No Complaints #115: Salad, Souls and Stacks of Cheese

Hello everybody. Small housekeeping note: I'm going away next week so there will be no newsletter. Struggle on without me until 4 August BUT make sure you've got tickets to come and see Anna and I doing our very first live SRSLY episode at the Shoutout Festival in London on 5 August at midday. There are loads of other great shows performing too - do come along.

Things to read

“A green salad is a great friend to the home cook. Once you’re deep into making dinner, figuring out how to also get a fresh vegetable on the table can seem impossible. Enter the simple green salad. Just a serving of fresh leaves, it doesn’t need much more than a vinaigrette, but if you like the taste and colour that come with a sprinkle of shredded carrots, finely sliced onions or diced tomato, they absolutely belong in your bowl.”

You might think that you know how to make salad, but after you've read this, you will realise that no, you don't. Email to Pocket.


“One thing about living for a very short time in a new place where you don’t know anyone and don’t go into an office is that you should definitely feel extremely terrible all the time about not having close friends yet. That’s what I did, and I would recommend it to anyone — it makes you very fun and approachable. When the barista, who wasn’t as instantly warm as other people in the South and therefore the most appropriate target for my friendship, said that she liked my dress, I naturally, normally, and maturely started to picture a life built entirely around it. .”

I am about to move city, so obviously I have been looking at a lot of clothes on the internet to work out what kind of person I will be in my new location (for instance). Email to Pocket.


“In 1987, when the program debuted, there was no, so your imagination could run wild. From the moment you saw the box the floppy discs came in, with it's friendly and businesslike female figurehead, the narrative seemed to write itself: Mavis seemed to be a professional lady in Reagan's 1980s. She'd risen to such excellence as a speedy and accurate typist — at the UN maybe? — that now it was time for her to pass on her technique to her fellow Americans. ”

I learned to type from this programme, and I'm a bit sad to learn that Mavis Beacon wasn't real. Email to Pocket.


“Spotify is currently striving for a never-before-seen level of authority over how music is distributed, discovered, and paid/not-paid for. Its ultimate goal is seemingly to build brand loyalty in the 'magic' of Spotify, to embolden that authority. Playlists are the top tool they are currently employing to expand their platform empire. To interrogate the world of playlists is to interrogate the world of Spotify and its unprecedented grab for power and control in music. ”

Music stats nerds assemble: this is an excellent, very detailed, explainer of how the playlists on Spotify work. (Spoiler: it's all to do with capitalism.) Email to Pocket.


“The motif of the stack of cheese, however, also appears with other foods where such associations cannot apply, and in any case is much stranger on the eye than a domestic context would suggest. In the Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds, and Pretzels, the semicircle of Gouda, the wedge of Edam, and the hexagon of sheep’s cheese present an interplay of geometries, in two and three dimensions, made more complex by the facets and fissures caused by the knife. ”

The art history behind paintings of cheese. Email to Pocket.


Things to listen to

I wrote a piece about the explosion of Game of Thrones podcasts this week, for which I listened to many, many such shows. My favourite one, after all of that, was Game of Thrones: The Podcast. It had the best balance of host chit-chat, serious show analysis and plot speculaton, and is very nicely produced. Obviously, it's full of spoilers, but that's mostly the point.


Things to watch

A condensed video history of Japan.

Hard agree.

It's like they read my mind.


Things to attend

This is where I put details of upcoming IRL things I’m doing:

5 August, London – Anna and I are doing our first ever live SRSLY episode at the ShoutOut Festival - an event dedicated to the celebration and discovery of diverse podcasts. Buy a ticket for the whole day, and see us as well as lots of other great shows like Another Round and Mostly Lit.

17 September, London – We're also part of the line-up for the 2017 London Podcast Festival at King's Place. Tickets for our show are already on sale.

Compulsory medieval thingamabob

Got your nose.

The guest gif

I'm off on holiday!

If you have a suggestion for something I should look at, hit reply to this email or talk to me on Twitter.

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THE END. See you next time!