Are You A Supertaster?
Find out if you are a supertaster with the aid of some blue dye. I don’t really know about this…I mean, this method counts the density of tastebuds on your tongue, but isn’t the pleasure of food communicated more through the bouquet, detected through the nose?
Most of us just can’t taste the nuances in high priced wines
In other supertaster news, some research suggest the nuances in expensive wines are simply lost on those of us who can’t taste all the chemicals that wine testers can. I don’t know how much stock to put in this…perhaps it’s best to say taste is very personal and if you find a plonk to your taste, then swig with pride.
Domesticated Foxes in Siberia
The sad, sad fate of the Belyaev foxes. Dmitry Belyaev attempted to do to foxes what happened to wolves over many millenia…to domesticate them. Within Belyaev’s lifetime he achieved stunning success, producing tame foxes that are as friendly as dogs. But his work is not done. His ultimate goal is to produce foxes that obey human commands just like dogs. Belyaev is dead now, but his assistant carries on his work. 3000 foxes remain, housed in metal cages that allow them little quality of life. Funding is running dry and attempts to sell the foxes to wealthy Russians and Americans as designer pets was a dud. Once in a while, the experimenters have to euthanize a bunch of foxes or sell them to fur farms. Of all the big and little cruelties of this world, the sight of three thousand foxes, bred over generations to crave human attention, trapped in metal cages, alone and neglected, seem particularly poignant even if it isn’t exactly momentous in the grand scheme of things. Watch the youtube video of a little black fox yelping ecstatically as an experimenter in a lap coat pets it for a minute. It will melt/break your heart.
I mocked the masses who were taken in by the Phony Kony 2012 campaign. But I in turn was taken in by ‘Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory’ on This American Life. The circumstances are slightly different…Mike Daisey is a liar who used the halo effect from being broadcast on TAL to substantiate his lies. But underneath, it was the same phenomenon…a charlatan using human suffering as the raw material of his over-simplified, emotionally manipulative campaign whose real goal is self-promotion. “People like a very simple narrative,” Adam Minter of Bloomberg summarized shrewdly, “Foxconn bad, iPhone bad, sign a petition, now you’re good.”
I want to grow my own portrait gourd! OMG. This is so cool.