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March 10, 2017

BehindTheMedspeak: Is it safe to eat moldy food if you cut off the moldy part?

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Long answer short: no.

C. Claiborne Ray's Q&A from the July 22, 2008 New York Times Science section follows.

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Mystery Molds

Q. I've been told not to eat food that has a little mold on it because the mold has permeated throughout. Is this true?

A. Yes, mold that is visible on the surface of food is only the tip of the iceberg, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Molds are fungi that have three parts: the root threads, which invade deeply into the food; a stalk, which rises above the food; and spores that form at the end of the stalk.

By the time the stalks are visible, the root threads, called hyphae, are embedded, so it is best to avoid food with any sign of mold.

Some molds can cause strong allergic reactions, including respiratory problems, in susceptible people. And in some varieties, the threads produce toxic substances called mycotoxins, which can make people very sick.

Molds may appear as "gray fur on forgotten bologna, fuzzy green dots on bread, white dust on Cheddar, coin-size velvety circles on fruits and furry growth on the surface of jellies," as a fact sheet from the U.S.D.A. says. But molds have their good side; beneficial molds make blue cheese blue, and a common bread mold famously gave rise to the lifesaving drug penicillin. Also, molds play a big role in the decomposition of organic waste.

March 10, 2017 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Levitating Clock

Adds a whole new layer of meaning to "floating point operation."

But I digress.

From The Verge:

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Flyte is a company that seems to like taking ordinary objects and adding magnets to make them float.

Their previous design pieces/products, the Flyte light bulb and Lyfe planter, both look really cool but don't actually do a whole lot when it comes to being functional objects.

But Story, the company's third product, now live on Kickstarter, is a little different in that it's actually kind of useful.

It's a clock that uses Flyte's signature maglev technology to hover a small metal ball over the wooden face.

Unlike the earlier Flyte products, Story can float the ball horizontally, vertically, or at a 45° angle, depending on how you'd like to display the device.

When it comes to actually telling time, Story works as a standard 12-hour clock, albeit one without a minute hand.

Through the use of a companion app, Story can also serve as a short-term timer (say, for a meeting) or in a long-term "Journey" mode, which the company envisions as tracking more high-minded goals, like where you will be a year from now, or how long until the birth of a child.

Additionally, Story features both a hidden digital clock that lights up in the center of the face through the wood as well as a black light behind the base.

Sure, none of this is strictly necessary — at the end of the day, Story tells time no better than any other ordinary clock that doesn't cost nearly $500 and incorporate maglev technology.

But it's an elegant, interesting looking way of displaying time.

Whether that's worth the hefty price is up to you.

Story is available to back now on Kickstarter for an "early bird" price of $349, with an expected full price of $499, and comes in walnut or ash.

Flyte hopes to ship it in November later this year.

March 10, 2017 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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