Alice in Wonderland Morphs Her Colors

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In a season all about transformation, Alice is one step ahead of the game. While flowers try to fight their way through the snow, branches bud, and sunsets change from cool to vibrant, Alice gives herself purple hair and brown eyes.

Hair change is easy: just dye it–or get a wig! But what about eyes? Fact: all people with brown eyes have blue underneath (all babies are born with blue eyes). Basically, in most people, the lighter color quickly becomes obscured by a thin layer of brown pigment which covers the front of the iris. Now, due to $5,000 laser surgery, this pigment CAN be removed, making once-dark eyes permanently blue.

Other methods, if you wish to have ice grey, emerald green, or even purple eyes, involve using contact lenses daily, or getting Brightocular, a $10,000 procedure currently only legal in a few countries, such as Tunisia. It involves having contact lenses inserted permanently, which can involve headaches, and other, even more serious side effects. Of course, if this procedure catches on, strangely colored eyes will cease to be exotic and become the norm–meaning in 2050, when 70%  of the population have silver or violet eyes, brown may become coveted again.

As controversy surrounds both eye color change methods–laser surgery might result in loss or impairment of vision–it may make more sense to transform yourself the old-fashioned, Lewis Carroll way: eat a mushroom and just pretend you have changed!

What color would you like YOUR eyes to be???

Sleepy Fox Cake

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annabelletroy:

Foxes are kind of Irish, aren’t they?, so I’m borrowing this post for St. Patrick’s Day. Cheers!

Originally posted on :

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Today was my Granny’s 80th Birthday; because she’s very into her wildlife and country living I decided to make a stylised sleeping fox cake surrounded by leaves and mushrooms to mark the occasion. I used a food colour painting technique on this creation and as a first attempt I think it went relatively well- what do you think?

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TIP: Imprint the veins of leaves into roll-out icing then cut around the shape.  When slightly hardened, paint with food colouring to create realistic looking foliage!

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To Successfully Paint Fondant: Mix a little paste food colouring with a drop of vodka and paint the covered cake with a clean paintbrush (the vodka keeps the icing from going soggy and will evaporate quickly).

I hope you like my design and good luck with any you might be planning!

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Sherlock Holmes Deconstructs “Green”

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It is second only to blue as the world’s favorite color. Perhaps this is because it is the color most found in nature and therefore soothing to the human eye; or because the eye can pick it up easily, as it occupies more space in the spectrum of colors that people can easily visualize than almost any other hue.

In today’s world, green is associated with ecology, being natural, and other pleasant, wholesome concepts. Interestingly, this was not always so. To take a quote from Dorian Gray’s author, Oscar Wilde: “He had that curious love of green, which in individuals is always the sign of a subtle artistic temperament, and in nations is said to denote a laxity, if not a decadence of morals.” Slime green, for instance, is associated with corruption and decay.

How well do you know your green(s)? Take this brief quiz below as a benchmark:

1. Which country’s flag is entirely green?

a. Saudi Arabia     b. Libya

2. In Celtic mythology, the Green Man symbolized

a. great good fortune   b. fertility

3. Which president declared green as his favorite color?

a. George W. Bush  b. George Washington

4. In ancient Egypt which god was depicted as having green skin?

a. Seth   b. Osiris

5. Bright green is associated with this astrology sign:

a. Virgo   b. Cancer

6. Green represents which Chakra?

a.  Lungs  b. Heart

7. In rural China if a man is given a green hat to wear it symbolizes

a. his wife is pregnant  b. his wife is cheating on him

If you picked mostly “bs” you are a greenie. If you chose “a”, your favorite color is obviously red.

We hope you have enjoyed these brief musings on “green”, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and we leave you with this thought:

Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.” — Pedro Calderon de la Barca

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Bad Sentences in Classic Literature: The Scarlet Letter

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annabelletroy:

Great post for Hester Prynne fans!

Originally posted on Dysfunctional Literacy:

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The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne has a lot going for it as a classic novel.  It’s relatively short, and most modern readers would rather read a short classic novel than a long one.  The Scarlet Letter deals with an interesting subject matter, and the symbolism involved is stuff that a literal guy like me can understand.  But like a lot of classic literature, the sentences can be tough to get through.

Different people have different standards for bad sentences.  If a sentence would have gotten me red-marked for writing it back when I was a kid or lectured at by my writers groups as an adult, then I consider it a bad sentence.  The sentences in The Scarlet Letter aren’t as long and ponderous as those in some classic literature, but there are plenty of other issues.  For example, in Chapter I, “The Prison Door,” Hawthorne starts the book…

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Icicles & Fondue

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Heidi is used to long winters, with an ocean of snow to play in and icicles dripping from the eaves. She always cheers up the neighborhood by cooking a big pot of fondue (even Peter’s grandmother can eat day-old bread once it is softened by warm cheese). Though peasants had been eating melted local cheeses in pot form for centuries, it was not until the 1930s that the Swiss Cheese Union—yes, there is one–promoted fondue as the official dish of Switzerland. The first fondue sets were imported for sale after WWII. But it was not until the experimental 1960s that American housewives really got into the act. They served fondue variations such as cheese crab with sherry and a family-friendly type using melted Velveeta (for the dipping of veggies such as carrots and broccoli), long before crepes or quiches were ever heard of. In New York, in the mid-’60s, a restaurant owner named Konrad Egli was credited with inventing both chocolate fondue and fondue bourguignonne (steak tips dipped in melted cheese).

Heidi used to make her fondue the traditional way; her favorite part is the layer of cheese that forms at the bottom of the pot and which she pulls out and eats like a cracker. The French call this part la religieuse: the nun. But since starting life in contemporary times she has had her pert blue eyes opened to more exotic fondue varieties such as Coconut Milk Fondue, to be eaten with shrimp or even mini-egg rolls–the frozen kind, heated up, will do or order some from your favorite Chinese restaurant.

To make Coconut Milk Fondue you will need 5 cups of chicken broth (just get this in cans), 3/4 cup coconut milk (would be awesome if you got this by cracking your own coconut, awesome but not necessary), 2 tbsp fish sauce (avail in a bottle, thank goodness), and 2 minced green onions. Boil this up, together with 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest and, for a kick, 1/2 teaspoon of hot pepper sauce. Once it has reached a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Then transfer the mixture to a fondue pot, and spear away. In a pinch you can always try dipping icicles! Though they might go better with a coconut and chocolate mixture, as dessert.

Fifty Shades of Dorian Gray

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In addition to spelling Gray the proper, “British” way, unlike some people he could name, Dorian has been around a lot longer than Christian. He is nonchalant about Christian’s exploits, both the book and film versions, as he knows erotica dealing with disciplinary themes has been around for a long time.

Dorian’s recommended reading list:

Miss Bellasis Birched for Thieving: written by an anonymous author in the 19th century; when wealthy young girls start stealing from one another at a select boarding school, the headmistress calls in a male authority figure. Much caning ensues.

The Whippingham Papers: published in 1897, it contains poems of Swinburne that deal with flagellation themes. Referred to as the “English vice”, apparently flagellation brothels were also popular around this time–though Dorian will never tell.

Venus in Furs by some German with a really long name: a man offers himself up body and soul to a beautiful woman, to be used for submissive purposes. Perfect for those interested in role reversal.

For die-hard traditionalists, there is Heinrich von Kleist’s 1808 novella, The Marquise of O, in which a sheltered noblewoman wakes up pregnant, from a rape performed when she is asleep. Here, the act of dominance is so subtle she is not even aware that it happened. Though this may not be the best premise for good box office, it was made into a wispy film by Eric Rohmer in 1976.