Press "Enter" to skip to content

Friday links

  • Diagnose 17 diseases with a single blow into a breathalyzer? I doubt it’s that elegant and easy (especially with only 86% accuracy). But an interesting potential development.
  • Prepare to be shocked: the DEA pays millions to informants with somewhat less accountability than your local library uses to keep track of paperback books.
  • And if that wasn’t enough of a shock, I know you’ll just faint dead away to know that the Department of (Achtung!) Homeland Security is riddled with bribery and corruption. (I’m truly sorry to deliver all this bad news to you; I know how much you trusted and admired your federal government.)
  • In news of the weird, the Solano County, CA, prosecutor tried to charge a guy with DUI when the only drug detected in his system was caffeine. Eventually they were forced to drop the charges.
  • More fake news from a mainstream liberal rag. The Guardian misrepresents Julian Assange. (Gee, remember those days not long ago when lefties loved him?)
  • Sixty-two edible wild plants. While this would be more useful if it contained info about where and when the plants are most likely to be found in edible form, it’s a good reminder that food is all around us.
  • But eeew. Never thought of this aspect of living near a university: Neighborhood fears pollution from dead lab mice and human body parts.
  • This drawing of Debbie and Carrie shared by Todd Fisher is a sweet tearjerker. Yeah, way over the top sentimental. But a lovely movie fan gesture.
  • Awwwww. Puppy badly burned in a house fire grows up to become a firemandog.


  1. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran December 30, 2016 11:18 am

    Concerning the Homeland Security bribery and corruption link and the monster that was created, I remember on 9/11 watching the events unfold with my office mates on my little 5 inch portable TV and my friend, Sean, declared how life in America was going to change for the worse, concerning our freedoms and liberty and he was absolutely spot-on. Take for example the Siege of Boston after the Tsarnaev brothers bombings, entire neighborhoods shutdown, military weaponry abounded on the streets with the police conducting warrantless house to house searches. It was like a practice run for martial law!

  2. Pat
    Pat December 30, 2016 11:37 am

    That breathalyzer sounds like a true potentially-helpful tool. I’m impressed by the seriousness of the scientists to get it right and not just bring it on the market fast.
    Hope nobody else (govt) gets their mitts on it for other purposes — especially from its neurological aspect, the psychological interests just might try to diagnose beyond the breathalyzer’s scope.

    is a good book to have for edible plants.

  3. Keith
    Keith December 30, 2016 2:27 pm

    On the wild plants, good list but pretty light on info. Always be cautious if you don’t know plants, Queen Anne’s Lace looks a lot like poison Hemlock, and you wouldn’t want to eat that.

  4. larryarnold
    larryarnold December 30, 2016 6:58 pm

    especially with only 86% accuracy

    86% is pretty good for an inexpensive, fast initial screening, particularly for problems you may not even be suspecting. I’ve bee billed more, for less. Follow up tests, typically more expensive or invasive, can be more definitive.

    Mama Liberty?

    Confidential informants may get paid well, if they actually get all the funds the DEA says it gives them, but no thanks. CI can kill your body and soul.

  5. ellendra
    ellendra December 30, 2016 8:12 pm

    That wild foods article is a bit concerning. They leave out warnings for some of the riskier plants, but they include warnings about wild cherries and lambsquarters? That’s just . . . odd.

  6. Ron Johnson
    Ron Johnson December 31, 2016 5:09 am

    The list of plants was interesting. It turns out that much of my lawn is edible. That’s what happened when I refused to treat my lawn to get rid of ‘weeds’. While my neighbors are probably not too pleased with me, I am comforted to know that I will never starve. The dandelions alone will keep me in salad.

Leave a Reply