Livin' on the MDedge

Earthworm lollipops and Monty Python peer review


So you think you can pandemic?

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. Courtesy NIAID-RML

What’s that? You say you’ve got an idea for the next great pandemic? Well, if your pandemic is going to beat coronavirus/COVID-19, it’s going to have to top this:

Sex: Porn star Lola Taylor (real name, Iyubov Bushueva) is currently in COVID-related isolation in Moscow and has offered to “have sex with the first scientist who finds a cure for coronavirus,” the Daily Star reported.

Sensible terrorists: “Islamic State has adopted a safety-first approach to the coronavirus pandemic and advised its members not to travel to Europe,” Politico reported. The terrorist group’s latest newsletter recommends that followers “stay away from the land of the epidemic” for the time being.

Drugs: Michigan is doing its part to keep the cannabis flowing. The state is temporarily lifting its ban against curbside pickup at marijuana stores as a way to limit exposure to coronavirus. “There has been an increase of customers who are stockpiling both medical and recreational cannabis, and sales are definitely up, just like other essentials,” Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Director Robin Schneider told

Sewage gridlock: Please don’t feed the fatbergs. That’s the message from the United Kingdom’s largest water and sewage authority. Thames Water is warning customers that flushing paper towels and wet wipes will add to the nonbiodegradable sewage blobs known as fatbergs, the Guardian reported. Thames Water’s position: “The only things that should be flushed are the 3 P’s: poo, pee and (toilet) paper,” the Guardian said.

Airship hospitals: China built two hospitals in response to the coronavirus epidemic, but can either of them fly? No. Science writer Bill Gourgey suggests that it’s time to revisit an idea proposed 100 years ago during a tuberculosis epidemic. Airships equipped as hospitals “could offer all of the resources – staff and equipment – to extract, quarantine, and treat patients. And a fleet could deliver at scale,” he wrote on OneZero.

The Governator: His royal Arnold-ness, along with this his pony Whiskey and donkey Lulu, has taken to Twitter to try to convince folks to stay inside and eat carrots together. Happily, Mr. Schwarzenegger did not go all Terminator when Whiskey tried to bite Lulu, instead offering a gentle, “You’ve got to get along.”

If your pandemic doesn’t have all of this, then you’re just not trying hard enough.

Earthworm Surprise

motorolka/iStock/Getty Images Plus

If you watched the Rugrats as a kid – or if your kids did, nonmillennials – you may remember how Phil and Lil used to eat bugs and worms whenever they played outside. We used to think it was gross, but now we think it may be time to follow their lead.

A Latvian scientist has unearthed (sorry) ways to make bread, muffins, lollipops, and so on using earthworms, claiming that earthworms are full of protein. Next time your children are crying for candy or sweets, why not hand them an earthworm lollipop to appease them? You’ll be making sure they’re getting their daily dose of protein!

The scientist, Ilga Gedrovica of the Latvian University of Life Science and Technologies, reported that earthworms not only contain just as much protein as meat, but they are also cheaper to produce. She also explained that, when dried, earthworms contain about three times more protein than meat.

Research is now underway to determine the safety of eating earthworms, fried or otherwise.

Just think: In a post–COVID-19 future, instead of a steak dinner, we could be making earthworm casseroles! Which, of course, kids won’t eat. Not because of the earthworms, of course. But because, ewwww, casseroles.


Next Article: