Monday, February 7, 2011

New Formulation Skittles™ are Gelatin-Free

via vgr news

“The VRG recently reported that Skittles™ candy contains gelatin. We were told this information in November 2010 by a customer service representative at Wrigley, the company that manufactures Skittles™. At that time, we were told that Starburst™ and Skittles™ candy, both manufactured by Wrigley, contained the same ingredients, including gelatin (in this case, non-Kosher, beef-derived gelatin). It was explained to us that different ingredient proportions and preparation techniques resulted in two distinct candies.

A reader wrote in stating that Skittles™ had changed its formulation in 2010 and was now gelatin-free. The VRG went back to Wrigley for confirmation. In December 2010, two other customer service representatives told us that at some unspecified date in ‘early’ 2009, Skittles™ underwent a recipe reformulation that removed the gelatin. Since the Skittles™ shelf life is seventy-two weeks, there may still be some old-formulation Skittles™ containing gelatin on store shelves. The company could not specify where nor how much older formulation Skittles™ remain on store shelves. ‘Gelatin’ would be listed on the label.”

Read the rest here.

Image of the Day: Crow

This is just one of the many friends, which included a raven, that came by today for breakfast.

I really appreciate the generous gift of peanuts from my in-laws so that pictures like this are possible. 

Love Knows No Bounding Box

A couple of years ago, I was made aware of the group To Write Love on Her Arms. It was encouraged [I think through either FaceBook or MySpace] to show support for people battling depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide by writing the word love on your own arm on Valentine’s Day 2008 and then posting photos of it online.

I decided to use an ambigram of the word love, so that it could be read in different orientations of my arm. I drew it on using a thin purple Sharpie. I think I freaked a few people in my department that day who thought it might be real. No one said a thing to me, but then again, I do wear a silver hoop earring, and for years had a ponytail.

Made up of 60 invisible points
Recently at work, I was using Adobe Illustrator to auto-trace scans of clients signatures in order to turn them into a font for use in multi-part project. As I was converting, adjusting, and fine-tuning the traced signatures, I found it interesting seeing all of the points and handles controlling the shape of the artwork. Then it occurred to me that the love ambigram might look neat — and extremely geeky — if the points and a few of the handles were shown as part of the final artwork. Love is an ongoing process of adjustments and fine-tuning as our lives unfold around us. And personally, I only share my invisible “points and handles” with a select few trusted friends.

Screenshot of bounding box
Point and handles of vector artwork are “behind the scenes” of the shape and are only visible when working on the original native file. So I manually added bigger blue boxes and lines to represent the exaggerated points and some of the handles [see larger image below]. In Illustrator, when you select one or more objects with the Selection tool [a black arrow], a bounding box displays around them. You then can use the bounding box to move, rotate, duplicate, and scale objects by dragging the object or a handle (one of the hollow squares along the bounding box).

I thought it might be interesting if the bounding box was broken open and reflected [and a working title became Love Breaking Bounding Boxes], but the design was getting too busy looking. So eliminating the bounding box from the design led to a simplified message, as well as title of the design. This year, rather than drawing the design onto my arm, I’m creating a temporary tattoo to apply. I’ll post a photo of the final applied image hopefully later this week.

So this year, I encourage you to show support for everyone everywhere battling the demons depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide by writing love on your arm.