Tag Archives: castoreum

Embedded: Twitter puts outage

Hide and seek. Did I scare you?

Earlier this week, Twitter went down. It went down hard. It was scary. I know because I was there. I now officially have the PTSD. At last, I’m finally somebody.

The duration of the outage was about 45 minutes. That’s approximately twice the amount of time Apollo 13 spent out of radio contact when it was behind the moon. I just got a double dose of what it must have felt like to be in Mission Control. And I’m a non-smoker!

It was the longest outage since Twitter’s IPO and the second crash in the last nine days.

The outage was described in the strongest possible terms as the “longest outage since the IPO.” What those two things have to do with each other I have absolutely no idea.

Some in the media took the opportunity to write quippish jokes about the mayhem. (Hint: It was too soon.) Jokes, I must say, that practically wrote themselves.

  • “Twitter Suffers Outage During Biz Stone’s Panel at SXSW” – I don’t know what a “Biz Stone” is but I bet it was pissed. Source: WSJ.
  • “Twitter Outage Takes Site Down for 45 Minutes, Users Stranded” – I bet a lot of them were forced to hitchhike. Source: Newsmax.com.
  • “Twitter goes down, chaos and productivity ensue” – What the fuck are you implying? Source: Washington Post.
  • “‘We Experienced Unexpected Complications’: The Language Of Twitter Outages” – Hey, that’s the hip new lingo. Source: Lifehacker Australia.
  • “Twitter Goes Down: Something is Technically Wrong” – You have a firm grasp of the obvious. Souce: The Next Web.
  • “Twitter Briefly Goes Down, Silencing Millions Of Horrible, Unnecessary Twitter Jokes” – That hurts, that really hurts. Source: Huffington Post.

Again, as your intrepid embedded reporter, I was there on the front lines. What follows are my eyewitness firsthand accounts of the action as it unfolded.
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Hyppo and Critter: Castoreum

This is part two in a series of Hyppo and Critter comics entitled The Pumpkin Pie series. For part one, click here.

Castoreum

befoodsmart.com says: Castoreum is a specific type of natural flavoring. This extract is made from secretions and glands near the anus of both male and female beavers. It has a very strong odor and bitter taste. Found in a variety of foods including: alcoholic beverages, baked goods, frozen dairy, chewing gum, candy, beverages, meat products, pudding, gelatin, ice cream, vanilla flavoring, raspberry flavored food.

Wikipedia says:

Castoreum is the exudate from the castor sacs of the mature North American Beaver (Castor canadensis) and the European Beaver (Castor fiber). Within the zoological realm, castoreum is the yellowish secretion of the castor sac in combination with the beaver’s urine, used during scent marking of territory. Both male and female beavers possess a pair of castor sacs and a pair of anal glands located in two cavities under the skin between the pelvis and the base of the tail. The castor sacs are not true glands (endocrine or exocrine) on a cellular level, hence references to these structures as preputial glands or castor glands are misnomers.

Today, it is used as a tincture in some perfumes and as a food additive.

Food use

In the United States, castoreum as a food additive is considered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be generally recognized as safe, often referenced simply as a “natural flavoring” in products’ lists of ingredients. While it can be used in both foods and beverages as a vanilla, raspberry and strawberry flavoring, the annual industry consumption is around 300 pounds.

Thanks

This year I’m thankful that some brave soul was adventurous enough to make the flavorful discovery of beaver anal glands. Not everyone would have thought, “Let’s try that in my mouth!”

You can all be thankful that I waited until after Thanksgiving to share my lastest discovery in the world of all things poop. You’re welcome!