Aló Presidente

I wonder if, just as every Apple CEO from now on will have to pull on a black turtleneck once a month and demonstrate electronic gadgets like some kind of avant-garde door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, the new president of Venezuela will have to wear a red Oxford shirt for a three-hour television rant every Sunday.

The People Versus George Lucas

There’s this movie that Netflix keeps recommending to me: The People Versus George Lucas. It’s a documentary about where fans (represented in this film by greasy, overweight American Studies majors) think Lucas went wrong with the Star Wars franchise, particularly with the special edition remastering of the original trilogy and his treatment of the new […]


Since tomato sauce and pasta post-date the Roman Empire, I’ve often wondered what ancient Romans ate. One staple of their cuisine was garum, a fermented fish sauce. Some researchers on a PBS show were trying out a batch of homemade. I have a book a about the rise of sugar as a commodity and its […]