0 Spontaneous Sinkhole Swallows Intersection in Guatemala

Guatemala, sinkhole, Zone 2, Tropical Storm Agatha
[Photo credit: Gobierno de Guatemala via Flickr]
The photo above isn't a scene from a sci-fi movie or an image created in Photoshop; Mother Nature, specifically Tropical Storm Agatha, is responsible for this amazing image. On Sunday, a massive sinkhole spontaneously opened up, swallowing an intersection in Zone 2 of Guatemala City, Guatemala. No word yet on how deep the crater goes, but rumor has it that other sinkholes may soon form in the area. [via CNN]

0 It's a Bundt Cake! Bundt? Yes, Bundt!

strawberry, cocounut, butter cream frosting, bundt cake
Yellow bundt-shaped cake, covered in light pink buttercream frosting, coated in toasted coconut and decorated with strawberries—YUM! [Photo credit: ©Jennifer Tashman/JennysNoodle.blogspot.com]
Jenny's Noodle hopes everyone is having a relaxing Memorial Day Weekend! I spent the morning baking for our family barbecue/dad's birthday and the result is pictured above...love my new KitchenAid mixer!

0 A Tailor-Made Portrait of Vincent Van Gogh

Onward Kashiyama Co., Vincent van Gogh, polo shirts
[Photo credit: Itsuo Inouye/AP via SFGate]
Look closely at the photo above. As part of their new ad campaign, Tokyo-based apparel maker Onward Kashiyama Co. laid out 2,070 polo shirts in 24 different colors to create a huge reproduction of a Vincent van Gogh painting. The mosaic measured 33' x 33' and was based on the Dutch master painter's 1889 self-portrait. Sew neat!

Here's how the portrait was made...

0 Operation Dessert Brownie

brownie recipe, Pentagon
[Photo credit: theworldrecipebook.com]
A highly-classified 26-page government document has been leaked over the internet: MIL-C-44072C, the Pentagon's recipe for brownies. The Pentagon has some pretty specific criteria for its baked goods and their ingredients, such as: "Whole eggs may be liquid or frozen and shall have been processed and labeled in accordance with the Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs and Egg Products (7 CFR Part 59)." Reportedly, those who have dared accept the mission to bake a batch describe the results as "dry, crumbly and dense." Not exactly crave-worthy, but these brownies need to hold up in the worst of conditions. A Department of Defense worker explained: "What would happen if you cooked a meal, stored it in a stifling hot warehouse, dropped it out of an airplane, dragged it through the mud, left it out with bugs and vermin, and ate it three years later?" Take that, Twinkies. [via NPR]

0 Celeb Gossip: RIP Gary Coleman, Not Tom Cruise; Alicia Keys Preggers; Speidi Splits; 50 Cent's Slim-Down

Gary Coleman, Arnlod Jackson, Diff'rent Strokes
Gary Coleman (Feb. 8, 1968 – May 28, 2010).
[Photo credit: ScrapeTV.com]
— What'choo talkin' 'bout Willis? Yes, it's sad but true...actor Gary Coleman (aka Arnold Jackson in Diff'rent Strokes, not to be confused with Emmanuel Lewis aka Webster) died today from a brain hemorrhage. He was 42. [via People]

— You know who's not dead? Tom Cruise! Silly internet. [via Associated Content]

— Singer Alicia Keys confirmed that she's pregnant. Oh, and she also confirmed her engagement to baby daddy/record producer/DJ/rapper Swizz Beatz. Wonder what the kid's last name will be...Harmony? Tune? Clef? Get it? [via MTV]

— Like OMG you guys! Speidi is donzo! Heidi Montag's rep confirmed: "Heidi is looking to move out due to all the fake bad press that Spencer [Pratt] controls. She's tired of it and is looking for a place and wants to focus on her acting career." [via TMZ]

— Rapper turned actor 50 Cent lost nearly 60 pounds for his new movie role as a man diagnosed with cancer. He's now changing his name to nickel...Kidding. [via NY Daily News]

0 Adventurer Crosses English Channel in Helium Balloon Chair

Jonathan Trappe, helium balloon chair, English Channel
Jonathan Trappe takes off in a cluster balloon chair, reminiscent of Pixar's animated comedy adventure movie Up.
English Channel
Called la Manche, or "the sleeve" in French, the English Channel is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean separating Great Britain from northern France. On Friday, 36-year-old Jonathan Trappe from Raleigh, North Carolina, became the first person to float across the 22-mile Channel using helium balloons—54 of them to be exact.

"Didn't you have this dream, grabbing on to a bunch of toy balloons and floating off? I think it's something that's shared across cultures and across borders — just this wonderful fantasy of grabbing on to toy balloons and floating into open space," Trappe told Sky News.

0 Seamen, Twelve O'Clock: Fleet Week 2010 in NYC

Fleet Week 2010, New York, Statue of Liberty, Memorial Day
Sailors aboard the USS James E. Williams pass by the Statue of Liberty as it travels in New York Harbor May 26, 2010 in New York City. [Photo credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images]
FLEET WEEK 2010, May 26-June 1
Since 1984, New York City has held Fleet Week to honor the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Throughout the week, the public is given an opportunity to tour the Navy, Army and Coast Guard ships as they visit New York Harbor. The annual Memorial Day ceremony will include the unfurling of a 100-foot American flag and features the singing of Taps and a military aircraft fly-over to honor those who have lost their lives in service to the United States.

Since the movie coincidentally premiers this week, I can't help but be reminded of that funny Fleet Week scene from SATC:

Samantha: Ladies, seamen, twelve o'clock!
Miranda: [to Carrie] I pray when I turn around, there are sailors, because with her, you never know!

For a full schedule of Fleet Week 2010 events, visit the Intrepid Museum website

0 Elegance is Learned, My Friends

Here it is at last, my friends. The Real Housewives of New York City star Countess LuAnn De Lesseps in her very own music video—"Money Can't Buy You Class" (but obvs it can buy you hair extensions and airbrushing). [via People]

0 1000 Awesome Things

[Photo credit: Wikipedia]
In my capacity as a professional blogger (is that even a real job title? well, it is now), I've visited hundreds, probably thousands, of blogs. Today I stumbled upon a delightfully humorous blog called 1000 Awesome Things. The site is simple, yet brilliant, as stated in the description for its sister publication, The Book of Awesome.

1000 Awesome Things was launched on June 20, 2008, by Neil Pasricha. Each day, Pasricha posts a new awesome thing as a reminder to appreciate the simple things in life. I spent a good part of the afternoon reading through the various entries and picked out some of my favorites...

• #996 Opening and sniffing a pack of tennis balls
• #933 The first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter
• #918 When you’re really tired and about to fall asleep and someone throws a blanket on you
• #905 Using all the different shampoos and soaps in someone else’s shower
• #822 When there’s still time left in the parking meter when you pull up
• #810 Returning to your warm and comfy bed after getting up to pee in the middle of the night
• #762 The moment at a restaurant after you see your food coming from the kitchen and before it lands on your table
• #720 The final seconds of untangling a really big knot
• #692 Eating the crusts of the sandwich first to save the middle part for last
• #656 When the plane suddenly speeds up on the runway
• #639 Carrying all the groceries in from the car in one big trip
• #612 Finally farting after the guests leave
• #547 Finding treasures in your Spring jacket pocket
• #513 Peeling that sticky glue off the back of your new credit card
• #508 Dropping your cell phone on the sidewalk and then realizing it’s totally fine

[via Neatorama]

0 Versailles Ain't Just in Paris Anymore

Versailles, David Siegel, mansion
Artist's rendering of "Versailles"—the largest family home in America. [Photo credit: LakeButlerMansion.com]
Time-share mogul David Siegel and his wife/former Miss America, Jacqueline, have listed their 90,000-square-foot house palace for sale. Although the mansion is still a work in progress, it's already on the market for $75 million. Nicknamed Versailles (à la Louis XIV), the "largest family home in America" has 13 bedrooms, 23 bathrooms, a 20 car garage, 11 kitchens, 3 pools, a two-lane bowling alley, a roller rink, an arcade, a children's theater and sits on 1.4 miles of lakeshore. The property is located in a community called Windermere, near Orlando, Florida. If there aren't any interested buyers, they could always hire a Prince Charming and voilà!—it's the newest Walt Disney World attraction. [via DailyMail]

0 Random aMusings: Lookin' Like a Fool, Slick Tweets and a Lucky Chance

Lee Dewyze, American Idol, season 9
Lee Dewyze—season 9 winner of American Idol. [Photo courtesy: USWeekly]
— After the nationwide vote, the winner of American Idol 2010 is...Lee Dewyze! In my opinion, both finalists are pretty equal in talent. I think I gave the edge to Bowersox just because I like saying her name.

— It was Simon Cowell's last show and eight seven previous winners returned for a tribute performance. Season 7 winner David Cook (and Season 8 runner-up Adam Lambert) were here. Paula Abdul made a special appearance, as did newly-crowned Apprentice Bret Michaels, among others. I was sort of bored by it all, until the Pants on the Ground number—now that was entertaining.

— Have you heard? Ellen DeGeneres announced today that she's starting her own recording label called eleveneleven. I'm curious as to what the name means, but so far I've been unable to confirm. Ellen has signed 12-year-old Greyson Chance as her first new recording artist. Watch out Bieber.

— Speaking of winners—in case you've been pinned under a fallen disco ball in the middle of the jungle for the past 24 hours, Nicole Sherzinger won DWTS last night. Honestly, is anyone surprised?

— Attention ladies: this milkshake will bring all the boys to the yard...to point and laugh at your jiggling belly.

— After only a week, @BPGlobalPR already has 50,000+ followers on Twitter. Only problem is, the profile isn't actually being managed by anyone affiliated with British Petroleum. And that's why it's funny. Here are a few of their slickest quips:
  • "The ocean looks just a bit slimmer today. Dressing it in black really did the trick! #bpcares"
  • "You know what they say about the ocean... Once it goes black it never goes back! JOKING - the water is brown."
  • "Proud to announce that BP will be sponsoring the New Orleans Blues Festival this summer w/ special tribute to Muddy Waters."

0 An Uplifting Tribute to the Bra

The bra turned 100 years old today, and The Today Show really showed their "support" of the milestone. Bra-vo!


0 Farewell 'Law & Order'

Law and Order, season 20 cast
The twentieth season cast of Law & Order. [Photo credit: NewsOK]
<—— Click to play the Law & Order theme
"In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories." Doink, Doink
After 20 years and 456 episodes, the series finale of Law & Order aired on Monday night. For me, the show was never the same after Detective Lennie Briscoe "retired." But I still watched every episode subsequent and enjoyed the finale as well. It's comforting to know that the Lieu is going to be okay and I was pleased that Jack got to have one last blow-up at opposing counsel. Of all the press coverage I've read recently, this op-ed piece written by a former L&O guest actress was particularly memorable.

The new spin-off series Law & Order: Los Angeles begins in the fall. Until then, there are always the re-runs on TNT.

0 Eat This, Get Fat: Xtreme Eating Awards 2010

The Cheesecake Factory, Bob Evans, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Xtreme Eating Awards
How about some pasta with that cream sauce?
[Photo credit: CPK]
Nine items from seven American restaurant chains are the big winners of the Xtreme Eating Awards 2010.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, which advocates for nutrition and health, has released its annual list of the most high-carb, high-fat, high-calorie menu items you can order.

In case you're in denial, or on your way out to dinner, you may want to take a quick gander at the results.

And the diet-busters are...

- The Cheesecake Factory’s Pasta Carbonara

- The Cheesecake Factory’s Chocolate Tower Truffle Cake

- PF Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles Combo

- Outback Steakhouse’s New Zealand Rack of Lamb

- Chevys’ Crab & Shrimp Quesadilla

- California Pizza Kitchen’s Tostada Pizza

- California Pizza Kitchen’s Pesto Cream Penne

- Bob Evans’ Cinnamon Cream Stacked & Stuffed Hotcakes

- Five Guys Bacon Cheeseburger

The Cheesecake Factory is one of my favorite restaurants; maybe it's a good thing that it hasn't made it to Michigan.

0 A Giant Ship Docks in Trafalgar Square

Yinka Shonibare, Admiral Horatio Nelson, HMS Victory, Trafalgar Square, Fourth Plinth
[Photo credit: Dan Kittwood/Getty Images via Luxist]
I sort of love when objects are scaled contrary to norm. On Monday, Nigerian contemporary artist Yinka Shonibare revealed his giant model of Admiral Horatio Nelson's flagship, the HMS Victory. The 15' x 9' ship in a bottle temporarily occupies the Fourth Plinth, a public space in London's Trafalgar Square used to display commissioned artworks.

0 Creative Uses for Google Maps, from A to Z

News of Rhett Dashwood's Google Maps project initially went viral some time ago, but it was only just yesterday thatI learned of his innovative endeavor. Dashwood, a creative director, spent six months (October 2008-April 2009) using Google Maps to discover land formations or buildings resembling the 26 letters of the alphabet. All images were found within Australia's southern province of Victoria. For those who haven't seen it before—pretty neat, huh?
[via Huffington Post]

Rhett Dashwood, Google Maps, alphabet
[Photo credit: RhettDashwood.com]

0 Who Would Want to Live Here?

Amityville Horror house
108 (formerly 112) Ocean Avenue—aka the Amityville Horror house—is up for sale. [Photo credit: Newsday.com]
This lovely 5 bedroom, 3 1/2 bath, Dutch Colonial with central A/C and a finished basement has gone on the market for $1.15 million. The house is in a quaint suburban neighborhood located on the south shore of Long Island, New York.


Before you make a bid, you might care to know a little about the history of this charming home. In 1974, the owner's son Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered six family members as they slept. For 28 days subsequent, new owners George and Kathleen Lutz were terrorized by supernatural happenings (or so legend says). Yes, this is the Amityville Horror house.

Still interested?


[via Newsday]

0 'The Simpsons' Spoils 'Lost' Series Finale

Bart Simpson, Lost finale
Spoiler alert: Bart Simpson reveals the plot of Sunday evening's Lost series finale. [Image courtesy: NYTimes.com]
I've seen very few episodes of The Simpsons and none of Lost. But this is pretty funny.

0 Six Degrees of Reality TV and I Watch Most of Them

Confession 1: I never really realized admitted how much Reality TV I watch until I stumbled upon this graphic and it was all put into perspective.

Confession 2: I found this flowchart while watching Sunday morning re-runs of Jerseylicious. I obviously need to get out more...if I lived in NJ I could schedule an appointment for smokey eyes at the Gatsby.

(click image to view larger)

Reality Television, flowchart, six degrees
[Image courtesy: MasBurritos.blogspot.com via Buzzfeed.com]

0 Creepy or Cute? Olympic Mascots Unveiled for London 2012

2010 Olympic games, London, mascot, Mandeville, Wenlock
Creepy or cute? Wenlock (L) and Mandeville (R) are the 2012 Olympic mascots. [Photo courtesy: Associated Press]
The 2012 Olympic mascot Wenlock, and Paralympic mascot Mandeville were unveiled London this week. Named after towns in England, each of the pair was said to have been created from two drops of steel from the Olympic Stadium. The one-eyed creatures even have their own website, and individual Twitter (@iamwenlock & @iammandeville) and Facebook pages—of course.

0 Mama Mia! Hundred-Layer Lasagne

I have a compulsive tendency to deconstruct and eat things layer by layer, hmmm... [Photo Credit: NYMag.com]
Hundred-Layer Lasagne:
"50 practically transparent sheets of handmade pasta, alternating with 50 layers of sauce (Bolognese, besciamella, and marinara). Each 80-portion pan has to go into the oven by 1:30 P.M. every day. Otherwise, it doesn’t have enough time to cool and coalesce by dinner and completely collapses when you try to slice it. It takes three kitchen stations and many hands to put it together. Skewers hold it in place while it sets. You need a special spatula to serve it."
New York Magazine
This genius plate of deliciousity was created by executive chef Mark Ladner of Del Posto restaurant in New York City (where Molto Mario is a partner).

I think I've died and gone to heaven. Me, and Garfield.

0 Double Down Not Out of KFC, Yet

KFC, Double Down
Fried chicken instead of a carb-filled bun—so much healthier!
[Photo credit: KFC.com]
Since debuting on April 12, KFC's Double Down has contributed to clogging the arteries of an estimated 10 million Americans. The Original Recipe sandwich fat-wich weighs in at a whopping 540 calories, 32 grams of fat and 1,380 mg of sodium.

What it is: two finger lickin' good fried chicken filets act as the bun for two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and Pepper Jack cheeses, all covered in special sauce.

"Our plans were to feature the product only through May 23, but millions of Double Down fans have spoken and we won't disappoint them. You'll continue to be able to get the Double Down at KFC this summer," said one of the Colonel's officers.

Mmm...just what we all need before bathing suit season.

2 Ten Fun Facts About Pac-Man on His 30th Anniversary

Pac-Man, Google Doodle
Pac-Man was first released in Japan on May 22, 1980.
[Image courtesy: Google]
Chomp, chomp! Pac-Man, the most successful coin-operated video game in history, turns 30 this week. On May 22, 1980, the Japanese gamemaker Namco installed the first Pac-Man machine in a movie theater in Tokyo.

If you've visited Google today (someone hasn't?), then you've probably seen one of their cutest Doodles yet—the interactive Pac-Man game.

All of us children of the 80s have played the game, but here are 10 interesting facts about Pac-Man that you may not know:

1. Game designer Toru Iwatani created Pac-Man with the ladies in mind. Historically, most video games were aggressive and targeted toward men, so Iwatani planned Pac-Man around the concept of "Let's have girls in game arcades."

2. The name Pac-Man comes from the onomatopoeic eating sound paku-paku often heard in Asian cartoons ("paku" is the Japanese sound for "chomp").

3. Originally, the Japanese game was called "Puck-man," but American arcade owners were concerned that vandals would chip off part of the "P" to create an "F" (forming a common expletive).

4. Pac-Man's shape emerged after Iwatani removed one slice from a pizza. (Side note: I mostly recall playing Pac-Man at Pizza Hut...no wonder!)

5. Illustrators made Pac-Man yellow because the color is perceived as neutral and peaceful.

6. In the initial version, instead of eating white dots, Pac-Man ate cookies; the ghosts—Pinky, Blinky, Inky and Clyde—were called monsters.

7. There are 244 dots in the maze, and Pac-Man must eat them all in order to proceed to the next round. The 240 small dots are worth ten points each, the four large, flashing dots are worth 50 points each, and each bonus item (cherry, strawberry, orange, apple, pineapple, Galaxian spaceship, bell, or key) is worth 100-5,000 points.

8. The game idea of eating power-pellets and powering up to defeat the evil ghosts was inspired by Popeye eating spinach to defeat Bluto. The business world has adopted a similar strategy, known as the Pac-Man defense; this occurs when a defending company protects against a hostile takeover by swallowing the larger company.

9. Pac-Man merch includes over 400 products: a cartoon, a breakfast cereal, a hit song, pasta, lunchboxes, bedspreads and apparel, among others.

10. In 1999, 33-year-old Billy Mitchell of Florida navigated through the game's 256 boards to become the first player to achieve a perfect Pac-Man score—3,333,360.

Lost your joystick? No spare quarters? No prob! Google is offering its free PC-compatible version of Pac-Man for the next 48 hours...what's your high score?

0 Top Chef University Dishes Out Culinary Courses Online

Top Chef University
[Image courtesy: topchefuniversity.com]
Hey Foodies! Pack your knifes and go...to your own kitchen. Bravo has just whipped up its latest spin-off and it's not another reality show, it's "the web's most comprehensive, user-friendly culinary academy venture"—Top Chef University.

TCU professors are the show's former "Chef'testants" (including Spike, Carla and Marcel), whose curriculum was written by chef Anthony Hoy Fong and Top Chef judge and culinary expert Gail Simmons. Tuition is $25 for one course per month or $200 for the year. Considering channels like Food Network and other free tutorials available online, it will be interesting to see if Top Chef fans are hungry enough to pay for a TCU education (I'm thinking about it).

The internet-based university offers 200 lessons across 12 courses:

- Basics and Techniques
- Stocks, Soups, Sauces, Raw
- Cooking Techniques I: Sauté, Boil, Grill
- Cooking Techniques II: Roast, Braise, Fry, Confit
- Vegetables, Eggs, Dairy, Cheese
- Poultry/Pig
- Beef/Lamb/Offal (ew, how awful!)
- Fish, Seafood
- Pasta, Grains, Bread (can I en-roll in this course multiple times?)
- Desserts (and this one too?)
- Global Cuisine
- Entertaining, Molecular, Advanced Technique

TCU grads will receive Top Chef Certification—that is, if you can stomach some outrageous grocery bills and piles of dirty dishes in the process.

0 Hallelujah, American Idol!

American Idol, Season 9, Lee Dewyze
So yo dawg, check it out...

My favorite American Idol - Season 9 performance so far has to be Lee Dewyze singing Hallelujah. Gotta give him the standing o! He really worked it out!

Thank you to Simon Cowell for the wise song choice. We'll  miss you next year.

Congratulations to the Top 2: Crystal Bowersox and Lee! Looking forward to next week's finale!

0 Empire State of Mind

Sex and the City 2
Just one more week until Carrie and the girls are back for Sex and the City 2.

"I can't help but wonder"—will she choose Aiden over Big?
(I hope not!)

Carrie on...

Opens May 27, 2010 | Visit www.sexandthecitymovie.com

0 Shiny Cherry Red Things

Dell Inspiron 15, cherry red
The Dell Inspiron 15 in cherry red—the new headquarters for Jenny's Noodle
Jenny's Noodle is back!

After a short hiatus—primarily due to technological difficulties (and indecision when it comes to "major" purchases)—I have returned.

A few months of research and four or seven trips to Best Buy later, I finally took the plunge and bought a new laptop—the Dell Inspiron 15 in cherry red, to be exact. So far, so good!

(Oddly enough, in the last few weeks I also received the gift of a shiny cherry red KitchenAid mixer, another item I've been coveting for quite some time.)

I'm super excited to be be back...so let the blogging begin (again)!

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