The Breaking Bad Tour of Albuquerque


I’ll say this about Albuquerque, they sure love their Breaking Bad. Also, their meth, apparently, but mostly, their Breaking Bad, one of the many TV shows and movies that have been shot in the New Mexico city over the past few years — largely due to drool-worthy tax incentives and scenic locations — but the only one that we, myself and photographer Nadia Chaudhury, were willing to travel across the country for. After all, Girls already films in my city.

Breaking Bad aside, I’ve been wanting to visit Albuquerque for years, but never bothered reclining up from my blogger chair until last week, when we flew from New York to the Land of Heisenberg. We saw as many notable as-seen-on-Breaking-Bad locales as possible, and yes, we were obviously even lucky enough to have an encounter with Bryan Cranston, a.k.a. a guy with the initials “W.W.” who isn’t named Walt Whitman.

Come join us, won’t you, on a journey through time, space, Albuquerque, and photos of bathrooms.

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food

From The New York Times:

The food technicians stopped worrying about inventing new products and instead embraced the industry’s most reliable method for getting consumers to buy more: the line extension. The classic Lay’s potato chips were joined by Salt & Vinegar, Salt & Pepper and Cheddar & Sour Cream. They put out Chili-Cheese-flavored Fritos, and Cheetos were transformed into 21 varieties. Frito-Lay had a formidable research complex near Dallas, where nearly 500 chemists, psychologists and technicians conducted research that cost up to $30 million a year, and the science corps focused intense amounts of resources on questions of crunch, mouth feel and aroma for each of these items. Their tools included a $40,000 device that simulated a chewing mouth to test and perfect the chips, discovering things like the perfect break point: people like a chip that snaps with about four pounds of pressure per square inch.

To get a better feel for their work, I called on Steven Witherly, a food scientist who wrote a fascinating guide for industry insiders titled, “Why Humans Like Junk Food.” I brought him two shopping bags filled with a variety of chips to taste. He zeroed right in on the Cheetos. “This,” Witherly said, “is one of the most marvelously constructed foods on the planet, in terms of pure pleasure.” He ticked off a dozen attributes of the Cheetos that make the brain say more. But the one he focused on most was the puff’s uncanny ability to melt in the mouth. “It’s called vanishing caloric density,” Witherly said. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever.”

14 Year Old Rape Victim Charged with Adultery and Lashed to Death

Happy Fucking Monday:

Shariatpur, Bangladesh (CNN) — Hena Akhter’s last words to her mother proclaimed her innocence. But it was too late to save the 14-year-old girl.

Her fellow villagers in Bangladesh’s Shariatpur district had already passed harsh judgment on her. Guilty, they said, of having an affair with a married man. The imam from the local mosque ordered the fatwa, or religious ruling, and the punishment: 101 lashes delivered swiftly, deliberately in public.

Hena dropped after 70.

Bloodied and bruised, she was taken to hospital, where she died a week later.

Amazingly, an initial autopsy report cited no injuries and deemed her death a suicide. Hena’s family insisted her body be exhumed. They wanted the world to know what really happened to their daughter.

Question of the Day

What’s a book that you loved the beginning to death only to see it go in a direction you hated and ultimately be a disappointment?

This question comes up because I just read The Keep over the weekend which starts out as a terrific horror novel. A garrison of German soldiers during World War 2 are housed in a Romanian keep when something starts killing them off at night. The captain sends for help and ends up with a squad of SS taking over which only makes things worse. About halfway through the book, we find out what’s going on and it just ruins the atmosphere. Throw in some cardboard characters and a crappy love story and I wanted to throw the book across the room in frustration.

Texas 4-Year-Old Dead After Shooting Himself With Father’s Gun

From Crooks and Liars:

A 4-year-old boy in Houston died early Sunday morning after finding his father’s handgun and shooting himself in the stomach.

Houston Police Sgt. Harris told KTRK that 4-year-old Jaiden Pratt’s weekend with his father, 23-year-old Marquez Pratt, ended in tragedy. The father and son had gone to sleep on the couch. After waking up, Jaiden picked up the gun and accidentally fired a round into his own stomach.

Paramedics tried to revive child, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.