We all skate into the fog sometimes: University students protest in Tehran after 200 fall victim to food poisoning

More than 200 students at the University of Science and Technology in Tehran have been taken to the hospital for food poisoning at the university’s canteen since Tuesday October 15, Iranian media reported.

The students have staged a sit-in in front of the University in protest to the situation, the reports said.

A student union official told the semi-official news agency ISNA late Wednesday that the Union has called on officials to present a report on the situation within a week, “otherwise, protest gatherings will continue.” This means that the gatherings have been suspended for the time being.

What a difference a grade makes

When I was about 10 or 11, playing goal in AAA hockey, I used to vomit before games I knew I was starting, Gump Worsley style.

There was this one time in a 3rd year cell biology class about a century ago, that I totally choked on an exam.

Guess I should have guessed I had anxiety issues back then.

I went to the prof the next day and she let me retake the exam and I aced it.

That’s the thing I’ve learned about anxiety, which is like playing goalie in ice hockey: sometimes you’re good, sometimes not so much (ya let in a goal, gotta get over it and keep your mind in the game).

Amy and I have a lot of shared values, but I can see that my anxiety is causing issues.

She’s going to a conference in the U.S. for a couple of weeks with the kid, and I’m going to a new rehab place (if what you’re doing ain’t working, try something different) with my trusted psychiatrist, beginning last Monday. It gives Amy some peace.

For at least three weeks.

I may write a little.

I may write a lot.

I’ve learned not to make predictions.

Can governments use grades to induce businesses to improve their compliance with regulations? Does public disclosure of compliance with food safety regulations matter for restaurants? Ultimately, this depends on whether grades matter for the bottom line.

Based on 28 months of data on more than 15,000 restaurants in New York City, this article explores the impact of public restaurant grades on economic activity and public resources using rigorous panel data methods, including fixed‐effects models with controls for underlying food safety compliance.

Results show that A grades reduce the probability of restaurant closure and increase revenues while increasing sales taxes remitted and decreasing fines relative to B grades. Conversely, C grades increase the probability of restaurant closure and decrease revenues while decreasing sales taxes remitted relative to B grades. These findings suggest that policy makers can incorporate public information into regulations to more strongly incentivize compliance.

Wiley Online Library

Michah W. Rothbart, Amy Ellen Schwartz, Thad D. Calabrese, Zachary Papper, Todor Mijanovich, Rachel Meltzer, Diana Silver

https://doi.org/10.1111/puar.13091

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/puar.13091

Hockey, dreams, are weird, so is the brain

I had this dream, where I was coaching on the ice in Brisbane for a few hours, helping do evaluations of kids – male and female – and running them through drills.

As the kids got changed and the girls were mixed in with the boys, I explained we had enough girls in Guelph that they had their own league, and as a coach, I wouldn’t go into the dressing room until they were all dressed, and after the game would debrief for a couple of minutes, and then say good bye outside.

After 3 hours of on-ice training I said I’m going home for an hour and would be back in an hour.

I started to put on my street clothes, realized it was dark outside, looked at my iPhone and saw it was 2 a.m.

I miss coaching, but my brain is doing too many weird things.

And in real-life I fall a lot

I’d post this to my other blog, but what’s left of my identity that I can remember is barfblog.com.This is why hockey is the best sport and all of my 5 daughters played or play.

And hockey hugs are the best.

It takes them away from dolls.

To win the Stanley Cup, a team needs 16 wins, 4 best of 7 rounds of hockey.

Half the teams have been golfing since Feb.

There’s a game 7 on right now, St. Louis is winning against Boston, attempting to avenge  their 1970 loss where Bobby Orr scored the winning goal in an iconic photo. All Canadians know that pic, and we all know Paul Henderson scoring against Russia in 1972.

We got out of grade school to watch the game in the gym.

Hockey matters, and now that my French professor wife has been playing for 4 years, she’s an expert.

Me, I’m retired due to brain and physical injuries, but 50 years of taking pucks to the head will do that.

St. Louis won.

Young girls in Finland are pretending to ride horses — inside the prancing phenomenon

As I’m about to watch game 4 of the Stanley Cup final between St. Louis and Boston (that’s ice hockey for my Australian friends, and it’s on in background) I think of the Finnish trend of young girls prancing – pretending to ride horses.

According to a story in People, many young girls in the country have taken up the craft of “hobbyhorsing,” which sees them use a stick equipped with a toy horse’s head to dance and show off their riding skills at events.

While it may seem like the girls are simply pretending to ride their horses, it becomes as genuine as it can get at competitions, where they’ll learn how to care for their hobbyhorse just as if it were a real animal. They even pick its breed and gender.

Becoming a part of the country’s growing hobbyhorse community reportedly allows the girls to express themselves without fear of ridicule in something they may not find in school or in their neighborhood.

“The normal things, that normal girls like, they don’t feel like my things,” 11-year-old hobbyhorse enthusiast Fanny Oikarinen told the N.Y. Times.

 “Some are sports girls,” added Fanny’s friend, Maisa Wallius. “Some are really lonely girls. And some can be the coolest girl at school.”

Enthusiast Alisa Aarniomaki found online stardom thanks to her hobbyhorsing, but despite her popular videos, she was unsure about revealing her skills to kids at school.

Hobbyhorsing got the attention of filmmaker Selma Vilhunen, who released a documentary in 2017 about the craft.

“Little girls are allowed to be strong and wild,” Vilhunen said of hobbyhorsing. “I think the society starts to shape them into a certain kind of quietness when they reach puberty.

If it works for these girls, great. My five daughters all played or play (ice) hockey – the real kind.

Dreams are weird, so is the brain

I had this dream, where I was coaching  ice hockey in Brisbane for a few hours, helping do evaluations of kids – male and female – and running them through drills.

As the kids got changed and the girls were mixed in with the boys, I explained we had enough girls in Guelph (that’s in Ontario, Canada) that they had their own league, and as a coach, I wouldn’t go into the dressing room until they were all dressed, and after the game would debrief for a couple of minutes, and then say good bye outside.

After 3 hours of on-ice training I said I’m going home for an hour and would be back in an hour.

I started to put on my street clothes, realized it was dark outside, looked at my iPhone and saw it was 2 a.m.

I miss coaching, but my brain is doing too many weird things.

And in real-life I fall a lot.

I’d post this to my other blog, but what’s left of my identity that I can remember is barfblog.com.

Our church is the arena, our religion is hockey, so we don’t educate, we inform

Consumers in most developed countries have greater access to safer food than ever before, yet the issue of consumer perception on the safety of the food supply, the control infrastructure and existing and new process technologies is often not positive.

A series of high profile food incidents, which have been ineffectively managed by both the regulators and the industry, and where there has been a failure to be open and transparent, have sensitised a proportion of consumers to scary stories about the food supply. There has been concomitant damage to consumer confidence in (i) the safety of food, (ii) the food industry’s commitment to producing safe food and (iii) the authorities’ ability to oversee the food chain.

Threats to consumers’ health and their genuine concerns have to be addressed with effective risk management and the protection of public health has to be paramount. Dealing with incorrect fears and misperceptions of risk has also to be addressed but achieving this is very difficult. The competencies of social scientists are needed to assist in gaining insights into consumer perceptions of risk, consumer behaviour and the determinants of trust.

Conventional risk communication will not succeed on its own and more innovative and creative communication strategies are needed to engage with consumers using all available media channels in an open and transparent way. The digital media affords the opportunity to revolutionise engagement with consumers on food safety and nutrition-related issues.

Moving from risk communication to food information communication and consumer engagement

Npj Science of Food 2

Patrick Wall and Junshi Chen

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41538-018-0031-7

My brain hurts

I’m sporadic, I fall over, and it’s really fucking scary.

I’ll keep writing until I die, keep advising students, and keep doing what I can. The wife finally admitted last week, that maybe it just wasn’t the booze, that maybe it was 50 years of pucks to the head in shitty Canadian Tire plastic masks. Maybe  it was four years of middle linebacker, where the coach said, the guy with the ball, go kill him, the car crash in which two people died, and the subsequent concussions, falling off my bike, when my wife says, you didn’t really recover from that last fall, you got worse.

I’m stilll there to help the kids, until I can’t be. It’s sad, but I got 3 grandsons now, so life goes on.

I love this pic, because it encapsulates everything i did with my Guelplh girls, and with Sorenne, the American girl.

barfblog and a song; 118 sick from campy in puppies

We have escaped to Coff’s Harbour, about five hours south of Brisbane, for our annual hockey tournament at the Big Banana, which has a small ice rink so we play 3-on-3, and where Russell Crowe apparently learned to skate for his role in the 1999 movie, Mystery, Alaska (a great hockey movie).

Amy is involved in all kinds of things, I coached for a few years and am now a happy spectator.

JFK of NSA Hockey, who played junior in Michigan, runs a day-long hockey camp for kids who are interested, so it’s a couple of days of writing and chilling for me and the Hubbell.

I’m going to catch up on some blog posts, fit each with one of my favorite songs, and then get on with that book.

I laid in bed and figured out the first half the other night.

We have Ted, the Wonder Dog, with us (he’s a wonder because how can such a little thing shit so much).

According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control, dogs, especially puppies, are a known source of sporadic Campylobacter infections in humans, but are uncommonly reported to cause outbreaks.

Investigation of a multistate, multidrug-resistant outbreak of Campylobacter jejuni infections implicated puppies from breeders and distributors sold through pet stores as the outbreak source. Outbreak strains were resistant to all antibiotics commonly used to treat Campylobacter infections.

Campylobacter causes an estimated 1.3 million diarrheal illnesses in the United States annually (1). In August 2017, the Florida Department of Health notified CDC of six Campylobacter jejuni infections linked to company A, a national pet store chain based in Ohio. CDC examined whole-genome sequencing (WGS) data and identified six isolates from company A puppies in Florida that were highly related to an isolate from a company A customer in Ohio. This information prompted a multistate investigation by local and state health and agriculture departments and CDC to identify the outbreak source and prevent additional illness. Health officials from six states visited pet stores to collect puppy fecal samples, antibiotic records, and traceback information.

Nationally, 118 persons, including 29 pet store employees, in 18 states were identified with illness onset during January 5, 2016–February 4, 2018. In total, six pet store companies were linked to the outbreak. Outbreak isolates were resistant by antibiotic susceptibility testing to all antibiotics commonly used to treat Campylobacter infections, including macrolides and quinolones. Store record reviews revealed that among 149 investigated puppies, 142 (95%) received one or more courses of antibiotics, raising concern that antibiotic use might have led to development of resistance. Public health authorities issued infection prevention recommendations to affected pet stores and recommendations for testing puppies to veterinarians. This outbreak demonstrates that puppies can be a source of multidrug-resistant Campylobacter infections in humans, warranting a closer look at antimicrobial use in the commercial dog industry.

If you’re a stray cat, Ted the Wonder Dog will make friends.

Multidrug-resistant campylobacter jejuni outbreak linked to puppy exposure- United States, 2016-2018

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6737a3.htm?s_cid=mm6737a3_e

I only remove my hat for one thing: Burt Reynolds

Missing in the wave of nostalgia following Burt Reynolds death was his turn as the judge in Mystery, Alaska, the second best hockey movie ever, following Slap Shot.

 

It’s become a Christmas Day tradition to watch Trailer Park Boys Christmas, and Mystery, Alaska, starring Australian Russell Crowe who learned to skate at the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, where the Brisbane Stars host a tournament every year, and my wife has become the fundraising guru.

 

“Smokey and the Bandit” was — and remains — a hell of a lot of fun. It was also a protest movie, both widely popular and unabashedly populist, a word that meant something a little different back then. Cledus and Bandit are southern working-class white men in revolt against, to put it bluntly, state power and capitalist greed.

 

I’m not saying Burt Reynolds (or Hal Needham, the director of “Smokey,” its sequels and others of its ilk) was a Hollywood Marxist. But more than any other movie star he embodied the stance that permeated much of the country-and-western and southern rock of the Carter era, in which regional pride and defiant hell-raising were accompanied — and sometimes drowned out — by class resentment directed against the bosses and their minions.

Defense matters

The head coach of the Australian state of Queensland , a fellow Canadian, told us parents and coaches earlier this year, anyone can play defense, it’s easy, offense is hard.

I disagree.

But that’s just my opinion.

Defense wins Stanley Cups and Super Bowls.

Defense takes discipline.

Defense is hard.

I played four years as a linebacker in football and would crush anybody who tried to cross the line.

Any food company knows this, because they do not want to be tomorrow’s headline, just because someone messed up.

This is a picture of my daughter playing defense in practice (thanks Julie). Look at how the goalie is ideally placed, with his foot up against the post and his stick outside the post. Look at the angling Sorenne is using on her teammate.

Those are boring things but they win games.

And help people not barf from food.

This is Sorenne protecting the blue-line last week (thanks again, Julie).

Defense matters.