The story behind Sriracha
With a distinctive bottle and taste, Sriracha has gone from an unpronounceable challenge to a staple sauce for many Americans. In the U.S. alone, $60 million worth of the sauce was sold last year alone.
But it wasn’t always such a prevalent item on store shelves. David Tran, the man responsible for popularizing the hot sauce, had a long journey beforehand:
When North Vietnam’s communists took power in South Vietnam, Tran, a major in the South Vietnamese army, fled with his family to the U.S. After settling in Los Angeles, Tran couldn’t find a job — or a hot sauce to his liking.
So he made his own by hand in a bucket, bottled it and drove it to customers in a van. He named his company Huy Fong Foods after the Taiwanese freighter that carried him out of Vietnam.
Read more via our profile of Tran, and his beloved hot sauce.
Photos: Gina Ferazzi, Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
Photographer unknown. Please contact us if you know the original source for this awesome image.
Photographer Christine Zona travels around San Francisco and Los Angeles photographing the awesome and incredibly exuberant participants in the world of competitive air guitar playing.
“These guys are amazing,” Zona says. “They live ‘normal’ lives but become these larger than life characters on stage just once a year. Following their air guitar careers and photographing them has become an addiction.” Zona is currently putting together a book on the series. Check a few photos out below and then be sure to head on over to her website to see more of her work.
A welder at a boat-and-sub-building yard adjusts her goggles before resuming work, October, 1943. By 1945, women comprised well over a third of the civilian labor force (in 1940, it was closer to a quarter) and millions of those jobs were filled in factories: building bombers, manufacturing munitions, welding, drilling and riveting for the war effort.
See more photos here.
From the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders comes this impressive geological formation - an enormous rock perfectly balanced atop a smooth mound. Located deep inside the forests of Finland, the balancing rock is called Kummakivi:
“There is still no scientific explanation for how the rock, whose given name translates as ‘strange rock’ in Finnish, has wound up in such a perplexing position.”
However it happened, it’s a pretty awesome sight. But we don’t recommend standing under it for too long.
[via My Modern Metropolis]
Sol Neelman, once an athlete himself and now a dedicated sports photographer based in Portland, OR, documents sports culture all over the world. He recently published his first photography book entitled Weird Sports.
Here you see photos from his upcoming second book, Weird Sports 2 - the Nuclear Cowboyz in Portland, OR, Flaming Tetherball in Seattle, WA, Light Saber Fencing Class in San Francisco, CA, The Color Run in Seattle, WA, and Drag Queen Prom Dress Rugby in Seattle. It all looks like an awesome amount of fun.
[via PDN Photo of the Day]
In April 2010, the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull spewed great ash clouds into the sky and caused enormous disruptions to air travel in Europe. The eruptions are best remembered for this inconvenience, but photographer James Appleton managed to capture the event in a different way. In the weeks before the disturbances, a vulcanologist friend of his alerted him to the unfolding volcanic drama, and Appleton travelled straight to the Icelandic mountain before it was closed off. Risking his life to battle extreme cold, high winds, and seismic activity, Appleton captured a rare but gorgeous scene: the glowing lava from an Eyjafjallajökull fissure with the Northern Lights—Aurora Borealis—overhead. These are two very different light sources, so “the photograph needed parts of the scene selectively blocked for sections of the exposure to balance the contrast,” Appleton recalls. “A Mars bar wrapper came in handy for this!”