If Pigs Could Fly...

And that's just a matter of time, isn't it?

I'm not sure about the wisdom of posting an entry on Friday the 13th, but I'll go ahead anyway.

Thank Goodness My Pig Glows or I Might Have Lost It
You're not going to find many people (except scientists) more pro-science than I (me?), but somehow breeding fluorescent green glow-in-the-dark pigs is bit unsettling even to this forward-minded thinker. One of the things I got a chuckle out of was a quote in this article that said: "There is no need to worry about that because, unlike fish, the confined green pigs have no way to crossbreed with wild species and produce 'Frankenpigs'."

For goodness sake, don't scientists ever watch "Jurassic Park" or any number of zillions of other "escaped mutant" horror movies? Doesn't anyone remember BrundleFly? Joking aside for one second, it was to everyone's surprise (well, not mine and probably not yours) when it was realized that genetically altered grass seed used in golf courses can travel much further than first thought, and is resistant to grass killers like RoundUp. It is impossible to investigate all the possible future implications of a technology, as we have learned time and again. So we need to tread cautiously.

Not that there is anything wrong with genetic engineering, in my opinion. Without it, we wouldn't have such miracles as buffalo wings, edible underwear, and, someday, we hope, a cure for many deadly or debilitating diseases such as stuffing our faces.

And of course I do see practical applications for this technology. Scared of the dark? Get a luminescent dog who goes everywhere with you. "And this is SPOT-light my dog, part Lab, part German Shepherd, and a bit of GE Limelight night light." We can cross balding men with alfalfa seed and essentially get human chia pets. Cross Jessica Simpson with a sunflower and get....um...a smarter Jessica Simpson. Cross George Bush with a chimp and get... no difference. (Sorry, I know that's gratuitous but I love that site.) Or cross Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and get the Lindbergh baby. There are a billion other possibilities, but I'm not getting paid for this, of course. So I'll get back to this topic after they cross Ron Jeremy with a rhinoceros, which, I'm sure, is in the works already. (See "Sultry Safari," vol. 8--ha ha, just kidding!)

From Traif to Kosher
Perhaps they can breed a pig with a matzoh and finally get some bacon that Jews can eat? Sorry, that was just a bad segue, but, having Jewish heritage, I was very interested in a story that appeared this week, that many Ashkenazic Jews (those from eastern Europe) are descended from FOUR women. That is something like 3.5 million people coming from just four women. As Groucho would say, "I'll bet they were very busy." Seriously, though, what surprises me about this is not that they can narrow it down to four females, but that four seems a rather wide variety to me. If you've ever grown up in a neighborhood of Jewish mothers, you have to come away convinced that if there is no mandatory training course, then they all have to be descended from one Jewish mother. And her name was either Esther or Sadie.

So remember, "Make sure to wear clean underpants when you cross the street in case you get run over by a truck." And don't genetically engineer yourself with any shiksas, god forbid.

Posted: Fri - January 13, 2006 at 09:47 AM