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11 Game-Inspired Cakes

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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Animals
Switzerland Just Made It Illegal to Boil Live Lobsters
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No, lobsters don’t scream when you toss them into a pot of boiling water, but as far as the Swiss government is concerned, they can still feel pain. The path most lobsters take to the dinner plate is supposedly so inhumane that Switzerland has banned boiling lobsters alive unless they are stunned first, The Guardian reports.

The new law is based on assertions from animal rights advocates and some scientists that crustaceans like lobsters have complex nervous systems, making death by boiling incredibly painful. If chefs want to include lobster on their menus, they’re now required to knock them out before preparing them. Acceptable stunning methods under Swiss law include electric shock and the “mechanical destruction” of the lobster’s brain (i.e. stabbing it in the head).

The government has also outlawed the transportation of live lobsters on ice or in icy water. The animals should instead be kept in containers that are as close to their natural environment as possible until they’re ready for the pot.

Proponents of animal rights are happy with the decision, but others, including some scientists, are skeptical. The data still isn’t clear as to whether or not lobsters feel pain, at least in the way people think of it. Bob Bayer, head of the University of Maine’s Lobster Institute, told Mental Floss in 2014 that lobsters “sense their environment, but don’t have the intellectual hardware to process pain.”

If you live in a place where boiling lobsters is legal, but still have ethical concerns over eating them, try tossing your lobster in the freezer before giving it a hot water bath. Chilling it puts it to sleep and is less messy than butchering it while it’s still alive.

[h/t The Guardian]

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Food
Hate Red M&M's? You Need a Candy Color-Sorting Machine
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You don’t have to be a demanding rock star to live a life without brown M&M's or purple Skittles—all you need is some engineering know-how and a little bit of free time.

Mechanical engineering student Willem Pennings created a machine that can take small pieces of candy—like M&M's, Skittles, Reese’s Pieces, etc.—and sort them by color into individual piles. All Pennings needs to do is pour the candy into the top funnel; from there, the machine separates the candy—around two pieces per second—and dispenses all of it into smaller bowls at the bottom designated for each variety.

The color identification is performed with an RGB sensor that takes “optical measurements” of candy pieces of equal dimensions. There are limitations, though, as Pennings revealed in a Reddit Q&A: “I wouldn't be able to use this machine for peanut M&M's, since the sizes vary so much.”

The entire building process lasted from May through December 2016, and included the actual conceptualization, 3D printing (which was outsourced), and construction. The entire project was detailed on Pennings’s website and Reddit's DIY page.

With all of the motors, circuitry, and hardware that went into it, Pennings’s machine is likely too ambitious of a task for the average candy aficionado. So until a machine like this hits the open market, you're probably stuck buying bags of single-colored M&M’s in bulk online or sorting all of the candy out yourself the old fashioned way.

To see Pennings’s machine in action, check out the video below:

[h/t Refinery 29]

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