Archives for category: Illustrations
Fiber calling!

Fiber calling!

I bought this box for the retro graphics, not having any idea what benefits psyllium husk offered. And what was the significance of the telephone, other than the side panel calls the product the “telephone brand?” Does “Sidhpur” mean phone? And why is the phone a two-handed relic? It probably dates to the factory’s founding, but, Lord have mercy.  Love the smokestacks, though…belting out the stuff, huffing and puffing the way the wind blows.

About psyllium seed husk. It’s a dietary supplement to maintain or improve one’s gastrointestinal tract. India’s and Pakistan’s answer to Metamucil or Serutan (now dead but an interesting name that spawned “backward” jokes and other similarly-spelled brands), you might say. (Metamucil supposedly contains psyllium husk as its main ingredient.) The milled form here can be mixed with a glass of water, syrup, milk, fruit juice, salted curd or lassi. I didn’t try it, so I’m not sure of the taste, if any. Gluten-free baked goods containing the husks benefit from the latter acting as a binding agent, making bread, cookies and cakes less c–r-u-m–b-l-y.

Don’t overdo it, however. Steady exposure to the dust can cause allergic reactions. Consuming too much of the fiber can actually obstruct the GI tract, if you believe the FDA. And, if you don’t mix the husks with enough liquid (1-3 teaspoons per glass), there’s even a choking hazard, especially by people with esophageal narrowing or abnormalities or those who have difficulty swallowing. Which is when and why you’ll need the phone!

Sourced: India via Thailand.

Please, porridge hot!

Please, porridge hot!

Great Scott! What spelling have we here? This hot dish also goes by porrige and parritch. According to the product’s website, “porage” comes from an old Scottish word, poray, and the French potage, for soup. Trademarked in 1914, the phrase “Porage Oats” was meant to distinguish it from rivals’ more descriptive “oat flakes.”

Symbolizing vigor, health and cultural pride, the kilted shotput thrower has been pulling his weight by pushing things further since 1924. The original champion of breakfasts.

After being the subject of two mid-20th century acquisitions, the 1880-established A&R Scott Company was bought in 1982 by one of its main competitors, Quaker Oats, Ltd. As heritage would have it, the mill at Cupar that the original manufacturer purchased in1947 has become Quaker’s sole supplier of rolled oats for all of the EMEA markets. A feat of stamina and distance, indeed.

Bonus: What does “doing porridge” mean? And no Googling.

Sourced: The Caribbean.

Giant Lemming / Pudlo, 1961.

Giant Lemming / Pudlo, 1961.

This looks a little bat-like, right? Well, to the Inuit artist, Pudlo, it’s an Arctic lemming’s head. It reminded me of the figures of human skeletons (calacas) or skulls (calaveras) that are ubiquitous on the Day of the Dead. Calacas are often decked out in colorful, ornate dresses or zoot suits and grouped together in celebration. Musicians playing, rowdy fans dancing… these treats for the eyes depict the soul’s happy afterlife.

Back to lemmings, those prairie dogs of the tundra. Tunnels protect them from predators, and their winter-white fur helps them escape the keen eyes of the snowy owl, whose coat also turns with the season. These critters do not hibernate; fortunately, strong front claws help them dig through the ice and snow for grasses foraged before Old Man Winter sets in.


Meet the Family Stone: Mi, Kika and Iwa.

The cute factor of this Japanese postcard is undeniable. Order, politeness and respect…all align with common behavior by the good people from this island nation. The positive “look, listen, talk” seems a modern twist on the time-tested “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.” Which got me wondering why monkeys always figured in this maxim.

All is not clear on this front. Wikipedia dug deep for me on this one. Turns out that during a Japanese folk religious observance (Kōshin) around the 1500s, monkeys graced stone pillars. Who knows why. What is known is that –zaru, an antiquated verb suffix to express negation, sounds the same as saru for “monkey.” The Japanese version — “Mizaru, kikazaru, iwazaru” or “don’t see, don’t hear, don’t speak” — has the added possibility of being the names of the threesome.

Another interpretation attributes the monkeys’ presence to their importance in the Shinto religion, which influenced the folk rite. As if monkeys weren’t enough, even worms squirm into the interpretation picture. And, rewinding way on back, a similar Chinese phrase, “Look not at what is contrary to propriety; listen not to what is contrary to propriety; speak not what is contrary to propriety; make no movement which is contrary to propriety.” just might be the original. Lucky for us, we can often count on the Japanese to minify and cutify things.

Visual/verbal messaging disconnect.

As I was busy being green, I was not too busy to notice a little trash humor. However, this sign is misleading…showing more what you might find at a landfill and not the recycling bin. I would have expected an illustration of boxes, cardboard, paper, bottles, cans and plastic…but not of dirt, a fish skeleton and worms. A vulture trying to find sustenance in a heap of the former would, indeed, be as lean as the one depicted.

Maybe in an attempt to redress the confusion, another warning advised that if you left anything other than recyclables (like the organic household waste pictured), you would be fined.

Follow the (imminently) yellow quilt roll.

Cute ad for what it leaves out. The competitor is not named…only referred to as the “ultra rippled brand.” (I take it that weaves are better than ripples.) Granted, some responsibility lies in the hands of the user…how skilled a person is with this tool. If you were new to the brand, the illustration is the first place to get a grip, given that there is no mention at all of the product or product category, or anything that approximates it. This ad is successful only if you have previous knowledge of the Charmin brand, its competition and a good grasp of English. Otherwise, you are just a babe in the woods. The domain: Hilarious. Gotta give P&G a hand (a clean one) for making going fun.

Seeds with legs!

I knew what was inside the bag when I bought it, but I did not get that they were mint-flavored. Now, I see that the illustrations were also trying to tell me that (and about their other flavors). The brand is Qia Qia (yep, pronounced like the dance). Sunflower seeds are a common snack for the Chinese. This variety was extra long and slender…the better to cha cha with!

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