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Saturday, May 28, 2022

Notes On A Biscuit Puzzle, by M.A.C. Farrant, The Walrus

The picture for a jigsaw puzzle I have been meaning to work on is of a stomach full of biscuits.

A biscuit is often a thin, flat, edible disk typically associated with the British. It’s as stiff as an upper lip. You have to suck on it to extract any flavour.

A cookie, on the other hand, is a biscuit that’s become bloated, soft, and sometimes crunchy, as if it has lost control of its biscuit self and is now an embarrassment to others.

Many Ice Creams, But One Cone To Rule Them All, by Priya Krishna, New York Times

The ice cream cone is never the star of the show.

Its role is clear: Keep the scoop upright, don’t leak and don’t upstage the main player.

But being that supportive takes work. Which is why David George believes that the cone deserves more respect.

I Try 125 Restaurants A Year. Here’s Why I Don’t Review Them All., by Tom Sietsema, Washington Post

Some people think my published work — weekly reviews, monthly roundups of favorites, spring and fall dining guides — reflects all the calories I’ve consumed on the job. The truth is, I eat at far more restaurants than you read about, north of 125 a year. I’m a lucky grazer. My budget allows for scouting, and sometimes it takes two visits to determine a place isn’t worth telling the world about.

I bring all this up because I’m asked about how the job is done every week — by neighbors, people I meet at the parties we’re now going back to, followers of my weekly online dining Q&A.

Why This Travel Writer Decided To Never Fly Again, by Daniel Fahey, Lonely Planet

If I knew it was to be my last flight, I would've flown somewhere more remote than Mallorca.

Antarctica or Papua New Guinea, maybe: once-in-a-lifetime destinations that require serious effort to reach. I might have taken a private plane to French Polynesia, sipping Champagne the whole way and then sliding down the inflatable evacuation slide by way of a final hurrah.

They Found The Source Of The Nile — And Became Lifelong Enemies, by Gary Krist, Washington Post

With her new book, “River of the Gods: Genius, Courage, and Betrayal in the Search for the Source of the Nile,” she takes a similar slice-of-the-story approach to the decades-long Nile drama, focusing on the bitter rivalry between explorers Richard Burton and John Hanning Speke. And while her book is neither as infectiously readable as Moorehead’s (which is now outdated) nor as comprehensive and deeply researched as Jeal’s, she does add a new dimension to the story. Perhaps as a corrective to the Anglocentrism of earlier accounts, she brings a third figure into the foreground: Sidi Mubarak Bombay, a formerly enslaved African who acted as guide and interpreter for Burton, Speke and several other explorers over the years. It’s a refreshing shift in emphasis and certainly overdue, but since relatively few details about Bombay survive in the historical record, there are limits to how much Millard can tell us.

Review: 'Happy-Go-Lucky' By David Sedaris, by Michael Magras, Star Tribune

Even satirists get the blues. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that satirists are among the likeliest to get the blues, given the pomposity-skewering nature of their work. It shouldn't surprise anyone that David Sedaris' latest collection, the ironically titled "Happy-Go-Lucky," has more touches of melancholy than in previous books. And that's saying something for a man who had to endure a stint as a department store elf, as he recounted in "Barrel Fever."

Excarnation, by Kim Parko, Poetry Foundation

In this story, despite
our reservations, we do have kids.
We adore
their tiny furred faces and deep
pooled eyes.