Cultrface is a blog about culture and how it can enrich our lives.

RIP Jean-Michel Basquiat

King Alphonso by Jean Michel Basquiat

That’s the line I’m going with anyway. I won’t pretend I knew about him for years. He was a name I’d heard but not explored further than occasional utterances. Then I went to see his Boom For Real exhibition at the Barbican in London and everything changed. His bodies of work (and that pun was intentional) were the true definition of expressionism. He flew by the seat of his pants when it came to life and art, neither discipline far from each other nor mutually exclusive.

“I cross out words so you will see them more; the fact that they are obscured makes you want to read them.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat

He proclaimed himself a legend and nobody can take that status away from him.

The chaotic brilliance of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat - Jordana Moore Saggese

My All-Time Favourite Chili Pepper Challenge by AyyOnline

AyyOnline's Chili Pepper Challenge.

The other is the one with the two white girls which I’ll post tomorrow, but back to my all-time fave. AyyOnline was a popular black British Youtuber until he left (and recently came back) and during the chili pepper challenge’s heyday, Ayy joined in. The hottest pepper at the time was the Naga Viper pepper or “Ghost pepper” as it was also known. It was the “World’s Hottest Chili” in 2011 with a rating of 1,382,118 Scoville Heat Units (SHU). Pepper X is the unofficial champion now (used in the Hot Ones’ sauce) but the Naga Viper was the king for quite some time.

The featured image for this post is the precise moment before he took the “deadly” bite; the record scratch “you’re probably wondering how I ended up in this situation” moment. What follows is hilarious. Cue removal of clothing, ice, yoghurt, and some vomiting. The initial reaction was classic. The instant realisation that you’ve made a bad decision and there’s no way out. Well, not a comfortable one anyway. But like he said, he did it for laughs and he got plenty from me over the years. I’m glad he didn’t live up to the ghost pepper’s name and came back.

Fun facts about chili peppers (courtesy of Wikipedia):

  • Chilis were part of the Aztecs’ staple diet and originated in Mexico.
  • The substance that gives chilis their intense heat is called capsaicin.
  • 32.3 million tonnes of green chili peppers and 3.8 million tonnes of dried chili peppers were produced in 2014 worldwide.
  • China is the world’s largest producer of green chillies, providing 50% of the global total.

Remember when a bee sting turned Bear Grylls into Benedict Cumberbatch?

Remember when a bee sting turned Bear Grylls into Benedict Cumberbatch?

Bear Grylls loves a bit of danger and feels no way putting his body through hell in the name of survival. It’s what early humans did after all. Except this is the 21st century and you can get honey from a supermarket for about £2 (or the DVD starring Jessica Alba for about £3 on Amazon). But don’t be silly, I hear you cry, he’s in the wilderness and he needed to aggravate some bees in order to get some sweet honey. Winnie the Pooh he ain’t.

Born Survivor - Bee Sting

Homer's Brain

Homer's brain, as shown by Dr Hibbert

“Uh oh. Did I say that or just think it?”

In the episode entitled HOMR, Homer finds out the reason for his low IQ is a crayon lodged in his brain from when he was 6. Once removed, his IQ increases but his intelligence ostracises him from his friends and family.

Who knew sticking a crayon up his nose could create such hilarious Homer moments? Homer’s brain is quite something. My dad doesn’t like TV shows or cartoons much but he loves Homer’s utterances so I guess we have his brain to thank for that.

Homer: It’s a pornography store. I was buying pornography.
Homer’s brain: Ha ha, I never would have thought of that.

Pule cheese: the world's most expensive cheese made from donkey milk

Pule cheese from Serbia

Balkan donkeys might as well be golden geese for what they produce. Pule cheese is hard to buy and therefore very expensive (you can try the Zasavica natural reserve in Serbia if you’re really desperate).

What is pule cheese?

Pule cheese (or magareći sir in Serbian) is a type of cheese made from made from 60% donkey milk and 40% goat’s milk.

How much does pule cost?

According to cheese.com, a pound of pule costs approximately $576 a pound (about £426). But why is it so expensive? Scarcity. Donkey milk is very rare and difficult to produce so not something you’d waste on a cup of tea.

Why is it so rare?

A female donkey (known as a ‘jenny’) only makes around 3 pints of milk a day, which is about 25-30 times less than a cow. There are also fewer solids in donkey milk compared to cow’s milk so more is needed to make the same amount of hard cheese. Then you have to factor in labour costs as machines aren’t cost-effective for such a small enterprise. It’s just 100 endangered Balkan donkeys and a few milkers. You also have to order the cheese in advance before it’s made to reduce waste which makes sense.

What does pule taste like?

You may be wondering what you’re getting for cheese worth so much. Well, don’t expect culinary nirvana (unless you like manchego). The cheese is white and crumbly and packs a strong flavour similar to the La Mancha cheese. It’s nutritional value also shares similarities with another type of milk billions of babies enjoy every day: human breast milk. Amongst the vast array of milk brands on offer for babies, donkey milk is the most unique for sure.

Where can you buy it?

The good news is pule cheese is exported to the UK, Germany and the rest of the world are expected soon but you may have heard in the news a few years ago that Serbia’s own Novak Djokovic bought the world’s entire supply in 2012. I wonder if he had to ‘pule’ some strings to arrange that. *ahem* Sorry, that was too cheesy, even for me.

Pule cheese in numbers

60 – The percentage of donkey milk that goes into making pule cheese (the other 40% comes from goat’s milk)

576 – The cost in USD for a pound of pule

3 – The pints of milk a jenny can make in a day

100 – The number of Balkan donkeys left on the planet

2012 – The year Novak Djokovic bought the world’s entire supply (which has since been replenished)

The World's Priciest Cheese Is Made from Donkey Milk

Update: apparently, there’s a song called Pule Cheese. Do what you will with that information.

Hot meat cleaver seeking 10 lighters for fiery fun

EXPERIMENT Glowing 1000 degree MEAT CHOPPER vs 10 Lighters

I don’t know why this appeared on my YouTube recommended videos list, but it did and I am grateful. When you see a title like “EXPERIMENT Glowing 1000 degree MEAT CHOPPER vs 10 Lighters”, questions form in your mind. I had my own hypothesis of what would happen given the circumstances and I was happy to be proved right. There’s only one way this could have gone but I didn’t expect it to get that bad. As far as I can tell, nobody got seriously hurt but like the famous disclaimer says: don’t try this at home.

I cannot WAIT for the 1000 degree MEAT CHOPPER comes up against 10 sticks of TNT. Talk about an explosive match up!

Peter Sellers and the complete guide to accents of the British Isles

In a 1979 sketch, he presented “The Complete Guide To Accents of The British Isles”, as Don Shulman, an American professor of “accents and languages”. He travels through Europe and Britain playing numerous accents from John O’ Groats to Land’s End. Everything seems to be going well but then the sketch takes a dangerous turn…

“There was no Peter Sellers […] He was close to panic as himself and came alive only when he was impersonating someone else.” – Bruce Jay Friedman

Stream both parts below.

Peter Sellers: Complete Guide To Accents of The British Isles (pt1)
Peter Sellers: Complete Guide To Accents of The British Isles (pt2)

Language related: The news told in 6 languages and Viggo Mortensen speaking 7 languages

Gefilte fish!

gefilte-fish-rush-hour

Rush Hour was a great movie when it came out in 1998. Like many comedy films, it comes with some great bloopers and this particular one has stuck with me the longest. But what the hell is gefilte fish? I was never inclined to look it up. Until yesterday.

Gefilte fish is a seafood dish is made from poached ground fish, usually carp, whitefish, or pike. Until the 19th-century, gefilte fish was stuffed in the skin of the fish but nowadays you’ll find it made into quenelles or fish balls. It’s a popular Jewish holiday meal, given its origins, but the dish can be found around the world. Including planes as part of kosher meals no doubt. And Chris Tucker just couldn’t get his tongue around it. And I don’t blame him.

Gefilte FIsh Blooper

Steamed Hams but there's a different animator every 13 seconds

Steamed Hams but there's a different animator every 13 seconds

And to honour that, YouTube uploader TmsT created this video in collaboration with 13 animators (including himself). To call each animation surreal would be an understatement but so would saying each one was “good”. It’s all very trippy and pushes Steamed Hams past its boundaries, like many of the homages and “remixes” on YouTube.

Steam the video below and make sure to check out the animators underneath.

Steamed Hams but There's a Different Animator Every 13 Seconds

Animators, in order of segment:

The wonderful art of Upendo

upendo

Who is Upendo?

Upendo Taylor was born in Watts, California but moved to New York to make the city “his canvas” according to his website. He draws inspiration from everything in his life and puts them back into his art in the best possible way.

His aesthetic has covered topics such as pop culture, cartoons, and his love of hamburgers with different media like hand drawings, painting, and computer designs.

Leroy Jenkins!

In 2005, Upendo teamed up with Ron Upperman to create their Leroy Jenkins clothing brand (named after the infamous Leroy Jenkins meme). The biggest endorsement of the brand came from Jay-Z who wore a Leroy Jenkins cap in 2012.

Upendo has worked with the likes of Adidas, Burton, Gatorade, Stones Throw Records, and Black Milk over the years and he’s one of my favourite modern artists and artistic inspirations.

Some of Upendo’s work

UPENDO ART

Corey Johnson's Top 5 Skateboarders

Skateboarder doing a trick in a skate park

I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Corey Johnson via Twitter and Instagram over the years and I’m a big admirer of his aesthetic and the aesthetics he admires. So it seemed fitting to ask him to be part of the inaugural chapter of this Top Five series where I asked him to pick his top 5 skateboarders.

Stevie Williams / The Reason

Video Vortex: Stevie Williams, The Reason | TransWorld SKATEboarding

Terry Kennedy / Baker 3

Baker 3 Full Video

Christian Hosoi / Christ Air

skateboarding Christian Hosoi Christ air

Tyshawn Jones / Away Days

Tyshawn Jones - Away Days Part

Daewon Song / Round 3

ROUND 3 - DAEWON SONG

Honourable mention

Kevin Booker / Ice Cream Skate Team

Ice Cream Skate Team - Kevin Booker

An empty water park In Dubai made a dope skate park

An Empty Water Park In Dubai Makes A Dope Skateboarding Venue

Imagine having an empty waterpark all to yourself. And when I say empty, I mean without any water. That’s what a group of skateboarders had at their disposal during a maintenance day at Aquaventure Waterpark in Dubai. So that could only mean one thing: an epic session.

You take for granted just how big the chutes are in water parks until they’re drained. The video is pretty short but there are no signs of a longer version (much to the chagrin of some YouTube commenters). This would make the sickest level on Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater though.

Skating an Empty Water Park | Xtreme CollXtion

One Chip Challenge (special guest star: the Carolina Reaper)

One Chip Challenge (special guest star: the Carolina Reaper)

There’s only one thing better than a spicy food challenge: watching people’s reactions after they eat it. My all-time favourite remains AyyOnline when he ate the “ghost pepper”, followed by the two white girls who nearly died doing the same thing. But SungWon Cho – known online as ProZD – took the one chip challenge without any of the drama. And his wife, Anne Marie, joined him.

“The problem with it is it tastes real bad.”

Stream it below to see just how bad it tasted.

ONE CHIP CHALLENGE (ft. the Carolina Reaper Hot Pepper)

Steamed Hams but it's edited like Dragon Ball Z

Steamed Hams, edited like the original series of Dragon Ball Z

I can’t get enough of these things. You might have seen the Steamed Hams video with multiple animators or the one in the style of Seinfeld. But how about a DBZ mashup?

That’s exactly what we have here and it works so well. Everything starts normally until Seymour realises his “roast is ruined” and the DBZ music kicks in. It’s cleverly done and I’d love to see more Simpsons/DBZ mashup episodes. They’ve got to be better than the awfulness of the newer Simpsons episodes, right?

Stream it below.

Steamed Hams but it's edited like Dragon Ball Z

Blue Crow Media Loves Brutalism

Blue Crow Media are publishers in London who started out making a series of food and drink city guides, before branching out to architectural maps. Their Brutalist maps are now all the rage, covering world cities such as Boston, New York, Paris, and Berlin.

I adore these maps and I hope to get the London map soon. My last few trips to London on the Underground have involved me traipsing through the city looking for as many brutalist buildings as my legs would allow. This map is essential.

Co.Design