Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
In April, 2009, a New York Federal judge ruled that sperm banks can be sued under product liability laws for failing to detect a sperm donor's genetic defect. The case clears the way for a 13 year-old retarded girl from PA. to sue New York-based IDANT for using sperm with a mutation known as “Fragile X” which caused her to be born mentally retarded.
So, if human sperm is officially a product, what does that make the child born via donor insemination? In the future, will parents be able to return their children to the cryo bank if the child fails to meet their specifications, like, if the child’s not blonde enough or not proficient enough with the violin? When is that going to start happening?
In the absence of any significant federal or state regulation of the Cryo banking industry the threat of product liability lawsuit is a very good thing. But, consider this: this isn’t exactly like a consumer being sold a faulty product, who is injured and then seeks a claim; this is the faulty product itself suing the company that made it (in this case, a her). I don’t think this has happened before. Ever. Imagine a single Toyota Prius suing Toyota for assembling its breaks incorrectly!
 Owned by the DAXOR CORPORATION. You’ve really got to see their website: http://www.idant.com/ All it needs is some ‘80s David Cronenberg-esque analogue synthesizer and they're all set. No but seriously. Who would buy human semen from a company called IDANT who proudly proclaims: owned by the DAXOR CORPORATION? Also, DAXOR agents are now hunting me.
 No, I’m not making this up.
Not all trade barriers concern steel, corn and coffee. Major human semen exporters like the United States say they are having a hard time penetrating Mexico's sperm market. Human semen trade is an estimated US$100 million industry worldwide, but Mexico is abstaining from entering the market and using its own internal resources. Mexico has not banned the imports outright; however, strict federal standards and restrictions keep foreign semen out of the country. The Fertility Institutes, a semen supplier with offices in both the United States and Mexico, has been unable to swap semen across the border among its clinics. "Not because of a lack of need or desire, but because of the inability to meet all requirements of both countries, as well as FedEx and other international shippers," says Fertility Institutes' Jeffrey Steinberg. Meanwhile, strong demand in Canada for human semen on recent years--which sells for about the same price as cattle semen in the open market--eased border restrictions for sperm imports from the United States. Leading U.S. semen trader Xytex has shipped its U.S. genes to Canada and several countries in Europe since 1983, but the company says getting across its southern border poses a much bigger challenge. "It's virtually impossible," says Holly Fowler, spokesperson for Xytex. Foreign exporters trying to ship their specimen into Mexico apparently must overcome the country's main barrier to entry into the sperm market: national pride.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I don't mind admitting to you that (for this very reason) I watched nearly every minute of this past RNC '08 convention, held in Minneapolis, MN. It was stunning, for many reasons, the least of which was that, from above, the convention center looked like what you've always heard hell looks like: a giant dark pit, with fiery red floor, bunch of half-broken people mindlessly wandering around. I don't know who was in charge of designing the '08 RNC but whoever hired them really had no idea what they were doing. Whoever that person is should have a glass of water poured over their head every night for the rest of their life.
Check out the enormous digital American flag. That's weird. That makes no sense. I tried to imagine who would think that's cool. I thought of myself when I was 12. And even then I might have thought that t was stupid. The live in-house progressive jazz band was amazing, so much so that they were hard to describe. They were uncanny, the way the guy in the bear suit, leaning over and sort-of fellating the butler in The Shining was uncanny. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any footage on youtube. That was probably THE MOST sterile music I have ever heard - and I like sterile music! It's weird and totally amazing in a non-human/post-human kind of way. (Where's Pitchfork when you actually need them?)