“The precious essence that I recognized again when, all night long following a dinner at which I had eaten [asparagus], they played, in farces as crude and poetic as a fairy play by Shakespeare, at changing my chamber pot into a jar of perfume.” – Marcel Proust
Asparagus is the best vegetable. It is more expensive than most produce and like other comestibles as coffee and booze, it’s an acquired taste. Use it as a side dish with dinner and it provides an instant upgrade. It also comes in three sweet colors; purple, white, and green. If tomatoes or carrots are Coldplay, then asparagus is Animal Collective.
Surprisingly, Peru is the world’s leading producer of asparagus. Predictably, the United States is the top importer of the stalky green while taking third place in worldwide production. Clearly, Americans can’t get (or grow) enough of the stuff. A quick look at facebook reveals asparagus groups with hundreds of members. In fact, it is so revered that the cities such as Stockton, CA and Hart, MI hold annual asparagus festivals. Hart’s soiree is particularly glam, featuring a parade that commences with the crowing of an asparagus queen. In 2008 Michele Amstutz was crowned Hart’s Mrs. Asparagus at the Oceana County Agriculture Banquet. She is the granddaughter of retired asparagus farmers Don and Marilyn Walsworth. In keeping with the theme, she married into a family of asparagus farmers when she wed Robert Amstutz, also of Hart. They may be the world’s first and only asparagus power couple. Amstutz said she was ecstatic to be an ambassador of such a wonderful crop. She was awarded with a trip to Holland’s Tulip Festival where she sat atop a purple-and-green parade float, preaching “how much it means to farmers when we support them.” Often left out of her promotional chatter is one of asparagus’ most defining qualities; its redolent disturbance on urine.
What does this mean to you? Everything when you think about it. You have company one night. Maybe you grill some asparagus, drizzle it in olive oil and season it. Everyone remarks on how delicious the vegetable is and you secretly grin at how easy it was to make. Dinner is a hit. The asparagus has been devoured and now familiarizing itself with your digestive tract. After everyone departs, you polish off the remaining Malbec, feel lonely, and fall asleep with the stove fan still running. The next morning arrives with little fanfare save for a hangover and the skunk-piss you just took. Through your headache you can’t help but wonder why the asparagus still smells and is in your urine. At least you’re reminded of everybody’s compliments. You head to work.
But why does it smell? Scour the internet and you’ll find varying theories from genetics to diuretics, some accurate, many outlandish. Like onions and garlic, asparagus is an herbaceous perennial and a member of the lily family. Mostly harvested as a vegetable crop, it is originally native to Europe, Africa, and Asia. When consumed, Asparagus releases a sulphurous compound called mercaptan or the more science-y moniker Methanethiol. When your digestive system breaks down mercaptan, by-products are released that cause a strange smell. And by strange I mean bad, like rotten-egg bad. This is because mercaptan is actually found in rotten eggs. It also turns up in bad breath, crude oil, and animal feces. The same compounds contribute to human flatus. When you say your piss (or breath) smells like shit, you couldn’t be more accurate. The process is so quick that your urine can develop the distinctive smell within 15 to 30 minutes of your guests leaving you. Alone. Drunk. Watching Poker After Dark.
It’s been widely believed that only a selected few are capable of producing Methanethiol-juice. Other avenues of thought have suggested that it’s not the failure in production, but the inability to smell the compound. Both are wrong.
In the 1980’s, Chinese, French, and Israeli scientists proved that asparagus pee is a universal trait. Of the three different studies, the Israelis cleaned house. In the 307 people studied, every single subject detected the distinctive odor of asparagus urine, even in instances where the eater/pisser was unable to detect it himself. Based on the strength in findings of each of the three studies, it is now believed that most people produce the odorous compounds after eating asparagus, but only about 22% of the population have the autosomal genes required to smell them. So yes, it is genetic, but only in your nose and not in your kidneys. So, yes, you eat asparagus, you end up pissing bad breath. Or oil. Or horseshit. Or whatever the hell it smells like.
At least now you know how to talk about it.
There you have it. In 1950 this would’ve kept your kids entertained for thirty seconds. These days? GFL
From the ever-trusted Wikipedia:
Fallout: New Vegas is a role-playing video game in the Fallout series by Obsidian Entertainment. It was released in North America on October 19, 2010, and is scheduled for release on October 22, 2010 in Europe.
Fallout: New Vegas is not a direct sequel to Fallout 3. The game offers a similar role-playing experience as Fallout 3 and events are set three years later. While no characters from the previous game will be used, it’s been reported at least one character from Fallout 2 will appear.
So far, reception to Fallout: New Vegas has been generally favorable with critics praising the gameplay improvements and expanded content over Fallout 3 while criticizing familiarity and technical issues.
Eurogamer commented that “Obsidian has created a totally compelling world and its frustrations pale into insignificance compared to the immersive, obsessive experience on offer. Just like the scorched scenery that provides its epic backdrop, New Vegas is huge and sprawling, sometimes gaudy, even downright ugly at times – but always effortlessly, shamelessly entertaining.”
Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstmann reviewed Fallout: New Vegas for the Xbox 360 positively, despite its many crash bugs and glitches. “When I reflect on the experience, I’ll probably think about the times the game locked up on me or broke in a dozen other crazy ways first, before thinking about the great world and the objectives that fill it. If you were able to look past the issues that plagued Fallout 3 and Oblivion before it, New Vegas will eventually show you a real good time.”
Video game news website, Kotaku, pointed out several instances of game bugs resulting in incorrect movement of 3D animations and rendering. An embedded video on Kotaku demonstrated this with an example from the opening cutscenes of the game showing Dr. Mitchell’s head rotating whilst appearing to be stuck in a ‘sit-down’ position.The game has generally been given higher ratings on PC than on consoles, due to better stability.
If you want to buy it, it’s here.
Just saw this on the Today Show around 11:15. It’s so weird how many of these women truly end up resembling Michael Jackson. Or he them. Not sure which came first. When I look at the Judds, I feel like we’re not of the same species. Wynnona is so orange and in-your-face, and Naomi is all wig, powder, and spray. Couldn’t tell you one song they sing.