Truly Bad Films

Thursday, January 19, 2006

This Just In . . .

. . . It's come to my attention that the word "funnin" appeared twice this week on TBF while the word "ptomaine" has not ever been used in the history of this blog. In order to address this unexplicable oversight, I present the following.

You don't hear a lot about ptomaine poisoning anymore - especially not in the U.S. It seems to me I heard about some cases in Malay back about 5 or 6 years where some bamboo was home-canned improperly. Or maybe that was botulism. Today I find almost nothing about ptomaine on Google News.

Ptomaines are alkaloid nitrogenous organic compounds produced by bacterial putrefaction of protein.


The Oxford English Dictionary claims that ptomines are highly poisonous. But almost every free dictionary I could find said that ptomaines are no longer considered to be the source of food poisoning. Curious. Staffers at the OED need to get on the stick and clear ptomaine's name if this is true.

The Encyclopedia Britannica is completely useless. It only lists Ptomaine Poisoning and then refers readers to Food Poisoning. Hello, EB! What if I want to know about ptomaines? Not food poisoning! Isn't anyone interested in ptomaines any more?

No, I guess not. Even though they smell like festering hell, many sources indicate they are harmless. But, on the side of bolstering ptomaine's fearsome legacy, there was an article in The Lancet in 2001 on Ptomaine Poisoning.

Well, it looks like there are no quick answers to this thorny ptomaine question this morning. All I can say for sure is that Botulism has stolen all the shine off Ptomine's Cracker Jack ring. Botulin is still fatal and it has the added panache of being injected into the crag-prone areas of rich people's faces. Wikipedia has quite the article on botulin's role in chemical warfare.

Yes, these days the world is all about botulin and has nothing for ptomaine. So goes the fate of a once-feared compound.


Post a Comment

<< Home