August 1st, 2009

green leaves

Independent diplomats

From nwhyte
Northern Cyprus, Western Sahara and Somaliland may not have much in common, but they share the same predicament: all are unrecognized states striving to capture international attention.

Enter Independent Diplomat -- freelance diplomats who offer their assistance to such nations-in-waiting. They have scored a notable success helping Kosovo win independence from Serbia -- but critics say they can only accomplish so much without involving governments and should not pretend to have more influence than they do.
green leaves

Are there any recent additions to classic food?

The past twenty years or so have been a period of food creativity in the US, but I can't think of much that's been added to the canon that wasn't part of ethnic cuisine elsewhere. I love Pad Thai, but afaik it wasn't invented by a celebrity chef. For all I know, it's as American as General Tso's Chicken.[1]

The only genuinely new thing I can think of is putting cream cheese in maki. It's an abomination I don't like it, but it *is* new, and seems to be popular.

Have I missed something? Is there somehow a lack of a conveyor belt from inventive chefs to the popular market? Is so much getting invented that it's too hard to identify potential classics?

I recently had a dessert which I think has classic potential-- blueberries and strawberries with whipped cream that had cinnamon mixed in. I've never had or thought of cinnamon with berries before, but it's very nice.

[1]From The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: General Tso's Chicken is unknown in China, and has a number of features which are American rather than Chinese-- undifferentiated chunks of meat (Chinese people prefer meat near the bone to improve the flavor and aren't squeamish about knowing their meat came from an animal), deep frying, very sweet sauce, and broccoli. On the other hand, I wonder if the author's efforts to find General Tso's Chicken in China may result in a Chinese version of the dish.
green leaves

I'm on the worldcon program!

Added too recently to be on the website, and I don't know if I'll be on the paper program....

3-118 Sat/Sam 12:30 1hr 30min
P-512BF Human Culture
How are We Getting on Towards
the Singularity Then?

Jo Walton, Robert Charles Wilson
The rapture is beginning to feel a bit like
the Second Coming. Any moment now!
Do we live for it? Do we live in hope? Are
we learning to think of it as a future we
desire only in theory?