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Updated: 07/21705

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"The Art of Eating"
by MFK Fisher

by Orson Scott Card

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Wednesday, 27 July, 2005

So, down the shore over the weekend. Spectacular weather. We both had Friday off, so it made it a nice extended weekend. Bike riding, lunch with Gary's Mom on Saturday and plenty of time on the beach reading and sleeping.

We had a bit of a scare on Friday night. Apparently a major water main broke about two blocks from the house in Northern Liberties, flooding streets, cars, houses. We had two friends call to alert us to the fact and it was the lead story on the 10:00 News. We debated whether or not to go home, but decided that a) we wouldn't be able to do anything anyway, and b) if it was our house, they wouldn't let us in. So we didn't

Everything was fine when we got back on Sunday.

From the Cat Science Department comes a story explaining why cats are cranky:

Genetic flaw leaves felines without sweet tooth

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- Cats are notoriously finicky eaters, as millions of pet owners can attest.

Now, there's a scientific theory explaining, at least in part, why cats have such snobby eating habits: genetics.

Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia and their collaborators said Sunday they found a dysfunctional feline gene that probably prevents cats from tasting sweets, a sensation nearly every other mammal on the planet experiences to varying degrees.

Researchers took saliva and blood samples from six cats, including a tiger and a cheetah and found each had a useless gene that other mammals use to create a "sweet receptor" on their tongues. The gene in question does not produce one of the two vital proteins needed to form the receptors.

"Because cats can't taste sweets, they're cranky," joked Joseph Brand, Monell's associate director and an author of the paper being published Sunday in the inaugural issue of the Public Library of Science's journal Genetics.

So the next time your cat is finicky, just throw it a square of Hershey's and say, "Nanny, nanny, boo, boo!"

[But only if they're declawed.]

Quote du jour:

"Give me an ounce of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination."

-- William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616) English dramatist, poet
King Lear, IV. iii. (133)

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