Mixer Mania #6 – It Gives You Wings

Energy drinks have become such an integral part of popular culture that of course they would be spoofed on TV and in movies. Let’s take a look at some of the more famous fictional energy drinks:

Brawndo (Idiocracy)

Otherwise known as ‘the thirst mutilator’, this sports drink was being used to irrigate the crops of the United States, before the process actually started destroying farming yields and causing food shortages. Of course, this is about 500 years in the fictional future, so we have nothing to worry about… for now. Brawndo actually became a legit product for a time, although it was released years after the film, so they kind of missed the cross-promotion possibilities.

Blue Bronco (The Simpsons)

Appearing in a handful (at least for the four-fingered Springfielders) of episodes, this energy drink is most prominently featured when teacher Mrs. Krabappel is fired and replaced by hipster Zachary Vaughn. When Bart looks to get Mrs. Krabappel rehired, he plans to spike Zach’s Blue Bronco – which he refers to as “riding the indigo pony” – only to discover that the new educator already does this, ending with a booze-fuelled rant about hating the children, prior to his firing.

Booty Sweat (Tropic Thunder)

Endorsed by rapper-turned-actor Alpa Chino, Booty Sweat comes with the slogan “Pop An Ass Open”! As part of the marketing campaign for Tropic Thunder, Booty Sweat was actually released to the public. Not surprisingly, one of the most common places to find the product was at bookstores on college campuses. Throw in a few retail chains, such as Hot Topic and the cherry-flavoured energy booster became a short-term hit.

Tru Blood (True Blood)

While meant to keep vampires alive, without having to draw blood from humans, the ‘energy drink’ was also a key component in the final seasons of the HBO series, when Tru Blood stock was tainted with the dreaded Hep-V virus. This made it useless to vampires and drove them to need to feed on human plasma to stay alive… or at least not die for reals. Later, New Blood replaces Tru Blood as the next vampire nourishment supplement.

Butters’ Creamy Goo (South Park)

Wow… how to approach this entry without losing my blogger’s license. Okay, so to become better Sarcastaball players (don’t have enough word count to explain the sport), the young South Park kids begin ingesting Butters’ Creamy Goo, the newest ‘sports drink’ on the market. In the end, the adults discover that the product is actually just semen and as usual, Butters ends up grounded. Only in the quiet little mountain town that is South Park!

Mixer Mania #6: All Nighter

All Nighter.JPG

  • 1 oz Galliano
  • 1 oz Cointreau
  • 1 oz Strawberry Liqueur
  • Top with Energy Drink
  • Garnish with an Orange Slice

I’ve never been much of an energy drink guy, only dabbling in them when mixing the odd drop shot or other alcoholic beverage. I don’t think I’ve ever had a serving that hasn’t been spiked in some manner and I don’t plan on bucking that trend anytime soon.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4.5 Sips out of 5):
When describing this drink to friends, I said that it sounded really neat… until you added the Energy Drink. But since I used the Tropical-flavoured version of Red Bull, it was pretty tasty. The entire concoction was on the lighter side, but the flavours were all really good.

Flavour Revolution – Apricot

Cautious Cuisine

Despite the deliciousness, popularity, and versatility of apricots, it should be noted that the fruit’s pits (or kernels) are actually poisonous and can produce a form of cyanide. Here are some other foods that are alarmingly poisonous and potentially dangerous to your health:

Mushrooms

This one is too easy… I mean, come on, it’s defined as a fungus. That said, mushrooms can be many things, from delicious to deadly, healing to hallucinogenic. With regards to poisonous mushrooms, flat caps are a huge giveaway and toxic shrooms come with names such as death caps, destroying angels and dapperlings. Scarily, it is feared that many European mushrooms may be contaminated thanks to the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

chances-with-mushroom

Nuts – Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts

Sure, many folks out there have severe allergies to nuts, particularly peanuts, but other types, when eaten raw, can be dangerous. Raw almonds, also known as bitter almonds, contain cyanide and can be fatal when consumed in large doses. Regardless, they are still sold in some stores, with risk being handed over to the customer to decide how cautious they want to be. Other countries have outright banned the nuts from being available.

Fruit – Apples, Cherries, Tomatoes

The seeds in apples and pits in cherry, contain cyanide. Cherries have resulted in other deaths non-edible deaths. Lucullus, a Roman general, committed suicide in 56BC, upon learning that he was running out of cherries, a crop he had introduced to Europe years before. Tomatoes were once thought to be poisonous by Europeans who didn’t trust the delicious fruit. It took some time for those fears to dissipate and now there’s only the odd salmonella outbreak.

Tuna

The issue with tuna, other than the facts that it smells horrible and doesn’t taste that great either (yes, this is solely according to the Sip Advisor), is that levels of mercury absorbed by the fish before it is caught and killed can be passed on to the consumer. This has given me pause for thought about how much the Sip Family kitties love getting served tuna water. Man, they love that stuff and go nuts whenever the can opener is used!

just-add-tuna

Potatoes

Potatoes are such an integral part of people’s diets that it’s a little scary how dangerous, albeit rare, their consumption can be. My first thought was that someone from the popcorn lobby made this accusation up to spoil the potato chip industry, but I have since learned the charges are true. Basically, what you have to watch out for is when a potato turns green, which if eaten, can result in weakness, coma, and even death.

Blowfish

Consuming blowfish (fugu) can be like playing a round of Russian roulette.  Unless prepared to perfection, it can be very poisonous. As a result, the emperor of Japan is barred from eating the fish, despite it being a cultural delicacy. One famous incident involved kabuki actor Bandō Mitsugorō VIII, who believed he could tolerate the poison… he was wrong. There is also an episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats Fugu and is told he only has 24 hours to live.

Flavour Revolution: Virgin’s Kiss

  • 1.25 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Apricot Brandy
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Pineapple Juice
  • Splash of Sour Mix
  • Garnish with an Apricot Slice

This list could also include rhubarb, elderberry, raw meat and eggs, and even underprepared honey. I’ll stick to my artery-clogging potato chips , thank you very much, which will only get me in the long run!

Flavour Revolution – Blueberry

Where is my Mind?

Blueberries are said to help greatly in maintaining cognitive functioning and fighting off memory loss – so long as you enjoy a serving of them once per week – as the berries clear toxins that gather in the brain. Clearly, the entertainment industry is unaware of these developments because it is rife with stories of amnesiacs. Here are some of the most notable memory loss cases:

Jason Bourne – The Bourne Franchise

If a case of amnesia resulted in the Sip Advisor being able to instinctively fight secret agent style and have a highly-functioning mind, I’d say it would all be worth it… I know Mrs. Sip would appreciate the change in brain activity! Jason Bourne awakens one day and can’t remember who he is, but he can certainly kick ass and that keeps him alive through three (soon to be four) films.

short term memory loss

Leonard – Memento

Although suffering from short-term memory loss, Leonard is still working to solve the murder of his wife. To remember the clues he’s put together, Leonard uses Polaroid photos and self-inflicted tattoos as reminders. I should do the same on binge nights! This psychological crime thriller is told in reverse order, which only adds to the building mystery.

Wolverine – X-Men Franchise

Following the procedure which gave him his trademark adamantium bone structure, Logan struggles to remember his past (in the origins movie, an adamantium bullet to the noggin also helps) and it takes the mind reading power of Professor X to make any headway into the mutant’s psyche. We all have events we’d like to block from our memory, but I’d rather have a mix of good and bad than none at all.

Lucy Whitmore – 50 First Dates

Can you imagine having to remind your partner each and every day about your shared past together? Thankfully, Mrs. Sip only has to do this for me after a hard drinking night. In this case, perhaps it was working with Adam Sandler again that drove Drew Barrymore to memory loss. Anyhoo, Lucy is helped along by Sandler’s Henry to break the pattern and live a happily ever after, each new day.

memory loss favourite movie

Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

This one is a little different, in that main characters Joel and Clementine choose to wipe their minds clear of any memories to do with each other after their relationship goes awry. Regardless of this, they wind up together again, as if their love was always meant to be. Jim Carrey must be the king of playing amnesiacs, having also tackled the role in The Majestic and The Number 23.

Dory – Finding Nemo

Played for comedic effect, Dory is one of the many characters father Marlin comes across in his search for his son Nemo. Dory proved to be such a popular character that the pacific regal blue tang (thanks to Wikipedia for that!) will be getting her own movie, Finding Dory, due out in 2016. Ironically, the movie will be centered on Dory getting her memories back, leading to another adventure.

amnesia joke

The Wolfpack – The Hangover

The one thing worse than one person not being able to remember what happened before, is three friends blanking out on the previous night’s activities. Thanks to being slipped roofies, the Wolfpack can’t figure out what trouble they got up to and worst of all, their buddy Doug is missing and his wedding day is coming up quickly.

Douglas Quaid – Total Recall

Mrs. Sip and I love to travel, but I’m not sure we’d be into futuristic travel methods which include having images placed in your mind, while you sit in a chair. Of course, an innocent visual journey to the planet Mars, helps Quaid realize that he’s actually a secret agent operative, with crazy fighting skills. Quaid (aka Carl Hauser) now has to go to the real Mars, to figure out why his memory was wiped.

Flavour Revolution: Lucifer’s Tears

  • 1.5 oz Gin
  • 0.5 oz Blueberry Liqueur
  • 0.25 oz Galliano
  • 0.25 oz Sambuca
  • Garnish with Blueberries

Soap Operas are also a prime breeding ground for cases of amnesia, either occurring after a death, or leading to a murder most foul!

Hungary – My Cherry Baby

Cube Compulsion

The Sip Advisor gets easily frustrated by toys like the Rubik’s Cube. I suppose there are some things my massive intellect just can’t solve… and I’m at peace with that fact. Let’s take a closer look at this popular toy, invented by Hungarian Erno Rubik:

The Rubik’s Cube (originally called the Magic Cube, before it was released worldwide in 1980) was created in 1974, as a way for Rubik to help explain three-dimensional geometry. At the time, Rubik was only 29 years old, but was already a sculptor and architecture professor. When Rubik’s had created his cube, it took him a month to solve for the first time. Later, Rubik could solve his own puzzle in under a minute, which he showed off at trade shows.

Rubiks Cube Solved

More than 350 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold around the world and thanks to these sales, it is the best-selling toy of all-time. After its international release, it won Toy of the Year honours in 1980 and again in 1981. The popularity of the toy bred the first annual International Rubik’s Championships in 1982, which was won by Minh Thai of the U.S. with a time of 22.95 seconds. A World Cube Association was created in 2004 to govern international competitions and chart world records.

The Rubik’s Cube can be solved in 20 moves or less, regardless of how it’s mixed up. This has created an entire sub-genre of speed cubers. These folks can solve the Rubik’s puzzle in under six seconds. All this, despite the fact that the toy has 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 (into the quintillions) possible patterns. A guide to solving the Rubik’s Cube was created by a 12-year-old, Patrick Bossert of England, in 1981 and went on to become a best-seller, with 1.5 million copies sold.

The world record for fastest completion to the Rubik’s Cube is held by Mats Valk of the Netherlands. He solved the puzzle in 5.55 seconds, beating the previous best time of 5.66 seconds. A smartphone-powered Lego robot, known by the name CubeStormer 3, solved a Rubik’s Cube in 3.253 seconds, blowing away all the competition. These are the robots who will one day take over the world, pissed that they were made to endlessly solve puzzles.

Rubiks Cube Hard

Within the world of speed cubing, there are those not happy to simply solve the puzzle quickly. Some competitors take things to whole new levels of insanity, like one guy who did one-handed push-ups, while only taking 25 seconds to complete the challenge. Another fella solved the Rubik’s Cube in 23.80 seconds… while blindfolded! Perhaps most intimidating is the three-year-old Chinese toddler who was done with the toy in under two minutes.

You just knew a toy like this would have entries in the smallest, largest, and most expensive categories. The smallest is 1omm wide and was designed by Evgeniy Grigoriev of Russia. The largest can be found in Knoxville, Tennessee and measures three metres tall, weighing in at over 500kg. As for most expensive, it was created by Diamond Cutters International in 1995. Dubbed the ‘Masterpiece Cube,’ it features amethyst, rubies, and emeralds, all set in gold and valued at $1.5 million.

If you simply can’t put the device down, you may be a Cubaholic (and that doesn’t mean you like taking frequent trips to Cuba or chain-smoking fine cigars). A documentary, titled Cubers, was released in 2008 and followed the lives of some of those afflicted with the compulsion as well as those competing for the title of World Rubik’s Cube Champion.

Rubiks Cube Bra

The Rubik’s Cube has been featured in numerous areas of popular culture, including: movies, TV shows, comics, music videos, songs, art, and museum exhibits. Seeking to take advantage of the toy’s popularity, a Saturday morning cartoon debuted in 1983, called ‘Rubik, The Amazing Cube’ and featured a sentient Rubik’s Cube, who could come to the aid of a Hispanic family. It only lasted one season and 18 episodes and starred Ron Palillo (aka Arnold Horshack) as the titular toy.

On the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, earlier this year, the toy was featured as part of the daily Google Doodle, as a playable interactive puzzle. It’s only fitting to end this piece with some words from the inventor himself: “If you are curious, you’ll find the puzzles around you. If you are determined, you will solve them.”

Hungary: My Cherry Baby

My Cherry Baby Cocktail

  • Muddle Cherries
  • 0.75 oz Palinka (Cherry)
  • 0.5 oz Amaretto
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Champagne
  • Garnish with a Maraschino Cherry

Thanks to working on this article, I’m adding “Solve a Rubik’s Cube” to my lifetime bucket list and it may eventually be what does me in (despite the current odds favourite in Vegas being alcohol-induced bungee accident), but I will achieve this feat!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink was just too sweet… and not in the New World Order wrestling way. The flavours were nice, but some changes need to be made to the recipe to make it a little more likable and evened out.

Guyana – Gold Way Cocktail

Gold Digger

Guyana is said to be the location of the fabled El Dorado, or as it’s more popularly known, the Lost City of Gold. Like Scrooge McDuck and Flintheart Glomgold, I intend on finding this massive fortune, so join me if you dare, as we discover the truth about this lucrative legend!

The term El Dorado first referred to the king of the Muisca people, who were based in what is now Colombia. He would powder himself with gold dust and then jump into Lake Guatavitá as an offering to the creators of the universe. After learning of the legend, Spanish conquistadors swiftly conquered the Muisca folks, but when their findings of gold were so minimal, they refused to believe that they had actually located El Dorado and continued their fruitless search.

El Dorado

As with many legends, its stature grew with time and retellings, changing from being about a king to an entire city of gold. With occasional minor hauls of gold, inspiration continued to thrive, but the mother lode was never located. The Spanish weren’t alone in their pursuit of the wealthy empire and were joined by German explorers and even some English. Sadly, when Sir Walter Raleigh failed to find the city after two expeditions, he returned to England and was executed.

Another element that helped spread the myth was the various South American civilizations, who were getting slaughtered, realizing that the best way to get rid of the invading treasure seekers was to tell them that El Dorado was not where they currently were, but somewhere further on. This kept the search continuing and widening to the furthest reaches of the continent.

On the plus side, this all led to great advancements in exploring and mapping South America. Most notably, Francisco de Orellana discovered the Amazon River and traced it to the Atlantic Ocean. Maps in Europe during this time, even depicted the fabled golden city as existing in the mountains of Guyana. Of course, it was never actually found there, but like the Lost City of Atlantis, that doesn’t mean people have stopped searching for it.

Guyana Money

Maybe El Dorado is in Guyana, given they’re rocking $5,000 bank notes!

Lope de Aguirre became known as the ‘Madman of El Dorado’ when he usurped power over an expedition led by Pedro de Ursúa, murdered many in the party and went on to attack Spanish settlements, declaring his group independent from Spain. Aguirre was finally dealt with by the Spanish, but not before leading a brief reign of terror. Perhaps he went insane in his search for the lost city.

The El Dorado name has spread across the globe, often being used as a moniker for a mining town or other place that riches can be sought quickly. There’s El Dorado County in California and in contrast, Helldorado was a nickname earned by Tombstone, Arizona. Both the El Dorado and Helldorado tags have been used by beer brewing companies. Also, General Motors bestowed upon its most expensive model the name Cadillac Eldorado, in honour of the mythical city.

Cadillac-eldorado

DreamWorks animated film The Road to El Dorado may be the most recognized piece of popular culture referencing the myth. Starring the voice talent of Kevin Kline and Kenneth Branagh and having a stacked lineup for its soundtrack, the movie follows two Spanish explorers who discover the Lost City of Gold and are viewed as gods by the citizens of El Dorado. They try to con these fine El Doradians in the hope they can get away with all their loot and hijinks ensues.

The concept of El Dorado has been turned into metaphor, as it could involve anything a person longs for, whether that be wealth, love, happiness, etc. It can also be used to describe something unattainable. If you are said to be “looking for El Dorado,” you’re basically being told that your mission is hopeless and will result in nothing but misery. The Sip Advisor’s ‘El Dorado’ may be the success of this site and thankfully for all you little sippers, I’m just too dumb to give up!

Guyana: Gold Way Cocktail

Gold Way Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Lemon Hart Rum
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Top with Club Soda
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

I think it would have been fun to live in a time when all these mysteries weren’t disproved… when a sense of adventure and discovery existed and we couldn’t just Google everything to learn the answer. That said, I’m quite comfortable playing around on the internet, rather than going out to find answers on my own, so let’s just call the whole thing a wash!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (4 Sips out of 5):
The recipe calls for Vanilla Syrup, but I subbed in Galliano instead and it was the highlight of the drink, coming in at the end on top of the Rum and Club Soda. I should also note that there is an El Dorado rum out there, that would be even more interesting if it included gold leaf!

New Zealand – The Star Gazer

Haka Fear

Rugby is New Zealand’s national sport and the All Blacks national team is an intimidating force. First, you have these hulking behemoths and then you add in the Maori war paint and tribal dances meant to scare off opponents… that’s enough to make me forfeit a contest. Let’s learn a little more about this massively popular group:

First things first, we need to investigate the name of this squad. It comes from their all black gear, save for the silver fern across their jersey. In recent years, the All Blacks have also featured an embroidered poppy on their sleeve to salute the New Zealand soldiers who died during the World Wars and other conflicts. Both Adidas and Nike competed to outfit the national team, with Adidas winning the contract, while Nike settled for Tiger Woods.

All Blacks Training

After Charles Monro brought rugby to New Zealand in 1870, what would become the national team was first put together in 1884 for a tour of eight games in New South Wales, Australia. The club went undefeated during that trip. In 1905, the lineup referred to as the Original All Blacks, toured what is now the United Kingdom, winning 34 of 35 matches (their one loss coming controversially) and gaining a reputation as ungentlemanly players.

A dominant team, the All Blacks have won a vast majority of their test matches and have often found themselves at the top of the world rankings (all other nations combined don’t equal the All Blacks time at the top of the table). New Zealand has the only national team that owns a winning record against every team they’ve faced. In their 111-year international history, they have only been defeated by five countries.

With an all-time points differential of 13,572 to 6,615, it’s completely understandable to learn that many countries worst losses in international competition have come at the hands of the All Blacks. France, Ireland, Argentina, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Japan, and Portugal are all on this list. The All Blacks largest margin of victory ever was a 145-17 drubbing of Japan on June 4, 1995, while their greatest loss was only 28-7 against Australia on August 28, 1999.

All Blacks Heart

The national team has won the Rugby World Cup twice, taking home the top prize in 1987 (the inaugural event) and 2011. The All Blacks have played in all seven World Cup tournaments and hosted the competition twice. Both times they have hosted (once co-hosting with Australia), they have emerged victorious. In most years, the All Blacks enter the World Cup as the odds-on-favourite.

The Tri Nations Rugby Championship (contested between New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, and later adding Argentina) has been won by the All Blacks 12 times in 18 years. The team has completed the United kingdom Grand Slam – defeating England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales in the same tour – four times, achieving the feat in 1978, 2005, 2008, and 2010.

The infamous haka dance the All Blacks utilize to rev their engines and strike fear into the hearts of their opponents has been associated with the squad since 1888 and may have been used before then. The most commonly used haka is the Ka Mate. In 2005, the All Blacks unveiled a new haka, the Kapa o Pango, but this included a throat slashing gesture, which has drawn some criticism for the imagery it encourages.

All Blacks Dance

There has been close to 1,200 players to suit up for the national team, with a half dozen or so going on to be knighted or received the Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, while a handful have been awarded the Rhodes Scholarship. Some of the notable stars of the squad include James Allan (member of the original 1884 team), Dave Gallagher (captain of the Originals), and Sir Fred Allen (former captain and coach).

Don Clarke, Sir Wilson Whineray, Ian Kirkpatrick, Graham Mourie, Sean Fitzpatrick, Dan Carter, Doug Howlett, Christian Cullen, and Jonah Lomu, are among other top players for the national team. Being an All Black runs in the family, as there have been numerous sets of father and sons, as well as pairs of brothers who have suited up and played for the troop.

A devoted fan base follows the national team and why wouldn’t you? It’s fun to regularly be on the winning side. I have to admit that I even bought a mini All Blacks jersey while in New Zealand to go along with my mini Manchester United kit. After years of misery supporting the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks, it’s great to put my support behind teams that, you know, don’t lose so often!

New Zealand: The Star Gazer

The Star Gazer Cocktail

  • 2 oz Sauvignon Blanc Wine
  • 1 oz Dark Rum
  • 0.5 oz Galliano
  • Splash of Pineapple Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wedge

While I’ve never been a huge rugby fan, it’s an exciting game to watch with fast-paced, hard-hitting action. When the All Blacks are on the field, you can bet you’ll see some serious ass whipping and what could be more entertaining than that!?

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Just like the All Blacks leave their opponents staring up at the sky, so too will this cocktail… but in a good way. I made this drink for Mrs. Sip and she enjoyed it with her only note of criticism being that it may have been better in a chilled martini glass. Duly noted and next time it will be done!

Sweden – Hunky Dory

Home Furnishings

Recent ads for IKEA used the slogan “Home is the most important place in the world.” Mrs. Sip and I, however, maintain that the company’s motto should really be “Ruining relationships since… like, forever!” Yes, if you’ve ever survived building any IKEA item with your loved one, then you are, in fact, a special couple, with the strength to overcome any and all adversity. Around the world, IKEA is one of the most recognized Swedish imports, but what do we really know about this furniture and accessory outlet? Let’s dig a little deeper:

Ikea Slogan

IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad, with the name coming from his initials (I.K.), along with the farm in which he grew up on (Elmtaryd) and its nearby village (Agunnaryd). The company was incorporated in 1943 and marketed its first piece of build-it-yourself furniture in 1956, with the LOVET, a leaf-shaped side table. There are now 349 stores located throughout 43 countries.

More copies of the IKEA catalogue are printed each year than the Bible. In fact, 212 million copies of the catalogue, more than double the 100 million Bibles, are manufactured. The register comes in 29 different languages and has gained a cult following of sorts, with people able to pick out interesting hidden items within its pages. Some concealed images include odd books making up the shelving units on display, references to Mickey Mouse, and pictures of cats.

IKEA’s 2013 revenue was disclosed as being $37.9 billion (US) and since the company is actually owned by charities established by Kamprad, much of that money isn’t lost to the greedy government via taxes. The INGKA Foundation, which oversees the IKEA brand, is thought to be the world’s largest charitable organization, promoting “innovations in architecture and interior design”. While some decry that this is all a tax evasion strategy, it should be pointed out that the INGKA Foundation gives away millions of dollars each year to various causes and efforts. Granted, that pales in comparison to other efforts, particularly the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which donations measure into the billions.

returning-ikea

The company employs 150,000 people worldwide. While Disney has its ‘Cast Members,’ IKEA has ‘Co-Workers,’ which really doesn’t sound all that special. It would be much more awesome if employees were collectively known as ‘Swedish Meatballs!’

IKEA’s most popular product today is the Billy Bookcase, which it sells hundreds of thousands of each year. It’s estimated that one of these bookcases is sold every 10 seconds.

Products are named under specific guidelines including Swedish places for upholstered furniture; Swedish men’s names for chairs; Swedish women’s names for fabrics and curtains; Swedish islands for garden furniture; Finnish places for dining tables and chairs; Norwegian places for beds, wardrobes and hall furniture; and mammals and birds for children’s items. Approximately 85% of the items you find in your own IKEA could be located at any IKEA around the world, while the IKEA website contains 12,000 products and is the most comprehensive source for available pieces.

stool_samples

The way IKEA names products has resulted in some unintentional humour when the product arrives in other countries and is translated into the native language. There was the ‘Jerker’ computer desk, which went hand in hand (literally!) with the internet’s primary use; the ‘Fukta’ plant spray; the ‘Fartfull’ workbench (frankfully you should be able to do whatever you want in your own workshop!); and the Askholmen outdoor suite.

IKEA is nearly as famous for its cheap concession food as it is for furniture. Kamprad opened his first restaurant inside a store in 1960, after realizing people left the store without buying anything because they were hungry. Since then, IKEA has sold an untold number of hotdogs, meatballs, and breakfast meals.

While IKEA seems to be a decent company, they’ve also experienced their fair share of controversies. A teenage Kamprad was once involved with a pro-Nazi movement in Sweden, although the IKEA founder calls it the “greatest mistake of my life”. Three people were trampled to death at a store opening in Saudi Arabia over $150 vouchers being handed out (and I thought the Saudi’s were all wealthy princes). In Atlanta, Georgia, historic building were demolished to make way for a IKEA store and in similar fashion, ancient tombs in Nanjing, China were destroyed for another store opening.

ikea fight

It’s estimated that 10% of all Europeans were conceived on an IKEA bed. I know I’ve slept in one, sans conception (not for my lack of trying, of course), and given their popularity among college and university students, you can bet that number will drastically rise over the years.

IKEA was the first company to feature a homosexual couple in one of their ads (targeting the community much more frequently since) and has also compiled commercial material depicting a transgendered person.

If you’re a fan of The Sims video game series, you can actually purchase IKEA furnishings for your virtual family. Lucky for them, they don’t have to put the furniture together, although it would be hilarious to watch your simulated humans get as frustrated as you’ve been. It’s always better when it’s someone else’s misery!

Sweden: Hunky Dory

Hunky Dory Cocktail

  • 1 oz Absolut Vodka
  • 1 oz Galliano
  • Top with Sprite
  • Splash of Lime Juice
  • Garnish with a Lime Wheel

While IKEA served a purpose for Mrs. Sip and myself as we went through our schooling and settled into our first home together, I’m happy to say that the cursed furniture won’t be making any more appearances around the Sip Advisor offices for the foreseeable future. Perhaps when we have to furnish the place for our own little sippers, then we may go that route, but for now, we’re both happy to not be dealing with the make-your-own products.

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
This drink wasn’t bad, but Mrs. Sip had a better version of it at a nearby restaurant, Subeez Cafe, and their recipe didn’t outline exactly all the ingredients needed to make the full cocktail. I did my best, but admittedly, the eatery had me beat.