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Friday, 17 October 2008


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Scott Kreidler

Similarly, birds--at least, parrots--are unaffected by pepper oils.

Kevin Y

The above is in fact the evolutionary purpose of pepper oils. Mammals will digest pepper seeds, and birds will excrete them whole to germinate, so it's advantageous to the pepper plant to keep the mammals away.

Cats probably don't eat peppers in the wild, which might explain it if they aren't affected.

Vance Maverick

Sriracha is for me the emblem of why I was happy to return to California. In March 1989, I visited Berkeley to check out computer science grad school. A friend put me up (in downtown Oakland), and one day we went out to lunch in the south-of-campus zone....the cheap greasy Vietnamese eats with sriracha (plus Taqueria de Berkeley on Kittredge) showed me I was not mistaken in deciding to return.

Adam Roberts

"Habeus irish rose" ... I don't get it.


Thank God for Wikipedia. I'd never understood that joke either---and now I know why.

And I figured the cats + peppers = nada had something to do with the curviness of digestive tracts, but it's nice to see my folk biology validated by actual science.


Important scientific note:
Cats are not birds.

Also, cats are in fact mammals.

Also, perhaps your cat simply enjoys spicy food. I know I do. Perhaps I am your cat.


May I kindly request you limit urine excretion to the pre-approved micturition areas, then?

Adam Roberts

Wikipedia is a cavern of wonders. Not that I approve of dramatic representations of Jews and Gentiles getting married. It might lead to it happening in real life.

Rich Puchalsky

Oy. For the Jewish half of this, post-mid-century, your parents bring out the big guns. At least, mine did. "If you don't marry a Jewish girl, then Hitler wins." I hadn't been exposed to Godwin's Law at that point, but I still felt somehow that this argument was a bit unreasonable.

Adam Roberts

Scott once told me the term for a gentile guy who marries a Jewish woman, but I've forgotten what it is. It might have been shegetz, although wikipedia's entry on the word ('...literally translates as "rascal", "scoundrel" or "varmint" ...') makes it sound pretty negative. Except for varmint. I like the thought of being called a varmint.

Adam Roberts

Also: I'm trying to imagine the English equivalent of Rich's parental emotional half-nelson. Possibly 'if you don't marry an English girl, then William the Conqueror wins.' Except that William the Conqueror did win. (And Rachel is an English girl). I suppose, conceivably: 'if you don't marry an Anglo Saxon girl, then William the Conqueror wins.'

Rich Puchalsky

I don't think that there really is an English equivalent, thankfully. I could see, perhaps, somebody English dating a German woman and his parents telling him "if you marry her, then Hitler wins", but the total effect would be a lot more risible.

Speaking of which, I remember when one of my elder brothers went on a hike through Europe (during college, I think). He apparently dated a German woman for a while during his trip, or something, because we got a phone call at our house for him from her. I remember her weeping over the phone to me about how sorry she was about what people in Germany had done to the Jews. I mean, sheesh. I could easily imagine what my brother had gotten out of it, but I was only something like 14 at the time, and I thought I was a little young to be involved in her kink.

Neil Gaiman had a great scene in Sandman that was similar, come to think of it. Hob Gadling, the immortal, is going on and on to his girlfriend about how guilty the English really are for the slave trade. She says "this is the first time you've dated a black woman, isn't it" and when he says yes, and how do you know, she says something about how if he had she would already have told him off about it. Of course, the scene is saved from banality by her not knowing that he's an immortal who really did get rich off of slavery, and that his guilt is actually personal.

Adam Roberts

I should add that I only hang-out (virtually) with people like Scott and Rich so that I can truthfully preface my frequent, vilely antisemitic comments with 'look, some of my best friends are Jews, but ...'

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