There may be something going on in the Chinese buffet restaurant industry in my corner of New Jersey (I'm nowhere near any corners). I mentioned the two restaurants nearest me closed just before the Lunar New Year for renovations. The second one has reopened and it's quite renovated. It's no longer a Chinese restaurant: it's an International Fish Buffet. I was considering whether to try it out, with the problem being characteristically me. The thing is, while I generally like the taste of fish, it's kind of a pain to eat. All those bones, you know, in most fish models. You can't eat while reading; you have to keep turning attention to the fish to make sure you aren't eating any critical bones. I almost tried it anyway, but noticed the price was about double what it had been for the Chinese buffet. That was a touch high for me to try out a place I probably wouldn't like.
The buffet restaurant nearest my parents did something different: it appears to have gone out of business. On the front door there's a sign warning that inside is some manner of dish washing machine (I'd have written down what it was, but I was there in the middle of a rainstorm, and I didn't think I could get my notepad without soaking it), and giving a number to call should anyone attempt to remove it. I'm sure that the sticker will deter anyone who otherwise steals automatic dish-washing machinery from closed Chinese buffet restaurants. There was also a note written on a piece of spiral notebook binding newspaper and stuffed in the door frame, but I didn't read it, lest I invade the privacy of someone or other.
So on top of the bee colony collapse now we've got a collapse of the Chinese buffet restaurant industry in a certain section of New Jersey. There's all sorts of things to worry about these days.
Trivia: ``Chinese-restaurant syndrome'', which started concerns about monosodium glutamate in food, was coined in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine by American physician Dr Ho Man Kwok in 1968. He'd noticed a headache, tightness in his chest and jaw, and a burning sensation in the back of his neck a short time after eating in a Chinese restaurant. Source: Radar, Hula Hoops, and Playful Pigs, Joe Schwarcz.
Currently Reading: Energy Forms: Allegory and Science in the Era of Classical Thermodynamics, Bruce Clarke.