Symmetry and Mercury

MC Echer pattern
Yesterday, one of my favorite radio shows, Studio 360, was themed “Symmetry”. Symmetry is the little bit of mathematician in all of us. And since there is probably more mathematician in me than in most I really enjoyed the show, what part of it I was able to catch. As I write this you can only find full info on the page for the current show but soon I expect the page will move to a place in the archive.

Speaking of radio shows. It was a funny coincidence that just moments before Living On Earth came on I was talking to Latika about canned tuna and its dangers, if any. The headlining story on Living on Earth? Mercury in Fish. It is a interesting and subtle issue. It turns out that some fish, light canned tuna, which the goverment specifically recommends for people at particular risk of mecury poisoning (pregnant woman and young children, mostly) can frequently contain high mecury fish. Also, it is surprising how little mecury testing is done our our food supply. As few as a handful of fish of a particular species have been tested in a decade of fishing. In some cases no testing has been done at all and when tested it was found the fish clearly didn’t satisfy FDA requirements. But, on the other hand, fish is seemingly the best form of meat you can be eating with all those healthy omega-3 fatty acids, mmmm mmm good! Plus, there are large safety factors built into the FDA recommendations and a reasonably healthy fish-devouring Japanese population to point to. So, where do we a draw a line and start worrying? Tricky. I know I will continue eating as much fish as I can, particularly that most prominently from my Northwest heartage: wild Alaskan salmon.


  1. Mom said,

    February 4, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

    You need to update. I know you’re busy BUT

  2. Jeremy said,

    February 9, 2006 @ 8:05 pm


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