Monday, February 28, 2011

A couple of follow-ups

There have been further developments on some of the stories I've covered in the past few days.

First, the London store offering ice-cream made with human breast milk has been stymied by the authorities. The Daily Mail reports:

A restaurant which put breast milk ice cream on sale have had their supplies seized by council officials amid fears it is unsafe.

The Baby Gaga ice cream will now undergo tests to see if it is safe for adult consumption.

Viruses, including hepatitis, can be passed on through breast milk.

The Icecreamists, in Covent Garden, London, said the milk had been screened in line with blood donor requirements.

It was pasteurized and churned together with vanilla pods and lemon zest. The dish comes in a martini glass and sells for £14 each.

'As far as we are aware there is no law prohibiting a business from selling breast milk ice cream,' Matt O'Connor, founder of The Icecreamists, said in a statement.

. . .

A spokesman for Westminster City Council said it was responding to two complaints from the public and awaiting guidance from the Food Standards Agency.

He added that the restaurant were 'fully co-operating' with the investigation.

There's more at the link. Trust the bureaucrats to put a spoke in the wheel! It reminds me of the lingerie store in San Antonio, Texas, which was forced to get a food permit in order to sell edible underwear - not to mention the anonymous inquirer who wanted to know whether edible underwear was kosher!

Then, last night I posted about the presumed loss of the yacht Berserk off Antarctica. I'd assumed that her skipper, Jarle Andhøy, had been aboard her; but it seems he and one other member of her crew had landed a few days before, and were trying to reach the South Pole on quad bikes. Global News reports:

Two Norwegian adventurers Monday said they held slim hopes of finding the three other members of their party alive, after their yacht went missing in a fierce Antarctic storm.

Jarle Andhoy and Samuel Massie had been journeying by quad bike across Antarctica on their way to the South Pole when the tempest struck the 48-foot (14-metre) sailboat, but abandoned the quest on hearing the boat was missing.

Andhoy said his concern now was to contact the families of the three missing men - Norwegians Tom Gisle Bellika, 36, and Robert Skaanes, 34, and and 32-year-old Leonard Banks, a dual South African and British citizen.

"There's nothing to prove the boat is lost but I am going to be very honest with the family and realistic," he told reporters after being airlifted to the quake-hit New Zealand city of Christchurch on a U.S. flight.

Massie, 18, said he hoped the steel-hulled Berserk was "sailing somewhere in South America without an engine" but acknowledged this was "the darkest time".

"It's been really traumatic. I'm here and not my crew," he said.

"I've been living with them now for the last seven months. When you live with somebody for that length of time in a ship a few metres big you really get to know them. They get like family, you know. I just lost three family members."

New Zealand officials hold out little hope of finding any survivors from the Berserk, which has not been heard from since it was hit by a ferocious storm in the Ross Sea off Antarctica on February 22. Sea and air searches have only found the boat's damaged and ice-encrusted liferaft.

Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Lou Sanson said the storm had been described as the biggest to hit the area in 20 years, packing winds of up to 180 kilometres an hour.

"Obviously they sustained damage," he told Radio New Zealand. "I just don't think there is any hope."

The Berserk had arrived on its reportedly unauthorised mission in Antarctica on February 11, and had left the two Norwegian explorers near the New Zealand and U.S. bases to begin a quad bike journey to the South Pole.

Sanson said the issue of the safety of the expedition had been raised.

"A number of both U.S. (officials) and ourselves had said . . . at this time of year we close the bases for a very good reason - because the temperatures are plummeting," he said.

"It's minus 20 (C, minus four F) there today, on the polar plateau it's minus 34 and (with a) wind chill of up to minus 60. And these guys had a 1,600 kilometre quad bike trip to the South Pole at one of the coldest times of the year and when we do get these big storms."

Andhoy, 34, defended the mission, which was to mark the centenary of fellow Norwegian Roald Amundsen becoming the first explorer to reach the South Pole on December 14, 1911.

"I think we did everything as good as we could. We prepared 110 per cent," he said. "The place where this incident happened was a very easy going place to sail, it's near a sound, near land, safe anchorage . . .

"This ending is very, very surprising. There's no logic to it."

Again, more at the link.

I don't buy Mr. Andhøy's protestations that he/they 'did everything as good as we could'. As I mentioned in my earlier article, he's known as someone who takes unnecessary chances, and scorns official warnings and cautions. I'm afraid I lay the presumed deaths of his three crewmates to Mr. Andhøy's charge.


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