Tuesday, February 26, 2008
- Cauliflower lovers, rejoice! Chou-fleur breeders have developed new strains of the underappreciated veggie that'll charm skeptics with their psychedelic neon-green, orange and purple heads. If their day-glo colors don't make your mouth water, their nutritional profile should:
In America, where colour cauliflowers have been available for several years, they have been a big hit with foodies. The orange cauliflower has higher than normal levels of beta carotene, a form of vitamin A that encourages healthy skin. The purple colour comes from anthocyanin, which may help prevent heart disease by slowing blood clotting. Tests of the orange cauliflowers in America found that they contained 25 times the concentrations of beta carotene in normal cauliflowers. [Daily Mail UK]More on the genetic mutation that causes cauliflower to glow at the Biotech Weblog.
- An oldie, but a goodie - the still unauthorized Red Meat Construction Set!
- This morning, NPR had a fascinating piece on yellow fever, "Lessons From America's Tropical Epidemic." Years ago the dread disease carried away young and old, but today, global warming also carries the risk ushering in its return to normally temperate areas. I always associated the term "Bring out your dead!" with the Black Plague and a classic Monty Python skit [YouTube] - but apparently the carts rolled in the streets during America's yellow fever epidemic, as well.
- The cellphone: not just a cool toy that's brought us instant portable communication (and more annoying bus rides), but an innovation that's creating profound change in the way human beings live and understand their connections to one another around the globe. Check out this Gardner Writes blog post discussing the Joel Garreau WaPo article "Our Cells, Ourselves":
Twenty-five years of cellphone technology have brought us to the point that Google CEO Eric Schmidt can say, "Eventually there will be more cellphone users than people who read and write. I think if you get that right, then everything else becomes obvious."
- Apocalypse knitters - purl yourself a swanky (Non-Functional) Gas Mask Hat and be the envy of your neighborhood's Homeland Security fan club. [via Boing Boing]
- Speaking of frightening-but-playful scenarios, Dark Roasted Blend's photoessay "Nightmare Playgrounds" travels to Cold-War Era European (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Israel, to name a few) parks and playgrounds that bring the line "stop crying, kid, or I'll really give you something to cry about!" to garish unnatural life. Think Disney-meets-Hieronymus Bosch.
- Help save GINA! GINA stands for the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, legislation currently on hold in the Senate that would provide Americans a degree of protection and privacy against discrimination based on genetic information in employment, health insurance, and other areas. Read the full article at the Genetic Genealogist.
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