Happy Flowery Thoughts

February 27, 2007

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Soon, oh so very soon, the ground will unfreeze and my happy little plants will do what plants do. And I will do what I do… take pictures. So be forewarned, Canada has two seasons, winter and construction, and during the construction season this will probably turn into a garden photo blog. OK, maybe not exclusively… I will probably blog photos of non-garden flowers…. and bugs, I like bugs. Maybe sunsets and sunrises…. I like those too. And trees. Construction is truly a wonderful time of year.

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Israel is considering an organ donation credit for those that sign their donation cards.

The move that I have initiated calls for giving the signatory of a donor card credits concerning his placement on the waiting list of candidates for transplants, if one day he is in need of such an operation. In order to discuss the implications of such a step, which for the first time introduces a non-medical criterion to the list of medical criteria that determine a patient’s place on the list, the National Transplant Center set up a special forum in which several of the best minds in the field of ethics and law in Israel participated. After a penetrating discussion, the following proposal was accepted by a majority: Every list of candidates for an organ transplant will be headed by those candidates who signed a donor card at least a year before being listed (the exact order will be determined according to the currently accepted medical criteria). Candidates who did not sign a donor card in time will be placed further down the list, according to medical criteria. 

According to the article, Israel lags other western countries in organ donation agreements (45% vs. 95%) and organ donation card signatories (8% vs. 30-40%). I wonder what accounts for the difference.

Iowa State University anthropologists report tool use by chimpanzees in Senegal.

Chimpanzees forcibly jabbed tools into hollow trunks or branches multiple times and smelled and/or licked them upon extraction. Only two of the 22 reported cases were seen as playful — in the case of an infant male — or exploratory in nature. In all other cases, chimps were judged by the researchers to use such force in inserting the tool that prey within the tree could have been injured. They witnessed just one case in which a chimpanzee extracted a bushbaby — a smaller primate — through use of the spear.

The chimp was reported saying “mmmmmmm…… bushbaby.”