Daily Archives: October 25, 2013

Where In the World Is Carmine Cochineal?

One of the food colorings that is commonly use is called carmine or (according to Wikipedia) also called Crimson Lake, Cochineal, Natural Red 4, C.I. 75470, or E120. It also shows up in cosmetics and other products that we humans apply, ingest, digest, etc.

It’s made from crushed bugs.

Okay, that’s oversimplified, but nevertheless accurate.

Some people, including some members of my family are allergic to Carmine, so we have to be careful to avoid it.

For some reason, I juxtaposed (I love that word. I use it because Orson Scott Card likes to juxtapose things in his awesome stories)

I juxtaposed the crushing of bugs with the crushing of grapes. If you remember old time television, or have cable, you’ve probably seen the I Love Lucy program in which Lucy is stomping grapes to make wine.

Wouldn’t it have been funnier if she were crushing bugs?

The one and only Lucille Ball

The one and only Lucille Ball

American Superstitions


Every culture has its beliefs and superstitions, and they cling to them against all logic or persuasion.

The Romans believed that spilling salt was bad. The Druids believed that when you spoke of something you hoped for it was important to knock on wood to garner the sprits’ support.

America has its own strange and implausible superstitions:

  • No matter how full the dishwasher is, somehow, the coffee cup you’re holding will magically fit.
  • If you look at a leftover and decide it looks a bit old, putting it back in the refrigerator will make it so somebody else will actually eat it.
  • Milk tastes better if you drink it directly from the jug rather than using a glass.
  • As soon as you throw the single mismatched sock into the trash, its mate will show up.
  • If you pick up a pen and it won’t write, you should put it back where you found it because it will magically work in the future.
  • Rental vehicles are built to a higher engineering standard than those sold to the public; this is why you can subject them to things like driving through open fields or shifting into reverse at highway speeds.
  • Talk show hosts are bound to strict ethical standards, so you can trust what they say.

And my personal favorite:

  • If you read it on the Internet, it has to be true.