Thursday, January 05, 2006

I'll have a soyburger, a software patch and medium fries to go--UPDATED

What has volume, mass and specific gravity and absolutely no use?--Obviously, tofu, better described by its real name, soy bean curd. The only good thing to say about tofu is that it is at least smart enough to take on the taste of whatever it is sitting in, having no taste of its own either. It is part of what I call the soy cult, the notion that soy is not only a good substitute for things like milk and beef, but it is actually good for you. Soy is the leading ingredient in ersatz food. Think soyburger.Keeping in mind the motto of this blog (you know, “everything causes whatever in mice..”) I am pleased to report the latest from health medicine: no it’s not good for you. Well, maybe not. Unless ou are a male mouse. According to the latest research, mice carrying a certain mutation for heart disease were made worse by a diet of soy. Much worse. The mice carried the gene for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (enlargement of the heart), the leading cause of the sudden death of athletes, you know, the basketball players who drop dead on the court. It affects one out of 500 people. Female mice were unaffected, but the male mice keeled over dribbling up the backcourt. OK, nevermind.. The research was done at the University of Colorado and published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Which reminds me of the great comment by the comedian Lewis Black, who objects strongly to the presence of soy milk in the dairy section of his supermarket. “You know there is no such thing as soy milk because there are no such things as soy titties.” Not on my plate you don't.

By the way, did you know that tofu shrinks the brain? Really.

[The graphic shows the nutritional value of a soy burger. 500 calories]

Gosh, Mr. Gates, we really appreciate your help but I think we’d rather do it ourselves--Readers of this blog know I tend to like dumping on Microsoft. I do so partly because they are big and it’s fun to pick on the big guys, and partly because, with the exception of marketing and pushing the envelope on anti-trust laws, they are howlingly incompetent. I am not alone. In recent days, yet another major flaw was discovered in their iconic software, this time in Windows Metafile (WMF), the part of the software used to draw graphics. That normally wouldn’t be news but this one is even more serious than usual and Microsoft was very fast in getting out a statement, suggesting they may some day get out a patch, when the time is right. What was news was that some experts are advising everyone to ignore the Microsoft patch when it emerges and to use one already developed by a third party. That hasn’t happened before. They simply no longer trust Microsoft to fix things. They are urging businesses to use a patch developed by a man with the unlikely name of Ilfak Guilfanov, which works and works better than anything likely to fly out of Redmond. The security experts believe Microsoft still doesn’t get it. Duh!

UPDATE: Someone got the message. Microsoft announced today it wouldn' wait to send out the patch but would do so promptly.


Anonymous said...

Dave Bary says "tofu" is really whale snot.

JL said...

"Toad Food" is what I heard.

Thanks for the analysis; now I know what happened to my (former) brain.

And thanks for the monkey graphic. I stole it.


John L.

Joel Shurkin said...

That's okay, John. I did too.