Episode 226 – The One Where The Crew Decodes Aaron’s Speak & Spell

In This Week’s Show, episode 226, Aaron only contributes this sesquipedalian introduction for Shea, so enjoy the schadenfreude of Steve’s floccinaucinihilipilification…

  • Sesqui-pedalian (ses-kwi-pi-dey-lee-uh n) – characterized by the use of long words,
  • Floccinaucinihilipilification (flok-suh-naw-suh-nahy-hil-ul-pil-uh-fi-key-shun n)– act or habit of estimating something as worthless… (mainly encountered as one of the longest words in English)

Now, grab a beer and help us test the god hypothesis — because, while Ceres (series)(the Roman counterpart of Demeter) hasn’t struck us down yet, we are trying her patience!

Shea’s Life Lesson

This week I learned you can’t buy hot pockets, you can only buy cold pockets.you have to supply the heat yourself! Don’t believe the lies.

Jenn’s Actual Lesson

Did you know the first temple of Ceres at Rome was vowed by the dictator A. Postumius Albinus, in 496 BCE, for the purpose of averting a famine with which Rome was threatened during a war with the Latins? No word if JK Rowling sued him for naming rights.

But before we get to all that, let’s have a beer!

This Week’s Beer

First of all, let’s clear something up.
The band in the Cantina is called the Modal Nodes. But we’re not VH1, so I’ll just say they’re fantastic Jizz players from Birth, who I assume, would also be pretty pissed at Chick-fil-a.
~A

Attila the Hen – Against The Grain Brewery & Smokehouse

Donated By: Jaded Zappa

  • BA Link: http://bit.ly/2T3j4BM
  • BA Rating: 3.99/5
  • Style: Rye Beer
  • ABV: 12.7%
  • Jenn: 3
  • Shea: 1
  • Steve: 5

This Week’s Show

Round Table Discussion

New patron Gerhard Roux

YAAAY NEW ITUNES REVIEW!!

I don’€™t even drink beer!

by RexTuesday on
RATING: ★★★★★

Despite a huge section of this show being devoted to beer reviews, I love every minute of it because of every members sense of humor and the wonderful dynamic between the hilarious hosts. Jenn’€™s still the best but I love all y’€™all!

Nice email from Robert Ray of the Original Motto project all the way from Antarctica! Glad you know have WiFi and it was great to hear from you.

Voicemail from Amanda!

Sorry, patrons, due to some scheduling difficulties we’re gonna be a little late with 4 More Beers, but I’ve brought a doctor’s note.

Headlines Hotshots

Moo Love

Cows need love too. Launched last month, a new tool is helping farmers find love for their flock. The new app, called Tudder, directs you to a page on the SellMyLivestock website where they can browse more pictures and data about the animals before deciding whether to buy.

“Matching livestock online is even easier than it is to match humans because there’s a huge amount of data that sits behind these wonderful animals that predicts what their offspring will be,” said Doug Bairner, CEO of Hectare Agritech which runs SellMyLivestock.

Much like Tinder, the app shows a picture of the livestock, sorry clients, and farmers can use their phones to swipe right for yes and left for no. Provided is even valuable information on matters like milk yield and protein content, or calving potential, much more thorough than its human equivalent.

A cattle farmer and Tudder user James Bridger said it eases transport stress for animals and may rival traditional markets.

“You’ve got all this data of its background and everything which if you’re at a market you might not have had the time to go through for every single random animal,” he told Reuters in the southern English county of Hampshire.

“There’s nothing better than seeing an animal in its home, its natural habitat, rather than putting it on a lorry … if someone rings up and wants to come and have a look, or even getting it from the picture, it’s ideal really from that respect, and they’re happier for it.”

Stoner Beer!

Have you ever had a beer and wished you could get more than drunk? I mean like, really fucked up. Like barfing on the dog spun!? Well, good news everybody!

A paper released in Nature in Feb describes a new strain of yeast that turns sugars in brewer’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) called galactose, into tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in pot. It also makes CBD, but who cares about that.

The goal is to make THC products more accurately and far more cheaply. Turns out yeast are far more efficient than plants. The last round of studies “put it all together and shown that it actually works inside one cell, which is cool”, says Kevin Chen, chief executive of Hyasynth Bio in Montreal, Canada. Hyasynth is apparently one of 10 companies in Canada alone doing this research, which is expected to be commercially viable in about two years. Modifying yeast from beer was no small feat, in total it required 16 genetic modifications working in genes from five other types of bacteria found in cannabis plants. The yeast produces roughly 8 milligrams of THC per liter of water, which isn’t much. It would need to be about 100x as effective to be commercially viable, luckily, we’re already well on our way there.

Our People

A few weeks about we heard about Hadrian’s wall. It’s a big wall was apparently built to keep the damn-manly Romans out of Scotland… or the other way around… Steve knows. But what Steve doesn’t know about Hadrian’s wall is that there are dicks carved into it.

Archaeologists from Newcastle U and Historic England uncovered sections of Roman graffiti dating back to 207. Among the items carved into the wall is the unmistakable shape of a dick. Fortunately, like crosses in state buildings, and southern flags on campuses, the dick like totally for sure mean something else.
It seems that back in the day, a dick on something was a symbol of “good luck.” I’m unconvinced it isn’t a translation error that I suspect reads “I got lucky,” or “see, when you draw them on a cave next to each other my dick is totally as big as that mastodon.”
And while the vein in Steve’s forehead demands he clarify when Mastodons, Romans, and dicks roamed the English countryside, we’ll load a quote: “APRO ET MAXIMO CONSVLIBVS OFICINA MERCATI,” which was carved with the dick and seems to be a reference to Consulate of Aper and Maximus of A.D. 207. Maybe they were dicks – sadly, the reality of their dickiness is lost to history. Meanwhile, some folks did actually say stuff in English: “these inscriptions at Gelt Forest are probably the most important on the Hadrian’s Wall frontier,” Mike Collins, Hadrian’s Wall ancient monuments inspector for Historic England, said in a press release. “They provide insight into the organization of the vast construction project that Hadrian’s Wall was, as well as some very human and personal touches.”

Which is, of course true, because how could you fallicize something and have that thing not immediately become more important?

Phallic symbols adorn sections of Hadrian's Wall, which began construction in A.D. 122.

This Week’s Stories

Jenn’s Story

Today in ‘Irony in History’, we travel to China about 2,000 years in the past. Last October archaeologists discovered what was known as an ‘Elixir of Immortality’…in a tomb of a noble family during the Western Han Dynasty.

So tragically, this continues to indicate magic elixirs don’t work. Sad. But what does work is booze, which is what the researchers originally assumed the yellowish liquid was. It made sense, as that was consistent with other discoveries around the same time period, and the bronze pot in which it was stored was “exhibiting a very strong alcohol-like smell”. (Side note: I feel potentially qualified to be an archaeologist.) It was common for wine made from rice and sorghum grains to be used in ritual sacrifices and ceremonies.

However, as Chinese news outlet Xinhua reports, further testing revealed it wasn’t gross sounding wine at all! “The liquid is primarily comprised of potassium nitrate and alunite—the main ingredients of a life-enriching elixir documented in ancient Taoist texts.”

“It is the first time that mythical ‘immortality medicines’ have been found in China,” Shi Jiazhen, head of the Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology in Luoyang, told Xinhua. “The liquid is of significant value for the study of ancient Chinese thoughts on achieving immortality and the evolution of Chinese civilization.”

Seeing as how the ingredients of this Immortality potion is used in things like fertilizers and has health effects ranging from skin irritation to kidney disease to death, I think this particular Chinese wizard’s alchemy skills were on the low side. But the researchers do point out it’s unknown whether it was actually meant to be ingested or just something cool to add to the tomb. Which in the case of this particular not-immortal nobleman also included “painted clay pots, materials made from jade and bronze, and a lamp in the shape of a wild goose”.

Jenn’s Second

And now for Irony of the Modern Day, an Indiana man who was not licensed to carry a handgun and who was wearing said gun, holsterless, in the waistband of his pants, has shot himself in the dick.

I’ll just read the Marion County PD press release for pertinent details:

Now, first off, he’s still in the hospital. Not surprising. But secondly, I really hope investigators first question will be why an armed man was creeping around the Girl Scout cabin at 6 in the morning.

And now that we’ve seen what a real government issue memo looks like, let’s do a little compare-and-contrast with a memo from Westverginina (*spelling intentional) where the “governor” has “pardoned” James Justice the second, 49, I guess because they’re cool name bros. In his very-obviously for-reals letter, Governor James ‘Jim’ Justice “wrote” the following words that I challenge Jenn to read as-written:

The governor’s office said that Justice II had not, in fact, been pardoned. Duh.

And that the convicted burglar James Justice II now faces charges of forgery of public record and forgery of official seals. Because he’s a smart.

Jenn’s Third

We all know the best way to cure AIDS is to donate to WyoAIDS.org… well ok, that’s not really what Wyoming AIDS Assistance do, but you should still donate! Also, you can find this story about AIDS-cancer at http://patreon.com/w4w right now!

Finally, some good news and again it’s science that comes through for us!

A second patient has been declared HIV free after receiving a stem-cell transplant (more specifically, it was a bone marrow transplant). Prior to this most recent news, there has been only one other patient declared in HIV remission and that was over a decade ago. That particular man has been referred to as ‘The Berlin Patient’, which is very film noir and I appreciate it (it’s better than his actual name, Timothy Ray Brown, which sounds very serial killer). He received transplants in 2007 and 2008 and remains virus free to this day. Per the published paper on the current story, Mr. Berlin “underwent two allogeneic hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) procedures using a donor with a homozygous mutation in the HIV coreceptor CCR5 (CCR5Δ32/Δ32) to treat his acute myeloid leukemia. Total body irradiation was given with each HSCT. Critically, it is unclear which treatment or patient parameters contributed to this only documented case of long-term HIV remission.” So, I think this means they weren’t quite sure exactly of all that stuff he went through actually affected the HIV virus, or if it was just something special about him.

Well, fast forward to March 5th of this year and Nature International Journal of Science has announced it has happened again! It appears that a certain gene mutation seems to naturally confer resistance to HIV (it prevents HIV from attacking T-cells), which has been isolated and was the factor of the stem cell transplant. This most recent patient, so far unidentified and going by ‘London Patient’ (not the same flair, somehow), was diagnosed with HIV in 2003. He developed cancer and agreed to a stem cell transplant to treat cancer in 2016. The transplant changed the London patient’s immune system, giving him the donor’s HIV resistance.

16 months after the initial transplant doctors found no sign of the virus. They decided to stop treating him with antiviral drugs after he volunteered to stop taking them. According to the scientists, it has now been more than 18 months and the infection hasn’t reappeared.

This is, of course, a huge step towards AIDS and HIV treatment options. It proves that this particular gene mutation of resistance CAN be passed on to others. It’s sort of a stem cell vaccination, which is pretty exciting. It’s not a cure-all or total solution, as it can be very dangerous to an already compromised immune system (as it involves wiping out a patient’s immune system with powerful drugs or radiation and then reconstituting it) and has failed other patients. Also, the particular rare mutation in this case only blocks one variety of HIV. A second, less common form of HIV could still cause infection despite a transplant like this.

Also, surprisingly, this is not used most often for patients with early-stage HIV. The benefits of this treatment outweigh the risk for certain cancer patients, which is where it is most commonly used. But HIV drugs have become so effective that many people carrying this infection have a normal lifespan if they take these medications for a lifetime.

On the plus side, the scientists note in their study that the treatment for the second patient was less harsh than the one used for the Berlin patient, raising the possibility that they could develop a less risky procedure for stem-cell transplants for HIV-positive patients.

Final note: Science Funding: it’s really important.

Next Week’s Beer

Schwartzbier: A collaboration of Deschutes & Bell’s brewery

From RW

Faith In Humanity Restored

Grace Slick Licenses Song To Chick-fil-A, Gives Proceeds To LGBTQ Rights Organization

During the Grammys, this year people who watch that nonsense saw an ad for notoriously ultra-religious and anti-LGBTQ+ fast-food chain Chick-fil-A. I guess some cows somehow acquired VR headsets and decided to just give them away (more evidence cows are dumb, sorry Craig). The ad features Starship‘s 1986 hit “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” playing in the background. Which was odd because the band really doesn’t jive with all that hate. To allegations of selling out Grace Slick said “Chick-fil-A pisses me off,” continuing “the Georgia-based company has a well-documented history of funding organizations, through their philanthropic foundation WinShape, that are against gay marriage. In interviews, CEO Dan T. Cathy has critiqued gay-rights supporters who ‘have the audacity to define marriage’ and said they are bringing ‘God’s judgment” upon the nation.’ I firmly believe that men should be able to marry men and women. I am passionately against anyone who would try to suppress this basic human right. So my first thought when ‘Chick’-fil-A came to me was, ‘F**k no!’”

Fortunately, she took a moment and thought about it, coming up with a plan that’s just fantastic, “I am donating every dime that I make from that ad to Lambda Legal, the largest national legal organization working to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, and everyone living with HIV. Admittedly, it’s not the millions that WinShape has given to organizations that define marriage as heterosexual. But instead of them replacing my song with someone else’s and losing this opportunity to strike back at anti-LGBTQ forces, I decided to spend the cash in direct opposition to ‘Check’-fil-A’s causes – and to make a public example of them, too. We’re going to take some of their money, and pay it back.”

So folks, go ask Alice. She’s very pro-LGBTQ+

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