My friend Joel has a book out, The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny. To help promote the book, Joel, and his co-writer Peter McGraw, created an algorithm to determine the 50 funniest cities in the US. We’re number 2! We’re number 2!
1. Chicago The capital of improvisation and a mecca of stand-up comedy.
2. Boston It has a split comedy personality: dry high-brow and rowdy low-brow.
3. Atlanta Many jokes on race: “What do you call a black pilot? A pilot, you racist.”
4. Washington Politics and politicians provide plenty of fodder for cynical jokesters.
5. Portland, Ore. Known for its celebration of oddballs and weirdness.
6. New York City How to cope with the stress of life here? Humor, about anything.
7. Los Angeles It’s teeming with aspiring entertainers who like to riff on shallow locals.
8. Denver Home to a more relaxed humor, often about (and mellowed by) pot.
9. San Francisco Likes jokes about its wacky characters, liberals and, lately, tech nerds.
10. Seattle Its humor: youthful, tech-savvy and sometimes smug toward outsiders.
His findings were drawn from surveys of residents (on the prevalence of humor in their daily lives) and of comedians, number of visits to comedy websites, tweets, radio stations, comedy clubs per square mile and native-born comedians per capita.
Nicholas Thompson posted the 13 most read New Yorker articles of 2013 yesterday…as a slide-show. There’s a lot to keep you busy over the next couple days if you’re tired of fighting with your parents and just want to curl up on you childhood bed beneath the Backstreet Boys posters and cuddle with a mug of tea and a good tablet. For what it’s worth, I think I read 5 of these, started two others, and had the rest open in the tab attic for weeks before banishing them to Didntreadistan. The 13 most read New Yorker blog posts are here.
“A Pickpocket’s Tale,” by Adam Green, January 7th.
“The Science of Sex Abuse,” by Rachel Aviv, January 14th.
“The Operator,” by Michael Specter, February 4th.
“A Mass Shooter’s Tragic Past,” by Patrick Radden Keefe, February 11th.
“Requiem for a Dream,” by Larissa MacFarquhar, March 11th.
“The Master,” by Marc Fisher, April 1st.
“A Word from Our Sponsor,” by Jane Mayer. May 27th.
“The Lyme Wars,” by Michael Specter, July 1st.
“Slow Ideas,” by Atul Gawande, July 29th.
“Trial by Twitter,” by Ariel Levy, August 5th.
“Taken,” by Sarah Stillman, August 12th.
“The Shadow Commander,” by Dexter Filkins, September 30th.
“Now We Are Five,” by David Sedaris, October 28th.
I made a list of 85 different candies I could find names for and then sorted them into different sections based on how I feel about them. The sorting combines how I used to feel about the candies with how I feel about them now. For instance, Skittles used to be one of the A+, number 1 candies to get on Halloween, but now I think about how if you have two different flavored Skittles in your mouth at a time, they cancel each other out and turn into a rancid muck. In making this list, I learned I’m ambivalent about a lot of different kind of candies. That was surprising to me.
Also, a special warning. If something is motivating you to give out Raisinets on Halloween, don’t. They are terrible and you are terrible for thinking about it. Just give out raisins or a toothbrush. If you’re going for it, go for it. Raisinets are an attack on Halloween, and that’s fine, just don’t try to mask your intentions. It’s disingenuous.
Cadbury creme eggs
Reese’s peanut butter cup
I like this
Good & Plenty
York Peppermint Patties
Not bad/Not sure if I’ve had
100 GRAND Bar
Gummi bears or worms
Krackel chocolate bar
Mike and Ike
Now and Later
Sour Patch Kids
If I was starving
Bazooka Bubble Gum
Tootsie Rolls/Tootsie Roll pops
Burn it with fire
Mary Jane Peanut Butter Kisses
Worst candy in existence
The Atlantic has a list of prison lingo, so you know if you go to prisonâ€¦
Hold your mud: To resist informing or snitching even under threat of punishment or violence.
I got jigs: To keep look out or watch for officers, as in “I got jigs while you make that shank.”
In the car: In on a deal or a plan.
Jacket: 1. An inmate’s information file or rap sheet. 2. An inmate’s reputation among other prisoners.
Jack Mack: Canned mackerel or other fish available from the prison commissary. Can be used as currency with other inmates or placed in a sock and used as a weapon.
Jackrabbit parole: To escape from a facility.
Juice card: An inmate’s influence with guards or other prisoners. “He should have gone to the hole for that, but he’s got a juice card with one of the guards.”
Keister: To hide contraband in one’s rectum. Also known as “taking it to the hoop,” “putting it in the safe”and “packing the rabbit.”
Kite: A contraband letter.
Monkey mouth: A prisoner who goes on and on about nothing.
According to my post the other day, they won’t be around long anyway, I guess, but if you do want to be a food reviewer, here are 25 things you should know. This one’s not too bad:
3) The chefs are not your friends, your audience, or your clients. You owe them nothing but your honesty. â€”Jason Sheehan, food editor for Philadelphia magazine and former dining critic for Seattle Weekly and Westword
Back in September (dang I keep browser tabs open entirely too long), Kenji Lopez-Alt at The Food Lab answered 164 reader questions about food (actually, 233 questions!). There’s a TON of stuff in here. This could be a bathroom book. Or a subway book. Or anything that you want to read a little at a time and learn so much. You’ll learn something exciting. Everything is covered, baking, bacon, cooking, cookies, menus, Chris Kimball, eggs… It’s intense.
When I eat dried korean squid (ojinguh) followed by a sip of alcohol, new flavors come out – and it changes depending on the alcohol – whether it’s beer, red wine or something like soju. it’s not just a "beer goes well with salty foods" kind of thing – i’m tasting different things.
Some flavorful compounds are more soluble in alcohol than water or oil. Most likely, these compounds are picked up by the alcoholic vapors and delivered selectively to your nose and soft palate (that’s why I like to add some booze to me chili).
Same question, but this time eating salt-fermented korean squid (ojinguh jeot) followed by tomatoes. there’s a bit of "tomatoes taste good with salt" but there’s definitely something else going on in my mouth
It’s the interaction between glutamates (found abundantly in tomatoes), and inosinates (found in dried fermented fish products). They both trigger an umami reaction in the mouth, but when combined, can be an order of magnitude more powerful, like when the elements combine to bring forth Captain Planet.
The 2012 list of The Worldâ€™s 50 Best Restaurants was announced yesterday.
Here are the top 25:
1) Noma (Copenhagen, Denmark)
2) El Celler de Can Roca (Girona, Spain)
3) Mugaritz (Errenteria, Spain)
4) D.O.M. (São Paulo, Brazil)
5) Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)
6) Per Se (New York)
7) Alinea (Chicago, Illinois)
8) Arzak (San Sebastián, Spain)
9) Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (London, England)
10) Eleven Madison Park (New York)
11) Steirereck (Vienna, Austria)
12) L’Atelier Saint-Germain de Joël Robuchon (Paris, France)
13) The Fat Duck (Bray, England)
14) The Ledbury (London, England)
15) Le Chateaubriand (Paris, France)
16) L’Arpege (Paris, France)
17) Pierre Gagnaire (Paris, France)
18) L’Astrance (Paris, France)
19) Le Bernardin (New York)
20) Frantzén/Lindeberg (Stockholm, Sweden)
21) Oud Sluis (Sluis, Netherlands)
22) Aqua (Wolfsburg, Germany)
23) Vendôme (Bergisch Gladbach, Germany)
24) Mirazur (Menton, France)
25) Daniel (New York)
I somehow missed this when it came out 2 months ago, but BuffaloBeast.com’s 50 Most Loathsome Americans list is a great read every year. Also interesting to see how much has changed with some of the folks on the list since it was published.
12) Donald Trump
Crimes: Besotted by his own garish ignorance, The Donald stumbled into a depth of buffoonery last year which made Gary Busey seem respectably grounded. Like an awful P.T. Barnum with an unkempt raccoon on his head, everything from floating a presidential run, dabbling in birtherism, and trying to moderate a debate (that none of the Republicans were stupid enough to touch) was unadulterated self-promotion aimed at boosting ratings for NBCâ€™s ode to capitalist douchebaggery â€œThe Apprentice.â€
Smoking Gun: â€œI have a great relationship with the blacks.â€
Sentence: Dipped in gold, buried in Ron Paulâ€™s backyard.
In a sign of how long I keep tabs open in my browser, this article about How Republicans are being taught to talk about Occupy Wall Street is from 12/1/11. Frank Luntz, a Republican operative partly for responsible for the success of GOP messaging over the last several years, had a session at a Republican Governors Association meeting and gave a list of 10 dos and don’ts on how to talk about Occupy Wall Street.
6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’
“If you talk about ‘compromise,’ they’ll say you’re selling out. Your side doesn’t want you to ‘compromise.’ What you use in that to replace it with is ‘cooperation.’ It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you’re selling out those principles.”