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October 1998 Vol. 13, No. 10   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Flotsam & Jetsam

from the October, 1998 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Merged & Purged: Discover Diving has a new owner: the Petersen Companies, Inc., which publishes Skin Diver and a host of other special-interest mags. Petersen snapped up the assets of Watersport Publishing, which has published the bi-monthly Discover Diving for the past 17 years as well as Dive Report, a side publication for the dive industry. Petersen also acquired Watersport's Discover Diving Expositions, a dive show development group that has had shows in Atlanta, Dallas, and Santa Clara, California. Although no one is saying how much it was sold for, Watersport's founder, Ken Loyst, is to continue to operate and develop dive shows and publications for Petersen out of its San Diego offices.

Old Bubbles: Treasure hunters salvaging an 80-foot ketch sunk by Germans in 1916 were ecstatic after recovering more than 2000 bottles of 1907 Heidsieck champagne. As soon as the ketch hit the surface, the crew fastened wire capsules over the corks to keep them from popping out. French wine tasters proclaimed the champagne exceptional and ideally preserved by the cold, dark Baltic Sea. The 1906 Heidsieck Gout Americain champagne was deemed "excellent." Price? $3000 a bottle. Barrels marked "Cognac" and "Bisquit Dubouche & Co." were also raised, but the first few leaked a putrid-smelling yellowish liquid. Experts believe some of the cognac is salvageable and when rebottled will bring $8000 a bottle.

Mosquito Nuts: Have you heard about the latest malaria prophylaxis? It's the common mineral zinc, found in nuts, seafoods, and most multivitamin tabs, says Anuraj Shankar, an immunologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. Writing in the August issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, he says the trace mineral can have remarkable effects. Adding just a little zinc to the diet can greatly reduce cases of malaria, diarrhea, and even pneumonia by boosting the immune system. In a phone interview with Reuters, he said that "we are finding reductions in malaria of 35 percent or more." He said it can reduce the duration of a diarrhea attack by 20 to 30 percent and could stop up to 38 percent of cases from happening at all. Shankar said zinc is critical for the function of every cell in the immune system and is crucial to the function of T-cells, important to fighting off infection, and to the macrophages that gobble up invaders. Grains such as wheat and barley contain plenty of zinc, but they also contain phytic acid, which can prevent its absorption.

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