"Unhinged," Bird Flu, and Wilson Phillips

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Nov 18, 2005 7:55 AM

I'm heading over to The Heritage Foundation to see the talented Michelle Malkin speak about "Unhinged." I'll try to live-blog her comments if I can snag a wireless signal in the building, but I'm not sure if I'm not sure I can get one in the auditorium. If not, I'll update when I get back to the office.

In the meantime, a quiz for you.

Qin Chenghao: unassuming Chinese farmer or evil, evil price-gouger?

It seems that the star-shaped fruit Qin produces on his small farm in southern China contains one of the chemicals needed to make Tamiflu. In a world suddenly abuzz about bird flu, demand for Qin's small supply of star anise fruit has gone up considerably, as has the price it brings:

Qin's once-sleepy existence has given way to the life of an entrepreneur caught in a gold rush. The price of his crop has nearly tripled in the past four months, reaching about 80 cents per pound.

Tripled in the last four months, huh? Has he no feeling? No concern for the calamity that is upon us? Call in the executives of "Big Star Anise" for questioning immediately.

In other news, Michael Yon has great pictures and commentary (as usual) on a troop homecoming done up in style.

And, I heard my first official Christmas song of the season on the radio today, and it was a doozy. In perhaps the worst yuletide pop offering I've ever heard, Wilson Phillips sings:

I know your sleigh is full inside/ But won't you stop and give my baby a ride/ I'll be waiting by candle light this Christmas/ Ohhh

Ohhh, is right. And thank goodness for Google. Without it I might never have known who was responsible for this travesty.