Self-slicing pizza: first draft

I've been wanting to try this for a while and finally got around to it today- a pizza with some adventure, one that you don't have to slice. I had to make it kind of fast because it was our lunch and we were hungry, but the results so far for this first draft have been encouraging. The thing about it is- the pizza decides how big your slice is going to be. The slices rip off randomly, it's a lot of fun to eat. Fluffier than I wanted. You can already see that the middle part will be the prized section of this pizza- something to rip towards and work for. More updates to come once I work on the second draft- going to try different shapes/patterns to fit together to get the ultimate self-slicing pizza.

The dough, cut in rectangles then overlapped in a sort of circle.

Finished pizza with mozz, tomato, salami and some good sauce.

Here Valeria takes a slice, the pizza decides she should have a medium-sized piece.

  The cooked pizza from the bottom, a big slice.




Apple Branding: The Pink Lady

The Pink Lady is a sweet Italian apple with equally sweet advertising. Apples are interesting- thousands of different varieties have been created over the years. If you plant a pink lady apple, you might get a different apple from that tree, that's why apple growers graft trees. Anyway, what we need is a well designed apple resource site- and other apple growers to brand their apples as well as the Pink Ladies are. Dolce.


Mutti Ketchup

This is hands down the best ketchup that I've ever had in my life. Simple ingredients-tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, salt, natural flavors. It's thicker than normal ketchup, and actually has a texture to it. Sweet, too. If you don't like sweet ketchup then you won't like this one. My dream is to find it in packets at restaurants someday. In a taste test we did last night with some homemade fries, Mutti beat the old favorite, Mato Mato.



Sir Name

Valeria showed me a cool website where you can check out how many people have a certain surname and where they live in Italy. You can also check in the USA on the site. Play around with it here (hint: try words you wouldn't expect to be surnames)

There are less than 5 Manchild families in the USA

More Browns in Italy than I thought!

A lot of people just like me, wonder how many Matt Browns there are.

Rossi, the "Brown" of Italy
The Cocaine families




Really rarely do I get as excited about a film project as I did after I saw this poster. The poster is by Anders Baden Nielsen and Joaquim Marquès Nielsen from the Danish design studio Barq. You can check out the progress on the film here.


Computer jewelery

Last year in the Interaction Lab we took apart a bunch of computers to make some fictional devices, I also made this ring, and Valeria found that a certain part of the computer makes for some good earrings.



Macelleria Calcagno

Pictured above: Some nice Speck, Salsiccia, and some Ciccioli bought from the best place for meat in Genova, Macelleria Calcagno. For the last year and a half Speck has been my favorite sliced meat- it has that sweet juniper aroma and is great on sandwiches and of course pizza. Put it on after the pizza is cooked, though. The Salsiccia at this place is really the reason we go. We've tried the Fennel, the Truffle, and this one- the "plain". All of them are great although I love the Fennel the most. We would get it every time but it seems like they are always sold out. Ciccioli are like high quality pork rinds. Hard to say how good they are and yeah you feel bad after eating them (can't be healthy), but they're just so good. A close up of the Ciccioli below...



Some of my best finds

These are some of my favorite found items that I've collected over the years. You can really get a glimpse at the human condition by collecting things like this. Although I haven't sent them in, a great place to find more of this is the Michigan based FOUND Magazine.  Click on the images to get a better view...

Left to right: "Lucky lotto slips, good luck to who ever finds them.  I won too much money so now there yours.  God bless and good luck"  I found these outside of a 7-11 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  I played the slips and didn't win anything. Next, "How do I love you in my own lil way?  Cuz, I know how I feel about a person when thurr's trust, communication, and respect"- Couldn't have said it better myself!  Next, either a Father's day or Mother's day card that says "No one could have raised this family better"- found inside the sleeve of a Breakfast at Tiffany's LP.
"The Neverending Story We're all Part of..." and a Drawing of an Eagle found on the railroad tracks in Lansing, Michigan.
A list of band names: "Fatback Band, Royz Royce, Con Funk Shun, Catch The Beat, Keith Sweat, Ludacris" and a scene from pacman.



Pixel food icons by Roberto Christen

These were done by my friend Roberto a long time ago, his attention to detail is really amazing. You can get a closer look at all of the icons here.


It takes a worried man...

When I was a kid I collected baseball cards. A few months ago I started looking through them again and found a high number of worried, disgusted ballplayers on those cards. This is a selection of some of my favorites. It almost seems like the coach told them that something horrible was going to happen to them on the field and they're all wondering 'should I go out there? should I?'.


And now, just so you don't get too worried yourself, here are some happy ballplayers:


The theme song for this post:



pressure cooker illustrations, Italy, 1967

These illustrations were scanned from the small book "Cucinare Bene...In Meta Tempo", the book itself explains how to use the pressure cooker and has a lot of recipes. About 200 pages. Every once and a while there would be one of these illustrations. I think that you could write a book about revenge being taken on humans for eating too many other animals using these illustrations.



Fiat Cinquecento

I've really liked seeing these cars all around.  This one is from the 60's or 70's I think (if anyone can identify this let me know).  In this picture I'm standing on the curb in front of it just for some size comparison- I'm about 194cm tall.


Crumb collector

This is a crumb collector, you rub it over the table and the small brushes inside scoop up all of the crumbs.


The garage light is on

At my Girlfriend's house in Pisa, I found this really cool feature put together by her Dad. When one of the lights in the garage is on, this orange light turns on in the kitchen. Really handy because those garage lights you normally turn on as you enter the house, and a lot of times they get left on. With this, you can see if they're on from the inside and turn them off from the inside. It's also nice because if they're both on you know that someone is in there.



Cheese wars: Pecorino

My favorite cheese has always been sharp Wisconsin cheddar.  It still has a special place in my heart as the cheese I grew up with, but now there's a new cheese in my life.  How can I start?  When I first tried Pecorino it made me happy, and I liked it, but I knew that it would never be my favorite.  After a while though I started trying different Pecorino cheeses, and noticed that the ones that are aged have a flavor that I just go crazy for.  The cheese in these pictures is an aged Pecorino.  It's salty, dry, crumbly, one that makes you just want to close your eyes and savor it.  We tried it with some Belgian beer one night and let me tell you that was a great combination.  The flavor of this cheese is strong, the texture is fun, and it's great to snack on or have with beer/wine.  I suggest breaking pieces off by sticking a knife or wedge into the cheese and applying pressure rather than slicing all of the way through.  Have you ever felt better about humans/being a human after you ate something that obviously has a lot of love in it?  That's how I felt after eating this cheese.


Cedrata Tassoni

This is the Italian soda that I really love.  It has the smooth, sweet flavor of cedrata (sort of like lime), and it's just so simple and refreshing.  The color is chartreuse and the bottles are small with an interesting texture.  It was very popular in the 70's and has had the same commercial (see below) since 1986.  Really puts anything by San Pellegrino to shame.  Going to see how it goes with vodka later on this week.