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The Royal Disease

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During the winter of 1884, Queen Victoria's youngest son, Prince Leopold, was convalescing in France. While there, he slipped and fell and couldn't stop bleeding. Within a few hours, he died. Prince Leopold was the first monarch known to suffer from hemophilia—a blood disorder that causes excessive bleeding. It appears Victoria was responsible for the spread of the "royal disease" among monarchs across Europe (her relatives in Russia, Spain, France and Germany all had the disease).


There are several versions of the disease, but no one knew what type Victoria carried and this strain is now extinct. Evgeny Rogaev from the University of Massachusetts was curious about Victoria—she is particularly interesting because none of her ancestors carried the gene, and scientists believed the Queen suffered from a spontaneous mutation. Using the remains of the Romanov family (Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra's children are Victoria's great grandchildren), researchers examined DNA to learn more.

Publishing the results in the journal Science, Rogaev notes that Victoria and her descendants suffered from a rare and severe form of hemophilia B, or Christmas disease. Using multiplex target amplification and parallel sequencing, Rogaev and his colleagues noticed a mutation on the F9 gene on the X chromosome, which controls the blood clotting agent, Factor IX, and can alter RNA splicing. This mutation matches those found in hemophilia B. Women generally only carry the mutation on one of their X chromosomes, meaning they rarely suffer from the disease and most often pass it on to their male descendants. Those male descendants do suffer from the disease, because it expresses itself on their only X chromosome.

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Little Baby's Ice Cream
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Food
Pizza and Cricket Cake Are Just Some of the Odd Flavors You'll Find at This Philadelphia Ice Cream Shop
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Little Baby's Ice Cream

Ice cream flavors can get pretty out-there, thanks to the growing number of creative scoop shops willing to take risks and broaden their customers’ horizons beyond chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Intrepid foodies can cool off with frozen treats that taste like horseradish, foie gras, and avocado, while Philadelphia's Little Baby’s Ice Cream is pushing the boundaries of taste with chilly offerings like everything bagel, Maryland BBQ, ranch, and cricket cake.

Cricket-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

Everything Bagel-flavored ice cream, created by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

As Lonely Planet News reports, Little Baby’s Ice Cream launched its first signature “oddball” ice cream—Earl Grey sriracha—in 2011. Since then, its rotating menu has only gotten quirkier. In addition to the aforementioned flavors, customers who swing by Little Baby’s this summer can even try pizza ice cream.

The store created the savory flavor in 2011, to celebrate neighborhood eatery Pizza Brain’s inclusion into Guinness World Records for its vast collection of pizza memorabilia. The savory, Italian-esque snack is made from ingredients like tomato, basil, oregano, salt, and garlic—and yes, it actually tastes like pizza, Little Baby’s co-owner Pete Angevine told Lonely Planet News.

Pizza-flavored ice cream, made by Philadelphia-based Little Baby's Ice Cream
Little Baby's Ice Cream

“Frequently, folks will see it on the menu and be incredulous, then be convinced to taste it, giggle, talk about how surprised they are that it really tastes just like pizza … and then order something else,” Angevine said. “That’s just fine. Just as often though, they’ll end up getting a pizza milkshake!”

Little Baby’s flagship location is in Philadelphia's East Kensington neighborhood, but customers can also sample their unconventional goods at additional outposts in West Philadelphia, Baltimore, and a pop-up stand in Washington, D.C.’s Union Market. Just make sure to bring along a sense of adventure, and to leave your preconceived notions of what ice cream should taste like at home.

[h/t Lonely Planet]

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Warby Parker
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Space
Warby Parker Is Giving Away Free Eclipse Glasses in August
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Warby Parker

When this year’s rare “all-American” total solar eclipse comes around on August 21, you’ll want to be prepared. Whether you’re chasing the eclipse to Kentucky or viewing it from your backyard, you’ll need a way to watch it safely. That means an eclipse filter over your telescope, or specially designed eclipse glasses.

For the latter, you can just show up at your nearest Warby Parker, and their eye experts will hand over a pair of eclipse glasses. The stores are giving out the free eye protectors throughout August. The company’s Nashville store is also having an eclipse party to view the celestial event on the day-of.

Get your glasses early, because you don’t want to miss out on this eclipse, which will cross the continental U.S. from Oregon to South Carolina. There are only so many total solar eclipses you’ll get to see in your lifetime, after all.

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