Sunday, June 27, 2010

Headlines with Videos

Readers know I am a big fan of headlines. When the story has or is a video segment, the headline is followed by a little video camera symbol. Essentially, there are two different types of video-headlines.

The first type is the "I don't think I really need to see that..." headline. This exhibited itself this morning, with "Mom has triplets at 66 - too old?" It's pretty simple - I really just don't need to see that. There really is nothing that you could put in a video that would enrich my understanding of the story more than words and a picture. Which brings me to the second type...

The second type is the "There's a video!?!? Yesssss!" This was finely exhibited with two excellent headlines this morning:
"Grasshoppers overtake cattle ranch"
"Robot lifeguard hits the beach"

THESE are the kinds of stories that need videos. First of all, because they are awesome. But secondly, there are just so many questions. How many grasshoppers are we talking here? Are they normal size grasshoppers? Any chance they could be trained to do farm work? On a scale of 1-10, how much do they resemble the grasshoppers from Antz? And this robot lifeguard: Is he human shaped, or are we talking more like a Roomba? Did someone really design a robot that can not only be in water without short circuiting but can swim and drown people? Is this taking place in New Jersey?

When there are so many questions, a video is necessary. So CNN: while you might be pushing it with the number of video segments, there are certainly headlines where I am glad they are there. So I really can't complain too much. Keep it up.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Design

I've been getting a few complaints about the difficulty of reading the white-text-on-black-background, so I've decided to change up the look a little bit.

Of course, if you read on buzz, this will make no difference. Changes apply only to

I doubt the new look is final, I'll be messing with it for a while until I get something I like, BUT for those of you who have complained, know that your voice is being heard.

The King of $5 Subs

If you'll indulge me, I'm going to stick to my recent Specifically sandwiches.

At some point in time, $5 became a benchmark for sandwiches. While I'm sure there were others before, the real power-player behind the movement was unquestionably Subway. Their $5 footlong campaign has been a gold medal for marketing and deliciousness. Soon after, the competition started falling in line. Quiznos dropped some of their more basic large subs to $5. Domino's rolled out their line of oven-baked sandwiches starting at $4.99. Some have tried to go lower, such as Sheetz with their $4 footlongs.

Each sandwich has its merits. And where you choose to do your business may be influenced by your love of bread, sauce, or some other ingredient. But that's not what I'm going to talk about today. If you are straight up hungry, and you want a $5 deli sub that will fill you up, and then some, then do I have the sandwich for you. And it's probably not where you would expect...Safeway.

I strolled into Safeway today and discovered this mammoth of a deal. On "Family Fridays," Safeway offers their massive All-American Sub Sandwich for $5. I took the term "family" to mean that it wasn't really intended for one person, but I was hungry, so I went for it. The nice lady behind the deli counter whipped one up fresh for me as I marveled in the sheer size of this thing. I couldn't wait to get it home and run some measurements before devouring it.

The sub is roughly the size of a small child. Unofficially, I measured her to be 15 inches long, and a ludicrous 5.75 inches wide at the mid-point. She weighed in at a whopping 2.6 pounds. This was estimated by me stepping on the bathroom scale, stepping off, and then stepping on again holding the sandwich.

Those who know me best know I can eat with the best of them. But even this thing was too much for my lunch, as what remains is now wrapped up in the fridge and will be revisited at dinner.

In terms of taste and quality, I really was quite pleased. Everything is made right back behind the deli counter, so it was all very fresh. For me, the bread makes or breaks the sub, and this bread was quite delicious. Looking at Safeway's website, it appears this might unfortunately be a 1-day thing. Well I hope they bring it back soon...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Strasburger

Tonight's shout out goes to BGR: The Burger Joint, for their newest menu item, the Strasburger. The DC burger restaurant has created the Strasburger to honor Washington Nationals pitcher Steven Strasburg, who, in case you missed it, struck out FOURTEEN batters in 7 innings in his major league debut last night.

BGR gets the shout out for two reasons. The first is the name. I am a big supporter that anything ending in "Burg" should have a "Burger." A Pittsburgh restaurant had the Roethlisburger a while back, the Strasburger is an excellent and quite necessary name.

But the real reason for the shout out is for the burger itself. This is not just some regular burger "honoring" Steven by stealing his name. The burger incorporates his accession through the minors to the majors with different ingredients. Before he was a Washington National, Strasburg pitched for AAA Syracuse. So the burger is topped with "Syracuse Orange," an aged Vermont Cheddar. Before that, he was in AA for Phoenix Desert Dogs. So the burger is topped with...that's right...a hot dog.

My hat is off to you, BGR, for putting a hot dog ON a cheeseburger. Personally, I cannot wait to try one for myself. And as if they weren't already awesome enough, BGR is donating $1 to Children's National Medical Center for every Strasburger sold. Excellent work. Assuming I get up to DC soon, a full review of the Strasburger will be forthcoming.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Subway Gets It Right

My friend David recently sent me some news that will surely bring joy to all sandwich lovers like myself. It appears the big cheeses at Subway have finally figured things out when it comes to, well, cheese.

For years Subway sandwich artists have been trained to ineffectively place their cheese triangles pointed in the same direction. This results in overlapping on one side of the sandwich, while the other side is left with empty, cheese-less spaces. This is especially frustrating because the cheese triangles would almost PERFECTLY cover the entire sandwich evenly if alternated to fit together. The following web comic from illustrates what I'm talking about:

You'll notice this is from 2007! People have been up in arms about this for some time.

Well it appears the message finally got through. Subway has issued a statement to all franchises advising them to change their cheese placing procedures:

And it is about time. The new pattern efficiently maximizes even cheese coverage to help ensure a delicious bite every time. I don't know how it took them so long, or why they are waiting til JULY 1ST to make it effective, but for actually doing it, I must give them kudos. Because maybe the only thing better than a $5 footlong is a $5 footlong with evenly spaced cheese.

Thanks again to David for the story.