We give credit to the Scots as being great and glorious for the invention of P.O.E.T.S. Day, but we had no idea. In a week of sciencey breakthroughs the Scots have shown themselves more better greater and gloriouser than ever imagined.
Peter Higgs, English born but resident of Scotland since 1960 and currently professor emeritus at The University of Edinburgh, got to say “I told you so,” to the whole of Physicsdom when his much sought after but so far merely theoretical Higgs boson (more important but less lofty sounding than the impressively named Intermediate Vector Boson) was proven to be probably real we think. Besides being a massive find for those fond of physics puns, the Higgs boson is the long awaited missing link in the Standard Model of the universe, the existence of which means whole new areas of unknown for us to look into. Those who think that last sentence was borne of despair and hopelessness never really got the original Star Trek.
Impressive as unlocking the secrets of the universe may be, this week’s more important Scottish contribution to science comes from a partnership between Glasgow University and business interests. Holding nutritional balance as their shiboleth, Mike Lean (not a made
up name) and Donnie MacLean (you have to trust me on the names) have invented healthy pizza. Each pie is designed to provide one third of the recommended phlogiston or whatever that doctors and nutritional nabobs say we need to get from our food while keeping all the demons like fats that sap our strength and make us vulnerable to temptation beneath the recommended daily intake. Sharp readers have already realized that means pizza for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and pizza for dinner.
Sodium, cholesterol, and all other meanies are said to be reduced while vitamins, proteins and grace are apparently increased to needed and proper levels. The blessed pair is said to be turning their gaze next towards fish and chips among other things. All hail Hibernia.
For the betting public, unless the Nobel Committee alters its rules to allow a prize to be split more than three ways, the six credited scientists behind the Higgs Boson theory are to be considered a dark horse to Lean and MacLean and the glorious Pizza of Youth.
Speaking of awards and food, various hot dog eating contests were held over the holiday. The premier event was won for the sixth time in as many years by the same man. The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest was won by Joey Chestnut in a performance that saw him tying his world record 68 (!) hot dogs in ten minutes. That can’t be good for you. In the outcast, non Major League Eating (really exists) sponsored event, former champion and co-record holder with 68 in ten, Takuru Kobayushi (note the thread Star Trek Fans) competed in the CrifDog Classic in Brooklyn. On the stage with him was blogger turned journalist but still a blogger, Spencer Hall showing what the gluttony of competitive eating does to the average man.
Yes, he threw up. But there was a stretch in 2007 that saw LSU coach Les Miles defy logic, throwing for touchdowns at the last minute when a field goal would suffice, going for fourth down after fourth down and always making it, and watching the college football world bend inexplicably to his whim as team after team ranked above LSU fell in upsets en route to a National Championship. Hall wrote this, my favorite blog post ever. Hall can puke if he wants to.
Micheal Madsen phoned it in and things got worse from there. Piranhaconda looked to be a fine follow up in the Sy-Fi line up of intentional schlock to the amazing Jersey Shore Shark Attack. Instead we got Madsen sleep walking through the first half of the movie, me turning off the movie, and then days later me turning on the TV when the end of the movie – Madsen was presumably eaten as he didn’t make an appearance – was on and I saw two people ride a four wheeler across empty fields with nothing near them for miles while asking if “they lost it?” meaning the piranhaconda. The next movie on the slate was worse. The guy currently playing Danny Bonaduci and that guy that played Greg Brady were opposite each other in Bigfoot. The idea seemed to be to cast a campy pair of men ala Debby Gibson and Tiffany in MegaShark vs. Giant Octopus, but Bigfoot was forced. I like the Sy-Fi Saturday movies because of the quick-take-bad-is-okay acting and the college credits the interns earn for CGI practice. The recent crop seemed to try hard to be bad, as if they were expanding on the joke. The result was just embarrassing.