Stupid Raisins, Stay Out of My Cookies

As much as I would like to talk about Superman all day, I have to admit that there have been instances where he has behaved like a dick. I came across this through Ranker – a crowdsourcing rankings site that lets anyone participate by voting or reranking lists.

The principles of crowdsourcing are simple – more heads a better than one. The most famous example is probably Wikipedia, but there are other notable examples. T-shirt company Threadless uses crowd sourced design ideas for its products, whilst crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and We Did This can be used to fund artistic endeavours such as classical music concerts in pubs and guides to ‘getting awesome with women’.

This of course brings us to the controversial world of chocolate. An obvious topic when you think about it. A canny reader would now be able to reason that they could combine their sweet tooth with their need for clothing. For example, with this wonderful Threadless invention and inspiration for the title of today’s post.

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However, for our listings/crowdsourcing purposes I shall turn to Richard Osman and his recent World Cup of Chocolate. I won’t go over the ins and outs of the results as Osman’s contest speaks for itself, but as a person partial to a Twirl I can’t complain at its achievements at winning the top prize. Ranker, however, has other ideas, placing Aero to the top of the list. A controversial discovery I’m sure you will agree.

Kit-Kat or Boost, Double Decker or Malteser, the friendly rivalries of chocolate banter do not often translate to the hard-nosed business and marketing departments of chocolate makers. This is a shame, particularly as the beginnings of many of these companies were established with a capitalist ‘Quaker’ conscience.

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Of the Quaker families that emerged out of the English civil war, names like Cadbury, Rowntree and Fry remain with us today. The very idea of big business to them seems at odds with today’s world for as soon as they could, families like Cabury began putting their money towards the common good. Much of this rich history can be found in Deborah Cabury’s, Chocolate Wars, a book well worth a read for those who are interested in 250 years of (chocolate) empire building.

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√úbermensch My Candelabra

With Behind the Candelabra and Man of Steel released in UK cinemas this month, I was reminded of the time these two figures crossed paths before.

Yeah, yeah, I know one of them is fictional. Don’t ruin the dream.

Superman for me will always remain at the top of the superhero pyramid, but it’s a little known fact (at least outside the world of comics) that in 1978 Liberace attended the Fight to Save the Earth from Star Warriors.

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Yes folks, it’s the fight you never even realised you wanted to see, featuring non other than our beloved Superman, battling Mohammed Ali for the survival of the human race. If you look closely you will see other stars of stage, screen, literature and politics in attendance. From Frank Sinatra to Jimmy Carter, by way of Cher. Here is the full roll call of stars…

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I believe that Liberace can be found between Ali’s legs. But this is no place for innuendo. Incidentally, the Batman also dropped by, no doubt to see Supes brought to justice for the cruel prank below.

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But this is beside the point. The plot of this unusual story is that aliens demand Earth’s greatest champion battles their greatest champion. Superman of course steps forward to do battle but is upstaged by Mohammed Ali, who argues, in his own inimitable way, that Supes isn’t from this planet and consequently doesn’t have the right to represent us in this fight. Harsh.

Superman strips himself of his powers and fights Ali, who of course wins…going on to then fight the alien, which he of course wins. Along the the way Ali also manages to figure out that Superman is really Clark Kent (of course he does – he is the greatest after all) thereby becoming one of the few people in the comic book universe who have discovered Superman’s true identity. A secret he vows to take to his grave.

Here’s to the greatest.