Food and Drink

Dog Meat is Hot

Dog Food

I’ve never had the urge to sample dog meat, probably for the same reason that I am mostly a vegetarian. I’ve lived on a farm, so I have an inkling of an idea where meat comes from: pig meat, cow meat, even chicken flesh all originates from the body of a friendly critter. In the US anyway, most of our meat comes from factory farms.

THOSE who hope to taste dog meat when they visit Beijing for this summer’s Olympics may be disappointed. The Beijing Catering Trade Association has ordered all 112 designated Olympic restaurants to take dog off the menu, and has strongly advised other establishments to stop serving it until September. Waiters have been urged to “patiently” suggest alternative dishes to customers who ask for dog. It’s all part of a wider campaign to avoid offending foreigners during the Games. (Beijingers have also been told to line up nicely, to stop spitting and even to avoid asking tourists questions about their ages, salaries and love lives.)

The order is not likely to bother many residents. Though dogs have been raised for food in China for thousands of years, you have to hunt around to find the meat on modern menus. Certain regions, like Hunan and Guizhou Provinces, are known for their canine predilections — but even in these places, dog is a relative rarity. And in Beijing itself, you hardly find it except in a few Korean and regional Chinese restaurants.

Dog eating, in any case, tends to be a seasonal pursuit. According to Chinese folk dietetics, which classify every food according to its heating and cooling properties, dog is one of the “hottest” meats around, best eaten in midwinter, when you need warmth and vital energy, not in sultry August.

That eating dog is seen as an issue says more about Western preoccupations than Chinese habits. Since time immemorial, Westerners have had a morbid fascination with the weird fringes of the Chinese diet. Marco Polo noted with distaste that the Chinese liked eating snake and dog; modern Western journalists just love to get their teeth into a juicy story about some revolting delicacy like the assorted animal penises served at the Guolizhuang restaurant in Beijing. And for gung-ho foreign tourists, a skewerful of deep-fried scorpions in the night market in central Beijing has become a rite of passage.

[From In Beijing, It’s Too Hot for Dog on the Menu – Fuchsia Dunlop –]

Spectators in Ketchikan

Speaking on that topic, there’s a show dedicated to such conspicuous consumption of oddities called Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmer (blog here). We watched several one day, an oddly fascinating travel show.


Squatters: Obama’s In-box

This cracks me up.

July 27, 2004, a friend invited Guru Raj to create a Google e-mail account. A recent graduate of the University of Virginia, Raj, then twenty-one, was watching the Democratic National Convention on a television in his parents’ basement, in Norcross, Georgia. The beta version of Gmail—available by invitation only—was less than four months old at the time, and largely unproved, but Raj’s U.V.A. e-mail account was set to expire in a few weeks, so he decided to give Gmail a try.

At first, Raj tried to create an address using his own name, but, remarkably, both and were already taken. So he tried the name of the young senator from Illinois who was giving the Democratic keynote address on TV. To his surprise, it worked, and, moments later, was quietly born. “I’m not some cute little Indian boy who grew up in America with political aspirations,” Raj, the first in his family to be born an American citizen, said recently. “I just thought it would be kind of funny to create an e-mail address based on a random senator whose name no one could spell.”

Over the next four years, as Gmail became the third most popular Webmail provider in the U.S. and Obama became a serious contender for the next President of the United States, Raj used the account for his personal e-mail. In the fall of 2006, he received, for the first time, a message intended for the Senator. By February, 2007, when Obama formally announced his candidacy, Raj was daily receiving dozens of misdirected notes from all over the world.

[Click to read more of Squatters: Obama’s In-box: The Talk of the Town: The New Yorker]

I’ll bet a lot of crazy stuff gets sent to that email address.


Blind and Evil

The Dark Lord, Robert Novak, apparently didn’t notice he had run over a pedestrian, and kept going, even though the victim was on Novak’s car. Sounds like a hit and run to me.

Robert Novak says he has been issued a $50 citation after hitting a pedestrian while driving in downtown Washington.

Witnesses say the collision occurred about 10 a.m. Wednesday as the 77-year-old Novak was traveling near K Street in his black Chevrolet Corvette.

Novak tells WJLA-TV he was cited for failing to yield the right of way. He says he didn’t realize what happened and continued driving until a bicyclist stopped him.

David Bono, the bicyclist who witnessed the incident, told The Associated Press that the pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk and was splayed across Novak’s windshield.

[From The Raw Story | Video: Columnist Robert Novak issued citation after hitting pedestrian]

Novakula in a black Corvette sounds appropriate somehow. Novak shouldn’t be allowed to mingle with humans.

TalkLeft adds:

The bicyclist was David Bono, a partner at Harkins Cunningham, who was on his usual bike commute to work at 1700 K St. N.W.when he witnessed the accident.

As he traveled east on K Street, crossing 18th, Bono said a “black Corvette convertible with top closed plowed into the guy. The guy is sort of splayed onto the windshield.”

Bono said that the pedestrian, who was crossing the street on a “Walk” signal and was in the crosswalk, rolled off the windshield and that Novak then made a right into the service lane of K Street. “The car is speeding away. What’s going through my mind is, you just can’t hit a pedestrian and drive away,” Bono said.


Wisconsin Crazy for Brett Favre

Visible to visitors to/from Roswell

ELEVA, Wis. – Carlene and Duane Schultz decided to use Brett Favre’s image in their corn maze after he announced his retirement in the spring. And even though Favre’s desire to be released from the Packers has created controversy, Carlene Schultz thinks people will be open to going through the maze when it opens Sept. 1.

The maze at Schultz’s Country Barn in Eleva reads “thanks” and shows Favre’s upper body holding a football, with his No. 4 jersey.

[From Wisconsin family creates maze to thank Brett Favre – Yahoo! News]

I still hate football.