CULINARY SLEIGHT OF PAN
Delivering gourmet meals to customers’ doors is a fast-growing business model, with chefs in nearly every large modern city trying to cash in. So far, perhaps only London’s brand-new Housebites goes the extra step. According to its press release, cited by Huffington Post in June, Housebites not only home-delivers “restaurant quality” cuisine (at the equivalent of about $15 to $20 per entry), but offers an optional dirty-pans service (about $8 extra), lending out the containers in which the food was prepared, thus allowing clients entertaining guests to display “evidence” of their culinary skills and hard work.
GOVERNMENT IN ACTION
The U.S. Department of Justice has been widely criticized for failing to bring to fruition investigations of Wall Street traders’ alleged lies (such as accusations that the firm MFS Global made bets on European bonds by illegally using clients’ money, of which CEO Jon Corzine suspiciously professed to be unaware). However, in several notable instances, its investigators have been relentless–for instance, prosecuting baseball’s Roger Clemens for lying to Congress and, in January, indicting marine biologist Nancy Black, who faces 20 years in prison for allegedly lying to investigators about whether her crew might have illegally fed whales to attract their attention for a boatload of whale-watchers.
WORTH EVERY PENNY
In April, police chief John Crane of Gadsden, Ala., learned that his department has owned, for two years, two unmanned aerial drones. He said he has no idea why they were purchased (at about $150,000), but that local taxpayers need not worry since they came with a federal law enforcement grant. And NBC Bay Area reports periodically on uses of 2009 federal stimulus money distributed in the San Francisco area, and in May revealed that the University of California, San Francisco, had received $1.2 million to interview 200 men on what effect being overweight has on their sex lives. A government budget activist decried funding a “sex study over fixing bridges and roads that are crumbling every day.”
In May, performance artist Stuart Ringholt opened his show, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, naked. His pieces (a hodge-podge of exhibits on current art-world commentaries) were secondary to his insistence that all visitors to the show also shuck their clothing. His subtext, he said, was to explore reactions to extreme embarrassment (and told a New York Times correspondent that in an earlier self-shaming display, he had stood by a marble fountain for 20 minutes, dressed formally but with toilet paper trailing from his trousers). According to a Times dispatch from Sydney, Ringholt was joined by 48 nude-yet-nonplussed patrons–32 men and 16 women.
London’s Hayward Gallery staged an exhibition in June of “invisible art”–pieces that depend almost completely on the imaginations of viewers. For example, “1000 Hours of Staring” by Tom Friedman is a blank piece of paper that Friedman eyeballed off and on over five years before deciding that the object was finished and display-ready. Friedman also “submitted” an empty section of floor space, which he said was once cursed by a witch. Also there: an Andy Warhol bare platform that looks like it should have something resting on it, but doesn’t, and, by Yoko Ono, a typed set of instructions urging patrons to imagine some stuff.
LEAST COMPETENT CRIMINALS
In June, Logan Schwab, 20, who used to work at the police department in Carlisle, Pa., was seen on surveillance video sneaking into an office at the station, prying open a desk, and taking away $200 to $300 in parking-ticket money. And in Panama City, Fla., in May, Michael Marquez, 34 (who had been arrested with another man after being caught fighting over suspected stolen goods), was seen snatching a clock off the wall of the room in which he was being interrogated. He had stuffed it into his backpack when an officer left the room briefly, but was recorded on surveillance video.
In the U.S., most preschoolers who parade down pageant runways with their mothers cheering them are five- and six-year-olds. Britain’s upcoming Miss Mini Princess U.K. will probably feature Eleanor June Rees-Sutherland, who has yet to reach her second birthday. Though Eleanor June’s father strongly disapproves, Mom Robyn told the London’s Daily Mail that Eleanor June is a born pageant contestant (“such a girly girl”) who loves to wear makeup and nail polish, especially bright colors, and already owns a wardrobe of 20 dresses and 15 pairs of shoes. Robyn seems assured that pedophiles pose no threat: “I don’t think there’s anything sexy about a child who’s dressed like a little princess.”