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News post – Catch-23 No. 1056 Quitting Sugar

I saw this article about an experiment where e. coli was able to start using carbon dioxide as a food source instead of sugar. Having one of these microbes write something about how great it was to quit sugar seemed like a natural progression.

My comic strip pokes fun at people that have quit sugar, but if you’ve managed to quit something like sugar in our world of highly-processed foods and mile-long ingredient lists, my hat is off to you.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1055 Dog Years

We used to calculate how old a dog was in human years by just counting seven years for each actual year, but this doesn’t account for a few factors. One is that dogs reach physically maturity much faster than a human does, and they stay at ‘middle age’ for much longer than the 7 year rule allows.

Enter this new formula, based on a logarithmic scale, that accounts for fast ageing in the first two years then flattens out from there.

This new formula, based on Labradors, still does not account for the big lifespan differences between breeds, but it’s a much better rule of thumb (if your thumb can reach a scientific calculator).

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1054 Nail file

Other than surrendering the whole car to the spider in question, everything else about the comic strip is based on fact. The nail file did temporarily become the property of the spider, but it was eventually returned to its’ rightful owner.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 268 Organic Lettuce (Remastered)

268-strip-colour

I was hoping to give you a brand new comic strip this week, but the time just was not available. What I have for you instead is an updated version of a comic strip I made 15 years ago. This comic strip was made back when the strip was black & white, and was drawn on paper and scanned into the computer. These days, the comic is drawn on a Surface in Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio).

I linked to this old comic strip when I posted last weeks’ strip, and I realised that the old Organic Lettuce strip was one of my favourites and seems to have stayed relevant.

In order to update the old strips like this one, the entire comic strip is redrawn and re-lettered, as I work in much higher resolution on the current comic strips.

Mat

 

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1053 Bagel’s Choice

I did a comic strip about organic vegetables a little while ago (OK, 15 years ago) – it’s still one of my favourite comic strips. I really should do a colour version. Sorry, getting off topic.

I saw a story in the week that organic vegetables are overall worse for climate change due to the extra land that is required to produce the same amount of food.

Originally, Bagel was going to have a big Sophie’s Choice moment, but going the other way ended up being funnier.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1052 Redacted

Last Monday, the newspapers of Australia protested the treatment of the media by the government by censoring their front pages.

Contrary to common opinion, Australia does not have laws or rights protecting free speech or free press – we assume that Australia has this because we consume so much American media. This means that whistleblowers and the journalists that work with them do so without much in the way of legal protection.

What’s difficult to swallow is the newspapers are hardly impartial and serve as the mouthpiece for either Rupert Murdoch (NewsCorp) or the Nine Entertainment Co. (formerly Fairfax Media). The newspapers took a short break from attacking immigrants and young people and denying climate change to do their front page protest, and people are hoping that censoring their front page becomes a regular occurrence.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1051 Counterpoint

The research I mentioned in last week’s comic strip did the rounds, and then I saw someone had written a response to it on Psychology Today. The response boiled down to ‘take everything with a grain of salt’, as some of the numbers could be taken out of context and that dogs bring both benefits and hazards (such as the aforementioned tripping and infections).

I figure that Jaffa would have seen this response and would have wanted to set the record straight. Well, not so much straight as bent Jaffa’s way.

Mat

 

 

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1050 You’re welcome

This is the study that Bagel is referring to – it has some very good longevity numbers for people recovering from a stroke or heart attack have a dog, but it was also found that those numbers are quite high for dog owners in general.

The factors they attribute to dog owners living longer include better mental wellbeing and the incidental daily exercise of walking and playing with your dog.

I didn’t see anything regarding cat owners, so that bit I made up. It made me laugh to think that a big medical study would also include some axis proving the stereotypical assumption that cat owners are weird.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1049 Rainbow bridge

We said goodbye to our cat, Lara, this week. She had nineteen good years (except the years where we got other cats, and the years we got dogs) and was in good health for almost the entire time. She went peacefully at home with a belly full of salmon, surrounded by love and pats.

Lara was the original inspiration for my cartoon cat Jaffa – Lara was very traditional cat. Pats could turn to biting then back to licking at a moments’ notice, she carried long grudges and was very affectionate (strictly on her own terms). I suspect Lara was 10% less cynical than Jaffa is.

Farewell, Lara. Thank you for being our cat.

Mat

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News post – Catch-23 No. 1048 Just peachy

If you’re going to try and blackmail a country by withholding foreign aid in order to dig up dirt on your political rivals, don’t make the call from some place where all the calls are monitored and transcribed.

Will this latest bit of dumbassery be enough to impeach Trump? Maybe. The Democrats have certainly taken their time up til now, which tells me they think this has legs given how quickly this event escalated to impeachment proceedings.

Mat