Updating the 'Divine Comedy'

Few works of art can claim to be as ambitious, as inspired or as influential as Dante Alighieri's towering fourteenth-century trilogy The Divine Comedy. So it's either an act of totally pretentious hubris or of similarly inspired ambition for a modern artist/writer team to tackle a complete reinterpretation of Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, as well as the now-classic Gustav Dore engravings that have graced printings of the volumes for the last hundred years or so.

Luckily for Marcus Sanders and modern artist Sandow Birk -- whom we blogged about yesterday -- their vision of a skateboard punk Dante wandering through a Hell, Purgatory and Heaven that look an awful lot like Los Angeles circa right now is at once funny, fascinating and retains enough of the original story's gravitas to work as literature, as well (despite the slacker voice with which the epic poem is told).

My favorite parts, however, are Birk's epic paintings, which the 'net hardly does justice:



Best of all, there's a movie version of the updated Inferno making the rounds on the film festival circuit -- and hopefully coming to a theater near you. It's "animated" using two-dimensional paper cutouts, illustrated on by Sandow Birk, which are staged in depth on a proscenium stage. It's like nothing we've ever seen! Check it out:

The Simple Way to Reheat Your French Fries and Not Have Them Turn Into a Soggy Mess

Some restaurant dishes are made to be doggy-bagged and reheated in the microwave the next day. Not French fries: The more crispy and delectable they are when they first arrive on your table, the more of a soggy disappointment they’ll be when you try to revive them at home. But as The Kitchn recently shared, there’s a secret to making leftover fries you’ll actually enjoy eating.

The key is to avoid the microwave altogether. Much of the appeal of fries comes from their crunchy, golden-brown exterior and their creamy potato center. This texture contrast is achieved by deep-frying, and all it takes is a few rotations around a microwave to melt it away. As the fries heat up, they create moisture, transforming all those lovely crispy parts into a flabby mess.

If you want your fries to maintain their crunch, you need to recreate the conditions they were cooked in initially. Set a large pan filled with about 2 tablespoons of oil for every 1 cup of fries you want to cook over medium-high heat. When you see the oil start to shimmer, add the fries in a single layer. After about a minute, flip them over and allow them to cook for half a minute to a minute longer.

By heating up fries with oil in a skillet, you produce something called the Maillard Reaction: This happens when high heat transforms proteins and sugars in food, creating the browning effect that gives fried foods their sought-after color, texture, and taste.

After your fries are nice and crisp, pull them out of the pan with tongs or a spatula, set them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil, and sprinkle them with salt. Now all you need is a perfect burger to feel like you’re eating a restaurant-quality meal at home.

[h/t The Kitchn]

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