I was bopping to work recently listening to NHPR instead of wringing my hands over the sorry state of my life.
A much more constructive use of my time.
Brief aside: That word time, that intimidating word time, four letters long, has taken on a lead heavy symbolism for me. It ticks, it tocks, it is inexorable in its march forward and it drives me crazy.
I grab on to a day that means something to me and no matter how desperately I hold on, no matter how hard I squeeze, it slips through my fingers and I am back to work, back to this alternate reality that sucks the life juices out of my soul and wastes my time.
OK - NHPR. They are conducting a mosquito experiment in Piracicaba,Brazil in an attempt to strike back against Zika, which has reached epidemic proportions there.
By the way, I cannot pronounce Piracicaba the way the NHPR nerds do. Ever notice how precisely they pronounce foreign words and names, with the correct accent and emphasis?
I find that pretentious, but what the hell do I know - maybe I am just jealous.
Anyway, they release genetically engineered male mosquitos into the wild to mate with the sexy female mosquitos. Social and inter-species commentary: Just as in the human race, the males do not bite; the females bite with a vengeance.
Anyway...................the males are genetically engineered to carry a self-destruct gene. Apparently the lab geeks do this at the egg stage, separating males eggs from females eggs, hatching them and then messing around with them genetically to create flying time bombs.
Can you imagine the precision and patience it takes to do that kind of work? And I thought Carol's crocheting addiction was infuriating.
As a result of the genetic tinkering, the baby mosquitos will die before they ever get a chance to fly.
In this story, the NHPR journalist was traveling in a van with a guy who releases these mosquitos at various points in the rainforest, 1,000 mosquitos at a time, every day. On this day the dude is scheduled to release 300,000 mosquitos.
During the summer I believe I have 300,00 mosquitos in my backyard, and I don't live in the rainforests of Brazil.
As far as success goes, the numbers seem overwhelming to me and the plan seems like a bizarre fantasy.
That is how they expect to defeat Zika.
In a related story, and on the same day I learned about the mosquitos, the United States was bragging that we had killed another key member of ISIS.
Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, the terrorists' top financier. You are kidding me, ISIS has a top financier? Jesus Christ - do they have corporate retreats and boring seminars too?
By the way, once again, NHPR people no doubt pronounce this guys name flawlessly. I am just going to call him Al.
Anyway, we were making a big deal out of this killing, saying that we are systematically destroying the leadership of these scumbuckets.
Killing Osama bin Laden was immensely satisfying but it did not even slow down the terrorists. We have killed many terrorist leaders since then and yet the entire world continues to live in fear.
This feels like Viet Nam hype to me. We kept insisting we were winning that war right up until the time that we lost it.
The government does not know how to ease our fear of terrorism so they make it sound like a big deal when they kill one man.
It's kind of like releasing 300,000 mosquitos a day into the wild to defeat the 50 billion mosquitos that are spreading a fearful disease.
Am I missing something here?