Meet Smalt, the Bluetooth-Enabled Salt Shaker



Seasoning your food can be a pretty mundane experience. What if your salt shaker could double as a conversation starter? What if it could stream music, set your table’s mood lighting, and automatically portion out your sodium intake?

Smalt, the Cadillac of salt shakers, can do all of that and more. Introduced by California-based Herb & Body, Smalt is a “smart” seasoning tool that uses Bluetooth to double as a tabletop speaker. You can stream music on it, adjust the built-in lighting for ambiance, or simply use it to dispense salt over your meals. The amount can be adjusted with a manual dial or through a voice command via Amazon’s Alexa software.

For a totally cutting-edge meal, you may want to consider pairing it with the HAPIfork, a utensil that vibrates when you’re stuffing food into your face too quickly; or the SmartPlate, which can assess the pile of calories in front of you. The resulting waste from your meal can then be deposited into the Smart Toilet, which flushes automatically and features a warm water wash.

Herb & Body plans on launching Smalt via an Indiegogo campaign in the near future. Price and availability have yet to be announced.  

[h/t Eater]

Job Alert: The UK Needs a Chicken Nugget Taste-Tester

Do you like highly-processed chicken molded into mushy, breaded bites? Are you willing to relocate to England? Can your palate distinguish a savory nugget from a mediocre one? Your dream job awaits, reports.

British retail chain B&M recently posted a job listing calling for a "chicken nugget connoisseur" to help the company get feedback on their new line of frozen food products. The chosen applicant—or applicants—will get a monthly voucher worth £25 ($34) to spend on frozen goods. Job duties consist of eating nuggets and other items and then providing B&M feedback.

The post describes the position as "temporary," so it's unlikely there's opportunity for advancement. If you care to apply, B&M will accept a paragraph describing yourself and why you’d be good for the job—though if you actually have a CV full of previous nugget-related positions, we're confident they'd love to see it.


Switzerland Just Made It Illegal to Boil Live Lobsters

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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