Friday, March 27, 2009

Good News From Mary March 27, 2009

When in doubt, throw it out

It smells okay. You don't see any fuzz on it. So what if that bottle of barbecue sauce has been sitting in the back of your fridge since July 4, 2003? And that frost-covered lamb chop that's been chilling in your freezer since last year — it's still good, right?

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Cheese beats Baboon Metaphysics in odd book prize

The prize for oddest book title of 2008 was awarded to "The 2009-2014 World Outlook for 60-milligram Containers of Fromage Frais," thanks to a late surge in popularity, The Bookseller magazine said Friday.

Philip M. Parker's "Fromage Frais," which literally means "fresh cheese" in French, beat out titles such as "Baboon Metaphysiscs," "Curbside Consultation of the Colon," and "Strip and Knit with Style" in the annual competition run by the British magazine.

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NASA hopes intrepid space spider is still alive

An intrepid spider may have survived the long months at the international space station, with scientists eager to know for sure once it returns to Earth aboard the space shuttle Discovery.

The arachnid, one of two orb weaving spiders sent to the station last November, is due to land with Discovery's astronaut crew in Florida on Saturday afternoon. The spiders, and some butterfly larvae, are part of an educational experiment with students on Earth to compare their development in zero gravity with their counterparts on Earth.

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With a Buzz Cut, I Can Take On Anything

I GOT a buzz cut last July, four days before radical open surgery to remove my cancerous prostate. I told family and friends that I did it for reasons of ease and style: I wanted to avoid the heartbreak of hospital hair, that lank and greasy thatch that repels visitors.

But I was lying.

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UV-C wand touted as super-weapon against germs

For all the trouble they cause, bacteria and viruses are actually very fragile. Shower them with a little bleach or Lysol and they'll die in apocalyptic waves. Make their homes too dry, too cold or too hot and they'll drop like microscopic flies.

Ultraviolet light -- more specifically, short wavelength ultraviolet light, or UV-C -- kills germs too. In nature, UV-C is almost always absorbed by the atmosphere before it reaches Earth, but scientists have harnessed artificial UV-C rays to blast germs in labs, hospitals and water treatment plants.

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