Why lobsters aren’t food

“Why lobsters aren’t food:

(This classic Dave Barry column was originally published on Jan. 26, 1996.)

I am pleased to report that the scientific community has finally stopped wasting time on the origins of the universe and started dealing with the important question, which is: Are lobsters really just big insects?

I have always maintained that they are. I personally see no significant difference between a lobster and, say, a giant Madagascar hissing cockroach, which is a type of cockroach that grows to approximately the size of William Howard Taft (1857-1930). If a group of diners were sitting in a nice restaurant, and the waiter were to bring them each a freshly killed, steaming-hot Madagascar hissing cockroach, they would not put on silly bibs and eat it with butter. No, they would run, retching, directly from the restaurant to the All-Nite Drive-Thru Lawsuit Center. And yet these very same people will pay $24.95 apiece to eat a lobster, despite the fact that it displays all three of the classic biological characteristics of an insect, namely:

1. It has way more legs than necessary.

2. There is no way you would ever pet it.

3. It does not respond to simple commands such as, “Here, boy!””


I found this stuff online today, and thought you might be interested in it.

INFLUENZA PANDEMIC (text from Ready.gov)

A pandemic is a global disease outbreak. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza A virus emerges for which there is little or no immunity in the human population and the virus begins to cause serious illness and then spreads easily person-to-person worldwide. The federal government, states, communities and industry are taking steps to prepare for and respond to an influenza pandemic.

If a pandemic occurs, it is likely to be a prolonged and widespread outbreak that could require temporary changes in many areas of society, such as schools, work, transportation and other public services. An informed and prepared public can take appropriate actions to decrease their risk during a pandemic. To be prepared for such an emergency, the U.S Department of Health and Human Services encourages individuals, businesses and communities to:

* Adopt business/school practices that encourage sick employees/students to stay home and anticipate how to function with a significant portion of the workforce/school population absent due to illness or caring for ill family members.

* Practice good health habits, including eating a balanced diet, exercising daily, and getting sufficient rest. In addition, take common-sense steps to stop the spread of germs including frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and staying away from others as much as possible when you are sick.

* Stay informed about pandemic influenza and be prepared to respond.

* Consult www.pandemicflu.gov frequently for updates on national and international information on pandemic influenza.

For more information on preparing for and responding to an influenza pandemic visit the U.S Department of Health and Human Service’s website at
http://www.pandemicflu.gov .


ABC News Article “How Will Bird Flu Change Your Life” (web site)

How Individuals Can Prepare (Adobe Acrobat document)

How Businesses Can Prepare (web site)

Pandemic Flu Home Page (web site)
Includes links to more information about how communities, schools, and health care organizations can prepare. Includes information about the flu itself, and a history of other pandemics and epidemics.

“Ready America” site on the flu from the Department of Homeland Security