Zimmerman portrait made of Skittles
DENVER, April 15 (UPI) -- A Denver artist has created a portrait of George Zimmerman made entirely of Skittles, the candy Trayvon Martin had bought just prior to his shooting death.
Andy Bell, a senior at Metropolitan State College of Denver, told The Denver Post he started the portrait, called "Fear Itself," when he first heard that Zimmerman shot Martin in what the shooter says was self-defense.
"I wanted to do all I could to raise awareness about the case," he said.
Bell said he used 12,250 red, green, yellow and orange Skittles to recreate the much-seen mug shot of Zimmerman. He said his wife and friends helped him glue the candies to the 36- by 48-inch piece of plywood.
"It became family puzzle night," he said.
The portrait was on display at the Redline Gallery in Denver, where Executive Director PJ D'Amico said the work is a "crazy, terribly beautiful piece," that is "profound beyond measure."
Houston eatery serves up 'Titanic' feast
HOUSTON, April 15 (UPI) -- Foodies and history buffs remembered the Titanic this weekend at a Houston restaurant that recreated the last meal served to the ship's first-class passengers.
The Cullen's Titanic Experience offered a 10-course banquet featuring the actual menu, which was packed with rack of lamb, poached salmon, squab and fillet medallions. The feast was topped off by Waldorf pudding and a course of Texas cheeses.
"The amount of silverware, china and glassware required for this sort of meal is incredible," Executive Chef Paul Lewis noted. "It just shows how much people indulged themselves during that time."
The tab was also on the opulent side. Cullen's said in a written statement the cost for 12 people was $12,000, which included a $1,000 donation to the Houston Museum of Natural History.
Lewis said the scope of the meal reflected the custom of the times, which was to make dinner stretch out for hours because "people really didn't have anything else to do."
"Our lives are so busy today that we just don't have the time to sit, talk with our family and friends, and enjoy wonderful food for hours at a time," Lewis said. "But back then, they did it every day."
Artist's tiny Titanic made from toothpick
SAN FRANCISCO, April 14 (UPI) -- A San Francisco artist has marked the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking by creating a model of the doomed liner from a single toothpick.
Stephen J. Backman told the Los Angeles Times he believes his replica is the world's smallest Titanic, or at least the smallest one made from a toothpick. The model is 1 5/8 inches from bow to stern -- the original was 882 feet, 6 inches -- but contains significant amounts of detail.
Backman said the first step was to take the toothpick apart.
"I cut it up into paper-thin pieces and then re-glue the toothpick back together," he told the Times in a phone interview Thursday.
Backman, who made his first toothpick sculpture at the age of 5, is something of a specialist in toothpick art, both small and large. He has done replicas of the Eiffel Tower, Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco's Transamerica Pyramid from single toothpicks, and celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate with a 13-foot replica crafted from 30,000 toothpicks.
Food-shaped phone cases hot in Japan
KAWASAKI, Japan, April 14 (UPI) -- Smartphone cases that look like food, even if made from non-edible materials, are the latest craze among Japanese women, marketers say.
The cases may look like taiyaki, bean paste-filled pancakes that are themselves gussied up to look like fish, or like steaks or pies, The Asahi Shimbun reported. They go for about $42 each.
Tsukasa Sample in Kawasaki, a small company that manufactures displays of plastic food for restaurants, branched out into smartphone cases as a sideline, selling them online. An executive said 3,000 have been sold in 18 months, 80 percent of them purchased by women.
"We cannot keep up with orders," he said.
The company said fruit tarts are the No. 1 seller. There are also seasonal variations, with designs featuring shaved ice doing better in the summer.
The soft-boiled egg on rice dish named tamago-kake gohan is the latest item on the company's smartphone menu.
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