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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Mammoth Deception

Some of you lie about your age. Occasionally, you might fib about your weight or your income.

Maybe—shame on you—you even misrepresent your sexual history.

But most of you don’t deceive private and government donors by diverting nearly $1 million in funds earmarked for legitimate scientific research into side projects, like attempts to clone mammoths.

Clearly, you’re not South Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk.

Stem cell and cloning expert Woo-suk was on top of the world in 2003 and 2004. That was before news surfaced last year that his stunning cloning “successes” rested on doctored data. He now finds himself in court, fighting charges that he bought human eggs illegally and used research money for personal expenses.

And Woo-suk’s defense—yes, his defense—rests on his claim that instead of gaining personally from the misspent money, he used it to finance experiments to bring back the mammoth from glacier-preserved cells.

You might enjoy seeing a mammoth the next time you go the zoo. But surely there are better things to bring back from the past.

Music fans would love to see the artists they never had a chance to thanks to the grim reaper. Let’s bring back John Lennon, George Harrison, John Bonham, Jim Morrison, Keith Moon, John Entwistle, and Freddie Mercury and have one hell of a rock and roll reunion show, featuring The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Doors, and Queen.

Cloning Leonardo da Vinci seems like a no-brainer. We could resolve once and for all the debate over whether he was hiding secret messages in his works.

Da Vinci’s engineering skills would even prove useful as we tackles some of the greatest reconstruction projects of our time. Like Iraq. And Lebanon. And M. Night Shyamalan’s career after the dreadful opening weekend of Lady in the Water.

Wouldn’t it be nice to replicate some of our best leaders of the past to help us now? Step forward George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, and Andrew Jackson.

Not so fast, James Buchanan. And you’d better stay back, too, Herbert Hoover.

Rest assured there’s one thing we aren’t likely to bring back, no matter how good this technology gets.

Hwang Woo-suk’s career.

34 Comments:

At July 26, 2006 8:31 AM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Just make sure they don't try to bring back Stalin or Hitler!

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm being prejuduce, but I work for a South Korean company and you don't know how strange their culture is until you see them every day.

 
At July 26, 2006 8:40 AM, Blogger OnMyWatch replied to my musings ...

I don't know, from watching Pet Semetary, I'm not sure if bringing anyone back is such a hot idea. It would be a mistake of mammoth proportions.

 
At July 26, 2006 9:43 AM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I agree with onmywatch. Pet Semetary certainly did much more to frighten me away from bringing back the dead.
It doesn't ever work out--look back as early as the Frankenstein movies.

 
At July 26, 2006 9:53 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Mike: Good point, you never know what tissue they'll find and try to use!

OMW, Angel: Maybe the scientists around the globe working on cloning should head to the video store and follow your advice.

-- david

 
At July 26, 2006 10:00 AM, Blogger cube replied to my musings ...

One could even say Hwang Woo's sense of ethics... suks!

 
At July 26, 2006 10:15 AM, Blogger ~ good girl ~ replied to my musings ...

Lol @ onmywatch and angel, and LMAO @ your reply, David. Three of you cracked me up and I agree, just look back at the movies and we have a pretty good idea what we shld NOT be doing. I'm half-arsed on the cloning debate. Its merits, I applaud like everyone. But leave it in the wrongs hands...I think we're wired to self-serve, some more than others, and in the wrong hands, it could go so wrong.

David, I'm with you on that superduper reunion concert. It wld kick ass.

GG

 
At July 26, 2006 10:16 AM, Blogger Ben replied to my musings ...

I'd bring back FDR anytime, for me he was THE greatest president of the 20th century.

That guy has been all over the news in the UK. He's totally bonkers.

I'm doing a joint blog with a guy from SF called Will.

Will & Ben's Record Room

 
At July 26, 2006 10:17 AM, Anonymous Bruce replied to my musings ...

Anyone named Woo-Suk should not be working in science, or is it science fiction?

 
At July 26, 2006 11:02 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

I wouldn't consider Andrew Jackson to be a great president, and I certainly wouldn't want him resurrected. He was a great military leader, I'll give him that-- but he's responsible for one of the most despicable acts of genocide in US history-- The Trail of Tears, the forceful and unlawful relocation of millions of Native-Americans from the east to the west. And this was AFTER the US Supreme Court had ruled in favor of the Native's land rights.

 
At July 26, 2006 11:07 AM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

The name Woo-Suk just invites far too many mean spirited one-liners. I will abstain from that today.

 
At July 26, 2006 11:22 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Cube, Bruce: It's so rude to make puns out of people's names. You'd never catch ME doing that ...

GG: The only downside to the Mother of All Concerts would be the ticket cost.

Ben: You Brits have always loved FDR. Where's the love for Millard Filmore? I'll be sure to check out your new blog. You must never sleep, my friend.

Perplexio: Well, there is that. Scholarly surveys usually put Jackson up there in the top few presidents anyway. Then again, Tommy Jefferson is always up there, too, depsite his well-known playtime with slaves and generally arrogant attitude.

Fuzz: You're just pissed that Cube beat you to it.

-- david

 
At July 26, 2006 11:31 AM, Blogger Janet replied to my musings ...

As I was reading this all I could think was mammoths? Really? Not that I condone cloning, but like there's nothing else better to clone?

 
At July 26, 2006 11:33 AM, Blogger Metal Mark replied to my musings ...

I have seen enough bad sci-fi and horror movies to know that cloning or bringing back the dead is not a good idea.

 
At July 26, 2006 12:24 PM, Blogger Will replied to my musings ...

Dude ... the mammoth is way cool, and I could totally see him playing bass and drums for the Who. I can't possibly think of anything more worthy of cloning.

 
At July 26, 2006 12:43 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Dude, forget the Millard Fillmore love-- where's the love for Franklin Pierce or for Chester Arthur?

And I have to politely disagree with Ben about FDR being the greatest president of the 20th century. He created a vicious cycle of dependency on the government and the more dependent a people are on their government the more those people become slaves to that government. I'd say FDR's cousin, Teddy, was a better president-- his trust-busting ways, setting up the National Park system, mediating the terms of the treaty which ended the Russo-Japanese War, getting the ball rolling on the Panama Canal... And he even ended up with a plush bear doll forever bearing his name!

 
At July 26, 2006 12:43 PM, Blogger siren replied to my musings ...

Thanks for the heads up on Lady in the Water. After The Village, I wasn't sure if I could ever trust Shyamalan again. Worst ending ever (unless you've seen The Secret Window).

 
At July 26, 2006 1:05 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Janet, WIll: Cloning saber-toothed tigers seems like a better choice to me. Can you imagine the mad skills one of those would have a specially designed drum kit? (Hey, if Def Leppard's Rick Allen gets his won special kit for having one arm, why can't we do the same for a cloned saber-toothed tiger?)

Metal Mark: What if we brought back the makers of all those movies ... poetic justice, perhaps?

Perplexio: I'm not the biggest FDR fan either, but he's quite popular across the pond. Of course, everyone's more popular than the tragically named Jerk Roosevelt, who nobody seemed to like.

Siren: I heard that the film bombed over the weekend. Which, based on what I've seen and heard, is fitting.

-- david

 
At July 26, 2006 1:13 PM, Blogger Mimi replied to my musings ...

Ilike the idea of bringing back past leaders. I would like to see their reaction to our world and what if anything they would do.

 
At July 26, 2006 1:20 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Bring back Busby Berkeley!

I miss seeing movies with women forming a kaleidescope in a swimming pool!

 
At July 26, 2006 1:24 PM, Blogger Mike replied to my musings ...

Bring back Truman and TR!!! Leave the rest. Now, we should bring back all the baseball greats and settle once and for all who the greatest players were. Hell, do it for all sports every 50 years, we can keep adding to all the new crop. No puns today, yet, but I'll try to keep a Presidential attitude and speak softly...

 
At July 26, 2006 1:30 PM, Blogger KC replied to my musings ...

OK, I admit that I know absolutely nothing about cloning, but do these "resurrected" individuals spring full grown like Athena from the head of Zeus? I would imagine they need to grow up again. If so, then that means we'll possibly miss the big Reunion concert because we'll be too old by the time they mature. Damn. Can't win.

 
At July 26, 2006 2:01 PM, Blogger Pixie replied to my musings ...

I dont agree with messing with cloning and all that stuff.

But I cant get past the fact that the guys name is "Woo Suk" Thats all that going around my head.

 
At July 26, 2006 2:02 PM, Anonymous LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

What an absolute YUTZ that guy is!

Nuff said ;-)

 
At July 26, 2006 2:45 PM, Blogger An80sNut replied to my musings ...

I worry about bringing former leaders back. I've heard that leaders are created by the times around them. I'm just worried that right now our future rests in the hands of a 6 year-old that is currently crying over losing his Nintendo DS cartridge.

 
At July 26, 2006 6:46 PM, Blogger missy replied to my musings ...

Pity about M. Night... he's done ever so well at the start.

 
At July 26, 2006 8:10 PM, Blogger Death Warmed Over replied to my musings ...

How does someone named You-suck get funding anyway? They should have a service where they clone someone you hate so you can punch 'em out without getting in trouble.

 
At July 27, 2006 7:02 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Mimi, ZW, Mike: Those are good ideas for bringing some corpses back. Babe Ruth would crush Barry Bonds.

KC: I hadn't thought of the growing-up time. I wonder how Jim Morrison would do if we gave him a mic at five years old.

Pixie, Lisa: I'm guessing his full name is Hwang Yutz Woo-suk.

80s Nut: Our next generation of leaders will think they can solve world crises by calling in and voting a la American Idol.

Missy: I liked The Sixth Sense, and Unbreakable was bearable, but each movie since has been less compelling.

Death Warmed Over: Thanks for the comment. If they DID institute that service, I'm buying the right to punch Napoleon. Or maybe just step on him.

-- david

 
At July 27, 2006 8:55 AM, Blogger Shannon replied to my musings ...

I never lie about my age *Shocked look* =P

I would love to bring back Marilyn Monroe...I would love to know the 'Real' reason behind her death.

Great post!

 
At July 27, 2006 11:34 AM, Anonymous fred charles replied to my musings ...

If we act fast, maybe we can get a cloned Keith Moon all liquored up so he can play on the new The Who CD. I'm sure they can find some old vodka bottles that are teeming Moon's DNA.

 
At July 27, 2006 1:27 PM, Blogger Blonde Vigilante replied to my musings ...

Woo-suk...that's funny.

 
At July 27, 2006 2:42 PM, Blogger arcadia replied to my musings ...

bring back freud! might be just what us postmodernists need.

 
At July 27, 2006 4:08 PM, Blogger Kid Jacque replied to my musings ...

Phil Hartman, John Belushi, Chris Farley, Gilda Radner, Bob Hope, George Burns, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Elvis, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Myron Floren, The Doors, Queen and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

I need to laugh and have some good tunes. I can do without the politics and psychoanalyzing....

 
At July 27, 2006 7:42 PM, Blogger Grafs replied to my musings ...

How about bringing back Jack Ruby and putting this Kennedy assassination thing to rest.

 
At July 28, 2006 1:10 AM, Blogger phlegmfatale replied to my musings ...

Sitting in the theater watching The Lady In the Water, I wondered why the film looked so dark. I finally realized I had my sunglasses on. tee hee

 

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