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Q&A: Irradiation can't be used on peanuts

Conan O’Brien takes over as host of The Tonight Show on June 1.

Associated Press (2002)

Conan O’Brien takes over as host of The Tonight Show on June 1.

Peanuts can't be irradiated

There has been some discussion about irradiating food to kill disease. What is irradiation, and can it be used on the peanut crop?

Many health experts agree that irradiation can help reduce food-borne hazards and keep harmful organisms out of the foods we buy. During irradiation, foods are exposed briefly to a radiant energy source such as gamma rays or electron beams within a shielded facility.

Irradiation is not a substitute for proper food manufacturing and handling procedures. But the process, especially when used to treat meat and poultry products, can kill harmful bacteria, greatly reducing potential hazards.

Peanuts aren't irradiated; because of their high fat and oil content, they tend to taste rancid after irradiation. But testing continues.

O'Brien joins 'Tonight' in June

When does Conan O'Brien officially take over Jay Leno's spot on The Tonight Show?

There are still a few weeks to go before O'Brien sits behind the desk on June 1. He joins a line of famous funny folks beginning with comedian Steve Allen in 1954.

The three people who spent the most time behind the desk are Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Leno. Paar was there for about five years; Carson, 30 (with lots of guest hosts); and Leno, 17.

O'Brien's old Late Night sidekick Andy Richter will also be a part of the new Tonight Show. Richter will be an announcer and participate in skits, but he won't perform a role similar to what Ed McMahon did for Johnny Carson.

Cutting down basketball nets

Why do winning basketball teams cut the net from the basket rim rather than simply unthreading it from the "hooks" holding it?

It's more ceremonious to cut — and some nets have net locks in place that prevent unthreading.

The tradition started in the Indiana high school league in the 1920s. Coach Everett Case, who coached four state championship teams in Indiana, took the tradition with him to North Carolina State University in 1946.

Cutting down the nets after winning a championship became Case's signature event. The ACC tradition eventually spread to winning teams everywhere.


• Last season was the second season for Stockard Channing to narrate episodes of the Meerkat Manor show on Animal Planet. The show has concluded its fourth season, and no new episodes are planned, according to Animal Planet officials.

• Dinah Washington's song Relax Max, which is featured on a DoubleTree Hotel commercial, is on a remastered and expanded reissue of her 1956 album The Swingin' Miss D. The song did not make the original album.

Q&A: Irradiation can't be used on peanuts 04/19/09 [Last modified: Sunday, April 19, 2009 4:30am]
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