the entire* Chinese Zodiac animal roster. Completing the “Bitten by the Zodiac Cycle” will somehow be parlayed into an attempt to secure a General Tso’s For Life prize.
    After this year's rat bite, just a boar, tiger and mythical dragon short of the cycle.

    After this year’s rat bite, I’m just a boar, tiger and mythical dragon short of getting ‘bit by the cycle.’

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Friday Fungus! Familiar Fungi

It’s time for another installment of everyone’s favorite (quarterly, mushroom-related) series!

I saw a couple ‘shrooms sprouting in our lawn a little while back and thought, “Wonder if I could eat that?”

Not having any idea what the ‘shroom was or if I could add it to one of my patented “fancy Ramens” (Pizza Ramen, Hot Pocket Ramen, McNugz Ramen, etc.) without dying was the impetus for today’s post… in which we’ll identify a few common fungi seen around the world and whether or not they should be consumed.

According to my new handy mushroom field guide, our culprit here from my lawn appears to be a semi-tasty common puffball, or Lycoperdon perlatum, OR for mushroom enthusiasts who like to party: THE DEVIL’S SNUFF BOX.

Common Puffballs (all imgs on this page via Wikipedia, send yer donations you freeloaders!)

(Please if you are a mushroom expert and believe I’ve made a grave error and this is really a deadly toxic ‘shroom, thanks for the heads up).

It’s head-scratching the names they come up with these fungi. I do like that every fungus seems to have multiple aliases, like gangsters, but most of them seem pretty negative. I’m not sure who the marketing gurus responsible for naming these things are, but to be saddled with descriptors like canker, blight, rot, rust, stinkhorn, decay, smut etc., is a real social barrier. Hopefully the Friday Fungus! series will help restore the good name of some of these unfortunately named beauties.

In the meantime, here are a few other common fungi to be aware of.

Grifola frondosaA.K.A. Hen of the Woods, Ram’s Head. The Japanese call this edible gem maitake. It has been praised by many cultures around the world for its taste and also touted for its supposed medicinal purposes.

A lovely Hen of the Woods.

Clathrus ruberA.K.A. Red cage, Witch’s Heart. This stinkhorn can be seen around the world. Fully grown it emits a foul odor and would only be eaten by a foolhardy drunkard, but apparently it can be consumed when still in ‘egg’ form.

A very lovely but smelly Red Cage.

Pseudocolus fusiformisA.K.A. Stinky Squid. Another bizarre but common stinkhorn, this is another one to steer clear of when fully grown. So help me if I hear about any of you trying to eat something called Stinky Squid I will send our intern out to smack you.

Another smelly beauty, the Stinky Squid.

Fuligo septicA.K.A. Dog Vomit Slime Mold, Scrambled Egg Slime.  This unfortunately named common fungus gets a further dent to its reputation by being accused of causing asthma. I say we band together to change the nickname to something more appealing, like Hero Fungus.

Dog Vomit Slime Mold, or Hero Fungus?

Be sure to join us next time as we learn more about the wild, wonderful world of fungi together!

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Faking the Funk

“Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk.”

Sir Isaac Newton

According to Wikipedia, the origins of the maxim “Don’t fake the funk on a nasty dunk” (DFtFoaND) can be traced back to Sir Isaac Newton, who uttered the famous phrase when engaged in an apple bobbing contest. That doesn’t sound right but if Wikipedia says so it must be true. Sigh, Wikipedia has destroyed my ability to think for myself and independently verify information.

Of course more recently we remember this phrase from a TV commercial featuring former Kazaam star and basketball legend, Shaquille O’ Neal. Shaq says DFtFoaND as a password to gain entry to some sort of mysterious slam-jam showcase lair, shortly before throwing down a nasty dunk that destroys the backboard and impresses some older b-ball fogeys. The commercial was culturally significant on many levels (what’s more significant than seeing stuff splode + get blowed up, and having famous people telling us what shoe to buy?), but perhaps most important was the introduction of DFtFoaND into our vernacular. Clearly the phrase was awesome – but what does it mean to fake the funk, and how does one avoid doing so? Continue reading

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Filed under F Abstract Concepts, F Athletics, Fun Phenomena