Continuing the "overpriced stuff" theme that I began in a previous post, how much would you be willing to pay for this meal?
What you get -- Dinner at Masa, a sushi restaurant in NY City. From Wikipedia:
Reservations for the 26 available seats are taken three weeks in advance. Chef Masa prepares the menu himself, often including seasonal ingredients. He uses many exotic ingredients, such as truffles and Kobe beef; Most of the fish are flown in from Japan. Chef Masa can be seen working behind the bar and will sometimes serve the food as well.
There's no menu to order from. You get whatever you're served.
The cost: It's a fixed price of $400 per person, to which a 20% tip is automatically added. Then there's tax. So you're looking at a minimum of $513 per person. If you want anything to drink, be prepared to pay extra.
Via J-Walk, the receipt of a recent Masa diner, posted on Flickr. Seriously, if you're going to splurge by going there, why ruin the meal by getting a Diet Coke? Just ask for water.
In the video below magician Keith Barry gives a performance at the annual TED conference in Monterey. Speakers at the TED conference are usually leaders in their field, so I don't know how Barry got chosen. I would have thought someone like Ricky Jay would have been a much better choice if they wanted a top-quality magician. Barry tries to spin his tricks as "brain magic." Actually, they're just standard, run-of-the-mill tricks. Still, it's always fun to guess how a magician does his tricks. My hypotheses are below. (I cheated by reading the comment thread at the TED talk site, where many people already left their guesses.)
Note: if the embedded video isn't showing for you, you can see the video at the TED site.
The turning hand trick: At one point during the trick Barry releases his hands to point at someone in the audience. He rotates his arms before bringing his hands back together. Conveniently, the camera cuts away while he's doing this.
Driving a car blindfolded: I'm not sure. Possibly he memorized the route, or he's getting instructions from someone viewing through the camera behind him.
The voodoo experiment: He actually does touch the woman on her back early in the process of waving his hands around her, so it's no mystery when she says she's been touched there. He also moves his hands very close to her arm, so she probably did feel a tickling sensation there.
Synchronicity experiment: In some of the shots you can actually see Barry stepping on the guy's foot in order to indicate to the guy when he should raise or lower his arm. Very amateurish.
Shattered Coke bottle: There are commercially available "trick" bottles that will produce this effect. They're called Bologna Bottles. So it's physics, not magic.
Cup and Stick illusion: I don't know how the trick works, but you can buy this illusion off-the-shelf at many magic stores. And even though Barry claims that the audience member chose all the cups he was going to crush, that's not true. Barry chose the first cup. He only asked the audience member to confirm if his hand was over a cup.
and the Morning Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Wednesday
Does it really matter how Mark Rothko paintings are hung?
Since his stuff can usually bring 7 and 8 figures at auction, and consist of whole pieces like, oh, the dot, or the square, or the line, or the thicker line, or the even thicker line, or the double lines, we of the Open-mouth Head-shaking Art Appreciation Society can understand the reluctance of London's Tate Modern museum not to re-hang two now on display, despite contention from experts that the late artist intended them to hang a quarter-turn rotation from their current positions. But then, would that be a quarter turn clockwise, or a quarter turn counterclockwise? Or perhaps they should be hung backward, with the painting sides facing the wall? Deep! (Also, probably lucrative!) Daily Telegraph Comments 'rothko_paintings'
Your Daily Losers
Four young women were arrested in San Antonio, Tex., riding in a car with no license plate yet carrying a duffel bag full of marijuana. And then, it says here, the three in the back seat tried to run for it when the car was stopped, but couldn't figure out how to undo the child safety locks. KENS-TV (San Antonio) Comments 'marijuana_duffel'
People Whose Sex Lives Are Worse Than Yours
Stockholm's The Local reported that the Expressen newspaper infiltrated a "zoophile" group ("bestiality" is when the human has no regard for the animal's feelings) and has quotes from the ringleader, who said he was powerless in the presence of a bitch in heat and that, other times, when the dog indicated "Not tonight, honey," he backed off. And there's more. The Local Comments 'swedish_zoophiles'
Your Daily Jury Duty [no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only]
Kelly Ann McCaw, 29. Philadelphia Daily News[you'll have to click the link on the photo if you insist on knowing what she's charged with] Comments 'kelly_mccaw'
More Things to Worry About on Wednesday
Latest negative-cash-flow robbery: A 31-yr-old man, desperate for a drink, told police that he needed a hammer to be able to break a window at a state-operated liquor store and grab a bottle of something, so he bought a hammer for $11, broke the window, and swiped a $9 bottle of wine. KHQ-TV (Spokane) via MSNBC
Law enforcement computers are notoriously not interconnected from state to state, including on arrest records for DUI, as illustrated by this Associated Press report with the lead example being Mr. Robert Hood, who as you can plainly see from his mugshot, needed absolutely no DUI-computer-flagging at all (with the base-level question being whether multiple DUI's isn't the least of his worries). Associated Press via Fox News
He didn't write a vulgarism at all, so perhaps the crime (misspelling a common dirty word in graffiti) is something like "attempted indecency."Northwest Florida Daily News
They must not be much into religion in the Russian village of Komarovo, where a 200-yr-old Orthodox church building was stolen, brick by brick, and its icons taken, and a visiting clergyman just recently noticed it. Reuters
Update: The late superrich Nina Wang died last yr and was reported then [NOTW Daily, 4-21-2007] to have willed her whole fortune to her feng shui advisor, but her relatives have an earlier will that looks more normal, and besides, they think the master wangled his way into the will by promising her eternal life, kinda defeating the purpose of a will (and everybody'll hash it out in court in the spring). Reuters
Readers' Choice: (1) You'd think Kelli Thompson, 24, could find one sober relative in her Contacts list to come drive her 1-yr-old home when a cop stopped her for DUI, but first the kid's dad came to the rescue drunk, and then two grandparents came by to pick up the kid, but they were drunk, too. (2) It was her time to go: A Brazilian woman was killed escorting her dead husband's body to the cemetery when a car hit the hearse, knocking the casket into the back of her head. The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster) ///Associated Press via Yahoo
Sorry. No Afternoon post today. Busy. Today's Newsrangers: Steve Wettlaufer, Chris Douthitt, Stephen Taylor, and all the people who passed along the Readers' Choice stories
Comments on More Things to Worry About on Wednesday? Comments 'worry_081112'
and the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Tuesday
For some, apparently, the bleaker the economic forecast, the more willing they are to spend money for advice from online psychic—uh, make that online "practitioners of the divination arts." Wired.com
Washington state apparently does things differently, as you can see from this news story about a "dentist and oral surgeon" who was allowed to do breast reductions. (They caught him, but the punishment for sloppiness was a fine and some "extra training.") Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A city councilman in Jersey City, N.J., was arrested for peeing on people at a night club . . the aristocrat! New York Daily News
Ordinary ol' Larry Plooster got arrested earlier this yr in Fort Lupton, Colo., for chopping down what a professional arborist said were "weeds" (but which police said were valuable plants on a city golf course abutting his home), and four months and three court appearances later (and counting), the police are still committed. KCNC-TV (Denver)
An LSU football fan telephoned a neighbor who is an Alabama football fan after Alabama's win Saturday night, and since college football fans in the South are not known for their civility (but are known for being armed), one thing led to another, and the LSU booster and his wife are no longer with us, and the Alabama guy is in jail. Press-Register (Mobile)
Mr. Song Kim can cross "kill high school teacher who falsely accused me" off of his to-do list, where it's apparently been for the last 21 yrs. Korea Times
Professor Music's Weird Link o' the Day
For those who didn't quite get enough of yesterday's shoe collection (which, if you missed, go here and here), we have a couple more that "Barbara" didn't catch, from Japan.
Today's Newsrangers: Stephen Taylor, Perry Levin, Michael Foran, and lots of Holy Sepulchrer-noticers Comments on the Afternoon Edition of Chuck's News of the Weird Daily for Tuesday? Comments 'cycle_081111'
According to the Raffaele De Ritis blog, the performer in this video is Elvis Mokko from Mozambique: "He was a regular feature of european night-clubs in the 70s, then turning to theme park and events in Germany." This video shows a performance in Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, during the late 70s.
The question I have is how he ever dreamed up this performance in the first place. What inspires a person to find out if they can lift a chair in their mouth?
Scientific researchers placed a shrimp on a shrimp-size treadmill in order to measure its speed and endurance. This information, they say, "will give us a better idea of how marine animals can perform in their native habitat when faced with increasing pathogens and immunological challenges." Luckily for us, they videotaped the experiment.
The video has become hugely popular on the internet, spawning numerous remixes. For instance, witness Shrimp Jamming to Muzak: