May 192017
 

With a Carolina Reaper pepper I’m about to eat, August 2014.

There is a bit of buzz this week about the “dragon’s breath” chile pepper, which is supposedly threatening the Carolina Reaper as the world’s hottest pepper. There are a couple of things giving me pause here.

For one, this can’t be an oddball that showed up on a plant or two. It has to be a stable hybrid cultivar to count. Are there dragon’s breath seeds, that grow dragon’s breath peppers again and again, with no variation? There isn’t really any language in anything I’ve read to support that such has occurred, despite claims that they’re waiting on Guinness to verify.

For another, there are some silly things being said about how hot this pepper supposedly is. Fears that it could “literally burn your airways” are ridiculous, because capsaicin doesn’t produce its burning sensation by actually damaging tissue. Anaphylactic shock? Well, if you’re allergic, sure. But why would this pepper be any more likely to trigger such than any other in a susceptible person?

The reported heat level is 2.48 million Scoville units. The Carolina Reaper was/is 1.5 to 2.2 million Scoville units. The dragon’s breath, if a real thing, isn’t so much hotter than the Reaper that it’s going to introduce any unique health concerns.

There is some smoke here, but I smell a little too much bullshit in it right now for me to believe in the fire. If the dragon’s breath chile is a real thing, then it’ll be around soon enough, and yes, I’ll have one. For now, let’s sit back and see what happens.

 Posted by at 9:36 am
May 172017
 

Personal liberty? Yeah, I’m a fan. I think everyone should be free to do with his/her time and money as s/he sees fit, so long as it does not infringe upon the rights of others. (But that doesn’t mean that if your personal choices beg for ridicule, that I won’t occasionally oblige you.)

Behold this Dodge Challenger, which I am reasonably assured is owned and operated by someone born earlier than 1995:

The muscle car phenomenon began 50 to 60 years ago, with American manufacturers putting upgraded powertrains (and, eventually, other bits) into pedestrian automotive platforms. Its 21st-century manifestation features retro styling—this Challenger strongly evokes one from the early ’70s—but not necessarily retro pricing. Young men don’t generally have the money to put together a car like this.

And here we have the big disconnect.

If a 20-something young man—dripping with attitude, coursing with testosterone, and still ejaculating a thousand times a year—emerged from this vehicle, he would look silly. But he would at least be understandable.

An old man just looks ridiculous.

Look, it’s not that it’s a Challenger. It’s not even that it’s yellow. (Well, maybe 5% of it is.) You have the means and want to get such a car, then go get one. I’ll (in my experience, justifiably) consider you a significantly elevated risk to be a jackass in traffic, and life will go on.

No, it’s the “prayer” on the front spoiler:

As I lay rubber down the street/I pray for traction I may keep/If I do begin to slide/Please dear God protect my ride. Amen

It’s that it’s meticulously parked in a handicap space, with no placard, decal, plate, or other credential entitling the driver to such.

It’s that it says MOVE OVER—helpfully printed backward, and with an arrow, to facilitate easier reading in rear-view mirrors of vehicles holding this very important man up.

(Let me tell you, nothing would make my testicles miserably retract more quickly into my pathetic, inferior body than seeing such a notice behind me. Yes, please, come through, you thrumming, powerful, alpha male. A thousand apologies for obstructing you. Please forgive me!)

It’s that this was the plan. It’s the intent. It’s that he’s being seen in this command-issuing car on purpose.

Really, man?

Well, I suppose if it’s this or cheat on your wife, you made the right call.

 Posted by at 11:52 am

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