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SEXLESS OYSTERS AND SELF-TIPPING HATS by...

SEXLESS OYSTERS AND SELF-TIPPING HATS by Adam Woog (Sasquatch Books: $14.95, illustrated). Woog’s anecdotal, tongue-in-cheek history chronicles the inventors of the American Northwest and their inventions, successful and otherwise. Outdoorsman Eddie Bauer was the proprietor of a Seattle sporting-goods store when he invented the down-filled jacket, reportedly after discarding an overly heavy wool jacket on a fishing trip and nearly freezing to death. University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman created the prototype for the lightweight, waffle-soled running shoe by pouring urethane into his kitchen waffle iron. The oyster mentioned in the title is the triploid product of a genetic engineering program at the University of Washington: It has three sets of chromosomes in each cell instead of the usual two. The presence of the extra chromosomes inhibits the growth of the mollusk’s reproductive system, which accounts for only 10-25% of its body weight, rather than the usual 60-80%, resulting in a plumper, tastier oyster.


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