Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Internet Browsing Club - October 2012

Mindy Kaling’s new show is good so far. Her mother died of pancreatic cancer as the show was being developed. In an interview with Vulture, she talked about some advice her mom gave her, which is very good advice, so much so that I’m surprised it isn’t a cliche? Why haven’t I heard this particular advice before?
she sat down with a pen and paper and asked her mother to give her all the advice she could possibly give her before she died, and Kaling realized she’d never be able to ask her mother for advice again. “I said to her, ‘Mom, I’m going to be so lonely without you.’” She’s crying now but keeps going. “And she just said, ‘You have to be your own best friend. If you always remember that, you will always have someone there with you.’”

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The AV Club provides these astounding Linkin Park facts:
Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory has been certified diamond, meaning it’s sold over 10 million copies since its release in 2000. According to Billboard, the record is just the 20th album to go diamond since SoundScan began tracking sales in 1991. Hybrid Theory sold 3,000 copies last week alone, meaning there were 3,000 people dumb enough to buy a new copy of a record that they could get used on Amazon for $.01.

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NPR had an interesting interview with a guy about the MP3 format. Approximately every music format has had a lifespan of 30 years; the MP3 is about 15 years old.

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Some Utah inmates got botulism from prison wine, “pruno”:
Several batches of pruno were reportedly in circulation among inmates at the time of the outbreak. Pruno batch A was made with oranges, grapefruit, canned fruit, water, powdered drink mix (a source of sugar), and a baked potato. Among these ingredients, the baked potato was the only ingredient used in brew A that was not used in simultaneously circulating pruno batches. Consequently, preparation of baked potatoes in the prison kitchen and methods used to prepare brew A were the primary focus of the field investigation...
The inmate who prepared brew A reported the potato was removed from a meal tray, stored at ambient temperature for an undetermined number of weeks in either a sealed plastic bag or jar obtained from the commissary, peeled using his fingernails, and added to a plastic bag containing other ingredients a few days before brew A consumption. The ingredients were fermented in this bag for several days before being distributed to other inmates in resealable plastic bags. Toxin likely was produced when the potato was added to a bag containing low-acidity pruno ingredients under warm, anaerobic conditions during pruno fermentation. Warm conditions commonly are obtained by placing the bagged mixture in warm water and insulating the bag with clothing, towels, or bedding (2). Plastic bags and jars used in pruno fermentation are easily accessible to inmates. Laundry and items purchased from the commissary are delivered in plastic bags and foods packaged in jars and resealable bags can be purchased from the commissary. During the investigation, many types of plastic bags and jars were observed in cells.
In addition to clinical morbidity, the outbreak resulted in considerable cost to Utah taxpayers. These included hospital charges of nearly $500,000; secure emergency transport and correctional facility monitoring at hospital A; and local, state, and federal public health and correctional facility resources for the investigation.

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Anybody read the K-State Entomology Newsletter? Just me? The July 27 issue filled me in about the huge wasps I’d seen buzzing around my house:

We are receiving numerous inquiries regarding large wasps flying around. These are primarily the eastern cicada killer, Sphecius speciosus, which is actually considered a beneficial insect because it regulates cicada populations...The female locates and stings a large insect such as a cicada or katydid and then brings the “prize” back to the burrow. Observing a cicada killer female dragging a large, immobilized cicada across the ground to a nest is a very impressive natural event :)
The female then places the paralyzed insect into a chamber and lays an egg on the surface of the paralyzed insect; sometimes she places two paralyzed insects in a burrow but lays an egg on only one. The female cicada killer eventually covers the burrow, digs another, and repeats the process. The egg hatches into legless grub-like larva that consumes the paralyzed insect. Full-grown larvae overwinter in the burrow, pupate in the spring, and emerge as an adult during the summer; usually July and August...
Cicada killers are unlikely to sting a person.


Nicolas Frisby said...

I smashed a cicada killer into the ground once with a shovel. I struck it from the air with a ping noise and then slapped the grass where it landed. When the multiple inch insect rose back up, I dropped the shovel and ran circles around the house.

Do not hit cicada killers with a shovel. It is ineffective.

dn said...

Good to know, because I have seen a few while I was holding a shovel this summer.