Artists performed during the first few days of the Shanghai World Expo. The world fair started on May 1 and will run through Oct. 31, and the city expects 70 million visitors from around the world. Out of the 196 nations in the world, 189 will be represented at the expo, the most expensive in the history of world's fairs.
- Shanghai is getting a public toilet upgrade before the World Expo. — Shanghaiist
- Former lawmakers are having trouble finding jobs, just like everyone else. — Wonkette
- Captain Sully explains how he landed the plane in the Hudson to Congress, also mentions that his pay has been cut 40 percent in recent years. — Huffington Post
- Senator Schumer says the stimulus bill doesn't allow governors to pick and choose what they want, it's all or nothing. — Talking Points Memo
- Michelle Obama gives a tour of the White House kitchen, explaining its focus on local produce and the first family's food preferences. —YumSugar
Iran plans to install 6,000 nuclear centrifuges. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced the news today — Iran's "National Day of Nuclear Technology." Today, state television plays patriotic music, and Iranian children chant "nuclear energy is our natural right" in honor of the national holiday. I wasn't exactly sure what a centrifuge does, but it sounded serious so I checked into it.
OK, here's the low down: centrifuges are used to enrich uranium, which can be used to build nuclear bombs. Iran probably already has 3,000 centrifuges, and tripling the number will significantly increase its nuclear capacity. Iran says it's innocently pursuing alternative nuclear energy, and that the country has the right to proceed with peaceful enrichment. But, the UN Security Council has demanded it cease enrichment, and has repeatedly sanctioned Iran.
Whether or not Iran has intentions to build a nuclear weapon, it's clearly intent on defying Western powers and international pressure. China announced today that officials from world powers will meet in Shanghai on April 16 to discuss Iran's nuclear program. Will sanctions help convince an Iran content on not making concessions?
When I found out that today is Hot and Spicy Day, I knew it was time to ask you what you thought of this dish. When I was in Shanghai, we stopped to have this delicious dish featuring fried chicken, two giant prawns and — as you can obviously tell — a massive load of red peppers. It was one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten and I dream about eating it again.
So tell me, does this dish look good to you, or do the number of red peppers frighten you?
- Jake Gyllenhaal has signed on to play Joe Namath in a biopic of the star quarterback, Zap2it reports.
- John Cusack and Gong Li will topline the historical drama Shanghai, teaming up with 1408 director Mikael Hafstrom, writes ComingSoon.
- Josh Groban's holiday album topped the charts this week, Billboard reports, while Jordin Sparks' debut had the lowest sales numbers for any American Idol winner's album.
- The Writers Guild of America has slammed Carson Daly over his decision to return to work, writes Broadcasting & Cable.
- Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports that even if the strike ended today, shows would need up to five weeks to get back into production.
- The Hollywood Reporter has news that Matthew Perry will play the adult version of Zac Efron's character in the movie 17.
- Billboard reports that Aimee Mann's next album, Smilers, will feature a lot of synthesizer and zero electric guitar.
- According to ComingSoon, the Weinstein Company has acquired the screen rights to Bridie Clark's novel I Think She's Got It — before it's even been published.
- Variety reports that Walter Cronkite will receive the History Makers' first lifetime achievement award at the organization's fancy event in January.
- Wondering why House fired the candidate he did last night? TV Guide has some answers.
Trendy Shanghai restaurants are serving French fries and other foods made with purple mutant space potatoes. Yes, that's right. These purple spuds are grown from seeds that have boldly gone where no spud has gone before. They were grown from seeds "mutated" by cosmic radiation aboard a Chinese spacecraft.
Apparently they are all the rage in Shanghai. Slightly sweet and purple in color, they are known as the Purple Orchid Three.
The Chinese space program claims that they have produced other fruits and veggies from other seeds that have been exposed to radiation, capsule pressure, and weightlessness.
Here's the deal - It's not that the seeds are nutritionally enhanced by being in space. They produce fruits and vegetables that are no different than any other fruit or vegetable.
China has tremendous national pride for successfully completing two manned missions in space. So this restaurant is capitalizing on with these "cosmic" potatoes. I guess pride tastes great.
When I was a kid, I used to think it would be cool to be an astronaut. Then I learned all the requirements and realized, who am I kidding? I'm too lazy for all of that. So unless cheap space travel becomes a thing of the now, I won't be orbiting the globe anytime soon. And since I won't be circling around the planet, it looks like I'm going to have to settle for food that has instead.
Last year China's second manned space mission (shown during take off) included many plant experiments. During the five day flight, some onboard sweet potato seeds mutated. When they returned to Earth they were planted on the beaches of southern Hainan Island. The end result? A purple potato (dubbed "Purple Orchid III") that tastes and smells the same as its Earth brethren, but is more "glutinous."
If you're in Shanghai right now, you'll probably notice quite a few of these spuds on Valentine's Day menus - after all purple is the color for nobility and romance - and besides, 30 local chefs have been invited to try the potatoes out and put them on their menus.
I must admit, I'm pretty curious to try these spuds (or at least see what they look like). Although, something about the whole idea seems like the plot to a rather bad B horror film, doesn't it?