2. Raffi Melkonian clarifies his defense of Charlie Trotter's foie gras exclusion here, invoking not animal cruelty, but rather menu coherence! Meanwhile Barrett at TMC has written a couple of colorful posts on the fiasco. More here on foie gras.
3. Caleb McDaniel may still be looking for advice on tipping the baristas at the local coffee shop; Paul Musgrave wonders to what extent tipping variations are culturally determined. I'm inclined to disaree with Caleb's assertion that tipping is in the strictest sense a gratuity; it's hard to see this exclusively as a gift when expectations are imposed (ie putting out a tip jar), especially when future encounters are at stake. For Paul the simple answer is: to a very great extent -- although we may well have different definitions of culture.
4. And some literary bloggers have banded together to leverage their influence: collectively, they'll choose a book to recommend every couple months, and the impact of these choices should have a considerable effect on the industry. Can other blog communities find similar ways to increase their profile by acting collectively?