Jan 13, 2010


So, I slacked off over the holidays. Were you expecting more? You should know me by now.

Score! I got my new camera. It's been a long time since I had that giddy feeling while opening a present. I think the last time that happened at Christmas, I was opening up my G.I. Joe, Sgt. Slaughter battle tank when I was 8.

with kung fu grip. recognize.

Since I can't take a picture of my camera....with my camera. Here's a picture someone else took of it.


I bought the Canon T1i and the "nifty fifty", 50mm f/1.8 mark II lens. I didn't buy the kit lens because I was only going to upgrade anyway. The 50mm is really sharp. The build quality is a little eh, but the image quality for the price is fantastic. I'm ready to buy a zoom lens now. So after lots of homework, I'm thinking either the new Sigma 17-70 OS or the fairly new Canon 15-85 mm. I like to have the wide end for macro pictures (so I can take uber close ups of my belly button) and a little bit of zoom for some decent far off shots. I'd just like a sharp, fairly fast, walkabout lens. So any suggestions are appreciated, ah thank you.

I think I'll carry the camera along to Cocoa Beach next week. A few of us are going to the Artificial Reef Summit meeting. We'll be presenting some of our artificial reef research as well as getting to see some other talks. Should be a good time. I'll snap off some shots.

I guess I should talk about fish now.

You guys know about Fugu, right? Fugu is the Japanese word for puffer fish, and it's a very popular and notorious dish in Japanese cuisine.

But eating it is like playing Russian roulette. Fugu chefs are rigorously trained to cut the fish while avoiding certain organs (liver, ovaries) that contain tetrodotoxin. This neurotoxin is VERY lethal to humans. It's more potent than cyanide, and there isn't any antidote. It paralyzes all of your muscles, and while you are completely conscious you die of asphyxiation. What's even more crazy is if a customer dies from the Fugu... the chef must commit suicide with his own fillet knife.

This is why I love the Japanese culture. They're completely cracked.

If you're interested in dieing trying it in the states, New York would be your best bet. I've read that they're are only 17 fugu restaurants in the U.S. and 12 of them are in the big apple.

It's a very tasty fish, so people have been looking for ways to avoid the whole "stop breathing" situation. Recently, they've found it with a new farming method to produce non-lethal puffer fish for consumption. A Japanese aquaculture company developed methods to separate the fugu from tetrodoxin laden bacteria that it ingests. Article here.

Introducing, diet fugu light...

I think most of us would agree that taking the bullets out of the gun makes the whole thing less fun. There would be less enjoyment in eating it while knowing there is no risk involved. Plus you have the cultural significance of the dish. They've been eating this stuff for over 2,000 years!

And if I was an elite fugu chef after years of tedious training, I'd be coming after those scientists with my giant fugu knife.

Go Joe.


  1. Just remember who got you the camera case. Its the most important gift so you don't scratch up your camera. And at least it would have a soft landing if you drop it. I know I'm the best...

  2. If the fugu is prepared right, the person consuming it gets a high feeling like they are on drugs.

  3. Want ta get highhhh? I'm sooooo fish high I could die!

  4. Dang it Dustin, it's "YO JOE!" not "Go Joe"! What kind of American are you?!!!

    Other than that, neat article.

  5. I've heard that the trace tetrodotoxin in the dish makes your lips tingle while you eat it. Scary!