Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Infertility patients caught in the legal, moral and scientific embryo debate.

Six years of frustration and heartbreak. That's how Gina Rathan recalls her attempts to become pregnant.

Finally, she and her husband, Cheddi, conceived a daughter, now 3, through in vitro fertilization. About a year later, she became pregnant with a second child, naturally. Their family was complete.

Then, a year ago, the Fountain Valley couple received a bill reminding them that their infertility journey wasn't quite over. They owed $750 to preserve three frozen embryos they'd created but hadn't used.

"I don't see them as not being life yet," says Gina Rathan, 42, a pharmaceutical sales representative. "I thought, 'How can I discard them when I have a beautiful child from that IVF cycle?' "

Many other former infertility patients also appear to be grappling over the fate of embryos they have no plans to use: An estimated 500,000 embryos are in cryopreservation in the United States.

As with the Rathans, this unexpected conundrum often arises well after the infertility crisis has passed, triggering impassioned and highly personal debates about the science and ethics of human life. The discussion boils down to a fundamental question: What is this icy clump of cells smaller than a grain of sand?

Handy Latin Phrases.

Quantum materiae materietur marmota monax si marmota monax materiam possit materiari?

More here.

American Financial Meltdowns in the Past.

As bad as today seems, we've been through worse.

The Ghostbuster’s Ecto-1 For Sale.

If you have $45,000 to spare, check out the auction on

The Tyranny of the Baby Seat.

The tyranny of the car seat isn't confined to the mollycoddlers in Washington. Every state in the union has laws on the books mandating the use of car seats for infants and toddlers. Thirty-eight states now have laws also mandating the use of booster seats. If anything, the laws in the District of Columbia are on the lax side.

In Massachusetts, once eight-year-olds graduate from their booster seats, they must remain in the backseat of the car, using normal seatbelts, until age twelve. In Maine, children over 40 pounds must be in a booster seat until they reach eight years of age or 80 pounds--whichever comes last. The penalty for violating these laws varies from state to state, ranging from $10 to $500 per infraction. (The District of Columbia also tacks two points onto your license for good measure.) In Nevada, you can be sentenced to up to 50 hours of community service.

This Guy Get More Creepy Every Day.

Good News: McCain Within 2 Points Despite Bad Economic News.

Bad News: It's a Zogby poll.

Actually it's really all good news. Despite some pessismism in conservative circles and the media acting like the race is over, it's still surprisingly fluid and more importantly...close.

A lot can happen in the next 30 days. The media is finally beginning to notice the Ayers thing and sooner or later somebody is going to ask Obama why raising taxes as you head toward a recession is a good thing. Who knows, some people might even notice that we've won a war that Obama has been desperately trying to lose.

I still think McCain has structural advantages when it comes to the Electoral College and if McCain can successfully paint Obama as a risky, hard left candidate who lacks the experience to be President he'll not only win-he'll crush him.

Jeannie C. Riley - Harper Valley P.T.A.

So I'm on the freeway today...

A wholesome young woman in her Freudian slip.

...and there's this Humvee that is covered with promotional logos for The Bare Elegance, a Los Angeles strip joint. It's the sort of thing intended to draw your eye without being too obscene (much like the above photo). Anyway, I noticed it, the wife noticed it, a blind man would have noticed it.

I begin to pass the Hummer and the wife notices the van in front of it. In big green letters on it's side it says Fussy Painting.

The wife laughs and says:

"You know for a second there I thought it said something else"

Your humble author replies, "The funny thing is...I had exactly the same thought".

The SNL skit I linked to earlier is back redacted form.

Here's what happend.