MT VOID 01/18/08 -- Vol. 26, No. 29, Whole Number 1476

MT VOID 01/18/08 -- Vol. 26, No. 29, Whole Number 1476

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Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
01/18/08 -- Vol. 26, No. 29, Whole Number 1476

Table of Contents

      El Honcho Grande: Mark Leeper, La Honcha Bonita: Evelyn Leeper, Back issues at All material copyright by author unless otherwise noted. All comments sent will be assumed authorized for inclusion unless otherwise noted. To subscribe, send mail to To unsubscribe, send mail to

Correction (letter of comment by Dan Kimmel):

In his article on political films in the 01/11/08 issue of the MT VOID, Mark called the director of SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS "Preston Foster". Dan Kimmel writes, "The director of SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS was, of course, Preston STURGES." [-dk]

Mark responds, "Oops. You mean there was more than one Preston????? Other than the Sergeant? Right you are." [-mrl]

Einstein Confirmed! (comments by Mark R. Leeper):

Now according to Einstein's theory of Relativity: Suppose I was on a spaceship going at relativistic speed in one direction. Suppose Evelyn was on a spaceship going at relativistic speed in the opposite direction. And suppose we were signaling each other how best to clean house and make some free storage space. Under these conditions I would see myself as wanting to keep the good stuff and get rid of the junk. Evelyn would appear from my inertial frame of reference to want to keep the junk and to dump the good stuff. Observed from Evelyn's inertial frame of reference she would be making the reasonable decisions and I would be making the bone-headed ones. We have tested and confirmed this phenomenon at relativistic speeds as low as 0. [-mrl]

THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER Comes to DVD (comments by Mark R. Leeper):

You will have to excuse me if this week's editorial looks like just another film review. This week there was something of an unheralded event in film fandom that I wanted to call some attention to. For me the coming to DVD of the previously unavailable THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is something of a special case. When I show people short list the films I give a full +4 to this one seems to cause some quizzical looks. The film is all but forgotten.

I was discussing film with a friend and we got on the subject of film heroes. Was James Bond really a good film hero? I said that to me he does not represent the values that would make him a hero for me. Who does? I chose Thomas More in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS and John Singer in THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER. Neither of these films comes immediately to mind to most film fans, but many at least know A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. Somehow THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER has been forgotten by most people, though I list it as one of my top-rated films. Why?

THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is a loose adaptation of the Carson McCullers novel of the same name. As frequently happens when I like a film based on a book, when I read the book it really did not quite stack up. THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODY is a much better story than that of the Muriel Spark novel on which it is based. The McCullers novel is long and meandering while the film based on it is very much more focused. It is a concentrated version of the novel and some sequences are changed in ways that make them more poignant. I tend to associate THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER with TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, a film with which it has several parallels. Both films take place in small towns in the American South. Each is at least in part about a young girl learning about the world and seeing the world as a combination of good and bad. Each has a role model played by a good actor. In HEART, Alan Arkin plays John Singer in a role that won an Academy Award nomination, one of two for this film. Each has a sort of Depression Era feel. The novel of HEART is during the Depression Era, but the film probably for reasons of production economy is set in its present.

In the story there are two deaf mutes who are friends. One is John Singer, a neat and precise man whose disability has isolated him and has limited him to a single real friend. The friend is Spiros Antonapoulos (played by Chuck McCann) who is large, strong, and has the mind of a small child. Spiros's antics and his sweet tooth are frequently getting him into trouble. In the opening Spiros has gotten out of bed in the middle of the night and walked to the small town's shops to break the window of a bakery shop and get at that beautiful wedding cake displayed there. It is all Singer can do to set things right, but he does it because he clearly loves the only close friend his disability allow him.

When Spiros has to have an extended stay in a mental hospital Singer moves to a new town to be near his friend and in doing so comes in contact with several new people in his life and gets involved in each of their somewhat intertwined lives. There is a dignified black physician with a virulent hatred of all white people (beautifully played by Percy Rodrigues). There is a garrulous drunken drifter played by Stacy Keach. And particularly there is the young daughter of the house where Singer rents his room. Mick (as Sandra Locke's first screen performance and the film's other Academy Award nomination) is a young teenager with a love of great music. She has a desperate need to express this passion, but for her music is a luxury. Her father is disabled and the family must do everything it can to keep its head above water. There is no money for musical instruments or even record players. Singer is a hero not through any great acts, but because cares and wants to help people. And he does that because without Spiros he has a desperate need to have someone else to share his world with.

Most people think of Alan Arkin as a comic actor and comic roles are certainly what he is best known for. He made this film in 1968, one year after his chilling performance as a sadistic killer in WAIT UNTIL DARK. Four decades later both performances stick with me more than any of his comic performances with the possible exception of the sailor in THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING. But his intense John Singer is the best he has done.

Somehow THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER seems to have been forgotten over the years. One review says that most of the attention the film has gotten comes from schools for the deaf. That could be because Singer uses sign language with Spiros. (Don't worry. You will generally know what he is saying without subtitles.) Perhaps it sheds some light on the kind of isolation that the deaf feel as just one of its themes. But THE HEART IS A LONELY HUNTER is a film that has some very personal connections for me. Perhaps it is that I saw it at just the right age and it said some of just the right things. But when I have shown it to others it has seemed to strike some very personal chords with them also.

After a long period when the film was unobtainable (I showed friends a blurry copy recorded off cable), the film came to DVD on January 8 this year. (I will point out that it is already listed in NetFlix. I think it is well worth a rental.) [-mrl]

Hugo Recommendations (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):

The Hugo nomination deadline is a month earlier than usual this year (March 1, 2008), so I need to get my recommendations out now. I don't have recommendations in all the categories, but here are a few.

For novel, I will be nominating THE YIDDISH POLICEMAN'S UNION by Michael Chabon, UN DUN LUN by China Mieville, and THURSDAY NEXT: FIRST AMONG SEQUELS by Jasper Fforde, all of which I have already commented on.

For Dramatic Presentation (Long), I liked IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON (a documentary with interviews with the Apollo astronauts), PAPRIKA (an anime film), FLATLAND: THE FILM, STARDUST, and BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA (early in the year, so I hope people remember it). Before someone points out that IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON is not science fiction, I will remind you that the nominees should be science fiction, fantasy, *or related subjects*.

(There was also a short "Flatland: The Movie" in 2007, but it was not nearly as good, even though it had big-name stars for the voices. Yes, there really were *two* versions of Abbott's "Flatland" this year. One hopes that the Hugo Administrator can figure out 1) that there are two versions, and 2) which one people are nominating. It is conceivable that the Administrator might think that "Flatland: The Film" and "Flatland: The Movie" are the same, and some of the people just put their nominations in the wrong category. I have sent the Administrator a note to this effect, by the way.)

For Semi-Prozine, I would recommend HELIX, PARADOX, and the ever-popular NEW YORK REVIEW OF SCIENCE FICTION.

Since it is considered déclassé to promote one's own fanzine, I will say I am very partial to ALEXIAD in the fanzine category. [-ecl]

THERE WILL BE BLOOD (film review by Mark R. Leeper):

CAPSULE: THERE WILL BE BLOOD is the story of a fictional early giant of the oil industry. Daniel Day-Lewis plays wildcat oil man Daniel Plainview in what is probably one of the best performances of the year. The story is loosely taken from the first 150 pages or so of Upton Sinclair's novel OIL! The film is more a literary film than an action one and is an education in the origins of the oil industry. The title is technically true, but this is not really a violent film. Rating: +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

Daniel Plainview (played by Daniel Day-Lewis) is a silver prospector in 1898 who repeatedly nearly kills himself from his own poor planning and taking of risks. He somehow manages to survive his own incompetence, and in the process discovers oil in the shaft he was digging for silver. Thirteen years later he has dubbed himself an oil man and is building a powerful oil syndicate in which he is to make all the decisions and his investors are to remain silent. It is easy to see where this film might be going. He could be becoming a totally soulless exploiter of others, stealing their land to enrich himself. Considering that the story is coming from social critic Upton Sinclair that might be what could be expected, but that expectation is neither entirely right nor entirely wrong. Rapacious as he is, he still is some modicum of the audience sympathy.

Plainview is a business shark swimming among the oil sharks of the major oil companies. Rather than cheating the poor he purchases land from, he simply drives very hard bargains, perhaps harder than necessary. Plainview is not really a villain, and he will be decent to people if it does not cost him anything. He operates mostly from selfishness, but he has some grains of decency and the occasional scruple lodges with him. He could have better safety on his oil derricks. He is nowhere near what would be modern OSHA standards, but he does have concern for his men and for the community where he drills. Soon he come at odds with and the aptly named Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), an evangelical preacher who is more charismatic that Plainview could ever hope to be and probably just as amoral and just a bit more creepy. A major theme is about the quiet conflict between Plainview and Sunday. It is only by inches that Plainview has the moral upper hand. They each prey on the weak and neither wants the other getting in his way.

The story has more than a few parallels to GIANT and especially CITIZEN KANE. Plainview mortgages his personal relationships for success. Like Kane he builds his business and becomes wealthy but loses the love of those closest to him. In this case he loses the son who early on tags along behind him as another silent partner. He can think of nothing better to do for this son than to give him a successful family oil business. Family has meant so little to him that when his brother shows up in the oil field Plainview has no idea even if he is genuine or not. Plainview is a wild man, a force of nature, in a world that is becoming more civilized in spite of itself. When faced with an executive of a major oil company who is simply a more urbane version of himself, Plainview unnerves the executive by threatening to cut his throat. Plainview is always the primal savage. He may be eloquent when he needs to be, but the savage never leaves him.

The style of the film is strong and not entirely pleasant. Not one word is spoken in the film for the first fifteen minutes, making the point of how solitary Plainview has become in the silver mining business. Much of the early parts of the film are shot with a noir-ish dark lighting. The shadows on faces fade into darkness. The effect is even greater when those faces are covered with oil. The frame of the picture is dark with some light highlights. This oddly suggests the pools of oil we see, black with a little light reflected from the ripples. Director Paul Thomas Anderson's way of filming people in nature is reminiscent of Terrence Malick's films. The real show is Day- Lewis's performance in a voice and cadence reminiscent of John Huston.

Though it is very different from the Upton Sinclair novel this is a film with the complexity of literature. THERE WILL BE BLOOD is an intelligent if not entirely pleasant experience to watch. I rate it a +2 on the -4 to +4 scale or 7/10.

Film Credits:


Political Films (letter of comment by Taras Wolansky):

In response to Mark's article on political films in the 01/04/08 issue of the MT VOID, Taras Wolansky writes:

On the lack of box-office success of last year's crop of political films: To me it seems the more anti-American a film, the worse it did, at least in the United States. In the two films that did relatively well, CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR ($54 million to date) and THE KINGDOM ($44 million), we're the good guys. Though in both cases there's an effort at the end to spin the story a little negative, a little less "triumphal", probably to make the films more palatable to the Hollywood community and movie critics and others on the left.

For comparison, here are the U.S. grosses for the films you mentioned, courtesy of RENDITION, $8.5 million; IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH, $6.6 million; REDACTED, $65 thousand; LIONS FOR LAMBS, $15 million; A MIGHTY HEART, $9.5 million; MEETING RESISTANCE, $20 thousand; OPERATION HOMECOMING, $6.8 thousand. An example of what I mean: MEETING RESISTANCE, Mark tells us, is "neither sympathetic nor critical" of the terrorist bombers in Iraq; yet this is belied by the use of the loaded term, "the resistance", to refer to mass-murdering religious fanatics fighting to prevent democracy.

In Afghanistan, after the Soviets left, the various factions in the erstwhile anti-Soviet resistance started duking it out for power--as usually happens in the wake of decolonization. After several years of civil strife, a movement grew up among "taliban"--the Pashto word for "religious students"--in the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan to bring peace to their country. Like the unworldly theology students they were, they made the mistake of giving refuge to Osama bin Laden and his organization, with the results we all know. [-tw]

Mark replies, "As for the film MEETING RESISTANCE, while I doubt that all the people who were interviewed were "mass-murdering religious fanatics," but they certainly were all resisting in their own ways. I will point out that teaching us about the enemy we are fighting and showing that some actually are bigoted religious fanatics to extremes some of us do not realize may not be as sympathetic as you assume. I suggest that you withhold judgement until you see the film. Perhaps it would have been more accurate to say it is both sympathetic and critical, but the overall effect is really neither. THE KINGDOM probably made its profits, such as they were, because it was early and was really mostly an action film. The script was not very satisfying with a contrived ending in which luck was the Americans' greatest ally. As for the documentaries I recommended I should add NO END IN SIGHT, which which covers in detail the post invasion strategy." [-mrl]

Evelyn adds, "CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR had Tom Hanks; THE KINGDOM had Jamie Foxx (and was basically an action crime thriller). Both are bigger stars than Jake Gyllenhaal or Tommy Lee Jones, and neither film had subtitles. MEETING RESISTANCE and OPERATION HOMECOMING are documentaries, which puts them in a whole other ballpark for grosses." [-ecl]

More Bibliographic Terms (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper and Fred Lerner):

"A Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition with French flaps, rough front, and luxurious packaging"

I know what French flaps are, but what is "rough front"? I wasn't sure, so I asked Fred Lerner. He hadn't heard the term either, but Googling turned up: "And the front edge of the text paper isn't trimmed smooth, leaving a rough front. For some reason, rough front looks more classy." Fred said, "I would have used the term 'untrimmed fore-edges' to describe this," and that I would have understood.

But I noted that what I was seeing was a little different. My copy is bound with each signature put in asymmetrically, so that the first eight sheets protrude about 1/32" more than the second eight sheets. (The edge also feels a little rough, but that may just be the paper quality. It's certainly not the sort that looks like it was torn.) It was the only copy in the store, so I don't know if this "in/out edge" thing is a binding error, or by design.

View from the *top* (this will work only in constant-width text, and the indentations are not to scale):

b       _|
i      |_
n       _|
d      |_
i       _|
n      |_
g       _|


Fred writes:

You said, "I don't know if this 'in/out edge' thing is a binding error, or by design." Hard to tell with book designers. When THE STORY OF LIBRARIES appeared I was dismayed to see that the book jacket seemed to have been printed asymmetrically. My editor informed me that this was deliberate, and was the way all Continuum book jackets appeared: it was meant as a sort of visual pun on the publisher's name.

I notice that Hal Duncan's VELLUM and INK have untrimmed fore-edges, *and* use three typefaces. I wonder what a graph of SF/fantasy trade paperbacks, in which one axis delineated eccentricities of format and the other complexity of literary style, would look like. [-fl]

Edward Gorey (comments by John Purcell and Mark R. Leeper):

In his letter of comment in the 01/04/08 issue of the MT VOID, John Purcell had written, "I love Edward Gorey's work. I used to watch 'Mystery!' all the time, and the opening was simply classic. Gorey, of course, had some delightfully macabre cartoons over the years in THE NEW YORKER and elsewhere." [-jp]

Mark had responded, "Most fans of horror like Edward Gorey. I remember Charles Addams and Gahan Wilson in the New Yorker, but somehow I am blanking on seeing Gorey there. It would be his style, however." [-mrl]

Mark now adds, "It would be his style, but not his practice. I just treated myself to THE COMPLETE CARTOONS OF THE NEW YORKER which I got cheaply due to a local bookstore closing. Edward Gorey is not in their index of cartoonists. It does seem like the sort of thing they would publish, but apparently they did not." [-mrl]

Blogs (letter of comment by Per C. Jorgensen):

In response to Evelyn's comments about blogs in the 01/04/08 issue of the MT VOID, Per C. Jorgensen writes:

I just thought that I'd say that I appreciated what you said about blogs in the second to last MT Void. I, too, sometimes feel that it is a bit sad that a lot of people nowadays prefer blogs to newsgroups and email lists. There are, of course, several blogs that I enjoy and follow (and I've got one myself), but I have a bit of a problem with what sometimes seems to be the basic premise, that is, that everybody should have their own blog, regardless of how much you actually have to say. Of course, Usenet and mailing lists often have a high noise level, but I like to post not just to get my opinion through, and then get none or a few short few comments (yes, I do know that some blogs have a high level of debate), but to participate in a discussion and hopefully learn something new from people with the same interests as I have.

I just read this about blogs (from a book report in the British [magazine] "The Spectator"), by the way:

"Blogging is like modern poetry, more people write it than want to read it. The world had 70 million bloggers last April, and the number may have doubled since then. Britain now has four million bloggers. Most blogs are read by fewer than 10 people a day. Only 10 per cent have more than 100 hits a day. You’d reach a wider audience if you photocopied a few sheets of paper and left them on the Underground."

(I do not know whether these statistics are correct, though, but I found it an interesting thought.) [-pcj]

Self-Driven Cars (letter of comment by Andre Kuzniarek):

In response to Mark's article on self-driven cars in the 01/11/08 issue of the MT VOID, Andre Kuzniarek writes

This is akin to the other notions of the "future" that have failed to materialize: flying cars, apartments in space, colonies on Mars, intelligent computers, even video phones. That latter gadgets are simply something nobody actually wants. And most of the rest are doable but just too expensive to justify. And that's probably what will keep driverless cars off the road, mainly because of liability costs. Who do you sue in current car crashes? If neither driver was impaired, accidents are accidents and you can only take them so far in court. But woe to any company that has to stand behind it's software in cases of life and death. Perhaps there will be waivers that guarantee you understand the risk of getting into a robot car to indemnify its creators, but it seems likely that human error will not be considered ameliorative when it comes to programming bugs.

I got a good chuckle from this part of the article:

"The Defense Department contest, which initially involved 35 teams, showed the technology isn't ready for prime time. One team was eliminated after its vehicle nearly charged into a building, while another vehicle mysteriously pulled into a house's carport and parked itself."

Shades of Herbie... [-ak]

Mark replies, "You say woe to any company that has to stand behind its software in cases of life and death. The classic case of this is that of the Therac-25. This was a radiation therapy machine that had problems in the design of its software interface. It was just the sort of bug that is very hard to reproduce. Five people died of radiation overdoses as a result of a software bug before it was found what was actually happening. A full magazine article on the case is at or you can find the Wikipedia summary of the incident at Back when I was a software developer there where all sorts of similar extended arguments when there was a bug in software as to what was happening and whose fault it had to be. There was a lot of finger-pointing and defensive posturing. At that time if there was a software bug a test telephone call would not go through. Imagine what it would be like if instead of phone calls dying it was people who were dying. Now that is a scary vision." [-mrl]

This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):

I got THE SOLARIS BOOK OF NEW SCIENCE FICTION edited by George Mann (ISBN-13 978-1-84416-448-6, ISBN-10 1-84416-449-9) in order to read a single alternate history story in it (Peter F. Hamilton's "If at First..."). But then I read the Paul Di Filippo story ("Personal Jesus"), and then the Stephen Baxter ("Final Contact"), and then decided to read the rest of the anthology. Noteworthy were the Di Filippo and James Lovegrove's "The Bowdler Strain". The Baxter had an interesting idea, but there was a bit too much "British-stiff-upper-lipism" for me. The other stories varied in quality, but in any case it is good to see original un-themed anthologies being published. Tor's "Starlight" series was excellent while it lasted, but ceased after five volumes. Perhaps a mass-market format will last longer.

I picked up THE ARSONIST'S GUIDE TO WRITERS' HOMES IN NEW ENGLAND by Brock Clarke (ISBN-13 978-1-565-12551-3, ISBN-10 1-565-12551-7) in part because it was set in Amherst, Massachusetts, and the surrounding area. Since I come from there (Chicopee, with four years at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst), I thought the local setting would make it more interesting. There are two sorts of ways to use local settings for color. One is to get all the minutiae correct. Allen Steele has done this with the same area. When he mentions characters going to a barbecue place on the Route 116 bypass, for example, you know he means Bub's. The other way is to mention a few main roads, and make up the rest. That seems to be Clarke's method. The result is that instead of enjoying the local references, I found myself constantly saying, "What is he talking about?"

There is no Chicopee Street in Amherst, and no state prison in Holyoke. There is an Our Lady of the Lake College, but it is in Louisiana, not Springfield, Massachusetts. (Clarke may be modeling this on Elms College in Chicopee, formerly Our Lady of the Elms College.) Similarly, there is a Pioneer Packaging, but not in Agawam. The Student Prince is indeed a German restaurant in Springfield, but not owned by anyone named Goerman (the owner's name is Scherff). Also, the Student Prince is at least five blocks from Court Square, so the entrance to it could not be in an alley just off Court Square.

There are no superstores on Route 116 near Amherst (they are all on Route 9), and no Book Warehouse or Pioneer Valley Mall. It is not a half-hour commute from Amherst to Agawam (even the optimistic Google says it is 41 minutes). There is no Super Stop-N-Shop in Chicopee, and the ordinary Stop-N-Shop is not in a neighborhood of older homes, and is a mile and a half from the Edward Bellamy House, not just a few blocks.

An even more interesting question is *when* this is taking place. The narrator supposedly burned down the Emily Dickinson House, served ten years in (the non-existent Holyoke) prison, and has been out of prison for another ten years, yet the technology, cars, and so on are present-day. So is this some alternate history (since in our present world the Emily Dickinson House was not burned down)? I suppose that would explain some of the differences from our reality, but not really why there would be a Super Stop-N-Shop right near the Edward Bellamy House in Chicopee. The Paramount Theater in Springfield stopped showing movies around 1970.

Now I'm sure that many people would consider all of this beside the point, that I am missing the main ideas of the book for this trivia. It may be an attempt to bring science fiction reading protocols to a mainstream literary work. In science fiction, one is expected to get one's facts right. If someone gets in a rocketship and flies away from the sun, they should not arrive on Venus. But while a mainstream author is allowed to make up some details of setting, he is still supposed to maintain a certain level of accuracy. A character in Manhattan should not cross the East River to reach New Jersey. I think my feeling here is that if Clarke has chosen to use a very particular real town as his setting, he should hew as closely to that town as possible.

I slogged my way through PEARL HARBOR: A NOVEL OF DECEMBER 8TH by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen (ISBN-13 978-0-312-36350-5, ISBN-10 0-312-36350-8), only to discover that it *ends* with a different version of Pearl Harbor. At this point I read through the long description on the book flaps to discover that this "inaugurates a dramatic new Pacific War series." I am sick of multi-book series, and sick to death of multi-book series that do not announce on the front cover of the books that they are just part of a larger work. Shame on Gingrich, Forstchen, St. Martin's Press, and anyone else responsible for this deceptive marketing.

I recently received a catalog from Edward R. Hamilton. This is a bookseller that has been operating a mail-order book business, dealing primarily in remainders, out of Fair Village, Connecticut, for at least of a couple of decades. Their latest catalog is more of the same, but the prices on many of the books seem closer to the general on-line prices at, and the selection is less interesting. On the other hand, maybe it is a fluke of this catalog, or maybe it's just me and a decline in my interest in acquiring books. Their catalog is now glossy instead of newsprint, and they also now accept credit cards, but only through their website, and only with an additional charge of $3.50 plus 40 cents a book.

I recently saw the end of an era. We drove down Route 18 and stopped at a few places: an Asian grocery, a clothing store, and Borders Books. Borders, it turns out, was closing after twelve years. It was selling everything at 40% off, and I still had some Borders gift cards from my Discover rebates, so we bought a few books. The biggest was THE COMPLETE CARTOONS OF THE NEW YORKER (originally $35), which comes with a DVD-ROM of all the cartoons as well. We also got Ray Morton's book KING KONG (covering all the films), THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF MONSTERS (edited by Stephen Jones), and the new Andrew Hurley translation of Jorge Luis Borges's BOOK OF IMAGINARY BEINGS. I had been trying to justify buying the latter when I already had the di Giovanni translation, and a reduction from $16 to under $10 was enough to convince me.

And the end of the era? No, it wasn't the Borders closing. It was the even more depressing news that the Shin Ramen that we like so much and which used to be vegetarian (hence kosher enough for us) has taken to putting beef fat in its formulation. There are still some vegetarian ramens around, but they tend to be non- spicy and not as rich in taste. (The other one we liked, Paldo, didn't seem to be stocked anymore, even though this store has an enormous range of brands.) [-ecl]

                                          Mark Leeper

Quote of the Week:

           A wise man hears one word and understands two. 
                                          -- Yiddish Proverb

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