Friday, November 29, 2013

Revenge of the Turkey


(Memorial Hermann, via LiveScience, used w/o permission.)
"Thanksgiving Trauma: The 7 Strangest Holiday ER Visits"
Tanya Lewis, LiveScience (November 27, 2013)

"The holidays are a time of joy and giving thanks. But like any occasion that involves families gathering to enjoy good food and each other's company, accidents can happen.

"LiveScience asked emergency room doctors about the weirdest, funniest or most unfortunate reasons for a visit to the ER over Thanksgiving and other holidays. From deep-fryer burns to in-law anxiety, here are some of the most notable:

"1. Turkey troubles

" Nothing says Thanksgiving like cooking an obscenely large farm bird. Perhaps it's not surprising, then, that emergency rooms see a lot of fowl-related injuries on Turkey Day.

"Deep-frying turkeys poses a major hazard. If the turkey is wet or partially frozen when it hits the oil, the bird can catch fire, or even explode. 'We've had fires that singed hair and eyebrows, and splash burns to the face,'" said Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician...."

"...People also drop their turkeys, causing second-degree burns to the tops of their feet, contusions and the occasional toe fracture...

"...3. Overindulging

"One of the most common problems around Thanksgiving, as one might guess, involves eating and drinking too much, Glatter said. The combination, he explained, can cause a surge in epinephrine or norepinephrine, which triggers atrial fibrillation (an irregular heartbeat) in a structurally normal heart. Doctors call it 'holiday heart.'...

"...And when people eat too quickly, food can get lodged in their throats — especially turkey, because it's so dry...."

There's more: carving under the influence; the potato salad that time forgot; energetic in-laws; and  — the Lemming's favorite — a raw turkey used as a football helmet.

There's a wonderfully redolent tale of revenge from beyond the grave here, or maybe "from beyond the gravy:" a turkey, vowing with its last breath to wreak terrible vengeance, lodging in the throat of a holiday guest.

On that cheerful note, the Lemming bids you bon app├ętit, which is the name of a magazine, and another topic.

Vaguely-related posts:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Hot News from IceCube - or - A Neutrino Named Ernie


(From IceCube Collaboration, via Space.com, used w/o permission.)
"This image shows the highest energy neutrino ever observed (1.14 petaelectronvolts), which scientists named 'Ernie,' as seen by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole on Jan. 3, 2012. Image released Nov. 21, 2013."

"Neutrino Detector Finds Elusive Extraterrestrial Particles in 'Major Breakthrough'
Tanya Lewis, Space.com (November 21, 2013)

"For decades, scientists have been searching for ghostly neutrino particles from outer space, and now they have finally found them.

"Using the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, researchers found the first evidence of neutrinos from outside the solar system since 1987. The findings open the door for a new era of astronomy that could reveal secrets of the strangest phenomena in the universe, scientists say.

" 'It is a major breakthrough,' said Uli Katz, a particle physicist at University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Germany, who was not involved with the research. 'I think it is one of the absolute major discoveries in astro-particle physics,' Katz told SPACE.com...."

First, what this doesn't mean. Ernie the Neutrino isn't going to blow up the sun, find Elvis, or help anyone win the lottery.

Ernie is one of two recent neutrino events. The other one's Bert: and yes, they had Sesame Street in mind. Scientists aren't nearly as heavily-starched about names as they were a century back, about which the Lemming is pleased. Not that the Lemming's preferences are of great import: except to the Lemming, and this is getting off-topic.

Where was the Lemming? Neutrinos. Bert and Ernie. Really cool science. Downright cold, actually, since IceCube is in Antarctica, and that's yet another topic.

The big deal about Ernie and Bert is that they've got more than one petaelectronvolt. A petaelectronvolt is 1,000,000,000,000,000 electronvolts. That number is pronounced "one quadrillion," or "wow, that's a lot of zeroes."

Maybe these overachieving neutrinos are from someone's ham sandwich, but it's much more likely that they're from deep space: the dark abyss between stars.

It's the first time that scientists are pretty sure that they've detected an extrasolar neutrino, and they're excited about it. So is the Lemming.

One of the next steps will be to find out what flavor the neutrinos are. The Lemming likes pistachio and Butter Brickle ice cream, which may or may not be a registered trademark: and has just about nothing to do with neutrinos. The Lemming is still catching up on sleep.

More-or-less-related posts:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Out, Out, Brief Prince! Or, It's Brillig Already?!

Friday snuck up on the Lemming, or is it sneaked up? Either way, this post needs to be out several hours before brillig, come slithy toves: or Birnam Wood to Dunsinane, for that matter.

Then there's Lady Macbeth, and her odd tastes in castle decor. And what she said about that spot: shocking!

One thing seems certain, the Lemming needs more sleep.

Pretty much unrelated posts:

Friday, November 8, 2013

A 'Bookish' Librarian, Art, Words, and a Rambling Lemming


Giuseppe Arcimboldo's The Librarian, painted in 1566, currently residing at Skokloster Castle, Sweden.

If artists paint what they see, Giuseppe was deranged; which has little to do with "Home on the Range;" although spending too much time where the antelope roam might.

On the other hand, maybe his paintings are incisive social commentary; or clever puzzles; or maybe he was essentially not in madness, But mad in craft. Bill had a knack with words: like when Hamlet said "unpack my heart with words," and it's funny how unpack sounds like knack, except that first k is silent, and the Lemming's train of thought jumped the track, which also rhymes with knack.

Which reminded the Lemming that Giuseppe Arcimboldo painted a quartet of seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, except they came about ten years apart: the first two and the last two, that is; and October is in autumn, followed by November and December, which got those names because they're the eighth, ninth, and tenth month; but that was when Romans only had ten months in a year, since winter didn't count. Sort of.

That was a long time ago, or maybe not so much. It depends on your frame of reference, and the Lemming definitely needs sleep.

Allegedly-related posts:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ninjas

Ninjas never really existed. The folks whose skills inspired stories of ninjas were in a profession that died out centuries ago.

It's the perfect cover.

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