May’s Must-Have iPhone Apps: Jamie Oliver, HBO, Bill Murray

Jamie Oliver: 20 Minute Meals [$7.99] We all crave delicious home-cooked meals, but who’s got the time to make ’em? With celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s 20 Minute Meals, you can learn how to whip up something delicious without cutting into your Desperate Housewives time (presuming “you” are a middle-aged spinster with a friend crush on Teri Hatcher). Filled with tips and tricks, Oliver provides instruction on everything from sharpening a knife to chopping an onion. No time to think about groceries? Allow Oliver to compose shopping lists that divide ingredients by aisle. If you can’t decide what to cook, shake your phone for an exciting recipe and toggle the portions to your number of guests. Finally, a reason to toss out that Szechuan Garden menu.

Graffiti New York [$3.99] Giuliani might have scrubbed away much of the city’s street art, but there’s more than enough graffiti left in the Big Apple to fill a gallery. And now there’s a way to view it all from the palm of your hand, without venturing down any dark alleys. Award-winning (and aptly-named) photographer Remo Camerota has mapped out a virtual tour of New York’s streets with over 100 images to browse through, from famous artists like Banksy to anonymous taggers. Find inspiration for your next mural, or share this unique and comprehensive look at New York’s best street culture with your no-good, trouble-making friends.

Stop Motion Recorder [$.99] Indulge your inner Wes Anderson using the Stop Motion Recorder, an app that invites Tisch dropouts and other cinema enthusiasts to make short lms and learn all about the world of stop-motion animation. Use its clap feature to trigger the shutter for smooth stop-and-go sequences. The applications are limitless: bring chairs to life, animate your teddy bears, or if you’re feeling especially ambitious, go all-out Gumby with claymation. It’s fantastic, like a fox.

HBO [Free] With Big Love off the air—and Mad Men on extended hiatus—we’re desperate for quality programming. Thankfully, HBO designed an app just in the nick of time. Learn about the channel’s award-winning series along with its indie flicks, blockbusters, and documentaries. Give TiVo a rest with behind-the-scenes clips and exclusive previews of all your favorites, from the new buzzed-about Mildred Pierce to True Blood. Set up reminders on your phone so you never miss another episode.

BMurraySB [$.99] Bill Murray says the darndest things (when he’s not crashing your karaoke party), and now, he’s making a live appearance… in your pocket! With Bill Murray Soundboard, get the best of the Lost in Translation star all day, every day—sort of like Groundhog Day, actually, but funnier. A must for diehard fans, the app has over 100 high-quality clips, from SNL to Caddyshack. Set Bill’s voice as an alarm to be woken up by Carl Spackler himself: “I’ll slack you off, you fuzzy little foreigner” never sounded so good.

MTV Music Meter [Free] Tired of hearing the same snooze-worthy songs played incessantly? If you’re overdosing on Katy and Ke$ha, or just in the mood for some new beats, the MTV Music Meter is the perfect way to get some fresh tunage in your head. Discover up-and-coming artists and trending new talents, and select a band you’re interested in to see photos, hear tracks, get Twitter feeds, and feast on exclusive content. Immerse yourself in new music with over a million new artists, snagging a taste of each band and uncovering your new favorite jam. (Recommended: whistling along with Ariel Pink in the shower.)

Texts From Oscar Wilde [Free] One of history’s greatest deliverers of bon mots has risen from the grave and crawled into your inbox, sort of. With Texts from Oscar Wilde, you can receive a daily dose of pithy wit and wisdom from the playwright, poet, and raconteur. Choose from importantly earnest quotes like his rumored nal words, “Either these curtains go or I do,” or select LOLWilde (jokes, exclusively) or Buck Wilde (the Ebonics version of his quotes: “De trud be rarely pure and neva’ simple”).

Unhealthy Foods Are the New Cocaine

Scientists and obese lab rats have found that high-fat, high-calorie foods effect the brain in a similar way to cocaine and heroin. A new study shows that both hard drugs and junk food overload the brain’s pleasure center and cause it to crash, necessitating a bigger hit of junk food/coke/heroin to get the same pleasure…and, well, we’ve all been there before.

The study suggests that overeating isn’t just a matter of willpower but more akin to addiction. The lab rats were divided into three groups; one group was fed regular rat food, the second was allowed to consume human junk food for an hour each day, and the third was allowed unlimited access to the junk food. Researchers found that the third group ate compulsively. When they applied a painful electrical shock to the rats while eating, those in the first and second group stopped, but the rats in the third group kept on chowing down. Rats given unlimited access to cocaine and heroin have exhibited similar behaviors and similar changes in their brains pleasure centers.

Scientists also note that our food is now made in a manner similar to cocaine. Just as snorting cocaine has been refined and purified from the centuries-old practic of chewing on coca leaves, making it more addictive, so has food. Rather than eating whole grains and corn, as our ancestors did, we now go straight to the vein with Wonder Bread and corn syrup.

And, as a whole, these studies further suggest that Jamie Oliver will be the new Dr. Drew.

Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk

Jamie Oliver was one of the recipients of this year’s TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) prizes, which grant $100,000 to individuals who would like to pursue projects devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” Mr. Oliver has been a passionate advocate for overhauling the modern industrial food system, having produced numerous television specials and programs in Britain dedicated to combating obesity by teaching better food habits. His grant will go towards the launch of his American anti-obesity campaign. Mr. Oliver’s TED talk just hit the web and, if you’re interested in obesity or food culture, it’s a must see. Check it out after the break.

The talk is a bit long, but it’s worth hearing in its entirety. Mr. Oliver plans on launching a new television program titled Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on March 26th on ABC.