One of life's big questions finally answered

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Will it blend? It's a question we ask ourselves every day. Only one other question-Sir Lawrence Olivier's "Is it safe?"-has left such an indelible mark on us.

Will it blend? It's a question that first occurred to a Young Adages while watching Papa Adages prepping margaritas in the blender. If the machine could make such quick work of ice, what else was it capable of? Luckily, the Adages Family wasn't so sauced at the time as to let Young Adages satisfy our curiosity.

But that's fine by us, because George Wright has come to the rescue. The Blendtec marketing manager has thrust CEO Tom Dickson into the test kitchens to prove the strength of the company's blenders by chucking all sorts of seemingly nonblendable things into them and hitting the power button.

And the answer to the age-old question? Yes! Yes, it will blend!

Ever wondered what would happen if you put 50 glass marbles into a blender? Well, if you're using a Blendtec blender, you'll get a nice powder of pulverized glass. Marbles aren't your thing? You'd rather see golf balls placed into a blender? You're in luck. Magic Markers? Cans of Coke? DVDs?

You can see them all on Blendtec's WillItBlend.com. Just click on the "Don't Try This At Home" button. The effort, created internally, will be updated weekly.

Even better, for a $50 investment in rake handles, marbles and whole chickens, the company is now getting international recognition. "We're having a great time and are currently dealing with a mass of national media opportunities," says Wright, who adds that sales and brand recognition are significantly up. Dickson, he adds, is "having a great time. He has quickly become a blending icon and is recognized all over the world."

Even better than that, though, is the look on Dickson's face after he's put a rake into a blender for 90 seconds.

In the immortal words of Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor: "Argk-argk-argk-argk!"

Fast-feeders relax as movie not as gruesomely disgusting as expected

Have a Coke and a smile, Ronald. "Fast Food Nation" the movie isn't as nearly as powerful as the Eric Schlosser's gut-wrenching book, according to Adages colleague and ace reporter Kate MacArthur (for some reason, she doesn't like the "helper monkey" tag we usually use). MacArthur went to a screening of the flick in Chicago and spoke to a couple of moviegoers after the show was over.

"I don't think it had the same impact as 'Super Size Me,"' said Derek Salter, 26.

The biggest problem with the movie, writes MacArthur, was its ambition (see her full review on AdAge.com). "The film aimed to weave together three storylines: a VP-marketing for 'Mickey's' on a mission to find out how manure is getting into his latest burger, 'The Big One'; a group of young immigrants who cross the border to work in a dangerous meat-packing plant; and a teen clerk who works at a fast feeder but dreams of something more. But, ultimately, not one of those snapshots of fast food's ugly side played out coherently."

But the movie did have its fair share of graphic slaughterhouse scenes-the gutting, the skinning, the entrails sliding down the production line-which moved some audience members to openly weep.

Sort of makes Adages want a cheeseburger.

And some people wanted more. Lucinda Dieker, 27, said she's read part of the book and attended the screening to see how mass meat production was depicted in the film. "I think the feed lots were accurate. Too bad they can't reproduce the smell."

Make that a double cheeseburger.

Now that's some paper cut

Word of warning to any of you in the industry receiving a card-size envelope from This Old House Ventures. Open it at the risk of splinters. The handsome, manly looking invite is made of wood-curly maple to be exact. And even though the folks at This Old House literally used a dead tree for the invites, they're so thin and light no extra postage or fuel was necessary to transport them. And they can be used for kindling or for patching small holes in your walls.

Contributing: Kate MacArthur

Send uneaten Big Macs to kwheaton@crain.com
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