Here we are again, at midquarter 2. As this is a Leap Year for both the Gregorian and theAbysmal Calendar, the dates on the Wheel of the Year after February 29th fall one day earlier than in non-leap years. This midway day normally falls on August 6th, the day when the US Air Force dropped the atomic bomb “Little Boy” on Hiroshima.
This day doesn’t seem to have any major or minor holidays associated with it. In Canada, it is simply a civic holiday, celebrated on the first Monday in August, named variously across the country. I think it deserves more than that.
If Feb 5th is the equivalent of Groundhog’s Day, May 6/7 the equivalent of Mother’s Day, maybe this should be theAbysmal Father’s Day, and Nov 4/5 would be something else – it already falls midway between All Soul’s Day and Remembrance Day.
At any rate, happy holiday to you, wherever and however you choose to celebrate it. The whenever is a given.
I don’t know about you, but I’m properly terrified.
the TED talk on CRISPR was welcomed with muted applause, I expect due to the power of this new technology, and what we have, historically, done with greatly powerful technologies (see: plutonium). It seems rather quick to jump to human trials, considering how little we know about the technology, and its potential to spread out of our control.
From the Guardian
A team of Chinese scientists will be the first in the world to apply the revolutionary gene-editing technique known as Crispr on human subjects.
Led by Lu You, an oncologist at Sichuan University’s West China hospital in Chengdu, China, the team plan to start testing cells modified with Crispr on patients with lung cancer in August, according to the journal Nature.
Crispr is a game-changer in bioscience; a groundbreaking technique which can find, cut out and replace specific parts of DNA using a specially programmed enzyme named Cas9. Its ramifications are next to endless, from changing the color of mouse fur to designing malaria-free mosquitoes and pest-resistant crops to correcting a wide swath of genetic diseases like sickle-cell anaemia in humans.
Trauma and Recovery – the Aftermath of Violence—From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror by Judith Herman, M.D.
PART 1 – Traumatic Disorders
Chapter 1 – A Forgotten History
The study of psychological trauma has a curious history—one of episodic amnesia. Periods of active investigation have alternated with periods of oblivion. Repeatedly in the past century, similar lines of inquiry have been taken up and abruptly abandoned, only to be rediscovered much later. Classic documents of fifty or one hundred years ago often read like contemporary works. Though the field has in fact an abundant and rich tradition, it has been periodically forgotten and must be periodically reclaimed.
This intermittent amnesia is not the result oof the ordinary changes in fashion that affect any intellectual pursuit. The study of psychological trauma does not languish for lack of interest. Rather, the subject provokes such intense controversy that it periodically becomes anathema. The study of psychological trauma has repeatedly led into realms of the unthinkable and foundered on fundamental questions of belief.
To study psychological trauma is to come face to face both with human vulnerability in the natural world and with the capacity for evil in human nature. To study psychological trauma means bearing witness to horrible events. When the events are natural disasters… those who bear witness sympathize readily with the victim. But when the traumatic events are of human design, those who bear witness are caught in the conflict between victim and perpetrator. It is morally impossible to remain neutral in this conflict. The bystander is forced to take sides. Read the rest of this entry »