OUR HELIX, OURSELVES Francis Crick,

OUR HELIX, OURSELVES

Francis Crick, who discovered the structure of DNA with James Watson, died Wednesday at 88. The double helix if a difficult concept to grasp, but the American Museum of Natural History has put together a dazzling little presentation on the subject in a small room adjacent to its Hall of Human Biology and Evolution. The exhibit screens a series of short videos on the discovery and structure of DNA, and Small Fellow is entranced by the show whenever he stops in. Of course, a bunch of colorful letters flying all about before coming together in the form of a zipper is pretty entertaining regardless of the science behind it.


DEATH CLAIMS POP ROCKS CREATOR BEFORE HE CAN BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE

(AP) -- William A. Mitchell, the food scientist who invented Pop Rocks candy and discovered a substitute for tapioca, died Monday of congestive heart failure, his daughter said. He was 92. Mitchell, who worked as a chemist for General Foods Corp. in White Plains, N.Y., for 35 years until his retirement in 1976, held over 70 patents, including inventions related to Cool Whip, quick-set Jell-O Gelatin and the drink mix Tang . . . . Mitchell's most famous invention was Pop Rocks - the exploding candy that became a cultural phenomenon after it hit the market in 1975. He made the discovery accidentally, while trying to design an instant soft drink, when he put some sugar flavoring mixed with carbon dioxide in his mouth. For years, Mitchell, who patented Pop Rocks in 1956, fought to dispel the myth that the carbonated candy was deadly if eaten while drinking carbonated drinks.
The report does not go on to say:
Prosecutors at the World Court had attempted for years to force Mitchell's extradition to the Hague to face trial for crimes against humanity over the thousands of deaths allegedly caused by the lethal combination of his product, "Pop Rocks," and carbonated beverages. Mitchell's most notable alleged victim was little "Mikey" Johnson, who touched the hearts of parents worldwide when he courageously dug into a bowl of LIFE cereal in the late 1970s.

IN OTHER NEWS

In what appears to be a misguided plot against a local police officer, someone poisoned at least two jars of Gerber baby food and left them on an Irvine, Calif., store shelf. The Gerber Banana Yogurt had been poisoned with castor beans with traces of ricin, but no children took ill. No further contamination has been found.

Baby food jars are vacuum packed, and so should always emit an audible "pop" when opened for the first time. If you don't hear that pop, feel free to let your suspicions run amok.



July 29, 2004 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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