Slice of the Kidney Pie

August 29, 2009

Will Wilkinson and Bryan Caplan are debating why people oppose organ markets. Caplan believes that all (or effectively all) people that understand the economics behind organ markets support it over, I’m assuming, the current heavily altruistic system. Wilkinson attempts to summarize the moral argument against organ markets as follows:

Human beings have a certain dignity that is central to the value of human life. That dignity ought to be respected, preserved, and protected. Allowing the sale of human body parts diminishes the dignity of those involved in the transaction and erodes respect for the dignity of human beings generally. Therefore, markets in body parts ought to be legally prohibited.

Read the rest of this entry »


August 27, 2009

The Toronto Star as an article about Virgin Mobile using this image without permission:

McDermott, 38, was strolling down a lane in the Irish capital when he spotted a visually stunning piece of street art – a young girl releasing a heart-shaped balloon – that closely resembled the work of the renowned British graffiti artist known as “Banksy,” despite a misspelling of the shadowy figure’s moniker.

A hobby photographer, he snapped a few pictures before the mural was scrubbed away. He later touched up the picture using a computer program and uploaded it to the photo-sharing website Flickr.

While he knew the photo was good, he was still shocked to learn this week that the same picture was being used by cellphone giant Virgin Mobile in its latest Canadian ad campaign.

“Virgin is a multibillion-dollar company,” McDermott said in an interview, adding he never gave anyone permission to use his image. “They should know better.”

McDermott believes he should be paid $US 1000 for the use of his photograph. The thing that I find most interesting is that this “visually stunning piece of street art” that we are told was going to be “scrubbed away” has a URL above it:

If you click through you will find that is a not for profit art gallery. There is a Contact page with e-mail addresses and phone numbers. Somehow I don’t think the stunning piece of street art on the front of an art gallery is a coincidence.

Yes, “They should know better”. Virgin Mobile. McDermott. The Toronto Star. Chris Sorensen (the journalist). The only ones that seem ahead of the curve are the people who painted the URL above their gallery entrance.

There are not many things that can enhance the moment when I’m out on the lake in a canoe. Polarized sunglasses unobtrusively do just that. A big sky with fluffy white clouds are made more perfect with the clarity and extra saturation the polarizer provides.

The added bonus is that I can scout out scenes that will look great when I add a circular polarizing filter to my camera/lens.

Alas, I was cameraless so word pictures will have to do for this post.

Screech Jays

August 22, 2009

Blue jays make an awful racket. They sound like crows being strangled. Such lovely birds to watch but it is excruciating to listen to them.