It’s a piefee

This is a piefee. It’s a latte served in a chocolate-lined sweet pie crust.

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Photo by Tasteful Bakehouse.

Tasteful Bakehouse on Karangahape Road has made a local media splash with their 2017 creation. My only beef with it is meat pies are far more of a Kiwi culinary tradition than sweet pies. Sweet pies exist, but more people grew up on apple crumble than apple pie. To me this is a coffee tart. A toffee? A tarfee? Cofart?

I feel 100% certain if I google I am going to find this idea has been done in a thousand other media posts in dozens of countries before now, but I refuse to burst the bubble of Chamnan Ly from Tasteful Bakehouse. Good on you, mate.

 

Thank you!

Thank you, humans who buy my books!

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I’ve sold 22 copies of Salt of Your Tears, and a bunch more read it on KU. I earned USD $79 from it, which pushed my US Kindle earnings over my $USD100 minimum payout, and I just banked a cheque, wooooo. Y’all have paid my June electricity bill and kept me warm and functioning for another month and I am so, so grateful. I wish I knew everyone’s names so I could thank you all personally. I literally do know the names of quite a few of you and squishy hugs will be forthcoming in October.

Fuck you, Goldman Sachs

With the kind of impeccable timing I usually have, today as I prepare to list my Auckland home for sale, Goldman Sachs announced the Auckland housing market has a 40% chance of crashing, literally immediately softening house sales and freaking out our stock market.

Well, screw you, Goldman Sachs. I’m going to get a good price for my place from buyers who love it, and everything’s going to work out fine.

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Two heads are better than one

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Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero just practised for his proposed human head transplant by transplanting a second head onto a rat. In multiple iterations. None lived for longer than 36 hours, but that’s a hell of a lot better than the results from 20th century animal head/brain transplants.

The isolated beating heart at the beginning of that video looks macabre, but those animal organ experiments directly led to human organ transplants, which are commonplace now.

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Canavero’s full paper is here, but it’s not public access. And frankly, that sucks. All academic knowledge should be free to read and not held ransom by journals.

Canavero used a third rat as a blood bag to keep the blood pressure up in the donor rat and the recipient rat during surgery.

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Hopefully Canavero will use a different technique during human surgery.

Maybe Canavero will attempt his human transplant this year as promised, maybe not. But someone will, somewhere, eventually.

Head transplants work on the basis that that bit of us that is “me” lives in our brains is a fixed unchanging essence, and our bodies are only interchangeable shells we use for ambulating and oxygen processing. But this ignores the fact we’re embodied beings: we experience reality through and in our bodies. For one thing, our bodies are home to at least as many bacterial cells as human cells. There’s increasing evidence that our bacteria alter the way we think, feel, and love: like the outgoingness of humans infected with toxoplasma gondii, or the link between gut bacteria and obesity.

Transplanting a brain onto another body isn’t just giving an existing personality a new home, it’s creating a whole different being. I think we should go for it, but we have to acknowledge we can’t know what the outcome going to be like.

The future is barreling toward us and we’re not ready.

Music Monday: Bonobo feat. Innov Gnawa

The thing I miss most about music stores is finding unexpected treasures. Queen St store Real Groovy was my dealer of choice. You had to ask to try a CD/vinyl and they’d put it on one of the ‘listening posts’ so you could sample it. I almost always ended up buying whatever was playing in the store, though: the guaranteed-eclectic choice of random staff members. That’s how I found Bonobo aka Simon Green, with his Remixes and B Sides in 2002. In 1997 I walked in and Degobrah by Butter 08 hit me like an aural brick. I immediately bought the City of Industry soundtrack without knowing a damn thing about the film or the artists, and that’s how I discovered Massive Attack.

Real Groovy still exists, although in a new, smaller, building across the road. Yet somehow it seems too hard to head into the CBD by bus (there is zero parking) and sample music in meat space, when I can download it instantly without leaving the cocoon of my home. Instead I subscribe to a couple of thoughtfully curated mass-market new music lists, although I have no idea of the curators’ motivations, loves, or potential kickbacks.

I’m missing out. Where is the new, unexpected work that grabs my liver and shakes me by the vertebrae? I know it’s out there. There must be an online equivalent of descending into a gloomy cavern, entirely unaware of what’s about to ooze into your ears.