Voices from Russia

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Mickey Dee’s Sales Falling Despite Cheaper Food

happy hamburger

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Yesterday, the HuffPo said that despite Big Macs being cheap, McDonald’s sales and profits decreased, with McDonald’s earnings falling by 30 percent. BBC reports said that although the company’s sales fell in Russia, Germany, and especially China after a scandal over meat supplies, the key reason for the poor numbers is low sales on the home front. Earlier, experts speculated that McDonald’s sales plummeted because lower-income Americans suffered from the weak economy; therefore, they weren’t able to afford eating out at McDonald’s. However, this could be a false conclusion, as Bureau of Labor Statistics data published by HuffPo showed that McDonald’s menu prices grew only by a mere 4.8 percent between 2009 and 2014, whereas prices at other fast-food eateries rose anywhere from 6.7 to 16.9 percent. Despite higher prices at other fast-food eateries, their sales actually increased. Therefore, the issue plaguing McDonald’s may be its falling reputation. According to the HuffPo, the commonly held perception is that McDonald’s food isn’t worth eating at any price. Now, CNBC News reported that McDonald’s is trying to re-brand itself as a seller of fresh and good quality food by introducing “transparency initiatives”, such as last week’s campaign asking customers to submit their opinions about the company’s food.

24 October 2014

Rossiya Segodnya

http://en.ria.ru/business/20141024/194540518/McDonalds-Meals-Cheap-But-Sales-Still-Falling.html

Editor:

We prefer to eat at Burger King… the food tastes better… full stop. Mickey Dee’s is all over the place, but we prefer to buy food on the road that we can TASTE. Besides, everyone knows how Mickey Dee’s abuses and underpays its help… it’s the Republican Party Paradise writ large. Now, that I have the Burger King app on my tablet, I’ll never have to stop at McClown’s again (Friendly’s is a good bet on the road, too)!

BMD

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Well, Waddaya Know… Another First for Pittsburgh: World’s Largest Pierogi

00 giant pittsburgh pierogi. 08.10.14

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On National Pierogi Day, this morning, chefs at Rivers Casino made what Guinness World Records verified to be the world’s largest pierogi. The giant dumpling weighed in at 123 pounds (56 kilos), establishing a record. Filled with 60 pounds (27 kilos) of potatoes and 5 pounds (2¼ kilos) of cheddar cheese, the pierogi was so big that the casino had to make a stainless-steel holder to first boil and then bake it. The total cooking time was about 2 hours. Executive Chef Richard Marmion said, “It’s pretty cool. What a totally neat experience we can be proud of”. He laboured for more than a year to come up with the recipe and figure out how to cook it. Assistant Executive Chef Adam Tharpe added, “We’re part of that Guinness weirdness in a very Pittsburgh way. Only in Pittsburgh would there be so much excitement over pierogies”. However, already, controversy is brewing. Minutes after the official proclamation by Guinness adjudicator Michael Empric at 10.00 EDT, the folks at PGH Pierogi Truck took to Twitter in protest. They tweeted, “We have fundamental problems with this ‘pierogi’. Because it isn’t one. It’s pagach”. The pagach is a variation on the pierogi. It’s an Eastern European yeast bread stuffed with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut or sweet cabbage, and then baked.

8 October 2014

Gretchen McKay

Pittsburgh (PA) Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2014/10/08/Another-first-for-Pittsburgh-World-s-biggest-pierogi/stories/201410080174

Monday, 6 October 2014

6 October 2014. From the Russian Web… Have a Smile… Bonya and Kuzmich Mug Up a Nyusha Song

00 Bonya and Kuzmich. 13.08.14

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Here’s a real song by Nyusha

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I wrote earlier:

Bonya and Kuzmich are a parody duo from Perm… their vKontakte page is here. Have a smile… the days are evil, so, we need to laugh TWICE as much as we do in more normal times. This is a hoot… laugh good n’ hearty… isn’t this just like some of the better stuff on KVN? Have a care, kids…

We especially need levity at gut-wrenching times like this. There’s nothing wrong with it…

BMD

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Secret History of the Anthora Coffee Cup… It Ain’t as Greek as You Thought!

00 anthora coffee cup. new york city. 02.10.104

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Fifty years ago, in an attempt to sell more paper cups to the plethora of Greek-owned diners in New York City, the marketing director for the startup Sherri Cup Company created the “Anthora” coffee cup. The cup’s creator, Leslie Buck, was born Laszlo Büch to a Ukranian Jewish family. The Nazis killed his parents, and Leslie himself was a survivor of both Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Featuring the blue and white of the Greek flag, with a classic key pattern, a drawing of an amphora (the Greek vase for which the cup, courtesy of Buck’s thick accent, is named), The New York Times called this cup, “a pop-cultural totem” that was “as vivid an emblem of New York City as the Statue of Liberty”. For many New Yorkers, this simple cup can evoke Proustian memories of streets travelled, early work mornings, and Sunday dog walks. For Buck, it was a long journey from “Work Makes You Free” to “We Are Happy to Serve You”. At our Seder, we lift each cup in remembrance of our journey from slavery to freedom. However, it isn’t freedom from work that we desire… we want the freedom to approach each (caffeine-fuelled) day with the discipline, generosity, and patience necessary to immerse ourselves in work that really matters… to our lives, our communities, and our world. As Marge Piercy wrote, in her poem, To Be of Use:

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along…
…The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

10 April 2014

Eric Schulmiller

Forward

http://forward.com/articles/196060/the-secret-jewish-history-of-the-coffee-cup-starbu/?p=all

Editor:

Who woulda thunk it? That one of the most iconic things in the City doesn’t come from where we think that it did… everybody (including me) thought that the “Greek cup” was just that… say it ain’t so, Joe! However, I did check this out with a Greek friend, and she was just as surprised as I was (she asked an Old School Greek coffee shop owner from Sparta and she got the real deal from him).

Live and learn!

BMD

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