Friday, December 12, 2003Before you pick up that bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 this weekend, consider this: there may be something to the old Temperance ploy of dropping a worm into a glass of booze to visually demonstrate alcohol's toxicity to habitual tipplers. The old joke says the worm shrivels up and dies horribly, at which point the lecturer sternly announces - "so what does this teach you?" - only to have a red-faced wino answer, "if you drink, you'll never get worms!"
Well, researchers at the University of California San Francisco have now found the alcoholism gene in - you guessed it - worms:
After six years of work on the project, [UCSF researcher Dr. Steven] McIntire *can now spot a soused worm about as well as a highway patrol trooper can spot a drunken driver. He and the other scientists dosed hundreds of thousands of worms with enough alcohol that they would be too drunk to drive legally -- if they were human with the same blood-to-alcohol levels. The **drunken worms moved slower and more awkwardly than sober ones, and laid fewer eggs. Teetotaler worms form a neat S shape to power propulsion while the bodies of drunken worms were straighter and less active.* Now that's something to put on the resumé...and a great pickup line at a cocktail party.
** Do drunk drivers lay fewer eggs than sober drivers?
Margaret Cho on Dim Sum dining:
I went to eat dim sum in Chinatown. The hierarchy between the dim sum ladies still exists. What it is broken down into is a kind of terrible ranking system in which the young and attractive dim sum ladies are in charge of the glass carts, filled with the crisp fried balls of dough filled with shrimp and pork, the taro rolls, spring rolls, egg tarts. The delicate, onyx eyed raven haired Lucy Liu beauties push the sumptuous carts containing the steamer baskets, filled with whiter than white pork buns and translucent shrimp shu mai. Then the metal carts, filled with scary shit that nobody wants, like chicken feet or broccoli rabe, the funky gluey rice cakes that need to be fried at the table, are given to the older dim sum ladies, the ones who are long in the tooth, soon to be put out to pasture, about to be made into glue themselves, proving yet again, sex sells. Even dim sum.
I've been a Red Meat fan for years, but this week's strip is a slow-burn stone twisted funny-bone classic.