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Engelmann via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

The Right Stuff(ing): 11 Variations on the Turducken

Engelmann via Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Many people already know we have former NFL player and commentator John Madden to thank for Turducken’s sudden rise to fame. Madden was known for waxing poetic about the roast beast—a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken—live on the air. Sometimes he even brought one of the concoctions into the broadcasting booth.

As far as extreme holiday entrees go, Turducken is no longer the only option out there. If you’re looking for something new for your feast this year, gorge yourself on these 11 alternatives.

1. GOODUCKEN

Turkey may be a holiday go-to in the U.S., but in the UK, it’s more common to see a goose on the dinner table. That’s where the gooducken comes in—a goose stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a duck.

2. THE TURBACON

What do you get when you cross a 20-pound pig with an 8-pound turkey, a 6-pound duck, a 4-pound chicken, a Cornish game hen, a quail, lots of bacon, 6 pounds of butter and a splash of Dr Pepper? You get the TurBacon, created by the crew at Epic Meal Time. They’re also responsible for the Turbaconepicentipede, which is an unholy Human Centipede-like configuration of many TurBacons.

3. THE COCKENTRICE

If a turkey and a pig could have a baby, it would be the cockentrice. But they can’t, obviously, so folks back in Henry VIII’s day did the next best thing: They went mad scientist and sewed the upper half of a piglet to the lower half of a turkey or a large chicken. Then they stuffed it, roasted it, and served it for the amusement of royal guests.

4. THE ROAST WITHOUT EQUAL

Also dating back hundreds of years is the Rôti Sans Pareil, the Roast Without Equal. This massive dish involved the engastration of not three, not four, not five, but seventeen birds. It was one of each of the following, in order from smallest to largest: warbler, bunting, lark, thrush, quail, lapwing, plover, partridge, woodcock, teal, guinea fowl, duck, chicken, pheasant, goose, turkey, giant bustard. We don’t know if people actually made the monstrous meal, but the recipe was included in an 1809 food journal called Almanach des Gourmands.

5. TURDUCKENEN-DUCKENEN

“Recreational mathemusician” Vi Hart takes the bird in a bird in a bird concept to a mathematical level. She stuffs her turkey with two ducks, then stuffs each duck with two hens, and finishes off with two quail eggs per hen.

6. CTHURKEY

In 2011, Rusty Eulberg and his wife wanted to do something “unique” for a Christmas dinner with their friends. Inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu, the couple combined a turkey, crab legs, octopus, and bacon, resulting in a main course that horrified their dinner guests. But unlike the other Turducken variants, the cthuken isn’t assembled and cooked—it’s cooked and then assembled. Once their surprised friends were able to get over the appearance of the Frankensteined creature on the table, everyone was able to disassemble the thing and enjoy their favorite meat(s).

7. TURDUCKEN RIDICULOUS

In a stunt aimed at mocking how far we've taken the engastration trend, an Australian radio show combined 20 different meats, outdoing even the Roast Without Equal. The meats, in order from smallest to largest: Pigeon, partridge, quail, guinea fowl, rabbit, chicken, duck, pheasant, turkey, goose, mutton, beef, emu, goat, water buffalo, oxen, kangaroo, camel, venison, whole baby pig.

Seriously. Here they are assembling it:

8. TRUE LOVE ROAST

Loosely based on the 12 days of Christmas, a farmer in England cobbled together this beast made from turkey, goose, chicken, pheasant, partridge, pigeon squab, Aylesbury duck, Barbary duck, poussin, Guinea fowl, Mallard, and quail with herb and fruit stuffings. And while you might not be pleased if your true love gave you a Christmas present consisting of a bunch of random game stuffed into a carcass, you might at least be comforted by the fact that it was an expensive gift: It costs £665 (about $1011).

9. HOTCHKEN

If you can’t afford 12 different birds to construct the True Love Roast, or even three birds for the legendary Turducken, there’s always the option of one bird and some meat-like filler. Introducing the Hotchken, a chicken stuffed with hot dogs. Yes, it’s a real (but borderline NSFW) thing.

10. TURDUNKIN'

If you’re both a lover of wordplay and a glutton for punishment, give the TurDunkin’ a try. Unwholesome Foods created it, and while it’s certainly unwholesome, it's only technically a food. First, a turkey is brined in Dunkin’ Donuts coolattas, both orange and strawberry. The “stuffing” is made of 50 munchkins of assorted flavors, plus onion, sage, and vegetable broth. (Mmm.) After cooking, the turkey is glazed and coated in sprinkles. The finishing touch is a drizzle of coffee-flavored gravy.

11. VEGGIEDUCKEN

If the idea of meat stuffed in meat stuffed in meat stuffed in meat makes you want to look into vegetarianism, don’t worry—there’s still a “bird” for you. Created by blogger Dan Pashman, the Veggieducken is yams stuffed into leeks stuffed into a banana squash, with layers of vegetarian stuffing in between.

BONUS: CHERPUMPLE



To complete your meal, you might as well stick with the theme of food stuffed into other food with the Cherpumple. That’s a cherry pie baked into a chocolate cake, a pumpkin pie baked into a spice cake, and an apple pie baked into a yellow cake. The cake/pie layers are then stacked and frosted to create a layer cake of epic proportions. Hope you brought your Thanksgiving Pants.

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Hate Red M&M's? You Need a Candy Color-Sorting Machine
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iStock

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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The Strange Hidden Link Between Silent Hill and Kindergarten Cop
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Universal Pictures

by Ryan Lambie

At first glance, Kindergarten Cop and Silent Hill don't seem to have much in common—aside from both being products of the 1990s. At the beginning of the decade came Kindergarten Cop, the hit comedy directed by Ivan Reitman and starring larger-than-life action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. At the decade’s end came Silent Hill, Konami’s best-selling survival horror game that sent shivers down PlayStation owners’ spines.

As pop culture artifacts go, they’re as different as oil and water. Yet eagle-eyed players may have noticed a strange hidden link between the video game and the goofy family comedy.

In Silent Hill, you control Harry Mason, a father hunting for his daughter Cheryl in the eerily deserted town of the title. Needless to say, the things Mason uncovers are strange and very, very gruesome. Early on in the game, Harry stumbles on a school—Midwich Elementary School, to be precise—which might spark a hint of déjà vu as soon as you approach its stone steps. The building’s double doors and distinctive archway appear to have been taken directly from Kindergarten Cop’s Astoria Elementary School.

Could it be a coincidence?

Well, further clues can be found as you venture inside. As well as encountering creepy gray children and other horrors, you’ll notice that its walls are decorated with numerous posters. Some of those posters—including a particularly distinctive one with a dog on it—also decorated the halls of the school in Kindergarten Cop.

Do a bit more hunting, and you’ll eventually find a medicine cabinet clearly modeled on one glimpsed in the movie. Most creepily of all, you’ll even encounter a yellow school bus that looks remarkably similar to the one in the film (though this one has clearly seen better days).

Silent Hill's references to the movie are subtle—certainly subtle enough for them to pass the majority of players by—but far too numerous to be a coincidence. When word of the link between game and film began to emerge in 2012, some even joked that Konami’s Silent Hill was a sequel to Kindergarten Cop. So what’s really going on?

When Silent Hill was in early development back in 1996, director Keiichiro Toyama set out to make a game that was infused with influences from some of his favorite American films and TV shows. “What I am a fan of is occult stuff and UFO stories and so on; that and I had watched a lot of David Lynch films," he told Polygon in 2013. "So it was really a matter of me taking what was on my shelves and taking the more horror-oriented aspects of what I found.”

A scene from 'Silent Hill'
Divine Tokyoska, Flickr

In an interview with IGN much further back, in 2001, a member of Silent Hill’s staff also stated, “We draw our influences from all over—fiction, movies, manga, new and old.”

So while Kindergarten Cop is perhaps the most outlandish movie reference in Silent Hill, it’s by no means the only one. Cafe5to2, another prominent location in the game, is taken straight from Oliver Stone’s Natural Born Killers.

Elsewhere, you might spot a newspaper headline which references The Silence Of The Lambs (“Bill Skins Fifth”). Look carefully, and you'll also find nods to such films as The Shining, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, and 12 Monkeys.

Similarly, the town’s streets are all named after respected sci-fi and horror novelists, with Robert Bloch, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury, and Richard Matheson among the most obvious. Oh, and Midwich, the name of the school? That’s taken from the classic 1957 novel The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham, twice adapted for the screen as The Village Of The Damned in 1960 and 1995.

Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'Kindergarten Cop'
Universal Pictures

The reference to Kindergarten Cop could, therefore, have been a sly joke on the part of Silent Hill’s creators—because what could be stranger than modeling something in a horror game on a family-friendly comedy? But there could be an even more innocent explanation: that Kindergarten Cop spends so long inside an ordinary American school simply gave Toyama and his team plenty of material to reference when building their game.

Whatever the reasons, the Kindergarten Cop reference ranks highly among the most strange and unexpected film connections in the history of the video game medium. Incidentally, the original movie's exteriors used a real school, John Jacob Astor Elementary in Astoria, Oregon. According to a 1991 article in People Magazine, the school's 400 fourth grade students were paid $35 per day to appear in Kindergarten Cop as extras.

It’s worth pointing out that the school is far less scary a place than the video game location it unwittingly inspired, and to the best of our knowledge, doesn't have an undercover cop named John Kimble serving as a teacher there, either.

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