Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mr. Hankey!

Fifteen years ago today Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo was introduced to the world on the South Park episode "Christmas Poo." You can enjoy the full episode here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Today I learned a new word: caganer:
a figurine depicted in the act of defecation appearing in nativity scenes in Catalonia and neighboring areas with Catalan culture such as Andorra, Valencia, Northern Catalonia (in southern France) and the Balearic Islands. It is most popular in these areas, but can also be found in other areas of Spain (Murcia), Portugal and southern Italy (Naples).
Add your favorite celebrity caganer to your nativity scene today! Mine is Ms. Palin.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Shitty Research

A paper in Nature this week reports on the microbiomes (the collection of microbes) from the shit of 531 people. Here's the abstract:
Gut microbial communities represent one source of human genetic and metabolic diversity. To examine how gut microbiomes differ among human populations, here we characterize bacterial species in fecal samples from 531 individuals, plus the gene content of 110 of them. The cohort encompassed healthy children and adults from the Amazonas of Venezuela, rural Malawi and US metropolitan areas and included mono- and dizygotic twins. Shared features of the functional maturation of the gut microbiome were identified during the first three years of life in all three populations, including age-associated changes in the genes involved in vitamin biosynthesis and metabolism. Pronounced differences in bacterial assemblages and functional gene repertoires were noted between US residents and those in the other two countries. These distinctive features are evident in early infancy as well as adulthood. Our findings underscore the need to consider the microbiome when evaluating human development, nutritional needs, physiological variations and the impact of westernization.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fading Memories

Yesterday I reluctantly returned from a very enjoyable week-long vacation.

An hour ago I took a dump. It occurred to me that it was probably from the last meal I ate on vacation and constituted the last physical evidence of the trip. So sad. I neglected to take a photo. I have only my memories.