Jeremy Beadle

Jeremy Beadle, an ‘entertainer’ has died aged 59. I qualify the entertainer bit because a lot of his schtick was about embarrassing people using hidden cameras. Mostly folks would take this in good spirits, but I have a strong dislike of playing on people in this way, so while it was OK when I was seven I don’t rate it any more.

Having said that he was a smart guy, or at least one who knew a lot which is a fair substitute. That much I knew, but it turns out that he was also instrumental in raising £100 million for charity (that’s what, about 8 trillion dollars?) I don’t really believe in ‘better’ or ‘worse’ to describe people, but if I did I’d say he was a better person than me.

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AmericaBlog passes on details of a report on the levels of pesticides found in children:

The peer-reviewed study found that the urine and saliva of children eating a variety of conventional foods from area groceries contained biological markers of organophosphates, the family of pesticides spawned by the creation of nerve gas agents in World War II.

When the same children ate organic fruits, vegetables and juices, signs of pesticides were not found.

We know that high levels of organophosphates are dangerous to humans (farmers commonly use them on livestock, and those that do suffer from higher than average rates of neurological illness). Lower levels aren’t linked to anything specific at the moment, but that’s possibly an artifact of current medical knowledge; observing the effects of small doses of anything is hard, both because the effects take time to accrue, and it’s difficult to separate out one factor among many others when you’re looking at someone’s entire life for an extended period.


In the UK the ER is called A&E (Accident & Emergency). It serves as Urgent Care as well as ER, which is why I found myself there yesterday having smacked my hand something fierce earlier in the day. The nurse practitioner looked at it, ordered an x-ray, then when that came back clear (no breaks, just a bruise) told me to stop being such a girly-man and just take an aspirin. She may not have used any of those words, but the meaning was clear.

Yes, I am falling apart.

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Insects to Fear

Via Neatorama, here’s a summary of the five scariest bugs in the world. I can’t encourage you to watch the videos, because I couldn’t get to the end of any of them:

It’s the size of your thumb and it can spray flesh-melting poison. We really wish we were making that up for, you know, dramatic effect because goddamn, what a terrible thing a three-inch acid-shooting hornet would be, you know? Oh, hey, did we mention it shoots it into your eyes? Or that the poison also has a pheromone cocktail in it that’ll call every hornet in the hive to come over and sting you until you are no longer alive?

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