Hello Friday: The Fiercest Nerds On The Block May 15-22

Photo by Rick Audet
Photo by Rick Audet

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, guys! Before we get into the best comments of the week, friendly reminder to enter your date and time in the Baby Betty Pool. Betty won’t guess her birth date and time by herself, now will she? She needs suggestions.


re: Fierce OR Nerdy: Swine Flu Or H1N1, in which slpc asked us to vote on our preferred name for the not-as-deadly-as-the-MSM-thought-it-would-be flu virus currently doing the rather anti-climatic rounds.

(Thought)Chuck: Both names are misleading and have their drawbacks. Calling it “swine flu” infers that the virus came specifically from pigs, when influenza is actually a virus that originates in the intestinal tracts of birds and which then mutates (“antigen shift”) and is transferred inter-species, in many cases to pigs. True, the virus can mutate further than is normal and become more virulent & dangerous (“antigen drift”) while in the pigs, but still the disease is not native to pigs. Calling it H1N1 is also “off-the-mark,” in that this virus we have encountered today is a descedant of, but not THE SAME AS, the virus which was originally identified by its genetic code as H1N1 and which caused the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. This new virus, though potentially dangerous, has not yet shown the adaptability to humans and high transferrance & lethality rates that the 1918 virus had – and which made it so deadly. Check out John barry’s THE GREAT INFLUENZA for a fascinating, concise account of the 1918 pandemic, as well as a great “science for non-scientists” look at how viruses behave.


re: The Most Practical Road to Mad Love, in which I admitted to creating an apartment-in-a-few-bags back-up plan, when I moved in with my then-BF, now-husband and asked how other people got comfortable enough to take the big love leap.

DebraB: My husband and I have been together for 5 1/2 years, married almost three, baby on the way…and I still haven’t let him integrate our cd collections. To me, separating music collections always seemed like the hardest part to breaking up (not that I think we ever will). But when we move — he’ll probably just pack them all together.


re: If You Ask Me: The Basic BBQ and Booze Plan, in which Travis Randall tells you what kind of beer is best at a BBQ (American and Mexican) and gives you a way of making margaritas, so that your guests will have fun, but won’t get severely hungover the next day. A must-read for Memorial Day. One commenter, however, took exception, when I (correctly) put forth in the comments that every other American beer outside of Pabst and Yuengling is gross.

Justin_Time: Really? Every other american beer is gross? Really? Please allow me to introduce some great American brews:  Anchor Steam, Alaskan Amber, Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Killians, Rolling Rock… just to name a few of the bigger brewers. Yuengling is the ultimate American lager though and our oldest brewing company. Here is a great list: http://www.beerchurch.com/Default.aspx?tabid=2133


re: Wonderfully Awful: Why Be Unemployed When You Can Be FUNemployed?, in which Robin Rosenzweig, puts forth her theories about how to make unemployment tons of fun. Hint: naps, off-hour errand-running and game show auditions.

slpc: personally i’m past the napping stage of funemployment. i never ever thought i’d get sick of napping, but i guess i did. i’ve found other things to fill my time, so much so that funemployment has begun to feel like a job. sigh.


re: Thought Chuck for May 21, in which Charles Cron tells us that USDA allows salsa to be counted as a vegetable in school lunches. Apparently, it could be worse…

BabySmiling: It’s a step up from the Reagan-era “ketchup as vegetable” USDA standard.