Sunday, January 27, 2008

Apple #295: Basics about the Common Cold

I'm getting a cold. I can feel it. My chest is all heavy, my right ear feels clogged, I'm completely drained and slightly dizzy, and I feel like I've been pummeled for hours with wet socks and then had most of the oomph sucked out of me.

Colds really do make you feel lousy.
(Photo from NP Central's medical article on treating the common cold)

I know how I got this, too. I went on a business trip, and my manager had a stubborn, major cold. We went to dinner with some sales people, and we all shared two desserts. The waiter didn't bring us individual dessert plates, and for a moment, I hesitated, wondering if I should ask for some. Then I thought, no, we're all fine, forgetting entirely about the fact that my manager had been blowing her nose so much all day, it was red and chapped. So the four of us blithely dug in to the desserts together.


We all made some other mistakes, too. Here are some facts about colds that maybe will help people stop spreading them so much to each other:

  • While it is true that you are most likely to spread your cold in the first 2 to 4 days after the symptoms appear, the cold can still be contagious for up to 3 weeks.
  • So even if you don't feel completely lousy but you're still blowing your nose a lot, you can pass it on pretty easily.

Colds are caused by rhinoviruses. There are hundreds of known varieties of the virus. These are 4 of them. Unpleasant-looking little wads, aren't they?
(Image from the NIH's International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses page for Rhinoviruses)

  • If you have a cold, don't smoke. Easier said than done, I know, but chances are, your body probably doesn't feel much like smoking anyway, so pay attention to that. Smoking makes your cold last longer, and it could make your symptoms worse or lead to something like bronchitis or pneumonia. And secondhand smoke that's got one of the rhinoviruses in it is going to make it easier for that rhinovirus to take root in someone else.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after blowing your nose.
  • Cover your nose and your mouth when coughing or sneezing. It's such a simple and considerate thing to do, but it really helps keep those rhinoviruses from flying around any farther.
  • Drink when you first feel thirsty -- if you wait, you're allowing yourself to get dehydrated, and that won't help your body fight the cold.
  • Good things to drink include water, fruit juices, warm broth, or warm water with honey and lemon.

Hot honey & lemon beverage, served at a place called Delicious, which I think might be in Malaysia. But you can make this yourself.
(Image from the blog masak-masak, which is all about food)

  • Drinkables that won't do your body a favor include caffeine and alcohol. They don't quench your thirst but sap it further, and they put more stress on your system.
  • Make sure to get enough rest. Your body has to work hard to get rid of that virus, so let it do its job!
  • If someone else has a cold, don't share eating utensils (here's where I say to us again, duh), drinking glasses, beverage cans or bottles, or even towels.
  • Don't pick up someone else's used tissues. If you do, wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you can.
  • Try not to rub your eyes or your nose if you're around someone who is sick. If you are sick yourself, it's probably also a good idea to keep yourself from doing that as much as you can.
  • If you are sick, sometimes aspirin or ibuprofen can help reduce the aches or a fever. But NEVER give aspirin to children younger than 12.

Aspirin: OK for adults. Not OK for children.
(Photo from

  • Also, NEVER give any cold "medicine" or antihistamines to children under 2. Even in children between the ages of 3 and 12, those cold medicines really won't do much except elevate your child's heart rate and make him or her really thirsty. They could also give your child hallucinations and wacky dreams and irregular heartbeats. So it's best not to give those to your children at all.

Cough syrup: don't bother. It doesn't help; it could make things worse. Save your cash for the orange juice.
(Image from Stork Avenue News)

  • And for the adults, those cold medications and cough syrups might fool you into thinking they're helping, but they're really only suppressing the symptoms, not treating them. The fact that you're not coughing or blowing your nose as often might allow you to think you feel better, so you might go on working at your usual pace and not getting enough rest, etc., so your cold might actually last longer because you've taken those things.
  • Things like zinc (Cold-Eze or Zicam), extra vitamin C, Airborne, echinacea, and even chicken soup have not been proven definitively to shorten a cold's duration. But no one has been able to prove that they don't help, either. And some people swear that they do help. So you can give them a shot, but there's no guarantee. Just make sure you don't overdo it.
  • The average cold lasts about 1 week, but some can last as long as 2 weeks. So get your rest, wash your hands, take care of yourself and those around you.
  • And please -- if you're sick, do your classmates, your teachers, your co-workers a favor. Stay home. That's what sick days are for.

See how happy this woman is, at home, asleep in her bed? If you've got a cold, your body wants you to be at home, sleeping like this too!

I did it again. I thought I had a cold, but really it was the flu. Wondering how to tell the difference if it's a cold or the flu? I did some more research on the topic, and I think I finally get it. Er, understand it, I should say.

KidsHealth, Infections, Common Cold
Mayo Clinic, Infections Disease, Cold remedies: What works, what doesn't, what can't hurt

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Apple #294: National Pie Day

You may not know this, but the 23rd is National Pie Day.

To celebrate appropriately, the American Pie Council, which created National Pie Day, encourages us to "pass on the love and enjoyment of pie eating and pie making" by "giving the gift of a pie to a friend or neighbor."

But I see absolutely nothing wrong with giving the gift of a pie to oneself.

Another suggestion: "Eat pie."

In most pictures of apple pies, they're all nicely put together and everything, but they also look too dry. I think a slice of apple pie ought to look like this: gooey and warm and moist and delicious.
(Pie baked by Tom Moertel, recipe by Sherry Yard)

  • The average American eats six slices of pie per year (that's what's wrong with this country: we're not getting enough pie!)
  • The first pies were mostly meat pies. (but we have all learned by now that those are not the best pies!)
  • Before pies became relegated to dessert, people in the 19th century ate fruit pies as part of breakfast (I say they had the right idea)

True Key Lime pie uses the juice of Florida Key limes and is not green but yellow. I was once informed by a pie-maker in Key West that limes from elsewhere are more acidic.
(Photo by Mrs. Presley, recipe by Martha Stewart)

  • The term "upper crust" actually refers to pie-making. In early America, when people couldn't afford a lot of flour or supplies, they often couldn't afford to make a top crust for their pies. In fact, the top crust usually wasn't eaten but was put on to hold the filling while baking and then removed later. Therefore, the people who made their pies with a top crust clearly had more funds at the ready. So the wealthy people were conflated with their pies and were called "the upper crust." (I'm very glad we are not so class-biased anymore and that we are all free to eat our pies with or without upper crusts)
  • For those of you who will celebrate National Pie Day by making your own, here are a few pie-making tips:
      • Adding a teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice is said to guarantee a flaky crust.
      • Or instead of water, substitute very cold sour cream or whipping cream. The crust gets flakier, but these ingredients will also increase the fat.
      • Chilled dough will be much easier to roll out and lay into the pie tin.

This photo and Marie Smith's recipe for lemon meringue pie posted at

      • When making a meringue pie, to keep the meringue from weeping (little dots of moisture forming on top), turn off the oven when the baking time has elapsed, but leave the meringue in the oven until it cools.
      • To get your meringue peaks even peakier, while beating, add 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar for every 3 egg whites.
      • When making a cream pie, dust the crust with granulated sugar before adding the filling. This will keep the crust from getting soggy.
      • If you've made a pie with a graham cracker crust, dip the pan in warm water for about 10 seconds, and it will be much easier to remove or to dish it up.
      • If you have some extra crust left over, you can use a little tin or muffin dish and make a small pie for the smallest person in your family (like my mom used to do)
  • Americans believe that chocolate pie is the most romantic pie. (maybe so, but it's not the BEST pie)

This is a chocolate cream pie, from--believe it or not--Cooking Light.

  • According to one survey, Americans' favorite pies are, in order:
      • Apple
      • Pumpkin or sweet potato
      • Chocolate
      • Lemon meringue
      • Cherry

Cherry pie with a lattice crust. I don't know why but most people seem to think cherry pies in particular ought to have a lattice crust like this one. I'm not particular. I'll eat it either way.
(Photo from

Americans say they like pumpkin pie better than cherry? Really? Well, I'm not one of those Americans, I guess. I always give the pumpkin pie a try, but I get my fill after about four bites or so.
(Photo with recipe from Simple Daily Recipes)

  • I would like to add to this list some very important pies that should not be overlooked:
      • Peach
      • Blueberry
      • Key Lime
      • Strawberry
      • Strawberry rhubarb

Peach pie might be my favorite. Especially when it's all warm and juicy and peachy and yum. Although I think I might actually have eight favorites. Or nine.
(Photo and recipe by Argo Corn Starch)

What is YOUR favorite pie?

(see also I Like Pie)

American Pie Council, National Pie Day
"Doing your part for National Pie Day,"
Sacramento Bee, January 16, 2008
"Get ready for National Pie Day,"
South Jersey CourierPost Online, January 2, 2008
Crisco, Fun Pie Facts
Food Reference, Trivia, Pie
Belly Bytes, Food Facts, Cake, Pie and Cookie Food Facts

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Apple #293: Blood Types

I donated blood yesterday. While I was there, some manager lady was inspecting the nurses collecting the blood, and she was talking really loud about all kinds of stuff. The nurses were short-staffed that day so there were long lines at each stage of the process, but of course the manager didn't step in to help, she just kept talking.

One of the things she said was, "Of course my blood type is boring old A positive. They've always got a supply of boring old A positive." I felt a bit sad at hearing this because my blood type happens to be A positive, and I was always sort of proud of that. You know, like A+.

I asked the nurse who was testing my blood whether what the manager lady had said was true, do they have too much A positive. He said yes, they always have the most of that because it's the most common blood type. O negative is the one they need the most, he said. He paused, then added, "But we always need people to donate, of any type."

This woman is donating blood. See how easy it is? You sit in a lounge chair, they give you free snacks and drinks, and everybody is really nice to you.
(Photo from the American Red Cross)

I decided I wanted to learn more about blood types. I remember learning something about it in school, but I had forgotten most of it.

  • If you give a person the blood of someone with a different blood type, the blood will clump. The red blood cells crack, which allows all the proteins inside leak out, and that's really bad because the hemoglobin that's kept in the red blood cells is toxic to every thing outside the red blood cells. So once hemoglobin is on the loose, so to speak, it can be fatal.
  • It wasn't until Karl Landsteiner figured out why blood clumps and all the rest happens that people were able to donate blood to each other successfully. Landsteiner, by the way, won a Nobel Prize for figuring out this problem.

Karl Landsteiner, the guy who figured out blood types
(Photo from Karl Landsteiner Geselleschaft)

  • So here's what he found out. Your blood contains a certain combination of antigens and antibodies (together, they're also referred to as agglutinogens).
      • Antigens: these are little knobs of protein, or they could be bacteria or a virus, and they're sort of like code-in-waiting. When they get stimulated, they make your body's immune system trigger a specific disease-fighting response.
      • Antibodies: these are the disease-fighting proteins that spring into fighting action when their related antigen shows up.
  • The blood types are a way to indicate what kind of antigens and antibodies are already in your blood. As you can see, the type name comes from the type of antigen.











A & B




A & B

  • By the way, the type generally referred to as O (the letter o) was originally referred to as 0 (zero), since it means that there are zero antigens on the red blood cells.
  • Knowing which antigens & which antibodies are present is important when it comes to deciding whose blood can get donated to whom.
  • As long as you've got the antibodies that do not correlate with the same antigens (type A antibodies present with type B antigens), you'll be OK. But if you give somebody an antigen for which they already have the antibody in their blood, the antibody will automatically start fighting against that antigen. Since the antigens live on the outside of the red blood cells, the antibody will eventually crack open the red blood cells, the hemoglobin will escape, and then all hell breaks loose.

Antigens on a red blood cell and antibodies attaching to them
(Drawing from Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise)

  • But if you give people a type of blood that will not make the antibodies fight against the antigens, all hell will not break loose. Here's a table that shows which blood types can work safely together:

Blood Group
Can give blood to
Can receive blood from
A and B
AB, A, B, 0
A and AB
A and 0
B and AB
B and 0
A and B
AB, A, B, 0
(table from Nobel

  • Because type O has no antigens, it won't trigger an antibody response. And since it has both types of antibodies, it can work just fine in the presence of either A or B antigens. That's why type O is known as the universal donor, because it can work when combined with any blood type.
  • Because AB has no antibodies, it doesn't have anything that will fight against whatever you introduce to it. So it can receive blood from anybody. However, if you give somebody AB blood, or both AB antigens, the antibodies that they already have will fight against the AB blood, clumping will result, hemoglobin escapes, hell breaks loose again.

  • There are now 20 different methods of typing blood. The ABO system is the one that is most commonly known.
  • The next most commonly known is the Rh factor system. This one refers to whether or not you have the Rh antigen present on the red blood cells.
  • Rh+ means you do have the Rh antigen, Rh- means you do not.
  • So you can give somebody who already has the Rh antigen either Rh+ or Rh- blood. But you can't give Rh- blood somebody with the Rh antigen, because the Rh- blood will develop antibodies to fight against the Rh+ blood.

(Image from

Commonly, the ABO blood typing system gets combined with the Rh typing system, so that blood types are expressed in terms of A's, B's, and O's and then with a positive or negative indicator afterwards. So someone like me with a blood type of A+ has A antigens, B antibodies, and is Rh positive.

The frequency with which the different blood types occur varies slightly depending on where you are in the world. But as more people marry other people from all sorts of places, the more uniform the blood type distribution will become.

At the moment, though, here is the frequency of occurrence of the various blood types in the United States, from most common to least common:

Type / Rh

Occurrence in the US

















(source: American Association of Blood Banks)

As you can see, Rh- is less common than Rh+.

For more information about blood type distribution on a global basis with lots of interesting maps, see Distribution of Blood Types


Adelaide spends much of Guys & Dolls demanding that Nathan Detroit get a license and a blood test -- to marry her, in other words.
(Photo of Frank Sinatra & Vivian Blaine as Nathan & Adelaide from

I had one more question about blood types. I thought that you used to be required to get a blood test before getting married so they could determine if you and your prospective partner had compatible Rh factors. If not, you might have children with birth defects. In fact, if I remember correctly, my fifth grade teacher taught us this. But I haven't heard people mention the blood test thing at all recently, so I wondered if doctors found a way around the Rh factor incompatibility.

It turns out that my idea about the Rh factor test was wrong. Blood tests used to be required to test, not for Rh factor, but for syphilis or rubella (a form of measles). The presence of either one of these diseases can lead to very serious birth defects, or they could be fatal to a fetus. The blood test would then be used to tell people whether they ought to go get vaccinated or quarantine themselves upon pregnancy.

Either my memory is faulty, or my fifth grade teacher didn't tell us about the syphilis part because it has to do with s-e-x.

Not many states require a blood test anymore because those tests now are done at pregnancy. A few states do still require a blood test, however, so if you're fixing to get married soon, check with your state marriage license office.

That said, Rh disease is possibility -- rare, but possible. If the mother is Rh- and the father is Rh+, the baby could also be Rh+, which would be incompatible with the mother's Rh- blood.

It's not as much of a concern now because doctors can give the mother an injection of a drug called Rhogam which removes the fetal Rh+ blood cells from the mother's Rh- blood stream before her body makes the antibodies. Or else it's possible to give the fetus a complete transfusion through the umbilical cord.

It's all pretty miraculous, isn't it?

Sources, Blood Groups, Blood Typing and Blood Transfusions
University of Utah, Genetic Science Learning Center, What are Blood Types?
Online Medical Dictionary, definition of antigens
CDC, National Immunization Program, Glossary, antigens
InteliHealth, Robert H. Shmerling, M.D., The Truth about Premarital Blood Testing, November 15, 2006
University of Pennsylvania Health System, Pregnancy Health Center, Blood Group (Rh) Incompatibility

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Apple #292: Baptism or Christening?

Recently I was talking to someone about a new baby getting baptized. The person I talked to said "christened." Then we both agreed we didn't know what the difference is, only that my family always said "baptized," while he and his family always said "christened."

So what is the difference?

  • In a baptism, a person is spiritually reborn as a new entrant in a particular religion.
  • The term "baptism" comes from a Greek word which essentially means "bath."
  • People of Christian faith use the term "baptism" for their ceremony of entry, but so do people of other faiths as well.

Beatrice, a.k.a. Trixie, getting baptized at a church in Oklahoma.
(Photo from Sean Gleeson's blog)

  • In a christening, a person is spiritually reborn as in a baptism, but the term used to be a little bit more specific.
  • The term "christening" comes from the concept that the person being baptized is being dedicated specifically to Christ or the Christian faith.
  • The term also comes from way back in the days of early Christendom and in the beginnings of the Catholic church and the idea that when you christen somebody, usually a baby, the parents are making that decision on behalf of the child.
  • So if an adult wants to join a particular Christian church, that person is generally said to be getting baptized rather than christened.
  • Christening also used to be a separate ceremony when the child was named, and that happened in addition to the baptism. Now, however, there really isn't a naming ceremony, just the baptism.

This boy is getting baptized at Carver Lake Park in Minnesota.
(Photo from the Woodbury Baptist Church)

  • Also, you can christen a ship or a church or other kinds of objects. In that kind of christening service, the ship or the church are dedicated to God's service.
      • You know how British ships are named H.M.S. something-or-other? The H.M.S. stands for His or Her Majesty's Service. Because the king or queen was regarded since King Henry VIII's time as divinely appointed, by dedicating a ship to the service of the king or queen, you are dedicating it also to the service of God. Hence, ships can be christened.
  • A lot of Catholics still prefer the term "christening" to "baptism," but some Catholics think the term got appropriated by the whole ship-christening thing, so they use "baptism" instead.

Vanessa is getting baptized at a church in Singapore.
(Photo from Vanessa Tan's blog)

  • It's also worth noting that baptism is the one ceremony or sacrament that's recognized and accepted by any and every Christian church, regardless of who did the baptizing and under what circumstances.
  • So, generally speaking, since there's no difference anymore in what happens whether you call it a "baptism" or a "christening," you can use either term depending on your personal preference, regardless of what sort of Christianity you practice.
  • And I'm glad of that. We could all do with fewer shibboleths.

Dallas-Fort Worth Wedding Exchange, Christening and Baptism
The Free Library by Farlex, What's the difference between a Baptism and a christening?
St John's in the City, Getting Baptised at St John's
Ask the Padre, Is there a difference between Baptism and Christening?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Military Needs to Know

Going through the stats of who's visited the Daily Apple lately, I discovered this:

(by the way, the entry they visited is this one.)

I think what this means is, I win.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Apple #291: Daily Apples in the News

Yesterday, I heard on NPR that the FBI had recently re-opened the cold case of D. B. Cooper, who hijacked an airplane in 1971 and got away without getting caught.

Immediately, my ears perked up, because I had done a Daily Apple about D. B. Cooper a while back.

For those of you who may not remember every single Daily Apple in as much detail as I do, you can check out the old entry, of course. But in sum, he was a guy in his 40s or so who, the night before Thanksgiving in 1971, took control of a Northwest Airlines plane on its way to Seattle, and demanded $200,000 or else he'd blow up the plane. The plane landed in Seattle, they gave him the money and some parachutes he'd also asked for, he let the passengers go, and then made the crew fly him to Mexico City. En route, he jumped out of the plane into a rainstorm. Nobody ever found him.

FBI and police sketches of D. B. Cooper. Except now, he'd look much older.
(Image from the FBI)

Many speculated that he died during the jump, but some people think he survived. He's kind of turned into a legendary figure. Now, though, the FBI has re-opened the case. They say he's no legend, just a mediocre guy in his 40s who couldn't think of any other way to take care of his family. But apparently, they also think he survived and that he has eluded them to this date.

[Edit: More recent news stories say the FBI are following up on a "credible" and "pretty interesting lead," but they won't give more details than that. 8/1/2011]

Original Daily Apple story about D.B. Cooper (scroll down)
NPR story with more details
FBI's official web page asking for help in solving the case

Having heard this news story, I wondered how many other Daily Apple topics have been in the news recently. So I thought I'd check in on a couple.


The first one that comes to mind is the fact that David Lee Roth is now, despite all Eddie Van Halen's assertions for years and years and years, touring again with Van Halen.

Faithful Daily Apple readers may recall that the original Daily Apple on David Lee Roth was prompted by the desire to answer one of my brother's favorite eternal questions: What do you think David Lee Roth is doing right now?

Well, now we know what David Lee Roth is doing with most of his time these days.

L to R: Alex, DLR who can't believe his luck, Eddie, & Wolfie (who looks a lot like his mom, Valerie)
(promo photo sourced from My San Antonio Blogs)

The band now includes Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie's son, who is playing bass instead of Michael Anthony. Eddie's on guitar, and Alex is on drums, and DLR is on vocals, of course. The tour started in December, and is scheduled to last until early April.

I picked one of the places they're playing at random -- New Orleans on February 8 -- and asked Ticketmaster to give me a best available ticket.

They offered me a seat in row 20 of a a lower-level section next to the stage, but at the very left corner of it. Apparently all the floor tickets are sold out at this venue. Price: $147.50 plus $15.50 in fees, or $163. For one person.

Cheapest available was $47.50 plus all fees for a total of $60.85. This is for an upper level seat in row 8, which isn't completely nosebleed, but it's close.

True-blue David Lee Roth fans (headquartered in Hell, Michigan) are loving the tour. Van Halen fans, however, have given the shows mixed reviews. Many people said that Diamond Dave missed lyrics, sang the same verse over and over, or otherwise screwed up. But others said the show rocked and they loved it.

First official announcement that the reunion tour would actually happen
Van Halen's official website
Original Daily Apple about David Lee Roth
David Lee Roth sighted on The Sopranos (scroll down)


Kate Walsh, a star on the TV series "Grey's Anatomy," recently got engaged to her boyfriend Alex Young. He proposed to her in a restaurant in San Francisco. Knowing how much she likes butterflies, he asked the chefs to form a tuna tartare in the shape of a butterfly. After it was served, he asked her to marry him.

Tuna tartare: an aphrodisiac for Kate Walsh?
(Photo from The Incredible Shrinking Whimsical)

While Walsh was quoted as saying she likes butterflies, the article didn't mention whether she likes to eat tuna tartare, regardless of its shape.

News of Kate Walsh's engagement
Original Daily Apple on tuna tartare


Brett Favre, seemingly eternal quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, has been in the news a lot this fall. Most recently, sportswriters for the Associated Press newswires voted on the NFL's Most Valuable Player. Tom Brady, quarterback for this year's undefeated and seemingly iron-clad New England Patriots, got every single vote for MVP except one. And that vote went to Brett Favre.

In December, he passed Dan Marino's record for most total passing yards in a career. Referees stopped the play once he'd completed the pass so they could give him the game ball. Right after the whistle blew, Favre asked what happened, had been a penalty?

(Photo from Greta Van Sustern's page)

His current NFL records:
  • Total passing yards (61,655)
  • Career TD passes (442)
  • Pass attempts (8,758)
  • Pass completions (5,377)
  • Wins as a starting quarterback (160 as of 12/16/07)
  • Consecutive starts as a quarterback (251 as of 12/16/07)

News about the MVP voting results

Favre breaks Marino's record
Favre's current and career stats
Original Daily Apple about Brett Favre
(I just realized that was my 4th ever post and Favre's jersey number is 4. I don't think I did that on purpose. But I might have.)


The Loch Ness Monster, who also seems to be eternally popular as well as immortal, is in the news again. This time it's because of a movie mainly for children called "The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep." The movie draws on the legend of the Loch Ness Monster, except, instead of discovering the monster alive and well in the lake, the boy protagonist finds an egg which hatches and grows into a water creature very like the Loch Ness Monster, whom he calls Crusoe.

Alex Etel, the 13 year-old child lead in The Water Horse, apparently hugs a Loch Ness Monster-lookalike. Except that's a computer generated image, and he's actually touching nothing.
(Photo from the Washington Post)

Review of The Water Horse
Original Daily Apple entry on the Loch Ness Monster


Finally, due to the enormous success of its video game system the Wii (pronounced whee), Nintendo has risen from the ashes like a phoenix. Just a few years ago, they were a near-dinosaur in the video game world compared to Sony and Microsoft. Now, Nintendo has the third largest market capitalization of all Japanese companies. In other words, they have sold boatloads of stock and people have bought it like crazy because they love the Wii. So the company is having enormous success right now.

Somebody boxing on a Wii projected on a big screen -- on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship.
(Photo from Siliconera)

Overview of Nintendo's current success
Original Daily Apple entry about Nintendo

There's no real rhyme or reason to how I picked these entries, or why I put them in the order that I did. I just picked a few topics, checked the news, and reported on what I found.

But the point is, even though your Apple Lady isn't always hip to the most current events all the time, your Daily Apple can still keep you in the know about the very latest.

When somebody brings up Tom Brady's MVP award, for example, you could maybe come back with some of Brett Favre's stats. Or when somebody says they saw "The Water Horse," you could say you saw the surgeon's photo and it's all bunk.

Or when you see some old guy carrying a briefcase with tattered twenty-dollar bills sticking out of it, you can say, "Hey, that's D. B. Cooper, and I recognize him because I read the Daily Apple!"

Or something like that.