It took a Supreme Court ruling, but what occurred in New York early Sunday morning was worth the effort said participant Keith Finney. "It's like when you watch those shows on the Discovery Channel and you see a herd of antelope. This was like a herd of … people." What were they doing?
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Friday's Question (No. 437)—"Easy Come, Diseasy Go":
At Wednesday's American Medical Association press briefing on infectious diseases, the leading cause of death worldwide, researchers warned that dangerous strains of drug-resistant germs were emerging as a result of several things Americans are doing. For example?
"I, for one, blame Patrick Ewing."—Mark Wade
"Appearing on ABC's hot new show, Who Wants To Help Me, Regis Philbin, Develop Some Sort of New Drug-Resistant Germ?"—Tim Carvell
"Living in the same state as a Monsanto plant."—Jon Zerolnick
"Licking their computer monitors during fevered sessions of Net sex."—Charlie Glassenberg
"Over-prescribing antibiotics to Angelina Jolie."—Beth Sherman
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Do they still call them germs? Surely disease is caused by things with more sophisticated Latin names—bacteria, virus, Maximus. Germ is the name we give these organisms for kids, illustrating them—the germs, not the kids—as ferocious saw-toothed creatures resembling the cruel caricatures of the Japanese that decorated war bond posters in the '40s. Children are warned that particularly dense concentrations of germs are found on money and their own feces (See Freud. See Freud wash. Wash, Freud, wash.) and are urged not to put one or the other into their mouth. You'd think it would go without saying. And yet many people are still eager to have children. (Perhaps because the kids seem able to get their hands on so much money.) The only thing more germ-infested than money are those little white mints in the bowl beside the cash register at the coffee shop. One of the great advances in medicine came when Sir Joseph Lister, realizing that germs caused disease, urged surgeons to wash their hands and to stop handing out mints to the nursing staff. Today of course, few doctors touch money directly but only through a corporation that limits personal liability. Of such steps is scientific progress made.
The use of anti-bacterial soaps and the overuse of antibiotics are breeding antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria.
Referring to anti-bacterial soaps, Dr. Stuart Levy called it a matter of "survival of the fittest." As commonly used, these products destroy only the weakest bacteria, leaving the strongest to multiply. The AMA also warned of parents who decline to vaccinate their children, the overuse of antibiotics in farm animals, and the nation's vulnerability to terrorists using biological weapons, although no one specifically mentioned an attack by hyperdeveloped dairy cows with a grudge.
Infectious disease is the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease and cancer but well ahead of network TV executives dying of shame for their relentless production of mediocre yet highly profitable programs.
How To Tell if You Are a Producer of the Tony Awards Extra
Can you imagine feeling this emotion? "The Tony producers were clearly relieved to have Rosie O'Donnell back" (Robin Pogrebin, New York Times). If so, you may be a Tony producer and should contact your doctor.
Just Review the Damn Show Extra
"Americans know full well the beauty of the freedoms they enjoy."—Overreaching New York Times TV Critic Neil Grenzlinger takes the national pulse. If memory serves—and it doesn't—he was reviewing Moishe.
Simply Selena Extra
A sad byproduct of the Knicks loss to the Pacers in Game 6—we won't have Selena Roberts to kick around any more until next season. On the upside, she won't have the English language to kick around. Two parting observations from the Pulitzer-winning sports writer:
Q: How did Patrick Ewing leave the floor?
A: "disappeared like a bear in a cave"—one of those disappearing cave bears.
Q: What did Reggie Miller do throughout the evening?
A: "whip his tinsel-tough body around screens"—presumably some kind of ultra-tough space tinsel, made of titanium or carbon fibers or something, to stand up to the beating it will take decorating an invisible bear's Christmas cave. (Coincidentally, my favorite children's book.)
End of Season Note
Ms. Roberts consistently displays real understanding of the game, making it all the more desirable that some day she will write in a style more comprehensible to Times readers, many of whom speak only English.—Ed.
Our promiscuous and unhygienic celebrities.