Wednesday, May 10th, 2023


What’s in Your Crispr Drawer?

There's a new weapon in the age-old battle to get kids (and adults) to eat their vegetables. Growers have long messed with the genes of vegetable crops to increase yield. Now they're working to change flavor. "Today's Brussels sprouts taste better than you might remember from childhood. It's not that your refined adult palate appreciates them better. Rather a new variety has displaced the original vegetable. You can thank plant breeders for the change. And modern breeders, armed with new gene-editing technology, are looking to replicate Brussels sprouts' reinvention." Scientific American: Tweaking Vegetables' Genes Could Make Them Tastier—And You'll Get to Try Them Soon. While "kale, for instance, is particularly healthy, many prefer eating the less bitter romaine or iceberg lettuce. So Pairwise scientists figured out how to use CRISPR to edit a kalelike mustard green to fit that palate. They wanted to turn off the genes that code for an enzyme called myrosinase, which breaks down the glucosinolates and creates bitterness once the leaf is chewed in a diner's mouth. The result is a healthy but less bitter green." (What we need are brussel sprouts that look and taste exactly like a Snicker's bar.)


Santos Claws Coming to Town

George Santos, the poster child for modern politics, "has been indicted on 13 counts, including seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one count of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives." When he was booked into custody, his fingerprints probably represented ten different people.

+ Surprise! Kevin McCarthy is still standing by Santos. There's a reason for that (other than the fact that he's long been known to laud liars). McCarthy's majority is razor thin. How George Santos's federal indictment could shake up Congress. (They may not be willing to raise the debt limit, but they've got no problem raising the indictment count.)

+ NY Mag: Here's Every Single Lie Told by George Santos. Fake News! No one could list all of them. But they've definitely collected enough to keep you entertained.


Zero’s Tolerance

"He suffered from collapsed lungs, sepsis, failed kidneys, low blood pressure, acute respiratory syndrome, pulmonary embolism and the loss of several fingers and toes. He was in a medically induced coma for 31 days during which his heart flatlined on four separate occasions. But on May 8, 2020, after 64 days in the hospital, Garfield did what doctors had thought impossible: he walked out of the front door. And now, three years to the date later, he had the privilege of reuniting with staff as a completely healthy man." Three years later, COVID ‘Patient Zero' returns to LA hospital that saved his life.


Haute Detour

"The more-than-a-century-old Parsons School boasts big-name fashion-industry alumni, including Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Anna Sui and Donna Karan." But those designers were all focused on making clothes for human beings. Today, some Parsons' students are targeting a different market (one where no one complains that a shirt is too itchy). Sarah E. Needleman in WSJ (Gift Article): A $55,000 Fashion Education Now Means Learning to Make Chic Outfits for Roblox Avatars. "Roblox's classic blocky avatars lack necks, fingers and noses, and they walk without bending their knees or ankles. That doesn't mean they can't look hip."


Extra, Extra

Open Armed and Dangerous: "City officials and volunteers say the response to the influx has been fractured, as the chaotic reality of the U.S. migrant crisis strains the Democratic-run city's resources for housing and feeding thousands of new arrivals. And the influx is expected only to increase after a change in federal rules takes effect Thursday." Open-Armed Chicago Feels the Strains of a Migrant Influx.

+ The Holy Rail: "The rush has intensified as news circulates about the end on Thursday night of Title 42- a COVID-era policy that since 2020 has allowed the U.S. to rapidly expel migrants back to Mexico." A Reuters photo essay: Migrants risk life and limb to jump Mexico trains in rush to border.

+ Unpresidented: "Federal Judge Lewis A. Kaplan also offered a piece of practical advice to the Manhattan civil jury that had just found former President Donald Trump liable for sexually abusing E. Jean Carroll in a luxury department store's dressing room in 1996: Kaplan told the jurors that they might not want to publicly identify themselves—'not now and not for a long time.'" The Atlantic: An Ominous Warning to the E. Jean Carroll Jury. (When you're in danger because you sat on a jury in a case involving a former president.)

+ Twit Tweets: In a match made in hell, Tucker Carlson is planning to relaunch is show in the one place where political lying is even more prevalent than Fox News. Elon Musk's Twitter. (In Succession terms, Tucker got fired by the Roys and now is kissing Lukas Matsson's ass. He is the Cousin Greg of real life.)

+ A Loder Crying Shame: "The brash media unit, which once defined music culture with correspondents like Kurt Loder, SuChin Pak, Tabitha Soren and Gideon Yago, is officially no more." MTV News Signs Off for Good After 36-Year Run. Pour one out with this look back at the intro theme.

+ Soap Dish: "The fact we are taking those flowery, fruity smells and putting them on our bodies means that now the same object smells like a flower and a person at the same time ... It would be like waking up and smelling something that was like both coffee and muffins. Very appealing." Soap can make humans more attractive to mosquitoes, study finds.


Bottom of the News

A woman who went missing in the Australian wilderness after making a wrong turn survived for five days on wine and candy. (Kids, let that be a lesson to you.)

+ A dog named Buddy Holly wins best in show at Westminster. Rave on!