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As I watched competitive eater Takeru Kobeyashi consume a 12" Domino's pizza in one minute, I realized that I could probably do this, and that if it wasn't Domino's, I could probably do it twice. Not that I'm supposed to. Carbs don't agree with me. But if you need to dispose of evidence in pizza form, and Takeru Kobeyashi is busy, I might be your guy.


Takeru Kobeyashi Eats a whole Pizza In One Minute

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Photo: Nadege Meriau

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At first glance Nadege Meriau‘s photographs appear to be microscopic images, at second glance, apocalyptic landscapes. But in reality they are assembled out of food: fruits, vegetables, bones, meat and more.

The lighting is haunting and carefully constructed with a muted color palette. When studying her images, one starts forming an exit strategy. There is a paradox in them, between pain and pleasure.

Meriau is a Tunisian-born artist who is currently based in London. She received her masters from the Royal College of Art in 2011 and has exhibited her photographs in Europe since 2005. Most recently she was nominated for the Discovery Prize at Les Rencontres d’Arles. In her interview with Raw File below, Meriau discusses her process, intentions and negotiating art versus commercial work.

Wired: Would you say that science is an influence on your work? If so, could you explain how?

Meriau: Yes, the natural sciences, especially biology, are a strong influence. One of the main starting points for this project was my reading of Darwin’s The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms, with Observations on their Habits. I am also very interested in biomimicry, especially when it comes to architecture.

Wired: Do you consider your images to be abstract or do you want your audience to immediately understand what you are building? Could you explain the importance of working with food?

Meriau: I want to disorientate the viewer, at least initially, so hopefully the images are not immediately understandable. I’m drawn to edible materials because of their complex textures and colors but also because they are alive and unpredictable as they change with time and temperature.

The transformative, alchemical aspect of growing and cooking food is interesting to me, perhaps because it is akin to the creative process. I also like the idea of exploring everyday edible objects such as a piece of bread or a potato.

Wired: I see that you shoot commercial photography as well as fine art and that you are represented by Wyatt Clarke and Jones. How do you feel about making your work for strictly commercial purposes?

Meriau: I don’t see myself as a commercial photographer but more as an artist who takes on commissions and works collaboratively with art directors, designers and picture editors.

Wyatt Clarke and Jones are known for representing people who didn’t set out to be commercial photographers. They have an understanding of fine art and documentary photography, which makes it possible for me and other photographers to work with them.

I see my art and commercial practices as separate yet entwined: One is research based and the driving force behind everything I do, the other is more indexical and about working collaboratively on a brief. I enjoy both and I see them as feeding of one another as if part of an ecosystem.

Wired: In many of the structures from your current work, the viewer has a sense they are trapped inside these caves. Is this your intention in terms of narrative?

Meriau: My intention is to envelop or draw the viewer into these spaces, not to trap him/her. If you look carefully there is always an exit point, a chance to escape.

Wired: To me your structures seem to represent dwellings, are they a comment on the nature of “Home”?

Meriau: I’m interested in the duality of the concepts of food and home and how both can be seen as safe, nurturing, life-giving or unsafe, destructive and poisonous.

Wired: Who are your artistic influences?

Meriau: Jules Verne, Stanley Kubrick, Werner Herzog, Marx Ernst, Salvador Dali, Theodore Gericault, Caspar Friedrich, William Turner, Alex Hartley, Louise Bourgeois, Anya Gallacio, Sarah Lucas … to name a few!

Wired: What is next for you? Will it involve food?

Meriau: Food is vast territory that I’m only beginning to explore. Ideas for future projects involve a mushroom-based installation and a collaboration with a beekeeper and his bees.

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Bon appetit - Sushi legend Kazunori Nozawa

Before David Gelb, the filmmaker behind Jiro Dreams of Sushi (which is hitting theaters next week), decided to focus on Tokyo’s sushi master Jiro Ono, he made this short video of LA’s Kazunori Nozawa—the self-described “sushi Nazi.”

And today, after 47 years of making sushi, Nozawa is retiring. The chef became famous for (besides his excellent sushi) his stubborn traditionalism and habit of forcing rude customers to leave his restaurant. - Sam Dean for bon appetit A film by City Room Creative

Find another nice farewell article on Nozawa at The New York Times.

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One of my fondest memories is of the snails my mother harvested after the rains. I couldn’t wait for her to get home so that I could grab those tiny animals and play with them.

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These twice-baked Pizzas in a Jar seem calculated to enrage TSA operatives, who will doubtless claim that pizza magically becomes a "gel" once you put it in a jar. Nevertheless, that looks like a jar of scrumptiousness, right there.


Basically, all that you will be doing is layering your pizza ingredients into the jar. Here’s the thing, though: if you want more than one layer of pizza dough, you need to bake the layer that is not on top. See how the bottom layer is dough? I learned the hard way, that it comes out slightly soggy because it is not exposed to air.

You have two choices:

1. Only top off your ingredients with the dough, that way you can bake it all at once.

2. Add some dough to the bottom layer. Bake it at 375 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, or until it is beginning to crisp and brown. Then, add your other topping layers and top off with more dough. Bake again.

Pizza in a Jar

(via Neatorama)

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This revolting thing is a cocktail called an "Alien Brain Hemorrhage": "To make an alien brain hemorrhage cocktail, fill a shot glass halfway with peach schnapps. Gently pour Bailey's Irish Cream on top. After the shot is almost full, carefully add a small amount of blue curacao. After it settles, add a few drops of grenadine syrup." Looks like it could be improved with a couple lumps of dry ice.

Alien Brain Hemorrhage Cocktail Recipe 2012 Drink Pic

(via Neatorama)

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I arrived in the South Side of Chicago in June 2011 anticipating tall buildings clustered together and people relaxing on stoops, similar to my Brooklyn neighborhood. Instead, the large, century-old single family homes and sprawling lawns conjured visions of suburbia. Despite the frequency of blight, the wide tree-lined streets oozed tranquility. Yet within my first days in Chicago, segregation overwhelmed me. I quickly noticed that blacks and whites rarely mix, that the systematic neglect of black neighborhoods imprisons residents, and that an unexplained white woman strolling through neighborhood streets seemed to make people uncomfortable.

I’d come to Chicago after receiving a Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund  grant to pursue a project about the city’s problems with food security and its urban agriculture movement. Around 384,000 people without transportation live more than a mile from a grocery store and have difficulty obtaining healthy options. But, because race weighs so heavily upon Chicago, I quickly became most interested the historical context of this modern day crisis. Time and again, I encountered mistrust and hostility on both sides: I swam through white entitlement on the north side, and black suspicion on the south. Still, people seemed relieved and eager to talk when I mentioned the ever-present segregation.

Chicago is one of those places where you can see recent U.S. history sprawled out before you, linear-timeline-style. From Industrialization to The Great Migration, to Redlining, to institutional segregation, to the refusal of banks to invest in black areas, to the departure of industry—the local economy, emotional empowerment, physical health and education have been stunted. Food security connects with the aforementioned issues, and is one way of examining the larger context.

The more time I spent in Chicago, the clearer it became that the solution to food security requires more than just food. At grocery stores, I saw shopping carts overflowing with processed products, regardless of whether the store sold fruit and vegetables.  Conversely, I visited community gardens and witnessed the profound power of gardening to inspire healthy living, reduce stress and connect those involved with a larger purpose.  Yet the reality is that not everyone in the community is interested in gardening or buying healthy food. Further, Chicago’s brutal winters limit the outdoor growing season to roughly three months.

Halfway through my first month of shooting, I met Orrin Williams, the founder and director of the Center for Urban Transformation. Born and raised in the South Side community of Englewood, he is familiar with Chicago’s problems and invested in finding holistic solutions. After 30 some years advocating urban agriculture and sustainable communities, Mr. Williams is convinced that building chain grocery stores won’t fix the problems. Instead, Mr. Williams has devised a holistic community redevelopment plan. Williams seeks to convert abandoned buildings into locally owned businesses that will enable the community to thrive. These entities include: year round indoor gardens, health and exercise facilities, stress-reduction centers, healthy cooking schools, community centers, arts education centers, and, perhaps most innovative, a new model of small grocery stores that provide affordable healthy food and free onsite cooking instruction.

Willing to engage me in hours of thought-provoking conversation, introduce me to people and places who add depth and breath to my project and be seen with a white woman, Mr. Williams has been an essential partner in my work.

In the next phase of this project, Mr. Williams and I are working together to create a public art installation that invites Chicagoans to visualize what a sustainable community would look like. I want my photographs to do something tangible, and I want to recognize and unite others who have done substantive documentary work in Chicago. Inspired by the belief that a collective voice is stronger than that of one person, we are seeking other photographers to collaborate with. Our images will be printed onto weatherproof material and installed on blighted buildings. Alongside the images will be text asking viewers to envision the blighted structure as a community center, grocery store or cooking school/ Viewers will be invited to voice their support by signing a petition via text messaging. For more information please view our Kickstarter campaign.

Emily Schiffer is a Brooklyn-based photographer. 

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Summer typhoons have compounded North Korea’s hunger crisis, as shown in photos taken on a government-monitored tour and released this week.

All photographs by Damir Sagolj/Reuters.


A boy stood in a blighted corn field Sept. 29 at the Soksa-Ri collective farm in the South Hwanghae Province of North Korea.


Students and volunteers worked Oct. 1 on a water-supply system in Haeju, South Hwanghae Province. In March, the U.N. World Food Program said North Korea’s government food distribution system would run dry in May, putting a quarter of the country’s 24 million people at risk of starvation.


A woman comforted her child, who was being treated for malnutrition in a Haeju hospital Sept. 30.


Jo Tae Kun, a health worker, spoke to a visiting television crew outside a house serving as a clinic in one South Hwanghae village.


A North Korean woman prepared a meal in her house at the Soksa-Ri collective farm Sept. 29. Isolated North Korea is appealing for food aid in the wake of a hard winter and unusually destructive monsoon season.


A child suffering from malnutrition lay in a bed in a hospital in Haeju Oct. 1. The U.S. and South Korea, once the North’s two biggest donors, have said they won’t resume aid until they are satisfied the communist regime won’t divert it and that progress is being made in disarmament talks.


A North Korean boy worked the field of a collective farm in South Hwanghae Province Sept. 30.


Infants suffering from malnutrition rested in a hospital in Haeju Oct. 1.


Corn and cobs were the meal a North Korean woman prepared Sept. 30 in her tent in South Hwanghae Province; she lost her house in the summer’s flooding.


North Korean orphans were dressed up to be shown to a foreign delegation at their orphanage in North Hwanghae Province Sept. 29.


Pak Su Dong is manager of the Soksa-Ri cooperative farm in South Hwanghae Province.


A North Korean farmer pushed a bicycle through a field at a collective farm South Hwanghae Province Sept. 29.

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North Korea’s dysfunctional food-distribution system, rising global commodities prices and sanctions imposed over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs had contributed to what appears to be a hunger crisis in the North, even before devastating summer floods and typhoons compounded the emergency. The regime’s appeals for massive food aid have gone mostly unanswered by a skeptical international community. Only 30 percent of a United Nations food aid target for North Korea has been met so far. Photographer Damir Sagolj went to bear witness.

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