It just occurred to me . . .

. . . that Hannibal Lecter cut his hand off needlessly at the end of Hannibal.

Note that he cut his hand off to escape the handcuff that Clarice slapped on him in the scene right after Hannibal fed Ray Liotta's character part of his own brain.

But didn't Hannibal free himself from handcuffs in the Silence of the Lambs, in seconds, while the deputies were bringing him dinner? And he did so under spartan conditions, where he had to find or smuggle an improvised handcuff key.

So back to Clarice's kitchen. If Clarice had a frigging meat cleaver suitable for severing a man's hand at the wrist, she probably had many other items lying around, as in within three steps of the cleaver, that would have gerry-rigged a handcuff key as easily as the ballpoint pen tube that he used in Silence.

Clarice was heavily doped and not likely to put up much of a fight to this improvisation---the handcuffing was all she could pull off without passing out.

I must conclude that the cleaving of his hand was a dramatic flourish, not a true necessity for a fiend as clever as Hannibal Lecter. I haven't read the book, so I don't know whether that even happened in the book, and the book controls.

Discuss. Submit your coursework in the Comments, in APA 6th edition format.


An exposure to 60Co

Still catching up on back issues of Liberty, which yields another QFTD, May '07 in fact:

. . . only about 1% of our meat and produce is irradiated. The FDA has dragged its feet, considering irradiation some kind of food additive. They allow irradiation of meat, but with a warning label about possible risks! No such label is required for untreated meat that is laden with microbes . . if Public Citizen, food activists, and the FDA had been around in Pasteur's time, we wouldn't have pasteurization today.
Gary Jason in Bug Out, Reflections

Jason's post was inspired by discovery of salmonella contaminating peanut butter.

Would irradiation have worked on eggs?

Contaminated food scares seem to be more common now than when I was a kid. I don't know whether it's true or just more noticeable. It it's true, I'd like to know whether it's because food processors (or regulators) are just more careless, or we're just producing so much more, or exchanging foods more widely across the planet, or perhaps the contaminating organisms are just tougher now and breaking through the formerly adequate measures that processors have deployed against them.

Regardless, a few more scares like this one and maybe more Americans will be open to a broad use of irradiation, and vigorous tracking of which foods, and handling methods, yield better safety.



The right to honestly acquired private property does not depend on people's deserving their property. People do not deserve their livers or good looks, either; yet they have a right to them.

Leland Yeager paraphrasing Tibor Machan in Liberty, July 2007; sorry, article itself not online