Friday, February 7, 2014

seven quick takes - ed. 14

1. How crazy and cool is this? Scientists discover children's cells living in mothers' brains.

Chimerism is when two lines of genetically distinct cells coexist in a single being (the most common example in humans is after organ transplantation). This article talks about an example of microchimerism, which is where one organism contains only a very small amount of genetically distinct cells. They don't really know the medical implications yet, but I think the philosophical/theological implications are just as interesting when you put it this way: the children you carry are literally part of your body for the rest of your life-- whether they are carried to term or not. (Of course, the article doesn't specify exactly at what point in the pregnancy the cell transfer happens, if they even know. It would clearly have to be after implantation, and probably after the placenta is a bit more well-developed, which happens over the course of the first 5-8 weeks or so.)

2. Why you should never, ever put two spaces after a period. My self-professed inner grammar-geek is horrified that I've been typing incorrectly for the past 18 years. I blame my 6th-grade typing teacher. MRS. BESCHTA, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME? (And yes, I keep typing two spaces by accident and then going back and deleting one of them. It's very time consuming.)

3. Speaking of grammar, here's an article on a personal pet peeve of mine: Woah! Why are you spelling it that way?

(Hint: it's "whoa.")

4. The Real Reason Pediatricians Want You to Vaccinate Your Kids. Here are a couple of quotes from the article that give the gist (though I highly recommend reading the whole thing):
"I often wonder why a parent who believes vaccines are harmful would want to bring their children to a medical doctor at all. After all, for immunizations to be as malign as their detractors claim, my colleagues and I would have to be staggeringly incompetent, negligent or malicious to keep administering them."
"What breaks the deal is that I would never truly believe that these parents trust me. Giving kids vaccines is the absolute, unambiguous standard of care, as easy an answer as I will ever be able to offer. If they don't trust me about that, how can I hope they would if the questions ever got harder?" 

5. Okay, time to lighten the mood. This made me laugh:

6. Catholicism + Doctor Who? YES, PLEASE!

7. Random discovery via a Facebook friend's link: a haunting series of surreal photos by Martin Vlach.  See more here.

Head over to Conversion Diary for more Quick Takes!


  1. OK I heartily enjoyed every single take you had! I used to work at a crisis pregnancy center and #1 was something I shared with every client, abortion-oriented or not. Love the meme. Why did Tenant have to leave DW?! And well-played, penguin.

    1. I imagine #1 might be comforting to think about for women who've lost a baby, too... especially through miscarriage when it might feel as if her baby simply vanished from the world without leaving a trace.

      And re: Doctor Who... I know, right? I liked Matt Smith and I'm excited about Peter Capaldi, and I have a soft spot for Nine, but Ten was my favorite.