Michael Vick is misunderstood

Everybody in the world is piling-on poor Michael Vick about his unique attitude toward his animal compansions, so this balanced news story deserves some play:

ATLANTA–Michael Vick’s attorney, Billy Martin, spoke today at length about the dog-killing allegations leveled against his client and insisted that Vick ate “every single dog” that was killed on his property, dispelling the notion the dogs were killed merely for sport.

“Michael would never just kill an animal for the sake of sport,” Martin told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “That’s wrong and it’s disgusting. The fact is, he ate all those dogs after he killed them. He cut them up and cooked them on his grill. They’re actually quite delectable if you apply the proper seasoning. So Michael’s really no different than your average hunter.”

Martin did admit that Vick’s methods of killing the animals were slightly different from those used by hunters, but contended that the methods were “merely a technicality.”

Indeed. Now read the whole thing or I’ll have Instapundit pay you a visit with his puppy-blender.

Good Tomato Sauce

People are doing interesting things with food these days. Researchers in Ohio have devised some new varieties of tomato by combining heirloom varieties with disease-resistant modern varieties, and in the process dramatically raised the content of usable lycopene. It’s all in this American Chemical Society Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry article, Carotenoid Absorption in Humans Consuming Tomato Sauces Obtained from Tangerine or High–Carotene Varieties of Tomatoes

Tomato sauces were produced from unique tomato varieties to study carotenoid absorption in humans. Tangerine tomatoes, high in cis-lycopene, especially prolycopene (7Z,9Z,7’Z,9’Z), and high–carotene tomatoes as an alternative dietary source of -carotene were grown and processed… Lycopene dose-adjusted triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein AUC responses in the tangerine sauce group were relatively high when compared to those in the literature and the high–carotene group. The results support the hypothesis that lycopene cis-isomers are highly bioavailable and suggest that special tomato varieties can be utilized to increase both the intake and bioavailability of health-beneficial carotenoids.

This press release from the USDA touts their losing tomato:

USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist John R. Stommel developed the new high beta-carotene tomato lines–97L63, 97L66 and 97L97–for use in processing into paste, juices and sauces. High beta-carotene cherry and beefsteak type market tomatoes will also be released as specialty tomatoes for the fresh market.

So the yokels in Ohio just kicked the USDA’s butt. Lycopene, in case you didn’t know, is something that old men should take for the prostate.

How to feed cats with Linux

This guide to an automated cat-feeding system is essential to modern life, especially the vacation part:

We have to work, but that doesn’t mean our cats should have to go without stinky little fish, right? Why should our economic necessities have a negative effect on their treat times? Isn’t it our responsibility to build them an Internet-enabled, Linux-based, cat-feeding device?

The system involves microcontrollers, Python, and a serial port. And fish, typically dead ones, but the design could easily be upgraded to feed from an aquarium.