Archive for August, 2010

Make-up and common cosmetics have been around for centuries. In the olden days cosmetics were at times, very dangerous, and could be fatal. Egyptian women would use kohl as a method to line and darken the eyes. Women throughout the 19th century would often use lead oxide and carbonate as a way to create whiter skin. Others used belladonna in their eyes in order to create a sparkle.

While cosmetics are meant to enhance beauty and make one prettier, the ingredients used aren’t always the prettiest. Some of these are very common while others are used far and between. However, it’s safe to say that these ingredients aren’t ones you’d probably think are in your cosmetics bag.

10. Waste cooking oil

used cooking oil

Scientists and cosmetic lines have found out that by using waste cooking oil, a certain type of surfactant is created which is then put into cosmetics. So what’s it do to make you a little bit prettier? Supposedly, the surfactant helps to regenerate damaged skin. Many of these companies will get the waste oil from fast food restaurants and cafés. A little gross but if you can put something to good use, do it!

9. Oleoresin Capsicum

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If you’re a police officer or someone who requires some painful self-defense, you may know what Oleoresin Capsicum is. Better known as “OC spray” or just “pepper spray,” this substance is widely used in sprays by police men, law enforcement, and often hikers who may encounter dangerous animals. It’s definitely known for being painful, and even able to cause temporary blindness when it makes contact with the eye. However, the substance, usually extracted as capsaicin from chilies, is also used in cosmetics. If you’ve ever used a lipstick or lipgloss, or some other cosmetic that has a “tingly” feel to it, you can rest assured that it’s the oleoresin capsicum giving you that feeling. And no, shoving your lipstick in the eye of your ex boyfriend won’t keep him away.

8. Chicken bone marrow


Chicken bone marrow is just one of the many animal parts used in the making of cosmetics. It is said that chicken bone marrow is full of glucosamine, which is great to use on the skin as it promotes new healthy growth for a youthful look. Chicken bone marrow is also considered to be an anti-inflammatory. You’d more than likely find this product in moisturizers as well as face creams.

7. Fish scales

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Ever used any type of cosmetic that had a shimmer to it? Maybe lotion, nail polish, or lipstick? If you have, that lovely shimmer you wore more than likely came from the use of fish scales. Pearlescence, as it’s called, is the silver shiny substance found in fish scales that is often used in cosmetics to give them that glow and shimmer. Herring is mainly used to obtain the pearlescence and today it is one of the most supplemented fish by-products in the world.

6. Cochineal dye

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While you’re not likely to find cochineal dye listed as an ingredient in your cosmetics, you just may find carmine, cochineal, or carminic acid. If you find any of these ingredients listed, you probably are using a cosmetic that has some sort of red hue to it, such as lipstick. Though it seems pretty harmless, this dye used in a lot of cosmetics comes from cochineal beetles. The bugs are drowned in hot water, dried, and then ground to a fine powder. The crimson red dye is then extracted and used in whatever beauty product you can imagine. It’s also used in food products as well, such as gelatins, juices, and even candy.

5. Bull semen

As surprising as it seems, using semen in cosmetics didn’t just start. It’s been a long-time tradition to use cod sperm in lotions as it provides a quality that binds water. However, most recently, some companies and salons have begun to use nothing other than bull semen. According to a U.K. salon, bull semen provides any type of hair with a brilliant sheen that no other substance can match. The salon, known as Hari’s Salon, uses bull semen mixed with katria root, to neutralize the odor, and viola, shiny hair. If you’re up for some semen in your hair, take a trip to the U.K. with $90 in hand. Maybe the cowboys know something we don’t.

4. Human foreskin

foreskin cream

Looking for the fountain of youth? Look no further than foreskin. It probably sounds a little bit gross, and probably a little bit unethical to some, but human foreskin is actually used by numerous cosmetic companies around the world. In the medical field, human foreskin has been used for years as a method to cultivate new skin growth, instead of performing skin graphs on burn patients. It’s been proven to work much more effectively. The same method is also used in the cosmetics world. Companies, the most notable being SkinMedica, use foreskin fibroblasts in cosmetic creams and collagens, especially those made to reduce wrinkles. It is said that one piece of foreskin from a baby boy can be used to create about 4 acres of new skin.

3. Ambergris

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Ambergris; sounds like something nice, maybe pretty, however, it’s everything but that. It’s actually a gray or black substance that is found in the digestive system of sperm whales, we’ll just call it bile, or “whale by-product,” both work. Despite its dark color and waxy texture, ambergris is said to have a very earthy and sweet smell to it. The substance was widely used in cosmetics, especially perfumes because of its smell. However, not many companies use it today as synthetic scents have become much more popular. Whoever decided to smell this definitely has some guts!

2. Urea


Who knew urine contained something cosmetic companies would flip over? Urea, a chief waste product of our body as well as from animals, is used in antiperspirants, moisturizers, mouthwashes, deodorants, and shampoos. That’s right; you’re getting all beautified with the help of an organic compound in urine! Urea is used because it is known to absorb, attract and retain water, and contains vitamins A, D, E, and K. Not only does it work wonders on sweat and moisturizing, it is also a great anti-inflammatory as well as a sun protection. Thankfully, most companies now use synthetic urea instead of extracting it from a horse.

1. Human placenta

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If you’re Tom Cruise, a mom, or a father brave enough to stay in the delivery room, you probably know what a placenta is, and I doubt it’s something you want to remember knowing about or even seeing. Despite how disgusting they look, some people have actually found a new use for them: cosmetics. The company Plazan has created and manufactured an entire line of cosmetics made with human placenta. Why placenta? Apparently cosmetics that use hormones extracted from the placenta, such as Hyaluronic Acid and Protein Hydrolysate, help to promote tissue growth, which is very effective in removing wrinkles. As if it’s any better, our bodies don’t become reliant upon products with human placenta because it’s made with our biological structure, both those products that use animal placenta are another story.

Unusual Festivals

Posted: August 27, 2010 in Fun & Fact, Places
Tags: ,

Next time you travel abroad, try to give the usual sightseeing a miss and you just might stumble upon some zesty and colorful local festivals. Sling on your camera and gulp down a double espresso because you won’t want to miss even a moment of fun that unfurls in front of you. From strutting naked to traveling in coffins, here are ways in which people celebrate top ten nutty festivals from around the world. hahaha enjoy guys =)

9. Baby-Jumping Festival

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Villagers of Spain’s Castrillo de Murcia have taken baby blessing ceremonies to new “heights”. During the annual Corpus Christi, babies are laid down on a mattress for the ritual. Men in devil costumes jump over the babies for the little ones’ sin-cleansing, luck and good health. Recent papal orders have asked the local priests to stay away from the ritual that has been taking place since 1620.

8. Food-Throwing Festivals


Before heading to Spain, where people love throwing-festivals, let’s make a detour to Italy. The Ivrea orange festival started centuries ago when love-struck damsels in balconies threw oranges at suitors in parades.  Soon the parade became an open-to-all orange slugfest which attracts tourists from world over.

Most of us know about the famous tomato-throwing La Tomatina fight of Bunol, Spain.  But things don’t end with tomatoes in Spain. In Horo’s Batalla del Vino people arm themselves with barrels for a wine war and there is also an annual water fight in Alpujarras near Granada.

Spaniards who are not happy with food-throwing festivities celebrate their own fiestas: dead rats, ant, paint and tar are some objects hurled at these annual Spanish celebrations.

7. Hole-y Festivals

singapore festival thaipusam

Chants, prayer songs and feasts almost make Thaipusam like other Hindu festivals held in honor of a deity from its huge pantheon of Gods. This Tamil festival takes a different turn when devotees start piercing their skin and face with skewers. The pain is looked up to as a test of endurance and love for Lord Murugun.

6. Naked Festival


January in Japan is as cold as in other northern parts of the hemisphere. But the freezing temperature does not deter thousands of men running in the streets with nothing but a loincloth on them. Hadaka Matsuri is a festival for ritual purification held in different forms across Japan. In Inazawa, men in loin cloths struggle to touch a naked man called Shin-otoko for good luck. These naked festivals are fun events but with undertones of spiritual significance.

5. Near-Death Experience Festival


Heading back to Spain again, we now come to Fiesta de Santa Marta de Ribarteme. This festival celebrates people who faced death and lived to tell the tale. In the small town of Las Nieves, this festival is held in honor of Santa Marta de Ribarteme, the patron saint of resurrection. On the day of celebration a parade is held in which the lucky survivors are carried in coffins to the cemetery and around the church.   Offerings are made and blessings are sought by thousands of people who throng the small town every year.

4. Color-Throwing Festival

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This is the only Hindu festival where people do not dress up for the occasion. In fact, the oldest of clothes are dug out from wardrobes in preparation for a huge color-throwing festival called Holi. In this spring festival associated with Lord Krishna, people play with colorful powders called gulal. Wet colors are also used in many parts of India. Food and drinks laced with a local cannabis plant called bhang are served during the festival feast.

3. Monkey Buffet Festival

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As the name suggests, this festival is a huge feast laid down for primates of Lopburi, Thailand. Tons of fruits and vegetables are laid by devotees in honor of Hanuman, the monkey God. What follows next is absolute mayhem as hordes of monkeys swarm the site, start attacking the food piles and interacting with spectators. The festival over the years has become more lavish and has put this small province on the world tourism map.

2. Fish-Swallowing Festival


At the outset, let us make it clear that this is not your “regular” food festival. Yes, the festival involves consuming fish but the difference is that they are still alive!  The last Sunday of every February, residents of Geraardsbergen in Belgium celebrate during the Krakelingen festival, which commemorates an unsuccessful siege of the city. Besides throwing bread rolls, the locals gulp down small wriggling gray fishes called grondeling soaked in red wine. The ceremony draws protests from animal rights activists who want to substitute live fish with fish-shaped marzipan.

1. Crying Baby Festival

crying baby

Grossly overweight men with loincloths can be a very scary sight for many of us. So, you can imagine how babies will react when held by one of these men. In Konaki Sumo, a Japanese festival, pairs of babies are held by Sumo wrestlers facing each other. The winner is the baby who breaks down first. If the wrestlers were not traumatic enough, the crying winner is held aloft by parents and showered with camera flashes. The festival is based on the Japanese proverb “crying babies grow fast”.  Wails, weeps and sobs, on this occasion, signify a blessing for good health.

It may come as no surprise to learn that, due to limited resources, many citizens of poorer countries are forced to eat whatever they can get their hands on. However, when it comes to gross foods, not all are born from utter necessity. You’d be amazed to learn what disgusting things many people eat by choice. And, while some foods can be identified as gross with a simple glance, others aren’t as easily spotted until you learn about their ingredients.

10. Casu Marzu


Sometimes referred to as ‘maggot cheese’, casu marzu is a Sardinian cheese made from goat’s milk. But what makes this food so disgusting is the way it’s prepared. Early in the fermenting process, the larvae of cheese flies are introduced. Over a period of weeks, the larvae hatch and begin feeding. As the cheese’s fats are broken down, a special flavor is produced which many consider to be delicious. When the time comes for human consumption, many people meticulously remove the maggots. However, some leave them in, believing that they add an extra flavorful punch.

9. Balut


If someone placed balut on your plate, you might think they were serving you a hardboiled egg. That is, until you cracked it open and a fully intact duck embryo spilled out. Balut, considered a delicacy in many Asian countries, is produced when fertilized duck eggs are placed in warm sunlight. After about eight days, the eggs are held up to the light and checked to ensure that the budding embryo is ready. Then, the eggs are cooked and served with a dash of salt and a few squirts of lemon juice.

8. Potted Meat


Potted meat is not some strange foreign delicacy. In fact, this inexpensive meat product produced by Hormel is available at most any North American grocery store. However, when it comes to grossness, this well-known product rivals anything you’ll find in a third world country. A check of the ingredients listed on the label is proof enough: mechanically separated chicken, beef tripe, partially defatted cooked beef fatty tissue, beef hearts, water, partially defatted cooked pork fatty tissue, salt, and less than 2 percent: mustard, natural flavorings, dried garlic, dextrose, sodium erythorbate, and sodium nitrite. Yummy!

7. Fermented Salmon Heads


Referred to as ‘stink heads’ by people who won’t eat them, fermented salmon heads are a traditional Alaskan delight. After the heads are lopped off, they’re buried in the ground for at least a few weeks. As you’d expect, during this time the heads begin to rot. Before they have a chance to disintegrate completely, they’re dug up, mashed into a sort of pudding and served cold in bowls.

6. Jellied Moose Nose


This gross food is also enjoyed in the northernmost of the United States. Preparation is relatively simple: first, the moose‘s nose is removed. Then it’s boiled for a bit until the hairs become loose and can easily be plucked free. After a few spices are added, the meat is boiled even longer until it disintegrates into a gelatinous mass. Finally, it’s sliced and served chilled.

5. Bat Paste


This delightful dish is considered weird even in the few Asian countries where it’s eaten. First, a live bat is forced into a vat of boiling milk. Then, once it has reached optimum malleability, the bat is sliced into fine bits, mixed with various herbs and spices and mashed into a pulpy paste.

4. Hasma


In China, many people consider hasma dessert the perfect punctuation to a great meal. This disgusting dish is basically the fallopian tubes of frogs. Sold in a dried shrunken form, these amphibious reproductive organs are able to swell up to 10 to 15 times their dehydrated size once they are rehydrated with water. Afterward, a bit of sugar is added to give them that special sweetness most people desire from a dessert.

3. Haggis


A traditional Scottish dish, haggis is really nothing more than a type of sausage. However, this particular sausage is comprised of a sheep’s lungs, liver and heart. Many describe haggis as resembling stuffed intestines more than sausage. However, although they admit it looks unappealing, Haggis-lovers swear that those who are brave enough to taste it will come running back for more.

2. Cockscomb


If you’ve ever seen the floppy red mass resembling an upside down glove on the top of a rooster’s head, then you’ve seen a cockscomb. Once served as a garnish along side many traditional French foods, cockscomb is still used as a common ingredient in many Italian dishes and sauces.

1. Black Pudding


This dish is comprised largely of blood drawn from pigs, cattle or sheep. However, it doesn’t become blood pudding until the blood is allowed to coagulate, a filler of oatmeal, barley or sweet potato is added, and the entire mass is brought to a boil. During the cooking process, a delightful skin is produced atop the goo. While some like to remove the skin before plunging their spoon into the pudding, others enjoy its chewy texture and prefer to eat it last.

so sorry if this post disturbing you =) just wanna share some info with you all weeeeeeeeee =)

Top 10 Secret Societies

Posted: August 27, 2010 in Fun & Fact
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No matter what their supposed purpose, there’s something inherently sinister about a secret society. Though most are formed with relatively realistic political and religious goals in mind, their focus on mystery and secrecy has made them the target of countless criticisms and conspiracy theories involving everything from aliens and the occult to world domination. Of course, the reality is usually much more innocuous, but that doesn’t mean that the groups don’t have some fascinatingly weird practices, or that they haven’t had an impact on world events.

With this in mind, the following are ten of the most famous and influential secret societies in history.

10. Ordo Templi Orientis


Famous Members
Aleister Crowley

Ordo Templi Orientis is a mystic organization that was started in the early twentieth century. The group was established along the same lines as the less secretive Freemasons, and supposedly relies on ritual and occult practices as a means for members to move from one level of prestige to another within the organization. The general philosophy of the group was a belief in new age esoteric principles and practices as a method of realizing one’s true identity. Famed occultist and all-around eccentric Aleister Crowley composed much of the group’s lore, including a manifesto called the Mysteria Mystica Maxima, and he later became its head. After his death, the influence and popularity of Ordo Templi Orientis began to wane, but it still exists today and has various chapters scattered across the world, chiefly in the United States, the U.K., and other parts of Europe.

Secret Practices
As Aleister Crowley’s popularity as a new age figure has continued to grow, more and more of the teachings of the Ordo Templi Orientis have come to light. As such, the group makes much less of an attempt to be secretive today than it did in the past. This doesn’t mean that they don’t still have some bizarre practices. Chief among these is the group’s fixation on the sexual, especially their teachings on the “adoration of the phallus” and the magic of masturbation.

9. The Bilderberg Group

Famous Members
No members, but attendees have included Ben Bernanke, the royal families of Spain and the Netherlands, World Bank officials, and representatives from major corporations

The Bilderberg Group is not a secret society per se, but it does operate under a similar veil of mystery, which has made it the subject of countless conspiracy theories and criticisms. The group was started in 1954, and since then it has convened every year as an exclusive, invitation-only conference of various world leaders, captains of industry, and media moguls. The group was originally started as a means of addressing a streak of anti-Americanism that was spreading through Europe following WWII, but over the years it appears to have morphed into a more broad discussion on reaching mutual understanding between cultures.

Secret Practices
The Bilderberg Group has become controversial for one key reason: no press is allowed in the conference and no significant details concerning the topics discussed are ever officially released to the public. That kind of secrecy, along with the intense security of the meeting sites, which often feature armed guards, police, and even fighter jets patrolling the skies overhead, has produced a number of conspiracy theories centered on the conference. The most popular is that the group tries to steer the direction of public policy, financial markets, and media in certain prescribed directions of their choosing, perhaps even with the goal of forming a so-called “one world government.” These claims have been brushed aside by the group, which claims global understanding and the end of nuclear proliferation as its main goals.

8. Hashshashin– The Order of Assassins


Famous Members
None of note

The Hashshashin, or Nizari, were a mysterious band of Muslim assassins that operated in the Middle East during the 13th century. The group was made up of Shia Muslims who broke off from a bigger sect and banded together in order to establish a utopian Shi’ite state. Because their number was small, the group used guerilla tactics in their battle against their enemies, including espionage, sabotage, and, most famously, political assassination. The Hashshashin would plant highly trained moles inside enemy strongholds, with instructions to only attack when the time was right. They were known for their extreme discretion in minimizing civilian casualties, as well as their penchant for using stealth to intimidate their targets. As the story goes, enemy leaders would often wake in the morning to find a Hashshashin dagger lying on their pillow, along with a note saying “you are in our grip.” Their legend soon grew, and before the Mongols finally destroyed the group, they became well known contract killers, supposedly performing jobs for the likes of King Richard the Lionheart.

Secret Practices
Around the time of their downfall, the library that contained all Nizari records was destroyed, so much of what is known about them today has taken on the status of myth. The most controversial legend centers of the group’s use of drugs and other intoxicants– “Hashshashin” translates roughly as “Hashish user”–which some have said were employed by the members in battle. This has been widely discredited, but the term “Hashshashin” as it refers to the Nizari is believed to be the origin of the modern word “assassin.”

7. The Black Hand


Famous Members
Gavrilo Princip (rumored)

The Black Hand was a secret society of anti-imperialist political revolutionaries that was started in Serbia in 1912. It formed as an offshoot from Narodna Adbrona, a group that sought to unite all of the Slavic people of Europe under one country. This required the separation of Serbia from the monarchy of Austria-Hungary, which had annexed the country some years before. With this in mind, the group began disseminating anti-Austrian propaganda and training saboteurs and assassins to disrupt political rule within the province. Their plan was to incite a war between Serbia and Austria, which would give them a chance to free their country and unite the different Slavic nations as one.

Secret Practices
Black Hand would be all but forgotten today if not for their unlikely involvement in one of the biggest events of the twentieth century. In 1914, the group engineered the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The job was badly botched, and was only completed when a low-level hood named Gavrilo Princip stumbled upon the Archduke’s car and shot him to death at close range (see photo). Still, the results of the assassination were catastrophic. Within days, Austria-Hungary had declared war on Serbia, and after the allies of both countries joined the fray, the small dispute managed to escalate into WWI.  The aftermath of WWI eventually led to WWII, and this led to the Cold War, which makes the Black Hand one of the most strangely influential forces of the twentieth century.

6. The Knights of the Golden Circle


Famous Members
John Wilkes Booth, Jesse James (above), Franklin Pierce (all rumored)

The Knights of the Golden Circle was a secret society that flourished in the U.S. during the American Civil War. In the beginning, the group sought to encourage the annexation of Mexico and the West Indies, which they believed would help the waning slave trade to once again flourish. But once the Civil War started, the group switched its focus from colonialism to fervent support of the newly established Confederate government. The Knights soon had thousands of followers, many of whom formed guerilla armies and began raiding Union strongholds in the West. In the Northern states, the mysterious order had an even bigger impact. Many newspapers and public figures engaged in witch-hunts where they accused supposed Southern sympathizers, including President Franklin Pierce, of being members of the Knights of the Golden Circle.

Secret Practices
Unlike most secret societies, the Golden Circle didn’t just concern itself with clandestine meetings and mysterious plans. Instead, the group often formed renegade armies and bands of bushwhackers in order to forward their agenda by force. In 1860, a group of the Knights made a failed attempt to invade Mexico. During the war, they robbed stagecoaches and attempted a blockade of the harbor in San Francisco, and a group of them even managed to briefly take control of southern New Mexico.

5. The Thule Society

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Famous Members
Rudolf Hess, Arthur Rosenberg, Adolf Hitler (rumored)

Lots of secret organizations are suspected of having malevolent ulterior motives, but the Thule Society is one of the few where such suspicions have been proven. The group was unofficially started in Germany just after the end of WWI. It began as a kind of German heritage group that dabbled in the occult, but it quickly transformed into an organization that sought to forward the ideology of the Aryan race, and it took an outwardly racist approach toward Jews and other minorities. The group soon boasted over a thousand members, and even had its own propaganda newspaper. In 1919, members of the Thule Society formed a political organization called the German Workers’ Party. A young Adolf Hitler became a member, and eventually took over the party, which would later become known as the National Socialist German Workers’, or Nazi, party.

Secret Practices
Even before the Thule Society became a vehicle for Nazism, the members were involved in some pretty bizarre activities. The strangest was the group’s fascination with the Aryan race, whose origins they tried to trace back to the mythical land of Thule, which the Greeks had claimed was found north of Europe near Iceland and Greenland.

4. The Sons of Liberty

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Famous Members
Paul Revere, John and Samuel Adams, John Hancock

The Sons of Liberty is the name for a loosely organized group of dissidents that existed in America prior to the Revolutionary War. The group did not exist as a secret society in the traditional sense; rather, it was made up of smaller factions of patriots from across the colonies that united in support of a common goal. When they did meet, it was usually in Boston around an elm tree that has since become known as the Liberty Tree. It was here that the group would formulate their resistance, which included the dissemination of pamphlets and even some sabotage and terrorist activity. This behavior led to the British branding the Sons of Liberty as seditious, and they were often referred to pejoratively as “The Sons of Violence.” The group is most notable today for sowing the seeds of revolution among the colonists with their protest of the Stamp Act, and for coining the now famous phrase “no taxation without representation.”

Secret Practices
The Sons of Liberty in Boston were the most famous arm of the group, but there were factions spread out all across the 13 colonies. One group in Rhode Island looted and burned the British trade ship Gaspee in protest of unfair trade practices, while others were known to tar and feather British loyalists. Still, the most famous event engineered by the Sons remains the Boston Tea Party in 1773, when members of the group dressed as Indians and dumped shiploads of overtaxed tea into Boston Harbor.

3. Skull and Bones

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Famous Members
George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, John Kerry

Ivy League Colleges are known for their many secret societies and student organizations, and of these Yale’s Skull and Bones is probably the most famous. The society taps new students for membership every spring, and the only real prerequisite for membership is that the initiate be a campus leader. As such, athletes, members of the student council, and fraternity presidents are often considered. Skull and Bones counts among its membership U.S. Presidents, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices, which has lead many to argue that the group works as some kind of underground organization for the high-powered political elite. There is no denying that the club is well funded: an alumni organization called the Russell Trust Association bankrolls its activities, and the group supposedly owns an island in upstate New York.

Secret Practices
Skull and Bones’ membership is no longer kept secret, but their practices still are. The order meets twice a week, but just what goes on at their meetings has never been revealed. To the disappointment of conspiracy theorists, what rumors have come out are relatively innocuous. The group has supposedly taken part in a number of pranks, and was once even sued by chairman of the Apache tribe, who claimed the Bonesmen were in possession of the skeleton of Geronimo. Beyond this, the group is known for allegedly forcing new members to relate their sexual history to the rest of the society, and for giving out nicknames to each initiate. In a widely reported rumor, President George H.W. Bush was supposedly known as “Magog,” a name given to the Bonesman with the most sexual experience.

2. The Illuminati


Famous Members
Goethe, Ferdinand of Brunswick, many others rumored

In popular culture and the realm of wild and weird conspiracy theories, no secret organization has become as well known as the Illuminati, who have made frequent appearances in books, movies, and television. The group as it is popularly understood is more or less a myth, but the legend of it dates back to a real organization that existed in Germany in the late 1700s. At the time, the members of the group presented themselves as an order of enlightened free thinkers. The press soon turned against them, and they came to be regarded by many as an underground force of dissidents intent on overthrowing the government, and they were even blamed for inciting the French Revolution. The group disbanded shortly thereafter, but their influence remained strong, and for years after their dissolution they were rumored to still be operating somewhere in the shadows.

Secret Practices
Thanks to its constant presence in popular culture, the Illuminati have continued to be feared to this day. Modern conspiracy theorists have asserted that the group survived and now operates as a sinister shadow government, directing world industry and politics as it sees fit. The Bush family, Winston Churchill, and Barack Obama have all been named as prominent members, but no legitimate evidence of such a group has ever been uncovered. Still, the rumor lives on as one of the most popular, albeit bizarre, of all conspiracy theories.

1. The Freemasons

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Famous Members
Winston Churchill, Mark Twain, James Buchanan, Bob Dole, Henry Ford, Ben Franklin

Although they are less influential and secretive today than they once were, the Freemasons remain one of the most famous fraternal organizations in the world, with a membership somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 million. The group was officially founded in 1717, but documents relating to its existence date back to the 1300s.  It was originally created to be a brotherhood whose members share certain key philosophical ideas, among them a belief in a supreme being. The group stresses moral uprightness, and as such many of the chapters have become known for their charitable work and community service. Despite these seemingly harmless practices, the Freemasons are not without their critics. Conspiracy theorists have long targeted them for supposedly being involved in nefarious occult practices, and there have even been whole political groups based around opposition to the group. Churches of all denominations have also criticized the organization, as its moral teachings and esoteric spiritual beliefs have been said to be in competition with more traditional religion.

Secret Practices
With its huge membership and different lodges scattered across the globe, modern Freemasonry no longer has the same universal principles as it did in the old days. One practice that has remained constant is the method for induction. Initiates must be recommended to the group by someone who is already a Mason, and once a member they must pass through three different degrees of standing before reaching the level of “Master Mason.” Members also have certain prescribed modes of greeting one another, including handshakes, gestures, and passwords, and non-masons are always banned from attending meetings.

Cakes, breads, muffins, pie, puddings, ice cream – it seems like every country enjoys something sweet after a meal (or any other time of the day, for that matter). This list describes ten outstanding desserts from around the world. If any are unfamiliar, I encourage you to go to a specialty store or restaurant and try them out. Nothing in your area? That’s a great incentive to travel the world and taste the local flavors!

10. Sopapillas (U.S.)


The name “sopapilla” most likely stems from a Spanish word sopaipa, meaning “sweet fried dough”. They are probably cousins to a vast family of fried and oil dipped breads which have sprouted all over Latin America. After some intense scrutiny, it appears sopapillas originated in New Mexico around 200 years ago. Yes, this is part of the U.S. but it still foreign enough to be put on this list and its family is certainly more Latin than American. Sopapillas can be eaten alone but their spectacular tastes comes when they are drizzled in some honey or the honey is actually poured inside the hollow bread. Cinnamon may be sprinkled on them to compliment this delicious dessert.

9. Churros (Spain)


Churros were given to us from the Spanish. They are now worldwide, even in Korean movie theatres and American baseball games. Churros are sticks of soft dough, made from wheat flour and other particular ingredients. They are extruded through an object that appears to be a star but it is a molded curve which comes in assorted sizes. They are usually made with no-cholesterol 100% vegetable shortening. They are best eaten on winter days when the warmth of this cinnamon flavored bread is digested. They are powdered with cinnamon and sugar. The exterior is crispy but the interior is softer and this dessert just electrifies the tasty sensation in one’s mouth. This is a dessert that has staying power and has been adopted by cultures the world over.

8. Tiramisu (Italy)

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There is a pseudonym for this; it is called “Tuscan Trifle.” It originates from Siena, a northwestern Italian province of Tuscany. It is a cool, spectacular feeling that has won the satisfaction from people on all continents. This is the antitheses of the heavy American pie; this dessert is light, similar to light tapioca pudding. Even lighter, more like whipped cream. Tiramisu is made from eggs, mascarpone cheese, ladyfingers, cream, liquor brandy, marsala, a little sugar, some rum, shaved chocolate or cocoa. Mascarpone is a triple-crème cheese. Ladyfingers are sweet little sponge cakes. This dessert is like tasting a bit of heaven, a dessert that floats: it does not drape around one’s tongue. It just hovers through one’s system. The slight taste of some liquor, I am surprised this is not served in every bar but the delicate steps involved to make this precious dessert may exceed most establishments.

7. Almond Cookies (China)

chinese almond cookies

Originally from China, many ethnic communities have adopted these almond cookies. These cookies are found all over America and are so good it is not uncommon for customers to walk into a Chinese restaurant just to buy a box… and that says something since Chinese food is spectacular. They are often served complimentary after a large or expensive Chinese meal such as suckling pig or lobster. Do not mistake these cookies with the dry and stale fortune cookies, those are scrub cookies compared to these spectacularly flavored ones. With milk, there may not be a better dessert around.

6. Fruit Salad Dessert (Central Africa)


Nothing healthier than a fruit salad: and what is better than a dessert that is better for the body than perhaps the main course? There is not any one type of salad that predominates in this region, but they all feature watermelon. In fact, watermelon feeds the entire animal kingdom in this area. Wherever you are, watermelon is absolutely essential to a fruit salad.

5. Castle Pudding (England)


England is not known for its delicious food. In fact, people in England have left that island to seek tastier delights (and possibly better weather). But the English got it right in terms of this dessert. I am sure it is not uncommon for some people in England to just skip dinner to get to this warm, strawberry jelly sauced, scrumptious plate all the more sooner. What separates this pudding from the rest is the topping. The pudding is not what marvels one’s senses; it is the strawberry jam that is cascading down the sides of the pudding. These two textures were made for each other. Usually this type of pudding is baked in a dariole mold. This translates into the French verb “dorer” which means “cover in gold.” Sounds enticing!

4. Pavlova (Australia and New Zealand)


This is a dessert preference in Australia, New Zealand and England. England takes a backseat here since it seems to be enjoyed a little more in the southern hemisphere. There is not any one kind of pavlova and it is not something sold on the street corner or in a convenience store. It is found in prestigious restaurants and some cake stores are known to carry this sweet delight. This is not a high caloric dessert so even Nicole Kidman can enjoy it. It is made from egg whites and sugar and, when cooked by someone who knows what they are doing in the kitchen (not me), the outside of the meringue shell will be crunchy. Whipped cream envelopes this dessert while the inside has a marshmallow like texture. It is served with any of these luscious fruits: strawberry, kiwi, raspberry or peach.

3. Baklava (Turkey)


This ambrosial dessert is now linked to Greece and Greek food settings, but it was first concocted in the Ottoman Empire inside Turkey. During this period, the Greeks and the Turks shared foods and ideas, including, but not limited to, this spectacular dessert known as Baklava. Kitchens should be kept humid and the cook needs to be prepared because Phyllo dough is used in the recipe. It can be tricky to manipulate: it is fine and dries very quickly. Honey, sugar, lemon juice, and orange water are used to make a syrup, which is poured over layers of phyllo dough and melted butter. Nuts are placed on top, usually pistachios, and the result is a thick but savory dessert.

2. Chestnut Kintons or Cream Candy (Japan)


Typically I would think that candy is more suitable for a movie theater, not dessert. However, I will make an exception for Japanese cream candy because it is so tasty. Chestnuts are the staple here, with sweet potatoes, sugar, mirin sauce and some vinegar. This chestnut is from a chestnut tree that is only found in Japan and South Korea. It is quite small, reaching only about 15 cm tall at the largest. This is a deciduous tree and the Japanese have taken advantage of Mother Nature’s offerings by creating a dessert candy that is delectable.

1. Gulaab Jamun (India)

gulabjamun 406x400

Corn oil is preferable for this tasty dessert. Powder, regular milk, and perhaps some raisins or pistachios are most of the ingredients. This dough is divided into small balls and they will increase in size like donuts. These are not unlike the donut holes in the U.S., but instead of powdered sugar, sweet syrup is drizzled onto the soft dough. The syrup’s taste is indicative of where it is made in India. Some areas have a proclivity towards rose water, others lean toward saffron or citrus juice. This is not something that needs to be eaten quickly: Gulaab Jamun can be stored over night to absorb more syrup.  Wow, how much sugar can one take? It depends on how strong the dough recipe is. This dessert, like pumpkin pie, can be served or eaten hot or cold. This dessert can also be delivered with even additional syrup layered on it. This is a traditional Indian dessert served on the holidays when firecrackers and celebrations are popping all around.

Top 10 Foods For Brain Health

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Fun & Fact
Tags: , ,

We’ve all heard “you are what you eat.” While a nutritious and well-balanced diet is of course great for our bodies, there are some foods that are more beneficial and more nutritious than others. We all know about the foods that we should eat that are deemed “healthy”, but what about foods that are good for just one very important part…say, the brain.

Here is some food for thought, literally. Below is a list of 10 foods proven to enhance the brain’s overall health as well as ensure it is functioning properly on a daily basis. So sit back, enjoy, and put those chips away!

10. Oysters


If you’re a seafood kind of person, then today just may be your lucky day. Experiments have shown that oysters are great for your brain, no matter your age. Because they are rich in zinc as well as iron, eating this under-the-sea-delight will help to keep your mind sharp and increase your ability to recall information easily. Zinc and iron have been linked to the brain’s ability to stay focused and remember information. A lack of zinc and iron can result in memory lapses, poor concentration, and of course other ailments throughout the body.

9. Whole Grains


If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you know just how healthy whole grains are for your body; however, they are also great for your brain. Whole wheat, bran, and wheat germ have high contents of folate, as do brown rice, oatmeal, whole-grain breads, barley, and others. All of these foods work to increase blood flow to the brain which means a higher quality and quantity of brain function. Also, these whole grain foods contain a lot of vitamin B6, which is full of thiamine. Thiamine is great for anyone trying to improve their memory. Scientific research has shown that memory loss dramatically increases by the time you reach your late 60’s or early 70’s; so whole grains are especially good for you as you get older.

8. Tea


Forget your coffee in the morning- try a cup of tea! Freshly brewed green or black tea is extremely beneficial to your brain because it is full of catechins. Have you ever had a day where you just feel drained, tired, and “too lazy” to think? It may be because you are lacking catechins in your brain. Catechins are great for keeping your mind sharp, fresh, and functioning properly. Not only do they keep your brain working right, they also allow it to relax and help to fight against mental fatigue. While green tea is much more potent than black tea, both are extremely good for you. Tea is definitely a great thing to drink early in the morning to ensure you’re starting your brain off right.

7. Eggs


When we get older, our brains begin to shrink due to something called brain atrophy. While some of us might want other parts of our body to shrink, I’m pretty sure no one wants a shrinking brain. However, we can fight against this natural process by eating eggs. This is because eggs are full of vitamin B12 as well as lecithin. Vitamin B12 helps to fight against brain shrinkage, which is often seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Eggs, though very unhealthy if you eat too many of them, are full of essential fatty acids. The yolk, though very high in cholesterol, is also high in choline, which is a very important building block of brain cells. Choline can help improve your memory. While eating too many eggs can be bad for your health, eating 1-2 egg products a day can be great for your brain.

6. Curry


This spicy food is a great way to spice up your brain and keep it fresh. A main ingredient in curry powder, curcumin is full of antioxidants that help fight against brain aging and maintain cognitive function as you get older. These antioxidants also fight against free radical damage that can occur within the brain as well as the body.  Free radicals can cause inflammation and other ailments within the body. Not only is curry good for your brain, it also can fight against diabetes and heart disease. Too hot for you to handle? You don’t have to have curry for lunch and dinner each day; the smallest amount of curry once a month can be highly beneficial for your brain.

5. Berries


If you’re not a vegetable person, you can rely on fruit, especially berries, to improve your brain health. For example, blueberries are well known for their role in improving motor skills as well as your overall learning capacity. They are often called the best berry for your brain, and today you may notice the plethora of products using blueberries. Most berries, including blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and others, are full of antioxidants that are great for boosting the brain. You can help reverse the effects of aging on the brain by eating these berries once a day. Berries are sometimes referred to as “super-fruits” because most of them contain fisetin and flavenoid, which are great for improving your memory and allowing you to easily recall past events.

4. Nuts and Seeds

nuts and seeds

Looking for a snack that has everything good for the brain in it? Look no further than nuts and seeds… The good thing about this is that all types of nuts are included. This means peanuts, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and any other type of nut or seed you can think of, are good for your brain. Nuts and seeds are full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as folate, vitamin E, and vitamin B6. All of these nutrients allow you to think more clearly. They also help you think more positively, because Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids work as natural antidepressants. Some seeds and nuts are also full of thiamine and magnesium, which are great for memory, cognitive function, and brain nourishment.

3. Leafy Green Vegetables


Leafy green vegetables such as cabbage, kale, spinach, and others, while not very well-liked by children, are excellent for the brain of children and adults alike. These vegetables help greatly when it comes time to remember old information and process it like you just learned it yesterday. This is because these foods are often full of vitamin B6, B12, and folate, which are great compounds needed within the brain to break down homocystein levels, which can lead to forgetfulness and even Alzheimer’s disease. These vegetables are often very high in iron content. If there is not enough iron in-take, cognitive activity slows down greatly. So when mom always urged you to eat your spinach, now you know why.

2. Fish

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Eating fish overall is greatly beneficial to your health, especially that of your brain. Fish is full of Omega-3, which is a fatty acid known to be highly beneficial to the body in various aspects. Eating one serving of fish a week can highly decrease one’s chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease. These fatty acids help with brain function because they coat the neurons that at times have a fatty acid layer that becomes stiff due to a high content cholesterol and saturated fat in the body. Omega-3s will coat the neurons with good fat, allowing them to move easily throughout the brain. Omega-3s also provides more oxygen to the brain, as well as allows one to retain new information while still remembering old information. The best fish to eat for brain health are salmon, tuna, and herring.

1. Chocolate


While eating hundreds of Hershey bars may make you sick, and drinking a lot of hot cocoa in a day just may do the same, the main ingredient in these oh-so-delicious foods, cocoa, is said to be very nutritious for the brain. Scientists have proven that the antioxidant content found in just two or three tablespoons of cocoa powder is much stronger than those antioxidants found in other foods, such as green tea or red wine. The main antioxidant found in cocoa, known as flavonols, is said to help increase blood flow to the brain. While normal milk chocolate lacks flavonols, you will find plenty of it in dark chocolate.

Japan has become one of the most shocking nations on the planet. Or more precise one of the nations that likes to shock people the most. There is no such phrase as “gone too far” for the Japanese. The image of that country has been tarnished forever ever since Google was first turned on, when it became less about ninjas and Godzilla and more about bizarre game shows and traumatizing sex fetishes.

The only thing left really is concentrating on the more adorable kind of Japanese zaniness that relates to their odd food choices. With this, here are the 10 Weirdest Japanese Snacks and Drinks.

10. Candy Squid

candied squid 539x400

When you are living on an island, it’s natural that most of your daily diet will come from the sea, and the Japanese have proven over the years that if it swims, they will eat it without exception. This is the nation that willingly eats Fugu for Pete’s sake, a fish so poisonous that unless you prepare it correctly you will die very painfully. Compared to that, candied squid seems almost sane… the key word being “almost”.

You can get these at any convenience store or on a stick during a traditional Japanese festival. Funny thing though, the candied squid isn’t actually sweet (don’t ask how that works) and often comes in such appetizing flavors as “Cod Roe” or “Spicy Korean Cabbage.”

9. Cheese Drink

needs cheese drinks

The product of the NEEDS cheese factory in Hokkaido, the Cheese Drink has allegedly been produced to raise cheese awareness in Japan. It is estimated that over 20 million Japanese kids don’t know what real cheese looks like* and more than 30% of all Japanese adults think you can get cancer from touching cheese ** so what the NEEDS company is doing is actually very noble indeed***, slowly easing the society to the idea that cheese is not evil. Because it’s not like they simply had a full batch of industrial grade cheese-byproduct liquid and decided to sell it to the general populi. Nah, couldn’t be.

The cheese drink can also be used as salad dressing.

* Completely false.

** Made up on the spot.

*** Not in the least.

8. Rose Sweat Gum

rose sweat gum

Aptly and yet very horrifyingly named “Otoko Kaoru” (“Man Smelling Sweetly”) this product is a brand of chewing gum that makes your sweat smell like roses.

Believe it or not, there actually is a very good explanation for this product. The Japanese spend a great portion of their lives in the overcrowded public transportation systems (according to my calculations, if you add the hours every Japanese man spends in a train and multiply it by a Billion, you get a really large number). Can you imagine what would happen if 50 of these old Japanese dudes started sweating their natural manly musk?

Suddenly the gum doesn’t sound so crazy after all. Hell, it should probably be made mandatory for some people. You know the type I mean.

7. Cream Collon Biscuits

cream collon buscuits1

What would you do if I came in to your office (assuming you had an office and were the head of a major candy company) and proposed a new type of biscuit snack in the shape of small tubes filled with cream? You would probably let me keep talking, cause that doesn’t sound so bad. OK, but then just how many guards you would send after me if I said I wanted to name this new snack “Collon”, without the slightest bit of irony? 5, 20 guards?

If your answer was anything more than zero then sadly you do not have what it takes to be the president of Glico, the biggest candy company in Japan and the proud manufacturers of the Cream Collon snack. See Japan, this is why everybody is laughing AT you, not WITH you. It’s things like that.

6. Curry Lemonade

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Ah, curry and lemonade, together at last! Wait, what?! This has got to be either a joke or some sort of Fear Factor merchandise tie-in. But we all know that is not the case, otherwise it wouldn’t make the list. No use fighting it, let’s just acknowledge that somewhere in Japan there is a person (a whole lot of persons to boot) who willingly swig curry flavored lemonade. Let’s now acknowledge that this is really freaky.

Oh, and look at the label: “A miraculous collaboration of curry and lemonade”. Can’t argue that this product is a miracle. This Curry Lemonade had to be devised, presented in front of a group of businessmen, taste-tested and then marketed. And during that time no one stopped to say “Guys, isn’t this product actually very strange?” A miracle if I ever saw one…

5. Scallops and Mayo Flavored Chips

Scallops Mayo Flavored Chips 313x400

When I was a kid, we used to have these Ketchup favored crisps and even then I thought of that as a little bit weird, so imagine how I must feel about scallops and mayonnaise flavored chips from Japan. The answer: somewhere between “Ghwaa…?” and “Oh sweet lord, no…”

The fact of the matter is that the snack business in Japan is humongolarge. Unless you have literally millions of dollars to throw into a marketing campaign that will employ a new type of science ray that injects commercials straight into people’s dreams, the only way for your brand to stand out over there is coming up with really bizarre flavors. And thus, the Scallops & Mayonnaise Chips from Calbee were born. Just be thankful they didn’t go with their other idea: Dog Turd Crisps.

4. Bizarre Pepsi Flavors

crazy pepsi flavors

Same as with the snack business, you really need a gimmick in order for your drink to stand out east of China. This applies even to giants as Pepsi, who during the course of several years came up with such Japan-exclusive Pepsi flavors as: Yogurt, Cucumber and Shiso (which is something like a cross between basil and mint).

None of those really stuck around, proving that even the complex Japanese pallet could not handle such atrocities against God for long, but who knows what the future might bring? Pepsi is undeniably second to Coca Cola in Japan (they even sell Coca Cola brand water over there, believe it or not) so they will probably keep coming up with more and more original flavors. Pepsi Kitten Blood perhaps? Who knows?

3. Roasted Baby Crabs

Roasted Baby Crabs 300x400

These are actual crab babies we are talking about. Roasted crab babies. It might just be me but I keep getting this image of a Daddy, Mommy and Junior crab playing together in their underwater house when suddenly the kid is yanked out in a net and roasted alive for the gluttonous needs of sadistic Japanese. It’s sadder than 20 orphans watching “Bambi” for the first time. Let’s just move to the next item…

2. Eel Soda

eel soda 244x400

The “Surging Eel” fizzy pop is a carbonated yellow liquid made out of *SPOILERS* eel. It is produced by the Japanese Tobacco Company. No, it doesn’t make sense even to me, so don’t worry about it.

Now, I do have to acknowledge that the eel is a delicacy in Japan, but bottling and selling it as a soft drink has to be against some kind of law. Hell, if not court laws then I am willing to invoke the law of God if I have to. The western equivalent of this monstrosity would be… I don’t know, to bottle an entire Thanksgiving dinner in soda form? Which of course would never happen because no one is that crazy and……Dammit.

1. Meat Flavored Ice-cream

meat ice cream 560x178

You see those? Those are, in order, Beef Tongue, Horse and Chicken Wings flavored ice-cream. HORSE!

There is absolutely nothing I could think of to excuse this. So OK, beef tongue is quite often eaten in Japan. It tastes simply delicious when cooked over some charcoals and washed down with a beer. Chicken wings? KFC is everywhere here. Then there is HORSE…!

I just don’t get it.

How in the world did any of those end up as ice-cream? Now that I think about it, I am starting to fear for my life. Because you know, if already the Japanese are scrapping the bottom of the idea barrel for new meat themed ice cream like HORSE and all, how long will it take them to try and package us, the foreigners, into the mix? Filthy-Foreigner Ice Cream… I can already see it.

Should or shouldn’t !!!

Posted: August 26, 2010 in General
Tags: ,

Hi everyone, how are you today? weeee =) we are still fasting and and it half a month already. That great right! Okay, I got some idea to add one more category to this Shadowshark29’s Arena. it call “Food” but is that needed or not. I wonder… What do you say? Should or shouldn’t I do that? Please help me, give some comment for this.

Top 10 Most Expensive Desserts

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Fun & Fact
Tags: ,

Life is uncertain.  Eat dessert first. (Ernestine Ulmer)

Sure it’s great to have a nice hearty meal, but what’s a nice meal without the perfect dessert to end the night? There’s nothing better than being able to enjoy something sweet and tasty: cake, cookies, pie, pudding, or anything else- as long as it has sugar in it. When you indulge in sweet desserts, you might worry about a costly dental bill in your future… but, how about the price of the dessert itself?

There aren’t many people who can afford to, or who would want to, spend thousands of dollars on a dessert. However, if you are insanely rich (or just insane?), here is a list of ten desserts you should order. The rest of us will sit here watering out of our mouths and eyes from the hefty price tags.

Who’d have ever thought a sweet tooth could be so expensive:

10. Noka Chocolate, Vintage Collection $854 per pound

Noka Chocolate Expensive Desserts

Probably the simplest dessert on the list, the Vintage Collection provided by Noka Chooclate comes in at an expensive $854 per pound. The chocolate that is sold by this company is well known for being delicious and one of the finest made in the entire world. Noka uses all different types of cocoa from places such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Cote d’Ivoire, and Trinidad. The chocolates that are provided in the Vintage Collection are all of the dark variety, each of them made with at least 75% cocoa. If you’re new to such high class chocolate, Noka even provides flavor profiles as well as tasting guidelines. Each box is packaged in the classic Noka design.

9. Golden Opulence Sundae $1,000

Serendipity's Golden Opulence Sundae

Made of the best of the best, the Golden Opulence Sundae, provided by New York City restaurant Serendipity 3, will add $1000 to your bill. The sundae was created in order to celebrate Serendipity’s 50th Anniversary- otherwise known as the golden anniversary. The restaurant says that they only sell about one of these sundaes a month, but any sale is better than none, right? Known as the world’s most expensive sundae, the Golden Opulence is made with 5 scoops of Tahitian Vanilla Bean ice cream mixed with Madagascar vanilla and Venezuelan Chuao chocolate and topped off with a leaf covered in 23K edible gold. There are also other ingredients, including gold dragets, Paris candied fruits, marzipan cherries, and truffles. To top it all off, one of the world’s most expensive chocolates (Amedei Porcelana) is drizzled over the top and a Ron Ben-Israel sugar flower is properly placed. On top of the sundae you’ll also find a small glass bowl of Grand Passion Caviar, sweetened with orange, passion fruit, and Armagnac, which gives off a shiny golden color. You even get to eat the sundae in style: an 18K gold spoon is provided to eat your delicious treat out of a Harcourt crystal goblet.

8. The Brownie Extraordinaire $1,000

Brownie Extraordinaire Most Expensive Desserts

Yo can try this dessert next time you’re on the East Coast of the U.S.- if you’re willing to dish out $1,000. The Brownie Extraordinaire is sold at Brule, a restaurant in the Tropicana Resort located in Atlantic City, New Jersey. But, this isn’t just any brownie. It’s made out of dark chocolate that is then covered with Italian hazelnuts and served with a scoop of ice cream. Along with the sweet dessert, customers are also given a very rare and highly expensive port wine, Quinta do Novel Nicional, from Portugal. The wine is poured and served in a St. Louis Crystal atomizer. Although a brownie may not seem like a very lavish dessert, adding the rare glass of wine most definitely spices things up. And, if you’re a really big spender, you can choose to spend $15,000 on a Valentine’s Day package at Tropicana Resorts, which includes a hotel stay, romantic dinners, and of course the Brownie Extraordinaire.

7. The Sultan’s Golden Cake $1,000

Sultans Golden Cake Most Expensive Desserts

If you’ve ever wanted to try an edible brick of gold, this dessert is definitely for you. It’s available at the Ciragan Palace Kempinski Hotel located in Istanbul, for the hefty price of $1,000. The cake is made of figs, pears, apricot, and quince that are then put into a Jamaican Rum and soaked for two years. To finish, the cake is topped with French Polynesia vanilla bean, caramel, black truffles, and a 24 carat gold leaf. It is said that the cake takes about 72-hours to make. Once it is ready to be served, it is placed inside a sterling silver cake box with a golden seal. However, the cake is usually only made per request: usually for a wedding, celebration, or for a sultan himself.

6. Macaroons Haute Couture $7,414

Pierre Herme Macaroons Most Expensive Desserts

Macaroons aren’t too hard to find in today’s world. They are simply two meringue puffs that are held together with butter cream. They are most popular in France, and you can usually find them for a reasonable price for such a tasty dessert. However, French pastry chef, Pierre Herme, has cooked up a new and more expensive type of macaroons. The price tag at $7,414 definitely makes these macaroons not as attractive to everyone as the original recipe. Herme says that he offers a large variety of ingredients that have elevated the costs. A customer is able to choose ingredients such as balsamic vinegar, fleur de sel, red wine, peanut butter, and anything else you can think of putting between your two meringue puffs. Not all of the macaroons are this expensive, but if you choose the right ingredients, be prepared to dish out $7,000.

5. The Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence $14,500

Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence Most Expensive Desserts

They say food presentation is very important, and when it comes to the Fortress Stilt Fisherman Indulgence, there is no doubt. In Sri Lanka, stilt fishing has become a very popular tradition that has been around for decades. The dessert pays special tribute to this pastime by portraying a stilt fishing scene made of delicious ingredients, including chocolate, exotic fruit, and Irish cream. The dish is served with a mango and pomegranate compote. It portrays a fisherman, carved out of chocolate, hanging onto the stilt. Underneath the fisherman is a perfectly placed 80 carat aquamarine. It sits on a tiny sliver of chocolate to fully represent the fisherman’s stilt. Those who order the dessert get to keep the jewel, but as of now, no one has forked out the money. The Fortress was first unveiled at the Wine3 Fisherman Stilt restaurant in Sri Lanka.

4. Frrrozen Haute Chocolate $25,000

Frrrozen Haute Chocolate Most Expensive Desserts

Another Serendipity 3 dessert, the Frrozen Haute Chocolate is definitely a drink that no one will ever forget. At the price of $25,000, you can enjoy the frozen drink with the consistency of a slushy that contains a variety of cocoas from over 14 countries, milk, and of course 5 grams of 24-carat. To top it off, there’s a dollop of whipped cream and La Madeline au Truffle shavings. To ensure your money’s worth, the “Haute” cold dessert comes in a goblet that is banded with gold and decorated with diamonds: 1 carat of them, along with a take-home golden spoon. In 2007 the dessert was named the most expensive dessert in the world and was put into the Guinness World Records, but the price-tag has since been surpassed. In any case, would you want to pay $25,000 for slushy hot cocoa?

3. Platinum Cake $130,000

Platinum Cake Most Expensive Desserts

Created by a Japanese pastry chef named Nobue Ikara, the Platinum Cake rings in at the tiny price of $130,000, and is any platinum lover’s dream. The cake is decorated with plain white frosting and then draped with everything platinum, including chains, necklaces, pins, pendants, and even foils made of platinum that are edible. Ikara crafted the cake in dedication to many women, including Rinko Kikuchi, as well as in order to persuade more women to wear platinum. The cake was showcased by Platinum Guild International, a company encouraging more and more people to buy platinum jewelry, despite the record high rates for precious metals these days. The cake hasn’t been sold and the company has no idea whether it will be sold or not, but they do know it is worth more than many can afford. But, at least you get the chance to have your platinum cake, eat it, and wear it too. What a steal!

2. Strawberries Arnaud $1.4 million

Strawberries Arnaud New Orleans Desserts

As we’ve all heard, things are not always what they seem, and this saying applies to the Strawberries Arnaud perfectly. If you go to Arnaud’s restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter, you see nothing more than a bowl of strawberries topped with cream and mint. Yet, somehow they are worth $1.4 million? Look a bit harder and you’ll find a one-of-a-kind 4.7-carat pink diamond once belonging to Sir Ernest Cassel, an English royal finance advisor. Not only do you get delicious strawberries and a nice ring, the dessert comes with white-glove servers who provide wine out of a wine set worth $24,850, and of course there’s live jazz music. I mean, who would eat a $1.4 million dessert without music in the background? In any case, I say stick to your own strawberries and cream and a 25 cent plastic ring. She’ll never know the difference.

1. Diamond Fruitcake $1.65 million

Diamond Fruitcake 1.65 million dollars

For many of us, Christmas is all about spending time with family, enjoying a nice meal, and of course spending money on gifts for everyone. But, would you be daring enough to dish about $1.65 million for cake? Even better…could you afford it without having a nice overdraft fee in your bank account? Probably not; however, one pastry chef in Tokyo decided that his cake was worth this exorbitant amount of money. The chef decided to auction off the cake on Christmas Day at an exhibit entitled Diamonds: Nature’s Miracle. The chef took about 6 months to design the cake and an entire month to finish it and have it ready to be sold. 223 small diamonds are located throughout the exterior of the cake. Except for the diamonds, the rest of the cake is fully edible. This seems like a nice gift for your wife. “Here honey, have your cake and eat it too, just watch for all the diamonds”. But what woman doesn’t like diamonds, even if they are half-way covered in icing and not set in gold?

Even thought my English is not so good but I still want to share this with you all out there weeeeeeeeee =). A humorous quote that is quite accurate, actually. Of 80,000 English words, roughly 28% originate from Latin, 28% from French, and 25% from Germanic languages (Pie Chart: Wikipedia).
So, to honor those countries that have shared their vocabulary, by choice or by force, here is a list of ten words that native English speakers may not know as foreign. Granted, there are thousands of words to choose from, and to pick ten was difficult. After all, how many know that tycoon comes from the Japanese word “taikun” (great lord)? Or, that gung ho is Mandarin Chinese for “gongye hezhoushe” (work in harmony)?

Impress your friends with your new knowledge of the English language as you explain the interesting origin of words like robot (robota, Czech for “drudgery”), chic (originally schick, German for “elegance”), and kiosk (Turkish for “pavilion” or “palace”):

10. Poltergeist

As so vividly demonstrated in the numerous Poltergiest and Amityville Horror movies, a poltergeist is some sort of paranormal (and usually violent) activity taking place around those who are deeply troubled or have been traumatized. The word itself comes from the German words “poltern”, meaning to make noise, and “geist”, meaning ghost. Most of this activity has been attributed to various physical or electrical explanations by skeptics, but like with anything paranormal, there are cases that are too weird for explanation.

9. Placebo


You’ve probably heard of the placebo effect, especially in drug testing. A placebo is “an innocuous or inert medication; given as a pacifier or to the control group in experiments on the efficacy of a drug” (wordnetweb.princeton). The noun placebo comes from a Latin verb, meaning “I shall please”, in reference to some participants’ belief that the “medication” had an effect. What is actually happening however is that the participant may be unwilling to say that they experienced nothing out of fear of failure or of disappointing the researcher.

8. Loot

Loot, swag, plunder. No matter what word you use, you know that you’re talking about treasure. The word loot itself is an Anglo-Indian word with a root in the Hindi word “lut”. As a Hindi word, loot is an item stolen during war or riot. The word came into the English language during the British occupation of India during the eighteenth century.

7. Kudos

An ancient Greek word that means “glory” or “reknown”. In ancient Greek culture, glory was found on the battlefield, much like every other civilization. When a solider was refused his earned due, or kudos, it was considered a very serious insult. One of the most famous examples of kudos is in the Iliad when Agamemnon takes the maiden Briseis from the soldier Achilles as a gift of honor- kudos earned from his glory in battle.

6. Khaki

Khaki British uniforms

If there is one thing that the British Army was known for up until the nineteenth century, it was their bright red uniforms, earning them the nickname “redcoats”. This made them an easy target no matter where they went, and in combination with their emphasis on holding their formation, they were sitting ducks especially during the American Revolution. However, if one looks at the British Army now, they wear a different and more sensible color: khaki. The British began using the cloth and color found in their colonization of India, hence the name khaki, which means “dusty” or “earth” in Hindi.

5. Juggernaut

Juggernaut word origin Jaggarnath

While most people think of the X-Men villain when they hear this word, it actually dates back to pre-colonial times. Juggernaut is actually Sanskrit for “lord of the universe”, and is a form of the Hindu deity Krishna. The word came into the English language when British visitors to India witnessed a parade famous to the Jagannath Temple, in which statues of deities that were forty-five feet tall on platforms with wheels seven feet in diameter are rolled through the streets. Ironic, as Juggernaut himself is represented as a young boy, often playing a flute.

4. Glitch

Beautiful glitch from GLITCH book

A word for “slip up”, glitch is believed to be a conglomeration of two words, both that meant to slip or slide, around 1962: “glitshen” (Yiddish) and “glitschen” (German). It was first used in English by American astronauts when there was a spike in an electrical current, and then broadened to other technical mishaps.

3. Confetti

Italian candy origin of word confetti

Traditionally, confetti is an Italian word to mean “candy”, specifically sugared almonds and other sweet confections eaten during special religious occasions like weddings, baptisms, and first communions. The custom of throwing confetti however, does not come from Italy. In times of antiquity, small food items such as rice, dates, or nuts were thrown during times of celebration to represent fertility and abundance.

2. Berserk

Berserker Viking in bear shirt

Berserk refers to an Old Norse word used to describe the Viking warriors. The word itself means “bear shirt” for the bearskins that the warriors used instead of armor.  They believed that by wearing the skins and working themselves into their war frenzy, that they would be endowed with the bear’s energy. Sir Walter Scott began using the word in the 1822 in his book The Pirate, more than one thousand years after the Viking invasions.

1. Assassin


The origins of this Arabic word date back to the ninth century, when an Islamic sect was led to overthrow the Suni Muslims.  Yemeni Shiite Hasan-I Sabbah was the founder of the group and set about his mission by targeting the enemies’ leaders. The group was given the name Hashshashin, meaning hashish-eaters, and was converted into English in 1603 as “assassin”.