Henry Hargreaves
Henry Hargreaves

An Artist Proves There's Enough Sugar In Your Soda to Create a Lollipop

Henry Hargreaves
Henry Hargreaves

The next time you go out to eat, consider ordering a lollipop to wash down your chicken caesar salad. You might as well: That Coke you reach for has enough sugar to create one, an artist from New Zealand has proved.

In a recent series of photographs called (de) hydrate, photographer Henry Hargreaves, who now lives and works in Brooklyn, demonstrates what happens when you remove the liquid from common sugary drinks. “After recently hearing a health professional refer to soda as ‘the cigarettes of our generation,’ I decided to do an experiment to show what’s in soft drinks after the water is boiled away—in other words, dehydrating the hydrator,” Hargreaves told mental_floss in an email. “Once boiled, I took each remaining substance and poured it into a lollipop mold. After all, I figure that’s what you’re essentially getting: candy in costume as a soft drink.”

Hargreaves pours the sugar mixture into his molds.

Hargreaves traces around the bottom of each beverage bottle and brands each resulting disk with the drink's name; he then uses these disks as stencils to create molds for his candies. Next, Hargreaves boils the liquid out of each drink on a stove top and pours the remaining sludgey mixture of sugar, food coloring, and other ingredients into the molds. The molds go into the fridge to harden, and, Voila! Soda 'pops.

Watch Hargreaves at work in the video below.

The results of Hargreaves' experiment-cum-art-project are unappetizing, to say the least. “There was way more sugar in there than I thought,” Hargraeves tells the BBC. “Pretty much all of the lollipop molds I made overflowed ... The other shocking thing was if you took the lollipops and put them into contact with water they became the drinks again.”

Unsurprising, Mountain Dew punched in as the sugariest beverage with 77 grams (2.7 ounces) of the sweet stuff. But even the drinks marketed as “healthier” options—such as Vitamin Water, Honest Tea, and Zico coconut water—contained enough sugar to create a lollipop. So stick to water for your hydrating needs—if you think convenience store beverages are good for you, then you’re the sucker.

The final results:

MOUNTAIN DEW

COKE

VITAMIN WATER

SNAPPLE

MONSTER

ZICO

POWERADE

Check out more of Hargreaves's work on his website, Instagram, or Facebook.

All images courtesy Henry Hargreaves

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Sophie Gamand
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This Photographer Is Changing People's Perceptions of Pit Bulls, One Flower Crown at a Time
Sophie Gamand
Sophie Gamand

Like many people, Sophie Gamand wasn’t always the biggest fan of pit bulls. As a volunteer photographer for animal shelters, she used to tense up any time she saw one.

And then something changed. In 2014, the New York-based photographer decided to confront her fear and take on a project that would force her to interact with pit bulls, My Modern Met reports. Initially, she wanted to see for herself if pit bulls were really as dangerous as people claim they are, and what she learned surprised her.

She “discovered the sweet and gentle nature of pit bulls, and how obedient and eager to please they are,” Gamand tells Mental Floss. “They are goofy, loving, and very attached to people.”

Equipped with her new mindset, she decided to photograph the dogs individually with colorful flower crowns adorning their heads in hopes of challenging the public's perception of pit bulls. And it worked.

A pit bull with a flower crown
Sophie Gamand

Gamand says animal shelter staff often tell her that her photos, which she posts on social media with a brief description of each dog's personality, have saved countless dogs from being euthanized and have helped many others find forever homes. “They have helped dogs get adopted who had had zero interest for months or even years,” she says.

Over the last few years, she has photographed over 400 pit bulls, and her images will be published in a forthcoming coffee table book titled Pit Bull Flower Power: The Book. It will be released in October for Pit Bull Awareness Month.

She says the stereotype of pit bulls being overly aggressive is “completely unfounded,” adding that genetics have little to no influence on a dog’s personality. What makes the difference, though, is proper care and training, which is why she’s dedicating her life’s work to helping the dogs find loving homes.

Plus, the dogs love the photo shoots. "These are all shelter dogs who spend most of their time in a cage," Gamand says. "They are so happy for all the attention, treats, and love they get on the shoot. They love nothing more than to be good boys and girls—learning tricks, sitting to get a cookie. It’s their special moment. Each shoot is a team effort between the handler, the dog, and myself."

Her photos have spread far and wide via social media, and she now receives requests to visit animal shelters all over the world, from India to Kuwait to China. Prior to Pit Bull Flower Power, Gamand’s first book, Wet Dog—which features, you guessed it, adorable dripping dogs—was published in 2015.

Keep scrolling to see more of Gamand's Flower Power series, and check out this project and others on her Instagram page and website.

A pit bull with a flower crown
Sophie Gamand

A pit bull with a flower crown
Sophie Gamand

A pit bull with a flower crown
Sophie Gamand

A pit bull with a flower crown
Sophie Gamand

[h/t My Modern Met]

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Christie's
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A Rare Copy of Audubon's Birds of America Could Break Records at Auction
Christie's
Christie's

American artist and naturalist John James Audubon published The Birds of America in the first half of the 19th century, and his massive “double-elephant” folio of life-size bird illustrations remains one of the most ambitious nature books ever produced. On June 14, a rare edition of the four-book set is hitting the auction block, and it's expected to fetch up to $12 million—more than any Audubon book ever sold.

This edition of The Birds of America was owned by the dukes of Portland from around 1839 to 2012. Because it was stored on the shelves of the family's Nottinghamshire, England estate for nearly a century, the set's prints of watercolor drawings have remained remarkably well-preserved.

In 2012, the copy was auctioned off to philanthropist and businessman Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. for nearly $8 million. Knobloch donated the books to the Knobloch Family Foundation (KFF) before his death in 2016. Now, the KFF is sending the books to auction once again. This time, all proceeds of the sale will go to nature conservation.

Set of red leather-bound books.

New York City auction house Christie's describes the set in a listing as "among the finest copies in private hands of this icon of American art, and the finest color-plate book ever produced." Each of the 435 double-elephant folio pages measures 39.5 inches by 26.5 inches, the largest sheets Audubon could get his hands on at the time, and they feature 1037 birds from 500 species. The books are bound in red Moroccan leather with gold detailing on the borders and spines. The four-volume set also comes with the Ornithological Biography, a collection of five books describing the specimens in The Birds of America and their habits.

Christie's estimates the set will sell for $8 million to $12 million when the final bid is placed later this month. To date, the most expensive copy of The Birds of America was a first edition acquired from Sotheby's in London for $11.5 million. That sale also broke the record for the most expensive printed book ever sold at auction, a record held until 2013.

Illustration of American birds.

Illustration of American bird.

Illustration of American birds.

Illustration of American birds.

Illustration of American birds.

All images courtesy of Christie's

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