Monthly Archives: April 2008

Fake Blood in Men, Women’s Breast Milk from Goats

Nature: Real or Imagined

Inebriated Press
April 30, 2008

The Washington Post reported yesterday that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed experiments with artificial blood in humans even after studies showed a 30% higher risk of dying from a heart attack.  And Scripps News reported that a University of California-Davis professor has genetically altered female goats by inserting human genes that cause them to give milk with lysozyme levels like woman’s breast milk.  The debate over what is natural, what is artificial and whether it’s an important distinction rolls on.

“Anything that can ultimately advance health and science should be undertaken, promoted and funded regardless of what some moralists say about it,” said Celeste Chapel, a consumer health advocate and respected heavenly body known for her love of natural beauty and artificial intelligence.  “The ultimate morality is the one that favors the development and progress of humankind, and if people have to be modified or die in the process, then so be it.  True science isn’t always free, but freedom always justifies true science.  Now pass me that artificial sweetener, it’s fake but it makes my coffee tasty.”

Not everyone is so sure that science should be left to roam where it pleases just because its purveyors say it’s good in the long run.  “In the long run we’re all dead, but in the short run we can live and love and grow in truth and beauty; it’s the natural order of things and that shouldn’t be risked with artificial modification that may end up creating mutants and spur an accidental future of horror,” said Stacy Plainsman, a flat-chested philosophy professor who believes that breast enhancement is for the cowardly and the weak.  “There’s nothing wrong with surgery or medicine that saves a life or replaces a lost limb, but to go out of our way and put the equivalent of a woman’s breast on a goat, or pump some risky chemicals through a heart to see if the body thinks it’s blood, is nuts.  I’ll stick with real blood and my small tits capable of real goat-free breast milk.  Let’s leave the animals alone for god’s sake.”

Washington Post reported that the FDA approved experiments with artificial blood substitutes even after studies showed that the controversial products posed a clear risk of causing heart attacks and death.  The review of combined data from more than 3,711 patients who participated in 16 studies testing five different types of artificial blood, released Monday, found that the products nearly tripled the risk of heart attacks and boosted the chances of dying by 30 percent.  An FDA official defended the agency, saying it had carefully weighed the risks and benefits of each study individually and had convened this week’s two-day meeting to address the very concerns raised by the analysis.  An artificial blood substitute that has a long shelf life and does not need refrigeration could save untold lives by providing an alternative to trauma patients in emergencies, especially in rural areas and in combat settings.  But attempts to develop such products have been marred by repeated failures and fraught with controversy.

Scripps News reported that University of California-Davis professor James Murray and fellow animal scientist Elizabeth Maga engineered a small herd of Alpine and Toggenburg dairy goats to produce high levels of a human antibiotic-like protein in their milk.  Scientists have been manipulating animal genes for nearly 25 years.  The goat’s-milk experiments, however, are among the few to transfer human genes to animals.  UC-Davis dairy goats born with the human gene that regulates lysozyme in mammary glands have far more lysozyme in their milk than they would naturally – 67 percent of human levels compared with 0.06 percent.  Lysozyme, a protein, destroys bacteria that cause intestinal infections and diarrhea, which every year claim more than 2 million impoverished young lives.  The idea is to provide these goats to the poor who raise goats, and enhance their health.  Doug Gurian-Sherman, a biotechnology specialist with the Union of Concerned Scientists advocacy group, said he has concerns about transgenic goats.  Should the goats get into the wild – their altered genes make them more fit to survive – they could more easily multiply and over-browse a landscape, threatening native species and causing erosion, he said.  Some people say that survival of the fittest is a valid concept even if the fittest didn’t become that way in a Darwinian sense.

“Just because a species or civilization developed into a stronger or better one due to outside help of some kind, doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be allowed to alter the world around it or crush weak and sub-level competitors in the food chain,” said scientist and part time social engineer Able Critik, a free-science, free-love, free-beer advocate, who thinks that nature is random and error-prone, and that all true progress only occurs when intelligence messes with things.  “Do you think that the United States of America became the single major power in the world due to an accidental combination of wine and roses?  It’s the result of millions of people working hard with resources they dug up, developed, invented and applied all on the framework of a legal system, the rule of law, and Constitution and Bill of Rights that hard working, hard asses from Europe laid into place.  It was beneficial to find lots of resources for food and energy in the ground, that’s true, but look at the dumb stuff the Middle Easterners are doing with all their wealth?  Are they advancing their societies or just funding radicals with religious philosophies that have had their clans knifing each other for centuries?  I’m telling you, it’s time to build a better race, a better civilization and a better culture.  And if crushing those pathetic ones around us is what it takes, then get on with it.”

In related news, fake blood and women’s milk from goats continues to exist in real time and both have the potential to improve and enhance the lives of men, women and children of the future.  No word on whether those folks are likely to want to crush other civilizations not using the same science.

(C) 2008

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Tricky Questions Boost Your Intelligence

Why are ghosts seen wearing clothes?

Inebriated Press
April 30, 2008

Researchers say that brain exercises designed to improve working memory also increase scores in fluid intelligence.  And top paranormal researchers have been pondering the age-old question: Why Are Ghosts Seen Wearing Clothes?  Theories about mind over matter and pumping up brain cells rattle around the globe.

“My IQ has jumped over twenty points in just four months of wondering why people who see ghosts always describe them as wearing things like sheets or old curtains,” said Racy Lacy, a buxom blonde bombshell who pulls car engines as a hobby and rewires houses for a living.  “I like to stay sharp so I think about wacky shit.  It’s cool.”

Some people think that pondering the imponderable makes no sense and can’t possibly make brain cells more muscular.  “Think what you want, you’re not juicing your brain by guessing about nonsense, it can’t work that way.  At the very least you’ve got to use some kind of medicinal stimulant,” said Chemy Byproduct, a sales rep for Dow Chemical and a legend in his own mind.  “I’ve smoked some knockout stuff that had to have enhanced my brain because I saw ghosts with and without clothes and I’d still be dating one of them if I hadn’t run out of the good shit.  But just thinking hard about it didn’t do a dang thing for me.”

CBS News reported yesterday that WebMD says an intense game of Concentration or other demanding memory task might kick your intelligence up a notch or two, and the more you engage your brain this way, the smarter you might become.  Researchers reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences say that brain exercises designed to improve working memory also increase scores in fluid intelligence. 

Fluid intelligence is the ability to reason and solve new problems.  The findings challenge current beliefs that the only way to increase fluid intelligence scores is by directly practicing on the tests used to calculate the score.  Researchers say this opens a wide range of new applications in education.

According to ghosts and the clothes they wear have long been a snickering question.  It’s a sort of “gotcha” thing debunkers use, and it may tell more about the way ghosts are interpreted than anything about them.  Some people say ghosts appear as wearing clothes because that’s how they choose to appear to us.  Others say that in our era, clothes are part of what we are, so we project on them clothing.  Others argue that ghosts can show themselves in whatever form they want and in this way they use clothes to give us information about who the ghosts are and what lives they had.  There are some reports of nude ghosts, but they are few and far between.   

“I’d been trying to imagine a five dimensional isosceles triangle for twelve days without food or water, when suddenly the naked ghost of Albert Einstein appeared and told me to cut it out and behave myself,” said Harry Reid, a U.S. Senator well known for imagining things and supporting bills that few living people would touch.  “I never did conjure up the triangle but I’ve seen things in the Congress that would scare the shit out of most people.  But I suppose that’s true of anybody who spends much time around Nancy Pelosi or Hillary Clinton like I do.” 

In other news, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration asked lawmakers in California to approve $7 billion in new spending to improve medical and mental healthcare in California prisons.  No word on how they plan to pay for it, but the rumor is they’ve been thinking really hard, and feel pretty clever.

(C) 2008

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Ending Visual Impairment: in the Eye and on the Web

Scientists develop new gene therapy technique for the visually impaired
Google develops new digital image web search

Inebriated Press
April 29, 2008

Scientists in Britain and America have reversed the declining vision of patients by employing a new gene therapy technique.  And Google researchers say they have new software tech for digital images on the Internet that does for images what the company’s original PageRank software did for searches of Web pages.  The quest to discover and salvage image and vision moves ahead.

“I enjoy seeing fine looking women in person and on the web and it’s great to know that medical science and computer technology are both working in that direction for my benefit,” said someone claiming to be Darth Vader, a visor-wearing visually-impaired being whose use of technology compensates for a whole lot of physical deficiencies.  “I have plenty of problems with rebels and managing the Empire and I need all the visual aides I can get.  Great eyesight and powerful search technology will go a long way to helping me get what I want.  That Miley Cyrus is sure a little hottie isn’t she?  I searched her on Google Images.”

Some people say we see way too much and that less is really more.  “We shouldn’t be looking at all the stuff we do on the web, it’s not healthy.  We see assassinations, horribly stupid videos, people in various states of dress and undress and surgical procedures that shouldn’t be out of the hospital, let alone on some kids bedroom PC,” said ethicist and lumberjack Susie Pine-Knott, a sexually liberated and career challenged woman who has an opinion on darn near everything.  “We should fight the Google search plan and back away from modified virus gene therapy for eyes.  We might think we’re just going to get what we already have, but get it more and better, but we could be wrong.  Not all improvements are beneficial to people or society.  Take Priscilla Presley’s Botox disaster for instance, some things are not worth the risk.”

USA Today reported that for the first time, doctors have used gene therapy to restore vision in patients with a rare and usually incurable form of blindness.  The patients had an inherited disorder called Leber’s congenital amaurosis, which begins eroding eyesight at birth and leaves them blind by their mid-20s.  Experts say the results are a welcome success in gene therapy, a promising idea that has had several major setbacks during the past 15 years.  In gene therapy, doctors aim to replace defective genes with normal ones, using harmless viruses as delivery vehicles.  A missing gene is injected into the eye within a modified virus.

The New York Times reported that at last weeks International World Wide Web Conference in Beijing, two Google scientists presented a paper describing what the researchers call VisualRank, an algorithm for blending image-recognition software methods with techniques for weighting and ranking images that look most similar.  The research paper, “PageRank for Product Image Search,” is focused on a subset of the images that the giant search engine has cataloged because of the tremendous computing costs required to analyze and compare digital images.  The company said that in its research it had concentrated on the 2000 most popular product queries on Google’s product search, words such as iPod, Xbox and Zune.  It then sorted the top 10 images both from its ranking system and the standard Google Image Search results.  Rather than relying on a text query, the service focuses on the ability to match shapes or objects that might be hard to describe in writing.  Some people say that progress toward discovering indescribable things will be good for society.

“I struggle to describe what inner peace looks like and have a hard time imagining the site of an Islamofascist in a marketplace handing out flowers instead of blowing themselves and others up.  These are difficult to visualize and tough to find, and any medical or technical advancement that helps us should be pursued,” said Mabel Maxwell-Smartt, a slender do-gooder often confused with a buxom matron who once secretly ruled a small town in Western Nebraska.  “Of course just finding and seeing images of them won’t make them exist for real in our hearts and minds, but just agreeing on what they look like would be a really good step.”

In other news, Miley Cyrus, A.K.A. Hannah Montana, is creating buzz for provocative pictures by famed Vanity Fair photographer Annie Leibovitz.  People Magazine said that Cyrus’s defenders suggest that the pictures – now available on the Vanity Fair Web site – may ultimately help the 15-year-old graduate into a more mature artist, while others are criticizing her for disappointing her ‘tween and teen fan base, which looks up to her as a role model.  No word on whether Darth Vader is planning to ask her out anytime soon.

(C) 2008

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Smart Women Abandon Sex for Chocolate

Flavonoids may protect against heart disease
New study shows highly educated women have fewer orgasms

Inebriated Press
April 29, 2008

A German survey found that the more educated a woman is the less likely she will be satisfied by sex.  And scientists in the UK are planning a study to support their belief that eating chocolate every day will reduce factors linked to heart disease.  The quest for better sex and health rages on.

“I enjoy sex and chocolate and whether they study it or I go to school for more education, I don’t think it really matters,” said Candy Bangg-Wright, a muscular blonde neurosurgeon whose name often overshadows her massive IQ.  “If chocolate is healthy, great; sign me up for the national chocolate health-care plan, it works for me!”

Not everyone is taking the news as cavalierly as Bangg-Wright.  “I’m no genius but I’m smart enough to know that I haven’t had sexual satisfaction for most of my adult life.  And someone may think chocolate is healthy, but it’s put way too much fat on my ass.  I’m getting screwed on both ends of this deal and am neither happy nor healthy,” said Marge Masterson-Sergeant, a NASA research scientist and one of few Weight Watchers members who added twenty pounds in just six weeks.  “My metabolism has doomed me and I don’t know if it’s my man or my parts, but I don’t have a damn thing working right, and can only hope scientists figure something out.”

The UK Sun newspaper reported that a German survey found that brainy babes find it harder to have an orgasm – because they are too busy thinking, a study claims.  62 per cent of women who had completed their education said they often had problems achieving orgasm.  Only 38 per cent of women with a lower educational qualification said they had such problems.  The early conclusion was that smart women have bad sex.  And CNN reported that scientists in the UK are seeking 150 women to eat chocolate every day for a year in the cause of medical research.  The trial, at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, eastern England, will test whether a natural compound found in cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate, could cut the risk of heart disease among women with diabetes.  Aspects of sex and chocolate continue to be explored.

“It did my heart good the 24 hour period I had little but sex and chocolate, and my brain rode that ride while I only periodically pondered the nature of the universe and contemplated god’s invention of the senses,” said Bobby-Ann Tomm, a young woman who doesn’t let silicon enhancement or her Ivy League education get in the way of anything.  “Who says you can’t have it all?”

In other news, Toronto is cracking down on strip clubs by increasing the cost of burlesque licenses and taking up to two weeks to provide them.  Some strippers are giving up and quitting.  The exodus is hurting strip clubs, which now frequently lack both performers and patrons.  Up to 10 clubs in Toronto have closed in the last five years.  No word on whether the city is promoting chocolate so at least everyone’s health is improving.

(C) 2008

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Pollution Will Kill Olympic Athletes

Panel says short term exposure to pollution does long term damage
Ethiopian runner pulls out of Beijing Olympic race over air quality fears

Inebriated Press
April 28, 2008

A National Academy of sciences panel concluded last week that short-term exposure to ozone pollution is directly linked to poor health in humans.  The committee said that pollution and early death were connected.  Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassia, an asthmatic, pulled out of the 42-kilometer Olympic marathon run, but said he would still participate in the shorter 10-kilometer run.  Critics are debating whether China intends to take over the world with its military, economic power or simply through Darwinism, by surviving pollution that others can’t.

“The Chinese are using the Olympics as a case study to determine how weak the lungs of Western people really are and may eventually rule the world by surviving the highly polluted atmosphere of the future, while everyone else dies off,” said anthropologist and part time gynecologist Lacey Cann, a brilliant scientist widely known for her theory on massive world population growth beginning in an era of hyper-sex she calls ‘The Real Big Bang’.  “The Chinese are long-term thinkers and planners, and unlike the Germans who tried to conquer the world militarily and through genocide, the Chinese are gradually becoming a global economic power through manufacturing, economics and general heartiness.  They already have the world’s largest population and will place a man on the moon soon.  They are building up their military and have nuclear weapons.  Now they’re building their resistance to pollution both naturally and through DNA boosting.  They are big believers in Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest, but also believe, like he did, that you can manipulate your species through hybridization and genetic modification.  The West will get a taste of it when they get their asses kicked in that environment at the Beijing Olympic Games this summer.”

Not everyone thinks China will take over the world because of air pollution.  “China isn’t the only country that’s highly polluted, even though they are currently number one in creating the highest amount of it in the world,” said Larry Peabody, a U.S. postal recipient known for receiving an inordinate number of deliveries in plan brown wrapping.  “Los Angeles is terribly polluted and half its population is made of illegal aliens and the other half is made of Hollywood types.  They may not be athletic, but they’ll survive anything the Chinese can dish out.”

WebMD reported last week that a National Academy of sciences panel believes that short-term exposure to ozone pollution is directly linked to bad human health, batting down White House contentions that the link between pollution and early death was unclear.  Ozone is the main component of smog and is released to the environment mostly from cars, trucks, machine engines, and factories.  Environmental agencies and health groups have long recognized the link between breathing smog pollution and declining human health.  For the first time, National Academy’s experts decided to weigh in on the debate. 

MarketWatch reported last week that Ethiopian runner Gebrselassia pulled out of the 42-kilometer Olympic marathon fearful about the air pollution in Beijing, even though Gebrselassia, an asthmatic, said he would still participate in the shorter 10-kilometer run.  The article said that earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said a set of data collected at test events last year, and feedback from athletes’ physicians, showed that one year ahead of the Games, the health of athletes was “largely not impaired.”  The IOC said its Medical Commission found there “may be some risk” to the outdoor events and that it was working with international sports federations to put in place procedures to allow a contingency “Plan B” for these events, if necessary.  It didn’t detail the plan.  Some pundits say that Chinese veterinarians will be available to ‘put down’ athletes’ who collapse during the events.

“China is a very compassionate yet a decisive country that recognizes the importance of ending the life of any animal or human that is uncomfortable but isn’t suffering as the result of political torture for the good of the motherland, and believes, like the administrators of Church Hill Downs, that a badly injured race horse or a territory like Tibet, should be quickly euthanized when China’s leaders believe it’s necessary,” said Wi Du Whatwewant, China’s Director of Population Development, Control and Annihilation.  “Western athletes may not be as hardy as ours due to the soft lifestyles and easy breathing they experience in their countries, but we believe we’ll only have to cap 3-5% of them during the Games.  We do more than that to our own people just to keep civil disobedience low.  It’s not a big deal.”

In other news, the UK Telegraph reported last week that Los Angeles is now a ‘Third World city’.  The paper cited a new study by the Migration Policy Institute showing that immigrants make up half its workforce and a third of them have not graduated from high school and 60 per cent do not speak English fluently.  It said this left immigrants ill-equipped to fill California’s fastest-growing occupations, such as computer software engineering and nursing. The organization added that as the so-called baby boomers reach retirement age, a similar pattern will spread across the US.  No word on whether pollution will contain the immigrant population or whether the baby boomers have adapted to it, or if a new hyper-sex big bang is in the offing.

(C) 2008

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Guns and God in Pennsylvania, Activists and Bombs in Chicago

“You’re wimpy and bitter, but I’m shrewd and capable”
Obama’s arrogance drips on his shoes, staining them

Inebriated Press
April 28, 2008

Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s statement that policies other than his have left Pennsylvanians with little to cling to but god and guns, has been rattling around the campaign for a week or so and has his competitor Hillary Clinton discussing the good old days when she and her grandfather shot stuff in the back yard while praying. Obama called her Annie Oakley and other pundits imagined her shooting back at Bosnian snipers. But connections between Barack and William Ayers, a 1960’s radical who planted bombs in the Pentagon, and between Barack and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright who denounced the U.S. after 9-11 saying the U.S. and Al Qaeda were the same, have some people wondering what version of guns and god Obama is clinging too.

“Barack says he’s got the answers to cure poor bitter rural Americans who go to church and like to hunt because his friends can build and plant bombs in the Pentagon and his version of god is represented by a guy who says the U.S. government invented and injected HIV into blacks to subjugate them, and that America’s bitter war with Japan is the same as Al Qaeda’s attack on America and the West,” said A. Baffled Voter, a one-time gun owner who gave it up for Lent and now carries a slingshot to foil bear attacks. “I don’t know. I think I like the church-going duck hunters better. They seem less dangerous to my freedom and don’t insult my common sense.”

But some say Obama is just calling it the way it is. “White trash are always talking about gods-will as if they know it, and run around shooting animals all over the countryside as though their way of killing is somehow better than drive-by shootings on the east side,” said I.M. Best, a Democrat activist who knows better than you do. “He knows that god should damn white America just like his twenty-year pastor does and that we’ll all be better off once Barack is in power and shuts down the Pentagon or blows it up. That’ll put us way ahead of where we are today where people get to spend most of the money they earn and refuse to send it to the U.N. for them to distribute. Crazy American’s for freedom through representative government. Can’t wait to get that out of the way.”

Talking about how the loss of jobs over 25 years has sapped the hope of small-town Pennsylvania residents, Obama said at a San Francisco fund-raiser, “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion.” After the quotes surfaced on a political blog, Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and GOP hopeful John McCain immediately decried them as evidence that Obama is “elitist” or “out of touch.” Obama launched a damage-limitation exercise. “I said something everybody knows is true, which is there are a whole bunch of folks in small towns in Pennsylvania, in towns right here in Indiana, in my home town in Illinois, who are bitter,’ he said, making folks feel a whole lot better.

William Ayers, a Weather Underground member, a friend of Barack Obama, and former neighbor, now holds the position of distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Although avoiding conviction, he told the New York Times in September 2001, “I don’t regret setting bombs…I feel we didn’t do enough.” Obama and Ayers lived within a few blocks of each other in the trendy Hyde Park section of Chicago, and moved in the same liberal-progressive circles.

Videos of Obama’s spiritual advisor for twenty years, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, have been circulating on the Internet and have been a topic of much discussion and debate. Wright’s sermons, in which he said “God damn America” and blamed the U.S. government for introducing HIV into the black community and saying the U.S. was no different than Al Qaeda caused Obama to say he didn’t hear those sermons and knew nothing about them, but eventually he said he knew but didn’t agree with Wright. Wright has been close to Obama for over two decades and officiated at his wedding, baptized his daughters and inspired the title of his book, “The Audacity of Hope.”

“This election is all about change and hope and people need to forget about the little details that shape and define a person’s character,” said Lusty Passion, a strong Bill Clinton supporter whose trip to the Oval office was less than she’d hoped because her dress didn’t require cleaning afterward. “We all need to get behind Obama’s dream for a brighter future through government control. Because if we don’t, I’ll get bitter and god help me I’ll shoot somebody.”

In related news, in 2001 president Bill Clinton commuted the sentences of Susan Rosenberg, a Weather Underground member like Obama’s friend, who was convicted on explosives charges and had been linked to a Brinks truck robbery conspiracy, and also Linda Sue Evans, who had been serving a 40-year sentence for weapons violations and for her role in a conspiracy to bomb the U.S. Capitol. No word on how close Bill was to William Ayers, but since Ayers donated to the Obama for president campaign and not to Hillary’s apparently Bill didn’t help him out enough.

(C) 2008

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Sunday Toon ~ Polka Dots


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Saturday Toon ~ America’s Fearless Leader


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Test Tube Replaces Women’s Womb and Meat Plants

PETA Offers $1 Million In-Vitro Meat Prize
Firms May Be Creating Designer Babies Now
Burgers and Babies Under Glass

Inebriated Press
April 25, 2008

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has announced that they are offering a $1 million prize to the contest participant able to make the first in vitro chicken meat and sell it to the public by June 30, 2012. And the UK Telegraph reported earlier this month that an American company is warning that unscrupulous scientists may be harnessing a new way of cloning human cells to create “designer” babies. Science and ethics clash as debate over creating meat and children in test tubes heats up.

“You want a meat sandwich you get a piece of animal and grind it up or get one from somebody who has, and if you want a kid you find a good guy and get knocked up. You don’t run to a lab for either, it’s completely unnatural and wrong,” said Nancy Stillborn-Lockness, a natural beauty who eats only organic food and bangs a regular guy. “I have sympathy for any animal that’s tortured and any couple who can’t conceive on their own, but the idea of a meat sandwich coming from a Dow Chemical plant or kids produced by Merck Pharmaceuticals’ creeps me out. You realize that if it works we’ll outsource them both to China and have asbestos and lead based kids and Big Macs don’t you? That’s how the new economy works.”

Not everyone thinks that better living through science is a bad thing. “If you can get a good inexpensive steak by combining protein and carbohydrates in a test tube and don’t have to shoot a cow for one, why wouldn’t we want to do it,” asked Ahmad Mc-Von-Braun, a Saudi Irish German man often found in conflict with himself on political issues, but remains unified when thinking about red meat. “And if you can build better offspring why not combine the right elements scientifically and destroy what doesn’t work or hinders personal or societal development? It may be the quickest way to improve humankind without resorting to genocide or the Democrat national healthcare plan.”

TIME reported that on Monday animal rights group PETA announced it would award $1 million to the first person to come up with a way to make commercially viable in vitro meat. The fake meat would have to be indistinguishable from the real deal, according to competition rules, and it would have to be cheap enough to succeed in the marketplace. Dr. Stig Omholt, director of Norway’s Centre for Integrative Genetics and chair of the In Vitro Meat Consortium, which held its first symposium this month, says no one has come close to doing it yet, but he says it seems possible to develop the technology.

Scientists first began working with in vitro proteins, grown from animal cells in Petri dishes and bioreactors, about a decade ago. Scientists biopsy stem or satellite muscle cells from a livestock animal, such as a chicken, cow or pig. The cells are then placed in a nutrient-rich medium where they divide and multiply, and are then attached to a scaffolding structure and put in a bioreactor to grow. In order to achieve the texture of natural muscle, the cells must be physically stretched and flexed, or exercised, regularly.

The UK Telegraph newspaper reported that Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer of biotechnology company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) near Boston, said that unscrupulous scientists could already be cloning human cells to create “designer” babies. He said groups are currently using similar technology to develop new sources of parent cells, stem cells, to treat serious diseases such as Parkinson’s and stroke. “It is quite possible that the real legacy of this whole new programming technology is that it could introduce the era of designer babies,” he said. “So for instance if we had a few skin cells from Albert Einstein, or anyone else in the world, you could have a child that is say 10 per cent or 70 per cent Albert Einstein by just injecting a few of their cells into an embryo.” Some people say it’s time to get it on.

“Replacing humans and animals by producing replacements for them in laboratories is the way to go,” said former New York governor Eliot Spitzer, adding that he approved this message. “I may just be Client Number 9 to some people, but I’m a kinky sex loving guy who would love to eat artificial meat and bang women designed just for me in a test tube. The world’s economy is now being driven by micro-markets where all base-models of everything from automobiles to newspapers are being adapted for every individual’s needs and wants. The same should be true of life forms. It’s time to get past the idea that Henry Ford introduced with the Model T. No one wants boiler plate stamped out products, services or life forms anymore. We want to tweak everything to suit ourselves. We are our own gods and it’s time we get on with being them.”

In related news, a deaf couple in Britain has been campaigning against a proposed UK law called the Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill, which says using embryo-screening deliberately to create a child with a serious medical condition is illegal. The couple wants to have a deaf child created in vetro and the government thinks that it’s wrong to intentionally create a child with a “handicap.” The couple says the government is discriminating against them and it’s their right to build the kid however they want. No word on whether they also plan to have some in vitro human meat manufactured just to see if deep down they’re cannibals.

(C) 2008

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Drug Studies Being Produced by Ghostwriters

Marketing and Science are Basically the Same Anyway, Right?

Inebriated Press
April 25, 2008

Daily News Central reported earlier this week that much of the research supporting Merck’s claims about the drug Vioxx were written by Merck’s own employees and then rubber-stamped by medical professionals to heighten their profiles. While that disturbs some experts who feel that Merck’s employees may be biased in favor of their employers’ drugs, others see it as a very efficient combination of sales and marketing with research and medical science.

“When the people who study the risks and benefits of medication that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relies on are the same ones that develop the drugs and market them, it makes approval of the drugs much quicker and marketing and promotion faster and more effective,” said Nazi Informer, an FDA official who moonlights as a pharmaceutical rep and believes that independent inquiry is overrated. “Sure Vioxx ended up killing some people but it helped relieve their pain. It’s an aggressive cure I admit and we lost some good customers, but customer complaints went way down. Of course their remaining relatives got excited and sued us. They just didn’t understand.”

Not everyone thinks that Merck was behaving ethically when they did what they did. “You can’t have the manufacturer in charge of the study that verifies their products safety, with the exception of the U.S. food supply that’s crazy,” said a confused U.S. food inspector who spot checks things on occasions but relies on most food companies to police themselves because it’s less costly and more efficient. “Sure we only check 1% of all imported food, but that’s okay. Drugs are a different matter, there’s lots of money involved. You’ve got to make sure only the right people get it. I mean, it’s important that drugs are safe. Yah, that’s it.”

Daily News Central reported that the latest insult piled onto all the injury inflicted by the Vioxx debacle is disclosed in an article published by the Journal of the American Medical Association earlier this month: Much of the research backing up manufacturer Merck’s claims about the drug was ghostwritten by writers in Merck’s employ and then rubber-stamped by medical professionals who had little or no involvement in the studies but were willing to attach their names as authors nonetheless. Though the information came to light in connection with lawsuits over Vioxx, experts say the practice is not unique to Merck. Ghostwriting medical research is common in the pharmaceutical industry, according to many insiders. The issue has taken on graver importance because the FDA is considering whether to allow the dissemination of articles that appear in peer-reviewed journals to physicians as tools to guide them in deciding whether or not to prescribe a particular drug to a patient for an off-label use.

Late last year Merck & Co. agreed to pay $4.85 billion to settle thousands of cases brought by people who suffered heart attacks and strokes after taking its Vioxx painkiller. The drug more than doubled the risks of heart attacks and strokes among patients who used it to ease arthritis pain, according to clinical studies. One scientist estimated that it had caused as many as 138,000 heart attacks and 55,000 deaths in the United States. Merck sales teams for years played down the dangers of Vioxx, and a Food and Drug Administration official said he had been pressured to keep quiet about his concerns, according to congressional testimony. Still the FDA is open to letting the companies write their own reports so doctors can use them when they prescribe medications.

“If you build a drug and it works some of the time, that’s close enough, doctors should start prescribing it immediately and not stop until bodies start piling up and then you know what the downside risk really is,” said Efficiency Expert, a survival of the fittest kind of guy who encourages his children to play in the street believing that only the lucky and the strong should survive. “All this testing and retesting takes time and costs money. What’s wrong with a few lives destroyed or a handful of folks dead? We learn this way. It works for China. They’ve been taking this approach for years and have the world’s largest population. We’re all just living day to day with random chance anyway. We need to get over this ‘have to be more careful’ stuff and party on. I think stoplights at intersections are a waste of time too.”

In other news, the Orange County Register reported that an early morning burglar broke into an adult shop on April 15 and walked away with a $250 replica of porn star Jenna Jameson’s lower half. No word on whether the thief feels that marketing and science are basically the same.

(C) 2008

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Hawking: Aliens Likely in Outer Space, Probably Stupid

We don’t know shit here, why would Martians?
And Obama’s goofball line on god and guns bites him in Penn.

Inebriated Press
April 24, 2008

Associated Press reported Monday that famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking believes that there is life elsewhere in the universe but it’s probably primitive because intelligent life is rare. And yesterday presidential candidate Hillary Clinton basked in her 10-point victory in Tuesday evenings Pennsylvania Democratic primary, as a backwards electorate clinging to god and guns shrugged off Obama and made her day. Debate over whether there is intelligent life anywhere in the universe continues to roll on.

“Intelligence is subjective and you can’t just say some creatures have it and some don’t. It’s easy to stereotype a race, gender or a bunch of rural Americans when you’re slicing and dicing an electorate and trying to suck them into voting for you, but brain power itself is an entire science that’s not easily pigeon-holed,” said mind and brain expert Star Powers, a slender redhead whose talks on science and philosophy are often attended by guys hoping to see under her blouse. “I’ve known men who can barely walk straight let alone think clearly. I’ll bet Hawking thinks they’re an intelligent life form, when the reality is a crotch full of crabs have probably got greater mental processing power.”

Others say that intelligence exists everywhere and can’t be defined by IQ test scores or Obama’s San Francisco supporters. “Intelligence permeates the universe and evidence of it can be found in every leaf, a stone, even an unfound door,” said Existential Steve, a short man who dreams of being one with the universe and five inches taller. “The reality of god, guns and Hillary Clinton’s breasts all provide concepts of intelligence and extend to us a greater understanding of time, space and eternity as we contemplate them. Especially Hillary’s breasts. I’ve always been a boob man.”

Stephen Hawking said life on other planets is likely common but intelligence is not. Associated Press reported that Hawking’s comments were part of a lecture at George Washington University on Monday in honor of NASA’s 50th anniversary. He said it’s possible that there may not be life elsewhere. Or maybe there is intelligent life elsewhere, but when it gets smart enough to send signals into space, it also is smart enough to make destructive nuclear weapons, so we’d better watch out. He said people who claim they were abducted by aliens are weirdo’s and their stories are probably untrue.

ABC News reported that Hillary Clinton told “Good Morning America” yesterday that her win gave her a great “vote of confidence” moving forward. At a rally in Indiana, Obama pointed to some bright spots in his losing effort. He mentioned that when the Pennsylvania contest began, he was trailing by a much larger margin than the final result indicated. Some pundits say Obama’s unguarded comments to his San Francisco supporters that rural citizens in Pennsylvania were depressed and clinging to “guns and god” hurt his performance in that primary. They say he is an elitist like his pastor who claims to fight for the downtrodden while building a $10 million dollar home next to a country club. Others say Obama simply had a brain fart and it was not a sign that he doesn’t possess intelligence or compassion.

“Science has shown that 30 seconds before you say something stupid your brain starts acting abnormally and you can’t help it,” said researcher Tom Eichele, a neuroscientist at the University of Bergen in Norway. “It happens to everybody. It doesn’t mean you’re an idiot really; it’s just a short term malfunction. I’m sure that if Barack is elected president his brain will work okay most of the time. Heck, most politicians brains are only functioning at 25% anyway. It’s nothing to worry about.”

In related news, scientists said they were “spooked” when their study found that during research on the brains performance, volunteers’ brains began acting abnormally up to a half-minute before they made errors. Eichele said it didn’t appear that the brain was tired at the time and researchers simply aren’t sure why the brain messes up. No word on whether it’s a sign that earth lacks intelligent life, or if there is intelligent life in outer space, or if the whole concept of intelligence exists just in our heads.

(C) 2008

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Green Funerals and Bungee Jumping with Condoms

Can rubber trees be used for both?

Inebriated Press
April 24, 2008

Independent Online reported last week that a South African man bungee jumped 30 meters using a rope made of condoms. And Canadian Press reported that more and more people want environmentally-friendly funerals. While some people don’t know why anyone would tie something to their legs and jump off a bridge, let alone a rope of condoms, others think that a “green” funeral is the right thing to have when the time comes.

“I don’t like condoms in me or around my ankles and never have,” said Paris Hilton, a nuclear physicist often mistaken for someone else. “I want natural sex and a natural funeral. Latex and formaldehyde aren’t for me.”

Others think that natural things are overdone and not as good as chemistry. “I have more power in American society today than any woman at any time in history, and it’s all because of the invention of the silicone implant,” said Pamela Anderson, a businesswoman occasionally considered something else. “Over half of what I am and what I do isn’t natural and I’m all the better for it. So are most guys who see my pictures and my TV shows. Just ask them.”

The condom bungee jump was the first of its kind in the world and jump master Carl Dionisio said part of the thrill was getting recognition from the jumping community. Dionisio said he and his assistant, Michael “Sniper” Xaba, had been working on the idea of the condom rope for more than a year. They used 18,500 condoms to make it. “It was difficult as the condoms are slippery. When we tied knots they would just slip out,” he said. He then cut the tips off the condoms and made loops. “It took us four months to make the rope,” said Dionisio.

Green burials have been fairly common in the United Kingdom for more than a decade, and are growing in popularity in the United States, and the idea is now just coming to Canada. A green funeral typically means the body is not subjected to chemical embalming, there are no oversized, ornate caskets made of expensive wood and metal, no grave liners or protective vaults are used, there are no fancy headstones on the grounds, and no toxic emissions are released – as is the case during cremation. Instead, the body is wrapped in a simple shroud or placed in a biodegradable box, at most only a simple stone is placed on the ground to mark a burial spot, and the effect on the environment is minimized. Innovators are convinced that rubber trees are the key to a green funeral and bungee jumping future.

“Latex is too artificial, rubber should be used for condoms, that’s why they’re called rubbers, and rubber tree leaves should for be used for funeral wraps. That’s my dream for our brave new all-natural world,” said futurist and rubber tree plantation owner, Dick Green, contemplating sex and death. “Just think, a bungee jumper could leap from a tall cliff attached with a rubber band, and if he accidentally snaps his neck he can be buried wrapped in rubber right where he fell. It’s a beautiful combination of Darwinism and survival of the fittest wrapped up in a natural package the way nature intended. Brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.”

In other news, the Globe and Mail reports that organic vodka and tequila have now become available. Both promise a full alcohol buzz but without the nasty carbon footprint. No word on whether condom-based bungee jumpers needed a couple hits before taking their leap.

(C) 2008

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