14 recipes that make tasteful holiday gifts

You could spend hours combing the Internet in search of gifts for every person in your life. Or, you could hit up the supermarket once and cook, bake, preserve and pickle your way into your friends’ hearts

Let your cooking skills be your gift guide this holiday season. Edible gifts are a personal and inexpensive way to treat your friends and family, and many recipes can be made in large batches

See also: 15 simple DIY holiday gifts to make with your kids

This season, give the gift of cheesy scones, pickled peppers and fresh baked cookies. Your bank account will thank you.

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I’ve been going through payrolls all day, and my mind feels a little bit numb. I think I’ll be treating myself to a well-earned drink and some nice sushi tonight.


for anon (shit got messed up sry)
11) is there anyone of the opposite sex that you trust: meekcheeks and a friend
82) favorite kind of cookie: choco chip oatmeal (must b homemade)

Fawning over phones: Should we be worried about our addiction to gadgets?

Last week, Ericsson put out a report saying that 90 percent of the world’s population over the age of 6 would have a mobile phone by 2020. That seems like an incredible number – and is perhaps by some people’s estimations, a little on the generous side. Even so, even if you take 10 percent of that figure, that’s a lot of phones. Not all of those are smartphones, of course, but a growing number are. It’s not hard to see why either – costs are falling and availability of services is increasing; each passing day a new service adds…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Israel restarts controversial tactic: Razing Palestinian homes after attacks

JERUSALEM – Just before dawn earlier this week, an explosion rocked the densely populated Silwan neighborhood that sits on a steep hillside in East Jerusalem, destroying the fourth-floor apartment of Abed Rahman Shalodi and his family.

See also: Jerusalem on edge after deadly attacks and a summer of war

Israeli authorities had blown up the Shalodi home after Shalodi ran his car into a crowd of people in Jerusalem last month, killing a woman and a three-month-old girl

Police shot and killed Shalodi after the attack. But, following a controversial policy, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) demolished the family home, extending punishment to Shalodi’s relatives. Read more…

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Director Interview: John Patton Ford

Please give us a brief info of yourself
I’m a writer and director. I like stories. I’m from South Carolina, but I’ve been living in Los Angeles for seven years. 


Please describe your typical day

First things first — I cook a pot of steel-cut oatmeal and I scramble two eggs. I’m a breakfast man. Then I write from 9:00 - 1:30. When I say write, I mean either a screenplay, an outline, a commercial treatment, or a pitch of some kind. Sometimes all three. It’s insular, hypnotic work…I’m the weirdo at the coffee shop with headphones who keeps humming to himself. Afternoons, I’m usually at meetings or on the phone or something like that. During production, this regiment goes out the window and I turn into an adrenalin-fueled crazy person. 

How have you learned directing/filming skills and techniques?

Back when I was a drunken college student I rented a bunch of gear — like 16mm gear — and learned to use it. I made several of the worst student films of all time. Like, the worst. Then I went to the American Film Institute, where my classmates and I made short films and screened them for each other in this brutal class called Narrative Workshop, where you rip apart movie after movie. That’s when I started thinking about the audience, and how to craft something to illicit a certain reaction. That’s also where I met my cinematographer, Todd Banhazl. He’s my guy. He’s taught me everything, just by challenging my instincts and demanding more, visually. 

What are your future goals and plans?

My goals? Make movies. I just wrote something called Rothchild, which I’m not going to direct, but which I’m helping get made. I’m trying get another movie off the ground called Barracuda, with Ben Mendelsohn, which I’d direct. And I’m up for a bunch of writing gigs. My biggest goal — and this sounds cheesy — but my biggest goal is to keep learning. I’d like to be a sixty-year-old guy who’s super jazzed on some new idea. 

Were you interested in filming or other creative pursuits when you were growing up? How did you decide to directing/filming?

I wanted to be a writer, a journalist. I decided on directing when I saw Baraka for the first time, in a little movie theater in Prague when I was 21. The power of the image was overwhelming. Looking back, I’m glad to have had a background in writing and storytelling. It’s all narrative. Everything else is frosting. 

What is your biggest regret?
I regret being fearful for so long. What do you have to lose? Go out and make something, screw it. I also regret stealing a bunch of my brother’s baseball cards when I was nine. That was stone cold. 

What advice would you give to a young person starting out?

Work hard, expect little, and be grateful. That’s the best you can do. Notice I said expect little. Don’t work for the result, work for the joy of working. 

What are you listening to currently?

Rick James. I may write a movie about Rick James for some producers, so I’m doing the research. Come Get It is like an Outkast album that inexplicably came out in 1979. 

Do you have any favorite movies or TV shows?

Movies? Raging Bull, Network, Being There, Boogie Nights, Paths of Glory. 


TV? True Detective. And I love this British show called An Idiot Abroad that makes me laugh so hard I have seizures. 

Any other things to add?

Yeah — go see Whiplash. It might be the best movie of the year, and nobody is seeing it. Go! 

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String cheese: The humble origins of one of America's favorite snacks

Brian Baker is obsessed with string cheese. He talks about it poetically, rambling about the string factor, the machines that pump out individual-sized ropes, the flavor profile of the stick.

But Brian’s love for string cheese is almost forgivable: His grandfather Frank may have invented it.

It makes sense that string cheese was most likely invented in Wisconsin, cheese capital of the United States. Brian (referred to by his first name here to avoid confusion between various members of the Baker family involved in this story), is the president of a family-owned and operated cheese brand named Baker Cheese, a company that has made cheese for nearly 100 years. Over the course of four generations string cheese has become close to the entirety of their business. Read more…

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Director Interview: Josh Cole

Please give us a brief info of yourself
I’m Josh Cole, director, photographer and writer. When I was younger I nearly died as a result of drug addiction so I have dedicated my life and career to help others through what I do.

Please describe your typical day

There is no typical day! One day I’ll be shooting in one of the most dangerous neighbourhoods in the world, the next I might be meeting a celebrity in a 5 star hotel the next I might be chilling in my slippers with my kids jumping on me. Its what I love about my work- the roller coaster.

How have you learned directing/filming skills and techniques?

I had no formal training. When I was a young boy I was obsessed with film and film-makers then as a teenager that obsession continued and for 3 years I worked in a video rental shop. I think some part of my brain had been soaking up all that visual, storytelling language over the years so that when I started directing it was all there somewhere, instinctively.

What are your future goals and plans?

I’m about to start my own production company which is also a social enterprise helping young people from a background of addiction to get into the media. There are some very interesting partners but I can’t say too much at the moment. I’m also working on a feature script with an amazing South African writer called Hofmeyr Sholtz. Its based on a treatment I wrote about a year ago and we are on the 4th draft. In my mind I have another 3 well formed ideas for features going forward.

Were you interested in filming or other creative pursuits when you were growing up? How did you decide to directing/filming?

I was brought up by my hippy mum and things were incredibly chaotic in my childhood. This was often very difficult but it was also very freeing and creative. My older sister was a punk rocker so that was a big influence then when hip hop hit the UK I was completely obsessed. Later as a teenager things got pretty dark and I was a drug addict and dealer and got seriously in trouble. It was then I decided to leave the small town where I grew up and went to study photography at college. I was a professional photographer for 10 years before I made my first film but it had always been the master plan to direct. I always had a very strong vision of what I wanted to do with my career and still do. My years as an addict and watching many friends die and go to prison is my constant inspiration. Also I’m informed by the years of obsessively watching the work of great directors. 

What is your biggest regret?

I don’t have any. Everything I did made me stronger and informs what I do today. Every mistake should be viewed as a valuable lesson in my opinion.

What advice would you give to a young person starting out?

Be true to your instincts, work really fucking hard, don’t try to copy the work of others you admire and don’t let money or fame influence your creative decisions. These things will come anyway when your work is amazing. 

What are you listening currently?

I don’t really listen to music unless its connected to my work. Any free time I watch films. 

Do you have any favorite movies or TV shows?

Far too many to mention but I’ll try. Movies: Apocalypse Now, The Shining, City of God, TwentyFourSeven, Man on Fire, The Wrestler, Angel Heart, The Gladiator, Living Dead trilogy, Natural Born Killers, Alien (first 3), Star Wars (first 3) the list goes on and on and on. Series: Oz, The Wire, Sopranos, Walking Dead etc

Any other things to add?

Shout out to all those overcoming hardship and addiction and all those who dedicate their lives to helping others.

Artist imagines Hogwarts in a galaxy far, far away

What if your favorite “Star Wars” characters went to Hogwarts? Artist James Hance is back with his fantastic mashups, and shows us what “Star Wars” characters would look like in the Potterverse.

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