Monday, August 18, 2014

I Cloned a Wooly Mammoth

I cloned a Wooly Mammoth
Using tissue from a fossil
Fully formed and found
Frozen in the Lappish tundra

I merged a cell from the mammoth’s tongue
With the de-nucleated egg from a pigeon
And fused the two in a Petri dish
Hand-painted by a monk

The monk paints dinner plates
As well as laboratory dishes
And lives a frugal life
On the arid plains of the Mahabharata

In that the tongue had been frozen
For some fifteen thousand years
I was reluctant to insert the growing embryo
In the surrogate mammoth mother

I’d chosen an African Elephant by the name of Molly
To carry the embryonically infused egg
And had become so attached to Molly
That I was loath to see her chilled

And so rather than implant the egg
I separated stem cells for the embryo
Then fused these embryonic stem cells
To an enucleated mouse egg

Then I implanted the enucleated mouse egg
In Molly my surrogate mammoth mother
And waited while she meandered about my farm
Eating tons and tons of bamboo

The monk doesn’t have a name
Names inhibit separation from the ego
And so the Petri dish was simply signed
‘Monk’

Six hundred and forty-four days later
Molly stopped eating and simply stood
Staring off towards the mountains
When she started to slowly sway

I knew then that she was about to give birth
I watched as Molly swayed and squatted
Then exclaimed in awe as
Forty pigeons flew off looking for cheese

But doesn’t signing the Petri dish signify attachment to the ego?
This is something I’ve wondered about

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cute, and not so cute

Photo by John Eastcottand & Yva Momatiuk
Poaching, human population growth, habitat loss, habitat fragmentation and habitat degradation continue to impact on the giraffe’s distribution across the continent. Current estimates have the population at less than 80,000 individuals across all regions and species/subspecies. This is a considerable drop in the last decade and shows that the giraffe is in real danger.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Another Republican "Scandal" Hits the Dust

Republican-led House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously on July 31 to declassify its report on the deadly 2012 attacks on American facilities in Benghazi.

This report shows that there was no intelligence failure surrounding the Benghazi attacks that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave Americans. Our investigation found the Intelligence Community warned about an increased threat environment, but did not have specific tactical warning of an attack before it happened, which is consistent with testimony that the attacks appeared to be opportunistic.  It also found that a mixed group of individuals including those associated with Al-Qaeda, Qadafi loyalists and other Libyan militias participated in the attack.  Additionally, the report shows there was no "stand down order" given to American personnel attempting to offer assistance that evening, and no American was left behind.

The report also shows that the process used to develop the talking points was flawed, but that the talking points reflected the conflicting intelligence assessments in the days immediately following the crisis. Finally, the report demonstrates that there was no illegal activity or illegal arms sales occurring at U.S. facilities in Benghazi. And there was absolutely no evidence, in documents or testimony, that the Intelligence Community's assessments were politically motivated in any way.

The House Intelligence Committee report joins previous Benghazi investigations by the State Department's independent Accountability Review Board (ARB), the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and the House Armed Services Committee which have repeatedly debunked right-wing Benghazi myths that have persisted since the attacks, including the falsehood that a "stand down" order was given to troops stationed in Tripoli and the myth that the administration lied about the attacks having been caused by an anti-Islam YouTube video.

William Blake

Photo by Subharghya Das & Mysore-India
TIGER, tiger, burning bright 
In the forests of the night, 
What immortal hand or eye 
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wallace Stegner

Photo by Brian W. Pelkey, St. Regis Falls, New York
“Floating upward through a confusion of dreams and memory, curving like a trout through the rings of previous risings, I surface. My eyes open. I am awake.”

Crossing to Safety