Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I'm stunned

Bam! 'Emeril Live' is history

By Charlie McCollum
San Jose Mercury News

The Food Network confirmed today that after 10 seasons, "Emeril Live" - once the flagship of its prime-time schedule - will cease production of new episodes in mid-December.

The culinary cable channel says Chef Emeril Lagasse will continue to produce his other Food Network show, "Essence of Emeril." But the more elaborate "Emeril Live" - with its live audience and studio band - will tape its last episode on Dec. 11 at New York City's Chelsea Market. The show will live on in repeats (at 7 p.m. weekdays) for the foreseeable future.

There also appears to be some question on how long Lagasse will remain with the Food Network. His current five-year contract is up early next year and's 'FishBowlNY" is reporting that negotiations on a new deal have broken down in recent days.

I'm stunned, and I'm so sad. I love Emeril, and I love "Emeril Live." The band is so much fun to listen to, and Emeril is my favorite. We were even talking about going to NYC to visit our friend RaQuel, and while we were there, we wanted to go see a taping of the show! Even Ken has gotten to like watching the show sometimes. Awwww, man! I'm glad he'll still be doing "Essence of Emeril," at least for now, because I usually have the Food Network on when I have days off, and I like that show. Food Network had better try to keep him...the Food Network without Emeril? Perish the thought. That would be like cancelling "Iron Chef." Blasphemers!

Speaking of days off, I have one tomorrow. Ahhh. The usual day-off chores, but I don't think I ever have a bad day off! I was good, though, and brought home my ESBL stuff to review. This morning, Pat called me the "rock star" of the department because I did well on my test. Ha! That's the only way I'm ever going to be called a rock star, so thanks, Pat!

I wrote the other day about how I still find my job interesting after so many years because there's always something new to learn. One of the neatest things I've seen over the past few years is the development of Polymerase Chain Reaction testing for the commercial lab. It's some amazing stuff, and it's some of my favorite testing to do at the lab. Kary Mullis (A very interesting person, if you read his book...I would say he's definitely eccentric, almost a "mad scientist" type, but obviously brilliant.) won the Nobel prize for Chemistry for developing a way to make it work in a practical setting. There's some controversy about whether or not he "invented" PCR. Well, he didn't, not really. He built upon various pieces of research, including his own, but he was the one who could get it into workable form, rather than a time-consuming and esoteric test.

It's been a major breakthrough in providing excellent patient care. We can get results much faster, and we can detect even minute amounts of organism in a specimen, because PCR targets a particular section of the DNA strand and duplicates it over and over until there are millions of them, and then we run the detection portion. It's some amazing stuff. We're currently running PCR/Molecular assays for gonorrhea and Chlamydia, Group B Beta Strep, and our most recent addition is none other than "Super Bug!" (AKA MRSA) For MRSA, our cultures take 48 hours, but the PCR assay can be done in 3 hours or so. My lab rocks! Oh, and these are just the tests we do in Microbiology. In the rest of the lab, there are plenty of other Molecular assays done, including HIV, Hepatitis, Pertussis, Herpes...on and on. It's pretty cool, but the best thing is that it has a real impact on patient care, and it's always been gratifying to know that my coworkers and I do the best we can for our patients.

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