Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Inclement weather, but great seats, & #CCSabathia pitching a great game! #GoYanks!!!

But, sigh, just lost the no-no... :(

Posted via email from OriginalSpin

Monday, July 25, 2011

MY MASTER LIST OF ASIAN AMERICAN POP MUSIC: A Spotify playlist in progress. As of 7/26/11—3031 tracks by over 190 artists (click for list and links!)

Name of Playlist: "Asian American Means Awesome"

As of July 25, 2011

Number of Tracks: 3031

Number of Artists: Over 190

8PAST – Subliminal Mistakes
8PAST – Tear Stains on Paper
8PAST – Scenes of My Confessions
8PAST – Melonade
8PAST – For Granted
8PAST – Better Days
8PAST – Reflections of Miss E
8PAST – The Day That We Both Died
8PAST – Band Practice
8PAST – Leaving Again
8PAST – With or Without You
8PAST – Simple Pleasures
A+ Dropouts – Someone New
Abigail Washburn – Tibetan Wish
Abigail Washburn – Sala
Abigail Washburn – Dream Seek
Abigail Washburn – Chinese Recess
Abigail Washburn – Song For Mama
Abigail Washburn – Little Birdie
AJ Rafael – Let It Be
AJ Rafael – Emma Watson
AJ Rafael – Emma Watson
AJ Rafael – Red Roses
AJ Rafael – We Could Happen
AJ Rafael – Mess We've Made (feat. Tori Kelly) (Live)
AJ Rafael – Five-Hundred Days
AJ Rafael – She Was Mine (feat. Jesse Barrera)
AJ Rafael – When We Say (feat. Andrew De Torres) (Acoustic)
AJ Rafael – Starlit Nights
AJ Rafael – Here All Alone Pt. 3
AJ Rafael – Without You
Alex Wong & Rachel Platten – Make It Home
Alfa Garcia – Meaningless Conversations
Alyssa Bernal – Hold Me Tight
Alyssa Bernal – Easy
Alyssa Bernal – Cali, Cali, Cali
Alyssa Bernal – Never Woulda
AM – Temporary One
Amerie – Why Don't We Fall In Love
Amerie – Talkin' To Me (Edit)
Amerie – Nothing Like Loving You
Amerie – Can't Let Go
Amerie – Need You Tonight
Amerie – Got To Be There
Amerie – I Just Died
Amerie – Hatin' On You
Amerie – Float
Amerie – Show Me
Amerie – All I Have
Amerie – Outro
Amerie – I'm Coming Out
Amerie – Hate2loveu
Amerie – 1 Thing
Amerie – Why Don't We Fall In Love
Amerie – Touch
Amerie – Gotta Work
Amerie – Talkin' To Me (Edit)
Amerie – Take Control
Amerie – Losing U
Amerie – Talkin' About
Amerie – Just What I Needed To See
Amerie – Take Control - Karmatronic Remix
Amerie – 1 Thing
Amerie – All I Need
Amerie – Touch
Amerie – Not The Only One
Amerie – Like It Used To Be
Amerie – Talkin' About
Amerie – Come With Me
Amerie – Rolling Down My Face
Amerie – Just Like Me
Amerie – Falling
Amerie – Why Don't We Fall In Love - Richcraft Remix
Amerie feat. Carl Thomas – Can We Go
Amerie feat. Carl Thomas – Can We Go
Amerie feat. Eve – 1 Thing - featuring Eve
Android Lust – Heathen (A Thousand Thoughts)
Annie Lin – In the Waiting Room
Annie Lin – Truck Was Struck
Annie Lin – Path of Least Resistance
Annie Lin – Ambulance Driver
Annie Lin – A Lot Like Me
Annie Lin – Whole
Annie Lin – Common Ground
Annie Lin – Secret Me
Apsci – Crazy Crazy Insane
Apsci – Under Control
Apsci – Camera On
Apsci – Easy
Apsci – 'Til The Windows Rattle Off
Apsci – Cubic Zirconia
Apsci – Big Adventures
Apsci – The Dark & Bittersweet End
Apsci – Let's Rip The Town Up
Apsci – Afford Me This Poetry
Apsci – The Tradeoff
Apsci – Swan Swan H
Apsci – Let's Go!!! - Bonus Track
Apsci – Tirade Highway
Apsci – Never Give Up
Apsci – Its Apsci
Apsci – Robosex
Apsci – Anais And Godzilla
Apsci – Runaway
Apsci – Rob The Bank
Apsci – Pep Rally
Apsci – Skip Rope
Apsci – Synth 3po
Apsci – Puttin On The Fitz
Apsci – Cherubic
Apsci – Synth 4po
Apsci – Tirade Highway
Apsci – Never Give Up
Apsci – Bike Messenger Diaries
Apsci – Runaway - Feat. Tunde
Apsci – Voice Print Identification
Apsci – Anais & Godzilla
Apsci – Stompin' - Feat. Pigeon John
Apsci – See That? - Feat. Mr. Lif
Apsci – Cherubic
Apsci – Rob The Bank - Feat. Martin Of Antibalas
Apsci – Robosex
Apsci – Puttin' On The Fitz - Feat. Vursatyl
Apsci – Pep Rally
Arden Cho – I'm Just a Girl
AWOL One – Try
AWOL One – She dances wicked
AWOL One – Life
AWOL One – Kabukibukaki
AWOL One – Mass Distortion
AWOL One – Stitches
AWOL One – Soul Perpose
AWOL One – Know Categories
AWOL One – Demo Killa
AWOL One – Live Rhymes two aka Live Animation
AWOL One – Suite Sixteen
Bai Guang – The Fire Of Love - Shanghai Restoration Project Remix
Bai Hong – Farewell Shasha - Shanghai Restoration Project Remix
Baiyu – B-Side
Baiyu – Sweet Misery
Baiyu – Don’t Cry
Baiyu – Foolish
Baiyu – Tomorrow’s Another Day
Baiyu – Secret Lover
Baiyu – Together
Baiyu – Gone
Baiyu – Alter Ego
Bambu – The Real Thing (Nicolas Matar Cielo Dub)
Bambu – Elevate Your Mind (Cielo Dub)
Bambu – Swing - Feat. Zion I
Bambu – No Fuss
Bambu – Crooks And Rooks
Bambu – Quit
Bambu – Seven Months
Bambu – Life Line
Bambu – Spare Change
Bambu – Crooks & Rooks
Bambu – Like Us
Bambu – Out The Gate
Bambu – Party Boy
Bambu – Misused
Bambu – Lifeline
Bambu – Exact Change
Bambu – Iron Bam
Bambu – A Dollar
Bambu – Iron Sheik
Bambu – Menacing Looks (with Krondon)
Bambu – America
Bambu – Rather Die In La
Bambu – The Arrival
Bambu – Jonah's Lament
Bambu – I Scream
Bambu – Chairman Mao
Bambu – The Love
Bambu – Pull It Back
Bambu – Truth Serum
Bambu – The Morning After
Bambu – Riches To Rags - Feat. Kronik Plague
Bambu – Fuck Yeah
Bambu – Beach Cruising
Bambu – Crack Talk - Feat. Roscoe Umali And Eye A Sage
Bambu – Home Cooked - Feat. Geologic, Kiwi, And Kuttin Kandi
Bambu – Guerra - Feat. Quetzal
Bambu – Life In Rewind
Bambu – Nicole
Bambu – Jeepney - Feat. Farmer John
Bambu – Always All Day
Bambu – East L.A. Story - Feat. Panama
Bambu – Gunshots - Feat. Kiwi
Bambu – Self Untitled (Am I)
Bambu – Gamble Of Life
Bambu – Fabric - Feat. Ashkan & Faniks
Bambu – Problems
Bambu – Boomshot
Bambu – Circles
Bambu – My Oshun
Bambu – Iwa Pwele
Bambu – Peaceful Pistols - Feat. Kiwi
Bambu – Yesterday
Bambu – Talking Coffins
Bambu – Esu
Bambu – Ballad For Simone
Bambu – My People
Bambu – Herman Munster
Bambu – Holes In My Soul - Feat. Faniks
Bambu – Rear View
Bambu – Open Door
Bambu – Soul Adventurer
Bambu – Conscious People
Bambu – Like The Sun
Bambu – Bambu Jam
Bambu – Roots
Bambu – Afternoon Tea
Bambu – Night Is On Fire
Bambu – Why Yo
Bambu – Crude Dub
Bambu – Somebody
Bastion – Suga
Benny Mao – Expat
Benny Mao – Uncertain
Benny Mao – Grayer Part Of Life
Benny Mao – Indebted
Benny Mao – Her Innocence
Benny Mao – Welcome Rain
Benny Mao – Angst
Benny Mao – Surreality
Benny Mao – Find A Reason
Benny Mao – Identity
Benny Mao – Don't You Worry
Benny Mao – Goodbye Shanghai
Big Phony – Beautiful The Freak
Big Phony – Holiday Bust
Big Phony – Parade In My Head
Big Phony – Push
Big Phony – Parable
Big Phony – The Last Day Of The Season
Big Phony – The Girl By The Bridge (Silent Film)
Big Phony – Everything-Always
Big Phony – Dying Unaware
Big Phony – Someone
Big Phony – Words That Define
Big Phony – Talk Of The Town
Big Phony – I Love Lucy
Big Phony – Girls Like You Don't Go For Guys Like Me
Big Phony – Proof By Name
Big Phony – The Bully
Big Phony – Here's To The Laughable State
Big Phony – Still No. 1
Big Phony – Fix Or Providence
Big Phony – How To Die
Big Phony – Fifteen Minutes
Big Phony – All In A Day (Studio Take)
Big Phony and The Sweet Hurt – So You Know It Completely
Blackalicious – A To G
Blackalicious – Clockwork
Blackalicious – Rock The Spot
Blackalicious – Back To The Essence
Blackalicious – Deception
Blackalicious – Alphabet Aerobics
Blackalicious – Blazing Arrow
Blackalicious – Sky Is Falling
Blackalicious – First In Flight
Blackalicious – Greenlight: Now Begin
Blackalicious – Green Light: Now Begin
Blackalicious – 4000 Miles
Blackalicious – Nowhere Fast
Blackalicious – It's Going Down
Blackalicious – Brain Washers
Blackalicious – Brain Washers Featuring Ben Harper
Blackalicious – Chemical Calisthenics
Blackalicious – Chemical Calisthenics Featuring Cut Chemist of Jurassic 5
Blackalicious – Aural Pleasure
Blackalicious – Purest Love
Blackalicious – Release
Blackalicious – Release Featuring Saul Williams, and Lyrics Born
Blackalicious – Day One
Blackalicious – World Of Vibrations
Blackalicious – Supreme People
Blackalicious – Rhythm Sticks
Blackalicious – Powers
Blackalicious – Your Move
Blackalicious – Lotus Flower
Blackalicious – My Pen And Pad
Blackalicious – Side To Side
Blackalicious – Automatique
Blackalicious – The Fall & Rise Of Elliot Brown
Blackalicious – Black Diamonds And Pearls
Blackalicious – Give It To You
Blackalicious – Ego Sonic War Drums
Blackalicious – The Craft
Blackalicious – The Fabulous Ones
Blackalicious – Do This My Way
Blackalicious – Deception
Blackalicious – A To G
Blackalicious – Cliff Hanger
Blackalicious – Shallow Days
Blackalicious – You Didn't Know That Though
Blackalicious – If I May
Blackalicious – Dream Seasons
Blackalicious – Trouble
Blackalicious – Smithsonian Institute Of Rhyme
Blackalicious – As The World Turns
Blackalicious – Reanimation
Blackalicious – Beyonder
Blackalicious – Making Progress
Blackalicious – Sleep
Blip Blip Bleep – Alarm Clock, Snooze Bar, Get Up
Blip Blip Bleep – Da Me Cinco
Blip Blip Bleep – Street Lights
Blip Blip Bleep – Okay Lover
Blip Blip Bleep – Human
Blip Blip Bleep – Ctrl - Alt - Del
Blip Blip Bleep – Rock - Intro
Blip Blip Bleep – Freak You Out
Blip Blip Bleep – Already Pretty
Blip Blip Bleep – Don't Forget
Blip Blip Bleep – Like Track Stars
Blip Blip Bleep – Broken String
Blip Blip Bleep – A Letter To Elise
Blip Blip Bleep – Rewrite The Scenes
Blip Blip Bleep – Rock - Reprise
Blip Blip Bleep – Freak You Out - Nic Hard Remix
Blip Blip Bleep – Rock - Shanghai Restoration Project Remix
Blip Blip Bleep – A Little While Longer
Blip Blip Bleep – Anime Eyes
Blip Blip Bleep – Wireless
Blip Blip Bleep – Rust In The Gears
Blip Blip Bleep – Stars
Blue Scholars – Cinemetropolis
Blue Scholars – Hussein
Blue Scholars – Fou Lee
Blue Scholars – Lalo Schifrin
Blue Scholars – Seijun Suzuki
Blue Scholars – Anna Karina
Blue Scholars – Marion Sunshine
Blue Scholars – Slick Watts
Blue Scholars – George Jackson
Blue Scholars – Oskar Barnack ∞ Oscar Grant
Blue Scholars – Yuri Kochiyama
Blue Scholars – Rani Mukerji
Blue Scholars – Tommy Chong
Blue Scholars – Chief Sealth
Blue Scholars – Fin
Blue Scholars – Fire For The People
Brian Hong – Musing
Brian Hong – Run
Brian Hong – Puzzle
Brian Hong – Hope
Brian Hong – For What It Is
Bruce Shimabukuro – Tokada
Bruno Mars – Grenade
Bruno Mars – Just The Way You Are
Bruno Mars – Our First Time
Bruno Mars – Runaway Baby
Bruno Mars – The Lazy Song
Bruno Mars – Marry You
Bruno Mars – Talking To The Moon
Bruno Mars – Liquor Store Blues - feat. Damian Marley
Bruno Mars – Count On Me
Bruno Mars – The Other Side - Feat. Cee Lo Green and B.o.B
bwan – Intro
bwan – Intro
bwan – Wake The Fuck Up featuring BeatsMe
bwan – Wake The Fuck Up featuring BeatsMe
bwan – 09 Is Mine
bwan – 09 Is Mine
bwan – Golden Years featuring Denizen Kane
bwan – Golden Years featuring Denizen Kane
bwan – Go 2 Ur Head
bwan – Go 2 Ur Head
bwan – Beat Breaks Not Wives featuring DJ Delrokz
bwan – Beat Breaks Not Wives featuring DJ Delrokz
bwan – Liar Liar featuring Mandeep Sethi
bwan – Liar Liar featuring Mandeep Sethi
bwan – O.G. featuring Mr. Rey
bwan – O.G. featuring Mr. Rey
bwan – Hooked featuring Emassin & MC Humble
bwan – Hooked featuring Emassin & MC Humble
Carol Bui – Mira: You're Free With Me
Carol Bui – Before We're Vaporized
Carol Bui – Baladi
Carol Bui – 'geisha' Means 'Open-minded'
Carol Bui – Hafla/joy
Carol Bui – Hayati Inta
Carol Bui – Evy Reina
Carol Bui – Xoxo
Carol Bui – Highlights
Cate Song – Fear Song
Cate Song – Rest Of My Life
Cate Song – Image
Cate Song – As I Am
Cate Song – Love Is A Tricky Thing
Cate Song – When I Close My Eyes
Cate Song – Still
Cate Song – Won't You Help Me
Cathy Nguyen – Perfect (feat. Cathy Nguyen)
Ch'i – Mistaken (Alix Alvarez Remix)
Chan – Big In Japan - Feat. Reks
Chan – Chronic Whisper
Chan – Combat Zone
Chan – What It Is - Feat. Shuman & M-flo
Chan – Politickin' With Chan
Chan – Explosion - Feat. Akrobatik, C-rayz Walz & Breez Evahflowin'
Chan – Part Of The Nation
Chan – Set It Off
Chan – Part Of The Nation
Chan – Tick Talk
Chan – Clap Ya Hands - The Three-Mix, Feat: Akrobatik & Ripshop
Chan – What It Is - Feat: Shuman & M-flo
Chan – Hung Tu Lo
Chan – Minor Keys
Chan – No Regrets
Chan – Player Rage (Skit)
Chan – Ode To Chickens
Chan – My Little Corner
Chan – Breathe Deeply - Feat: Singapore
Chan – Radio Wars
Chan – I Feel Sorry For Your Mother
Chan – Shoutro
Chan – Big In Japan
Chan – Combat Zone
Chan – What It Is? - Feat: M-flo & Shuman
Chan – Part Of The Nation
Chan – Hung Tu Lo
Chan – No Regrets
Chan – My Little Corner
Chan – Radio Wars
Chan – I Feel Sorry For Your Mother
Chan – Get Up
Chan – Lonely Road
Chan – In-it-2-win-it - Feat: Rook & Natural
Chan – 4, 5, 6. - Feat: Prophecy & Tiago
Chan – Street Legends Feat: Singapore Kane
Chan – Leave You Feat: Christina Chung
Chan – Leave You Feat: Christina Chung
Chan – Vengeance - Feat: Gza, Jus Allah, And Bomshot
Charice – And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going)
Charice – Pyramid - Featuring Iyaz Album Version
Charice – It Can Only Get Better
Charice – Reset
Charice – I Will Always Love You
Charice – In This Song
Charice – Born To Love You Forever
Charice – Nobody's Singin' To Me
Charice – I Have Nothing
Charice – Thank You
Charice – Mama
Charice – I Love You
Charice – And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going) [Minus One]
Charice – In Love So Deep
Charice – All That I Need To Survive
Charice – Nothing
Charice – The Truth Is
Charice – Did It For You
Charice – Mama [Minus One]
Charice – Louder
Charice – Lost The Best Thing
Charice – Note To God
Charice – One Day
Charice – Pyramid - Barry Harris Club
Chester See – Invisible
Chester See – Living the Good Life
Chester See – Who Will Be Our Superhero
Chester See – Love Is Now
Chester See – So Goodbye (This Time Lies Won't Explain)
Chester See – Baby Come Home
Chester See – High
Chester See – My Time Has Come (Live)
Chester See – Tonight I Know
Chester See – This Song
Chester See – Under My Breath
Chester See – Hold On
Chester See – Everything
Chester See – Why Won't You Smile
Chester See, Kevjumba & Ryan Higa – Nice Guys
The Chinkees – Signature
The Chinkees – Big World
The Chinkees – Run Away
The Chinkees – Crowded Forum
The Chinkees – Trophy Winner
The Chinkees – Breathe Out The Fight
The Chinkees – Ultraman
The Chinkees – Justice
The Chinkees – Christmas
The Chinkees – T.J. Song
The Chinkees – Japanese Exchange Student
The Chinkees – The Purpose Of Education
The Chinkees – Through My Heart
The Chinkees – Back To Drive
The Chinkees – San Toki
The Chinkees – Will I Have A Chance?
The Chinkees – Clouding Up My Storm
The Chinkees – 1980's Drowning Me
The Chinkees – Heart + Me
The Chinkees – Run For Help
The Chinkees – Present Day Memories
The Chinkees – Noise Around
The Chinkees – Market Place

Posted via email from OriginalSpin

Friday, July 22, 2011

David Sedaris thinks Chinese people (and food) are repulsive, which makes me sad, because I used to like David Sedaris.


What do you do when a literary idol decides to take a huge metaphorical dump on the culture and civilization from whence your ancestors emerged? I'm not sure I've figured out the answer to that question yet. Because master mock-and-droller David Sedaris, who's unequivocally one of the great essayists of our time and a personal favorite of mine, has chosen to take his parodic talent and point it at China, its people and its food. Except the piece he's written for the U.K.'s Guardian newspaper is less amusing than it is venomous, xenophobic and dissipated.

Which, to be fair, describes many of his genuinely funny essays as well.

The difference, I think, is that in his adventures in France, Japan and, well, Raleigh, North Carolina, he is usually as self-deprecating as he is other-; he comes off as a general, equal-opportunity misanthrope in the classic Molièrean vein. He also actually bothers to create human characters and enliven them with dialogue, and often wit — they become his comic foils, or he theirs, in a widening outspiral of mannered absurdity.

Not so here. Sedaris announces from the outset that he dislikes Chinese food — "I'll eat it if the alternative means starving" — and thinks of visiting China itself as an unpleasant prospect: "'I have to go to China.' I told people this in the way I might say, 'I need to insulate my crawl space' or, 'I've got to get these moles looked at.' That's the way it felt, though. Like a chore."

But he goes anyway, after spending a week in vastly more civilized (but no less exotic) Tokyo — which he describes as sublime, delicate, and sanitary. And then, China. China, as described by Sedaris, is a land of phlegm-hawking savages who eat animals that no right thinking person would consume, and eat parts of those animals that no sane person would consider, preparing and presenting them in the most foul and revolting fashion possible. Also, Chinese people shit everywhere, they practically bathe in the stuff, and of course they have no problem eating shit, or at least things that eat shit. 

In fact, shit, in its many forms — stinking, floating, abandoned, stepped in or, in his mind, coyly tucked into entrees — ends up being the closest thing Sedaris finds to be the satirical counter his prose always seeks out. He and shit engage in a kind of capoiera-like combat ballet throughout the 2700-odd word piece (though mucus and urine do occasionally enter the fray); by the middle of the piece, Sedaris's preoccupation has become less shocking than annoying, and by its final throes, less annoying than tedious. (He's brilliantly noted before that "Shit is the tofu of cursing and can be molded to whichever condition the speaker desires"; the larding-up of his narrative here with shit references points to what this essay really is, e.g., bulk filler with limited taste and nutritional value.)

So look, David: Chinese people eat weird food. There is a saying that "Chinese will eat anything with its back to the sky," and another that says "Chinese will eat anything with legs but a table and anything with wings but an airplane." These are Chinese sayings, I might point out — a sign that Chinese aren't exactly unaware that the "delicacies" that send prim Westerners off to their fainting couches are a little off the beaten path. But Chinese are far from the only culture that eats weird food, and fuck, given that you're from North Carolina, have you looked at what American Southerners traditionally eat? No? Chitlins! Possum! Muskrat! Bull testicles! Oh wait, you're from suburban Raleigh, so probably not, given that most of the more exotic dishes in Southern cuisine, like in most culinary traditions, was the offspring of necessity — invention midwived by destitution. If you're hungry enough, rodents will start to look tasty, as will chicken claws, stray innards and balls. And once you've eaten them long enough, all these things evolve into nostalgic signifiers — especially after you've pulled yourself out of poverty. They go from things you have to eat all the time to things you choose to eat once in a while, to remind yourself you don't have to eat them all the time anymore. 

And this is what's truly ugly about your piece, David: For someone who's spent a lot of your career puncturing middle-class aspiration and self-delusion, your essay is unpleasantly blind to the fact that all of China is just a few generations removed from dire, desperate want, and that many people, like the peasant family you had such a bad experience sharing a meal with, continue to subsist on an annual income that's a tiny fraction of what a sophisticated awesome American literary superstar like you loses in his sofa. In a country of 1.3 billion people, even having braised pig's stomach to occasionally go with your daily rice is a fucking luxury.

But you should note: Those 1.3 billion people has a standard of living that's skyrocketing upward. They're crawling up and out of the economic muck, while we seem determined to drag ourselves down into it. And more and more of them are learning English and traveling abroad and reading international newspapers like the Guardian. So, just sayin': The next time you're eating at a fancy New York restaurant near a table of tourists from Shanghai...maybe you shouldn't turn your back on your Coke.

Posted via email from OriginalSpin

Monday, July 18, 2011

Also, bad journalism may cause ignorance? Fisking "MSG May Cause Weight Gain—Chinese Food Worse Than McDonald's"


Nothing irritates me quite so much in lifestyle journalism than the breathless Consumption Red Alert feature — that "investigative health reporting" staple in which a statistics-blind editorialist takes a survey or study out of context, misinterprets or inappropriately frames its conclusions, and backs it up with irrelevant quotes and facts or deliberate distortions in order to warn of some terrifying phenomenon. This article is a prime example. As Simone Walters writes for FYILiving: OH NOES MSG MAY CAUSE WEIGHT GAIN! CHINESE FOOD "WORSE THAN MCDONALD'S!"

How many ways can I rip this article a new one? Let's go line by line:

  • "Many items on a typical Chinese food restaurant menu are more than 1,000 calories. That’s half your caloric intake per day in just one meal": First of all, you're not talking about Chinese food, you're talking about Chinese American food — takeout stuff that bears the same resemblance to "typical" Chinese food as McRibs do to, well, ribs. But even giving Walters the benefit of the doubt here, Chinese food is not meant to be single-serving by definition. It's eaten family style, which means a few containers should serve four people. Only Americans embrace a one-dish-per-person concept for Chinese food, but I suppose the headline "Typical Manner in Which Americans Eat Fake Chinese Food May Cause Weight Gain" doesn't really grab pageviews, does it?
  • "According to a recently published study, MSG (monosodium glutamate), a flavor enhancer most often associated with Chinese food, may also contribute to weight gain.": First of all, MSG is in virtually every processed, packaged food, under names like glutacyl, autolyzed yeast extract, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, textured vegetable protein, plant protein extract and yeast extract. And while Chinese (and Japanese, and Koreans, and many Southeast Asians) have used it as a seasoning for centuries, the quantity usually used is minimal — it's a finisher, not a primary taste ingredient. There's usually less MSG in even crappy Chin-eez™ takeout than there is in Cheetos, for crying out loud. (Note: Link is to an MSG hysteria site.)
  • "The study measured the dietary MSG intake of 10,095 Chinese adults in order to determine if there was an association between MSG intake and obesity. The study found that participants who consumed the most MSG were 28 percent more likely to be overweight compared to those who consumed the least amount of MSG.": The first rule of Statistics Fight Club? Don't talk about Statistics Fight Club. The second rule? "Correlation does not imply causation." Repeat after me: CORRELATION DOES NOT IMPLY CAUSATION. There may well be an "association" between MSG intake and obesity, but is it because obese people eat more crappy junk food that contains MSG, or is it because MSG causes obesity?

    It gets worse. In FYILiving's own reporting on the study, linked to by Walters, "A survey in the 1990s estimated an average intake of 580 mg/d [of MSG[ for the general population in the United Kingdom. It was, however, two-folds higher in Japan and Korea." The U.K. is 28th on Forbes's list of the fattest countries in the world; Korea is 123rd and Japan is is 163rd. So does this imply that MSG consumption prevents obesity? Nope. But that would be an equally valid (that is to say, invalid) conclusion based on the evidence cited by FYILiving.

    But again, the study itself doesn't suggest that MSG causes obesity — merely that high levels of MSG in the diet of some Chinese consumers is associated with obesity. Now, let's consider what this means. The study was performed in China — an emerging market undergoing a rapid and wholesale societal transformation, in which a rise in affluence is an enormous factor and changing diet is a significant outcome. Given that MSG is in nearly all processed foods, and consumption of processed foods in emerging markets is directly correlated with rising household income, wouldn't it be more likely that the study was measuring the degree to which wealthy people in China can afford to eat junk food? Because, in direct contradiction to Simone Walters' ultimate conclusion, the less affluent people in that study are more likely to be eating Chinese food (as opposed to Western food) — not less. Chinese food is what Chinese people eat when they can't afford McRibs. And in China, as in most emerging markets, chronic obesity is positively correlated with household income (note: PDF link to Youfa Wang's seminal work on Chinese obesity and socioeconomic status). 

  • The final kicker? "A major limitation of this study was regarding the accuracy of the MSG measurement. Like other food additives the intake of monosodium glutamate was difficult to measure accurately. The fact that only a few people had a high body mass index made it inconvenient to establish a straightforward link between obesity and MSG consumption.": In short, the study was drastically flawed in both input and outcome, and the fundamental characteristics of the pool used for research made it "inconvenient" to establish the very conclusion Simone Walters is asserting in blaring headline font in her article. So, move along, nothing to see here, people, but thanks for the clickthrough.
  • It would be remiss of me not to suggest how one might actually design a study to test a direct causative link between MSG consumption and obesity, so here goes: Take several groups of healthy adults of similar age and body mass index but diverse racial/ethnic background; make one a control group given a healthy but otherwise unrestricted diet (e.g., eat as much as you want), and give the other ones an identical diet, except add MSG to their dishes in varying controlled dosages. Keep them on their diets for six months. If there's more weight gain among the MSG groups than the control group, you have a good case for correlation. if there's a scalable effect (e.g. groups consuming more MSG had greater weight gain) then you have a good case for causation. Is that so hard, people? 

I should note that I saw this article on the website of the Wall Street Journal and clicked on it mistakenly thinking it was actual WSJ content. It's not — it's "sponsor content," which nevertheless appears in the same presentation format and font as actual WSJ articles, but represents fodder from "the OneSpot Content Exchange, a paid-distribution network of sponsors" whose "publishers have paid to have their links appear."

Whether it's a good idea for the Journal to be renting out its diminishing credibility to content farmers is a blogpost for another day. 

Posted via email from OriginalSpin

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Ah, what might have been: @CNN's SpitzerWeiner—Politics Exposed.

A girl can dream.

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Friday, July 01, 2011

Ballmer and Jobs #2: Under Development.

Further adventures of the dynamic duo.


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