An oral history of the poop emoji (this is barfblog)

I’m not cool or hip at all and emojis have not been part of my personal communication toolbox.

I only see them when I get texts from Schaffner. img-thing

But this is barfblog and we like all things puke, vomit and poop, so here you go:  Lauren Schwartzberg’s, The oral history of the poop emoji (or, how Google brought poop to America).

My favorite excerpt:

“How many millions of occasions are there when [the poop] is the perfect response to whatever anybody says? In a world where you can only like, star, or plus-one something, don’t you just wish that you could put a pile of poop on things? Sometimes it feels so right.”

Just don’t eat it. At least the uncooked kind.

 

We’re all hosts on a viral planet: Viruses help keep the gut healthy

Drunken graduate student discussions about the role of viruses in human development have taken on new importance now that researchers studying mice have shown that a virus can help maintain and restore a healthy gut in much the same way that friendly bacteria do.

kellysheroes2t1oddballThe work “shows for the first time that a virus can functionally substitute for a bacterium and provide beneficial effects,” says Julie Pfeiffer, a virologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas who was not involved with the study. “It’s shocking.”

Our bodies are mostly microbes, with each of us hosting a hundred trillion bacteria as our so-called microbiome. These bacteria appear to play a role in everything from our weight to our allergies. But viruses also lurk in and around those bacteria—and they vastly outnumber the microbes.

Like the microbiome, this “virome” may be important for human health. One recent study, for example, found that viruses that are abundant in saliva may weed out harmful bacteria. Kenneth Cadwell, a virologist at New York University School of Medicine in New York City, wanted to know what viruses in the gut might be doing. In particular, he was interested in a group called noroviruses. Although they are notorious for causing epidemics of diarrhea on cruise ships and disease in lab mouse colonies, some noroviruses infect mice with no ill effects.

Reminds of this scene from 1978’s Animal house, but I could only find the clip in this other language.

Kissing transfers 80 million bacteria, scientists say

French kiss, tongue swapping, tonsil hockey: whatever it’s called, people like to kiss.

imagesAnd while a 10-second “intimate kiss” can transfer 80 million bacteria from one mouth to another, according to a new report in the journal Microbiome, that’s nothing compared to the trillions of bacteria we all carry.

A team of Dutch researchers recruited 21 couples who happened to be visiting the Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam on a summer day. All 42 volunteers (whose ages ranged from 17 to 45) allowed the researchers to wipe their tongues with a cotton swab several times. They also agreed to spit into sterile tubes and answer questions about their kissing habits.

The researchers found that the particular community of bacteria living on a volunteer’s tongue was more similar to the bacteria on his or her kissing partner’s tongue than to a stranger’s tongue. They quantified this using a measure called the Morisita-Horn index, where 0 indicates complete overlap and 1 means no overlap at all. The MH index value for kissing couples was 0.37, significantly lower than the 0.55 for strangers.

231127Then the volunteers engaged in some public displays of affection (a 10-second kiss “involving full tongue contact and saliva exchange”) and had their tongues swabbed again. According to the bacterial analysis, a fresh kiss barely budged the similarity index value. That suggests that the overlap in tongue bacteria is probably “a long-term effect of couples living together” – sharing meals, toothpaste and other items from daily life.

In a further test, some of the volunteers were given a probiotic yogurt drink spiked with a marker bacteria. Researchers swabbed their tongues and asked them to kiss their partners. Then the partners had their tongues swabbed. Comparing the contents of the yogurt-drinkers’ swabs and their partners’ swabs, the researchers calculated that a single kiss can deposit 80,000,000 bacteria from one tongue to another.

Shaping the oral microbiota through intimate kissing

Microbiome 2014; 2:41

Remco Kort, Martien Caspers, Astrid van de Graaf, Wim van Egmond, Bart Keijser and Guus Roeselers

http://www.microbiomejournal.com/content/2/1/41

Abstract

Background

The variation of microbial communities associated with the human body can be the cause of many factors, including the human genetic makeup, diet, age, surroundings, and sexual behavior. In this study, we investigated the effects of intimate kissing on the oral microbiota of 21 couples by self-administered questionnaires about their past kissing behavior and by the evaluation of tongue and salivary microbiota samples in a controlled kissing experiment. In addition, we quantified the number of bacteria exchanged during intimate kissing by the use of marker bacteria introduced through the intake of a probiotic yoghurt drink by one of the partners prior to a second intimate kiss.

Results

Similarity indices of microbial communities show that average partners have a more similar oral microbiota composition compared to unrelated individuals, with by far most pronounced similarity for communities associated with the tongue surface. An intimate kiss did not lead to a significant additional increase of the average similarity of the oral microbiota between partners. However, clear correlations were observed between the similarity indices of the salivary microbiota of couples and self-reported kiss frequencies, and the reported time passed after the latest kiss. In control experiments for bacterial transfer, we identified the probiotic Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium marker bacteria in most kiss receivers, corresponding to an average total bacterial transfer of 80 million bacteria per intimate kiss of 10 s.

Conclusions

This study indicates that a shared salivary microbiota requires a frequent and recent bacterial exchange and is therefore most pronounced in couples with relatively high intimate kiss frequencies. The microbiota on the dorsal surface of the tongue is more similar among partners than unrelated individuals, but its similarity does not clearly correlate to kissing behavior, suggesting an important role for specific selection mechanisms resulting from a shared lifestyle, environment, or genetic factors from the host. Furthermore, our findings imply that some of the collective bacteria among partners are only transiently present, while others have found a true niche on the tongue’s surface allowing long-term colonization. 

Frog in a blender? People in Peru are drinking frog juice

The Titicaca water frog is very large and entirely aquatic and makes its home in the high-altitude rivers that flow into Andean lake for which it is named.

frog.blenderIn addition to being named a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the frog, according to the Associated Press, is also believed by some Peruvians and Bolivians to be a cure for human maladies as wide ranging and seemingly unrelated as asthma, osteoporosis, fatigue and a low libido.

So say some Peruvians who make a habit of turning the amphibians into “juice.”

“I always come to drink frog juice here because it’s good for the children,” Cecilia Cahuana told the AP at a frog-juice bar in Lima. “For anemia, bronchitis and also good for older persons.”

Oh Aggies: student had sex with sheep ‘because he was stressed about his exams’

From the university integrity files, a student had sex with a sheep because he was stressed about his exams, he told police.

The 23-year-old computer engineering major was caught with a ewe in a barn on his California university campus.

A passing student heard noises coming from the agricultural department barn at 3.30am on Tuesday.

Fresno State caretakers said the sheep was being treated by a local vet, ABC7 reported.

Student Marisa Burkdoll, who helps care for the campus horses, said the incident was “sick”.

“It’s just kind of disgusting and revolting and personally makes me angry,” she said. “I mean why would you do that?”

The student responsible was charged with sexual assault of an animal at Fresno County Jail, and has since been released.

He told the authorities he had been drinking, and was worried about his midterm exams.


 

More Stompin’ Tom: Sewing needles now found in 10 P.E.I. potatoes

The first bar I got into underage with false ID was the Horseshoe Tavern to see Toronto-based Goddo, who I would later book at my high school when I was student council president (damn glad to meet you). Due to many requests, here’s Stompin’ Tom at the Horseshoe.

But it’s no trivial manner for growers when the RCMP in Prince Edward Island say their investigation into food tampering now includes 10 potatoes containing sewing needles.

The Mounties say the needles were found in three more potatoes originating from Linkletter Farms in Summerside with the help of metal detection equipment.

The potatoes were returned as part of a voluntary recall and have been sent to a forensic laboratory for more testing.

 

No Stompin’ Tom? A historical timeline of ketchup and French fries, and how the pair grew to fall in love

Once upon on a time, in the 1700s, potatoes were thought to be a food “unfit for human consumption,” and instead were fed to livestock and prisoners. Lucky pigs, lucky criminals.

As we know them today, potatoes — particularly the French fried variety — are something to be anticipated with every bite. When pipin’ hot, crunchy on the outside, lush on the inside and smothered in ketchup, french fries make the most delectable bite. It’s undeniable: French fries and ketchup are destined to be. They are the Beyonce and Jay of the culinary world, and they deserve to be honored as such. And just like pop’s power couple, ketchup and fries weren’t always paired together. To learn more about the history of their romance, study this informational timeline below. 

Kenisngton_Timeline


 

 

 

 

Buffalo family finds maggots in Chinese take-out

A local family sits down for dinner and finds unwelcomed guests at the table – maggots in their Chinese take-out

chinese-kitchen-buffalo-2158198“Don’t go to Chinese Kitchen because their kitchen is filthy,” said Maria Marti who ordered the food.

Marti and her two daughters are sick to their stomachs after ordering Chinese food delivery Friday night only to discover it was full of maggots and they had already started eating.

“I was like, there’s some kind of worm in this food. What is it? And I had to keep looking at it and I’m like, this is a worm. It kinda looked like a caterpillar and then I look and I’m like, these are maggots! I counted at least a dozen and then I stopped after that,” said Marti.

It was Maria’s 12 year old daughter Marlena who first spotted the critters.

Maria immediately snapped some pictures and called the restaurant to complain.

Seven Eyewitness News went to the restaurant looking for answers on Saturday. Once inside the Chinese Kitchen Restaurant located at 224 Elmwood Avenue, we showed employees the pictures of the maggots and asked them what the tiny objects were.

The workers said they had no idea what it was and said that Maria was the only customer to complain.

However, the restaurant said they gave Maria a refund and one cook seemed to indicate that this has happened before.

“I say that happened before because when we cut the broccoli…they find out some of them there’s things from the vegetables. I can’t do anything,” said Brian Weng.

According to the Erie County Health Department’s restaurant inspection database, The Chinese Kitchen had five health inspection violations in May and one critical violation issued for a 60 pound bowl of raw chicken left out and un-refrigerated.

The other violations were for dirty surfaces and food left un-covered and un-protected.

150 South African students hospitalized after glass found in food

Hungry Limpopo school children are the unsuspecting victims of an alleged tender war between food suppliers, according to reports.

glass.in.foodOn Monday more than 150 pupils from Kwena Tshwena Primary School in Ridgefontein were rushed to hospital after crushed glass was alleged found in their food, eNCA reported.

According an unnamed staff member the children received food from the school’s feeding scheme and by the afternoon a group of pupils were sent to hospital after complaining of stomach cramps and vomiting.

The staffer told eNCA that by Monday evening over 150 pupils were admitted to hospital.

Thabo Mogoaneng, an uncle of one of the children, told the news channel that it was not the first time such an incident had occurred.

Mogoaneng claimed that the poisoning and crushed bottles found in food were a result of the ongoing tender war between food suppliers.

The latest incident is the third one reported in Limpopo in as many months.

Poop on a plane forces turnaround

Virgin Australia has said no human waste was sloshing down the aisle of a flight from Los Angeles to Sydney, contrary to passenger reports.

airplane.shurleyFlight VA2 turned around when liquid from the bathrooms was found in the aisle. 

“The onboard toilets operate on a completely separate drainage system. As the issue was with the aircraft sink, and not the toilets, there was no incident of leaked human waste,” Virgin said.

The plane was turned around for passenger comfort, so they did not “have to deal with that issue”.

It landed in Los Angeles at 4.09am local time on Tuesday.

Passengers report they were forced to wear masks for three hours due to the stench.

Christchurch resident Julia Malley told Newstalk ZB the smell was “unbearable”.

“We could see it [human waste] go through the aisles, like it was very obvious,” she said.

The flight was then bound for Christchurch in New Zealand.

Virgin Australia said in a statement: “sinks on board were leaking.”