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Friday, May 27, 2016

Spelling and Grammar Checkers

     I saw a Facebook post the other day where you could download Grammerly that read: Sick of making grammatical and spelling mistakes? Perfect writing is a click away! There was also a download button, but I have an aversion to clicking on anything on Facebook.
     The question is, how good are available spelling and grammar checkers, really? Even if they aren't all THAT great, I wish more Facebook posters would type their stuff in Word and spell check it then copy and paste it into the post. Hastily typing something usually results in spelling and grammatical errors to be sure, but I am convinced many of my friends just can't spell or write proper English. That does NOT mean they are stupid or anything, but all the spelling and grammatical mistake make them LOOK that way. 
     Running spell check is very important, but it is not a foolproof means of making sure your documents are error free. It will let you know if there is a group of letters that doesn’t actually spell anything, but it won’t let you know if you have used the wrong word. So, it's a good idea to proofread your work yourself rather than rely completely on spell check. Also, if it is an important business document, it's a good idea to have someone else proofread it! Don’t take a chance on making a careless mistake just because you won’t take the time to proofread what you wrote.  It's easy to miss your own mistakes.
     I found a site that tested some of the "free" checkers with a block of text containing eight different errors and here is what they found. 

This one claims to be the "World’s Most Accurate Grammar Checker." It promises to identify over 150 text errors, offer synonym suggestions and to check for plagiarism. It's free to get your text checked, but the hook is you need to sign up for a seven day trial to see the details of the problem. You can pay $19.95 a month, $13.32 per month for a quarterly subscription or $7.95 per month for a yearly subscription...that's almost a hundred dollars for a year! In the test Grammarly found three spelling errors plus two other issues where it made suggestions for changing the wording of the text which actually was OK as written. Score: 3 out of 8 

It claims to be a do-it-all grammar and spellchecker. It can be downloaded and it's supposed to add proofreading functionality to Microsoft Word, Outlook, Powerpoint, Internet Explorer and Firefox. A small control bar appears whenever you’re actually using one of the applicationa. By clicking on the control bar it will check for any any spelling errors or grammatical errors and suggest corrections. It has a "hook", too. You can test a 600-character demo for free but the premium version costs $198, $132 for spelling and grammar correction only or you can subscribe for about $20 a month. The premium version also claims to have a text-to-speech function that enables you to hear your text read aloud in a digital voice. It also has a "learning" feature (you learn, not the software) that acts like a tutor to teach you not to make mistakes. Score: 3 out of 8 

Microsoft Word 
How did this one do? Score: 4 out of 8 

After The Deadline 
This one can be used with bbPress, Confluence and OpenOffice and linked to Firefox or Google Chrome browser and you can access it via a WordPress plugin. It also allows you to cut-and-paste the copy into a web page. That's with the download version. There is also an online version, but in the test, it only found one spelling error and didn’t spot any of the grammatical mistakes. When it was tested using the WordPress plugin it did better...it found all the misspelled words. Score: 4 out of 8 

A knowledgeable human using care is still the best, but while these tools can be useful for checking spelling and grammar thus preventing you from embarrassing yourself, Microsoft Word's (or, in my case, Libre Office's) built-in spell checker  provides better results for free.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Bowery Boys

Leo Gorcy
     The Bowery Boys were fictional New York City characters played by a repertory theater of New York-based actors, who were the subject of feature films released by Monogram Pictures from 1946 through 1958. 
     The Bowery Boys were successors of the "The East Side Kids," who had been the subject of films since 1940. The group originated as the "Dead End Kids", who originally appeared in the 1937 film "The Dead End Kids" originally appeared in the 1935 play Dead End. 
     When Samuel Goldwyn turned the play into a 1937 film, he recruited the original "kids" from the play, Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan, Gabriel Dell, Billy Halop, and Bernard Punsly, to appear in the same roles in the film. This led to the making of six other films that shared the collective title "The Dead End Kids." 
     In 1938, Universal launched its own tough-kid series, "Little Tough Guys." Gradually, Universal recruited most of the original Dead End Kids, so the series ultimately featured "The Dead End Kids and Little Tough Guys." Universal made twelve feature films, and three 12-chapter serials with the gang. 
Huntz Hall
     When Warner Brothers released the remaining Dead End Kids from their contracts in 1939, producer Sam Katzman at Monogram immediately hired several of them, including Jordan and the Gorcey brothers, Leo and David, as well as some of the Little Tough Guys to star in a new series using the team name "The East Side Kids." These films also introduced 'Sunshine' Sammy Morrison, one of the original members of the Our Gang comedy team, as part of the gang. As a result, the original members of the "Dead End Kids" were working at several studios, so these films were made at the same time that Universal was making "The Dead End Kids" and "Little Tough Guys" series. A total of 21 films were made, with the final one, Come Out Fighting, released in 1945. 
     In 1945, when East Side Kids producer Katzman refused to grant Leo Gorcey's request to double his weekly salary, Gorcey quit the series, which then ended immediately. Bobby Jordan then suggested a meeting with his agent, Jan Grippo. Grippo, Gorcey, and Hall formed Jan Grippo Productions, revamped the format, and rechristened the series, The Bowery Boys. 
     Gorcey, who owned 40 percent of the company, starred, produced, and contributed to the scripts. The new series followed a more established formula than the prior incarnations of the team, with the gang usually hanging out at Louie's Sweet Shop (at 3rd & Canal St.- actually, there is no intersection of Canal and 3rd Street. They parallel each other about six blocks apart.) until an adventure came along. The Bowery is a street and neighborhood in the southern portion of the New York City borough of Manhattan. 
     The original main characters were Terrence Aloysius "Slip" Mahoney (Leo Gorcey), Horace Debussy "Sach" Jones (Huntz Hall), Bobby (Bobby Jordan), Whitey (Billy Benedict), and Chuck (David Gorcey, sometimes billed as David Condon). "Sunshine" Sammy Morrison, "Scruno" in the East Side Kids films, declined the invitation to rejoin the gang, later stating in an interview that he "didn't like the setup", possibly referring to the idea of Gorcey and Hall being in the forefront, and being paid much more than the other members.
     When Bobby Jordan quit the series for the same reason, his character was replaced by Butch Williams, with former East Side Kids Bennie Bartlett and Buddy Gorman alternating in the role. The proprietor of the malt shop where they hung out was Louie Dumbrowski (Bernard Gorcey, Leo's and David's real-life father). 
     The members went through a number of changes over the course of the series and thirteen actors were members of the team at one time or another. Bobby Jordan, an original Dead End Kid, appeared in the first eight films, but left after being injured in an elevator accident. Jordan was also unhappy with the direction of the series, which favored Gorcey and Hall, and limited the participation of the other gang members. 
     Gabriel Dell also appeared in some of the movies. He was just out of the Navy with a French war-bride in tow. He played a utility character, appearing as a private investigator, policeman, songwriter, reporter, Nazi spy to suit the story. Because money was apparently an object of concern for Gorcy, Dell appearances limited the casting budget. 
     The early films flirted with humor-laced crime dramas, but gradually shifted to all-out comedy, growing more slapstick and fantasy-oriented over the next decade. After 1950, the series began to resemble Abbott and Costello comedies and the gang's dingy basement club-house was replaced by an ice cream parlor. They also adopted a more adult look, exchanging their sloppy, juvenile wardrobe for suits. 
     The team started to fade when Huntz Hall was elevated to co-star status to showcase his comedic skills and the stories began to focus entirely on Slip (the self-proclaimed leader of the bunch) and his sidekick, Sach, with the diminished three or four "boys" receding into the background with little to do. Time and again the plot revolved around Sach accidentally acquiring some strange power or ability (a psychic, champion wrestler, crooner, etc.) that he tries to exploit. In most of the films, the gang pursued get rich quick schemes or got mixed up with neighborhood thugs. 
     Gorcey and Hall became a comedy duo that increased the popularity of the series and in 1953 a new producer and director who had previously worked with The Three Stooges, transformed the series into profitable kiddie-matinee material. Gorcey and Hall re-enacted gags borrowed from the Stooges.  Slip was famous for his Brooklyn-accented malaprops like "I depreciate it!" ("I appreciate it!"), and "I regurgitate" ("I reiterate"). 
     In the 1940s, Abbott and Costello appeared in four "service comedies", one for each branch of the military which the Bowery Boys duplicated in the 1950s.The  Bowery Boys, also like Abbott and Costello before them, became detectives when they opened up a detective agency. They also released other copies of Abbott and Costello story lines. 
Louie Dumbrowski (Bernard Gorcy)
     After filming a movie in1955, Leo's father, Bernard Gorcey, was killed in an automobile accident, which left Leo devastated.   He started drinking heavily and it visibly affected his performance in his next film, which would be his last. During filming, he became violently unhinged, trashing the set and destroying every prop in sight. At a subsequent meeting Gorcey demanded an increase of the 40 percent interest he held in the series which was denied and after a heated exchange, he quit the series and stormed off the studio lot. 
     Gorcey was replaced by Stanley Clements, a former tough-teen actor who had been in a few East Side Kids movies and they were now billed as "Huntz Hall and The Bowery Boys."
     The series was renewed for the 1957 season and four more films were made. In all, there were 48 Bowery Boys films, making it the longest feature-film series of American origin in motion picture history and only Huntz Hall and David Gorcey had remained with the series since 1946. 
     The Bowery Boys and East Side Kids were repackaged and syndicated for television in the 1960s and 1970s. They became a staple for independent stations and were often used to fill up the early-afternoon time-slots on weekends. 
     In 1967, The Beatles paid homage by selecting pictures of Leo Gorcey and Huntz Hall for the cover of their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The Gorcey photo was removed, however, after Gorcey's agent demanded a $400 payment for use of his image. You Tube has a number of episodes you can watch HERE.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Warning to Parents About Kids and Imodium

     I've been somewhat baffled lately by advertisements on television about a condition I never knew existed...opioid induced constipation. It seems that if you need an opioid to manage your chronic pain you can get constipated. 
     According to the U.S. Pain Foundation nearly 8 million people, and maybe more, who are on opioids suffer from constipation and they often try to treat it with over-the-counter remedies. Also, not all doctors are on top of opioid constipation so the commercials are there to tell people how to treat it and that it's probably a good idea to educate their doctor on this scourge. That's supposedly necessary because both patients and doctors may fail to connect their pain medication with their constipation. 
     What are opioids? They are medications that relieve pain by reducing the intensity of pain signals reaching the brain and affect areas of the brain controlling emotion, which diminishes the effects of a painful stimulus. Medications that fall within this class include Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, codeine, and related drugs. 
     Hydrocodone products are the most commonly prescribed for a variety of painful conditions, including dental and injury-related pain. Morphine is often used before and after surgical procedures to alleviate severe pain. Codeine is often prescribed for mild pain. In addition, some of these drugs can be used to relieve coughs and severe diarrhea. 
     Opioids act by attaching to proteins called opioid receptors which are found in the brain, spinal cord, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs in the body. When these drugs attach to the receptors, they reduce the perception of pain. Opioids can also produce drowsiness, mental confusion, nausea, constipation, and can depress respiration. 
     Some people experience a euphoric response to opioid medications because these drugs also affect the brain regions involved in reward. Those who abuse opioids, OxyContin for example, may snort or inject it which increases their risk for serious medical complications, including overdose. Opioid addicts are turning to a common over-the-counter medication to address withdrawal symptoms with dangerous and even fatal consequences. 
     Imodium is great stuff. As advertised, Imodium products provide FAST relief of diarrhea, often is as little as one dose. But... 
     Imodium has seen a surge of popularity among opioid users for their withdrawal symptoms PLUS a lot of people, including kids, are using it as a recreational drug. 
     According to a recent CBS News report some people are taking dangerous doses of Imodium. The anti-diarrhea medication has growing appeal with substance abusers because it's cheap and readily available. 
     Loperamide, its main ingredient, causes intestinal slow-down, which helps stop diarrhea. But in very high doses, it can have other effects as well as some serious risks. A person has to take an enormous dose to get high and addicts pop anywhere from 50 to 300 pills per day.  According to the study, in large doses Imodium works the same way as heroin, morphine, and oxycodone. However, Imodium is a cheap alternative, as stores sell 400 tablets, which should control a LOT of diarrhea, for less than $10. 
     The National Poison Center data recorded a 71 percent increase in calls related to loperamide usage from 2011 to 2014. Many are kids who are not addicted to anything...they just know popping a ton of Imodium is a cheap high. Overdose symptoms may include dizziness, drowsiness, urinating less than usual, severe stomach cramps or bloating, and vomiting. Excessive doses of Imodium can lead to heart problems, kidney and liver failure, and even death.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Yard Moss: Nasty and Obstinate

     There are thousands of species of moss, a very simple plant that lacks the a leaf, shoot, root, and seed-forming systems. Unfortunately, at least if the stuff is growing in your lawn, moss is one of the hardiest living organisms on the planet! The stuff reproduces either sexually (spores) or asexually (breaking off into smaller pieces that divide and multiply).
    Regular grass cutting won't do anything to get rid of it. There are several underlying conditions that allows moss to come out ahead of regular lawn grasses. These conditions most frequently are some combination of: 

1) poorly drained, persistently wet soils
2) acidic soil conditions
3) medium to dense shade
4) repeated “scalping” of turf on uneven terrain
5) compacted soils 

The stuff thrives in these conditions! Lawn grass doesn't! 

     Another factor that helps moss is lack of sunlight because many species of moss prefer moist soil in the shaded areas. Removing trees though can be unacceptable, not to mention expensive. Tree pruning can help though. 
     If moss occurs in sunny spots, mower “scalp”(cutting the grass too short...don't do it!) may be the cause of the problem. Scalping severely weakens lawn grass and allows moss to thrive.
     Compacted soil is another cause and using a core aeration machine (either rent one or have a lawn care service do it) can also help. I can attest that physically removing moss with a rake is essentially impossible because you simply can't get rid of every single piece and since there are millions of spores already in the soil it will just continue to grow. The best thing to do is remove as much vegetation as possible then reseed. 
     Sprays, etc may help, but the stuff won't work on many kinds of moss and often when it does, it leaves very ugly yellow or brown spots when the moss dies. 
     One irritating thing is that if you don't fix the above 5 problems, the moss will come right back. You see, the moss is not killing the grass, but rather failure of the grass to thrive allows the moss to do so.  As one article stated, if the conditions are right for moss then significant renovation may be required to get the grass to thrive, but...there are no guarantees. 
     Moss growing in the yard is an indication of less than ideal conditions for growing grass. The potential causes behind the problem are: 

Low soil pH Lack of necessary nutrients in the soil 
Poor drainage 
Excessive shade 

So, just removing the moss is only the first step. THEN you have to some detective work to determine why the moss is growing to begin. If you can't determine the cause then the moss will simply return. It's recommended that you have the soil analyzed. Some local cooperative extensions will do it for you. so that they can test it for you. Let them know that you need to find out what the soil pH is and whether or not your soil contains the necessary nutrients for growing a healthy lawn. This way you can discover the root cause of the problem. 
     Your grass may need a more alkaline soil to compete effectively against moss. If this is the case, you will need to apply lime. If the ground lacks the nutrients, you will have to fertilize the lawn on a regular basis. 
     Bad drainage is another problem because if the lawn does not drain very well and retains excessive moisture, this condition is good for moss to grow. Soil with a high clay content is a red flag. Water tends to percolate slowly through overly clay soils and that can lead to puddling. Happily, there is a very simple test you can conduct to determine what type of soil you have. If you see standing water on your lawn after a rain then you have drainage issues. If clay is the source of the problem then something like humus has to added to the dirt. If the whole lawn is poorly drained then that may be a whole other issue! Good luck!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Paint Shop Pro V. 4.14

Created with PSP

     I have been using this FREE painting program for years and HIGHLY recommend it. Even though it was released way back in 1997, it's powerful yet simple to use and everything is intuitive so it won't take forever to learn how to draw and edit photos. 
    Unfortunately the sites where you can download it are full of all kinds of unwanted junk, so I am making it available for download from Dropbox. 

It's possible that you could get a message "Failed to update the system regristry. Please try using REGEDIT."   If you do get such a message, just click OK and the program will launch.

Free Diagram and Flowchart Program

If you need to put together diagrams and flowcharts this is an excellent program. Use it to create network diagrams, table plans, work or study plans, project outlines, and just about anything else. It's a 63 MB download and is free and malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust. You can also test-drive the yEd Graph Editor online! Just click the Launch yEd button to start the application right from your browser. Recommended. Visit SITE

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Submarine Crush Depth

     What happens when a submarine reaches its crush depth? There are actually two crush depths. The depth at which engineers have determined it wouldn't be safe to dive below and the depth at which it actually crushes. 
     WW2 submarines were rated at a maximum depth, but it was impossible to know for sure just how deep they could really go. Some went well below their rated crush depth and managed surface with or without damage; some, well, they never surfaced. 
     At the true crush depth the outer hull finally gives in along with the fuel and air tanks and then the inner hull. Submarines have a light  outer, non-watertight hull that provides a hydrodynamically efficient shape. Then there is the pressure hull which is the inner hull; it maintains the difference between outside and inside pressure.
    At crush depth the sub just crumples like a tin can. As a sub approaches its crush depth the crew would hear piping and fittings giving way then the ship’s hull creaking and groaning until it finally implodes, killing everyone in a matter of seconds. The water doesn't leak in, it pours in and the air inside either forms a bubble at either end of the boat or tremendous heat is generated as the water rushes in and the boat implodes killing everyone instantly. Debris, including body parts, and fuel oil float to the surface. Very terrifying.
     WW2 German U-boats generally had crush depths in the range of 660 to 920 feet. Modern nuclear attack submarines are estimated to have a test depth of 1,600 ft which means the estimated depth at which they would actually implode is about 2,400 ft. However, there are some specialized military subs that can go as deep as 4,200 ft. 
     Submarines had many openings in their hulls to accommodate torpedo tubes, diesel engine exhausts and air intakes, periscope, the prop shaft, etc. A submerged submarine is very delicately balanced as to buoyancy and so it takes very little flooding to overwhelm it. WW2 subs also had very little power available on their electric motors for running underwater. That meant that in the event of flooding they had very little possibility to use their hydroplanes to "fly" the submarine towards the surface. 
     The bathyscape Trieste, made it to 35,813 feet in the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, a few hundred miles east of the Philippines. The ocean is 36,200 ft. deep there. The water pressure at that depth is over 1000 atmospheres. The Trieste was 6.5 ft. in diameter with steel walls 5 inches. 

The USS Thresher
     At 9:18 am on April 10, 1963, sonar operators aboard the US Navy submarine rescue ship Skylark, which was accompanying the nuclear attack submarine Thresher, heard a sound like air rushing into an air tank when the Thresher went down in 8,400 ft. of water on its deep-dive trials southeast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, killing all 129 men aboard. 
     Five minutes prior to the implosion, Thresher had radioed that it was having minor problems then there were several fragmentary, garbled messages, followed by silence. Moments later the sounds of the Thresher breaking apart and imploding were heard.
     According to US military reviews of the accident, the most likely explanation is that a piping joint in a sea water system in the engine room gave way with the spray shorting out electronics that in turn forced an automatic shutdown of the nuclear reactor. 
     When the accident occurred, Thresher was near its maximum test depth which was classified, but probably around 1,300 ft. Normally, a submarine would be able to survive depths 20 to 35 percent greater than its maximum test depth, but without the reactor and any power, the Thresher could not stop itself from sinking.  Thresher Memorial

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Can You Eat a Platypus?

     Platypuses, also known as the duck-billed platypus, are weird and unique animals. So much so that the first scientists to examine a specimen believed they were victims of a hoax. 
     Looking at the animal is like looking at a combination of a duck (bill and webbed feet), a beaver (tail), and otter (body and fur). When the animal was first encountered by Europeans in 1798 a pelt and sketch were sent back to Great Britain by Captain John Hunter, the second Governor of New South Wales and British scientists' initially thought it was a hoax. Examining a dried specimen, George Shaw, who first described the platypus in the Naturalist's Miscellany in 1799, stated it was impossible not to entertain doubts as to its genuine nature. Another scientist, Robert Knox, believed it might have been produced by Asian taxidermist. Somebody had sewn a duck's beak onto the body of a beaver-like animal. Shaw even took a pair of scissors to the dried skin to check for stitches. Early settlers called it by many names, such as "watermole", "duckbill", and "duckmole".  
     Until the early 20th century, it was hunted for its fur, but it is now protected. Captive breeding programs have had only limited success and in the wild the platypus is vulnerable to the effects of pollution. 
     Platypuses are unique because males are venomous. They have sharp stingers on the heels of their rear feet and can use them to deliver a strong toxic blow. The venom (most is secreted during mating season) is not life threatening to humans, but it is powerful enough to kill smaller animals such as dogs. The pain is so excruciating that the victim may be incapacitated. Swelling rapidly develops around the wound and gradually spreads throughout the affected limb. A byproduct of this is the development of hyperalgesia which is a heightened sensitivity to pain that persists for days or even months. 
     While the venom is used against predators if threatened (the platypus would actually rather run than fight), it is primarily used against other male platypuses during mating season. They fight to show dominance and scare away potential mating rivals. They have been heard to emit a low growl when disturbed and a range of other sounds have been reported in captive specimens.
     They are indigenous to freshwater rivers and lakes in eastern Australia and Tasmania and are roughly the size of a house cat.  They are covered in thick, dark brown hair over most their bodies. The thick hair is waterproof and helps keep the platypus keep warm and dry when in the water, where it spends most of its time. 
     Platypuses hunt underwater where they swim by paddling with their front webbed feet and steering with their hind feet and beaver-like tail. Folds of skin cover their eyes and ears to prevent water from entering and the nostrils close with a watertight seal. They can remain submerged for a minute or two and employ their sensitive bill to find food. The platypus needs to eat about 20 percent of its own weight each day which requires it to spend an average of 12 hours daily looking for food. 
     Bottom feeders, they scoop up insects, larvae, shellfish, and worms in their bill along with bits of gravel and mud and all this material is stored in cheek pouches. At the surface it's all mashed for consumption. Like the rest of the animal, their bills are unique, containing both electrical and pressure receptors. The platypus can determine the direction of an electric source, perhaps by comparing differences in signal strength across the electro-receptors. This would explain the characteristic side-to-side motion of the animal's head while hunting. The platypus uses the difference between arrival times of the signals to sense distance. When it digs with its bill, its electro-receptors detect tiny electric currents generated by muscular contractions of its prey, enabling it to distinguish between animate and inanimate objects which also stimulate its mechano-receptors.
     The babies have a few teeth which they lose before or just after leaving the burrow and the develop pads in their place. These pads are used to crush and grind their food with help of small stones they have picked up along with their food. As one would expect, the platypus jaw is constructed differently from that of other mammals and the opening muscle is different. 
     The platypus has extra bones in the shoulder area which is not found in other mammals and their bones are extra dense which helps to provide ballast in the water. On land they walk like an alligator because their legs are on the sides of the body, rather than underneath. This causes it to knuckle-walk on its front feet. The nails and feet are also handy when they construct their burrows at the water's edge.
     Platypuses are also unique in that they are only one of two mammals that lays eggs. Bet you don't know what the other one is. It's the echidna, also known as the spiny anteater.
     Females seal themselves inside a burrow chamber to lay their lizard-like eggs, usually one or two, and keeps them warm by holding them between her body and her tail. The eggs hatch in about ten days and the babies are the size of Lima beans and totally helpless. Females nurse their young for three to four months until the babies can swim on their own. The males have nothing to do with the eggs or the blind and hairless newborns. 
     As you might expect, it also has eyes that are different. They are similar to those of Pacific hagfish or Northern Hemisphere lampreys. They also contain double cones, which most mammals do not have. Its eyes are small and not used under water. In some ways the eyes are similar to those of an otter and sea-lions. They have binocular vision, but poor visual acuity Studies of their eyes indicate that they are adapted to an aquatic and nocturnal lifestyle although they are also active during the day, particularly when the sky is overcast. 
     In captivity, platypuses have survived up to 17 years. Natural predators include snakes, water rats, goannas, hawks, owls, and eagles and crocodiles. 
     I know you're dying to know if they are edible!
     There are some foods that are banned in most restaurants either because they come from highly poisonous animals or it must be cooked exactly as specified if you want to avoid killing yourself. Of course this doesn’t some people from playing Russian Roulette. 
     For example, in certain Asian countries the Puffer Fish as an exquisite delicacy. Their meat is perfectly edible because the poison is concentrated in the eyes, skin and the internal organs. The problem is, one wrong move by the chef and you'll be in paralytic coma that will kill you within a few minutes. It only takes a few milligrams (one drop of water is about 50 milligrams) of their poison to kill a full grown man. The fish is so poisonous that in order to be allowed to prepare it in Japan you have to train for two to three years and then pass a test. What's the test? You have to eat the meat yourself. 
     Australia has a lot of weird animals, some of which are edible and some are not. They exported kangaroo meat as early as 1959, but it was not legalized for human consumption in most Australian states until 1993. I am told most Australian supermarkets carry various cuts of kangaroo – fillets, steaks, minced meat and sausages. So, it's quite edible. 
     Koala bears look cuddly and adorable, but they have razor-sharp claws and are highly unsociable animals. They are listed as vulnerable in the Australian Endangered Species List so you are not allowed to eat them. It is illegal to keep a Koala as a pet anywhere in the world. 
     Emus are farmed for their meat, oil and leather. Their meat is low in fat and high in protein and as such it's as a healthy alternative to beef. It's similar to beef, but more gamey.
     Wombats are also on the protected list and it is illegal to kill them.  Some species of wombat are even on the endangered list. 
     Quokka. These adorable macropods are much like a small kangaroo. It is illegal to even touch a quokka so they are not used as food. 
     The Kookaburra is a carnivorous bird known for eating their young. They are crafty birds, hard to catch and they are not eaten. 
     A dingo is a wild dog and is classified as a subspecies of the grey wolf and are listed as vulnerable to extinction due to interbreeding with domestic dogs. Dog meat is not generally considered edible, so nobody eats dingos. 
    That brings us to the Echidna (not edible) mentioned previously and platypuses. The platypus is poisonous so it's not edible. What about the eggs? They are only 11mm in diameter (less than half an inch) so it would take a lot of them to make a meal, but I was unable to find a source that even mentioned platypus eggs as a source of food for humans.