Sunday, April 11, 2010

An opinionated ignoramus named David Penberthy

Having pancakes and maple syrup with your breakfast bacon and eggs is perfectly normal in America but virtually unknown in Australia and England -- where buttered toast is the almost invariable accompaniment to bacon and eggs. So the moronic Australian writer below thinks he is so superior when he encounters a variant of an American breakfast

It’s finally happened. I never thought I would encounter a form of junk food which repulsed me. But on a holiday to the US last month I was confronted by a foodstuff so disgusting, so evil both in design and execution, so incredibly, inedibly putrid that my entire value system has been shocked to its core.

Despite generally having a healthy diet, and spending hours flitting about the kitchen knocking up all sorts of effeminate dishes, such as a deeply suss saffron risotto with home-made chicken stock, or pesto with basil gathered from the garden in a poncy basket, I’ve long held a perverse enthusiasm for eating crap.

The crapper the better. Dodgy kebabs, late-night chiko rolls, shallow-fried at home out of the box hidden in the back of the freezer, even those mysterious Hot Pizza Heroes from the local servo, turbo-charged before microwaving with the addition of extra cheese and half a handful of jalapeƱos.

The item which has challenged more than two decades of culinary self-abuse goes by the innocent-sounding name of the McGriddle and is made, as the name suggests, by the generally good people at McDonalds.

Invented in 2003 – probably by a bunch of stoned 20-year-olds – the McGriddle makes that cheese-injected pizza crust developed some years ago by Dominos seem healthy. Its name implies something toasted or dry-fried, but this is misleading. The McGriddle is a sandwich-shaped memorial to the Exxon Valdez disaster.

Hoping for a breakfast pick-me-up after the long flight from Sydney, and keen for a new junk food experience, I grabbed a McGriddle at the Los Angeles Airport, unwrapped it, stared at it in disbelief, bit into it, gagged on it, and threw it away.

The filling is routine enough – egg, cheese and bacon, straight egg and cheese, or my favourite, egg, cheese and sausage – but it’s the weirdness that envelopes it that should be the subject of a formal investigation. Two chubby, fried pancakes which have been injected with maple syrup, and which spray gooey brown ooze all over your hands, into the air and straight down the back of the throat the moment you bite into them.

There’s so much fat in the McGriddle that you can see the thing glistening through the wrapper. If you left it unattended for more than five minutes it would bust out and go on a murderous spree. What’s more, its evil inventors seem to have even added sugar to the egg omelette lurking within. It’s more of a practical joke than a dish, weighing in at a heart-stopping 420 calories, with more fat than a Big Mac and more sugar than a box of McDonalds cookies.

More here

'Cure' is found for skin cancer, claim scientists

Sounds hopeful -- if it survives the scrutiny of a double-blind trial. Many initially hopeful vaccines for all sorts of things have failed under such tests

Scientists believe that they have found a cure for skin cancer. A vaccine being tested in the UK has helped been shown to help some patients fully recover from melanoma, even in its advanced stages. It attacks tumour cells, leaving healthy cells undamaged and carries agents that boost the body's response to skin cancer.

Dr Howard Kaufman, of Chicago's Rush University Medical Centre, said: "Our study shows we may have a cure for some advanced melanoma patients and a drug which has real benefits for others. "This will save thousands of lives a year."

Over the past 25 years, rates of melanoma in Britain have risen faster than any other common cancer and 2,000 die from the disease every year.

A study of 50 patients with advanced melanoma who had been given no more than nine months to live found that 16 per cent of them recovered completely with the vaccine. They have been disease-free for more than four years. Another 28 per cent saw the size of their tumours more than halved.

It is hoped the licensing will be "fast-tracked" and it will be on the market within five years. Melanoma is now the most common cancer in young adults aged 15 to 34, with 10,41 new cases diagnosed every year in the UK.


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