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Pizza du jour: a double pepperoni frozen slab, with smoked anchovies, garlic powder, rosemary, and sliced zucchini (courgette). The anchovies twist and turn dangerously with the pepperoni, whilst the zucchini stands there, wagging its finger. Delicious.

Rodentine sorts might like to peek at this gallery of 14 photos of some particularly talented rat models. ^_^

Looking up information about flucloxacillin, and penicillin in general, turned up this rather fascinating footnote about its early days of mess production: "The challenge of mass-producing the drug was daunting. On March 14, 1942 the first patient was treated for streptococcal septicemia with U.S.-made penicillin produced by Merck & Co. Half of the total supply produced at the time was used on that one patient. By June 1942 there was just enough U.S. penicillin available to treat ten patients. A moldy cantaloupe in a Peoria, Illinois market in 1943 was found to contain the best and highest-quality penicillin after a worldwide search. The discovery of the cantaloupe, and the results of fermentation research on corn steep liquor at the Northern Regional Research Laboratory at Peoria, Illinois, allowed the United States to produce 2.3 million doses in time for the invasion of Normandy in the spring of 1944."

And I even managed to make it back safely last night after the GBBF. ^_^ Got there around noon, met up with an old friend shortly after, and proceeded to partake of much good beer (though I completely neglected to visit the cider alley this year - but with Middle Farm not far away, that's not such a loss), before taking a couple hours' break around 4pm. Hopped over to Exhibition Road, where we all readily agreed that a visit to the Science Museum would be fun. Food was good, as usual - amongst other things, the kudu burger was most tasty, not to mention an exemplary spicy pork pie. =:9 I did wind up bringing a few bottles back with me, too - three bottles of very pleasant mead, and (from the same company) a bottle of utterly gorgeous toffee vodka. Seemed to be selling quite healthily, too - they'd brought along enough for the show, or so they thought, when they had to restock on Friday morning. ^_^ I may post a photo or two sometime, both of the festival and museum - the latter included exhibits such as Difference Engine no.2, and J J Thompson's e/m tube.

So, apparently, there's going to be a sixth H2G2 book: And Another Thing, courtesy of the Artemis Fowl author. Not a series I've read, though I've heard positive mutterings. Anyone know the guy's work well?
 
 
 
 
 
 
You know, penicillin seems to share a similar history as cortisone. Everyone with rheumatoid arthritis suffered a dearth of effective drugs, and cortisone was something that could be made in eyedropper amounts when truckloads were needed.
And one of the men riding the cutting edge of steroid research? An African-American chemist working for Glidden. The housepaint people.
Nova did a fairly absorbing account of the story of Percy Julian as part of their Forgotten Genius series!
And similarly, now, it's something we take completely in our stride - it's a given that there are effective antibiotics, and painkillers for almost every purpose (even if opiate manufacture in Afghanistan remains elusive, seemingly primarily out of political inconvenience - it's preferable to be seen to be tough than pragmatic), when not so long ago, both were all but non-existent.

I'll have to try remembering to watch that when I'm back in the warren. Certainly looks like quite a life-affirming story - it's one thing to merely be good at one's chosen profession, but to have the opportunity to make a real difference in the world, and the talent to pull it off.. quite wonderful.