Briefings: Gatsby, The History of Chicken, Blood Money, Cheese Disasters, and Fishing Holes

Briefings By Photo by GP

We’re not ignoring the “Skyfall” trailer; we’re watching it for the third time right now. But a new adaptation of Gatsby seems somehow important, American — a story handed down to the next generation, a role bestowed on DiCaprio by Redford, a soundtrack with Irving Berlin for one with Kanye and Hov. A cautionary tale for the Tobey Maguire set. Also, some nut is selling a tube of presidential blood. Come on, man.

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1. What to Preview | The Great Gatsby

Remaking a Redford flick is always going to be a tall order — the guy’s just so darn handsome and charming. But Baz Luhrmann’s take on The Great Gatsby looks to be every bit as lush as the prose it’s based on and significantly different than the 1974 adaptation. Much like Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet,” Gatsby has Leonardo DiCaprio as the lead and brings some edginess to a story that’s previously been interpreted pretty classically. The trailer is set to “No Church In The Wild” by Kanye and Jay-Z.

2. What to Read | The History of Chicken

The chicken is underappreciated. We eat it at home on weeknights and then order steak at the restaurant. We say everything tastes like it. Er, factory farms. It turns out it was a long road from the jungle to contemporary domestication, according to an article in Smithsonian. “Although inconclusive, evidence suggests that ground zero for the bird’s westward spread may have been the Indus Valley, where the city-states of the Harappan civilization carried on a lively trade with the Middle East more than 4,000 years ago.”

3. What to Avoid | Blood Money

You’ve got less than a day left to bid on a Ronald Reagan Post-Assassination Attempt Blood Vial, currently priced around 9,000 pounds sterling on the UK-based auction site, PFC. At issue here is not necessarily that some guy is trying to sell a tube of dried blood, which is predictable and ugly, but the purveyor’s explanation for how he obtained the blood: “The testing was completed and the test tube was sitting on my mother’s desk,” he says. “At the end of the week, she asked the director of her laboratory if she could keep the paperwork and the test tube. The director of the lab told her no problem and really never gave it a second thought.” We know people played fast and loose in the 80s, but taking home other people’s fluids?

4. What to Mourn | The Big Cheese Loss

We wouldn’t bring this to your attention if we didn’t know how good your homemade ragu is. The earthquake in Italy this week claimed the lives of at least six people and injured more, but there were also some secondary casualties, namely, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Grana Padano. More than 300,000 wheels of parm took the hit. That’s about 10 percent of production, according to an article in the Reuters, which could have a nominal effect on the price. There’s always pecorino.

5. Where to Fish | Guyana

It’s no secret, our fondness of pulling large things out of water with an unusual set of tools. The June/July issue of Garden & Gun has Donovan Webster’s trip to Guyana to fish for the prehistoric arapaima, which can weigh in at up to 500 pounds. “They are truly strange fish: both beautifully streamlined and grotesquely ugly,” he says, “like early-seventies muscle cars out of Detroit.” Read on for screaming fly reels, aged rum, and a nice photo gallery from the trip.