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Doritos-Flavored Mountain Dew? 5 Weirdest Corporate Food Concoctions Known to Humanity

February 25, 2015 in Blogs

By Sofia Barrett-Ibarria, AlterNet

Any unlikely flavor combination is fair game when it comes to the latest food gimmick.

Remember the ubiquitous bacon-on-everything movement? Bacon was sprinkled on everything from ice cream to chocolate to peanut butter. The bacon renaissance seems to have gone by the wayside, as arteries everywhere likely rejoice, and bacon’s bizarre moment in the sun is being replaced with some of the weirdest food combinations and trendiest synthetic creations that could become popular in the coming year. With the emergence of food products like sriracha-flavored beer, the reported testing of Dorito-flavored Mountain Dew and the cannabis-infused coffee now available in Washington state, it appears that any unlikely flavor combination is fair game when it comes to the latest food gimmick.

Here are some of the weirdest foods being made right now.

1. Doritos-flavored Mountain Dew

According to Time, rumors of a new Dorito-flavored Mountain Dew began on Reddit last November when a user posted a photo of a “Dewitos” tasting table captioned, “It actually tastes like Doritos.” Turns out, Dewitos aren’t simply the stuff of gamers’ dreams. PepsiCo has since confirmed previous reports it's been testing the new flavor on college students at Ohio and Kansas State Universities, among others. Though there’s reportedly no word on when, or if, the new flavor will arrive in stores, a Mountain Dew spokesperson told Time, “We are always testing out new flavors of Mountain Dew, and giving our fans a voice in helping decide on the next new product has always been important to us. We opened up the Dew flavor vault and gave students a chance to try this Doritos-inspired flavor as part of a small program at colleges and universities.”

A Reddit user also wrote that Mountain Dew was testing lemon ginger, mango habanero, and rainbow sherbet flavors as well. “It honestly wasn’t that disgusting,” joes_nipples wrote of what Time calls “the first sign of the impending apocalypse,” “It tasted like orange with a Doritos aftertaste[...]Weirdest thing I’ve ever drunken.”

Definitive sign of the endtimes? Maybe not. However, as the Atlantic’s Svtai Kirtsen Narula writes, the new flavor is certainly a new frontier …read more


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The City that Privatized Itself to Death

February 25, 2015 in Blogs

By Ian Martin, The Guardian

Bit by bit, London has been handed over to pinstriped investors ‘reeking of lunch.'

I wonder what in 100 years from now it will be, London. The city that privatised itself to death. Abandoned to nature, maybe, the whole place a massive, feral version of that mimsy garden bridge over the Thames currently being planned by the giggling classes. Poor London, the ancient and forgotten metropolis, crumbling slowly into an enchanted urban forest.

Imagine. In 2115, all the lab-conjured animals in Regent’s Park Jurassic Zoo are free to roam, reliving their evolution. A diplodocus there, grazing in the jungled Mall. Look, a stegosaurus asleep in the ruins of Buckingham Palace. High above the forest canopy, a lone archaeopteryx soars, where once hundreds of drones glided through YouTubed firework displays.

Perhaps eminent historians will study London in the early 21st century, see how its poorer inhabitants were driven out, observe how its built environment was slowly boiled to death by privatisation. And they will wonder why people tolerated this transfer of collective wealth from taxpayers to shareholders. And they will perhaps turn their attention to Eduardo Paolozzi’s fabled mosaics at Tottenham Court Road underground station.

Back in 2015, a debate has bubbled briefly, after some of these lovely, publicly owned mosaic murals were quietly dismantled as part of the station’s thorough £400m Crossrail seeing-to. I say “debate”; it was really only that polarised quackbait thing we have now: Click If You Think The Mosaics Are Great, We Should Save What’s Left Of Them v Smash Them Up They’re Ugly, Anyway Who Cares It’s Just Patterns On A Wall.

Arguments about the aesthetics of Paolozzi’s mosaics missed the point, it seemed to me, which has less to do with the merit of the art itself and more to do with what, in the long run, it turned out the art was for. Paolozzi’s legacy had stood intact for three decades. Not just as 1,000 sq m of charming, optimistic art, but as 1,000 sq m of commercial retardant.

You can’t paste an ad on to …read more


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Laser Vibrators? Here's What Was in Those $168,000 Swag Bags at the Oscars

February 25, 2015 in Blogs

By Zaid Jilani, AlterNet

And the rich just keep getting richer.

The Oscars were this past weekend, with big wins for actors Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed Stephen Hawking, and the Alejandro Iñárritu film “Birdman.” But don't feel too bad for those nominees who didn't win; they were still sent home with pricey consolation prizes: goodie bags valued at around $168,000.

Here are some of the items contained within, as reported by USA Today:

To call some of contents of this year's gift bag wacky — if not racy — might be an understatement. Among them:

• Laser vibrator. The Afterglow Pulsewave Vibrator bills itself as the world's only adult toy that utilizes a low-level laser to enhance arousal. Value: $250

• Orgasm booster. “The Couple's Love Shot,” as it's called, is available to each of two “lovers” who can receive orgasm boosters including the O-Shot (Orgasm Shot), created by the same doctor who invented the Vampire Facelift to reduce wrinkles. Value: $5,000

• Pricey condoms. Naked Luxury Condoms, dubbed “the world's only luxury condom” and “the most pleasurable condom in the world.” Value: $56 for two 6-packs.

• Holiday in Tuscany. With the Italian Luxury Hotel Package, nominees will receive three complimentary nights in a suite at the five-star Grand Hotel Tremezzo. Value: $11,500.

• Chi-Chi car rental. A year's worth of Silvercar rentals, the all-Audi airport car rental service that promises no lines, free GPS, free Sirius radio and free Wi-Fi every time. Value: $20,000

• Whiz-bang bicycle. Martone Cycling, known for its fashion and design-driven bikes, will hand out certificates for free designer bikes with automatic transmission and its signature red bike chains. Value: $1,200

The Academy has been taking heat for being out of touch with everyday Americans. The pricey swag bags may just be the tip of that iceberg.

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Hillary the Stealth Candidate

February 25, 2015 in Economics

By Michael D. Tanner

Michael D. Tanner

While much of the media has been obsessed with tracking down Republican positions on such crucial issues as evolution and President Obama’s religion, one searches in vain for hints of Hillary Clinton’s position on … pretty much anything. That is not to say that potential Republican candidates haven’t botched what should have been easy, commonsense answers, but shouldn’t there be at least a little bit of curiosity about where the all-but-inevitable Democratic nominee stands on actual issues that will affect the future of this country?

It is early, of course, and Republicans themselves have not yet laid out detailed positions on most issues. It’s no surprise, therefore, that Hillary has not yet put together a specific platform for her campaign. Still, there are enough hints out there to discern a flavor of what she will offer. 

Clinton has flirted with Elizabeth Warren–style populism, even declaring, “Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs.” But populism is not an easy fit for the crony-capitalist Clintons, so she appears to be settling into something called “inclusive capitalism.” This idea, developed by the Center for American Progress, and championed by many of Hillary’s top economic advisers, is less overtly hostile to the rich. Instead, it calls for corporations to put less emphasis on short-term profits and shareholder value and instead to invest more in employees, the environment, and communities.

Shouldn’t there be at least a little bit of curiosity about where the all-but-inevitable Democratic nominee stands on actual issues that will affect the future of this country?”

That should not be interpreted to suggest that Clinton would be business friendly. Companies would be required to provide paid parental leave, universal paid sick days, and more paid vacation days; this on top of the inevitable demand for a higher minimum wage. Businesses would also be pressured to add labor representatives to their boards. 

On other issues, Hillary has been in full stealth mode. She has given rhetorical support to the need to reduce the deficit, calling it a national-security issue. But she has offered few ideas for how to reduce spending, though she has hinted at a willingness to include entitlement reform in a “grand bargain” to reduce the debt. In 2013, she told an audience at Colgate University: “What has worked is a compromise where yes, we raise revenues for a certain period, we go and look at entitlements to see what …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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WATCH: Jon Stewart Says, Of Course, O'Reilly's Stories Are 'Seasoned with Bullsh*t', But Lying Is Fox's Brand

February 25, 2015 in Blogs

By Janet Allon, AlterNet

Late night host suggests we should reserve our greatest outrage for people who lie to get us into wars.

World outrage supplies are low, Jon Stewart suggested on his show last night. Perhaps we should stop wasting them. The late night host expressed some surprise that suddenly everyone is taken aback about the likelihood that Bill O'Reilly exaggerated the hell out of his Falklands War experience, and supposed heroism. After all, O'Reilly does sort of lie and exaggerate for a living. Take for instance when he opens his show warning people they are in the “No Spin Zone”, and proceeds to have some “jackass” climate change denier walk around Boston pointing at snow. “Misrepresenting the zone he is in is O'Reilly's hook,” Stewart said. And on going after Fox about lying, he added:  ”You're spending all this effort proving the emperor has no clothes when the emperor has spent the last 20 years going around saying, 'look at my dick, I'm naked.'”

Network anchors self-aggrandize, Stewart acknowledged. Maybe we should move on to the really dangerous lies that drag us into wars we should not be fighting. He then moved on to the revelations that Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu has been systematically exaggerating and lying about Iran's nuclear program. And this is a lie that is designed to deliberately get us into war, reminiscent of the fictional WMDs in Iraq. Stewart's perspective:  “It seems to me, you know, we might all be just a little better off if the exaggerations about covering a war get less attention than the exaggerations that got us into so many of them.”



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Stop Trolling Erica Garner and Other Black People Over Al Sharpton—We Know Who the Real Enemies Are

February 25, 2015 in Blogs

By Terrell Jermaine Starr, AlterNet

Right-wing group's gotcha journalism exposed.

A right-wing group secretly captured Eric Garner’s daughter and others on a heavily edited undercover video suggesting that Rev. Al Sharpton’s activism is motivated primarily by money.

In the video, an offscreen interviewer asks Garner's daughter Erica Snipes, “You think Al Sharpton is kind of like a crook in a sense?,” to which Snipes replies, “He is all about this,” rubbing her fingers together to symbolize money.

Project Veritas, which dubs itself as “Investigative Film Journalists,” asks Snipes and other family members and supporters of slain black people whom Sharpton’s National Action Network has supported questions about the Harlem-based activist’s sincerity.

During the near eight-minute video, Snipes also criticizes the head of the National Action Network’s Staten Island Branch, Cynthia Davis, for allegedly chastising Snipes for  using flyers during an Eric Garner protest that did not bear the organization’s name.

“Al Sharpton paid for the funeral,” Snipes is seen saying in the video. “She’s trying to make me feel like I owe them,” she says, referring to Davis.

Tracy Martin, father of slain teen Trayvon Martin, is captured on the video saying that Sharpton is “on his own personal mission.” No context for that comment is provided, not even the question posed to him.

What is troubling about this “investigation” is that Project Veritas did Snipes and others on the film far more harm than good. For one, the grumblings that Sharpton is a “shakedown artist” are nothing new and have been heard for years. Also, the “investigation” proved nothing. There was no smoking gun that directs the viewer to any fraudulent behavior by Sharpton or his associates.  

“It’s is very interesting that they, when they reached the people in the video, the people contradicted what was in the video,” Sharpton told CBS News referring to the New York Post’s story on the video. “My response is it’s a headline of a story that they contradict in their own article.”

“Not only do I think the video was taken out of context, there is nobody in that video that said …read more