Happy Halloween!

Not as good as the Thanksgiving Video but a classic...


Last Night's Best Joke

What does Karl Marx put on his pasta?
Communist Manipesto

--The Colbert Report

Previewing the Simpsons Halloween Episode

Ramen, Part II--starring an Iron Chef

Iron Chef Morimoto was sent out by New York Magazine to judge New York ramen at Ippudo NY, Rai Rai Ken, Ramen Setagaya, Momofuku Noodle Bar, and Minca Ramen Factory. Here's the verdict @ NY Mag online.

Sexyback No More

Justin Timberlake will not be performing Sexyback anymore. He has officially retired the song from future set lists. This proves the song is annoying to everyone, even the artist. HA!

from CBC Things that Go Pop

Fear and Loathing on Oct 28

The political climate with only 7 days left before the big election... (what will I think, read, and talk about after Tuesday?)

Tom and Matt Kiss and Makeup


This Week's Special Read: DFW Still Haunts Us

It's awful that, only in death, the formidable literary presence of David Foster Wallace has grown to its deserving size. The melancholy writer took his own life in September and since, his legend (and respect for it) seems to magnify rapidly. We are rediscovering the talent, the wit, the boldness and the relevance of his writing. Even in Vancouver last week, attendees at the Vancouver Writers' Festival mourned the loss of our generation's greatest writer at a special event.

For some great vintage fashion and super discussion, there's a great conversation online between Jonathan Franzen (one of my absolute favourites), DFW, and a writer that's since disappeared into obscurity (OK, his name is Mark Leyner) on Charlie Rose. The writers talk about why they write, what they read, and the state of American literature.

In any case, this weekend I read McCain's Promise, otherwise known as "Up, Simba" or an essay in Consider the Lobster by DFW. It is a result of an assignment by Rolling Stone, which was putting together profiles of the presidential candidates (Bush--who is referred to in McCain's Promise as "The Shrub"; Al Gore, McCain, and someone else--I hope that we can forget Sarah Palin in this way) by non-political writers. Wallace followed the McCain campaign for a week but never made it on the Straight Talk Express. Instead, Wallace took notes upon "Bullshit1", the bus with network techs and other second-tier media folk.

"Up, Simba"(the original title for the piece) is a sizeable essay. In 2008, publishers have packaged in a book in very large print so readers young and old can learn about the integrity of McCain, but also the evidence that he's frighteningly right wing, and possibly crazy (or a robot). You develop immense respect for him also, when Wallace describes McCain's trials as a POW in Vietnam. It is astonishing.

Mainly though, DFW seeks to uncover the media processes that make a president. McCain's Promise is fascinating. It also makes you feel sad that all the promise that McCain had, as a dissident of the GOP - and generally a cool guy, has all but been lost.


Amy Poehler has a baby

The bambino's name is Archie Arnett. So,
After seven seasons on Saturday Night Live, she anchored her final Weekend Update this past Thursday. Next, Poehler will start filming a new mockumentary series for NBC from the producers of The Office. 'It's gonna be really hard — Boyz II Men hard — to say goodbye to yesterday,' Poehler said.*
I will miss the one-legged slut...and Hillary.

* Thanks, Men's VOGUE


On Newsstands Now

I burned through Mayfair News today (Broadway and Granville...support them, they are good) and noticed some gems on the newsstands:

I like Interview with Josh Brolin on the cover. Looks sharp and there are tons of beautiful b&w shots of actors vying for Oscars this season. Kate and Leo are back together for Revolutionary Road (Not Titanic 2! But the trailer with the chilling Nina Simone track is just perfect). The mag also features about 20 pages of conversations between actors and directors. This new Fabien Baron redesign is brilliant.

Also looking quite cool is The Atlantic THINK.AGAIN issue (November 2008). Featuring Andrew Sullivan's "Why I Blog". Here I go again promoting things I haven't read but I like Sullivan in general and I skimmed and it makes sense to me. The blogosphere shows real promise for the renewal of the public forum and the revival of the writer.

Opposite to Revolutionary Road is Four Christmases, which looks like 90 minutes of crap with a barfing baby joke. Nonetheless, Reese Witherspoon is almost always wonderful and she is just glowing on the front page VOGUE - possibly one of their best covers in ages.

I'm a little slow so I finally bought an old copy of September's Vanity Fair Style Issue. The big clunker features a stunning portfolio by "Master of Photography" Mark Seliger. You can check it out online. I don't think there's ever been a better picture of Lindsay Lohan (honestly!).

On a related note, Angie-Brad photoshoot is totally overrated. Looks crappy and the photos were commissioned by W. It's all staged (Angie even had a stylist come in and make her look all pretty). Go buy something else to read.

How about Ricepaper Magazine-- now in its 13th year? Issue 13.3 is available at your specialty book and magazine stores, as well as Book Warehouse and Chapters. You can join our facebook group here... In this issue, Bing Thom, Andy Quan, and Yung Chang. Issue 13.4, edited by yours truly, is going to blow you away. It will hit newsstands early November. Can't wait? Check out the cool cover by Michelle Fung.

Late Night Roundup: McCain is Confused

The good stuff starts in at about 1:05.


I'm sick

Winter time is upon us. How do I know? Because I got sick. A month ago, I was chanting victory well before it was due--I was sure the bug would bypass me this fall--and look where it got me. To remedy the situation, I am trying the super breakfast [see right].

@ NatalieDee


Hurray! Radio One on the FM Dial!

This week, CBC Radio One arrived at 88.1 on my FM dial. Hurray! Lots of crisp, clear music and discussion about all things Canadian.

On the way home tonight from class, I heard Mia Kirshner from The L Word talk about her new book I Live Here sounds good, and is getting positive critical response, but will suffer from a most unfortunate cover [above]. Had I not heard about this on Q I would have no problem judging it by its cover and deeming it unfit for consumption (Angst! DIY! Avant garde title! Grrr!). But reviews in general say the book is a beauty to look at. Not to mention, it combines autobiography with memoir, graphic novel, collage... they call it a "paper documentary–an intimate journey to humanitarian crises in four corners of the world: war in Chechnya, ethnic cleansing in Burma, globalization in Mexico, and AIDS in Malawi."

So I haven't read it yet but I like that it's breaking the rules.
The official blog can be found here (it's hard to google/find!)

A Truly Weird Dance

Check out Italian modern dancer Philippe Priasso perform "Transports Exceptionnels" at London's Dance Umbrella festival. It reminds me a little of this movie, screened at VIFF last month.

It's a good day for Victoria Beckham

"Mr. Blackwell," whose annual "worst dressed" list dinged movie stars, music icons and European royalty and helped turn him into a household name from the 1960s through the '80s, has died. He was 86.

A onetime actor and model who turned to fashion design with limited success, Blackwell -- in his rankings of what he considered the most dreadful in design -- helped popularize the sort of dishy commentary that takes notable figures down a notch by poking fun at their personal style.

Actresses Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor made his list in the early 1960s. Taylor's "plump" figure and revealing clothes reminded him of "the rebirth of the zeppelin," he wrote in 1963. Loren, he wrote, dressed like "the Italian shop girls she portrays in movies."

More recently, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, whom he called the "Screamgirls" and compared to "two peas in an overexposed pod," made the list. So did Camilla Parker-Bowles, "The Duchess of Dowdy," in Blackwell's opinion.

This year Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham topped his survey. It was his 48th annual list.

Brigitte Bardot, Barbra Streisand, Bette Midler, Dolly Parton and Madonna took heat from Blackwell more than once. So did Queen Elizabeth. "From her majesty to her travesty," he wrote of her.
more at LA Times

Ffffound here


The Smell of Space

"Ever curious what outer space smells like? Apparently and surprisingly, it smells a lot like a fried steak and hot metal, according to a chemist hired by NASA."
Read more

Masterpiece Theatre: Kristen Wiig


Guilty Pleasure

I have issues with posting this blog. It's nothing but cheap laughs.
But it's grey out... why not laugh at a people crawling into Pikachu's vagina?


Diamond in the rough at the VPL Book Sale

I found this 1950 copy of George Orwell's 1984 at the Friends of the Vancouver Public Library Book Sale today.
Click the images to get a closer look


Environment and economy: One and the same

I can't believe that this is news ... and then again, it's kind of shocking. On the weekend, the BBC published the numbers about how much it really cost to ignore climate change and the health of the environment. According to an EU-commissioned study, the crashing market pales in comparison to how much we are losing by letting forest conservation fall to the wayside:

Speaking to BBC News on the fringes of the congress, study leader Pavan Sukhdev emphasised that the cost of natural decline dwarfs losses on the financial markets.

"It's not only greater but it's also continuous, it's been happening every year, year after year," he told BBC News.

"So whereas Wall Street by various calculations has to date lost, within the financial sector, $1-$1.5 trillion, the reality is that at today's rate we are losing natural capital at least between $2-$5 trillion every year."


Full story here

Well this explains everything!


This Week's Special Reads: Berlin, Book One

I was first properly introduced to graphic novels by my professor, Marcus Boon, at York University. The class was a painful second year English course with about 60-80 students in it. But the reading list was incomparable: On the Road, Adaptation, Ghost World, Maus II, Sex and the City, Trainspotting, Blood and Guts in High School, White Noise... it goes on. I also took an introduction to Comics and Cartoons with Jonathan Warren - one of the best professors I've ever had.

Anyway, that leads me to Berlin, book one: City of Stones by Jason Lutes. This is an ambitious, thoroughly researched historical fiction project in the form of a graphic novel. Lutes is creating a trilogy about Weimar Germany during Hitler's rise to power (it begins in 1928). Book Two comes out tomorrow! This is compelling reading about art and representation (with lots of violence, drama, drugs and sex), which I'm incorporating into research about images and documentary.... so I'm looking for anyone with expertise in comics for recommendations and insights.


On a related note, Marcus Boon edited this book, which I find hilarious. It's real, folks!

Happy Thanksgiving


I was thinking of you

How you might vote smarter

... still undecided but happened across this website with info about how to vote strategically in each riding. Unfortunately, even if all of Canada 'voted smart' the Tories would still win 67 seats.

Sad Guys on Trading Floors

No one knows "misplaced productivity" better than Chris and Jess of Sad Guys on Trading Floors.

"Oh shit, there’s Chad. I don’t want him to see me in this jacket."


A NFB classic and Oscar winner: Ryan by Chris Landreth

James Brown in Paris, 1966!

Weezy and the 'Media Elite'

In his blog, Sacha Frere-Jones turned me onto this "gorgeous piece of writing" by David Ramsey in Oxford American. The New Yorker writer probably just says that because Ramsey references the 2007 piece Frere-Jones wrote about Lil Wayne.

Interestingly enough, the music writer managed to write another piece about Weezy in June, and references the rapper about once a week in his blog.

In any case, Ramsey's piece is worth a read. It also reminds me that the effects of Katrina are extraordinary, but the world has looked away. I watched a documentary called Faubourg Treme at the Vancouver International Film Festival last week about America's oldest black community, located in New Orleans. The history and welfare of 'Treme' has been all but demolished. In 2008, we've all but forgotten Katrina happened. If you wander around the Oxford American site a little more, there are provocative voices on the meaning of Katrina three years later.


From an interview in early 2006:

AllHipHop.com: On the album, did you ever contemplate doing a whole track dedicated to the Hurricane Katrina tragedy?

Lil Wayne: No, because I’m from New Orleans, brother. Our main focus is to move ahead and move on. You guys are not from New Orleans and keep throwing it in our face, like, ‘Well, how do you feel about Hurricane Katrina?’ I f—king feel f—ked up. I have no f—king city or home to go to. My mother has no home, her people have no home, and their people have no home. Every f—king body has no home. So do I want to dedicate something to Hurricane Katrina? Yeah, tell that b—h to suck my d—k. That is my dedication.


Lil Wayne on safe sex: “Better wear a latex, cause you don’t want that late text, that ‘I think I’m late’ text.”


The End of Gay Culture

I'm troubled by the piece, "The End of Gay Culture," by Andrew Sullivan from The Atlantic and The New Republic. It provides fodder for hours upon hours of conversation in university Arts and Queer/Women Studies departments. Sullivan laments the death of a homogeneous gay culture with much passion and consideration. Within three decades, an open and vibrant gay culture was birthed and died. There are gay teens today without knowledge of Harvey Milk because sexuality doesn't have the same kind of lineage that race or religion does: "Even in evangelical circles, gay kids willing to acknowledge and struggle publicly with their own homosexuality represented a new form of openness. The speed of the change is still shocking. I'm only 42, and I grew up in a world where I literally never heard the word "homosexual" until I went to college." Sullivan's piece is a timely discussion about difference and our unwillingness to recognize that we are not post-racial, etc, etc societies, despite the inroads made.

I'm still thinking about this piece; it brings up a lot of discussions I've had in class that make me uncomfortable, and which are never finished but rather, grow even larger and more thorny. I can respect other people's opinions but at the same time, I'm also scared at the way some (intolerant) people feel and think (is that really hypocritical?).

Sullivan's lengthy article can be summed up on these quotes. Or, there is a link to the full piece below.

"After all, in 2004, one-quarter of self-identified gay voters backed a president who supported a constitutional ban on gay marriage. If the gay world is that politically diverse under the current polarized circumstances, it has obviously moved well beyond the time it was synonymous with radical left politics."

"...when you see the internalized defensiveness of gays still living in the shadow of social hostility, any nostalgia one might feel for the loss of gay culture dissipates. Some still echo critic Philip Larkin's jest that he worried about the American civil rights movement because it was ruining jazz. But the flipness of that remark is the point, and the mood today is less genuine regret--let alone a desire to return to those days--than a kind of wistfulness for a past that was probably less glamorous or unified than it now appears. It is indeed hard not to feel some sadness at the end of a rich, distinct culture built by pioneers who braved greater ostracism than today's generation will ever fully understand. But, if there is a real choice between a culture built on oppression and a culture built on freedom, the decision is an easy one. Gay culture was once primarily about pain and tragedy, because that is what heterosexuals imposed on gay people, and that was, in part, what gay people experienced. Gay culture was once primarily about sex, because that was how heterosexuals defined gay lives. But gay life, like straight life, is now and always has been about happiness as well as pain; it is about triumph as well as tragedy; it is about love and family as well as sex. It took generations to find the self-worth to move toward achieving this reality in all its forms--and an epidemiological catastrophe to accelerate it. If the end of gay culture means that we have a new complexity to grapple with and a new, less cramped humanity to embrace, then regret seems almost a rebuke to those countless generations who could only dream of the liberty so many now enjoy.

"The tiny, rich space that gay men and women once created for themselves was, after all, the best they could do. In a metaphor coined by the philosopher Michael Walzer, they gilded a cage of exclusion with magnificent ornaments; they spoke to its isolation and pain; they described and maintained it with dignity and considerable beauty. But it was still a cage. And the thing that kept gay people together, that unified them into one homogeneous unit, and that defined the parameters of their culture and the limits of their dreams, were the bars on that cage. Past the ashes of thousands and through the courage of those who came before the plague and those who survived it, those bars are now slowly but inexorably being pried apart. The next generation may well be as free of that cage as any minority ever can be; and they will redefine gayness on its own terms and not on the terms of hostile outsiders. Nothing will stop this, since it is occurring in the psyches and souls of a new generation: a new consciousness that is immune to any law and propelled by the momentum of human freedom itself. While we should treasure the past, there is no recovering it. The futures--and they will be multiple--are just beginning."

Read the full article here
“Every woman by her nature excludes every ­other woman; for every woman is required to do everything the whole sex is required to do.”
-- Goethe

The Magic of Television

Today, a show like Mad Men, with less than a 1 million viewers each week (The Sopranos drew 3.5 million viewers in their first season) is considered a hit. Everyone is announcing the demise of television even though more than 60 million viewers tuned in to the US Vice-Presidential debate, and SNL is actually capturing 50% larger audience share than last year. The Internet is changing the game but it's not like Video Killed the Radio Star.

Check out this bit from VideoGum. This week The Office made a YouTube video appear out of thin air!

More Humour from Kevin Chong

Let Me Show You My Stamp Collection

I can't wait for my next hit of Tina Fey as Sarah Palin. Until then, and with the Canadian federal election pending, I am trolling YouTube for the best bits of Canadian Satire. These two videos were recommended by Kevin Chong in "Cracking Wise" on CBC News Online. Click on the screenshot below for a clip from This Hour Has 22 Minutes, when Harper mistakes a baby for an ATM.

Also, below, aren't the party leaders acting a bit childish?


Oprah on 30 Rock

"Please welcome Liz Leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemmmmmmmmmon!"

On Huffington Post


Boob Shot

Does anyone else remember the sexy "Domestic Bliss" photo essay by Steven Klein for W Magazine in 2005? (If you have a copy, I'm willing to pay some serious dough). The oversized mag published 33 shots of Pitt and Jolie playing house. The actors were doing promotions for Mr and Mrs Smith, and firmly denying rumours about Pitt's infidelity. But the pictures in this looked so real! This Month W issues the Pitt-Jolie family photos.


TINA BROWN is a beast. She just launched a blog (this week) and it's already making news (She got the JLo interview where Lopez admits she is crazy). I suspect that The Daily Beast (said blog) has got a bazillion hits already.

Brown is the former editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. She is insanely smart. We've already let her tell us what to read and what to think. Her detractors will say that The Daily Beast treats its readers like idiots who can't get informed on our own (Check out the Beast Board). But I've already clicked through a dozen stories on her site. Would love to hear what other people think.

The Daily Beast

From a Tina Brown Q&A:

What is The Daily Beast?

It's a speedy, smart edit of the web from the merciless point of view of what interests the editors. The Daily Beast is the omnivorous friend who hears about the best stuff and forwards it to you with a twist. It allows you to lead the conversation, rather than simply follow it.

Does the world really need another news aggregator?

The Daily Beast doesn't aggregate. It sifts, sorts, and curates. We're as much about what's not there as what is. And we freshen the stream with a good helping of our own original content from a wonderfully diverse group of contributors … satirist Christopher Buckley, historian Sean Wilentz, former McCain adviser Mark McKinnon, Project Runway’s Laura Bennett, the former editor of Al-Hayat Salameh Nematt, Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg, Nick Ciarelli who founded Think Secret, and many others.

Do you actually read anything online? If so, what?

A lot. I'm always checking in with HuffPo, Drudge, RealClearPolitics, Talking Points Memo, Politico, Andrew Sullivan, Hendrik Hertzberg, The Smoking Gun, TMZ, Hungry Girl, The Guardian, Paid Content, Arts and Letters Daily, Matt Yglesias, First Post, BBC, Romenesko, Head Butler

I'm hungry for more crazy Sarah Palin. The DB offers the scariest of the day:

Dangling Conversation

Its a still life water color,
Of a now late afternoon,
As the sun shines through the curtained lace
And shadows wash the room.
And we sit and drink our coffee
Couched in our indifference,
Like shells upon the shore
You can hear the ocean roar
In the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
Are the borders of our lives.

And you read your emily dickinson,
And I my robert frost,
And we note our place with bookmarkers
That measure what weve lost.
Like a poem poorly written
We are verses out of rhythm,
Couplets out of rhyme,
In syncopated time
Lost in the dangling conversation
And the superficial sighs,
Are the borders of our lives.

Yes, we speak of things that matter,
With words that must be said,
Can analysis be worthwhile?
Is the theater really dead?
And how the room is softly faded
And I only kiss your shadow,
I cannot feel your hand,
Youre a stranger now unto me
Lost in the dangling conversation.
And the superficial sighs,
In the borders of our lives.

-- Paul Simon


Unknown Legend

I saw Rachel Getting Married Today. It's intensely emotionally charged and well worth the price of admission. Anne Hathaway is good but the rest of the cast is also equally wonderful. Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio plays Rachel's fiance Sidney. He delivers one of the movie's most touching moments: singing Neil Young's "Unknown Legend" to Rachel at the wedding.

Listen to "Unknown Legend" on another site


Think Pink

Cat and I ran the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation (CBCF) Run for the Cure this morning. What an incredible day to be out in the streets of Vancouver - it was so beautiful, the weather and all the people. 10,000 came out, including a gathering of CTV personalities, Sam Sullivan and Gordon Campbell, who would be able to get away quickly from a horde of angry voters. He is quite fast.

In Vancouver, we raised over $1.5 million. Handsworth Secondary's team from North Vancouver won the team challenge, raising $16,000 and putting my measly $60 to shame (To that smart and very good-looking group that did give, THANK YOU).

The devastating facts about breast cancer in Canada are these:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Canadian women.

In 2008, an estimated 22,400 women in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer. On average, that is about 431 women diagnosed every week.

In 2008, an estimated 170 men in Canada will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Men with breast cancer make up a little less than 1% of all cases.

In 2008, an estimated 5,300 women and 50 men will die from breast cancer in Canada.

An estimated 166,000 Canadian women who were alive in 2004 had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the previous 15 years.

One in nine (11%) Canadian women is expected to develop breast cancer during her lifetime.

Only one in every 28 Canadian women will die from breast cancer. This means that about two-thirds of the women diagnosed with breast cancer in Canada will live through it.

from cbcf.org

The CBCF is collecting money until the very end of Breast Cancer Month, so please give.


Beyond My Wildest Imagination

"The photographer-activist, JR, converts his pictures into posters and transforms our streets into universal open-air galleries. From Los Angeles to Berlin, he keeps his independence and illegal exhibits in the streets, which he considers to be his very own gallery.

"After his first guerrilla exhibition on the walls of Montfermeil's ghetto's (93/370) in 2004, JR settled down right in the heart of the district collaborating with Ladj Ly, inhabitant of the ghetto, actor and director from the collective, Kourtrajmé.

"Armed with a 28 mm lens, JR shot full frame portraits of young people from this neighbourhood and the nearby district of
The Forestière (Clichy-sous-Bois, 93). This no frills, straightforward
technique allowed them to get very close to this generation.

"Interviewing them, without restrictions, on the recent events of
November 2005. The first portraits were illegally pasted on the east
walls of Paris, a district that was once run-down, but has now become a residency for the bourgeois bohemian, who are shielded from the flames.

"With a certain « in your face » rudeness, they provoke passers-by and question the social and media representation of a generation that people only want to see outside the doors of Paris or on the news. The Book 28mm - portrait of a generation, is a collection of the 28 most meaningful portraits from the whole series.

"Also included are some on the spot shots of moments shared with the young people of The Forestière, as well as several actions shots from the streets in 2005."

By Emile Abinal from www.28millimetres.com

JR at work [powerful]:



Also on the episode of This American Life I mentioned in the previous post was a long piece by Paul Tough on Geoffrey Canada. Canada is the founder of the Harlem Children's Zone, a community organization with many programs to help children and their parents thrive in Harlem, and break the cycle of poverty. Tough has written a book about HCZ, Whatever It Takes about Canada by way of five years of research and interviews. Wow, what a story.

From the book blurb: The Harlem Children's Zone "currently serv[es] more than 7,000 children and encompassing 97 city blocks—represents an audacious effort to end poverty within under-served communities. Canada's radical experiment is predicated upon changing everything in these communities—creating an interlocking web of services targeted at the poorest and least likely to succeed children: establishing programs to prepare and support parents," such as Baby College, a nine-week program designed to teach expecting parents the simple lessons that come easy to many middle and upper-class parents like reading to your child and how to discipline them, but hardly penetrate neighbourhoods like Harlem. The results are absolutely stunning. The first children to go through the program have completed their first standardized school tests and all scored higher than the state average. Their parents did not even have the opportunity to go to Baby College before the children were born. Tough expects that children whose parents have graduated from Baby College before they are born will do even better.

Tough's pieces for The New York Times Magazine can be found here and here (You might need to login). I haven't read it yet but I'm assuming that it's going to be just as inspiring a read as the piece for This American Life was.

How about another blurb? Here's the word from GQ Magazine: "A remarkable book ... a story more gripping and inspiring than you'd imagine social policy could possibly be." And if you don't believe The Gentlemen's Quarterly, go read for yourself: http://www.hcz.org/what-is-hcz/whatever-it-takes

Canada made the impossible happen by making small changes on a large scale.

Ben Folds and Making Out

Last night Ben Folds surprised Conan O'Brian's audience by bringing Regina Spektor onstage with him. Mr. Folds has also toured with another surprising musician: David Berkeley. Berkeley told a story to This American Life that exceeded most of my awkward experience, and I'm a pretty awkward person. He related the most unique gig he ever played: a private concert for a man and the lady he was trying to get back together with. Things start out awkward with a cold welcome from the ex-girlfriend and grow to gross when they start making out.

Quick! Hear the download the podcast this week before NPR takes it away and tries to charge you money for it.

David Berkeley's website is www.davidberkeley.com/

The Chinese Can Do Anything

Check out this scene from a circus show in Xiamen, China.


Views on the Lobster from "the most important novelist of [our] generation"

Vancouver's Blue Water Cafe just won rave reviews from Jacob Richler in Macleans Magazine for serving Ocean Wise seafood--without the lecture. With wild salmon stocks plummeting to alarming all-time lows, perhaps all little education is not such a bad idea. As (the late) David Foster Wallace learns in "Consider the Lobster", seafood consumption gives one a lot to consider:

"Ultimately, the only certain virtues of the home-lobotomy and slow-heating methods are comparative, because there are even worse/crueler ways people prepare lobster. Time-thrifty cooks sometimes microwave them alive (usually after poking several extra vent holes in the carapace, which is a precaution most shellfish-microwavers learn about the hard way). Live dismemberment, on the other hand, is big in Europe: Some chefs cut the lobster in half before cooking; others like to tear off the claws and tail and toss only these parts in the pot...

"...Lobsters don’t have much in the way of eyesight or hearing, but they do have an exquisite tactile sense, one facilitated by hundreds of thousands of tiny hairs that protrude through their carapace. “Thus,” in the words of T.M. Prudden’s industry classic About Lobster, “it is that although encased in what seems a solid, impenetrable armor, the lobster can receive stimuli and impressions from without as readily as if it possessed a soft and delicate skin.”

Read the whole piece here