Friday Four

Friday, January 09, 2015

1. My kids, respectively aged three and a half years and eighteen months, have been making me laugh (or want to laugh) for different reasons lately. The older is absorbing some of my speech mannerisms and using them on me. A few examples are in order: During play a few weeks ago, I did something -- I no longer remember what -- that must have mildly impressed her. Or she was joking, when she said, "I'm proud of you," half-laughingly. Another time, I had to go to the basement to start some laundry while I was home with just her. I always tell her before doing this so she'll know where I am, and I leave the door open, so I can hear her. This time, I heard footsteps approaching the door, so I asked, "What are you doing here?"

"Just checking on you", she replied.

Pumpkin also has tried "playing parent" a few times. I usually attempt to explain why I want her to do (or not do) something, so I wasn't too surprised when to hear her retort, "That's not a good idea", to something I told her to do that she didn't like.

Little Man is learning to speak. His latest word I learned Tuesday as I carried him with me out the door to put out some trash.


This he shouted at the top of his lungs when he spotted someone on the sidewalk walking his dog.

2. Assuming human trials go well, there is some good news on the bacterial drug resistance front. Scientists have discovered a new antibiotic for the first time in twenty-five years:

The experimental drug, which was isolated from a sample of New England dirt, is called teixobactin. It hasn’t yet been tested in people, though it cured all mice infected with antibiotic-resistant staphylococci bacteria that usually kills 90 percent of the animals, according to a study published today in the journal Nature. Bacteria appear to have a particularly difficult time developing resistance to the drug, potentially overcoming a major problem with existing antibiotics. [format edits, links dropped]
Its discoverers believe that the new drug will prove difficult for pathogens to adapt to for several reasons.

3. Did you know that Americans and Germans once fought together during WW II -- to defend a castle?
The battle for the fairytale, 13th century Castle Itter was the only time in WWII that American and German troops joined forces in combat, and it was also the only time in American history that U.S. troops defended a medieval castle against sustained attack by enemy forces. To make it even more film worthy, two of the women imprisoned at Schloss Itter—Augusta Bruchlen, who was the mistress of the labour leader Leon Jouhaux, and Madame Weygand, the wife General Maxime Weygand—were there because they chose to stand by their men. They, along with Paul Reynaud’s mistress Christiane Mabire, were incredibly strong, capable, and determined women made for portrayal on the silver screen.
This comes from a book review of the first English book about the strange battle.

4. One of players who endured the infamous winless inaugural season of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers gives a riveting and humorous account, which ends with drunken revelers greeting a rag-tag group of players in the wee hours:
And so it went, the resurrected slogan resounding through the dreary night as the 0-12 bedraggled troops trudged off the plane. Among them: hobbled rookie but future Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon. Future Packers Super Bowl architect Ron Wolf. Future Lions head coach Wayne Fontes. And of course our redoubtable quarterback, Steve Spurrier, now widely acknowledged as the most astute football mind in the college game.
Let me add "oddly inspiring" to my description of this story...

-- CAV

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