Tuesday, February 20, 2007

snow and stem cell research

I've just spent Presidents' Day weekend at Whistler, B.C. with friends (see attached photos). I think skiing/snowboarding is one of my favorite things to do with friends. You're outside in awesome beauty all day long and then usually return to a cozy place to tip back a few cold ones, sit in a hot tub, eat and have quality time. The quality on this trip in particular was fantastic. Compelling topics ranged from organic food and what we put into our bodies, our parents and grandparents, and a wonderfully NOT heated discussion on stem cell research. My immediate and gut reaction was, "Absolutely I support it." After a few hours of deliberation I still feel that way, but it was a great exercise in seeing the other side of things and thinking about that other side in a way I hadn't before. I still have some concerns and some things to learn about the topic. If you'd like to join me in checking out more, see the following links:

http://stemcells.nih.gov/
National Bioethics Advisory Committee's reports on ethical issues in stem cell research (stolen from a friend):
http://www.georgetown.edu/research/nrcbl/nbac/stemcell.pdf

ALSO! -Haley, Josh and myself took the Seattle Underground Tour and were taken on a wild goose chase as to the inventor of the western flush toilet -Thomas Crapper.

::::Thomas Crapper was a plumber who founded Thomas Crapper & Co. Ltd. in London.
Despite urban legend, Crapper did not invent the flush toilet (the myth being helped by the surname). However, Crapper put in effort to popularise it and did come up with some related inventions. He was noted for the quality of his products and received several Royal Warrants. The noun "crap" was in use long before he was born, but no longer in use in Victorian Britain.

Lastly, there was some debate as to the difference between a prawn and a shrimp. SOME of us were sure there was no difference. Let me just clear that up(wink, josh):

::::Prawns are edible, shrimp-like crustaceans, belonging to the sub-order Dendrobranchiata [1]. They are distinguished from the superficially similar shrimp by the gill structure which is branching in prawns (hence the name, dendro="tree"; branchia="gill"), but is lamellar in shrimp. The sister taxon to Dendrobranchiata is Pleocyemata, which contains all the true shrimp, crabs, lobsters, etc.






1 comment:

Haley said...

love this and ewe! nice work, fran! i'm going to start one, too. word up. miss you, dear.
peace.