The silliness of academia: ‘I’m excited for the vivid dimensionality, impactful synergies, and collaborative challenges of this meta-disciplinary discourse opportunity’

I despised Mike Souliere.

He was sieve Souliere, I was porous Powell when we played as goaltenders for AAA peewee hockey in Brantford, a lifetime ago.

He was better than me.

And now Mike and I exchange notes on facebook.

Mike, and Amy, both pointed out that my facebook messages were getting weird.

I hate facebook.

I hate text.

I’m one of those cranky old guys who wonders how a whole generation missed e-mail.

I’m done. My brain is mush.

I’ll try to write a book or two, but I need to pay attention to myself and my family.

Marler hiring Joe, telling me to fuck off (not that I cared about that) and me not getting paid for 18 months, translates to, I give up.

I’ve been doing this for 25 years.

And I never met a lawyer who couldn’t appropriate a good idea.

I’ve got grandkids to go see.

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool. … Be honest and unmerciful.”

I need to be honest, with my failings and successes.

Even further than a step behind: 20 sick from Salmonella linked to feeder mice in Canada

On May 20, 2014, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported 37 people were sick with the same strain of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to contact with frozen feeder rodents used to feed pet reptiles.

almost.famous.uncool.jpgOn June 2, 2014, the Public Health Agency of Canada announced 20 people were sick with the same strain of Salmonella Typhimurium linked to contact with frozen feeder rodents used to feed pet reptiles.

Wanna see me feed a mouse to my snake? 37 sick, again, with Salmonella from feeder rodents

Not the best pickup line from the movie, Almost Famous, but it captures what some of my teenage friends were doing at the time.

After an outbreak linked to feeder mice was reported in April 2012, a new outbreak has now been reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

almost.famous.band_.featuredCDC is collaborating with public health officials in many states, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Coordinated Outbreak Response and Evaluation Network (FDA CORE), and the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA CVM) to investigate an outbreak of human Salmonella Typhimurium infections linked to contact with frozen feeder rodents used to feed pet reptiles. FDA CVM is the regulatory authority for animal feeds (which includes pet food), animal drugs, and veterinary devices.

Public health investigators are using the PulseNet system to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. PulseNet, the national subtyping network of public health and food regulatory agency laboratories coordinated by CDC, obtains DNA “fingerprints” of Salmonella bacteria through diagnostic testing with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, or PFGE, to identify cases of illness that may be part of this outbreak. This PFGE pattern has been seen before in PulseNet and in the past typically caused 4-8 cases per month during January to April.

A total of 37 persons infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium have been reported from 18 states from January 11, 2014 to May 13, 2014. The number of ill persons reported from each state is as follows: Alabama (1), Arizona (2), California (7), Illinois (1), Kentucky (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), Missouri (2), Montana (3), New Jersey (3), New Mexico (1), North Carolina (1), Ohio (4), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (3), South Dakota (1), and Texas (1).

Among 32 persons with available information, dates that illnesses began range from January 11, 2014 to April 21, 2014. Ill persons range in age from younger than 1 year to 69 years, with a median age of 21 years. Fifty-nine percent of ill persons are female. Among 34 persons with available information, 5 (15%) report being hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic, laboratory, and traceback investigations conducted by officials in local, state, and federal public health, veterinary, agriculture, and regulatory agencies indicate that contact with frozen feeder rodents used to feed pet reptiles is a likely source of this outbreak of human Salmonella Typhimurium infections. Frozen feeder rodents may include mice, rats, or other rodents of different sizes and ages. Frozen feeder rodents are used to feed some pet reptiles and amphibians.

In interviews, ill persons answered questions about foods eaten and animal contact during the week before becoming ill. Twenty-one (66%) of 32 ill persons interviewed reported contact with multiple types of reptiles, including snakes and lizards. Seventeen of the 21 ill persons reporting reptile exposure were able to provide information about what the reptile was fed. Fifteen (88%) of these 17 ill persons reported exposure to frozen feeder rodents.

The Oregon State Public Health Laboratory isolated the outbreak strain of Salmonella Typhimurium in one sample of unused frozen mice, packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc. and sold under the brand name Arctic Mice at PetSmart, collected by the Oregon Department of Public Health from an ill person’s home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFDA has evaluated sales and shipping records, and traceback activities have identified Reptile Industries, Inc. as the common source of frozen feeder rodents purchased by ill persons. Testing conducted by FDA isolated the outbreak strain in two samples of frozen feeder rodents collected during an FDA investigation at the Reptile Industries facility.

In the absence of a voluntary recall from Reptile Industries, Inc., FDA issued a warning to pet owners who have purchased frozen rodents packaged by Reptile Industries, Inc. since January 11, 2014 that they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Reptile Industries, Inc. packages frozen rodents for PetSmart stores nationwide and are sold under the brand name Arctic Mice.

CDC’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) laboratory conducted antibiotic resistance testing on Salmonella Typhimurium isolates collected from three ill persons infected with the outbreak strain; all isolates were pansusceptible (susceptible to all antibiotics on the NARMS panel). NARMS is a U.S. public health surveillance system that tracks antibiotic resistance in foodborne and other enteric bacteria found in people, raw meat and poultry, and food-producing animals. NARMS is an interagency partnership among CDC, FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state and local health departments. The NARMS human surveillance program at CDC monitors antibiotic resistance in Salmonella and several other bacteria isolated from clinical specimens and submitted to NARMS by public health laboratories.

CDC and state and local public health partners are continuing laboratory surveillance through PulseNet to identify additional ill persons and to interview ill persons about foods eaten and animals they had contact with before becoming ill.

Asia cancels tour as drummer Palmer sickened with E. coli

It is impossible to underestimate the awfulness that was the prog-rock band, Yes, and their bastard offspring, Asia.

The band Asia have been forced to cancel their upcoming U.K. tour after drummer Carl Palmer was diagnosed with a serious bacterial infection.

The Heat of the Moment hitmakers were due to celebrate their 30th anniversary on the road with a series of gigs, but they’ve pulled the plug on seven shows to allow Palmer time to recover from a severe case of E. coli. made 8; social media as a teaching tool: 9 cool examples

Just make us look cool.

That’s the nerd request Chapman and I are thinking inside when doing interviews, borrowed, like all our lines, from a decent movie, Almost Famous (that’s Zooey Deschanel, right, exactly as shown, telling her brother in the movie, "don’t worry, someday you’ll be cool").

Loreal Lynch of wrote about a selection of some innovative ways college professors are using Facebook and other social media tools to teach. came in at number 8, and my Kansas State colleague Mike Wesch, a professor of cultural anthropology who uses YouTube videos to explore the ideas of media ecology and cultural anthropology, came in at number 9.

Red yellow or green? Toronto restaurant grading program wins international food safety honor

“We are kind of rock stars in the public health world.”

Sylvanus Thompson, Toronto Public Health quality assurance manager, as quoted in the Toronto Star.

Sylvanus (below, left, exactly as shown, in 2005), you’re not a rock star.

No one in public health is a rock star. You can be a rock star in your own mind, you can be like Chapman and admit it now and then, you can be like Roy Costa and actually play in a rock band, but proclaiming you’re like a rock star in a major newspaper isn’t cool.

Next, you’ll be declaring, “I am a golden god.”

Sylvanus hung out in my lab a bit back in the Guelph days, and I supervised the final written report for his MS, and helped out as Toronto developed its red-yellow-green restaurant inspection disclosure system.

And congrats on that, because on the 10th anniversary of its groundbreaking restaurant inspection disclosure program, Toronto Public Health has become the first non-U.S. health department to win a prestigious award for “unsurpassed achievement in providing outstanding food protection.”

The city’s health department will receive the 56-year-old Samuel J. Crumbine Consumer Protection Award for DineSafe, an internationally recognized program that posts inspection results for Toronto eateries online and in their front windows.

The health department’s 63-page application includes references to the 2000 Toronto Star investigation, Dirty Dining, that sparked the creation of the program.

(Disclosure: it also includes a letter from me).

“We showed the turnaround from Dirty Dining to DineSafe,” said Thompson.

The system has been adopted by health departments in the U.S., U.K. and other areas of Canada. Health officials routinely travel to Toronto from Australia, Japan and China to study the model for their own cities.

Toronto Public Health officials will receive the award in Columbus, Ohio, on June 18.

But that doesn’t make you a rock star.

Top Chef would be mildly entertaining with Charlie Sheen

I have no idea why those morons on Top Chef don’t use a thermometer.

During last night’s episode, Carla (right, exactly as shown) serves raw pork.

Judge Gail says, the center of my pork loin was pretty much completely raw.

Carla goes home

Thermometers would make them better cooks.

The Charlie factor is best summarized by music critic Lester Bangs in the film, Almost Famous:

Lester Bangs: The Doors? Jim Morrison? He’s a drunken buffoon posing as a poet.

Alice Wisdom: I like the Doors.

Lester Bangs: Give me the Guess Who. They got the courage to be drunken buffoons, which makes them poetic.

Kansas City BBQ joint closed for health violations

There’s a scene in the fabulous 2003 movie, Almost Famous, where the band gets new T-shirts, and only the lead guitar player is discernable in the group pic – the rest of the band are the out-of-focus guys.

The bass player, tired of the band angst, says, “I just want to go get some barbeque.”

And why not. The fictional band is in real Topeka (Kansas).

But Kansas BBQ may not be all it should be. LC’s Barbeque in Kansas City, Missouri, has been shut down for 12 critical health code violations, leaving the city without one of its longtime favorite for barbeque.

In its report, the Kansas City health department noted violations like handwashing procedures, pest issues and sanitation problems. Among the most damaging violations were the pest issues.

The health department’s report stated, "Food was not seen as safe, unadulterated and /or honestly presented."

The report said inspectors found a loaf of bread that had been chewed through by a rodent.

Websites on stickers so consumers know where their food is from: still a cool idea 10 years later

Eat Me Daily looks like a decent enough food blog that found a chicken producer doing what I told the Ontario greenhouse vegetable growers they should be doing 10 years ago: if not marketing food safety directly, at least provide information for those who care, in the form of a url that the inquisitive type could follow up on at home.

So we were at the grocery store this weekend, and came across a Murray’s Chicken with a sticker on it with a Farm Verification code, offering to let us "find out where this chicken came from and learn more about the family that raised it." … It even hooks into the Google Maps API to show you exactly where the farm is on a map. … Our code, 0289, revealed that our chicken was raised at 1020 Alvira Rd in Allenwood, PA 17810 by David Bowers. Hats off to you Mr. Bowers, that was one tasty chicken.

I agree with Eat Me Daily. Awesome. And one day, I will be cool.