CLOSE

These Tea Bags Transform into Goldfish in Your Mug

There’s no shortage of adorable loose-leaf tea infusers on the market, but the shapes of actual tea bags can feel a little uninspired. This one from the Taipei-based creative agency Charm Villa is different—using some clever fabric work, it transforms into a convincing goldfish after splashing into your mug. 

After 28 students from St. Johns University in Taipei perfected the design a few years back, the goldfish tea bags received their first limited launch in Taiwan. The bags are composed of Japanese fabric filled with one of four varieties of Taiwanese tea leaves, including rose oolong, ruby black, jin yuan, and Oriental beauty. The fish’s “body” swells up upon submersion, and the thread attached to its mouth can be tugged to make it appear as if it's swimming. 

The tea bags have been all the rage with Taiwanese tea-drinkers since their release, but it wasn’t until recently that they became available to American consumers through Amazon. The endearing beverage infusers don’t come cheap—a box of 12 costs $80, compared to just $35 in Taiwan. But the high price tag just means you're more likely to savor every sip. 

Images courtesy of Charm Villa via Amazon.

[h/t: Eater]

Original image
arrow
Food
This Couple Has Spent the Past 30 Years Visiting Every Cracker Barrel in the U.S.
Original image

Ray and Wilma Yoder are probably America's foremost amateur experts on Cracker Barrel restaurants. As Eater reports, the Indiana couple is on a 30-year quest to eat at every single Cracker Barrel in the U.S. And they’ve almost completed it.

Ray Yoder of Goshen, Indiana, first started going to Cracker Barrel regularly when he worked delivering RVs across the country. Soon, Wilma was coming along, too, and the couple began hunting down Cracker Barrel locations in earnest, a pastime they’ve pursued for the past three decades.

Cracker Barrel got its start in Lebanon, Tennessee, in 1969, and according to Ray, visiting the restaurants while on the road felt like being at home. “It has a down-home spirit, and everybody is friendly,” he told the Lebanon Democrat. He told the paper that stopping at Cracker Barrels helped relieve boredom when he was on the road.

Ray and Wilma Yoder stand in front of two RVs outside a Cracker Barrel.
Now, he and Wilma are celebrities to those in the Cracker Barrel know. Cracker Barrel’s corporate leadership invites them to opening day at new stores. Employees know of them, and sometimes they receive gift baskets when they come in to cross a new Cracker Barrel off their list. People ask to take their picture when they visit.

The 80-year-olds have just two rules for their visits: At each location, they always buy something, even if it’s just a cup of coffee, and leave a tip. There’s no limit on how many Cracker Barrels they’ll go to in a single day, though. They once visited 10 different locations on a drive along the East Coast. Overall, their Cracker Barrel adventure has taken them more than 5 million miles across 44 states.

The Yoders recently visited their 644th Cracker Barrel, attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new location in Lavonia, Georgia, in early July. They’re hoping to hit up the last Cracker Barrel on their list—until the next one opens, that is—by heading to Tualatin, Oregon, sometime later this year.

Update: Portland news station KGW reports that the Yoders have now completed their quest, stopping in at the Tualatin Cracker Barrel on August 28. The company flew them to Oregon for the occasion, which marked the end of their 645-restaurant journey. For now, at least.

[h/t Eater]

All images courtesy Cracker Barrel

Original image
iStock
arrow
Animals
Watch a Panda Caretaker Cuddle With Baby Pandas While Dressed Up Like a Panda
Original image
iStock

Some people wear suits to work—but at one Chinese nature reserve, a handful of lucky employees get to wear panda suits.

As Travel + Leisure reports, the People's Daily released a video in July of animal caretakers cuddling with baby pandas at the Wolong National Nature Reserve in China's Sichuan Province. The keepers dress in fuzzy black-and-white costumes—a sartorial choice that's equal parts adorable and imperative to the pandas' future success in the wild.

Researchers raise the pandas in captivity with the goal of eventually releasing them into their natural habitat. But according to The Atlantic, human attachment can hamper the pandas' survival chances, plus it can be stressful for the bears to interact with people. To keep the animals calm while acclimating them to forest life, the caretakers disguise their humanness with costumes, and even mask their smell by smearing the suits with panda urine and feces. Meanwhile, other keepers sometimes conceal themselves by dressing up as trees.

Below, you can watch the camouflaged panda caretakers as they cuddle baby pandas:

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios