Can you get napoleons anywhere in the metro-east? I'm particularly interested in those and similar traditional European fine pastries in the O'Fallon area. -- Don Nordenholt
You probably won't care if your diet meets its Waterloo when you visit Brevan's Patisserie in Edwardsville.
Since January, Dan and Amy Maddox have been turning out all sorts of mouth-watering treats, including Red Noisettes, Strawberry Pizzazzes and, on occasion, your beloved napoleons.
But don't let that "on occasion" scare you. Amy tells me if you call in advance, they could whip up a batch that will be ready when you arrive. You might also ask them about any other sweet dreams you have in mind.
The new bakery, named for the couple's sons, Brendan and Evan, is at 1009 Century Drive in the University Point Shopping Center off Illinois 157. Don was a pastry chef in the hotel industry for years before he opened his own place.
Call them at 618-307-5772 -- or go to brevanspatisserie.com and try not to drool on your keyboard. If that's too far, you might call other small, independent bakeries around the area (e.g., Wood Bakery in O'Fallon) to see if they could might satisfy your highly developed sweet tooth.
Someone said she heard somewhere that people could get skin cancer even if they use sunscreen all the time. Is this another email hoax going around? -- Victoria Joyce, of Belleville
What, I've been slathering on all that goopy stuff for years and I still may get burned in the end?
Sadly, it may be true. New research from Manchester University and England's Institute of Cancer Research suggests that even sunscreens with an SPF as high as 50 cannot completely stop ultraviolet radiation from doing its dirty work.
They say while sunscreen offered some protection in mice, harmful rays still were able to penetrate and cause the deadly malignant melanoma. In particular, the UV light damaged the p53 gene, which normally keeps sunlight from damaging DNA. Without the p53 protection, skin cancer can start relatively quickly.
"UV light targets the very genes protecting us from its own damaging effects, showing how dangerous this cancer-causing agent is," said Richard Marais, the study author. "Very importantly, this study provides proof that sunscreen does not offer complete protection from the damaging effects of UV light."
But don't go tossing all that Coppertone and Banana Boat, either. Experts still recommend using the stuff, because protected mice in the study still developed fewer tumors than those unprotected. Just remember to wear hats and cover up with loose-fitting clothing when you can and stay out of the sun at peak times.
"People tend to think they're invincible once they've put (sunscreen) on and end up spending longer out in the sun, increasing their overall exposure to UV rays," said Dr. Julie Sharp, of the English research institute.
Where can I take my burned-out fluorescent tubes to recycle? Home Depot no longer accepts them. -- S.M., of Belleville
Batteries Plus Bulbs in Fairview Heights is still willing to light up your life -- for a small recycling fee.
A manager there tells me they'll take your bad 4-foot tubes for 48 cents each and your 8-footers for 74 cents, which I think is a small price to pay for keeping them out of landfills. One final tip: Please do not tape them together. Instead, use a clear plastic wrap (e.g., Saran) to keep them from breaking if you must.
The store is at 513 Lincoln Highway, east of St. Clair Square. Call 618-622-0035 for additional information. Home Depot, by the way, still will accept those new corkscrew-shaped CFL bulbs.
In reference to your recent grammar discussions, my very huge pet peeve is the use of "got." I'm really sure my Eastern upbringing is the basis for almost never, ever using that word!! I'm driven to distraction to hear television news and weather reports repeatedly using it. Will the dictionary people ever eliminate it? -- E.C., of O'Fallon
I got your drift, but it's so pervasive in the everyday vernacular that not even the label of "colloquial" in most uses can steer people away.
My neighbor got arrested. "I Got Rhythm." "Peggy Sue Got Married." Once it leaves the mouth or lands on the printed page, some people perhaps realize how dreadful it sounds. But I guess when I'm trying to avoid an awkward pause to search for more appropriate phrasing, I'm as guilty as the next guy at falling back on it to keep the conversation going.
I've got to work on that.
How did the magnolia acquire its name?
Answer to Saturday's trivia: O'Fallon native William Beedle -- better known to movie fans as William Holden -- wound up in two memorable "Bridge" movies during a film career that spanned five decades. In 1954, he played Harry Brubaker, an attorney and Naval Reserve officer who is called back to active duty during the Korean War in "The Bridges at Toko-Ri." Three years later, he slipped into a Navy uniform again as Shears in one of the best films ever made -- "The Bridge on the River Kwai."
Send your questions to Roger Schlueter, Belleville News-Democrat, 120 S. Illinois St., P.O. Box 427, Belleville, IL 62222-0427 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 618-239-2465.