Favourites list : Shakespeare & Restaurant Reviews

Since this week marked Shakespeare’s 450th birthday (apparently, and also his 398th death anniversary, but let’s not talk of that), I give you this – all* of the great Bard’s plays as three-panelled comics. It’s a reminder (albeit an unsurprising one) of how many of his plays ended in stabbings!

I loved this podcast by Jane Kramer and Dana Goodyear, where the two New Yorker food writers discuss the rise of our foodie culture. As a society, they say, we’re experiencing a particular foodie moment – we care so much more about our food, what goes into it, where it comes from – partly as a reaction to anxieties about the world at large, and our helplessness in the face of so many things we cannot do much about. I’m not sure I agree a 100% – if that were the case, the food during the peak of the cold war should have been a lot better, no? As scary as climate change is, the prospect of getting nuked by Kremlin somehow feels more immediate. Still, it’s well worth a listen.

Meanwhile, an academic paper (via The Browser) argues that restaurant reviews online are not just about evaluating restaurants, but also offer opportunities for “social discourse”. It’s long, and I only really read the introduction & conclusion – but it a few interesting insights emerged:

  • Bad reviews are a way of coping with “service-related trauma”.
  • Positive reviews of cheap restaurants are full of terms expressing “addiction” (to denote a craving for comfort food)
  • Positive reviews of expensive restaurants abound with “the language of sensuality” as well as complex words – to show us as hedonistic and well-read.

Other bits & bobs

Xkcd gets it spot on, as always. The alt-text on this comic is the best! (If you’re on the phone, open up the comic, and long-press, like you would if you wanted to save the photo.. the alt-text will then pop up).

The 15-year old chef is making me feel terribly inadequate. He’s 15!!

These Minimalist Bollywood Posters are brilliant

This is going on my birthday, Christmas, and everything-else wishlist. As an aside, what a perfect name for a product! It’s what we all aspire to be… Mellow.

And finally, the Upshot is here, to join Vox.

You can be anything you want to be, but you can’t be everything you want to be**

*well, almost all are covered in three panels; Henry VI, part 3 is in five panels. But Titus Andronicus needs only 1 panel, so I suppose it all evens out in the end. 

**I tried looking for a source for this quote, the closest I could come to was David Allen, although he said “do” not “be”. 

The Favourites List is a somewhat irregular (usually weekly) roundup of things I’ve enjoyed reading. Expect some fiction, long-form writing, travel, food, technology. I usually link to free content, but occasionally to items behind a paywall (because I think paying for quality content is awesome!).

If you’d like to know when the next Favourites List is published, you can subscribe to the newsletter via RSS or sign up via email!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *