Here is the News:: February 18th, 2017

The Most Expensive Way to Die?

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So, if you have £80 to spare and happen to be in West London in the near future, you can pop into Harrods and pick yourself up a bottle of Svalbarði . The Guardian’s article covers all the moral indignation and larger social consequences that I might want to throw into this reflection, but fails to consider a larger consequence of ‘harvesting’ ice which was, in the blurb of the website, ‘locked up for millennia and fresh as the day it fell as snow … captured, melted and bottled during its brief few months of life before it melts away forever.’ For my bigger concern, you need to go back to a Guardian article in August of last year which reported that a 12-year-old boy in the far north of Russia (inside the Arctic Circle) died in an outbreak of anthrax. This snow might look white and pure, but what could be locked inside it is anything but.

There’s a lot of the past we know little about, and are even less prepared to fight against when it comes to viruses and diseases, which have proven historically to be far hardier when frozen than the average bag of water and bone. Yet, in that pursuit of the ultimate, people think this shit matters, with (as is apparent) very little thought for anything other than profit. You would think by now the memo would have been read that climate change is not something to be exploiting or indeed ignored, but it appears that the reality of destruction continues to fall on deaf ears. It won’t help that the new Head of the EPA in the US is a man who has spent the majority of his career trying to fight the Agency over various initiatives, including Clean Energy, but we all know what a train wreck American Government currently resembles.


Chris Pratt Will Not Save You

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It’s like the plot from the fourth-highest-grossing film of all time: scientists at Harvard are close to splicing DNA from mammoths that were preserved in Arctic permafrost with a modern day elephant to make an attraction for a theme park the first mammoth/elephant hybrid and let’s stop the genome bus right here, shall we? I’ve seen this movie, even before Chris Pratt was training velociraptors. Just because you can do something does not mean you should. Cloning sheep was all well and good, GM-modifying crops to help them survive is borderline NOPE and this…? Just stop it, science. It’s not big or clever to play God, quite apart from the fact he doesn’t exist. Fucking about with nature has serious consequences. Even if you haven’t seen Jurassic anything, these science types need to watch Mimic as a matter of urgency.

Of course, the other side to this coin involves a swab, 150 quid and the chance to reveal you past and future to the World:

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23 and Me allows you, for a nominal fee, to get your DNA sequenced. Undoubtedly this is the future, and not making Mammoths because you can.


Get you a World Leader That Can Do Both

You want a man in charge who can dodge the Orange Twat’s handshake one day, and look like an extra from a Spielberg movie the next. Whoever was holding the camera for this shot knew EXACTLY what they were doing, and has produced one of the most impressive staged photographs I’ve seen for some time. It doesn’t matter that this is just that, by the way, because so much of life for people like this ends up as very well regimented, manufactured experience without the opportunity to be visually striking. Yes, it’s a Instagram moment if ever I saw one, but that doesn’t stop the impact. I’m betting whoever took this also owns Schindler’s List on DVD.


With my long term plan going forward to do a weekly news post? I’ll see you back in seven days. If you like this, please chuck me a LIKE because it’ll warm the cold, dead ventricles of my heart.