Sunday, December 26, 2004

Oops, Santa didnt get outta the way quick enough!

Hehehehe, I absolutely LOVED this photo! It makes the PERFECT ending to Christmas! Not that I had a bad Christmas - got LOTSA gifts, gave even more gifts, ate a lotta good food (minus the turkey), and threw a snowball at Pete. Yes, A snowball. One. Singular. That's because it never snows more than that in Shrewsbury! It very nearly wasnt a white Christmas here, in spite of the weather forecast (lotsa snow, they said). But around 9pm, when I looked out of the window, it had snowed quietly and whitely, enough to cover the ground in a thin layer. And there was enough snow on the car bonnet and roof for me to gather it up and make a snowball to throw at Pete. I didnt miss - but he made a bigger, better snowball... and he didnt miss either. Didnt love the snow quite so much when it got down my sweater, so I went back inside the nice warm house and looked out at the snow in the moonlight. Nice!

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Ant-eresting questions...

Ok, I'll say it before y'all do - that was a (very) laboured pun! But still a fun pun, made only because this post is about ants. BuggieYep, those pesky little insects that are so common in tropical countries (or when the weather is hot). What caught my interest in the first place was this piece of trivia: The ant can lift 50 times its own weight, can pull 30 times its own weight and always falls over on its right side when intoxicated.

Stretch a point, and I can visualise how some enterprising insect-specialist (what are they called?) must have weighed an ant on microscopic scales, then loaded it with increasing amounts of some minuscule material until it (the ant, not the material) collapsed. Thus arriving at the conclusion that an average ant can carry 50 times its own weight.

Then, to test its pulling abilities, the specialist probably harnessed the ant (same one? different one? who knows!) to a micro-cart and kept loading it with ant-sized material until it (the ant, not the material) couldnt move any further. Thereby, yet again, arriving at the conclusion that the average ant can pull 30 times its own weight.

With me so far? That was a reasonable exercise in imagination, wasnt it?

But getting an ant intoxicated - that boggled my imagination rather. Ok, so it always falls over on its right side when it's intoxicated. That's just the bare fact. There is so much more that has been left out, things we dont know about intoxicating and intoxicated ants. How DOES one get an ant intoxicated? On what? How much of whatever liquor does it take? Does it prefer beer to spirits? What sort of a glass does it use? Does it prefer a straw? How does one keep an ant merely (and possibly merrily) intoxicated without it going over into the blind raving drunk zone? Would the ant prefer a bar or a pub, or would it be pleased to spend Happy Hour in a lab, in a spirit of scientific endeavour?

So many details, so few facts!

PS. Just remembered what insect-specialists are called - entomologists! There, that's one fact to start with. Orange Mix

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Advertisements - lies couched in hyperbole wrapped in statistics

Ah, the joys of Christmas... the season of lies, lies and more lies. This is the time in the UK that spawns an extraordinary number of advertisements that are 100% more nauseating than at any other time in the year. You get to see ads at Christmas time (or during the 30-45 day build-up to The Day) that never get aired at other times - and I cant tell you how thankful I am for that! Now if only they'd stop showing them at Christmas as well...

All advertisements, if you ask me, are a crock of lies. Some more than others. I mean the ones that use picture-perfect, stick-thin, flawless models to advertise skin cosmetics, hair-care products and perfume - those are especially blatant in their claims and/or dim-witted in concept and execution.

I dont actually MIND watching someone like Natalie Imbruglia (an Australian pop-star and actress) sing the praises of some wrinkle de-creaser on TV - she's flawlessly lovely. Or Claudia Schiffer, for that matter, telling the world that she would have lifeless blond hair if she didnt use a certain conditioner. Or Andie McDowell coming out coyly with the information that she covers up ALL the grey in her hair by the regular use of a home hair colouring agent.

But to imply that Natalie would have wrinkles if she didnt use Product A, or Claudia would have crunchy dry hair if she didnt use Product B... well, how stupid are we common, wrinkled, crunchy-haired people supposed to BE? Could you imagine, for even ONE moment, that a model as rich and famous as Claudia Schiffer would suffer even ONE strand of dry hair on her head? Ha! She probably has a whole beauty salon worth of minions just to look after her crowning glory! And as for Andie - of course she colours her hair at home herself. Could there be any other possibility for a famous movie star???

What I hate about "real" advertisements featuring "regular" women is that they LIE! Blatantly, openly and obviously lie while trying to make out that they're speaking gospel truth. And what's worse, they use dubious statistics to back it all up. For instance: "89% of women who used our de-wrinkler agreed that their wrinkles improved after 6 weeks". Very impressive - until you read the small print which says that a total of 50 women were surveyed. Yep, that certainly represents the majority of women in the country!

And perfumes... perfume adverts mostly lie low for most of the year. But at the moment, there are about a dozen adverts for perfume on TV, and ALL of them drive me crazy. My favourite blood-pressure-raiser has a sylph-like creature, clad in a minimal pink floaty dress, leaping dreamily up trying to catch pink balloons in a particularly dim-witted manner... if you saw anybody do that in reality, I guarantee you'd make an emergency call to the nearest loony shelter.

I DO like some ads - humorous ones, for example, are always welcome. Those that are NOT based on reality, those that rely on exaggeration for emphasis are cool. Since nobody who watches television can escape advertisements, at the very least, the ads should be watchable. I like ads that are totally deviant from reality - at least nobody's pretending to be telling the truth, and everybody has a good time. Watchers included. Especially me.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Just FYI, for those who own credit cards!

I asked my friend, who works for HSBC, about credit card fraud, customer responsibility, bank liability, etc, and here's what he had to say. (I'm giving it verbatim from his email... I'm not about to take any chances with 'kolarufying' any explanation I might try on my own! Goofy)

So here goes:
"In terms of fraud transactions, yes you are always safe/covered, because the moment you dispute the transaction the onus is always on the other party (i.e. in this case the acquiring bank - the one who collects the transaction from the merchant - and in turn the merchant to prove that you actually carried out the transaction) to prove that it is genuine. Only hassle is your bank (called the issuing bank in tech jargon) may reissue you with a new piece of plastic to avoid further misuse of your old which in turn is a hassle since you have to change card numbers, pins, wait for the period before you get a new one, monitor your statements for a while carefully etc.

Oh and this is the same doesnt matter whether you are in India or the UK.

About the lost card, you are right that the liability shift kicks in the moment you report the loss to the bank. ( Shift from you to the bank i.e.) Until then you are responsible, its no different from someone misusing a signed cheque due to your negligence. Obviously with a card there are more measures like fraud prevention,many security measures to mitigate this risk.

Also, most banks offer insurance as part of their vanilla product. This will help you to cover fraud transactions (on a lost/stolen card) to a certain amount. But these days, most banks make you pay separately for this (Just like care and mortgage insurances) and the terms & conditions of what is/isnt covered are in the very fine print!!!!

And that's how it is... I guess reading the very fine print is always a good idea!

Monday, December 13, 2004

Blogging rules!

Why is it that when something is new(ish) and fun and provides an unrestricted, entertaining outlet for reader and writer alike, somebody, somewhere, has to come up with "tips" that - no matter how well-meant - immediately constrict and restrict that freedom?

I'm talking about an article by one
Priya Shah that I reached by following a link from another blog (and it has some nice pics, this blog!). I've nothing against the style of the article, it's well-written and to-the-point. It's just some of the contents to which I object.

For starters, Ms Shah says: "Opinions are fine, but unless you're the CEO of Microsoft, very few people will want to know what you ate for breakfast." I beg to differ on that. The normal everyday events of some stranger's life CAN be interesting, even riveting, as long as that stranger can write in such a way as to engage your interest. Humour works for me, as it probably does for a lot of people. I'm perfectly happy to read about things, places, people and events that are of no relevance to me, if it's written in an amusing, casual style. I'm sure it would be the same for others too.

The next line is: "If you started your blog to air your raves and rants about the latest movie you saw, better mention movies in at least every post you write." Whoa! I dont THINK so! Not unless the blog was meant for movie reviews only, and nothing else. Imagine someone whose first post was about a movie, being forced to think up ways to mention movies in EVERY post thereafter even if the topics were as varied as Bill Gates' super-duper mansion or George Bush's latest verbal faux pas!

The whole point about starting a blog is the sheer freedom of being able to do so, and write about anything you want, however you want, as much as you want and NOT FOLLOW A SINGLE RULE OF GRAMMAR - if, of course, that's what you want. To be fair, I wouldnt recommend incomprehensibility because it would put readers off. But if you dont care about readers, BE incomprehensible! It's your right as a blogger.

Ms Shah then says: "The worst sin you can commit is to bore your readers." Ah, but if one were to worry about boring potential readers, nobody would write at all! There's bound to be somebody who objects to your writing, somebody who thinks it's a waste of time, somebody who finds it boring. The plus side is that it's equally likely that you'll find some fans. Still, there's no way of pleasing everybody all the time, or everybody some of the time, or even anybody sometimes! So the best thing to do is please yourself. Which, if you ask me, IS the point of a personal blog. It's the one place where you do not face restrictions from editors, reporters, ad people, column space or any of the zillion other things that affect media writers in their official capacity.

And finally: "If you think you can meet the requirements above, and know your why, then like the shoe people say - just do it." And if you cant, what then? You dont deserve to have a blog at all? I dont think so! I say (like the aforementioned shoe people): Just do it anyway.
Blogs are for the freedom to write for the heck of it, for the joy of it, to express personal opinions and views, to share feelings and emotions, comment on everyday happenings or world-changing events - and not worry once about censorship, readership, penmanship or, for that matter, the time and space continuum. Blogging rules are unnecessary... and that is why blogging rules!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Slugger Santas

The idea was to set a world record for the most number of Santas in one place, to raise money for charity. What it nearly ended up as was a world record for the most number of Santas involved in a street brawl! It would be depressing if it wasnt amusing (or should that be the other way around?).

About 4000 Santas took part in a charity run in a place called Newtown, in Wales. It appeared that the race was run in correct festive cheer, but Christmas goodwill disappeared at some point a few hours later... perhaps because festive spirits were drowned in alcoholic spirits. Police had to use teargas and batons on the brawling Santas to break up the fight.

I cant help wondering about the effect this would've had on the children of Newtown, though... first of all, the shock of seeing thousands of Santas where they would've expected only one. All the stories about Santa Claus only mention ONE of him, right?

And to top that off, the trauma of seeing the Santas fighting... fertile ground for a future rise in the number of adults who will require intensive counselling because of their suppressed childhood memories of watching Santas slugging away at each other. (Phew, what a mouthful!) Heh heh.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Art as mathematics (or mathematics as art)

Maths is not, never has been, and never will be my favourite subject. But occasionally, some things in that exalted realm catch my attention because they are so weird, and therefore interesting. The nuts-and-bolts of mathematics dont interest me, but the innovative use of mathematical properties... well, that is definitely something to bother about.

One such facet of mathematics is topology, and it appeals to me mainly because of the Mobius strip, about which I learnt when I was fairly young (but old enough to hate maths!). The Mobius strop is basically a strip of paper that has only one side and one edge despite pretending to have two of both. I made it once, under instructions from my father, who challenged me to paint it in two colours. I couldnt believe it didnt have two sides. Doesnt EVERYTHING have at least two sides? Nope. Not the Mobius strip. Yet I couldnt believe it even after I found out that it had only one side.

This brilliant, inexplicable (ok, perhaps it's explicable, to coin a word, but I still find it unbelievable) phenomenon stayed in my mind - although it didnt bring me any closer to loving mathematics. So I was really pleased to come across a site that not only explains topology but has the fantastic drawings of Mauritz Cornelius Escher. I believe mathematicians in the 1950s were greatly impressed with M C Escher because his astonishing drawings visualised and made original use of mathematical properties. Actually, Escher has plenty of modern admirers as well, who have followed in his footsteps and created their own weird drawings (but possibly with the help of computers, I dunno).

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Christmas cheer

Looks like Madame Tussaud's, the famous waxworks museum, has got into the spirit of the Christmas season. The news is that they have re-created the Nativity scene (birth of Jesus) with some of their more famous waxwork models.

So, Joseph and Mary are "played" by David and Victoria Beckham (!) and Kylie Minogue is the Guardian Angel hovering above. The three shepherds are represented by Samuel L Jackson, Hugh Grant and Graham Norton (a very flamboyantly gay chat show presenter from Ireland). All absurd enough.

But when I got to Madame Tussaud's representation of the Three Wise Men, I cracked up... whoever thought up the idea either has a very lively sense of irony, or else is totally cuckoo. I prefer to think the former. Wanna know why? Because the Three Wise Men are - wait for it - Tony Blair (!), Prince Philip (!) and George W Bush (!!!)! Rolly 2

One other thing, I dont think the Baby Jesus is represented by a waxwork of anybody real, maybe because there isnt any wax model of a famous baby...

The Nativity Scene, as recreated by Madame Tussaud's in London (photo courtesy The Age)
(From left: Samuel L Jackson, Hugh Grant, Graham Norton (the three shepherds); David Beckham (Joseph), Victoria Beckham (Mary); Tony Blair, Prince Philip, George W Bush (the Three Wise Men). Above: Kylie Minogue (the Guardian Angel). Below: Unknown (Baby Jesus).

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Permission to go to war, SIR!

I came across a PTI news report in The Times of India dated Dec 1, which set me thinking. The report said that a high-ranking international UN panel has recommended that the approval of the United Nations Security Council is required before any country (I assume member-country) can make a "pre-emptive" or "preventive" attack on another country. The panel is of the opinion that violence against civilians cannot be justified by arguments that basically dismiss civilian deaths as "collateral damage" or "in a good cause" during a war of liberation.

All very well and good, but there are a couple of things to note... One, the panel did not debate the legality of the US coalition attack on Iraq ("it's a forward looking report", apparently). Never mind that the violence still isnt over in Iraq and the coalition forces havent yet left, so the issue cannot be dismissed with the explanation that it's history. It isnt. It's still happening. End result - once again the USA gets away with its atrocities.

Two, there's still a loophole - "humanitarian intervention", the panel says, is justified where a state is unable or unwilling to stop genocide, ethnic cleansing or violation of humanitarian laws. But isnt that what the attack on Iraq was toted to be? The US-led coalition didnt attack just because of the dubious - and tenuous - "link" between Saddam Hussein, Osama Bin Laden and 911, right? They attacked because they couldnt stand by any more while Saddam continued his "ethnic cleansing". Right? Awww, the whole war was because the USA was upholding humanitarian principles. Well, with this loophole, it can continue doing so.

The right to choose death

If ever I'm so ill that I'm completely dependent on the kindness of other people or machines to do the simplest things, like breathing, I hope to be able to go to Switzerland, to a charity called Dignitas. That is one place where I'll be able to die with dignity, without inflicting suffering on myself or others. Morbid, perhaps, but the thought of living as a vegetable - and worse, a vegetable in pain - is infinitely more frightening than the oblivion which is brought on of MY choosing. As it is, death is not something I'm afraid of, except for the side effect it has of bringing grief to friends and family.

Dignitas was formed in 1998, and has so far helped nearly 150 people to die. Its motto is "Live with dignity, die with dignity" - a reassuringly practical and understanding outlook on life, as far as I'm concerned. I do not agree with people who think that euthanasia is murder. If someone who is in great pain that cannot be alleviated, or is suffering from a degenerative disease that will inevitably lead to total dependency, for instance, wants to die while they're still in control of their mind, if not their body - well, I think their wish should be carried out. If dogs can eased into death because of a terminal, incurable, painful disease, why cannot the same humane facility be afforded to human beings, who actually have a voice with which to convey their decision about their own future, who have the right to decide if they want to live or not? If it's acceptable for people to have control of their life, it should be acceptable for them to have control of their death, too.

Swiss law has what could be considered a loophole - the gist of it is that assisted death is not a crime as long as the person who did the assisting is not motivated by self-interest and does not personally profit from the death. That is why Dignitas is a charity. Its staff are all volunteers, specialists who ensure that there is no conflict of interest. I consider it a social service that they are doing, despite some opposition from a few Swiss who feel that their country might become a destination for people looking to die.

Actually I think that all countries should offer this option to their citizens, exactly as Dignitas is doing. If the UK had such a law in place, people wouldnt need to travel to Switzerland in search of a permanent solution to their agony. Still, a landmark decision has been made by a High Court Family Division judge here, in a case where a man was banned from taking his terminally-ill and physically incapacitated wife to Switzerland for an assisted suicide. Mr Justice Hedley ruled that it was up to the police to do what they thought best in the circumstances and it was not for a court to decide. The woman in question died last Wednesday in Zurich, so it's pretty clear that the police decided not to prevent them from travelling.

However, her husband could still face police charges here in the UK, because while suicide itself is legal, assisting a suicide is a crime. But, like I said, with some luck that might soon change, because the Assisted Dying Bill is in discussion in the House of Lords. I'm hoping they pass the Bill.

Because if I ever come to a situation where death would be preferable to life, I would hope to go gentle into that good night, instead of raging against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas, you were wrong.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Recipe for creme caramel, by popular request

Well, there were at least two! I'm not proud, even ONE request would have had me scrambling for the recipe in my jumble. (Yes, jumble. It's not a folder, it's not a file, it's not a book. It's just a random collection of pieces of paper with sometimes handwritten and sometimes printed recipes.) In politically-correctspeak, I guess the description would be "differently organised".

Anyway, on with the show, as it were...



2 cups milk (about 500 ml/half-litre)
3 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar (24 tablespoons!)
1 tsp vanilla essence/2 tbsp rosewater/1/2 tsp cardamom powder (choose one, not all)
2 tbsp sugar for caramel


1. Beat/cream egg and sugar till light and creamy.

2. Add milk in a thin stream while stirring continuously, until it's all mixed in.

3. Cook over a double boiler on a low flame, until the mixture begins to thicken. Keep stirring often. This should take about 10-12 minutes, I guess.

4. Once it's fairly thick, take it off the flame and set aside.

To caramelise the sugar, place it along with 2 tbsp water in the custard mould (preferably a stainless steel vessel, or something that can be placed directly on the flame.) Let it cook over a low flame, swirling it occasionally, until the sugar melts and becomes a beautiful golden brown. Swirl the caramel so that it coats the bottom AND sides of the mould, take it off the flame and let it harden for 5-10 minutes.

Now add whatever essence you are using to the egg mixture and stir it in. Pour the mixture into the mould. You can cover it with aluminium foil, in which a few small holes have been made, so that the steam can escape.

Steam in a pressure cooker (without the weight) for 20 minutes. Let the custard cool completely in the pressure cooker (this is important). Then remove the foil and put the mould in the fridge to cool for a few hours, or overnight (this is important too). Unmould the creme caramel carefully in a serving dish. If the custard hasnt pulled away from the sides of the mould, insert a thin knife (or spatula) around the edge and loosen gently before unmoulding.

(To unmould, I put a serving dish over the mould and quickly turn it upside down... it usually works! If it doesnt, it still tastes good even if it looks like.... um, I wont say what it looks like, I'm sure you'll come up with your own imagery! But it WILL taste gooooooooood.)

Chef 2
PS. If you dont have a double-boiler, do this: Half-fill a big vessel with hot water, and cook the egg mixture in another, smaller vessel which is placed in the big one. The idea is that the mixture cooks in the heat from the boiling water, instead of directly on the flame. I prefer to hold the smaller vessel with a potholder to ensure that it doesnt even touch the bottom of the big one.

Update on UK law

Well, looks like somebody is at last realising that UK laws are skewed in favour of housebreakers rather than the householder. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir John Stevens, the UK's most senior police officer, has said that householders should be able to use whatever force is necessary to defend themselves against intruders, even if it means killing them. And about time, too, if you ask me!

Apparently, a householder who defends his/her home and family should only be prosecuted only in "extreme circumstances" (like if there's an armed burglar in the house?) and if it can be proved that they used "gratuitous violence" (like armed burglars do?). Well, at least somebody in authority has actually SAID it, which I guess is a step in the right direction.

Said Sir John in The Daily Telegraph: "My own view is that people should be allowed to use what force is necessary and that they should be allowed to do so without any risk of prosecution."

Very commendable of Sir John, I'm sure... but why couldnt he have said this - AND done something about implementing it - earlier in his tenure instead of a month or so before he retires? Yep, that's right - he retires in February 2005. Evidently that's why he has suddenly discovered the gaping hole in the law... because now it will be up to his successor to actually do something about it.

I know, I KNOW... it's a really cynical attitude (and I'm talking about me, not Sir John) but politicians anywhere raise my hackles, I'm afraid.

Can it be true?

Are the radical language-chauvinists in Karnataka's film industry actually serious about banning new movies that arent in their language and made in their State? Can the Kannada film industry actually carry out such a moratorium? I take it this means that Hindi, Tamil and English movies are all "banned". Is it true that in Bangalore the police are frisking movie-goers who want to see Veer-Zaara to make sure that nobody is carrying weapons? I'm appalled!

I read in the BBC that the film industry thinks the moratorium is justified because of dwindling audiences and huge losses. Well, all I can tell those sad losers in the Kannada movie business is that the answer to that is to improve the movies THEY make, instead of banning other, better, movies in other languages! If people watch Kannada movies only by virtue of the fact that there isnt anything else to see, what sort of improvement will THAT be? This is the point where all those "ships" sail in - censorship, dictatorship, etc. Besides, I'm pretty sure that the local Kannadigas will rise up against this ridiculous ban after a while... wouldnt it get boring to be able to see only Kannada movies on the big screen?

However, I cant help wondering if this radical step is just another in the running feud between Kannadigas and Tamils. It's such a shame that there seems to be so much intolerance of Tamils. (I can understand if they target the autorickshaw drivers from Tamil Nadu who are plying their extortionate trade in Bangalore - they're making it nearly as bad as Chennai!)

But I dont understand the fear of Kannadigas that they will become a minority in their own State. So what? Are they afraid that Tamil Nadu has plans to annex Karnataka or something? As if, once Tamils are officially greater in number, Tamil will become the official language and Kannada will be forgotten. Protecting a language is all very well, but it has to be done in a proactive manner. Banning other languages isnt the way to do it, just as banning other-language movies isnt the way to promote Kannada movies. Well, it's certainly not the sensible way.

Besides, if it's that easy for a language to become defunct, then perhaps it deserves to go the way of the dinosaurs. If a language cant change with the times, cant adapt, that's all it deserves. This applies to the Tamil language as well, and language chauvinists from Tamil Nadu. What's the point having signs and bus destinations and road names in Tamil only, or Kannada only? If multinationals are to be lured here, with their attendant jobs and investment and prosperity, the way to do it isnt to ban English! That is a huge step backward - not only that, it practically guarantees isolation.

Besides, isnt it mostly those who havent had an education in the English medium who are the most vocal supporters of language chauvinism? If they cant come up, they'll bring it all down to their level. These ridiculous, short-sighted radicals are poisoning the very waters in which they live.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Cool optical illusions

Something to divert your attention, if it doesnt give you a headache first (but if you get a headache, can you consider that as attention diverted?)

Buns and beef

Nope, this isnt a girl's take on that eternal male favourite, Baywatch. Cant stand that Hasselhof person, anyway :) This is just a beef I have about something that, strictly speaking, is absolutely none of my business at all whatsoever (note all the extra emphasis). But what's a blog for, if not to beef about things that stick in my craw? :)

You'd think that Americans would be more careful about eating what's offered in their restaurants, and that the restaurants would be more careful about what they offer their customers. Especially considering that America is the fattest nation in the world. Or rather, it has the most number of not just fat, but morbidly obese, people in the world. Seems like the Americans take their claim really seriously. What claim, you ask? The one where they say that the US has the biggest and best of everything. I'll go with "biggest", but unfortunately "biggest" isnt necessarily, or always, the best.

Wondering what my beef is about? Well, it's about THEIR beef - the bovine variety, that is. I'm not complaining about the culinary skills involved in cooking it or the finished product (I'm vegetarian and prefer to stay that way). I'm just trying to understand why they have to offer half a cow's worth of meat in ONE burger!

Imagine eating something that has 1400 calories and would lard you up with over 100 grams of fat. This is just ONE burger. If you're vegetarian, I suggest you dont imagine EATING the burger... just imagine the burger itself: Two one-third-pound (totalling about 1/4 kilo) beef patties, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese, topped with mayonnaise on a buttered sesame seed bun.

And the restaurant chain that offers this gourmet's delight is Hardee's. It's evidently one of America's finest, advertising the delicate taste and nutritive value of its creations rather than catering to the gluttony of its potential customers. Or not.

If you think THAT wasnt bad enough, here's more. It's a super monster burger, and the meat content in it is more than most babies weigh at birth! Just think of it - one person eating a baby-sized portion of meat (not counting the rest of the items that make up the burger). The whole thing consists of six pounds (that's about two KILOS!) of beef, one large onion, two whole tomatoes, a half a head of lettuce, 1-1/4 pounds (a little more than 1/2 kilo) of cheese and a cup each of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, relish, banana peppers and some pickles. Oh, and the top and bottom buns that keep all this together.

And the pub that offers this dainty creation: Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. I bet that McDonald's, which has come in for a lot of criticism for its high-fat-content junk food, is muttering evilly to itself about how these places, which offer a lot worse food than it does, arent being pilloried by the press! After all, their biggest Big Mac, in comparison, would be (b)eaten hands down. On the other hand, I suppose McD's are much more prevalent worldwide than Hardee's, so "Supersize Me" is still valid criticism.

Apropos of nothing - it's amazing the things that a Google search unearths!