Martin Z. Mollusk sees his shadow and predicts the arrival of summer a week early in Ocean City, NJ, on May 1, 2014 — indoors on the Ocean City Music Pier.Martin Z. Mollusk, Ocean City’s weather-predicting mascot, will attempt to see his shadow once again at 11 a.m. Thursday (May 7) on the beach beside the Ocean City Music Pier (between Eighth and Ninth streets).If the hermit crab does see his shadow, summer will come a week early to Ocean City, as local legend has it. And in an an amazing feat of meteorological chance, winking and squinting, Martin has seen his shadow in all but one of the past 40+ years. In a heavy fog last year, Martin’s handlers brought him inside the Music Pier and he saw his shadow under bright spotlights.The tongue-in-cheek event is an annual tradition that usually does mark the arrival of nicer early-season weather in Ocean City. The human forecast for Thursday: mostly cloudy with a high of 64 degrees.The Ceremony starts at 11 a.m. with a parade to the beach while the Ocean City High School Band plays “Pomp and Circumstance.”Celebrities in the procession include: Martin Z and Mollie Mollusk; Dr. Frankenstein and Nurse Perfect, who check Martin’s vital signs prior to his creep; and Shelley the Mermaid, aka Suzanne Muldowney who will sing “Some Enchanted Morning” to psyche Martin into effort.The World’s only Wind Chimes Band will entertain onlookers; Doug Jewell, the Pirate will provide security. The Ocean City Fish will squish. Miss Ocean City Kendall Coughlin, Junior Miss Ocean City Megan Keenan and Little Miss Ocean City Hope Aita will greet onlookers and pose for photos.Big Momma Llama of Bready Farms in Tuckahoe will shake her head if Martin sees his shadow. Preschoolers and children will receive a miniature, shell replica of Martin.
Savoury snacks, including meat pies and pastries, are the focus of a new consultation by the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Launched this week, it is the second of two consultations on the reduction of saturated fat and calories in foods.The first, which launched in July and closed in November, covered biscuits, cakes, sweet pastries and buns.Among the new recommendations is the reduction of the saturated fat content of pastry, used in pies and pastries by at least 10% by the end of 2012, compared to the highest level in the product during 2008. There is also a recommendation for businesses to develop their own internal targets to reduce the saturated fat content of the fillings of pies and pastries on a case-by-case basis.Both reductions should be accompanied by a calorie reduction unless a technical case can be made that it is not achievable, said the FSA.It is also consulting on recommendations to increase the promotion of reduced/low-fat options. “However, EU regulations will make it harder for companies to make nutrition claims from January 2010 – and may prevent them from rising to the FSA’s challenge on marketing,” commented Julian Hunt, director of communications, Food and Drink Federation. The FSA’s consultation closes on 9 March 2010. To download the document go to: tinyurl.com/yas35uf