A blessing and a curse

Keep feeling fascination … and you end up with a blog.

When a hamburger’s not just a hamburger July 17, 2008

Filed under: food,Travel — tiffanyfox @ 4:24 pm
Tags: ,

“It has the taste of the forbidden, the illicit — the subversive, even. Eating with your hands, it’s pure regression. Naturally, everyone wants it.”

— Paris restaurant consultant Hélène Samuel, on the lowly hamburger. According to this article from The New York Times, hamburgers and cheeseburgers are becoming de rigueur in Paris, although many insist on eating them with a knife and fork.

Why can’t I live in a place where even eating some meat on a bun sounds naughty beyond compare?

 

Television news — covering its ass and little else July 6, 2008

Filed under: Media — tiffanyfox @ 5:32 pm
Tags: ,

I happened to catch the afternoon broadcast of a local TV news station this Fourth of July. The “top stories” were the usual mindless pabulum — 10 full minutes on the beach alcohol ban, a story about some old guy in East San Diego who decorates his house with gajillion American flags every Independence Day, and a piece about a 70-year-old woman in India who gave birth to twins (which I’m sure will turn out to be a hoax, but hey, they had time to kill).

Meanwhile, on that very day, people were dying in Iraq and Darfur, Iran was playing war games with its nuclear weapons and the planet was (and is) having a meltdown.

That’s the TV news for you. Its like the media equivalent of a hospital gown — covering just enough of its ass to stay on the air, but flimsy beyond belief.

And maybe it’s not just the television news. Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, recently gave a TED Talk about the American media, complete with a world map (pictured) that demonstrates how meager international news coverage is in the states (the big blue bubble is the U.S., of course, and the big yellow bubble is Iraq).

Reports about the death of Anna Nicole Smith, for example, received 10 times the coverage of the IPCC’s report on global warming and surpassed coverage news about every other country in the world, except Iraq. Turns out “it’s cheaper” to cover Britney and Anna Nicole.

“Cheap” certainly is the right word for it.

 

Goodbye woodflower sea cucumber hoof July 5, 2008

Filed under: food,Travel — tiffanyfox @ 10:28 pm
Tags: ,

The Olympics are ruining everything. First the Dalai Lama gets no love, and now you can’t even get a simple meal of Succulent Domestic Life Beef after watching Jamaica cream Yemen and walk away with the gold in badminton.

It’s true — in an effort to make dining in Beijing a more “palatable” experience, the Chinese government has developed a 170-page pamphlet designed to encourage restaurant owners to properly translate their menus.

This all leaves a very bad taste in my mouth (no offense, MSG). Isn’t allowing one’s meal to be lost in translation part of the fun of traveling? Is linguistically homogenizing thousands of menus really the answer? “Chicken with no sexual life” … now that says something to me. It’s certainly a more compelling and adventurous dish than “steamed pullet.” What the hell is pullet, anyway? I wouldn’t touch that with a pair of 10-foot chopsticks.