Philosophical ruminations.
Nov. 23 1999 3:25 AM


News from academe.

{{Cowheads#56476}}Godzilla vs. Frankenstein
Researchers at the Tokyo University of Agriculture have drawn the ire of the Japanese government for their aggressive cloning experiments. The team transplanted the nuclei of human white blood cells into the egg cells of cows and applied electric shocks to fuse them. The cells began segmenting but stopped after three cycles. Had the cells continued segmenting, as normal cells do, they could have (theoretically) been implanted into a human uterus and potentially produced a human clone. The Japan Economic Newswire reports that the experiment may have violated a government policy that forbids university and ministry-related research institutions from creating human clones and transplanting nuclei into human egg cells.


Meat Is Murder

"Organ Watch" has been formed to monitor what UC Berkeley anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes calls "modern cannibalism"--the theft of body parts from corpses--which occurs predominantly in impoverished areas around the globe. Researchers from Berkeley and Columbia University will investigate the global distribution of human organs and look into urban legends, such as the one in which a drugged party-goer wakes up in a bath of ice water with his kidneys extracted. Next to them is a phone and a note that says, "Call 911 immediately or you will die."


Anarchy in the U.S.

Letters sent to the imprisoned Ted Kaczynski--from admirers and foes alike--are bound for the anarchist papers collection at the University of Michigan. Photocopies of letters and other writings by the Unabomber himself will also join the archive (all slightly abridged for the protection of privacy, that is). A university spokesperson told the Michigan Daily that the library is also interested in acquiring evidence from Kaczynski's trial but that it won't be available until after he "has exhausted his appeals options."

First Stone

Hillsdale College President George Roche III, nationally known for decrying a moral crisis in higher education, resigned from his $188,000 post. According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the precipitating event was the suicide of Roche's daughter-in-law amid rumors of an affair between her and Roche. After resigning, Roche only said, according to the Chronicle, "I am nearly 65 years of age and have no wish to continue." Hillsdale, located about 100 miles from Detroit, held an all-school convocation to discuss the future direction of the college.

Goddard Damn the President

The last time Goddard College went shopping for a new president, its advertising copy quipped, "We need someone who is prepared to lead us through a process that questions the necessity of a president in the first place." Questioning the necessity of the current president is the newly unionized faculty, which recently filed a vote of "no confidence" in President Barbara C. Mossberg over her management style. The chairman of Goddard's board of trustees dismissed the faculty wrath as "labor negotiations tactics" and described the call for a new president consistent with Goddard College tradition: The school has had six presidents in the last decade.


Victorious Couch Potatoes