Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Be Still My Bleating Heart, The Mayans Were A Bit Off...

"According to a new book, President Obama blames Fox News for his political problems and losing voters. How could Fox News lose voters? If you're watching Fox News, you're probably not voting for him in the first place." - Jay Leno
"Rick Santorum said he's not worried about unemployment. Well, he will be in November." –David Letterman
“Here’s how nice it was here on the Eastern Seaboard. It was such a beautiful day today that Mitt Romney was riding on the roof of his car.” – David Letterman

It looks like Dick Cheney got in under the wire with his heart transplant, as the Chinese government has announced that it will stop trafficking in human organs. Whether they follow through and actually stop it, remains to be seen... Human organ trafficking is a worldwide business that can be more lucrative than smuggling heroin. Because many body parts have a short shelf life, often only a matter of hours, the Chinese would wait until they got an order for one, then executing a prisoner and harvesting his body for the needed organ.

The harvesting of organs goes on wherever there is acute poverty. There are boys in the slums of Rio de Janeiro missing a kidney, convinced to sell one of theirs for a few hundred dollars, a thousand if they are lucky. Last year there was a scandal in Israel because some Israeli organ harvesters were using poor Palestinians as their base. Outside of Israel, Egypt, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, India and Iraq are some of the biggest players in the game. In the US, we recently had a case indicting 44 people in New Jersey for money laundering to buy illegal organs, that included state and local officials and local rabbis.

Back in 2005, it was estimated that over 10% of kidneys that were transplanted came from illegally harvested sources. Since then, the need for kidneys has grown, and the legal means cannot keep up with the need for them. Many hospitals and surgeons don't ask where their organs came from, just glad that they are available as needed. More dramatic organs like the heart are watched more closely, as there are more problems of matching a heart to the recipient correctly... I understand that in Dick Cheney's case, he got to shoot his own donor, and that he will be speaking fluent Chinese... It was a successful 8 hour operation, with the first seven spent trying to find his own heart, first...

There was some criticism of both Iran and Afghanistan awhile back, for their use of stoning people to death for infractions of tribal custom in rural areas. More recently, in Baghdad, the Minister of Culture denounced young men who had adopted wearing the black clothes and make-up of disenfranchised "emo" youths of the West. He gave the power to the police to arrest anybody who they thought were "emos," which also became a code word for labeling gays. He also encouraged neighborhood gangs to stone the kids to death if they refused to conform, and so far there have been over two dozen kids who have been beaten, arrested by police, executed, and their bodies dumped in alleyways and by the side of the road.

We had a near miss last year, of a meteorite that came close to hitting the earth, it came inside of the moon's orbit to the earth before passing by. Another asteroid is predicted to come closer to us in 28 years, begging the question that the Mayan calendar is a bit off... But, according to NASA: "Asteroid 2011 AG5 has been receiving a lot of attention lately because of a very unlikely scenario which would place it on an Earth-interception course 28 years from now. Here is a scientific reality check of this relatively nondescript space rock which is currently ranked a "1" on the 1 to 10 Torino Impact Hazard Scale

As of Feb. 26, 2012, asteroid 2011 AG5 is one of 8,744 near-Earth objects that have been discovered. It is approximately 460 feet (140 meters) in size and its orbit carries it as far out as beyond Mars' orbit and as close to the sun as halfway between Earth and Venus. It was discovered on Jan. 8, 2011, by astronomers using a 60-inch Cassegrain reflector telescope located at the summit of Mount Lemmon in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Arizona."

If there is any real danger, we won't know it until the asteroid is observed in 2039, and we can predict how much the earth's gravitational pull will affect its orbit. Observing the asteroid is made more difficult because they've only been able to track it at night. If it were to hit earth, yes, it would wipe out all life as we know it, but so far, the scientists that are tracking it doubt that it will come close enough to be warped by earth's gravity, and will join the other 9000 asteroids scheduled to pass the earth along with it... I'm sorry that I don't have any jokes about ending all life on earth, though I know they are out there... The closest I could find orbiting out there is this:

Top Advantages of An Asteroid Really Hitting Earth

For starters, you'd be able to surf in South Dakota

Wouldn't have to hear that garbage Aerosmith song anymore.

The one dinosaur on the planet (here's a clue..he's purple) would be extinct.

We'd miss out on Tony Danza's or Jenny McCarthy's next sitcom.

Puts a major damper on that Molly Hatchet/Judas Priest reunion tour.

Pretty good chance that the Gorditas Dog from the Taco Bell commercials wouldn't survive.
There'd be no more movies on the topic, that's for sure.

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