Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Science and poop

I heard something the other day that gave me pause to think – it concerned a student's science project.

Student’s science project finds more bacteria in ice than toilet water
In summary: A project entered in the Florida state science fair by a seventh grade student finds that ice at some fast-food restaurants contains more bacteria than water found in toilets at the same establishments, USA Today reports. For her project, 12-year-old Jasmine Roberts collected water samples from self-serve ice machines and drive-thru widows at five fast-food restaurants in South Florida and compared them with samples of toilet water collected from restrooms at the same facilities. Laboratory tests conducted with the help of a professor at the University of South Florida confirmed that toilet water contained “less bacteria than the ice 70% of the time” and that three of the five ice samples contained fecal coliform or E. coli bacteria. The professor from USF who assisted with the project says the findings are “not surprising” because toilets are routinely flushed, which clears bacteria, while ice often passes through hands and containers that harbor bacteria. He notes that consumers should “not be overly alarmed” because it takes far more bacteria than the amounts found in the ice samples to cause illness, but he advises people to make an effort to ensure that food and beverages are “handled properly”.

So a local government official responsible for food inspection had the following to say:

"Ice machines are part of the health inspections," Luebkemann said. "There are a lot of factors that have to be considered, like how accurately did she gather and test her specimens. Plus, comparing the ice to toilet water can be misleading because there are acceptable levels of bacteria for water."

Two things that I immediately thought of:

1. Acceptable levels of bacteria for water? Can you imaging wanting water dirtier that toilet water?

2. I am sure this grown up is sweating because of a little girl's science project. Sort of makes me giggle.

And when I read stories like this, after imagining ~Deb reaching for her gas mask and rubber gloves, I begin to wonder if we get too much information about dangers in our world. Mass murderers terrify me, but in the grand scheme of things, the odds of a mass murderer affecting my life directly (killing anyone I know) is very, very small. I have better odds getting laid by Orlando Bloom. And I don't live in California.

But after letting you know about this, I was wondering, what would cushion the blow. I mean, say, you are listening to this, eating your Burger King Whopper at your desk, sipping on your Diet Coke, laced with bacteria and fecal material. After accidentally spitting your Diet Coke concoction on your screen, what could you think of that would make this seem less gross.

For those of you with no aversion to anal play (and that is not me, you could think, "At least I don't know if my drink has fecal material in it. When I was tonguing my boyfriend the other night, I know I was licking poop."

Or, for those who like opera, you could think, "Holy cow. I like opera and drinking poop. I am going to hell." Okay, perhaps we don't have a lot of opera divas here. And opera is a form of torture, not a poorly constructed web browser.

I am trying to think of the positive spin to this story – perhaps we should stop frequenting fast food restaurants. Good for the waistline and you don't swallow poop. A win-win situation.

I think Mikey spends more time on the Internet than I do. Well, I sit on office e-mail, but I don't really explore much of blogland. Every once in awhile I do, but that's when I am bored. He wrote about a site that rates other blog sites, and when they rated his site, he did rather well.

I thought, what the heck, I will have them look at my blog (which they have done). And the review that looked at my blog did not like it at all. First, they mentioned that the template is boring – which it is. But I don't think they held that against me. What they did not like was the content. They gave one example of, admittedly, a weak post. And they are right. It was weak. But I am sure they looked at other posts. No additional contents. Basically I am someone, in their estimation, that tries to be philosophical, and fails. And, after being initially hurt, they are right.

I noticed a lot of people I normally read or occasionally read being reviewed. Although I can see how the reviewer got it right with me, some of the others are off the mark. Perhaps the people who run this site are just mean. Some constructive criticism, and some gratuitous criticism.

I mean, I have some funny posts, but because I post every day, some of the posts are crap. Heck, this one focuses on crap you drink at fast food restaurants.


KnowOne said...

OMG, im glad i always tell them no ice anyway....they always pile ice in your cup so you only have about a small cup of liquid surronding the ice.

Well i hope they never look at my blog, i only write for me, so im sure they'll find my blog uninteresting and boring....

Grant said...

I once submitted my blog for consideration by one of those unstandardized ratings sites (although crewed by people nicer than the one you used). They had been gushing over hausfrau blogs that had nothing deeper than posts about shoe shopping. I figured they would at least find me interesting if not entertaining. Instead they claimed my site was boring (the writing, not the template), of interest only to close family and friends, and ultimately forgettable. I would have included a link to their site (even after the criticism), but all their links tried to get you to register for something, and I hate that.

Bottom line, feck those people. The number of people who read you daily and comment are a far better measure of your blogging.

Leesa said...

no1special: maybe they are piling on the ice to get rid of the crap.

grant: regarding hausfrau's posts of shoe shopping. I would give that blog five stars as long as they had stores, pics, and reviews. "This red pump looks wonderful, but the heel will break off within three days. Toes down on this shoe." Really, it did not bother me that I got a big zero. I probably would have given me a little more, but that's life. Some of my posts have been very average lately.

Shannon said...

All I have to say is.."There goes my dessert for tonite!" lol

Wait till ~Deb reads this haha

~Deb said...

Where do I start with this one Leesa? First of all, let me just tell you, as a bartender, I know for a fact that those ice machines do not get cleaned out. And the restaurant and bar I work for is a ‘reputable’ place. Hmm…Think again when you’re getting that scotch on the rocks…but hell…the alcohol would wash that fecal bacteria away. Still---it doesn’t sit well with me.

I saw that entire thing on Dateline I believe---about the kids that did that study. You do know that when you go to a diner and when you’re paying the cashier at the front desk---you sometimes dip your hands into the mints? Yeah…well….they found urine samples in there too from people (men mostly) because they touch their peeny-----and don’t wash their hands. Food for thought there…

As far as “I Talk Too Much”… I think that’s all fun and games, and no ones gets a ‘good review’. They may get slammed less if they do like it—but overall, I think content is the best thing. For me, if a page can’t load okay, I simply don’t venture back to that blog. There’s a blogger that I like (and we all have visited) that I cannot leave a comment due to freezing up on “his” site. I feel bad. I can’t go back there because it totally ruins my other programs.

Another peeve that I agree with the lovely ladies of “I Talk Too Much” is the white text on black. My eyes bug out. I love simple templates that are easy on the eyes. Why fiddle with too many colors? Blah. I love your blog and most of all, you’re always coming up with new and interesting topics. And no—I don’t see contradictories on your blog as the lovely ladies stated. Great stuff on here.

Now you'll have to excuse me as I need to wash my hands now.

~Deb said...

Oh by the way, did you see the Oprah episode where they said that there are mites living within your pillow? Change your pillow every 5 months or so and always----always---wash those pillow cases!!!!!!

Video X said...

hmmm i am not fond of their review of your site either. it appears they spent very little time...that's what i think anyway. pretty much "they" refer to one post...so did they pick out the most boring post title or what?!

anyway, i was thinking about doing that...and i imagine that the review of mine (if i ever do it) will definitely make you feel better! (yeah...as if you're off to hang yourself or something...)

Mike said...

I don't think you received a fair review at all. It didn't appear to me that the reviewer took the time to look at your content.

I like that site myself...but only for entertainment purposes. I don't mind that they review templates and blog appearance but I wish they would put more emphasis on blog content.

Keep on-a-blogging!

I for one like your stuff.

Leesa said...

shannon: I was thinking just that!

~deb: I was wondering if they could do the same type of experiment at a really nice restaurant. I bet they would find bacteria as well. And about the mites. Just one more thing to worry about.

VX: The review seemed fair to me, though it looks like they reviewed one post. And you are right about the boring title. Guess that makes for better reading of the review, when they blast the site.

mike: thanks.

Seven said...

Do you suppose that a new fast food chain called 'Fecal to Go' or 'Fecal Fast' is in the works?

Paula D. said...

Aw hell!!!! I just finised drinking a diet Sprite from Wendy's with lost's of ice in it. Argh!!!

Leesa said...

rick: "fecal to go". Hmmmm. What would their slogan be? Plenty of parking in rear? Incubating the best bacteria in town?

paula: I know, I know.

TrappedInColorado said...

Pffttt.. Pray tell, me lady, it matters not what those scoundrals think of your prose. For is tis us, the visitors, who determine the quality and standing of a blog. Those knaves are but farts in a storm. Ticks on a mutt's ass. Sweat droplets on a swine. Continue with your posts. Thou art truely enjoyable.

This was posted by the Shakespearean personality of trapped and DOES reflect the views of his other personalities.

And DEB! How do you know it is mostly men who leave urine in the mints? We don't pee on our hands. It seems to me that what women do after peeing is more likely to leave urine. :)

This was posted by Heath, the health inspector personality of trapped, and does not reflect the views of his other personalities.


Bklyn Diva said...

GULP.. ok I heard something vaguely on my way out to work this am on the news.. I don't even want to think about it no more..


Lee said...

In Australia, they brought in a standard for bottled water and then found that the manufacturers couldn't meet that standard and relaxed it. Melbourne tap water has always been of a better microbiological quality than commercial bottled waters, But people spend lots of money to drink 'healthy' bottled water.

BTW testing has also shown that those 'hygienic' hot air blowers in the toilets have more bacteria in them than the paper towels.

BBB_0202020 said...

I will be askng for no ice from now on...argggghhh! come check out my blog:)

mal said...

!@#$ the reviewers!! I do not write my blog to please them. I do it for me and whom ever cares to read it. I find your blog readable so consider that you have the official "Mallory Seal of Approval" attached to your blog! Now you can go forward with the full confidence that your blog has minimum standards for *mumble* and *mumble*

The story on the bacteria is NOT surprising since toilets routinely "plug displace" where systems handling ice do not. Do consider that the water constantly flushing thru your toilet is drinking water that has been chlorinated to kill bacteria. Most ice machines have carbon filters to remove the chlorine. Did I mention carbon filters are a fabulous media for raising little critters too?

Leesa said...

trapped: the bad review was not that upsetting, really.

bklyndiva: room temp drinks? Hmmmmm. Not sure I would want that either.

lee: yeah, I read something about the FDA lowering the amounts of mercury in candy. How about no heavy metals in candy? Doesn't that make more sense?

tigerkiss: okay, I will check it out.

mallory: makes sense to me. We manufacture ice machines to act as petri dishes but manufacture toilets to kill bacteria and be good sources of drinking water for our pets.

Georgiapeach said...

Thanks Leesa, now I am sick ass a dog.

Georgiapeach said...

sick as a dog..lol. I curse too much.

Lee said...

Do zero residue levels make sense? To a chemist, perhaps sadly, no. What is zero? The FDA folk probably lowered the levels because improved analytical techniques can now detect lower levers. Doesn't mean that there is anything there though. If the standard is for zero mercury and someone with the Acme mercury testing method finds 0.0000001 parts per quadrazillion the candy fails because it has more than 'zero'. Should it?

"N" Search of Ecstasy said...

I read that report that student did. It was pretty disgusting to think about and you are absolutely right about the “acceptable levels of bacteria”. So gross!

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