Friday, February 27, 2015

Wild is Life

I am a giraffe whisperer. And I got snuffleupagused by a baby elephant.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NL Zim updates

More updates from Zim done in film

Kane also has a great blog update on the NL site.  

I wish I had time for such things....


My friend and culinary diplomacy colleague Sam Chapple-Sokol has a great piece on the recent gastrojingoism controversy that France invented "le gastrodiplomatie."

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


난에서 인용 한국어 위장 외교에 큰 조각에 매거진을 렌더링하고!김치를 전달합니다!

I am quoted in Render: Feminist Food & Culture Quarterly on a great piece on Korean gastrodiplomacy! Pass the kimchi!

Monday, February 09, 2015

NL Bangladesh Video

A Great vid of Dhaka Days

The Diplomacy of Dune; the last meter

"Often, I must speak otherwise than I think.  That is called diplomacy."
-Frank Herbert, Dune Messiah

And other public diplomacy thoughts: I wonder if U.S. public diplomacy efforts of connecting on "the last three feet" are hindered by the fact that everyone uses the metric system ("The last meter?").  Only three countries don't use the metric system: America, Liberia and Burma.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Friday, February 06, 2015


“Rocinante was of more value for a true traveller than a jet plane. Jet planes were for business men.” ― Graham Greene, "Monsignor Quixote"

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

The View from Athens

This Odysseus arrived to Greece at a rather auspicious juncture--when the Fates of Pelop's land are swirling about.

My arrival to Athens coincided with the fallout of the Greek elections, in which the Syriza Party swept the Greek elections, and with it changed the tone in direction of the country.

Since the Greek economic crisis hit, the country has been in a period of austerity imposed upon it by the Troika (IMF, ECB, European Commission) and it has devastated the economic and social fabric of the country.

To be sure, there has been some positive outcomes from the transparency that the post-crisis reforms have enacted, but on the whole Greece has been suffering.

Yet with the stirring election results, the Greek people voted against the continuing policies of austerity--delivering a clear mandate to Syriza; the Greek people rose their democratic voice to declare a clear message to the EU that the austerity policies will not be continued.

There is a feeling in Greece post-election that the country again has a say in its affairs.  That it won't be dictated to from afar, but that its people will have a say in the economic direction of the country.

And there is a realization that Greece now has leverage.  Greece has become a voice of change for Europe's Southern countries--those who have suffered through austerity for the last few years.
With elections coming in Spain and other parts of Europe that have similarly been under austerity, and the rise in the polls of parties similar to Syriza like Podemos in Spain, it is the European Union that is now afraid:

The election of a radical-left Syriza-led government in Greece on Jan. 25 has electrified European politics. After years of being told that there is no alternative to bowing to German demands for crushing austerity and wage cuts, the plucky Greeks have dared to stand up to Angela Merkel’s government in Berlin — and other Europeans have stood up and noticed. While the immediate focus is on the showdown between the new Greek government and eurozone authorities over demands for debt relief — and the (unlikely) possibility that Greece could end up ejected from the currency union — Athenian defiance is already having wider political repercussions.
Long accustomed to treating Greece as an unruly but ultimately submissive colony, horrified German policymakers and their eurozone minions can scarcely believe that it is in outright insurrection.
Syriza has been showing some deft gamesmanship in showing that it will not accept "business-as-usual" of economic diktats to Greece by the Troika, but rather will be a partner in the solution to this long-festering malaise.

Called "the rock star finance minister," Greece's new Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis comes to the negotiating table in a leather jacket in contrast to the staid suit-and-tie Eurocrats, bringing pro-growth economic proposals that stand as similarly in contrast as his attire.  More importantly, he has been visiting capitals across Europe to shore up support for Greece from like-minded partners.  Greece is playing the game again, not just sitting back and accepting terms of economic surrender.

The tables have turned, and Greece has leverage, because a "Grexit" spells more doom for the European integration project than it does for Athens.  If the EU cannot keep Greece in the fold, it shows that the process of European integration can indeed be reversed.  Already there are hints from the European Commission that the Troika group may be scrapped.

It has been a fascinating time to watch real democracy unfold from the place of its birth.

Goldberg, Iceburg

What's the difference?

Latin/Latinos, same vein.  Vermont considered a Latin motto, and commenters said it should be deported (to Rome!)

On second thought, maybe we do need less vaccinations....

Monday, February 02, 2015


"But one thing no man can hide is ravening hunger, a cursed plague that brings men plenty of trouble. Oared ships are even launched because of it, bringing evil to enemies on the waves."

Gaul Gall

Wow, France claims to have invented 'gastrodiplomatie.'

And I quote:
Au passage, le locataire du Quai-d’Orsay a inventé un nouveau concept : la "gastrodiplomatie".

Look, I love France.  I love its cheese; I love its wine; I love its people.  But for the venerable Quai-d'Orsay to claim they invented gastrodiplomacy is beyond laughable.  Right.  And I invented the croissant.

I am going to have to take France to The Hague for Crimes against Gastrodiplomacy.  ICJ, here I come.