Slaved Over a Hot Stove: Delivering gourmet meals to customers' doors is a fast-growing business model, with chefs in nearly every large modern city trying to cash in. So far, perhaps only London's brand-new Housebites goes the extra step. According to its press release, cited by Huffington Post in June, Housebites not only home-delivers "restaurant quality" cuisine (at the equivalent of about $15 to $20 per entry), but offers an optional dirty-pans service (about $8 extra), lending out the containers in which the food was prepared, thus allowing clients entertaining guests to display "evidence" of their culinary skills and hard work.
Government in Action
-Big Fish: The U.S. Department of Justice has been widely criticized for failing to bring to fruition investigations of Wall Street traders' alleged lies (such as accusations that the firm MFS Global made bets on European bonds by illegally using clients' money, of which CEO Jon Corzine suspiciously professed to be unaware). However, in several notable instances, its investigators have been relentless — for instance, prosecuting baseball's Roger Clemens for lying to Congress and, in January, indicting marine biologist Nancy Black, who faces 20 years in prison for allegedly lying to investigators about whether her crew might have illegally fed whales to attract their attention for a boatload of whale-watchers.
-The government office in Liverpool, England, that takes applications for benefits from disabled persons acknowledged in March that it needed to relocate. The office's parking garage is 13 stories high, but that still requires visitors to climb two more flights of stairs from that level to reach the offices. A Liverpool Council statement admitted that the office was "not (in) the ideal location."
-In May, performance artist Stuart Ringholt opened his show, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, naked. His pieces (a hodge-podge of exhibits on current art-world commentaries) were secondary to his insistence that all visitors to the show also shuck their clothing. His subtext, he said, was to explore reactions to extreme embarrassment (and told a New York Times correspondent that in an earlier self-shaming display, he had stood by a marble fountain for 20 minutes, dressed formally but with toilet paper trailing from his trousers). According to a Times dispatch from Sydney, Ringholt was joined by 48 nude-yet-nonplussed patrons -- 32 men and 16 women.
-London's Hayward Gallery staged an exhibition in June of "invisible art" -- pieces that depend almost completely on the imaginations of viewers. For example, "1000 Hours of Staring" by Tom Friedman is a blank piece of paper that Friedman eyeballed off and on over five years before deciding that the object was finished and display-ready. Friedman also "submitted" an empty section of floor space, which he said was once cursed by a witch. Also there: an Andy Warhol bare platform that looks like it should have something resting on it, but doesn't, and, by Yoko Ono, a typed set of instructions urging patrons to imagine some stuff.