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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan 29, 2013/ 18 Shevat, 5773

Making a pet project out of Neanderthals

By John Kass

John Kass


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) In the most depressing scientific news in years, it turns out that the scheme to clone a Neanderthal baby is about as real as Manti Te'o's girlfriend.

The esteemed Harvard University geneticist George M. Church — who helped start the Human Genome Project — blames the confusion on a bad translation of an interview he did with Germany's Der Spiegel. The account then was morphed on the Internet by reporters desperate for a good cave man baby story.

Church was horrified to learn it had been reported that he was actively searching for a healthy woman to help clone a cave man baby. Not true, said Church.

"I'm certainly not advocating it," Church told the Boston Herald, yet not before adding rather ominously: "I'm saying, if it's technically possible someday, we need to start talking about it today."

Why not start talking about it right now?

Once I heard it may someday be possible to clone a grunting, hairy-backed, bandy-legged Neanderthal of low intelligence — not human, per se, but rather humanoid in nature — I really wanted one of my own, even if my enemies might call it Mini-Me.

After all, who wouldn't want to own a pet Neanderthal?

If you were hungry, you could put some cash into a can draped around his neck and tell your pet Neanderthal to run over to Mr. Beef on Orleans. All he'd have to do is learn Chicago's magic words: Beef. Hot. Dry.

"Mr. Beef?" asked my colleague Old School. "That's kind of a waste of a Neanderthal, isn't it?"

Oh, no, just as long as he doesn't scarf down my scrumptious Mr. Beefs. Neanderthals would also be perfect for countless menial tasks, including pulling rickshaws to cut down on our gas emissions in cities or passing out palm cards on Election Day.

But we'd better not let them procreate. And while we're at it, we should probably lop off their thumbs. As anyone with cable TV knows by now, if humanoid creatures start using their thumbs to make tools, their brains will begin growing, and they'll become unmanageable and hostile.

What America needs right now — with our deficit spending completely out of control — are docile hordes of hairy beasties, a permanent underclass of eager workers to keep our economy and social entitlements going at little or no cost to taxpayers.

Washington Post science writer Brian Palmer wrote in Slate last year that Neanderthals had a "clear power advantage" over modern man. Adult males averaged 5 feet 5 inches tall and possessed "Popeye" forearms, possibly the result of a life spent stabbing woolly mammoths and straight-tusked elephants to death and dismantling their carcasses."

They had stronger upper-body muscles, a wider pelvis and a "lower center of gravity than Homo sapiens, which would have made him a powerful grappler," Palmer wrote.

Our pet Neanderthals would make perfect combat athletes. We could wager on them when they perform in the arenas on Sundays and not feel guilty about concussions and ACL tears.

Neanderthals would most likely replace the ubiquitous vicious pit bulls in rap music videos. What rapper could resist having his own snarling pair of hairy Northern Europeans?

"But then you run other risks," said Old School. "Say you send him to Mr. Beef, and he starts grabbing at his private parts on a public street. That could be embarrassing. And what if you have to discipline your Neanderthal when he throws his feces, then he starts looking at you."

What do you mean, he starts looking at me?

"I'm all about sci-fi," Old School said as I typed his quotes. "What scares me most is that moment when the creature reasons things out. And they always do. It'll probably happen while you're typing. That's when he calmly pulls your head off with the spine attached and begins running around your office howling with glee."

According to the mangled version of professor Church's plan, Neanderthal DNA would be recreated from fossils, put into stem cells and then injected into a human embryo produced with the help of an "adventurous" female volunteer. The hoped-for result: baby Neanderthal.

I discussed the idea with a few women who kind of agreed to volunteer, as long as they receive all movie and reality TV rights, book deals and proceeds from merchandising (like Neanderthal baby diapers in woolly mammoth earth tones).

"I need a contract," said a respected broadcast journalist. "I'm not carrying a cave man baby without a contract." But most women declined. "I married a cave man," said another. "And I've already given birth to his kids."

Sadly, some women just don't get it. So I ask the rest of you to consider the benefits: An entire class of humanoids laboring to protect our hefty federal entitlements, and all we have to do is feed them hot dogs and perhaps a few candied nuts on government-mandated secular holidays.

We contacted Nazca Fontes, founder and president of ConceiveAbilities, one of the nation's oldest egg donation-surrogacy facilities here in Chicago. She wasn't enthused.

"I'm sure you'll find someone out there willing to do this who is 'adventurous,'" she said. "I'd say that any woman worth her salt would probably not do this on a lark just for pure adventure."

You just never know.

Sadly, such creations do have a way of turning on us, in the movies. We use science to play God, then our appetites compel us to send them to Mr. Beef and some moron forgets to lop off their thumbs.

Then it happens: They start looking at you.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Comments by clicking here.



Previously:



01/17/13 Spielberg stops 'Robopocalypse,' perhaps on orders of evil master robot
01/07/13 Reality TV, how deep can it sink?
11/08/12 Thanks, voters, for caring enough to argue
11/05/12 It's Romney by a head
11/01/12 Sandy swoops in to save Obama. Should it be allowed to?
10/18/12 The other side of the emergency room curtain
10/15/12 Droopy Chia candidates get a do-over
10/04/12 :Schoolchildren's stomachs rumble; drama queens grumble
10/01/12 : Chia Obama vs. Chia Romney: May the best greenfro win
09/25/12 : With bitter campaign in full swing, you need to watch some movies
08/02/12 : Toasting culture's absurdities
04/24/12: Why do you have to sell your privacy to win?
10/13/11: Stupid things men say to pregnant women
09/26/11: Desk zero: ‘Contagion’ lurks just outside office bathroom
09/08/11: Light up your lottery tickets, pass the Hopium
08/31/11: It was only a paper moon , but a legendary hoax
05/27/11: For 2012, it's Obama vs. the smoothies
05/05/11: Is it time to de-friend Pakistan?
04/12/11: China stretches the bounds of decency with cow-human-breast milk
03/23/11: No you're not in control; get over it
02/28/11: Chicago wanted a strongman, and it got one
01/26/11: Oh, c'mon, c'mon, Rahm-bo a victim? That's a stretch
12/13/10: WikiLeaks and Assange pretend there are no consequences
12/09/10: Trendy toys don't stand up to playthings of yore
10/11/10: Obama and his pals need some scarce Hopium for the next election
09/14/10: Obama gets a little bossy with tacit endorsement of Emanuel
08/18/10: Dead Meat walking, but heat to be applied again
07/28/10: No verdict, but Blagojevich trial still has its winners, losers
07/26/10: Obama's fall guy in Shirley Sherrod case is Vilsack the Pooh
07/21/10: Loathing of Steinbrenner softens after his death
07/19/10: Summertime, and the race cards are easy
06/28/10: Does Congress have the guts to fix what court gutted? Honestly, no
12/17/09: Belt-tightening presidential aspirant leaves room for Spam
09/27/09: ACORN can teach the GOP a thing or 2
09/03/09: Blago as author gets it wrong yet again 06/22/09: Obama's latest political play should shock no one
06/17/09: Presidential satire takes Hopium break
06/11/09: E-Verify works, so, of course, let's not use it
06/09/09: First Lady Macbeth's the man, so in your face, Eminem
06/02/09: Judge Sotomayor would think me most unwise
05/12/09: Parents, enjoy this time, in all its creepiness
03/18/09: Stem cell policy shift brings a sinking feeling
03/09/09: Name That Blago Book contest names its winner
03/05/09: Contest: Name Blagojevich's book
02/16/09: Dems undercut aid for U.S. workers
01/20/09: Let the carving begin on Tombstone's tomb
01/12/09: Obama serves Reid taste of Chicago Way
01/02/09: Jesters don't pick up the race card in a nationally televised news conference and slam it into the face of every Dem in the Senate, a palm heel strike to the tip of the nose, leaving all of them watery-eyed, their lips stinging
12/24/08: Governor waxes poetic, but Combine rolls on
12/23/08: Got corruption? Get Jesse Junior G-Man
12/18/08: Will ‘feditis’ spread to Obama and Daley?
12/15/08: Man behind curtain is wizard of Rod, Rahm

© 2012, Chicago Tribune. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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