Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954) dir. by Alfred Hitchcock
On this week’s podcast we finally get to talk to…
… owner of the Spotted Pig in New York, which celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year. Before teaming up with Chef April Bloomfield to open The Pig, John Dory Oyster Bar, The Breslin, and more, Ken was in the music industry. He booked U2’s very first show in San Francisco, working underneath Clive Davis, and worked with artists like Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. We talk about all of that, as well as Mario Batali, Rachael Ray, and the similarities between working in the music and food industries.
Hursey’s Bar-B-Q in Burlington has a tale like this to tell. In the mid-’40s, patriarch Sylvester Hursey and a good friend were engaged in a night of bacchanalian revelry…
Today on her birthday, we remember African-American journalist and anti-lynching campaigner Ida B. Wells. Wells trumpeted the injustice of lynching in the southern United States despite threats on her life and livelihood.
Wells was born to slaves in the south and was freed by the Emancipation…
Thank you for a wonderful week, Pittsburgh.
Neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin have generated mutant worms that do not get intoxicated by alcohol, a result that could lead to new drugs to treat the symptoms of people going through alcohol withdrawal.
The scientists accomplished this feat by inserting a modified human alcohol target into the worms, as reported this week in The Journal of Neuroscience.
"This is the first example of altering a human alcohol target to prevent intoxication in an animal," says corresponding author, Jon Pierce-Shimomura, assistant professor in the university’s College of Natural Sciences and Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research.
An alcohol target is any neuronal molecule that binds alcohol, of which there are many.
One important aspect of this modified alcohol target, a neuronal channel called the BK channel, is that the mutation only affects its response to alcohol. The BK channel typically regulates many important functions including activity of neurons, blood vessels, the respiratory tract and bladder. The alcohol-insensitive mutation does not disrupt these functions at all.
"We got pretty lucky and found a way to make the channel insensitive to alcohol without affecting its normal function," says Pierce-Shimomura.
The scientists believe the research has potential application for treating people addicted to alcohol.
"Our findings provide exciting evidence that future pharmaceuticals might aim at this portion of the alcohol target to prevent problems in alcohol abuse disorders," says Pierce-Shimomura. "However, it remains to be seen which aspects of these disorders would benefit."
Unlike drugs such as cocaine, which have a specific target in the nervous system, the effects of alcohol on the body are complex and have many targets across the brain. The various other aspects of alcohol addiction, such as tolerance, craving and the symptoms of withdrawal, may be influenced by different alcohol targets.
The worms used in the study, Caenorhabditis elegans, model intoxication well. Alcohol causes the worms to slow their crawling with less wriggling from side to side. The intoxicated worms also stop laying eggs, which build up in their bodies and can be easily counted.
Unfortunately, C. elegans are not as ideal for studying the other areas of alcohol addiction, but mice make an excellent model. The modified human BK channel used in the study, which is based on a mutation discovered by lead author and graduate student Scott Davis, could be inserted into mice. These modified mice would allow scientists to investigate whether this particular alcohol target also affects tolerance, craving and other symptoms relevant to humans.
Pierce-Shimomura speculated that their research could even be used to develop a ‘James Bond’ drug someday, which would enable a spy to drink his opponent under the table, without getting drunk himself. Such a drug could potentially be used to treat alcoholics, since it would counteract the intoxicating and potentially addicting effects of the alcohol.
July 16, 1951: The Catcher in the Rye is Published
On this day in 1951, J.D. Salinger’s novel, The Catcher in the Rye, was published. The novel tells the story of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield, a troubled character who challenged 1950s conformity, much like Salinger himself.
Due to its somewhat rebellious tone, Salinger’s work has been linked to issues of controversy and censorship. Even so, over 60 years later, The Catcher in the Rye has sold over 65 million copies and continues to sell an additional 500,000 each year.
Photo: A 1951 copy of J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye (Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress).
Grumpy cat is kind of bummed she isn’t on our Lana Del Rey cover.
Do you miss watching Saturday morning cartoons? Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) opens their “What’s Up, Doc? The Animation Art of Chuck Jones” exhibit at the Museum of Moving Image in New York City this Saturday, July 19. Learn more about the exhibit and Jones’ legacy on the exhibit’s website.
© Eva Kolenko
Travel Tuesday: The Sugar Cube in Portland, Oregon offers incredible retro-inspired desserts like carrot cake with brown-butter cream cheese and coffee mallow pie. Here, 12 hot new places to eat and drink in Portland.
During the Civil War, the Union army constructed a series of earthen defenses in and around Washington to protect the nation’s capital from attack. The defeat of Confederate forces at one of these―Fort Stevens―helped keep Washington in Union control.
Dr. B. Franklin Cooling, historian, author, and Professor of History, National Defense University, Loretta Neumann, Vice President, Alliance to Preserve the Civil War Defenses of Washington, and Kym Elder, Program Manager, Civil War Defenses of Washington, National Park Service, discussed the development of Washington’s Civil War forts, their role in the war, and their ensuing transformation into the public parks and cultural resources known as the Fort Circle Parks.
This program was presented in partnership with the National Capital Planning Commission and functioned as the informal kick-off for the official commemoration of the 150th anniversary of The Battle of Fort Stevens.
July 15, 1606: Dutch Artist Rembrandt Born
On this day in 1606, famous Dutch painter and etcher Rembrandt van Rijn was born. Considered one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history, Rembrandt was best known for his portraits, self-portraits and illustrations of scenes from the Bible, history and mythology. His more than 600 paintings are often noted for his innovative use of shadow and light.
Photo: Rembrandt Self-Portrait, 1659. Wikimedia Commons
Northeast cheese lovers take note: coming this Sunday, June 20th, the 2014 Vermont Cheesemakers Festival will be returning to Shelburne Farms, just south of Burlington. If you want to taste the best cheeses (and wines, beers, liquors, chocolates, meats and much more) that Vermont has to offer, this event is not to be missed. As you can see from the list below, a large number of Vermont’s cheesemakers will be present, so this is a rare opportunity to meet the cheesemakers in person while tasting their product.
Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 10Am-4Pm
Coach Barn, Shelburne Farms, VT
Vermont is the premium artisanal cheese state with the highest number of cheesemakers per capita: over 40 of them! We invite you to experience our passion for making fine cheeses, taste local and fresh foods and wines, and meet the artisans who make them. Spend a high summer day along the shores of Lake Champlain at the historic Shelburne Farms Coach Barn sampling, buying, learning, and networking. Come and celebrate the season.
Big Picture Farm, Blue Ledge Farm, Blythedale Farm, Bonnieview Farm, Boston Post Dairy, Boucher Family Farm, Bridport Creamery, Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Cellars at Jasper Hill, Champlain Valley Creamery, Cobb Hill Farm, Consider Bardwell Farm, Crooked Mile Farm, Crowley Cheese Company, Fairy Tale Farm, Franklin Foods , Grafton Village Cheese Company, Hi-Land Farm, Maplebrook Farm, Mountain Home Farm, Mt. Mansfield Creamery, Neighborly Farms, Parish Hill Creamery, Plymouth Artisan Cheese, Sage Farm Goat Dairy, Scholten Family Farm, Shadagee Farm, Shelburne Farms, Spoonwood Cabin Creamery, Spring Brook Farm, Sweet Rowen Farmstead, Taylor Farm, Thistle Hill Farm, Three Shepherds Cheese, Twig Farm, Vermont Creamery, Vermont Farmstead Cheese, Vermont Shepherd, von Trapp Farmstead, West River Creamery, Willow Hill Farm, Willow Moon Farm, Woodcock Farm Cheese Company, Rogue Creamery (Guest Cheese maker- Oregon), Cherry Grove Farm (Guest Cheese maker- New Jersey), Cricket Creek Farm (Guest Cheese maker- Massachusetts)
Get your tickets here. This event tends to sell out, so don’t delay.
Stunning! Model/Tv personality Zainab Balogun for CLAN Classics Lookbook. Photography: Lakin Ogunbanwo