October 30th, 2000


Bug juice...

Olympic Star Got Buzz From Hornet Juice

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese marathon star who won Olympic gold in Sydney got a crucial extra buzz by drinking the stomach juice of giant, killer hornets.

Naoko Takahashi, who became a national heroine by winning the women's
marathon, drank the unusual beverage before and during the race after Japanese scientists found it gave an astonishing boost to human performance.

The drink, being 100 percent natural, does not fall foul of Olympic laws against performance-enhancing drugs.

Scientists at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research near Tokyo found the juice helped the three-inch long hornets to fly the equivalent of more than two marathons in search of food -- and had a similar effect on humans.

The juice reduced muscle fatigue and improved the body's efficiency, according to scientists.

``We are delighted that the fruits of our research have been recognized through Naoko Takahashi's success,'' a spokesman for the institute told Reuters on Monday.

A Japanese firm, Meiji Milk Products (2261.T), has reproduced the raw juice and is now marketing it as an energy drink.

Takahashi was the first Japanese woman to win an Olympic athletics gold. The government said last week it was planning to present her with the rarely bestowed People's Honor Award.

I guess I should expect this from a country where two of the favorite sodas are called Pokari Sweat and J.O.

Japanese Whispers?!

Figured it would be an appropriate time to post slogans that use mangled English...

+ ing
-- Japan Railways new corporate slogan

"Woody Home"
-- Brand name on women's underwear

"Through years of experience, Doutor Danish is produced from the finest
materials to create a happy time on tables."
-- from a breakfast pastry package

"Now baby. Tonight I am feeling cool and hard boiled."
--slogan on a Japanese shopping bag

"Fuck the phone."
-- from instructions on how to install a phone system

"Fuck the old man with the beard."
-- On a Santa Claus t-shirt

"Are you haunted by horribles?
Do you ever run after your nose?
Does your nose choke?
Does your head or face or shoulder ever limp?
Has any part of your body suddenly grown uncontrollable?"
--questions on a Japanese medical form

Chinese diplomat (lifting up his glass to his American guest): "Up your bottoms."
American diplomat: "Up yours too."
--Overheard at a cocktail party in Shenyang, China

"I trusted the government, now my dick glows in the dark"
-- From a t-shirt in Thailand

"You are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid."
-- On a hotel guest service pamphlet

"I like to meet strange people from northern places."
-- on a man's sweater

"take me home, let's make happy in your basket"
-- On the packaging for a loaf of bread

"Happy Bun Bun--The neighbor's dog come in and messed the garden"
-- On the cover of a child's notebook

"Depositing the room key into another person is prohibited."
--sign displayed in a Japanese hotel

"Give me coins and I will enjoy you."
-- a label on a child's piggy bank

"Future F.A.G."
-- A t-shirt spotted on a little boy (about 8)

"HEDONISM: It's just that i don't agree with Japan tradition anymore.
It's the way to life."
-- On a raincoat

"Love's good, but not as good as a wank."
-- Spotted on a girl's t-shirt.

"Sodom. Enjoy Your Lifestyle."
-- slogan on a child's fanny pack

And we'll end with some pictures...
Oooh... it's ribbed! I'm feeling less horny already!
For those special moments when you must remove your horniness.

Ok... one more picture. I know a few women who would like this shirt, actually...
All talk, no action...

When I'm not using my computer, I'm advancing medical science...

Recently, I installed the Folding@Home screensaver... a must for all computers with an "always on" connection to the Internet. Not only does it look cool, but it actually does something very important... it researches how protein self-replicates, or folds.

Why is this important? Well, first you have to know a bit about proteins. We are creatures made up of protein. In fact, proteins make up over 50% of the dry weight of humans. Proteins build and maintain cells and perform all sorts of vital tasks in the body, too... your entire immune system is made up of proteins, as is your digestive system, as is insulin, and hemoglobin, and basically a ton of things that basically make your life possible.

Medical science knows a lot about the various forms of protein and what they do... and it also knows a lot about DNA and how it forms the blueprint that makes us who we are. What modern science doesn't know much about is how protein self-assembles, or folds, to actually build what the blueprint has laid out. This is a damn important thing to know... especially when you consider all the problems that can happen to people when something goes wrong with the building process... things like cancer, Alzheimer's, cystic fibrosis, etc... things that kill people everyday.

The tricky thing is that although proteins themselves fold extremely rapidly, simulating how proteins fold is extremely complex and very hard to do without massive computing power. Fortunately, a problem like this is perfect for distributed computing. There are currently 6700 users running Folding@Home... but the project is so involved it could use thousands and thousands more users who are willing to let their computer do a bit of number crunching when they aren't using it themselves.

By solving the riddle of protein folding, scientists hope to be able to come up with treatments and possible cures for numerous diseases... as well as advancing the science of nanotechnology. Learning about how proteins fold will also teach us how to design protein-sized "nanomachines" to do similar tasks. Of course, before nanomachines can carry out any activity, they must also be assembled.

In short, there are a lot of good reasons to use Folding@Home as your screensaver. There are versions of the software for both Windows and Linux. More information is available at the Folding@Home website.