Tag Archives: research

A Vocal Point

Every now and then a bit of research comes along that turns commonly accepted wisdom upside down. And so it is with a recent study of howler monkeys and chimpanzees.

According to the New York Times, the researchers concluded that to gain a mating advantage, species evolved either to make very low frequency sounds, or have much larger testicles.

But none had both.

For human men, the possible ramifications of this conclusion are world-altering, even though the Times article clearly states the research examined differences between species and so it has no application to human beings.

But our imaginations are not limited by such inconvenient facts.

When I mentioned this to Trial Baboon’s Singsong Poet Laureate, Tyler Schuler Wyler, he was moved to adjust his rather snug jeans, and pen a few timeless lines to extrapolate the findings:

It’s obvious, when all’s compared,
that “E” equates to “MC squared.”
And likewise, with a monkey’s calls,
A sexy voice means teensy balls.

If human beings follow suit
the big-balled man sounds like a flute.
and deep voiced guys (like Barry White)
can wear their trousers extra tight.

While penny ante Pavarottis,
(Never seen by girls as hotties)
Make their trade-off down below –
With every squeak, cojones grow.

So fellows with a treble voice
must favor baggy slacks by choice.
Though baritones may get romance,
the tenors need room in their pants.

How do you like your clothes to fit? 


Ice Virus Soup

A French research team plans to wake up an ancient virus to study its genetic structure.

This comes as a huge surprise to me.  I’m a cable-connected-American, so the only French people I ever see are on the Food Channel, fighting over condiments.

I had no idea they could be scientists too!

But why would such a person try to revive a virus embedded in a cake of ice?

Only one reason I can think of – glacial ice is a surprise ingredient, thrown in at the last minute to heighten the souffle’ challenge! Leave it to the crafty French to know the secret – bring out the hidden viral flavors and this frosty addition to an ordinary recipe will be a memory-maker.

And (maybe) a killer!

I commissioned Trail Baboon poet laureate Tyler Schuyler Wyler to respond to this story with a few lines of simplistic verse, and although he thought his inept rhymes might sicken a few unsuspecting readers, he did it anyway – because there was money involved.


One wonders – What forgotten woes
reside inside what once was froze?
Old viruses, encased in ices!
Are they strong, like southern spices?

Let’s research it! Here’s the deal –
I will dump some on your meal
and then take notes as you complain
about the fever in your brain!

Science is a lot like cooking.
Tasting, testing, always looking
for the flavor of the day.
inside a pathogen souffle!

That’s the foodie’s fondest wish
uncover some forgotten dish
of which we all are unaware
and dress it up as modern fare –

Like Hepatitis Cassoulet
and Dengue Fever au Flambe’
Chicken in a Herpes Glaze
with fresh Ebola Bouillabaisse.

Mononucleosis Stew
and Influenza Dip au jus,
Spicy Cowpox over rice.
with Meningitis Torte sounds nice.

Steaming viral soup selections.
Tasty, trendy mass infections
locked in ice. Forgotten. Dated.
Soon you’ll see them nicely plated!

What food makes you sick?