Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Bloggable Feast, Part One

Earlier today, I found another food blog, Ideas in Food, which I added to the link-list. One of the featured items was kim chee cracklin's. Just now, trying to locate that IiF post, I find it mentioned at, which also mentions the Thai version of marzipan, luk chup. Luk chup (which means "dipped fruits") is used especially to fashion realistic-looking fruits and vegetables, also a traditional use of marzipan. Instead of almond paste, the main ingredients of luk chup are mung bean (paste, presumably), sugar, and coconut milk.

Where I live, at least four Thai restaurants operate. I don't know if any feature luk chup. If not, they should.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New Finds, New Connections

I subscribe to Small Press Review, a magazine that is rail-thin but fat with news of the world of the small press. The July-August issue arrived yesterday. Reading it this afternoon, particularly its Small Magazine Review section (formerly a separate magazine), I decide to look up the websites for the magazines mentioned in "Burgeoning Protests," especially Backwards City Review, Nonviolent Activist, and Peace Magazine. Through Yahoo! I find the blog for Backwards City. The August 26 entry excerpts Kunstler's The Long Emergency. For that alone, the blog merits more reading. Then I return to the Yahoo! search results page. The sixth result is a review of BCR. The review is a few months old and I'll read it later. What catches my attention is the byline of one Ed Rust, who runs a site called

Now my interest is piqued! Not only does Magsampler offer scores, if not hundreds, of titles famous and obscure for only $2.59 apiece, many of the magazines are reviewed. Magazine reviewing is direly underpracticed (I've tried to review some titles for MaggieMedia--now on hiatus--but other things took up my time.) I've never before heard of y'all: The Magazine of Southern People or American Book Review, but thanks to today's perusal of Magsampler, now I have.

But I have to see about Nonviolent Activist. It turns out its sponsoring organization, the War Resisters League, has
just replaced NA with a resurrected WIN. I next check out Peace Magazine and Alternative Press Review.

SPR has reviews of some poetry blogs, especially Michael P. Garofalo's and Dan Weber's, on concrete poetry. As defined in, concrete poetry relies mainly on layout and typography, which are two of my favorite things.

Also reviewed is Home Planet News issue 54.

All in all, some great examples of how one thing leads to another.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Degrassi: TNG Premiere September 29

According to this press release: "On Friday, September 29, The N will premiere the hour-long season openers of both Degrassi: The Next Generation and South of Nowhere at 8:00 and 9:00 p.m. (ET), respectively. Degrassi returns with the most provocative and intense school year ever, as last year's graduates take the plunge into college, while former classmates Sean and Ashley re-enroll. " The main focus of the blurb, however, is the August 29 release of a soundtrack of music from and inspired by programs (including Degrassi) on The N.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Retired Links

These are links that the reader may still find useful, but that Poppa Zao, trying to keep the link list concise, no longer considers must-reads. Many websites do make comebacks, so links could always come out of retirement.

August 23 update: I moved "Retired Links" to the end of the Links list.

August 31 update: I retired the Chesterton quotation: "Journalism largely consists in saying 'Lord Jones Dead' to people who never knew Lord Jones was alive.--- G. K. Chesterton, ''The Purple Wig in The Wisdom of Father Brown'' (1914) (via Wikiquote)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

You Don't Know What You're Missing!

Normally my policy is to discourage young talent (they only get in the
way), but I make an exception for Emily Gordon, who has the elegant taste of
someone from a more refined era, when the cocktails and conversation rapturously
flowed, and a piano tinkled in the background. So the Algonquin was the perfect
setting for drinks and gab, the waiters emerging like Henry James ghosts from
the dark polished wood in the lobby. At one point she alerted me to a site
called The Comics Curmudgeon, devoted to the explication, appreciation, and cheerful desecration of daily comic strips that continue to drift in their own strange perpetual purgatory, like Gasoline Alley and Mary Worth. Now that I've found it, I can't believe I haven't tumbled over Comics Curmudgeon before, given my own low-grade obsession with For Better or Worse and fascinatingly unfunny and badly scrawled strips like Girls and Sports and One Big Happy.

--James Wolcott

(emphasis mine)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Are They Seeing the Same Thing?

Channing Tatum, the up-and-coming star of Step Up, has his looks described very differently by two critics. Armond White, reviewing She's the Man, says:

as the estrus-provoking Duke, Channing Tatum’s casting proves radical. His
resemblance to feral Stephane Rideau, the ambivalent, sexually alluring star of
Andre Techine’s seminal Wild Reeds, helps connect She’s the Man to the finest
film ever made about adolescent maturity.

while Phillip Stephens of Pajiba says:

Step Up begins with Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum), a violently unappealing
mongoloid who might be the bastard progeniture of Josh Hartnett and a Marine
drill instructor.
What is left? Right? Does it matter?

May It Stay Fiction

As we approach the first anniversary (August 16) of the release of Lunar Park, the recent news about the terrorist plot foiled in London reminds me of the pervasive terrorist violence described in the book. In a review of Lunar Park Popmatters notes:

Ellis's alternate reality stretches out much farther than just himself. In
Lunar Park, he imagines a world where terrorists stage not only big attacks on
familiar or important landmarks, but also in "...crowded Burger Kings and Starbucks and Wal-Marts and in subways at rush hour".
Ellis's apocalyptic vision continues: "Miles of major cities had been cordoned off behind barbed wire, and morning newspapers ran aerial photographs of bombed-out buildings on the front page, showing piles of tangled bodies in the shadow of the
crane lifting slabs of scorched concrete. More and more often there were 'no
survivors'. Bulletproof vests were on sale everywhere, because scores of snipers had suddenly appeared; the military police stationed on every corner offered no solace, and surveillance camera proved useless."

Fortunately, nothing like the aforementioned has happened (in America, at least) since 9/11, but airport security has been ramped up more than it's been in a while.