Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Stem Cells, and the States of Florida and Virginia

An article out of the Washington Post opines that amniotic fluid cells might be used to treat a variety of diseases. The possibilities are staggering if the research pans out. And as a SF reader, even more than staggering. Imagine storage of fluid for every newborn, so it would be avaibable for treatment at any stage of a person's life - the cells would not reject. Treatment of newborns for birth defects could be common. Of course, we will find a way to do less moral things with the cells - designing humans might be one.


I've updated the Poetic States index posted last week, except along the way, Georgia turned into Virginia and will probably be pushed back in favor of New Jersey.

Until next week.



Poetic States XXIX - Florida

A Mighty Wind

In Zero-six, no storms scoured our marches;
in Zero-seven, the experts predict a Zero-five.
If they are wrong, will you forget the past,
how you’ve been ravaged again and again?

Miami in Twenty-six, the land boom busted.

Okeechobee in Twenty-eight, three thousand dead.

Andrew in Ninety-two, most expensive in history.

Jeanne in Zero-four, the entire state blanketed.

Orlando now part of the Magic Kingdom,
Miami a major metropolis,
east coast crowded with condos
built on sand out of sand.

When Barry hits, Chantal or Erin,
folks will run to Home Depot, grab
plywood, nails, batteries and generators;
At the Pump & Go, there will be a run
on gas, water and chips
while oranges remain unpicked.

When Gabrielle churns the Glades and Humberto
flattens the Keys, Willie Gumm and Miz Hattie
will refuse to evacuate because they rode
out Betsy in Sixty-four and the government
ain’t never got it right and never will.

Condo construction will cease
until the season ends and bankers
rev up their loan offices, the boom
in full swing until Okeechobee Redux.

For the story of the horrors of 1928’s hurricane see Eliot Kleinberg (2003) Black Cloud: The Great Florida Storm of 1928. Like the 1927 Mississippi Flood , Rising Tide, Kleinberg's documented inhumane treatment of blacks in the worst of times, and raises the question if we are immune from the effects of several natural disasters in a row.


Poetic States XXX - Virginia

Arlington Ladies

Founded during our last long nightmare
to assure fallen soldiers received a sendoff
beyond officialdom and grave diggers -
no one buried alone

Dedicated to compassion,
women of all ages comfort
widows and mothers or simply
themselves several times a day

Each life important,
each death honored

I call it grace…and we need
more grace in our lives.*

A few soft words to mourners,
a note, a touch,
in private, after, tears…

*Past Air Force chairwoman of the Arlington Ladies


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Anonymous Eliot Kleinberg said...

Gary: Thanks for the plug!
Eliot Kleinberg

4:47 PM  
Blogger Gary B said...

My pleasure. With Issac's Storm, Egan's Worse Hard Time, Barry's Influenza and Mississippi Flood books, it is in my list of 5 reasons why Nature needs to be watched carefully.



8:41 PM  

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