Conversation Piece III

A weekly series.

Conversation Piece

Enjoy our Sunday series, Conversation Piece, a NUVO-curated digest of things on the Internet we think you’ll want to talk about.

British food’s about to get worse. Thanks to Brexit, mushy peas and eel pies may not be the worst things to happen to British cuisine. For the first time since the Second World War, import-dependant Britain’s ability to feed itself is in question. So, posits writer Bee Wilson, are those who voted to “leave” willing to till the land to feed their country themselves?

Bottom-feeder blues. “No one likes the shore crab,” writes Akshat Rathi. And yet, Rathi’s report on how acidification is compromising their ability to protect their eggs makes you feel sorry for the bamboozled little crustaceans, and certainly intrigued by the curious case of crabs crawling crazy ‘cause of climate change.

Bananarama. If bananas have gone extinct, why do we still have bananas? If bananas weren’t widely available in North America until the late 1870s, how were banana-flavoured things all the rage in 1853? If everything you think you know about bananas isn’t B.S., why was “banana oil” once used as a slang term for B.S.? So many banana questions, answered.

Black cats and voodoo dolls. Ah, the good ol’ days, when folks based their practises of self-governance on the conviction that the most innocuous of missteps could trigger supernatural evil. This list of 875 superstitions gathered at Berkley University in 1907 outlines some outright eccentric beliefs. (Don’t lose your hairpin.)

More like “Lame-ronto”, am I right? It sounds like a weak joke someone from Vancouver would make: “Toronto, the most fascinating boring city in the world.” But the sentiment rings true; Toronto’s rife with contradictions—it’s the safest city in North America, for example, and yet managed to produce everyone’s favourite crack-smoking mayor. Writer Stephen Marche suggests Toronto’s humdrum cosmopolitanism may be the source of its charm.