The Wires

Public Service Announcement

November 26: Washington Post: "Federal health officials said Monday that only romaine lettuce from certain parts of California is unsafe to eat and that romaine lettuce entering the market will now be labeled to give consumers information about when and where it was harvested. If consumers, retailers and food service facilities cannot determine whether the romaine was grown outside California, they should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one got sick, according to a lengthy statement from Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. FDA officials said the most likely source of contamination is from the Central Coast growing regions in northern and central California. Romaine lettuce harvested outside those regions 'does not appear to be related to the current outbreak,' the FDA said. Hydroponically grown and greenhouse-grown romaine also does not appear to be affected in the outbreak. Romaine from those sources is safe to eat, the FDA said."

... November 20: New York Times: "In a sweeping alert, federal health officials warned people not to eat romaine lettuce anywhere in the country, after 32 people in 11 states fell sick with a virulent form of E. coli, a bacteria blamed for a number of food-borne outbreaks in recent years. The notice, issued Tuesday afternoon by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said consumers should not buy or eat any kind of romaine, whether chopped or whole, and restaurants should stop serving it. Anyone who has romaine, the health agency said, should throw it out." ...

     ... Mrs. McCrabbie: Okay then, guess I'll throw out that romaine. Already ate one head, and I ain't dead yet.

"The Christmas Comet Returneth." New York Times: "Look into the night sky on Sunday [December 16] and you just might see a bright, fuzzy ball with a greenish-gray tint. That’s because a comet that orbits between Jupiter and the sun will make its closest approach to Earth in centuries, right on the heels of this year’s most stunning meteor shower. 'The fuzziness is just because it’s a ball of gas basically,' Tony Farnham, a research scientist in the astronomy department at the University of Maryland, said on Saturday morning.... 'You’ve got a one-kilometer solid nucleus in the middle, and gas is going out hundreds of thousands of miles.' The comet glows green because the gases emit light in green wavelengths. The ball of gas and dust, sometimes referred to as the 'Christmas comet,' was named 46P/Wirtanen, after the astronomer Carl Wirtanen, who discovered it in 1948. It orbits the sun once every 5.4 years, passing by Earth approximately every 11 years, but its distance varies and it is rarely this close. As the comet passes by, it will be 30 times farther from Earth than the moon, NASA said.”

By George O'Keefe or somebody.Maybe the Best Gift Would Be a Spell-Check App. Mrs. Bea McCrabbie: Way back in November (so Slate has had plenty of time to make corrections), someone named Angela Serratore (hope I spelled that right), wrote a post for Slate, which is featured on its main page now, suggesting gifts from small museum shops. That's a nice thought, but it would have been even nicer if the story had not misspelled Georgia O'Keeffe three times: twice as "Georgia O'Keefe" & once as "George O'Keefe." But never "Georgia O'Keeffe."

Chuck Schumer & Nancy Pelosi leaving the White House Wednesday, Dec. 12, after making mincemeat of Donald Trump.Everybody Loved Nancy's Coat! It's turns out it's from a 2013 Max Mara collection. According to Ana Colón of Glamour, "the Italian fashion house sent out a press release that not only confirmed the origins of Pelosi's coat but also announced that Max Mara would be reinstating the Glamis into its outerwear collection in 2019. 'In a variety of colorways,' no less! A spokesperson for the brand confirmed to Glamour that the decision to bring it back was inspired by Pelosi."

Isabel Wilkerson reports, in the New York Times, on Michelle Obama's book Becoming. It's quite a compelling read.

Reality Chex Bargain. Someone will pay $1 million or more for a letter written by Albert Einstein. You can read it for free. ...

... New York Times: The "God Letter," "written [in German] in 1954 by Albert Einstein ... is being auctioned this week.... He sent the handwritten letter to Eric Gutkind, a German philosopher who had written a book called 'Choose Life: The biblical Call to Revolt' that, apparently, Einstein did not much like.... Einstein wrote dozens of letters in which he mentioned God or Judaism. 'Nobody should read one Einstein letter and think that solves what he thinks about God,' Walter Isaacson, the author of the 2007 biography 'Einstein,' said in an interview.... The letter surfaced in 2008. Until then, it had apparently been in the hands of Gutkind’s heirs (he died in 1965). And it rocketed into the universe of big-money auctions, selling for $404,000 in London.... It will go on the block at Christie’s on Tuesday. Christie’s set a presale estimate of $1 million to $1.5 million."

Here's New York magazine's take on A Very Melanie Christmas:

... AND Rhonda Garelick of New York has some thoughts on why Melanie's Red Forest is so empty of holiday cheer.

Chris Hayes reviews this year's White House holiday decor:

So if you'd like to read all about Mika Brzezinski's wedding to Joe Scarborough, Emily Fox of Vanity Fair obliges. It sounds as if it was a very nice ceremony. Except, you know, Mika & Joe.

Kwitcherbitchin. Think things are bad now? They were way worse in 536 C.E. A report in Science explains.

Click on picture to see larger image.

... New York Times: "A celebrated and enigmatic painting of two men and a turquoise pool by David Hockney sold at Christie’s on Thursday night for $90.3 million with fees, shattering the auction record for a living artist and cementing a major broadening of tastes at the turbocharged top end of the market. The price for the 1972 painting, 'Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures),' easily surpassed the previous high of $58.4 million, held by Jeff Koons for one of his 'Balloon Dog' sculptures."

Jennifer Szalai of the New York Times reviews Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming.

Sunday
Apr152018

An Alternative to Facebook

By Anonymous*

 

To others of my generation who still do not and cannot comprehend why Facebook even exists, here’s what I’m doing to gain a better understanding:

I’m trying to make new friends without using Facebook, but using the same principles.

Every day I walk down the street and tell passers-by what I have eaten, how I feel at the moment, what I have done the night before, what I will do later, and with whom.

I show them pictures of my family, my dog, and of me gardening, taking things apart in the garage, watering the lawn, standing in front of landmarks, driving around town, having lunch, and doing what anybody and everybody does every day.

I also listen to their conversations. 

Then I give them the “thumbs up” and tell them I like them.

And…

Guess what? It’s working!

I already have four people “following” me.

Two police officers, a private investigator, and a psychiatrist.


* Mrs. Bea McCrabbie
: This came to me via a friend of a friend. The earliest publication I can find on the Internet is here, but there's no particular reason to think it's original to the writer here (actually, to the writer's mother). If the "real" author contacts me, I'll certain credit her or take it down, if she wishes. At any rate, thanks to my friend & to the writer, whoever she may be.

Reader Comments (4)

I have a friend who says she's on FB because she has friends all over the world and this is the easiest way to keep in touch. Huh? how about cc via email? Nein, she says, then she'd have to read all their separate emails which takes too much time. Knowing her as I do I'd guess it's more––"Let me tell you about ME" format. I think I'll send her this very funny piece––I give it three thumbs up!

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

The dilemmas keep coming, this time not national or international but personal.

PD will send this delicious piece to a "friend," she says, but I would hesitate to do the same because it strikes me that a personality addicted to Facebook has already demonstrated that he or she (is there a gender breakdown here?) tends so much to the self-centered that there's not much room left for a sense of humor.

With that in mind, if I were a "friend" and sent this arch tidbit along, I'd be prepared to be "unfriended."

But then that's me. I live in constant fear.

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes

To my "constant fear friend": My other friend, the one I sent this to, has, indeed, already come back with lengthy explanations of why she's on FB but concedes her "stuff" is not private as she had once hoped. She found it funny––but–-and the ""Buts" were of the same as before. We have a relationship that goes back decades–-there is nothing I can think of that would sully that except for me to stop listening to her––I'm a good listener and she needs to talk.

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPD Pepe

PD:

Hope you understand I wasn't 't giving advice, and I certainly wasn't making judgements about friends of others I do not know. I was merely amusing myself (my own best friend) while making a point about the relationship I detect between FB addiction and self-absorption.

April 15, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKen Winkes
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