Biologists close to creating life
Space junk may hinder Hubble repair
Swedish prostitutes want to pay taxes
September 10, 2008
Wired Science reported on Monday that biologists are on the verge of creating a new form of life. And USA Today reported Monday that space junk may hinder an upcoming space mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. Meanwhile, Swedish prostitutes are asking if they can pay taxes so they can qualify for social welfare benefits. Debate over space trash, new forms of life and taxing the world’s oldest profession is simmering like Bill O’Reilly during a Barack Obama interview.
“The world’s a mess, space is a mess and it’s high time we create new life forms so they can pay taxes to help us clean everything up,” said Desiree Desire-Mei, a Swedish hooker and tax reform advocate, known for taking guys out of this world and giving new meaning to the words ‘space junk.’ “I value quality of life just like the next person, and it’s increasingly important that we invent new life forms to help us improve the universe. I know a lot of guys who enjoy cyborgs like myself — part flesh, part silicone — but that’s just the start of things. Of course, nothing lasts forever and that’s why I need access to Swedish welfare programs that provide sick-leave pay, parental leave benefits, and a pension. Hey, I’m a working girl with current and future needs. It’s as simple as that.”
Not everyone sees things the way Desire-Mei does. “Scientists shouldn’t be trying to create life forms in the lab, it’s creepy and disgusting. Heck, we can’t even keep space clear of our old trash, why do we think we can safely create new life without trashing it,” said Stacy Saturday-Nitelive, a curvy insurance executive, who likes late-night television on weekends. “And the idea that hooker welfare is acceptable is a joke at best and stupid at worst. It’s an illegal profession for crying out loud. Don’t they stuff any money in their mattress for later on?”
Wired Science reported that a team of biologists and chemists is closing in on bringing non-living matter to life. A lab led by Jack Szostak, a molecular biologist at Harvard Medical School, is building simple cell models that can almost be called life. Szostak’s protocells are built from fatty molecules that can trap bits of nucleic acids that contain the source code for replication. Combined with a process that harnesses external energy from the sun or chemical reactions, they could form a self-replicating, evolving system that satisfies the conditions of life, but isn’t anything like life on earth now, but might represent life as it began or could exist elsewhere in the universe.
“We’ve made more progress on how the membrane of a protocell could grow and divide,” Szostak said in a phone interview. “What we can do now is copy a limited set of simple [genetic] sequences, but we need to be able to copy arbitrary sequences so that sequences could evolve that do something useful.” The most intriguing possibility of all may be that the protocells in Szostak’s lab do not closely model earthly life’s origins. If that’s true, human beings, would have created an alternative path to imbuing matter with the properties of life.
USA Today reported that the shuttle that will carry astronauts into space next month to repair the Hubble Space Telescope faces a greater risk than usual of a catastrophic collision with space debris, NASA officials said Monday. The risk of a fatal accident exceeds a NASA safety standard. As a result, NASA chief Michael Griffin will be involved in the final decision to launch, which is scheduled for Oct. 10, said shuttle program manager John Shannon. Shannon did not specify what led to the extra risk for the Hubble mission.
Two incidents in 2007 led to the biggest jump in space debris in decades: China shot an aging satellite out of orbit, creating a vast field of fragments. And an old Russian rocket circling the Earth exploded in what a NASA space-debris newsletter called a “very serious” accident. The Pentagon shot down a failed military satellite this year, but NASA and Pentagon officials said the debris that was created posed no risk to the space shuttle and quickly tumbled out of orbit. Even a tiny rock or shard of metal in space can inflict serious damage to a spacecraft, because debris in orbit is traveling thousands of miles per hour.
Sweden’s The Local reported that more and more Swedish prostitutes want to pay taxes in order to receive the social welfare benefits that come with doing so. Prostitution has been considered a business activity in Sweden since 1982 and as a result proceeds from the sale of sex are subject to taxation just like any other form of income. Income recorded on prostitutes’ tax returns gives them the right to sick-leave pay, parental leave benefits, and a pension.
“You have to keep track of all your income and expenses; all compensation should be accounted for,” explained Pia Blank Thörnroos, a legal expert with Sweden’s Tax Authority, to the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper. “One should really have accounting records. And in actuality [customers] should write out a receipt, because the transaction is considered a private operation which is subject to value added tax. But customers’ names need not be on the receipt.” While it remains against the law to purchase sex in Sweden, selling sex is perfectly legal according to Sweden’s unique prostitution law, which came into force in 1999. Some pundits say that everything in life boils down to paying or avoiding taxes.
“Why is all that junk floating around in outer space? They’re Hillary’s shredded tax documents launched there during the Clinton administration. Why do we need to invent new life forms? Because the old ones can’t pay all the taxes that the Democrats keep levying on them,” said Mambo Kreme-Pye, an Inebriated reporter with a sense of balance but little to show for it. “Now we’re supposed to give Swedish hookers receipts so they can keep a record for their taxes? Holy crap! This is getting out of hand. I knew things took a turn for the worse when I found out the feds took down Al Capone on a tax rap. Wonder if the IRS has looked into Osama bin Laden? I’ll bet those bastards are tougher than Navy Seals. They’d have bin Laden in the slammer by April 15th if somebody’d put them on the case.”
In other news, the Boston Herald reported last week that Don Yovicsin, the owner of Jake’s Dixie Roadhouse in Waltham, makes his own bacon-flavored vodka. “Everything is better with bacon. It’s one of my favorite foods,” said Yovicsin. “So when one of my friends mentioned the idea of bacon and vodka, it piqued my curiosity.” He fried a batch of Niman Ranch thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon, added the crispy bacon to a large infuser jar with Absolut vodka, then let it sit for four weeks. After the liquor was smoky, he filtered out the bacon pieces with cheesecloth, chilled the vodka to congeal the bacon fat, then removed it with a coffee filter. “The clear winner has been our Bloody Mary,” said Yovicsin. “It’s perfect with the smoky bacon flavor.” No word on how much he charges for the bacon-flavored vodka. But you can bet the IRS knows.
(C) 2008 InebriatedPress.com