Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sweet, Sweet, Hg

Hg is, of course, the shorthand alphabetical representation of mercury, element number 80.
Why "Hg"? Latin hydrargyrum.
Don't really get that. The hydr- part, sure. But -gyrum?
Haven't studied enough Greek and Latin.

But all that is neither here nor there.
The headlines read

Mercury in High-Fructose Corn Syrup

"The Minneapolis-based nonprofit Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), shows detectable levels of mercury in 17 out of 55 tested products rich in high-fructose corn syrup."

Here is the list provided (with the above quotation) at
Check the url. /food-recipes?
Ummm. A little mercury. Some arsenic. Voila.
Haute chem cuisine.

Quaker Oatmeal to Go bars
Jack Daniel's Barbecue Sauce
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
Kraft Original Barbecue Sauce
Nutri-Grain Strawberry Cereal Bars
Manwich Gold Sloppy Joe
Market Pantry Grape Jelly
Smucker's Strawberry Jelly
Pop-Tarts Frosted Blueberry
Hunt's Tomato Ketchup
Wish-Bone Western Sweet & Smooth Dressing
Coca-Cola Classic: no mercury found on a second test
Yoplait Strawberry Yogurt
Minute Maid Berry Punch
Yoo-hoo Chocolate Drink
Nesquik Chocolate Milk
Kemps Fat Free Chocolate Milk

Notice any commonality in the foods listed?

"“Mercury is toxic in all its forms,” said IATP’s David Wallinga, M.D., and a co-author of both studies. “Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply.”"

Love that quote.
Mercury is toxic. Poison.
What is a safe level of mercury in your body?

Mercury has a very, very long history of use in medicine.
My favorite is its use as an anti-syphilitic. It was replaced by salvarsan (the original medicinal "magic bullet"?) because of its toxicity.
Of course, salvarsan/arsenic wasn't all that kind on a body either.
But hey, when the spirochetes come a knockin' 'cause the house was a rockin'....
[Addition 3/13/09:]

Mercury is still in use in medicinals.
I particularly enjoyed the hubbub several years ago over mercury in childhood vaccines.
Wasn't supposed to be a problem, right? All the experts said so, right?
But away it went, kinda, to placate parents.

Still in flu vaccine.

I rather expected this report to get more press and create general upset.
Doesn't look like that will happen.

And so, mad milliners, on we go with institutionalized poisoning.

Why is a raven like a writing desk?
Mr. Dodgson's answer:
Other notable answers:
Uncle Cecil's take on the riddle:

Monday, January 19, 2009

Change Alright

This new CIC certainly is sweeping in change.
There has been an upsurge in plastic surgery procedures ahead of the inauguration.

"My normal load for cosmetic procedures has doubled, except for hyaluronic acid fillers — Perlane and Restylane — which have almost tripled," reports cosmetic and laser surgeon Hema Sundaram, who runs two offices in the Washington, D.C., area.
Cosmetic procedures pick up prior to Obama inauguration MB Marcus, USA TODAY

Reconstructive surgery, the idea of it anyway, delights.
Rebuild ears, noses, breasts post mastectomy, correct cleft palates. Brilliant.

Jabs of botulinim toxin, dermabrasion, collagen injection, sacks 'o saline under the breast? Depressing.

For an interesting brief history of breast augmentation:

Is there a difference between having your nose rebuilt after it was bitten off in a bar room brawl and Jaggerizing your lips to look younger than you are?

I think so.
And I wonder what it means that so many are turning to this change in their outward appearance ahead of (and due to) the change of administration.

side note: botox is also used with anal fissures to relax the sphincter