Monday, November 28, 2005

Dabbling with the blog side...

I am not a member of your world, bloggers. I don't really get this whole thing. Blogging often serves a purpose. Some use it to report home while abroad instead of filling inboxes with travellogs as I did (sorry guys). Some use it to report new findings in their area of expertise to a world of blog readers (who are you by the way?) But many use it (from what I see) to enlighten the world with their nuggets of wisdom and wit. To me it seems narcissistic and self-indulgent to do this. As if publishing one's everyday thoughts online makes one's thoughts suddenly significant and profound rather than mundane. Worthy of readership by the mass of internet surfers and blog-readers out there (seriously, who are you???) Perhaps this is the next step in fighting off the anonymity or mundaneness of life. However, blogging doesn't seem to fend off anonymity to me. On the internet? Are you kidding me? How on earth do you stand out in an ocean of information when you are but a speck of plankton? (ooh that's deep). But I have discussed it with my computer-geek husband, and we think maybe I am missing something. So this blog, though mainly a place to jot my notes on the films I see, is my experiment with blogging. As I see it, one of three things will happen: I will decide that it still isn't for me, I will decide I have got it all wrong, or I will fall prey to the need to stroke my own ego and believe my everyday thoughts to be important, worthy of publishing and myself to be more than a speck of plankton. (And in the case of the latter, I will undoubtably insist it is because I had it all wrong about blogs.)

Oh and if you are wondering about the title of my blog. And I know you are! It's what many order at the concession stand when we see a film. Not great, but "reel comments," "filmology," and "cinefile" were already taken and I really didn't want to waste anymore time on a name. It's also a commentary on our society and our love of all things synthetic. Fatten us up and titalate our simple taste buds, but don't worry about nutritional content or resulting harm to us! You see, with this title I can not only discuss film, but also offer my deep, intellectual insights on pop-culture, society, etc.. (UGH I am already going over to the blog side of the force aren't I?)


Teddi said...

How apropos that I am eating popcorn while reading your blog for the first time :). You are so funny that I know your blog will be a hit. I can't wait to read more than your usual 2 cents on the movies you see.

JoAnn said...

Too cute! I think it will be fun to follow your experience.

So, is it ok to eat popcorn made on the stove top, with real oil and real popcorn kernels??? Food for thought.

Elisabeth said...

Ha ha! That's the best way in my opinion! Course, the don't normally carry that at the concession stand.

About the experience... already I am filled with thoughts on how it is going so far, but there is a limit to how much I want to write about blogging in my movie blog. Maybe I will have to start another blog about my experience becoming a blogger!

Darth Keith said...

Nice blog. Your geek husband converted you, huh? I have trained him well ... the force is strong in him ...

Sounds good, but popcorn is quite healthy for you - perhaps you should have named this twizzlersandcoke instead.

According to the Mayo Clinic :

popcorn ( air popped ) gets rather high marks in the fiber department. 2.4 grams for 2 cups. Most of us will eat 4+ cups ... the real popcorn fans like myself way more than that :)!

Coke on the other hand is really bad, as you say. Poison, in fact.

Children are being poisoned by this evil :

People in Indian are being poisoned with high-pesticide water used in Coke and Pepsi :

Any of course aspartame is highly dangerous and a poison :
* read the information in gray box!

So our society is really geared toward allowing us to freely consume approved poisons ... movies, commercials and TV included. We can't consume unapproved poisons without paying the price of jail time.

Learn the ways of the ... uh, "blog-side", and you may become the most powerful blogger in the, uh, blogiverse. Do not resist the power ... of the ...

Elisabeth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elisabeth said...

sorry -- confusions with posting links... here goes again...

Thank you oh wise darth Keith. I think the dark side has clouded your judgement however.

Popcorn is arguably not a "healthy" food.

First, since that is what I was directly referring to, let's assume the popcorn you get in the movie theater. It is dripping with butter and salt. Check out the Calories!

Next, ok so we'll do microwave instead. Well there you have to add the dangers of partially hydrogenated oils to the mix.
And if you don't know how bad those are...

Ok let's say you will airpop the things yourself and add no oil, salt or flavor of any kind (and in which case, why bother) now you are left with 1. The widely held belief that corn holds no nutritional value (which unfortunately I haven't been able to prove or disprove with google searches) and 2. Glycemic Index. The Glycemic index of popcorn (according to is anywhere from 59 to 85 which, also according to is in the high range. Furthermore, it is (depending on what website you look at) about the same or much, much higher than table sugar. One such website

Ok, sure, you have your little bit of fiber. But even if you plan to eat it flavorless or with fat substitutes (which I do not advocate at all) you've basically got, at best, the same health benefits as a bowl of sugar with a couple of metamucil pills on top. Hmmm... you're right, that does sound healthy!

Darth Keith said...

Indeed. Glycemic index can be rather high, but perhaps offset by the fiber and the Glycemic Load of the food itself :

Some information on Glycemic Load and Glycemic Index

Wikipedia info on Glycemic Load

Some common GLs can be found here :
Some common food and their GLs

So for example, while the GI for All Bran Cereal is 45 ( rather low ) the GL is 9.

It would be hard to convince anyone that all bran cereal is considered junk food. But when compared to popcorn ... the GI for popcorn is indeed rather high at 75. The GL on the other hand is lower than that of all bran cereal at 8

Now don't get me wrong. I don't own stock in Orville and I'm not suggesting popcorn is the next superfood. I am suggesting it isn't as bad as it has been reported. Furthermore, what I am saying is that you must factor in more than just the GI value.

This same kind of argument created the fat scare of the 80s and 90s, when anyone saw more than 3 grams of fat on the packaging of food, they quickly ran away from it. In a twisted way it was probably a good thing in one dimension because they were staying away from some of the truly horrible fats you mention above. BUT it also had some rather remarkable fatty foods get a bad wrap. Your body needs fat, what it doesn't need is bad fat, fake fats and a lot of sat fats. The monosats found in "danger foods" like peanuts and peanut butter were quickly clumped in the "bad foods" groups precisely because of the single numeric value "fat", disregarding the kind of fat that it was. Now the movement is back towards the *right* fats, monosats and unsats with limited sats.

Poor popcorn ...

Darth Keith said...

My last post had some broken links I didn't realize.

Here are the updated links :

All Bran Glycemic Load

All Bran Glycemic Index

Popcorn GI

Popcorn DL

PS I'm posting so late because I am doing other homework - just happened to check this while I was compiling some code.

Elisabeth said...

I must admit I haven't read about Glycemic Load. But reading over some of the stuff you sent me I am realizing that the sources I have read on GI are really combining both concepts when they speak of GI.

Elisabeth said...

I find this idea that carrots could be considered bad (GI or otherwise) puzzling. Dr Weil said in his book "Eating Well For Optimum Health" that the harder the food is the longer it takes to absorb into your blood stream and therefore the lower GI it has. So if it is soft, fluffy, puffy, etc, then it is bad. Obviously I know this doesn't work for candy, etc., but when considering other foods, this was one guideline he recommended. This concept has been pretty much backed up with all the other reading I have done on the subject. Nowhere did anyone say that carrots were bad. Now all of a sudden, websites that talk about GL use carrots as their example of how we got it wrong with GI alone. Even DR. Weil's site! He actually even contradicts himself on the topic if you read more than one of his webpages. I don't know why everyone had carrots on the good GI list, and now suddenly it is on the bad GI list and on the good GL list. Then I realize that we are talking about different things. Cooked vs. Raw. Of course the GI of cooked carrots is going to be pretty high, it's soft! I almost never eat cooked carrots. For instance, if you review the GI/GL list here you will see that raw carrots have a very low GI of 16 and even cooked carrots range from 32 and up, on the low end this is also very low. It al depends on how much you cook your carrots!

Elisabeth said...

My understanding has been that, yes, larger quantities make it worse, but that you shouldn't consume high GI foods regardless of quantity because of how quickly it converts to glucose in the blood stream, and our bodies weren't built for quick absorbtion/conversion.

Elisabeth said...

But again, intuitively, if softer, puffier, airier foods have a higher absorb too quickly, then they are bad even if the sugar content in them is relatively low. And for me, popcorn fits right in that category. It's not particularly soft, but it is very airy.

Besides the fact that - if you note my comment on JoAnn's comment & yours, I was talking about consession-stand popcorn in the title. And I eat popcorn myself as you know. I pop it on the stove with half the required oil (which I keep refridgerated for health reasons). Sometimes, when I am feeling weak I pour melted butter on it, but usually I just season it. But I also don't like to consume any significant amounts of food that has no nutritive value, so I tend not to eat popcorn other than the very occassional movie night. I will keep doing that until I find compelling reading that tells me that it does have fair to high nutritive vale.

Darth Keith said...

Point well taken.

Again, I am not suggesting popcorn as the next cancer killer or even a food containing high levels of nutrients.

As a snack, I'd rather eat that than chips, because it's *healthier* than common alternatives when prepared right. I like to eat popcorn with hot sauce to avoid the butter and for a little salt.

Interesting debate. I am sure the other readers are learning more about popcorn, GIs and GLs than they ever wanted to know.


PS I hate the scrolling on this site, can you modify the settings to show most recent first?

Teddi said...

Wow, I go to bed and wake up to this. Now I know what Keith was up to while I was in dreamland, LOL! I eat airpopped popcorn and no GI GL blah blah blah index is going to prevent me from doing so. Find me a source that says a food is bad for you and I'll find you a source that says it's good. I might as well make up my own rules and stick to them as the nutrition rules seem to change on a yearly basis. I remember when eggs were bad for you, I remember when soy was good for you.

Elisabeth said...

ha ha!
When did that change with the eggs & soy? As far as I knew eggs aren't great (sat. fat) and soy is pretty good (good prot. & good fat.) though of course any fat in excess is too much. Did I miss something? Is soy no longer good for you?

Elisabeth said...

PS good idea with the hot sauce, though I would like to find a less spicy option. and i will look into the settings... I think I actually have to get into the html to do that. I will figure it out. But you can "collapse comments" at the top. That helps a little.

Teddi said...

Well now they are saying that eggs aren't as bad as they once thought. Check out this article: Article about eggs

As for soy. whoa. That's a can of worms. If you are interested in reading a site about the "dark side" of soy, check out this one: Soy Online Service

As for hot sauce, try Frank's Red Hot. It has a good flavor and really isn't that spicy. As a comparison Tabasco sauce and the medium salsa at Chipotle are both spicier than Frank's.

Elisabeth said...

Thanks, I will read those. You know... I was using this dried BBQ flavor spice I bought in the Faroes on the popcorn I made for a long time. It was a little on the salty side, but it was otherwise pretty good. i have been looking for a replacement for that since I ran out. I was thinking of concocting something using powders. Maybe a curry flavor one?

Somehow this movie blog has become a nutrition debate and a recipe swap, go figure!

Elisabeth said...

I did know that about the eggs, but what about the saturated fat? It has been known for a looong time that dietary cholesterol is not the bad stuff. And I had forgotten about the soy stuff, but some of that is coming back to me now. I remember reading something in the news. Somewhat funny that something Asians consume a lot of causes stunted growth. ;)

Teddi said...

If that's the spice you use on the popcorn I've had at your house, it's really good...but maybe you shouldn't take popcorn advice from me. I eat it every way imaginable. I think I'm addicted to the stuff. There is no popcorn in moderation for me, though I always try to be polite at your house ;).

A 2oz egg has 1.7g of saturated fat. In comparison, a 2oz chicken breast (with skin) has 1.5g of saturated fat. If you cut out the egg yolk you are left with no fat at all. If you cut out the chicken skin you are left with about .2 grams of saturated fat. People are all bent out of shape about eggs, but have no problems eating other's all about the media hype of the moment.

Elisabeth said...

Well, the spice was that danish BBQ spice, but I have since run out. Want to try make up my own with less salt.

Yeah I know it doesn't have too much per egg (and frankly for me, no yolk, no point unless it is used to make something else.) But thing is, people often eat several eggs without thinking about it. Such as when the eggs are scrambled, or deviled. They also often eat it in addition to meat. Not to mention frying in butter etc..

I don't know, I mean I have known for a long time that eggs were fine. In fact I ate an egg (plus other stuff) every day for lunch one year when I was really into diet/nutrition the most. But some people eat two or more fried eggs for breakfast or pop an egg as a snack and think they are eating something sooooo healthy. It's not awful, but it's not the best.

Ugh this is silly... I think we should declare this line of comments dead and bury it. All in favor? :P

Darth Keith said...

So Elisabeth-
What are your thoughts on sharing films over the internet? Particularly the short films that seem to just pop up daily - some of which are hella clever.

Do you think it has stimulated a rise of production of good small/artistic films? Is the short film coming back? Are short film artists able to build an independent platform now that distribution is nearly instantaneous?

I've got a great idea for a short film. It's about an old time engineer who builds an ipod like device from 70s technology. So basically the guy is walking around with a generator or some really big ass batter ( like a car battery ) and powering a portable 8-track or something. He has some really huge headphones ( painted white ) and he walks about the neighborhood with this thing in 70s garb struttin like he's cool ( like in the ads for the ipod ).

What do you think? I've got some actors lined up from work ... come on ... this is the big one ...


Teddi said...

Point taken, but nobody eats only 2oz of chicken either ;). New topic!

Elisabeth said...

Very true Teddi!

Keith - I enjoy watching short films online. I haven't seen too many that I thought were all that great, but every once in a while there is a good one. I seem to have to seek them out at ifilm or atom films. I wish iTunes would get a move on on the short film thing and start selling more than just disney ones. There are a few short films that I truly love, but I don't want to buy a big old dvd full of crap for one 5 -10 min film.

As with any other artform, the democratization of film has been both good and bad so far. Without it, Tarnation would never have been made. More and more people are feeling they can get involved with it too and create some art of their own. But with so much out there, and so many people with video cameras, (and because people don't take it seriously as an art when they are making it) it ends up that we are now inundated with total crap and we have to sift a lot more to get to the good stuff. I do think the short form is getting higher credibility these days with more people watching them online, at festivals, on TV, and on DVDs and that we will see even more filmmakers turning to the form - and not just to use it as a business card for hollywood, but as art in and of itself.

About your proposal -- I'll have my people call yours or something. Oh! and don't call us, we'll call you.

Darth Keith said...

OK how about a short film about this blog ... I mean tell the story of how this *popcornandcoke* blog actually goes ... after it gets going.

Elisabeth said...

Ha ha! Thanks I needed a laugh.

We'll see how it goes first. :)

Elisabeth said...

By the way Teddi, I ate an egg in your honor for dinner last night. :P

Darth Keith said...

I actually wasn't joking.

Elisabeth said...

About the blog film?

Either way that's funny! I actually think it would make a better book than a movie, or maybe just an article. But I have barely started it yet!

katrin said...

ok, now wait a minute...REAL butter is not bad for you. It is the fake butter flavored topping (pure chemicals) that they put on at the movies that is bad for you. Anything in moderation.

Elisabeth said...

This is what I don't like about your guru K! Sat.fat = bad!!! But Chemicals are worse, I agree with him on that.

Elisabeth said...

From Bret:

I guess I would add that a blog isn't any more or less narcissistic
any other media (newspaper opinion pieces, e.g.). If you're writing
about yourself or, worse, writing just because you like to hear
talk, then, sure, that's not very interesting. On the other hand, a
blog can be intelligent, useful, and entertaining. All depends on why
and what you put there. Go for it, I say.

Elisabeth said...


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