Saturday, February 5, 2011

There's Romance and Microbes in the Air

Deadly is the New Cute?

The 5-second Rule states that it's OK to eat food that has fallen to the floor because bacteria still haven't contaminated it.  A scientific study on the 5-second Rule (or 7-second or 10-second, depending on your cowboy tendencies ) was even awarded by the Ig Nobel Prize.  The findings: you're safe from E. coli, so go ahead and pick up and eat that fallen food.


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Microbes--now there's a nice stuffed toy for kids.  They're cute and morbid, cuddly and gory, and very, very educational--all at the same time.  And now that Valentine's day is around the corner, we all could use a stuffed toy that, for a change, is NOT corny, sappy, or too effing adorable.


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Common cold virus
From the sick mind of ex-lawyer-turned toy entrepreneur Drew Oliver, these GIANTmicrobes plush toys are, well, inspired by viruses and bacteria, albeit magnified a million times.  (For illustrative purposes, each stuffed toy comes with a tag of the photomicrograph from which their appearance is based, and some clinical facts about the pathogen in question--the educational bit.)

From the common cold virus to something as icky as Chlamydia or  Herpes to something as gruesome as the Black Death to something as romantic as the Kissing Disease (Epstein Barr)--GIANTmicrobes has it.  (BTW, All caps GIANT, lowercase microbes.)  And there's even Mad Cow Disease.


Now, why would you want to give/receive a plush toy in the shape of a deadly virus?  

I suppose this poses a problem for people still in courtship stage.  If a guy forgoes the usual teddy bear and instead gives the girl a stuffed toy resembling a bacteria, should she take offense?

Call it exposure therapy, call it our undying fascination with death, call it just another ironic product of Generation Irony.  Call it whatever you want, but there's a certain endearing quality about viruses rendered all hairy and soft and harmless.  Personally, I wouldn't mind having my own cholera virus sitting on my desk, lovable and fatal.




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Don't know what your favorite pathogen is?  Flip open your Merck medical textbook; there's always a handsome bacteria you might like in there.




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