The Kinder Egg - American vs Canadian

I recently came into possession of a new - American - Kinder "Joy". I already had a - Canadian - Kinder "Surprise". So naturally I documented their consumption for comparison. 

For years I'd heard that American children are too stupid to eat Kinder Eggs, but lo and behold we have them now! Well, we have something like them. Time will tell if American children are smart enough for these ones.




Canadian Kinder is the classic - Kinder Surprise. I think it's something to do with being part of the commonwealth. In any case, these are the Kinder Eggs of my childhood. My mother is a bit of a scofflaw and would smuggle them home for us any time she went to Vancouver. This is the Kinder Egg deemed too challenging for us Americans.

Foil wrapper ✓ Chocolate shell ✓ Plastic capsule ✓ Toy inside ✓

It is the epitome of childhood delight. All wrapped up in a whimsical egg shape.


The American Kinder Egg is actually called Kinder "Joy", presumably to avoid confusion with the real ones. It was a little strange when you're expecting an approximation of the Canadian version. 

They come in a plastic egg shell. It splits in twain to reveal two separately packaged halves. One half contains the toy. The other contains some sort of strange chocolate cream and two wafer balls. A scraper is provided for shoveling chocolate cream into one's face

Color me skeptical.

Call me old fashioned, but I'm gonna stick to Canadian Kinder Eggs. The American versions are probably fine if they're all you've ever known, but the weird chocolate cream was unsatisfying. Which was surprising, because I expected the toy to be the compromised element. The wafer balls were pretty tasteless. The cream itself was way too thick to be enjoyable to consume. Not entirely sure why they had to scrap the traditional chocolate.

The toys were essentially the same, thank goodness. If you've never had the pleasure of a Kinder Egg, the toys inside are easily 2/3 of the fun. They usually require some assembly and also may include stickers. It appears that the primary change for the American market was in the packaging. American children will swallow a capsule whole, but having to peel back a plastic film will save them from themselves.

It's not a bad solution. It's just not a Kinder Egg.

Can't Look Away is closing July 30, 2017

MoPOP is closing the door on its iconic horror exhibit this month. This is one of my all time favorite experiences at MoPOP and I always make time to stop by when I'm visiting. If you haven't already, be sure to check it out!

But don’t breathe that sigh of relief just yet. The nightmare continues with a new horror exhibit opening this fall.
— MoPOP Weekly

You can read my 2013 review here.

#TBT Daughter of Dawn

Sometimes I go to very cool, very interesting things and fully intend to write about them in the blog. And then I forget. Instead of simply letting these stories go un-shared, I've decided to simply post them when I do happen to remember. So here's a throwback for you!

The Paramount puts on various Silent Movie series throughout the year. This February I was fortunate to attend one of the showing with a friend of mine. Not only is the Paramount a beautiful theatre in the heart of downtown, but their "Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Pipe Organ" is a marvel all its own. Seriously, go check it out.

This particular Monday, we went to see Daughter of Dawn. It was released in 1920 and restored in 2012 by the Oklahoma Historical Society. In 2013 it was added to the National Film Registry.


Just before the start of the film there was a brief discussion of the plot and the cultural significance this film has for us today. There was also a discussion afterwards with Tracy Rector, local Indigenous filmmaker, Dr. Cornel Pewewardy, Director of the Indigenous Nations Studies Program at Portland State University and Dr. Charlotte Coté (Nuu-chah-nulth), Associate Professor, University of Washington, Department of American Indian Studies. Sadly, my friend and I couldn't stay for the discussion portion. (Something I will remember for next time!)

A large part of what makes this film so interesting is the cast and set. The cast was made up of over 300 members of the Comanche and Kiowa tribes and much of the set was supplied by the actors. The clothing, homewares, and tipis were actual goods used by these people, not just set dressing. 

The film includes a significant tipi given by Cheyenne Chief Nikko-se-vast to the Kiowa Chief Dohausen. The tipi in the movie was renewed in 1916 with images painted by Haungooah or Silverhorn and Stephen Mopope, one of the Kiowa Five. That very tipi was given to the Oklahoma Historical Society in 1928.
— Oklahoma Historical Society

The story was about Daughter of Dawn and her complicated love triangle with White Eagle and Black Wolf. Another woman, Red Wing, is tragically in love with Black Wolf. It's all a bit of a mess. Add in some inter-tribal conflict, buffalo hunts, dancing, midnight boat rides, and some deceit and you have 80 solid minutes that could rival today's film industry.

My favorite scene is also possibly the most absurd. Black Wolf and White Eagle must perform a test of their courage to prove who deserves to marry Daughter of Dawn. So they're ordered to jump off a rock cliff. (?!) Black Wolf clings to the cliff face, in a show of cowardice. White Eagle bravely leaps off the cliff and surprisingly endures very little physical damage. 

Daughter of Dawn is a special film. It featured Native people, wearing their own clothing, and doing their own cultural dances in a time that was highly antagonistic towards their way of life. This gives us a rare glimpse into the historical context and use of materials often only seen in museums. It is a type of representation that is altogether foreign to our modern cinematic experience. 

The opening scene of the 1920 silent film, "Daughter of Dawn," by Norbert Myles. The film was rediscovered and restored by the Oklahoma State Historical Society, Dr. Bob Blackburn, Executive Director. The musical score was composed by Dr. David A. Yeagley (Comanche). Dr. Yeagley was commissioned by the Oklahoma State Historical Society, December 12, 2007.

Barrier /ˈberēər/ noun: a fence or other obstacle that prevents movement or access.

This month for First Thursday I took the bus up to the University of Washington and visited the Henry Art Gallery. My sister and a couple of friends decided to join me, which made the experience so much better. It was a beautiful day and the exhibits were relatively empty. Our visit was brief but we were able to partake of several lovely exhibits and explore some art forms we wouldn't typically seek out. 


Downstairs there was a lovely display entitled "Summer Wheat: Full Circle". The three hung pieces consisted of a metal mesh covered in paint and they have the appearance of a sort of quilted fabric. We got very close (although careful to not touch) in order to better examine the technique used by the artist. Unbeknownst to us, there was a narrow line painted on the ground delineating the intended distance visitors remain from the art. Unfortunately, this barrier repeatedly proved to be insufficient. Two different groups of people were gently reminded to step back while we were viewing the pieces. A gallery attendant was stationed nearby with the responsibility of issuing said reminders.

In another area of the museum, we ran into another distance based quandary. There was a large temporary exhibit entitled "Fun, No Fun" which encompassed a built ramp system, a smattering of ground level sculptures, and floor coverings. There were no ropes, lines, or barriers of any kind. There were, however, two more gallery attendants. As we moved through the space, my friends asked me whether they were supposed to touch the works or not. When we asked the attendants about their policy we got a hesitant response. "'re not really supposed to", one said while looking at the other for confirmation.

The reluctance to utilize physical barriers is something I find most often in art museums. It can be perceived as taking away from the experience of the visitor or the aesthetic of the art itself. Most often though, I find it to be confusing and unsettling as a visitor. In particular, the use of psychological barriers, like the painted line on the floor, tend to be frequently overlooked. This can put the art at risk and make the guests feel foolish for not noticing their mistake.

Take it as the perspective of someone in collections management: I like physical barriers. I like climate controlled spaces and gloved hands. I like railings under which children cannot crawl and over which adults cannot step. I'm biased in this way. 

I think the Henry does a great job of having many attendants on hand to deal with issues as they arise. Each person was friendly and engaging, even if a few could use a little more confidence in their answers. My main recommendation would be to have the attendants be more forthcoming with instructions; which saves the visitor from having to ask. Having a diligent person there to provide guidance to the visitor is a reasonable solution to the lack of physical barriers. I may always prefer a more tangible boundary to interacting with museum objects, but when it comes to art this may be a close second.