All-sacrificing, ever serving, ever humble

We’re just supposed to be all-sacrificing, ever serving, ever humble
Jun 14, 2013

Science teacher Jason Pittman, who teaches pre-school through sixth grade at a school in Fairfax County, Virginia, won a big teaching award this week.
In fact, during his ten years teaching, he’s won many, many awards.
He loves his job. But this week, he explains to Ira why he’s quitting, even though he doesn’t want to. (6 minutes)

Jason Pittman

Jason Pittman: “Texas Education”

Jason Pittman at Better Said Than Done



The i-limb ultra prosthetic hand really looks cyborg

The i-limb ultra prosthetic hand

The i-limb ultra prosthetic hand really looks cyborg
Jun 14, 2013

Peter Lee had his arm amputated because of cancer three years ago.
This week, he got a new, top-of-the-line prosthetic arm.
During his final fitting, he talks to Rio Bennin, who also has a prosthetic arm — but Rio’s is an older model, not as nearly as fancy as Peter’s. (3 1/2 minutes)

… an I-Limb Ultra. A top of the line prosthetic, it uses sensors on his biceps and triceps to tell the new artificial hand how to move. It’s really, actually, very cool.

robotic hand

The i-limb ultra prosthetic hand

Don’t Wash Your Raw Chicken

Julia Child Was Wrong: Don’t Wash Your Raw Chicken, Folks  
August 23, 2013

“There’s no reason, from a scientific point of view, to think you’re making it any safer,” she says, “and in fact, you’re making it less safe.”

That’s because washing increases the chances that you’ll spread the foodborne pathogens that are almost certainly on your bird all over the rest of your kitchen too, food safety experts say. We’re talking nasty stuff like salmonella and Campylobacter, which together are estimated to cause nearly 1.9 million cases of foodborne illness in the U.S. each year.

Some studies suggest bacteria can fly up to 3 feet away from where your meat is rinsed — though you can’t necessarily see it.

But fear not: All you have to do to kill these unwanted bacteria is to cook your meat properly (a thermometer can help — chicken needs to reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit) and keep your utensils and cooking surfaces clean.

Don’t Wash Your Chicken! Germ-Vision Animation
Mar  5, 2013
The NMSU College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences “Brings Science to Your Life” through academics, research, and New Mexico’s Cooperative Extension Service.

see also:

First prosthetic hand to let owner feel sensations

Micera et al. Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 2011 8:53

First prosthetic hand to let owner feel sensations
May 2nd, 2013

Scientists in Italy have developed a bionic hand.

The prosthetic hand is able to “feel” thanks to electrodes implanted in the patient’s median and ulnar nerves.


original paper:

Decoding of grasping information from neural signals recorded using peripheral intrafascicular interfaces.
J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2011 Sep 5;8:53.
Micera S, et al.
BioRobotics Institute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa, Italy

You created Rachel. You can recreate her

You created Rachel. You can recreate her.
This American Life. Jun 14, 2013

I was praying for the world and anybody addicted to heroin.
And then I had a healing prayer for my daughter Rachel. And it sort of went briefly, Heavenly Father, you created Rachel. You can recreate her. Please make her free of addiction.



Out of the Woods (short story)

Out of the Woods [8 minutes]
Jun 21, 2013
in: This American Life 498: The One Thing You’re Not Supposed To Do

Ben Loory  reads his short story about an unlikely friendship that forms between a moose and a man.
It’s from his fiction collection Stories for the Nighttime and Some for the Day.

see also:


Antibiotic Use On The Farm: Are We Flying Blind?

Antibiotic Use On The Farm: Are We Flying Blind?
August 29, 2013

Denmark has led the world in efforts to control antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance.
Every year it publishes a big volume of numbers — and Scott can’t get enough of them. “Diving into these data, and visiting Denmark, is kind of like Disneyland for those of us who like big data,”

There are lots of people who want something similar for farms in the United States.
They include public health experts, but also activist groups like the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Congress is considering a bill that would force the FDA to collect this data and publish it.

… better numbers could actually mean less suspicion and fear.
Many people want to know exactly what meat producers are doing, he says.
When they can’t find the information they want, they’re inclined to assume the worst.


In the Beginning, There Were … Dumplings?

Buuz are the Mongolian take on the dumpling, and are typically filled with mutton or beef.

In the Beginning, There Were … Dumplings?
August 26, 2013

Buuz are the Mongolian take on the dumpling, and are typically filled with mutton or beef.

From Warsaw to Wuhan, people around the world love dumplings. They’re tasty little packages that can be made of any grain and stuffed with whatever the locals crave. But where did they come from?

No one knows for sure, but Ken Albala, a food historian at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., thinks dumplings have been around for a very long time. “Almost without doubt, there are prehistoric dumplings,” he says.
Albala envisions the origins of the dumplings like this: To get nutrition from wild grains, hunter-gatherer humans had to cook them. Maybe they’d hollow out a log and fill it with water. Then they’d use hot stones from a fire to get the water boiling. They’d throw in the grain, he says. “And I think it’s a very fine line between putting in loose flour or meal, and getting a porridge out of it, or putting in lumps,” and getting out dumplings.

Given a choice between gruel and dumplings, Albala says, many people would have chosen the dumpling. “A dumpling, I don’t know, it seems like more fun to me,” he says.

… Dumplings were also around in Renaissance Europe, adds Albala.
“The recipes start showing up in the 15th century,” he says, often under the heading “gnocchi.”
“Basically, you just take breadcrumbs, you add flour to it, sometimes cheese, sometimes herbs and egg to bind it.”

Today, dumplings exist across Europe and Asia. Many are called manti.

…  the Chinese call wontons and the Italians call tortellini.


The Secret To Making …? Kreplach  
September 13, 2013

It’s about … knowing someone special made them for you.