austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

We stand on guard for thee

The United States's Food and Drug Administration has got itself an anthem, according to Merle Kessler's blog. (He's the person who performs Ian Shoales.) Apparently, the FDA wasn't being beaten up enough by the popular agencies at recess.

I can't guess what the tune is like, although the lyrics are better than I suppose they had the need to be. I'd imagine that an agency anthem would be to a state anthem what a state anthem is to a national anthem, drained of a few magnitudes of dignity and poetry, and while ``for food, vaccines, drugs, devices, blood and more/ they strove to see these goods effective, safe, and pure'' hasn't got the punch of that bit about ``foul footsteps' pollution'' it is bringing attention to what the agency's point is supposed to be.

All this reminds me that I haven't seen Oscar the Food Safety Otter -- mascot of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore -- lately. It is National Food Safety Month, with the theme, ``Wash And Keep Clean''. Oh, hang on. Oscar is appearing at supermarkets and libraries. He's scheduled to be at the West Mall, which has a supermarket and a library, Sunday. I'll see if they have any otter anthems.

In mass transit news, the North-East Line had what I believe is its first train breakdown. A traction cable came loose on a train just outside of Outram Park, which is one of the interchanges, shortly before 1 pm. Passengers were evacuated in about twenty minutes, but the southwestern end of the North-East Line was closed, and stayed closed the rest of the day, the longest service shutdown since a train accident in 1993. Alternate bus service is provided for this end. In a coincidental bit of news (they had to announce before a 1 August deadline), the SMRT corporation -- which runs the North-South and the East-West lines, but not the North-East Line -- announced it will apply for fare increases. I'd imagine they're upset that SBS Transit -- which runs the North-East Line -- made sure the mass transit system would be such a big story tonight, though it did mean most of the attention was not on the fares.

Trivia: England banned the importing of cotton in 1700. Source: Big Cotton, Stephen Yafa.

Currently Reading: Disenchanted Night: The Industrialization of Light in the Nineteen Century, Wolfgang Schivelbusch. And with a title like that, you'd never suppose that it's a breezy and fascinating read.

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