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Frivolity

The New York Times recently saw fit to inform its readers of the following news:

For a brief moment on Tuesday, Cal Marshall was the most famous teenager in politics.

Cal, 17, is the son of Roger Marshall, who that day had been sworn into Congress as the Republican representative from the First District of Kansas. Their family was standing for a photo with House Speaker Paul D. Ryan — the sort of photo that hangs on the halls of Congress and is sent out for Christmas cards come fund-raising time — when Cal, being a teenager, sensed an opportunity. ...

Rest your head in the crook of your arm. Put the other arm out to your side. Pause. Ok, you’ve dabbed. Fun, right?

(“Dabbing” is not to be confused with, uh, “dabbing,” the practice of consuming marijuana extract in search of a stronger high. The two are not related.)

“Are you all right?” Mr. Ryan asked Cal, who was technically doing a half-dab, while one of his arms was occupied holding the Bible. He nodded to the speaker of the House, and said yes. Mr. Marshall, oblivious, continued to pose for the photographer.

- ERIN McCANN, Yes, a Teenager Dabbed in Front of Paul Ryan, NYT, JAN. 4, 2017 (on p. A13 of the Jan. 5 printed National Edition)



Starbucks began selling “unicorn Frappuccinos” on Wednesday, a colorful kaleidoscope of a drink, breathing new life into a food trend that had been willed into existence by a torrent of carefully composed pictures shared on Instagram and other social media sites.
For the unaware: “Unicorn food” is any food item jazzed up with dye or cute accessories like fruit cut into little shapes or mountains of pastel marshmallows. The highly committed may add a horn, ears and a mane made of sculpted sugar.
This might happen to a cupcake, a piece of toast or a cup of coffee. It has been going on for roughly a year on both social media and in a handful of hip cafes.
- LIAM STACK, ‘Unicorn Food’ Is Colorful, Sparkly and Everywhere, NYT, APRIL 19, 2017


“Pick a good stem,” says Al Gliniecki, who currently holds three Guinness World Records for most cherry stems knotted using the tongue: 14 in one minute, 39 in three minutes and 911 in one hour. ...
Take the stem and lay it lengthwise down the center of your tongue. Close your lips. Bend your tongue upward, pinning it against the roof of your mouth. This movement will fold the stem in half and leave the two ends crossed and facing forward. Choose stalks with bulbous tips, so your tongue can more easily locate an end and push it through the loop.
- MALIA WOLLAN, How to Knot a Cherry Stem With Your Tongue, NYT, JUNE 23, 2017


Growing up in Europe and the Middle East, my introduction to American food culture was through the Oreo, and I loved the cookie instantly and fiercely — from the crinkling sound of the plastic packaging; to the frosting, sweeter than anything I’d ever tasted; to the impossibly dark, intricately embossed biscuits, which tasted only vaguely of chocolate.
I still consider the classic Oreo to be a sandwich cookie of perfect proportion and sweetness....
- TEJAL RAO, Fireworks Oreos? A Reporter Digests, NYT, JULY 3, 2017


The diner-style burger is a traditional, griddled patty smashed thin and cooked crisp on its edges. It can be cooked only on a flat surface, like a cast-iron pan. ...
The diner hamburger weighs around 3 to 4 ounces before cooking, or roughly an ice-cream-scoop's worth of meat. Two pounds of beef will yield eight patties, enough for four to eight servings, depending on whether you choose to serve two patties on a single bun. (That's not an outrageous option.)
Don't form the patties before cooking. Instead, leave the ground beef in a pile in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Then, gently divide it into eight small piles of weighing [sic] about 4 ounces each, and, with even more care, shape the piles into roughly 2-inch-tall orbs. Add oil or butter to a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet and place over medium heat.
- Sam Sifton, How to Make a Diner-Style Hamburger, NYT, National Edition, July 4, 2017 (print version, p. 3, under the heading "Here to Help")
This Times item appears to be plagiarized from the following 2016 blog posting:


Diner Style
This is the traditional, griddled hamburger of diners and takeaway spots, smashed thin and cooked crisp on its edges. This style of burger can only be cooked on a flat surface, like a cast-iron pan; do not attempt it on the grill.
The diner hamburger weighs around 3 to 4 ounces precooked, roughly an ice-cream-scoop’s worth of meat. Two pounds of beef will yield eight patties, enough for four to eight servings, depending on whether you choose to serve two patties on a single bun (not an outrageous option).
Do not form the patties before cooking. Instead, leave the ground meat in a pile in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook. Then gently divide the ground beef into 8 small piles of around 4 ounces each, and even more gently gather them together into orbs that are about 2 inches in height. Add oil or butter to a large cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet and place over medium heat.
When you’re ready to transfer the meat to the pan, turn the heat to high. Put half the orbs into the skillet with plenty of distance between them. Quickly, using a stiff metal spatula, press down on each burger, smashing it to form a thin patty that is around 4 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook without moving until patties have achieved a deep, burnished crust, roughly 90 seconds later. Slide your spatula under the patty, flip it over, add cheese if you’re using it, and cook the hamburger through, approximately a minute or so longer. Remove them to buns, and repeat with remaining burgers.
- Syarinda Putri Rizqita, It's your last meal on earth what do you choose?, Saturday, December 17, 2016


However, it is likely Rizqita took the ice-cream-scoop comparison (and more) from Sam Sifton's June 23, 2014 article Deconstructing the Perfect Burger, which included the statement:
The diner hamburger has a precooked weight of 3 to 4 ounces, roughly an ice-cream-scoop’s worth of meat.

Or it may have been obtained from Sifton indirectly, copied from a March 14, 2016 Facebook posting by "Ballistic BBQ":
The diner hamburger weighs around 3 to 4 ounces precooked, roughly an ice-cream-scoop’s worth of meat.



When the remains of the Surrealist painter Salvador Dalí were exhumed in Spain on Thursday night, forensics experts made a startling discovery: The artist’s trademark mustache was still intact.

“The mustache kept its classic 10-past-10 position,” Lluís Peñuelas, the secretary general of the foundation that oversees Dalí’s estate, told reporters on Friday, referring to the artist’s waxed and gravity-defying bristles, which Dalí kept pointed upward, like the hands of a clock. “Finding this out was a very emotional moment.”

Narcís Bardalet, who had embalmed Dalí’s body in 1989, told the Catalan radio station RAC1 that finding the mustache intact was “a miracle.”
- RAPHAEL MINDER, Mustache Intact, Salvador Dalí’s Remains Are Exhumed in Paternity Suit, NYT, JULY 21, 2017


To pose alongside the almost 200 Japanese sweets we photographed for T’s Fall Women’s Issue, our photo director, Nadia Vellam, cast five fabulous … felines. ...
Her full name is Ma Cherie Laureen Cherie (her mother is Daenerys Laureen Cherie) and she is engaged to Grand Champion Paddington, who is also a blue British shorthair. One day, they will have beautiful little blue babies together. Cherie is very affectionate and loves ice cream. ...
Named after the song “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells, Crystal has appeared in commercials and music videos. She once was on the Katie Couric show....
- ALAINNA LEXIE BEDDIE, Meet the Cats: The sweet story of Cherie, Crystal, Sabrina, Tyrone and one foster kitten — who modeled Japanese sweets for T, NYT, AUG. 14, 2017



From the front page of the New York Times:

Let’s just get this out of the way: There are other matters of consequence going on in the world.

But in these fractious times, a series of puppy photos sent by none other than the fun-loving scamps at the Central Intelligence Agency qualifies as a feel-good, stick-it-to-the-man moment, shared by thousands of people who are marooned in office jobs. Meet Lulu, the black Labrador retriever and free spirit who bucked expectations and flunked out of the C.I.A.’s explosive detection “puppy class.”
- KATIE ROGERS, Bomb School Wasn’t for Lulu, but the C.I.A. Wishes Her the Best, OCT. 19, 2017


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