What I'm Reading, and Watching (Oct. 19)

Related articles

Not content with content
Is the Rat Czar necessary?
Food, Glorious, Food
John Oliver weighs in on Food Safety

“In practical terms, “content creator” neatly accomplishes two things at once: It lets people who make garbage think they’re making art, and tells people who make art that they’re making garbage.”

A musing from the NY Times on part of what was won by the Screen Writers this past month. Emma Thompson Is Right: The Word ‘Content’ Is Rude


Consider this on the subject of our relationship with the other creatures of the world.

“Humans’ relationship with rats is often described as the “war on rats.” But like our wars on drugs and terrorism, the war on rats has proved to be an unwinnable “forever war”—a term popularized, appropriately enough, in a 1974 sci-fi novel about a 1,000-year conflict between humans and an alien species.

It is a brutal war. A recent comment in an online forum about rat-catching captures the rules of engagement: “Worrying about how to kill rats ethically is of concern only to people who do not have a rat problem.” We do things to rats that most of us would find abhorrent, and would often be illegal, if they involved almost any other animal capable of feeling.”

New York City once again declared war on rats; we even have a Rat Czar. Let’s put on the lens we used in considering the plight of the bees to consider the fraught relationship between rats and us. From Hakai Magazine, In Defense of the Rat


“When consumers spend less on food, they tend to have less varied, less healthy diets that rely on cheaper crops like cereals and tubers. Then, with more affluence, we add fruits, vegetables, and meats.”

Who is eating what, in six graphs. From EconLife, Who Spends What on Food?


ACSH has an on-off relationship with John Oliver, who has dissed us in the past based on very old data. But sometimes he is singing our song. That was the case this week when he discussed the problems surrounding food safety caused by a government that is slow to respond and has few lines of accountability.