Looking at Russian Valery Nosal's collection of 25,500 chewing gum wrappers may seem like a mere curiosity, but you gotta wonder about the ethnography of chewing gum around the world. Perusing the catalog you can find the some expected regional flavors, fascination with far away places, functional over taste chews, odd promotions, and, for a Scandinavian country, a surprising disregard for sustainability. Oprah and other chiclephobes should not click.
Someone is cleaning up part of the Gum Wall, a 100-foot (ish) stretch of Post Alley (between Pike St. and Union St.) beneath the Seattle's Pike Place Market. (wikipedia) Begun in 1993 around the entrance to the Market Theater, the city's most unhygienic visitor attraction is a brick alley covered on both sides, from toe to a considerable heights, with wads of chewed gum. [more inside]
4 years later, Matt Harding has a new Dance Video. Here are his older records of Travel around the World: 2008, 2006 and the original from 2004-5. What a life! [more inside]
Chewing gum artist. "Mr Wilson has created more than 8,000 works of art this way - each one photographed and catalogued for his archive. A picture can take anything from two hours to three days to complete."
Today, Mexico announced new, tighter tariffs on American goods, including restrictions on U.S. chewing gum. Some say it's because of Teamsters, but the hatred of American chewing gum may harken back to a 19th century military coup. Exiled after numerous attempts to rule Mexico as a military dictator, General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna (yes, that General Santa Anna) spent part of his time in exile in -- of all places -- Staten Island. Santa Anna planned to fund his new army with a secret asset: he intended to sell chicle to the Americans. Although the General thought it had more uses, inventor Thomas Adams found the stuff fun to chew on. A few years later, Adams flavored his gum, inventing Black Jack Gum, the oldest continually-made chewing gum in the United States. Sadly, due to recent tariffs, General Santa Anna's army-building Black Jack chewing gum will now cost 20% more to export to Mexico.
Ben Wilson's Chewing Gum paintings and Slinkachu's sculpture rewards the attentive pedestrian. The former paints tiny pictures on sidewalk gum. The latter sets up tiny urban tableaus with humor and sly social critique. Pays to watch where you walk. (hat tip -- Raw Vision)
Have you ever spit your gum on the sidewalk. Did you know it's a social problem? New York City is dealing with it. Mexico DF is having a hard time with it. Instead of spitting you can swallow it or make a flower. [more inside]
It's not your grandfather's Bazooka Joe. The ol' reliable chewing-gum icon gets hipsterized and multicultified, with a new DJ buddy and an African-American nerd sidekick. The classic pink mouth-filling wad in the goofy wrapper has also been reformulated, apparently. Note that it's not the first time Joe has tried to be down with teh youth, with decidedly mixed results. Next up for Bazooka Janes in Japan: gum that enhances your bustline. (Bazooka Joe previously chewed over here.)
Who knew that Calvin's favorite magazine was real?