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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Friday, March 27, 2009 Good News Now Stories

Pastors help make Christian films a hit

"The Rev. Mark Fuller has used his pulpit to preach and inspire.

He also has used it to promote the Christian megahit movie Fireproof.

The movie's marketers looked to pastors like Fuller to pass the word on to their congregations through sermons, group studies and ticket sales."

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Kale - Growing Kale in the Home Vegetable Garden

"Kale is a leafy vegetable that is usually grouped into the “Cooking Greens” category with collards, mustard and Swiss chard. The leaves can be curly and quite ornamental, but become too tough to eat fresh, as they mature. Kale is a member of the cabbage family and is susceptible to many of the same pests."

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Scientists find safer way to make human stem cells

"U.S. researchers said on Thursday they have found a safer way to coax human skin cells into becoming powerful embryonic-like stem cells, taking a step closer to their potential use as treatments for diseases.

A team at the University of Wisconsin said they made the so-called induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, from human cells without using viruses or exotic genes, which leave behind genetic material that might pose risks if the cells were used as medical therapies."

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The church ladies of 1969

"My lovely wife recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of her 30th birthday, which occasioned a good friend giving her a copy of the Ladies Home Journal from her birth month, March 1969. It has an advertisement for Palmolive dish detergent on the back, with the unflappable Madge insisting that a client soak her hands in it. Inside are ads for other products that no longer seem so innovative: Breck hair color, Beautyrest mattresses, and Betty Crocker’s fancy new one-step, angel-food cake mix. The articles range from recipes to an interview with Elizabeth Taylor on mothering to an article by Mama Cass Elliot explaining that the diet on which she lost 110 pounds is ill-advised. No wonder people in my generation have such a finely honed sense of irony."

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