Howard Dean on Teh Beeb

Here’s Howard Dean, telling the BBC that the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts was not a revolt from the right….

So there you have it folks. According to weird uncle Howie, The Democrats lost because they weren’t progressive enough.

Thanks for clearing that up for us Howard.

h/t HAP

Paging Captain Trips

More from “have your say” at BBC

I am a doctor and I work in the State of Mexico. I don’t work in the shock team; I am in the echocardiography team, but I do get some news from my colleagues in the hospital. There have been some cases of young people dying from respiratory infections, but this happened before the alert and they were not reported because the necessary tests weren’t done. We doctors knew this was happening a week before the alert was issued and were told to get vaccinated. I went to buy some anti-virals for my husband, who is also a doctor, because he had contact with a young patient who presented influenza symptoms and died. I don’t think pharmacies stock enough anti-virals.

I understand the government doesn’t want to generate panic, but my personal opinion is that they issued the alert too late. Still now, the population is not getting the information they need. We have been out in the street and some people are not wearing face masks and are not taking any preventive measures.

M-O-O-N, that spells swine flu

More from BBC

I’m a specialist doctor in respiratory diseases and intensive care at the Mexican National Institute of Health. There is a severe emergency over the swine flu here. More and more patients are being admitted to the intensive care unit. Despite the heroic efforts of all staff (doctors, nurses, specialists, etc) patients continue to inevitably die. The truth is that anti-viral treatments and vaccines are not expected to have any effect, even at high doses. It is a great fear among the staff. The infection risk is very high among the doctors and health staff.

There is a sense of chaos in the other hospitals and we do not know what to do. Staff are starting to leave and many are opting to retire or apply for holidays. The truth is that mortality is even higher than what is being reported by the authorities, at least in the hospital where I work it. It is killing three to four patients daily, and it has been going on for more than three weeks. It is a shame and there is great fear here. Increasingly younger patients aged 20 to 30 years are dying before our helpless eyes and there is great sadness among health professionals here.”

Antonio Chavez, Mexico City

Paris declares war on rats

from BBC

The city, with its canals, river and restaurants is something of a rodent paradise, experts say.

There are four times as many rats as humans in Paris – perhaps eight million in total, according to the council.

A city-wide information campaign, followed by inspections, aims to reduce the numbers of rats on the streets ahead of the lucrative tourist season.

The article doesn’t mention what the plans are to do with the rats once they are caught, however, according to the Larousse Gastronomique, rats are still eaten in some parts of France. For example, this classic example of French cuisine:

Grilled Rats Bordeaux Style (Entrecote à la bordelaise)
Alcoholic rats inhabiting wine cellars are skinned and eviscerated, brushed with a thick sauce of olive oil and crushed shallots, and grilled over a fire of broken wine barrels.

Yum, yum.

Bert Christensen
brings us these interesting rat-facts:

In West Africa, however, rats are a major item of diet. the giant rat (Cricetomys), the cane rat (Thryonomys), the common house mouse, and other species of rats and mice are all eaten. According to a United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization report, they now comprise of over 50 percent of the locally produced meat eaten in some parts of Ghana. Between December 1968 and June 1970, 258,206 pounds of cane-rat meat alone were sold in one market in Accra! This is a local recipe that shows the South American influence on West African cuisine.

Stewed Cane Rat
Skin and eviscerate the rat and split it lengthwise. Fry until brown in a mixture of butter and peanut oil. Cover with water, add tomatoes or tomato purée, hot red peppers, and salt. Simmer the rat until tender and serve with rice.

Stuffed Dormice / Ancient Rome
Prepare a stuffing of dormouse meat or pork, pepper, pine nuts, broth, asafoetida, and some garum (substitute anchovy paste.) Stuff the mice and sew them up. Bake them in an oven on a tile.

Roasted Field Mice (Raton de campo asado) / Mexico
Skin and eviscerate field mice. Skewer them and roast over an open fire or coals. These are probably great as hors d’oeuvres with margaritas or “salty dogs.”

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