New Blogs for Old

I’m sure many of you have struggled with the great proliferation of blogs in recent years. Some are simply delightful ways of wasting your time; others may be useful professionally; but in every category there seem to be dozens of blogs worth following. Blog aggregators and RSS help somewhat, but I still have not found a perfect solution myself to share with you.

Instead, I’d like to add to your problems by suggesting some blogs that I have found interesting. Here are a few different categories, each with one blog that I have been following for a year or more and one that I have discovered in the past few weeks.


Old: Tenured Radical

I learned about this first from my sister; I believe it is one of the better-known history blogs. The posts are consistently provocative, often dealing with politics, queer studies, or questions of equality in academia. In particular, several of the recent posts on teaching have been quite insightful. Another feature of this blog is the use of pseudonyms for various places and people (Zenith = Wesleyan, Oligarch = Yale, etc.)

New: Executed Today

This won “Best Writer” in the Cliopatra Awards, which prompted me to check it out. As it sounds, it features the description of one historical execution every day. Certainly not for the faint of heart, but it’s not always morbid either. The coverage of times and places is extraordinary, and the categories menu on the right allows you to group executions by method, century, or country, among other criteria. Selecting Russia, for instance, reveals ten more than seventy different executions, ranging from the 1689 burning of the German mystic Kuhlmann to the 1957 execution of the Lithuanian partisan Ramanauskas-Vanagas. Also interesting are his thoughts on historical bias and the meaning of execution on his “about” page.


Old: Language Log

The most prominent linguistics blog, this is regularly updated and covers a wide variety of topics. Among the more prolific contributors are Mark Liberman and Ben Zimmer, who often post on language use in the media, Geoffrey Pullum, who comments on descriptive and prescriptive grammar, and Victor Mair, who writes about Chinese language and translation.

New: Christopher Culver’s Linguistics Weblog

I discovered this blog after reading an Amazon book review. Some entries are a little esoteric (one recent one begins with the disclaimer “This post might not interest readers who don’t know the Romanian translation of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom…”). But historians of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union should check out his posts on the Mari people and on Orthodoxy, while the general reader may enjoy his translations of verse and stories from Turkic and Finnic languages.


Old: A Hamburger Today

Not for vegetarians, this blog features reviews of a variety of hamburgers, ranging from the simple burger stand style to deluxe burgers with foie gras (or even French fast-food burgers with foie gras). My favorite posts are the recipes by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, who devotes extraordinary effort to recreating burgers from various places (going so far as to have In-n-Out burgers shipped overnight from California).

New: The Red Cook

A blog about Chinese home cooking, written by a software engineer living in New York. He goes into good depth about ingredients and techniques, and like all good food blogs, his has excellent pictures. The title refers to the dish “red cooked pork”, which I am looking forward to trying soon.

I hope to find out what blogs all of you are frequenting!

P.S. I’ve debated whether to include blogs like these in my links list on the sidebar, so for now I’ve just included people I know. If I know you, let me know if you would like your blog to be added or taken off!


7 responses to “New Blogs for Old

  1. Thank you for the generous words! I enjoyed finding out about your site as well … I do hope you stick with the blog.

    P.S. — my pagination admittedly stinks, but there’s a “previous posts” buried down at the bottom of the Russia category … looks like the rodina is actually providing about 71 Russia-related posts at the moment.

  2. Great, succinct blog review! I knew about some you discussed of course, but I’ll be looking into others. And it’s illuminating to see how we arrive at these different places.

    Just for fun, here are some of my current favorites in the categories you laid out:

    History – Letters of Note posts an image and transcription of an interesting piece of famous correspondence every weekday. (Did you direct me here, Stephen?)
    Language – Well, stretching it a little to literature, I’m a great fan of Heidi Heiner’s blog at Sur la Lune Fairy Tales.
    Food – Of course, Lucie Rose’s Bilingual Butter.

  3. (and obviously, I am HTML inept…)

    • I fixed it. You just needed to put the link text in between the open and close tags, rather than in the “title” field, like this:

      <a href=””>Sur la Lune Fairy Tales</a>

      Well, basically like that. It’s hard to get it to show the code right.

  4. So that’s where you got the idea for the Chinese New Year’s cake. What a pity we celebrated the beginning of the Rabbit Year flying from China in a snowstorm. Maybe next year.

    • That would be good. That reminds me—maybe the new year is why I keep seeing more and more rabbits around my house. I scared away three or four on my way home last night.

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