A Nutty Trend, a New Brew and the World's Grossest Restaurant Goes Down the Tubes

A Nutty Trend

A Nutty New Trend: The next big thing in technology: nuts. So suggests Slate's Lily Hay Newman. How does she figure? For starters, tech startup OnePlus is coating the backs of its new smartphones with a cashew powder to give them a soft texture. And an eco-city in Turkey is considering a proposal to burn pistachio shells to provide heat. The nuts are grown locally in great quantity, making them an especially enviro-friendly option. "The tech-nut collision may seem like a happy accident," Lily writes. "But it also stems from the never-ending search for innovative and sustainable materials, and from looking for the next big thing in industries that haven’t had a lot of recent growth or change." [ Slate]

What's Brewing: Speaking of next big things, the latest development in coffee making is apparently the "automatic pour over." According to Lifehacker, these machines differ from drip machines in the way they heat water to the "proper brewing temperature" and maintain it throughout the brewing process. They also "use a broad drip pattern across the coffee grounds that gives [the coffee] a chance to bloom ... before it passes through into the carafe below." Who knew? [ Lifehacker]

Celebrity Snapshots: Food selfies aren't just for the humble folk. Famous people also feel the need to snap and share images of themselves slurping noodles or cooking breakfast. The Daily Meal has gathered up a few choice examples. Taylor Swift's peering through the center of a bright-green doughnut. James Franco is napping with a sandwich and salad — and Usher (shirtless) is frying up an egg. One question: What is in Ed Sheeran's pot and why is he sneering at it? [ The Daily Meal]

Down the Tubes: The Magic Restroom Cafe, a loo-themed eatery in Los Angeles, where diners sat on toilets and the menu included mini-toilet-bowl-plated dishes with stomach-turning monikers like "black poop" (a chocolate sundae), "smells like poop" (braised pork over rice) and "constipation" (the Chinese noodle dish zha jiang mian), and at least one dish with a name I can't even bring myself to type, has closed after only eight months in business. Who's surprised? [Los Angeles Magazine via Eater]

In Other Food News: Eva Longoria's female-targeted Las Vegas steakhouse, SHe by Morton's, which featured smaller portion sizes and mirrors on the backs of its menus (for postprandial lipstick reapplication), closed last Sunday, less than two years after it opened. [ Associated Press] Chicago has raised its first $800,000 in sponsorship for the James Beard Awards; city tourism officials have promised to raise $2 million on the foundation's behalf so as to avoid the expenditure of public funds on the event. [ Chicago Tribune]

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