I would say that, after asking for a ten-word-or-less explanation of the current conditions in Syria, the number one question that people want me to settle for them—usually when I am on the street or dining in a fancy restaurant, but always when I am otherwise engaged, which makes answering a burden that I somehow manage to bear with an admirable degree of grace—is about the best New Order song. I will save you the awkwardness of having to screw up your courage to approach me: It's this one. [Via]
I will not attempt to come up with a better title for an article about how scientists are making brain cells out of urine than Scientific American did here, with "Brain Cells Made From Urine."
"Appert’s gets the fibulas from a plant in Sioux City, Iowa, that separates them from the rest of the shank and cuts some of them into two-ounce portions, using a saw developed by Mr. File. Appert’s workers tumble 2,000-pound batches in a paddle mixer that helps force a marinade of water, salt and 'natural pork flavorings' into the meat." —Articles about the production processes behind our proud nation's suicidal dietary habits are always fascinating and disgusting. And oftentimes, also, confusingly appetizing. Barbecued "pig wings" sound delicious to me. (Especially the kind with blue cheese in Chicago. Yum! Wait, no, yuck! No, yum!) But the most confounding thing about [...]
"There's little doubt this treatment has an image problem. Feces, including important bowel flora, is transferred from a volunteer donor—screened to limit possible other infections—into the colon of the infected patient. The treatment can be administered by a colonoscope or an enema, or by the mouth or the nose." —A terrible disease, the Clostridium difficile bug, can cause severe diarrhea, blood poisoning and lead to death, and has proven highly resistant to anti-biotics. But Sydney-based gastroenterologist Thomas Borody has developed an amazingly successful cure. And given the choice, most patients say, "Yes, please, put someone else's poop inside me." So this is a very good, important thing. Now [...]
Here are a few things that the FDA found while checking out the Pennsylvania plant that produces the liquid versions of children's Tylenol, Benadryl, and Zyrtec — all of which were recalled last week by manufacturer McNeil Consumer Healthcare: "Thick dust and grime covering certain equipment"! "A hole in the ceiling"! "Duct tape-covered pipes"! Also, "raw ingredients contaminated by an unspecified bacteria" and, perhaps most importantly, corporate knowledge of many of these conditions. Yum. Production at the suburban Philadelphia plant has been suspended while the cleaning crews get called in, which is probably for the best since the facility also makes adult-appropriate products. But there's a [...]
Remember when you said, "You know what would be great right now, Al? A kind of summery My Bloody Valentine song, but with a dude singing," and I was all, "You haven't known me long enough to call me Al, but I'll see what I can do"? Well, here you go. [Via]
Meticulously Documenting Their Binge Drinking And Incessantly Checking Facebook Has Apparently Made College Students Smarter
Early during my freshman year of college, in 1989, I was sitting in the student center when a reporter from the school paper walked up and asked me whether I would be interested in talking to her for an article she was working on about the social life on campus. I made the mistake of agreeing, on record. Her story was about the dangers of underage drinking, and what might be done about the problem. One of my own roommates had spent a recent night in the hospital, having his stomach pumped to avoid alcohol poisoning. But I used the opportunity to mount an attack on the school's policy [...]
"I think it would be mistaken to conclude from these bone finds that this was cannibalism or has some cultural background. In Germany too, corpses are dilettantishly discarded, that doesn't just happened in the Second or Third Worlds." —Adolph Gallwitz, professor of police psychology at the police college in Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany, makes a good point about a pile of human bones found on the South Pacific island of Huku Niva. Local police think the bones may be the remains of a German engineer, Stefan Ramin, who went exploring the island with a local hunter and has been missing since October 9th. Some say that the bones betray [...]
"White nose syndrome grows on bats' skin during the winter and irritates them, rousing them from hibernation. Not used to being awake when it is so cold, the bats burn so much energy trying to stay warm that they deplete their fat reserves, and eventually become too weak to fly or catch food." -Discovery reports on the New York State Department of Health finding that fluconazole, a drug commonly used to cure athlete's foot in humans, is effective in fighting a fungal disease that has killed more than a million bats over the past four years. Now the challenge is to figure out how to apply the [...]
"I was with a bunch of hot girls and we would just walk into bars, whip out our BlackBerries and try to get guys to look at them by flirting… We'd say, â€˜Put your number in my phone and I'll totally call you. We'll go out on a date!' But we just wanted them to try the BlackBerry. I definitely didn't call anyone." -Julia Royter, a "pretty 26-year-old actress" who claims she was paid by BlackBerry to stealth-market the Pearl via flirtation, a practice she calls "pretty evil… You never know who is trying to sell you something." Later on a president of something called "Street Guerilla Marketing" defends [...]
Do you remember on "Mork & Mindy" when Mork and Mindy had a baby but it turned that aliens from Mork's planet were born old and then aged backwards so the baby was played by 56-year-old Jonathan Winters? The new Flaming Lips video is like that. It's pretty excellent. But, like most Flaming Lips videos, it's gross and disturbing, especially at the end, so be forewarned.
Late afternoon, what is that smell? We just had the quarrel that sent you away. I was looking for you, are you gone gone?
"In 2000, Holy Land introduced hummus flecked with jalapeÃ±o. More recently, the company, which makes about 100,000 plastic tubs of hummus each month for the Midwest market, rolled out guacamole-flavored hummus. By August, its blend of hummus and peanut butter will hit the shelves. 'That one is for my daughter, Noor,' Mr. Wadi said. 'She didn't think she liked hummus. Then we stirred in peanut butter.' Other companies are also taking liberties with hummus. In Somersworth, N.H., the Crazy Camel company makes six varieties of dessert hummus, including a blend of chickpeas and cocoa it calls chocolate mousse hummus. In North Carolina, Good Health Natural Foods of Greensboro makes [...]
Man, I am so the embarrassed emoticon in the face right now because this Dakota Fanning Teen Vogue shoot makes me feel spectacularly gonzo in the crotch. I KNOOOOOW. I'm SORRY but I CAN'T HELP IT because I don't think it even matters if you're a dirty old man or not because her freakshow precocious eyes accuse you of thinking things and then forgives you and the whole thing makes me feel filthy.