Friday, May 16, 2014
1. A writer at Modern Farmer asks, "Swan,
Once reserved for royalty -- Tudor, not Targaryen -- swans have been a taboo food for hundreds of years, thanks in large part to their perceived rarity and beauty. Over the past few decades, however, their numbers have swelled to the thousands in places like Michigan and New York, where the birds are called "destructive" and "invasive."I either didn't know or had forgotten that swan once was eaten at feasts. Nor had it occurred to me that the government might stand in the way of such a culinary experiment.
Various solutions have been proposed, but with one glaring exception: The legalized hunting and yes, eating, of swans. Swans are a bird, after all, no different than ducks and quite similar to a Christmas goose. We eat lambs with little cultural objection and with the Game of Thrones TV series stirring interests in medieval cookery, it is not impossible that adventurous eaters might like to give it a try. [slight format edits]
2. Cancer researchers have just succeeded in wiping out cancer from a patient by using a high dose of the measles virus.
In a proof of principle clinical trial, Mayo Clinic researchers have demonstrated that virotherapy -- destroying cancer with a virus that infects and kills cancer cells but spares normal tissues -- can be effective against the deadly cancer multiple myeloma...The next step in evaluating this potential new regimen will be to attempt to duplicate this success in a large number of cases.
3. The rock group, Van Halen, once stipulated in contracts that they be provided with a bowl of M&Ms backstage, with all the brown candies removed. For that, they are incorrectly remembered as prima donnas. David Lee Roth sets the record straight:
The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function. So just as a little test, in the technical aspect of the rider, it would say "Article 148: There will be fifteen amperage voltage sockets at twenty-foot spaces, evenly, providing nineteen amperes . . ." This kind of thing. And article number 126, in the middle of nowhere, was: "There will be no brown M&M's in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation."If you read further, you will see that Roth means "literally" ... literally.
So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you're going to arrive at a technical error. They didn't read the contract. Guaranteed you'd run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.
So -- assuming they came up with a new test once this one became infamous -- I'd call them clever, but not unique. Many people, knowingly or not, have their own "brown M&Ms". This is why bankers wear business suits, for example. While such a test can give a false positive or negative, it can save time and more, if used properly.
My biggest "brown M&M" is unsolicited, unsoundly-based advice.
4. If I blogged every one of Little Man's amusing diaper-changing antics, the subject would threaten to take over my blog, but I will allow myself this one...
Little Man hates diaper changes, almost always screaming through them and sometimes arching his back to the point that, between that and my holding his ankles in one hand, he does a headstand while I am changing him. (And yet I have somehow remained "Mr. Immaculate" so far.)
Yesterday, though, he outdid himself. Since he is face-down when he arches his back enough, I guess it occurred to him that, with a little more effort, he could make an escape by crawling. So he extended his arms and started crawling with the upper half of his body -- straight towards his poopy diaper, which I deftly removed, just in time, with my free hand. Oh, and at some point, he managed to pee on himself from head to chest, so he got to follow his favorite activity with his second-favorite: a clothes change.