Moment of Zen #9 – Britney

BRIAN: I wish MTV would expose their schedule as a web service [for Sherlock]
BRIAN: their entries in TV Guide are notoriously inaccurate.
RAND: you watch too much mtv
BRIAN: I wish I could… they rarely show videos!
BRIAN: that’s what I want the schedule for
RAND: yeah, have it page you whenever a new britney video comes on
BRIAN: britney is soiled
RAND: I so don’t care
RAND: did you hear playboy made her an offer?
BRIAN: madonna’s mouth has been on her
BRIAN: I feel yucky looking at her now
RAND: she was used
RAND: like that little boy at neverland ranch

1421 Chinese discovered america

Home page for the book and the ongoing research surrounding it.

Okay, it seems a little far-fetched, and I’m not completely sold on the American colony of Chinese people part, but there are some really interesting verifiable factoids in this book.

For example, the Ming “Treasure Fleets” which were designed to bring the entire world into the Chinese “tribute system” and which basically bankrupted China. A large failing of the Fleet was the lack of markets- just as in 1946, there was only one industrial power and no markets to sell to. In the fifteenth century, the rest of the world was still mostly in the dark ages.

My to-do list from this book:

  • go to Patagonia
  • eat Fusang (S. America)
  • See the Stone of Letters on the Cape Verde Islands (Janela, Africa)
  • eat blue eggs (s. America)
  • learn more about Venetian explorer Niccolo da Conti
  • plant maize, beans, and squash all together

Also, Dr John Furry of the Natural History Museum of Norther California is studying a Chinese junk wrecked in a sandbank in the Sacramento River. Furthermore Gavin Menzies postulates there was a Chinese colony of decended from the Treasure Ships here in the bay area.

The web site is pretty extensive. It is intended to be a hub for all the news of evidence and studies verifying the (very large number of) claims made by this book.

Avenues of investigation not listed on their site:

  • the remains of the now-extinct warrah, a fox found on the Falkland Islands, could be tested for similarities in DNA to Chinese dogs, to verify the dogs’ escape there
  • rubbings or pictures from the “Malayam” inscribed on the Stone of Letters, a marking of explorers
  • rubbings or pictures from the Aboriginal Austrailian carving at Hawkesbury River (north of Sydney, Australia), depicting “Visitors” (ostensibly Chinese)
  • rubbings or pictures from the Ruapuke stone, at the mouth of the Torei Palma Rivier at Whaingaroa (North Island, New Zealand)
  • …for that matter, photos of all the artifacts associated with the Ruapuke wreck


The collector

About a guy who obsesses over a girl he admires from afar… one day he kidnaps her and keeps her captive in his basement. Made into a movie in 1965.

For an exercise in why indexing the internet is next to impossible, try to find this book without knowing the author’s name. I dare ya.


Placenta Placenta

Your baby is born. There are a million things to think about, and what happens to the placenta isn’t even on the list. Usually the placenta gets thrown away.

But did you know that you can save your baby’s umbilical cord and “bank” it? The placenta is full of stem cells which could save someone’s life later, or further stem cell research and save millions of lives!

No kidding. You could quite literally help cure cancer.

The National Marrow Donor Program has a FAQ on donating cord cells to make the process easy for you, and if your hospital doesn’t have an existing program, companies like Cryobanks International will take the placenta and make sure it helps save lives.

Or you could just bank the blood for your own personal future use. There is a big company which does this now, the Cord Blood Registry, as well as an entire network of cord blood banks called Alphacord.

Actually, there are so many companies in this effort that Google has an entire category of them in its directory.

There are also people who eat the placenta. In some societies, the afterbirth is routinely eaten by the mother to help replenish protein and iron lost during childbirth.

Here is a recipe for roast placenta, and Mothering Magazine printed an entire list of recipes in their September 1983 issue (Vol. 28, pg 76).

This morning I heard a long session on a morning radio show (Sarah and No Name actually) where they ranted for about an hour about how gross it was, and when someone called in to discuss it, they ridiculed him off the air. No mention of donating the placenta. Hooray for free press!

So, here’s my contribution: if you’re going to write me email about how gross it is to eat the placenta, you can go to f-ing hell. Come see me and I will say it to your xenophobic face, loser.

No one’s forcing you to eat placenta. To you meat-eaters out there (yes I do eat meat), do you slaughter your own meat? I personally doubt that most people could. The inside of any animal is pretty gross too. If you like, I will butcher an animal with you and we will eat it raw while I film it, and I will make you look like a fool on the next network reality show as you cry and throw up all over your Keds. In the background, all my friends will laugh at your lameness. And afterwards, your friends will too.

Bank your baby’s placenta and save lives. Sarah and No Name are morons.