Archive for April, 2013

Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend

April 26, 2013

But let’s not get too carried away.
The Tampa (Florida) Women’s Club was hosting a fundraiser recently. Partygoers could pay $20 for a flute of champagne. 400 flutes of champagne were prepared, and 399 of them contained a cubic zirconia worth $10 at the bottom. The 400th glass held a one-carat diamond worth $5000, donated by a local jeweler.
Miriam Tucker, age 80, was the lucky lady who got the diamond in her champagne. She didn’t like to put her fingers into the bubbly, so she drank some of it, hoping to lower the level enough to get the diamond out neatly. But something went a bit wonky. While laughing with her friends at their table, Ms. Tucker became horribly aware of the fact that she had swallowed a $5000 rock and had to confess to the jeweller and event organizers.
But every cloud has a silver lining, and in this case the lining is studded with a precious jewel: Miriam Tucker had already scheduled a colonoscopy for the beginning of next week, so she dropped by her doctor’s office a bit early and the diamond was recovered safely and apparently none the worse for wear.
Just be mindful of this story next time you raise a brimming glass and toast to your health.


Some People Will Swallow Anything

April 22, 2013

A while back I posted a blog about people who have literally eaten themselves to death, usually on a dare or for fame and fortune. I thought I’d covered the topic adequately, but apparently not.
Today there is a new health warning about a teenage fad called The Cinnamon Challenge. The premise is quite simple: swallow a spoonful of cinnamon in sixty seconds without the aid of a beverage.
The warning reminds us that cinnamon is an irritant, and that trying to swallow a large amount of it dry can lead to choking, sore throat and possible lung damage if inhaled.
Such idiotic adolescent dares are nothing new, of course. The grandmother of them all is probably the famous goldfish-eating contests that took place on college campuses in the 1930’s. An Ivy Leaguer named, of all things, Lothrop Withington, began it, and as fast as a fad could spread in those pre-Facebook days, this one went viral. The challenge started out as a simple “I dare you to eat this goldfish” but eventually progressed to “How many goldfish can you swallow?” (Yes, they were live goldfish.)
The fad died out quickly when 1. People realized that thirty live goldfish thrashing around in one’s gut was a pretty unpleasant sensation. and 2. Warnings were issued that goldfish (and incidentally, many other types of fish, including many types that are more acceptable to eat) often contain tapeworms, which pose a real threat to humans.
I think the doctors issuing the warning about cinnamon are off to a good start, but they need to get a bit more gross with their warning. A coughing fit and possible long-term lung damage is not really that much of a deterrent. Just look at all the kids who still start smoking. But if there was such a thing as a cinnamon tapeworm…

Four Profound Words

April 19, 2013

From a school poster made as a school project by Martin Richard, age 8, killed at the Boston Marathon finish line on Monday, April 15, 2013:
“No more hurting people.”
Well said.
I would only like to add a couple more words of my own.
“Stop it. Just stop it. Everybody. Just stop.”