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According to the U.K. Telegraph, a Japanese scientist, Professor Akira Iritani of Kyoto University, claims he has a reasonable chance of cloning the woolly mammoth, a species that became extinct more than 5,000 years ago.

He intends on using a technique from 2008, in which a mouse was cloned from mouse cells which had been frozen for sixteen years.  He expects to use mammoth tissue remnants found in Siberia’s permafrost.  If he can find a working sample of at least three square centimeters, he’ll insert the nuclei of the frozen mammoth cells into the eggs cells of an African elephant.  Then, following a 600 day gestation period, bingo!  He’ll have a woolly mammoth!

Of course, what he’ll do with it then, is anybody’s guess, since it will be 13.1 feet tall and weigh nearly 8 tons.  I know some people have trouble with the idea of cloning, but I’ve always found the concept fascinating.  If Dr. Iritani is successful, he’ll be giving us a real live glimpse of a piece of history we could have never hoped to see with our own eyes.  If a mammoth is possible, could dinosaurs be far behind?  Jurassic Park, anyone?  Woo-hoo!

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On Monday, a paper out of St. Louis reported that mail was found scattered along 65 miles of St. Louis area interstate highways after falling out of a contractor’s truck on its way to Tennessee.  Once the driver realized that his rear door was open, he contacted the Missouri Highway Patrol, which reported that all mail and boxes were retrieved by late morning.  Now I don’t know about you, but stories like this make me feel very uneasy.  To me, the mail is sacred, for a whole bunch of reasons, not the least of which is privacy.  And let’s face it.  The odds that the Highway Patrol retrieved every single piece of mail are pretty slim.  Think of how far 65 miles is.  Now imagine envelopes blowing out all the way.  Surely not all of them stayed by the roadside.  And what if people behind the truck saw this and stopped to pick some up?  It would be a great way for criminals to gather credit card numbers.  And what about the boxes?  Do you want something you ordered bouncing down the road?  No, I don’t like it.  And if I mailed something out of St. Louis or that I thought went through St. Louis, I’d be pretty nervous.

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Also on Monday there was another story about a chimp that bit off the fingers of a zookeeper in Nebraska.  This came right after we had an incident here in Kansas City where a pet ferret ate all the fingers except part of a pinky and the two thumbs of a four-month old baby.  It also reminds me of that story last year in which a pet chimp ripped a woman’s face off, leaving her with no eyes, eyelids, mouth or nose.  You know, when I was a little girl I used to think it would be so neat to have a chimp as a pet.  Not now!  Could this be why I have no pets?

On  the court shows I can’t tell you the number of cases where a pit bull just suddenly “snapped” and harmed a child or a neighbor.  And the owners always say the same thing, “He’s such a loving, gentle pet that I let my toddler play with him.”  To which Judge Judy always replies, “Then you’re an IDIOT!”  Seriously though, I’m hearing more and  more stories of animals turning against their masters.  I mean, they ARE animals first, pets second.

It’s sort of like a movie-of-the-week where, little by little, all of the animals in the world start turning against humans and before you know it, they have an army and it becomes Us versus Them.  I can see it now.  Tom Selleck will play the scientist who will develop a sound wave which only the animals can hear which will kill them and make the world safe once again for humanity. (And then everyone will have to have bugs as pets.)

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And finally, did you see the dress that January Jones wore to the Golden Globes award ceremony?

Come on!  Seriously?  I really don’t know why she bothered to wear clothes at all, since she left so little to the imagination!  Whoever said that she wore “two red Band-Aids over her hoo-haws” came pretty close to summing it up.  I’m really not a prude.  I just think I’d choose the classy route rather than go for the stripper look.  But then, that’s just me.   Meow!

Meanwhile, have a good day (and keep your clothes on, at least when you’re on national television!)

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So, if you decide you want to fly out of this country, you have to submit to either an “aggressive” full body pat-down…or else, have your whole body scanned by an imagine machine.

You have a choice of which, but you must submit to one or the other or you’re not going anywhere.  Most of my friends who fly have told me they go with the scanner because it’s easier and faster than the pat-down.  If I still flew (I don’t) I’m not so sure that’s what I would want.  I’ve read that these machines are so sensitive that the viewer (a stranger,) can determine whether or not a man has been circumcised!  I just don’t want to get that “up close and personal” with the airport personnel!

Sure, the pat-down involves being touched in private areas, but at least I can stare the “patter” in the eyes while this is going on.  She won’t be able to make snide comments to her cronies in some back room while she’s doing it.  I just feel it enables the passenger to maintain a little more dignity – not much, but a little.

But, here’s what I find ridiculous about this whole thing.  Here’s a quote I found by the Associated Press in the paper the other day:  “Some passengers and flight crews are fearful the imaging machines emit an unhealthy dose of radiation.  The government insists they’re safe, but agreed on Friday to let uniformed pilots skip the screening.”

Two things struck me about this.  One is that it sounds like the government wouldn’t want the pilots to get an unhealthy dose of radiation (if they’re wrong,) but couldn’t care less about the passengers.  I know they’re assuming that the pilots fly much more frequently than the general public, but what about the rest of the flight crew?  It’s okay to gamble with their exposure?  And what about frequent fliers – people who travel on business almost every day?  What makes the government single out pilots as the only exceptions?  And if it’s so safe, why make an exception at all?

The other thing about this that sent up red flags for me is the phrase, “let uniformed pilots skip the screening.”  Is it just me, or does that sound like a “how-to” instruction for the terrorists?  Want to get something on the plane?  Wear a pilot’s uniform!  I mean, seriously?  You think they won’t try it?  It’s ridiculous.

Either require everyone, and I mean everyone, to go through some kind of screening or else no one.  Otherwise you’re leaving a hole in the security system that makes all this other stuff a moot point.

At least that’s how I see it.

 

 

 

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