Christensen is pleased by the attention her starter is receiving. “It’s a family pet, if you will.” Indeed, sourdough starters do require steady attention to be kept alive. Until fairly recently, they were crucial if anyone wanted fresh bread, which is why de Smedt described people in the past as “slaves to their sourdough,” needing to feed it every few hours. Modern yeast extraction has eliminated that need, but has paid the price in flavor.
Meanwhile, Christensen laughs at the fact that her starter’s fame might eclipse her own accomplishments. She was the first female mayor of Whitehorse in 1975, Commissioner of Yukon after that, a Canadian senator, and a recipient of the Order of Canada in 1994.
James Harrison didn’t know why his blood contained a rare antibody. He just felt compelled to keep giving it.
Harrison continued donating for more than 60 years, and his plasma has been used to make millions of Anti-D injections, according to the Red Cross. Because about 17 percent of pregnant women in Australia require the Anti-D injections, the blood service estimates Harrison has helped 2.4 million babies in the country.
“Every ampul of Anti-D ever made in Australia has James in it,” Barlow told the Sydney Morning Herald. “He has saved millions of babies. I cry just thinking about it.”
Scientists still aren’t sure why Harrison’s body naturally produces the rare antibody but think it is related to the blood transfusions he received as a teenager. And through the decades, Harrison has brushed off excessive praise regarding his regular trips to the blood donation center from his home in Umina Beach, on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
Most Cubans have terrible access to the Internet — estimates suggest only 5-25% of the populace can regularly get online. The government made it a bit easier in recent years with paid wifi hotspots, but they require dough, and they’re super slow. So Cubans have instead, in the last decade, evolved a complex, massive sneakernet.