November 28 2012

1. Because it’s a Christmas movie, I rewatched Die Hard. In no particular order:

– McClane smokes a cigarette in an airport.
– McClane carries a gun on an airplane.
– No-one has a mobile phone.
– Alan Rickman is young.

I …

I am not sure I am ready for the movies I grew up with to be historical fiction. There you have it, though.

2. So, I was reading The Violinist’s Thumb, Sam Keen’s latest book. (He wrote The Disappearing Spoon.) And there’s a bit in there about Vitamin A poisoning. The severe effects are totally disgusting and lethal. So I went and looked up how much Vitamin A is toxic.

Let me say, the internets are vague and contradictory on this point. A great deal of close reading indicated, however, that what most people were talking about was overdosing on supplements. I am eating about 2-8 times the RDA of beta carotene in my food, which is absolutely not at all the same thing, according to the NIH. According to the NIH, there is no risk whatsoever to eating actual real foods naturally high in beta carotene and other carotenoids. (Vitamin A fortified foods are a different matter.) You will eventually turn orange from eating too much, but that’s still not near [description of vitamin A poisoning redacted].

Which is what happens when you eat polar bear livers.

Do not, for the love of god, eat polar bear livers. They will kill you dead in twenty-four hours.

3. We ordered a physical copy of A History of the World in 100 Objects, by Neil MacGregor, as the next history book for the kids. We’ll be finishing up the current American History text in a couple weeks. Time to switch back to the world.


2 Responses

  1. If I’m ever in a position where I have to eat a polar bear liver, I think vitamin A poisoning will be the least of my problems.

  2. I know, but these are the things I worry about! 😀

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