Thursday

September 20th, 2018

Diversions

New World Order | At least you ain't a 'researcher'!

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Sept. 12, 2016

New World Order | At least you ain't a 'researcher'!

A leading Chinese orthopedic surgeon continues to believe that "full-body" transplants are the next big thing in medicine, despite worldwide skepticism about both the science and the ethics. The plan for Dr. Ren Xiaoping of Harbin Medical University calls for removing both heads (the deceased donor's and the live recipient's), connecting the blood vessels, stabilizing the new neck, and "bath(ing)" spinal-cord nerve endings chemically so they will connect. (Critics say it is impossible to "connect" spinal-cord nerves.) According to a June New York Times dispatch, doctors regularly denounce China's ethical laxities (though Chinese officials term such denunciations "envy" at China's achievements). [New York Times, 6-11-2016]



A team of researchers is following about 30 tabbies, calicos, and others, recording their moves and sounds, to somehow learn whether housecats have dialects in their meows and alter other patterns of stress and intonation when they "speak" to other cats or to humans. In explaining the project, linguist Robert Eklund (of Sweden's Linkoping University) personally sounded out "a pretty wide range of meows to illustrate his points," wrote a New York magazine interviewer in April. Eklund is already an expert on feline purring (at Purring.org) -- although from a distance, as he admits to being allergic to cats. [New York, 4-27-2016]


Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles