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11 Game-Inspired Cakes

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We’ve featured cakes based on video games before, but for those who prefer to play their games in the real world against non-virtual friends, here are 11 great tribute desserts.

1. Dungeons & Dragons

Adorned with gold coins and two twenty-sided dice, this dragon would be the perfect complement to any epic D&D session. The gorgeous birthday cake was made by Mike’s Amazing Cakes for Gizmopolis writer DougO’s friend’s 30th birthday.

2. Settlers of Catan

This great Settlers of Catan cake was made by Kalli Cakes for When Geeks Wed readers Carol and Kyle. Not only does the cake look perfect, it even pulls apart in little hexagonal sections just like the real game board.

3. Billiards

This billiards cake by Cake Central user littleshamrock21 is a perfect way to celebrate any pool shark’s birthday.

4. Monopoly

While there are plenty of Monopoly-themed cakes out there, this design by Michelle Cakes is certainly top-tier material. That’s not only because the paint on the box looks so convincing, but also because it comes with so many delightful recreations of the game’s famous accessories, and a few of the couple's personal additions. My only critique? What’s Monopoly without a Scotty dog?

5. Chess

Like Monopoly, there is no short supply of chess cakes. What makes this great creation by Elana’s Cakes and More stand out is the fact that it looks like the board and pieces are made of well-polished marble. I’d be worried it would crack my teeth if I took a bite.

6. Game of Life

The Game of Life is all too fitting for a birthday celebration. Including photos from the person’s life and a few real game pieces on the cake, Johnson’s Custom Cakes made this one a perfect walk down memory lane.

7. Operation

When Anne Heap of Pink Cake Box’s brother graduated from his cardiology fellowship, Anne baked up this delightful take on the classic game of Operation. The best part? Cavity Sam's nose actually lights up – just like in the real game.

8. Scrabble

CakeCentral user ToniRod made this for her mother’s birthday: a fully recreated Scrabble board, including the score pad, a pencil and tile holders and a game in play with a message for the birthday gal.

9. Hungry Hungry Hippos

Here is a great game that most adults have fond memories of.  This cake by Dolce Designs allows you to remember those good times while giving you an all-new fun memory with the game.

10. Candy Land

Back in 2009, Debbie Does Cakes made this great Candy Land creation for HASBRO to help the company celebrate the 60th anniversary of this classic children’s board game.

11. The Variety Pack

This creation by Cake Central user Jewelld Cakes features elements from The Game of Life, Monopoly, Scrabble, Taboo and Twister – now that’s how to celebrate game night in style!

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This Smart Fridge Camera Will Warn You When Your Food Is Going Bad
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Food waste costs us a whole lot, both in terms of money and environmental impact. The USDA estimates that American families could each save about $1500 a year if they just ate all the food they bought. Sure, you could eat ice cream made of food waste from your local farmers market, but a more effective solution would be to cut back on the amount of food you personally waste every week.

A smart fridge can help, and you don’t have to buy an entirely new appliance to get one, according to Inhabitat. Smarter’s FridgeCam turns any refrigerator into a smart appliance, and all for just $127. Smarter, a British company that also makes smart teakettles and coffeemakers that hook up to your phone, designed the wireless FridgeCam to fit into any fridge.

A product shot shows a circular white smart camera against a white background.
Smarter

Once installed, you can peer inside your fridge from your phone, no matter where you are. (Which saves energy, too.) You can set the app to ping you when it senses you’re near a convenience store or grocery store to remind you to pick something up, or you can set it to autopopulate an online shopping cart of necessities.

In addition to letting you see your food with your own eyes, the camera tracks expiration dates in order to remind you when it's time to buy more milk and what food needs to be eaten ASAP. The Smarter Chef feature even suggests recipes based on what you have at home, including the stuff that you’ll need to throw out if you don’t use it up soon.

It’s unclear exactly how the camera tracks expiration dates, since presumably it might be hard for a camera to see an expiration date listed on the bottom of a jar, for instance. You might have to scan or input them yourself. Either way, a single camera that costs less than $200 is a whole lot cheaper than buying a new fridge. A futuristic kitchen just became a whole lot more affordable.

The FridgeCam is available for pre-order here.

[h/t Inhabitat]

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entertainment
The Time That Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Opened Competing Restaurants on the Sunset Strip
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From 1946 to 1956, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis were show business supernovas. With an act that combined singing, slapstick, and spontaneous hijinks, the duo sold out nightclubs coast to coast, then went on to conquer radio, television, and film. Long before Elvis and The Beatles came along, Dean and Jerry  were rock stars of comedy.

Offstage, there was a cordial but cool friendship between the laidback Martin and the more neurotic Lewis. But as the pressures of their success increased, so did the tensions between them. Martin grew tired of playing the bland romantic straight man to Lewis’s manic monkey boy. And when Lewis started to grab more headlines and write himself bigger parts in their movies, Martin decided to quit the act. In an angry moment, he told Lewis that he was “nothing to me but a f**king dollar sign.”

After the split, both men went on with their individual careers, though it took Martin a few years before he regained his footing. One of his ventures during that transitional period was a Hollywood eatery called Dino’s Lodge.

DINO'S LODGE

In the summer of 1958, Martin and his business partner, Maury Samuels, bought a controlling interest in a restaurant called The Alpine Lodge, at 8524 Sunset Boulevard. They hired Dean’s brother Bill to manage the place, and renamed it Dino’s Lodge.

Outside they put up a large neon sign, a likeness of Dean’s face. The sign turned into a national symbol of hip and cool, thanks to appearances on TV shows like Dragnet, The Andy Griffith Show, and most prominently, in the opening credits of 77 Sunset Strip.

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Dino’s Lodge was popular from the get-go, serving home-style Italian food and steaks in an intimate, candlelit, wood-paneled room meant to replicate Martin’s own den. In the first year, Dean himself frequented the place, signing autographs and posing for photos with starstruck diners. He also occasionally brought along famous friends like Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine. To promote the idea of the swingin’ lifestyle that Martin often sang about, Dino’s served “an early morning breakfast from 1 to 5 a.m.” The restaurant also had a lounge that featured singers, though only females. Dean apparently didn’t want any male vocalists encroaching on his turf.

But as with many a celebrity venture into the food business, this one soon turned sour. And most of that was due to the jealousy of Jerry Lewis.

JERRY'S

In late 1961, Lewis wooed Martin’s business partner Maury Samuels away, ponied up some $350,000, and opened his own copycat restaurant three blocks down Sunset. It was called Jerry’s. To make it clear he was out for top billing, Lewis had his own likeness rendered in neon, then mounted it on a revolving pole 100 feet above his restaurant. In contrast to Dino’s Italian-based menu, Jerry’s would serve “American and Hebrew viands.” Lewis didn’t stop there. Within a few months, he’d hired away Dino’s top two chefs, his maître d', and half his waitstaff.

Wire Photo, eBay, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

When Lewis was in Los Angeles, he made of point of table-hopping and schmoozing with his guests at his restaurant, and he occasionally brought in a few of his celebrity friends, like Peggy Lee and Steve McQueen.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

By the following year, a disgusted Dean Martin was fed up with the restaurant business and cut ties with Dino’s Lodge. Much to his aggravation, he lost a motion in court to have his likeness and name removed from the sign. So the new owners carried on as Dino’s Lodge, with the big neon head staring down on Sunset for another decade before the place finally went bust.

Jerry’s lost steam long before that, folding in the mid-1960s.

For the rest of the 1960s and the early 1970s, Martin and Lewis avoided each other. “Jerry’s trying hard to be a director,” Dean once told a reporter. “He couldn’t even direct traffic.”

In 1976, Frank Sinatra famously engineered an onstage reunion of the pair during The Jerry Lewis Telethon. While the audience roared their approval, Sinatra said, “I think it’s about time, don’t you?” And to Sinatra, Lewis said under his breath, “You son of a bitch.”

What followed was an awkward few moments of shtick between the former partners. Reportedly, Martin was drunk and Lewis was doped up on painkillers. There was a quick embrace, Martin sang with Sinatra, then blew Lewis a kiss and disappeared from his life for good. Martin died in 1995. Lewis passed away today, at the age of 91.

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