Monday, November 25, 2013


Oysters become a controversial topic at this time of year.  Some people think they're delicious and a vital part of the Thanksgiving menu.  Others think they taste like rubbery snot and don't want them within fifty feet of their Thanksgiving dinner.  Whichever camp you fall in, you may be alarmed to see this page from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which talks about the dramatic decline in ecologically important oyster reefs over the last few centuries:

Sadly, it may provide additional ammunition for both sides of the debate.  If things become too heated, perhaps you can distract everyone with a new debate about whether that starchy side dish should be called dressing or stuffing.  In any case, have a safe and happy holiday.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

JFK and the NLM

As we all look back at the legacy of John F. Kennedy this week, one little known chapter concerns his connection to the creation of the National Library of Medicine.  Read all about it on this page posted by the Library:

With this sort of accomplishment as part of his legacy, it's no wonder so many people remember him so fondly.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

FDA and Trans Fat

After seeing recent news reports, you may be asking yourself, "What exactly is trans fat and why is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) targeting it?"  If your self doesn't happen to know the answer to that question, this site from the FDA does:

Trans fat, found in partially hydrogenated oils, has been linked to heart disease by causing an increase in "bad" cholesterol.  As the site says, the CDC "estimates that a further reduction of trans fat in the food supply can prevent an additional 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year and up to 20,000 heart attacks each year."  But, the FDA's decision isn't yet set in stone.  The link to the "Federal Register notice" will take you to a site where you can offer an opinion on whether or not the FDA should do what it's proposing.  Let them know what you think...right after you finish that Twinkie.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Devices on Airline Flights

Do you ever fly on a commercial airline?  Do you own a smart phone, tablet, or laptop computer?  If so, you may be interested to know that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced last week that airline passengers may soon be able to use personal electronic devices "during all phases of flight."  The new rules will be implemented as each airline proves to the FAA that its planes can safely allow the use of such devices in "airplane mode."  Read more about it in the FAA press release:

Even though you may be able to use your device before and during take-off, I'm sure the flight attendants would still appreciate it if you'd at least pretend to be listening to their safety speech.