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Expat wanderer

High Schoolers Find Trumped Up Fish in Sushi

This is a great story; you can read the whole article at The New York Times. High school students, listening to a dad talking about DNA coding, wondered if sushi served in New York was what it was labled. They took samples, examined just one gene, and found that a lot of the fish was marketed as much more select than it really was. Don’t you just love it? These kids have made the news!

Fish Tale Has DNA Hook: Students Find Bad Labels

Published: August 21, 2008
Many New York sushi restaurants and seafood markets are playing a game of bait and switch, say two high school students turned high-tech sleuths.

In a tale of teenagers, sushi and science, Kate Stoeckle and Louisa Strauss, who graduated this year from the Trinity School in Manhattan, took on a freelance science project in which they checked 60 samples of seafood using a simplified genetic fingerprinting technique to see whether the fish New Yorkers buy is what they think they are getting.

They found that one-fourth of the fish samples with identifiable DNA were mislabeled. A piece of sushi sold as the luxury treat white tuna turned out to be Mozambique tilapia, a much cheaper fish that is often raised by farming. Roe supposedly from flying fish was actually from smelt. Seven of nine samples that were called red snapper were mislabeled, and they turned out to be anything from Atlantic cod to Acadian redfish, an endangered species.

What may be most impressive about the experiment is the ease with which the students accomplished it. Although the testing technique is at the forefront of research, the fact that anyone can take advantage of it by sending samples off to a laboratory meant the kind of investigative tools once restricted to Ph.D.’s and crime labs can move into the hands of curious diners and amateur scientists everywhere.

Read the entire article HERE.

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Crime, Eating Out, Education, Experiment, Marketing, News, Social Issues, Technical Issue | 3 Comments

Daily Odds and Ends

This cat was found as a kitten; he’d been hit by a car. The man who found him paid $1400 to get him well again. Now he had a home where he is happy, has special furniture just for him, and a life where he is treasured. His name is Lucky. He looks crabby, but he is a sweetheart:

Lucky lives next door to an Ethiopian Grocery store:

In an antique store, I found this unique display:

I’m crazy about old silver, and these pieces knocked my socks off. I am guessing it is old hotel silver – I didn’t ask.

I talked my military-wife-friend into going back to Tai-Ho’s and this time we tried their famous noodle soup with meat and chinese pickles. It is to die for!

Mom called as we were saying goodbye to say that if I was anywhere near the coast, there was going to be a fabulous sunset with magnificent clouds:

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Adventure, Community, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Food, Living Conditions, Relationships | 4 Comments

Building 7 Collapse Solved, No Mystery

AOL News reporting from AP:

Feds Say They’ve Solved 9/11 Mystery

GAITHERSBURG, Md. (Aug. 21) – Federal investigators said Thursday they have solved a mystery of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: the collapse of World Trade Center building 7, a source of long-running conspiracy theories.

The 47-story trapezoid-shaped building sat north of the World Trade Center towers, across Vesey Street in lower Manhattan. On Sept. 11, it was set on fire by falling debris from the burning towers, but skeptics have long argued that fire and debris alone should not have brought down such a big steel-and-concrete structure.

Federal investigators said Thursday they have resolved a lingering question from the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks: What caused World Trade Center 7 to collapse? They determined the building, which sat north of the World Trade Center towers, was brought down by fire started by debris from the twin towers.

Scientists with the National Institute of Standards and Technology say their three-year investigation of the collapse determined the demise of WTC 7 was actually the first time in the world a fire caused the total failure of a skyscraper.

“The reason for the collapse of World Trade Center 7 is no longer a mystery,” said Dr. Shyam Sunder, the lead investigator on the NIST team.

Investigators also concluded that the collapse of the nearby towers broke the city water main, leaving the sprinkler system in the bottom half of the building without water.

The building has been the subject of a wide range of conspiracy theories for the last seven years, partly because the collapse occurred about seven hours after the twin towers came down. That fueled suspicion that someone intentionally blew up the building in a controlled demolition.

Critics like Mike Berger of the group 9/11 Truth said he wasn’t buying the government’s explanation.
“Their explanation simply isn’t sufficient. We’re being lied to,” he said, arguing that there is other evidence suggesting explosives were used on the building.

Sunder said his team investigated the possibility that an explosion inside the building brought it down, but found there was no large boom or other noise that would have occurred with such a detonation. Investigators also created a giant computer model of the collapse, based partly on news footage from CBS News, that they say shows internal column failure brought down the building.
Investigators also ruled out the possibility that the collapse was caused by fires from a substantial amount of diesel fuel that was stored in the building, most of it for generators for the city’s emergency operations command center.

The 77-page report concluded that the fatal blow to the building came when the 13th floor collapsed, weakening a critical steel support column that led to catastrophic failure.

“When this critical column buckled due to lack of floor supports, it was the first domino in the chain,” said Sunder.

The NIST investigators issued more than a dozen building recommendations as a result of their inquiry, most of which repeat earlier recommendations from their investigation into the collapse of the two large towers.

In both instances, investigators concluded that extreme heat caused some steel beams to lose strength, causing further failures throughout the buildings until the entire structure succumbed.
The recommendations include building skyscrapers with stronger connections and framing systems to resist the effects of thermal expansion, and structural systems designed to prevent damage to one part of a building from spreading to other parts.

A spokeswoman for the leaseholder of the World Trade Center, developer Larry Silverstein, praised the government’s work.

“Hopefully this thorough report puts to rest the various 9/11 conspiracy theories, which dishonor the men and women who lost their lives on that terrible day,” said Silverstein spokeswoman Dara McQuillen.

In discussing the findings, the investigator Sunder acknowledged that some may still not be convinced, but insisted the science behind their findings is “incredibly conclusive.”

“The public should really recognize the science is really behind what we have said,” he said, adding: “The obvious stares you in the face.”

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Crime, Interconnected, Leadership, Local Lore, News, Political Issues | , | 2 Comments