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January 15, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Curiosities: spinners and tales spun.

It’s January. Normally cabin fever could be blamed for the weirdness. Soggy will have to be an acceptable substitute. This new year is already floating out some “First in Show.”

chimere.Pelican/winged frogSebastien Lebrigand, crepy en valois, France/

Made for anything: sun, wind, water, insects. (S.Lebrigand/

Willful winds are whipping up trouble out of assigned order.

For your amusement in the Atlantic, Alex the first hurricane season of the year. Unusual, but not unheard of. In 1955 there was Alice, and before that there was what’s-her-name in 1938. Luckily it’s way out there, headed to Greenland’s cold waters which will smack some sense into the upstart. Hopefully, the winds and waves will affect few. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the central and eastern Azores. (NASA’s eye on this storm here and an animated video of Alex’s development)

Global Tropical cyclone storm tracks.1985-2005/NASA.Nilfanion/USPD/

Tropical storm tracks.1985-2005 /NASA/USPD/

And not to be outdone, the Pacific Ocean is hosting the loopy, erratic Pali, which is breaking records as the earliest hurricane ever recorded in the Central Pacific Basin. Currently Pali has a well-defined eye with storm bands and maximum winds of 90 miles (140 kilometers) per hour, but it seems undecided whether to sustain being a hurricane. It was a cat-2 on Jan 12, but now a cat-1 storm. Not too near Hawaii, though.  And if the timing isn’t odd enough,  if Pali wanders south and crosses the equator, the hurricane would change and become a first in history of recorded tropical cyclones to do that. (Picture/ NASA’s take on Pali here.)

El Nino: galoshes and Wellies. Noted. Got the memo.

Whirlwind the Whistler kidnapping girl. 1916 Russian fairy Book.Frank Pape,ill./

Got carried away by storms.(Kidnapped by Whirlwind the Whistler / USPD/

Speaking of strangeness and isolated islands, Remember that movie The Island of Doctor Moreau with Marlon Brando? (summary)

Like many things that have come to pass, science fiction is close to science fact. It has to do with human and animal DNA, growing organs, and medical advancement.

MIT Technology Review Article. (Biomedicine News.) “Human-Animal Chimeras Are Gestating on U.S. Research Farms.”  “A radical new approach to generating human organs is to grow them inside pigs or sheep.”

Squirming a bit? What if some of the human transplanted DNA cells migrated to the animal’s brain? I do confess I, too, would worry about “The specter of an intelligent mouse stuck somewhere screaming, ‘I want to get out’ …”

Doctor Moreau explores that potential. Check out some movie quotes to ponder. Might give you pause – and maybe a few shivers….

You know how some authors seem to see the future….

PigL by Keri Rosebraugh/

“Hey, the show’s about to start. Where the grub?”(K.Rosebraugh/

Of course the animal advocates will be on the front lines protesting: Worse than eating meeeeeat.

Raising animal only to kill them by harvesting a “grown” organ for transplant so a human can live.

PETA will love that.

But what if patients, once cured, were forced to take home the bacon?

Is there a way to grow an organ, surgically remove it for transplant, then retire the donor animal to live out its’ days in peace instead of in pieces in return for its noble assistance?

“OK, Patient X, yes, we can get you a new body part, but then you must take your donor animal home and treat it as part of the family for the rest of its natural life. Animal welfare agents will be making home visits to see that your brave little thing is being treated well. Now do you want a pig or a sheep? Pigs are smart, but lambs might be better couch companions with their cozy fleece.”

couple. Film "All night". 1922.Universal

“I don’t care if it does share your DNA. Get it off my pillow.” (Universal/USPD/

Well, you can see where things are going.

Would subdivisions, condos, and neighborhoods be forced to change their livestock bans? After all, these donor animals are heroes of a sort.

Would there be a new home trend for donor animal accommodations?

Could the Chimera of mythology and legends be the next high fashion pet?

Winter shadows splash on walls and mind.

Water well, and who knows what in time.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Frightened couple. 1953. It came from OUter Space trailer:Universal

What do you mean housing livestock is against HOA deed restrictions? But it’s like part of her. (Universal/USPD/




  1. sportsattitudes / Jan 15 2016 3:24 am

    A hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean in January certainly got my attention. When I saw that on the news I did a double, double-take. I thought nothing could surprise me anymore weather wise. The question is…is there anything we can do to weather this wacky weather. Crazy. I know your area has just about seen it all also!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 4:41 pm

      Winter weirdness! Every time humans try to “fix” nature, things get more out of wack. Might be wiser to learn how to work with nature rather than against it…and learn how to channel extra water to places that need it….the Romans had some ideas? HA HA. Thanks for sending a wavy comment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue / Jan 15 2016 8:02 am

    Yikes, Phil…..a chimeric future


  3. the dune mouse / Jan 15 2016 9:30 am

    hurricanes and chimeras! I love the strangeness!


  4. marthaschaefer / Jan 15 2016 12:28 pm

    Curiouser and curiouser. I’ll choose the pig, smart and in the end bacon!


  5. RKLikesReeses / Jan 15 2016 12:34 pm

    For some reason the phrase “When pigs fly!” is bouncing around in my head now. Didn’t know about Pali — WOW!!! And the DNA-organ-animal mix is troubling. What if each person born is assigned an animal at birth, one that will be there just in case an organ falls apart? Instead of a having BFF each baby will have a BOB (best organ breeder)? And somewhere along the line, yes, a few errant strands of the genetic code might cross the species divide. Either direction. Babies who oink. Pigs who refuse to clean up their rooms. Cyber science isn’t dawdling either. Cyber skin exists now. Why not grow beings that have onboard computers, living in the largest of our bodies’ organs? Then what about the pigs? What if there’s a DNA shift and instead of data in the clouds we have data in the bacon?

    Couldn’t resist. 😉
    Fabulously intriguing post!!! ::opens an umbrella and runs home::

    Liked by 1 person

    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 4:25 pm

      And then will preschools decide to offer MDO options for the children’s BFF-BOB, too? Pigs need to snort socially with friend, too and sheep as a herd together…well, hopefully the scientists can DNA out that sheepish urge to run off the cliff if everyone else does. (Then try that adaptation with people, too…)
      Thanks for stomping along!


  6. easyweimaraner / Jan 15 2016 2:01 pm

    hope Alex will disappear without damaging our ole roof top…. someone once said about my breed we are dogs with a human brain …. that’s scary somehow…


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 4:19 pm

      Easy, I think Weimaraners are the poets and artists of dog breeds. Just look at those eyes. RC cat just snarked “Idiot!” – at staff, not you. Certainly not you! Thanks for joining the pack. (We’ll woof at that storm and blow it elsewhere)


  7. Ally Bean / Jan 15 2016 3:20 pm

    Whenever I hear the word “Chimera” I think of an episode of NCIS in which Gibbs et al are sent to investigate a creepy old ship that is allegedly inhabited with evil spirits. This thought, added to what you wrote above, makes the whole experiment seem sinister me. *shudder*


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 4:05 pm

      In the 1977 version of the movie, Dr Moreau says at one point “How does a cell become enslaved to a form, to a destiny it can never change? Can we change that destiny?” To which another character says “Should we?” Many people like that version with Burt Lancaster and Michael York better.
      In the 1996 version, the doctors says, ” I’ve seen the Devil, in my microscope and I have chained him”
      HG Wells never realized how many movies would be made from his little novella. Thought his original title of “Islands of Lost Souls” was pretty on point.
      Will be interesting how society deals with the ethics and medical potential.
      Thanks for sharing the creepiness!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ally Bean / Jan 15 2016 4:14 pm

        I remember seeing the 1977 movie, but don’t recall much about it except that I thought Micheal York was handsome. Need to watch the movie, either one, to get the full import of this potential evil medical breakthrough.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 4:52 pm

          Micheal York was the hottie of the time. Wonder if these movies will start reappearing on TV now. Funny how that happens sometimes. (Please don’t make a “updated version”. GAG. New plots. We’ve got enough old ones!)

          Liked by 1 person

  8. aFrankAngle / Jan 15 2016 3:43 pm

    Hurricane Alex is very odd … but real. Oh that warm water! El Nino, well … at least it’s more predictable … the Pacific storm (oh boy).


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 3:51 pm

      For a storm to form so close to the equator in the Pacific is rare – and in January even more rare – and for it to start on one side and swirl across the equator to the other – really, really unusual. Looks like 2016 is organizing itself into a year of surprises….Hope they turn out to be fun ones. Thanks for sloshing over a comment


      • aFrankAngle / Jan 15 2016 4:25 pm

        Given an election, oh no to the surprises.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 4:45 pm

          Oh, noooo. Totally forgot that. (trying to limit the negativity in life). Button down the yard furniture…stormy weather ahead. Thanks for noticing that and sending up a warning!


        • aFrankAngle / Jan 15 2016 4:59 pm

          LOL … now that’s a great response.


        • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 6:23 pm

          Couldn’t have happened if you hadn’t set it up. Thanks partner!


        • aFrankAngle / Jan 15 2016 7:21 pm

          Cheers to a tag team …. clink!


  9. RKLikesReeses / Jan 15 2016 4:19 pm

    By the way, thank you for the links! I never saw the movie(s) but read part of the book as a kid and was scared for weeks. Whatever happens I hope the animals and the people are treated with compassion and respect, not always the case in research, etc.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 15 2016 4:48 pm

      That HG Wells story made many afraid of what was under the bed. Even some of the research scientists are shuffling uncomfortably. Life – and what it is or isn’t – gets more and more complex and confusing. Paw wave…from Molly and RC…they are confident humans can manage pause paws well.


  10. Jay E. / Jan 16 2016 5:07 pm

    Given the choice of lamb or pig, I’ll take the pig. Pigs are clean in that they have designated spaces for the functions of daily life, a relatively smart, and taste good when their time on earth is done. One can get wool from lambs, but the wool must be cleaned and spun (and it’s kinda itchy) and lamb doesn’t taste nearly as good as pork, ham, or bacon.

    However, now that I think of it, isn’t bacon supposed to reduce one’s life span? Maybe that would negate the new organ entirely and cause a host of new problems.

    Food for thought, indeed.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 18 2016 3:41 pm

      Pigs seem to have a sense of humor, too. I think you might have to be careful or one might quietly nudge the grill out on recycling day. Always happy when you fry up a comment to leave. Thanks

      Liked by 1 person

  11. heretherebespiders / Jan 16 2016 8:39 pm

    It never occurred to me that the animal would have to die. Surely these human organs aren’t actually functional in the pig or sheep? It doesn’t seem right at all that an animal that saves a human life must die for it. I’m looking at it as a step toward growing organs independently. As they have done with meat – just tissue grown to a pattern. I’d eat it, and I’d have it as a transplant should I ever need one.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 18 2016 3:59 pm

      An uncomfortable realization. It’s not like growing an ear on a tummy or something apparently. There is some trail with growing fetal animals in solutions in containers. As expertise grows there are bound to be many discussions on ethics. Thanks for crafting a cutting edge comment


  12. heretherebespiders / Jan 16 2016 8:41 pm

    Whoops – I had another comment, too! They started naming storms over here! It drives me crazy, as someone who lived through so many hurricanes! You don’t name a bit of wind and rain! Okay so many of them have caused massive flooding in Ireland and the U.K., but I still don’t think they need names!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 18 2016 4:01 pm

      And the snow storm names. Seriously? Storms are storms. Enough already. Thanks for storming over with that


  13. The Coastal Crone / Jan 16 2016 9:05 pm

    It is an election year – that explains the weirdness. All that hot air combined with El Nino. Good post!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 18 2016 4:02 pm

      And we have been blanketed since before Christmas with those ugly little roadside signs and junk in the mail. Litter. Voting is such a long way off. Maybe they candidates are in a time warp? Weird and annoying all at once. Thanks for rounding out the comment pile!


  14. Aquileana / Jan 18 2016 2:51 pm

    Interesting approach… it is not a conspirative version or something … I think that climate change is leaving its footmark… no matter when or where…
    Also… I do remember the island from The Island of Doctor Moreau… I have once heard that the script was based upon a novel by an argentine writer, Bioy Casares, called `La invención de Morel´… but I can´t really say it is true, though…
    All the best to you!, Aquileana 😀


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 18 2016 4:31 pm

      There are so many versions of that mad scientist story. I’ll have to look Casares’ up! One of the earliest English language one I’ve found was the novella by HG Wells about 1890 something. We had to read it in school around 8th grade, I think.(And wrote “persuasive essays” on the ethics of messing with genetics which resulted in such creatures or how should society view/treat the experiments/creatures created.)
      Climates change – always have…just when the living things think they have it made: , incoming meteor, volcano…aliens HA HA
      Thanks for planting a comment!


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