Kierkegaard? I don’t even know her: The Danish doctor of dread, and BS from food safety companies

Without Kierkegaard, where would Woody Allen be?

The 200th anniversary of Soren Kierkegaard’s birth has brought some stereotypical outpourings about angst and existentialism.

Me, it’s better to play hockey.

I have a soft spot for the Danes. Spending five summers hammering nails with a couple of Danish homebuilders in Ontario (that’s in Canada) taught me the value of being well-read and beer at morning coffee, lunch, and afternoon coffee. My friend John Kierkegaard would say, the beer is nice, but the work, it isn’t really so good.

When I went to Copenhagen in 1998 for a scientific meeting, there was beer at morning coffee.

Gordon Marino wrote in The New York Times that the way we negotiate anxiety plays no small part in shaping our lives and character.  And yet, historically speaking, the lovers of wisdom, the philosophers, have all but repressed thinking about that amorphous feeling that haunts many of us hour by hour, and day by day. The 19th-century philosopher-theologian Soren Kierkegaard stands as a striking exception to this rule. It was because of this virtuoso of the inner life that other members of the Socrates guild, such as Heidegger and Sartre, could begin to philosophize about angst.

The adytum of Kierkegaard’s understanding of anxiety is located in his work “The Concept of Anxiety” — a book at once so profound and byzantine that it seems to aim at evoking the very feeling it dissects.

Perhaps more than any other philosopher, Kierkegaard reflected on the question of how to communicate the truths that we live by — that is the truths about ethics and religion.

“Deep within every human being there still lives the anxiety over the possibility of being alone in the world, forgotten by God, overlooked among the millions and millions in this enormous household. A person keeps this anxiety at a distance by looking at the many round about who are related to him as kin and friends, but the anxiety is still there.”

Kierkegaard understood that anxiety can ignite all kinds of transgressions and maladaptive behaviors — drinking, carousing, obsessions with work, you name it. We will do most anything to steady ourselves from the dizzying feeling that can take almost anything as its object. However, Kierkegaard also believed that, “Whoever has learned to be anxious in the right way has learned the ultimate.”

In his “Works of Love,” Kierkegaard remarks that all talk about the spirit has to be metaphorical.  Sometimes anxiety is cast as a teacher, and at others, a form of surgery. The prescription in “The Concept of Anxiety” and other texts is that if we can, as the Buddhists say, “stay with the feeling” of anxiety, it will spirit away our finite concerns and educate us as to who we really are, “Then the assaults of anxiety, even though they be terrifying, will not be such that he flees from them.” According to Kierkegaard’s analysis, anxiety like nothing else brings home the lesson that I cannot look to others, to the crowd, when I want to measure my progress in becoming a full human being.

But this, of course, is not the counsel you are likely to hear these days at the mental health clinic.

I can attest to that.

So when Tyson launches a no antibiotics ever campaign, it is appealing to crass consumerism, making a buck, and throwing science back to when Kierkegaard was born.

We want our social media and technology, but we want our food produced in some 200-year-old barn.

Tyson President and CEO Tom Hayes said earlier this year that the company would continue to innovate in product development while remaining focused on sustainable production practices. “For us, sustainability isn’t a single issue; it’s about focusing on multiple dimensions in order to advance the whole,” Hayes said during the 2017 Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Conference in Boca Raton, Florida. “We will use our reach, capabilities and resources to drive positive change at a scale we believe no other company can match.”

Amy and I went to a Phoenix Coyotes hockey game when Wayne was coach, maybe 2006, and this loudmouth behind us was bragging about some cougar he hooked up with in Boca.

That’s your benchmark, Tyson.

I have vague memories of another company, back in 2006, that turned its back on science and proclaimed no antibiotics.

They forgot about food safety, too busy being posers.

How’s that working out, Chipotle?

The language of this presser is full swallow-whole.

The company’s sustainability plans include establishing strategic partnerships to set science-based sustainability goals; continuing third-party audits of farms to certify humane treatment of chickens; improving how chickens are raised through a concept farm, with innovations designed to be better for the birds, the environment and food safety; and increasing transparency across the business, including sustainability efforts.

I’ve know people who can write this stuff.

Not me.

Not Kierkegaard

I’ve got no genius for evil, that makes me common.

The name “Kierkegaard” means “graveyard,” and “Søren” is an affectionate Danish moniker for the Devil.

Sorenne, you know you have some devil in you, and some science.

Norovirus plagues nearly 1,000 people in northern Calif. schools

I love that barfblog Ben’s partner, Dani, wrote today that, “For those of you wondering, Barfblog Ben has no idea how to actually clean up barf in real life,” after she cleaned up dog barf at 1 a.m. and kid barf at 1 p.m. at the hockey store.

I feel your pain – and irony.

There was this one time, we were driving home from Florida, and we were already back in Kansas, and Sorenne barfed, so I barfed in response.

I viewed it as a pathetic fallacy barf.

And this other time, one of my daughters barfed as the plane landed and I handled it like a pro.

Maybe it’s a cleaning of convenience that Chapman suffers from.

Almost 1,000 people in northern California have been infected with norovirus as it rips through multiple school districts.

That’s a lot of people barfing, and a disturbing lack of knowledge about what a deep clean actually means.

The Yolo County Health & Human Services Agency announced the virus, which causes fever and diarrhea, was rapidly affecting students, teachers and staff at area schools.

“The number of sick people is increasing every day at a very alarming rate,” the agency said in a press release.

The gastrointestinal illness, for which there’s no treatment, has impacted 32 schools in the county, located northwest of Sacramento.

Norovirus is highly contagious, health officials said. People can catch it by touching contaminated surfaces, coming in close contact with others carrying it and eating infected food.

The message is good hygiene and staying home 48 hours after the symptoms have resolved are crucial,” said Yolo County spokeswoman Beth Gabor. “I think that has been the problem. Kids have been returning to school too soon.”

It’s a nice message, but not one that works for parents or staff who have to work.

Be more creative.

There’s almost 1,000 people sick.

Dani, Amy, happy mother’s day. Being a mother usually involves a lot of barf.

 

North Texas QB misses snap while teammate barfs

Throwing up is common in football. Stakes are high and nerves are wired. Plus, there’s the whole act of physically exerting yourself, sometimes in extreme weather conditions.

But North Texas running back Jeffrey Wilson took the act of unloading to a new level by getting sick not once, but twice on consecutive plays during the first half of the Heart of Dallas Bowl against Army. In fact, Wilson’s first puke distracted quarterback Alec Morris so much he missed the snap.

The absolute nonchalant attitude of Wilson as he projectile vomits everywhere is impressive. Here’s hoping no one landed in it.

Army won the game 38-31 in overtime.

Barf plane: Virgin flight passengers vomit after served parmesan cheese

Parmesan cheese smells like barf.

Always has.

parmesan-breadPassengers on a Virgin Australia flight on Christmas Day were served a complimentary snack on their journey from Perth to Adelaide.

Aside from coffee and tea, they were also offered bread rolls filled with parmesan cheese, which stunk up their entire plane for the duration of the five-hour long journey.

This caused some passengers to vomit in their seats, and others to race off the plane after landing to vomit on the tarmac.

I get it.

After the flight, a woman took to Facebook to share her experience and how Virgin Australia should improve.

‘I love cheese along with the best of us, however, when sitting in an enclosed space, with a low roof, over the length of 40ft, with not a window to open, and with seating capacity of over 100 passengers, parmesan cheese was probably not your brightest choice.’

A fan of cheese herself, the woman said the strong smell of parmesan became for some of the people sitting around her, including the woman beside her who was heaving into her sick bag for two hours.
‘I am fortunate enough not suffer such an affliction, but after hearing her wrenching and burping, mixed in with the lingering wafting smell of old socks took every strength of effort not to go out in sympathy with her.’

Woman who slipped on vomit and broke ankle at Irish pub awarded €82k

Tim Healy of the Independent reports a woman who broke her ankle when she slipped on vomit while leaving a toilet in a pub has been awarded €82,000 in High Court damages. 

cat-barfBookmaker’s clerk Fiona McGovern, Huntstown Wood, Clonsilla, Dublin, sued Tom Salmon Ltd, owners of Salmon’s Pub in Blanchardstown, Dublin, over the incident on March 24, 2008.

Ms McGovern (39) claimed the pub was negligent in failing to maintain appropriate cleaning standards and failing to ensure the vomit was cleaned up.

Awarding her a total of €82,000, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said she had suffered a nasty injury to her left ankle. On the application of her barrister, Bernard McDonagh SC, the judge also awarded her the costs of the case. 

Mr Justice Cross said Ms McGovern had been at the pub with family on Easter Sunday to watch a football match on the TV between Liverpool and Man Utd.  She was there “for some inexplicable reason to support Man Utd”, he said.

She returned later that night at around 11.30pm to see if her sister was still there and was advised she (sister) was in the beer garden, he said.

Ms McGovern went to the ladies toilet and on leaving it she slipped on vomit which was on the floor. A woman who knew her to see said that earlier one of a group of young lads, who had been sitting near the toilets, had vomited twice on the floor. 

It had not been cleaned up according to that woman, the judge said. The defendant had submitted it was hard to believe vomit would have been on the floor for up to one-and-a-half hours after it happened, the judge said.  

63 sick: Wisconsin band students suffer ‘violent’ illness at Indy championship game

Dozens of University of Wisconsin-Madison band members suffered illnesses during Saturday’s Big Ten Championship football game in Indianapolis, a university spokeswoman said.

wisconsin-barf-bandUW-Madison media relations Director Meredith McGlone told News 3 that just before kickoff Saturday night, some members of the UW Marching Band began experiencing nausea, diarrhea and vomiting. As the game progressed, more members fell ill and were treated by onsite medical personnel. UW Band Director Mike Leckrone said most students started getting sick right before half time.

“Nobody had to run off the field, thankfully,” Leckrone said. “But there were a few that the moment they got off the field, they headed for the garbage can. They probably shouldn’t have gone on, they were feeling a little queasy. But it gets to be the call of the show time, and they wanted to perform.”

 

Barf on the subway: 7 left with breathing issues

Paramedics took seven people to the hospital when they complained of suddenly feeling lightheaded after a stranger vomited at a Harlem subway station early Tuesday, cops said.

santa-barf_sprout_raw_milk7-2The FDNY and police briefly evacuated the E. 125th St. station on the 4, 5 and 6 line about 9:15 a.m.

A police source said someone threw up and the other people became ill from the smell of the vomit.

The victims, who were on multiple trains, complained of having difficulty breathing. They were taken to Harlem Hospital for evaluation as a precaution, officials said.

Trains bypassed the station until about 9:50 a.m. while the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit conducted air quality tests.

The tests came back negative for toxins, according to the MTA.

80 sick: Outbreak at Fort McMurray oilsands camps

An outbreak of gastro-intestinal illness has hit work camps near the Fort Hills oilsands site, 90 kilometres north of Fort McMurray, an Alberta Health Services spokesperson said Monday.

vomit-fbAHS Public Health is aware of the illness, Kerry Williamson said in an emailed statement. “It has not been confirmed as norovirus,” he added.

A Suncor spokesperson said about 80 people at Fort Hills have reported symptoms.

No flights to or from the camps have been cancelled, Suncor said. But workers showing symptoms are being asked not to board flights but to remain in their rooms.

Williamson said outbreaks of this type are not unusual at this time of year, particularly at sites where people are living and working in close quarters. 

He said inspectors visited the site Monday, and AHS Public Health provided information over the weekend, to help limit the spread of the illness.

UK boy vomits on stranger’s handbag during flight – mum ordered to pay silly amount

I’d be a lousy surgeon.

I barf at the slightest provocation.

barfblog-tshirt-frontYet at other times I can completely keep it together.

Driving back from Florida, we were almost home and one of the kids barfed.

I lost it at the side of the road.

Yet another time, we flew back after a hurricane, and the kid lost it as we landed, I handled it like a pro, into the barf bag, off the plane and into the garbage.

Life is so uncertain..

Mumsnet user incognitoforonenight writes, “We were on a long haul flight and there was a lot of turbulence.”

“My son vomited everywhere halfway through flight. We cleared it all up. [An] hour later, the lady behind my seat says, ‘hope your son is OK, but he was sick and it’s on my handbag.'”

Naturally, both parents apologised to the lady. But it seems this wasn’t quite enough.

“She says, ‘no, it’s on my handbag, it’s very expensive and you need to get your insurance to pay for it to be repaired / cleaned.'”

The handbag in question was a Louis Vuitton worth £900.

The mum took photos of the bag, and added how the lady had in fact cleaned all the vomit off (which had pooled down to the floor). None remained on the bag. There was no visible damage.

However, the lady insisted “the smell was now ‘ingrained’ in the bag” and has since explained, via email, how Louis Vuitton cannot repair the bag – and the family are liable for a replacement.

Understandably, the mum has reservations.

“Surely, if you have a LV bag worth £900 you do not put it on the floor in an airplane, you’d put in the locker above your seat, especially if you are in an aisle seat

“We haven’t contacted our travel insurance yet, but thought I’d see what others thought. Should she have to contact her own travel insurance? I’m not sure what the ‘norm’ is in a situation like this.”

The responses have been overwhelmingly on the side of the mum.

Puke and pee is gradually destroying the world’s tallest church

I first travelled to Germany in 1998 to give a talk.

My parents told me the Germans have no sense of humor, try to be Dr. Doug and not Doug.

german-church-peeI knew better.

The only response to my food safety one-liners was crickets.

In 2012 or so, I went to a U.S. military base in Germany, to give a talk about sprouts and the E. coli O104, and the 50 people dying and thousands sick and sourcing safe food and what could be done.

That sounds fairly terrible.

Yet all I really remember is that when I got off the train, I had to pee.

I’m getting older, urinary function is becoming more of a priority.

There were no public bathrooms, it cost money to piss anywhere inside, and the locals said, just piss wherever you want, no one cares.

(And don’t think you can just crawl under those toilet doors; they have reinforced steel, barriers down to the base, all so someone has to pay a buck – and I didn’t have any German currency and thought it would be rude to piss in the sink.

So I did it outside.

According to River Donaghey of Vice, a seemingly endless stream of drunk people’s urine is eroding the stone foundation of the world’s tallest church in the German city of Ulm, and no one quite knows how to stop it, CNN reports.

Late-night revelers already face a $109 fine if they’re caught emptying their bladders on the 531-foot-tall Ulm Minster church, but the monetary threat hasn’t thwarted drunken partiers drawn to the hulking piss-beacon.

The damage to the stone base of the church comes from the acids and salt in the pee, not to mention other bodily fluids drunk folks might leave behind, like puke.

“I’ve been keeping an eye on it for half a year now and, once again, it’s coated with urine and vomit,” the church’s head of maintenance, Michael Hilbert, told a local paper. “This is about preserving law and order.”

What law and order means in this case is probably just some Ulm city officials dishing out a few bucks for more public toilets or for city cops to up their ticketing. But the easiest solution may lie in the bottom of a few five-gallon buckets of that pee-proof paint.

BTW, Australia has the best public facilities I’ve ever seen.

It’s a f***ing island, of course they have to keep it clean.