It's been a shoot-me-in-the-head sort of week...I hate my faculty, I hate people, I hate the world, I hate my life...I cry in grocery stores while I shop...
Anyway, last week I was reading Maclean's during my infusion and came across this story: 'DNA Adds New Twist to Online Dating':
The answer to true love can be found in your spit. At least that's what a new site called GenePartner.com claims. For $199, the Swiss company promises to hook you up with your perfect mate using a sample of your DNA. The site says "love is no coincidence," and that genetic compatibility between you and your partner creates a better sex life, a higher fertility rate and healthier children.
The service, which launched this month, was inspired by a study at the University of Bern, Switzerland, where female volunteers sniffed men's T-shirts and rated them for attractiveness. The study found that women were most attracted to the scent of men whose HLA (human leukocyte antigen) molecules were most different from their own. Research has shown that we prefer mates with different HLA genes because it helps to produce offspring with stronger immune systems.
GenePartner.com simplifies the process by analyzing saliva samples to produce unique ID numbers based on customers' DNA. The numbers for two partners can then be plugged into an online algorithm system for a compatibility reading.
Tamara Brown, managing director of GenePartner, says that rather than building its own dating site, her company will partner with existing sites that could let customers include GenePartner ID numbers in their profiles. "The goal is to make it complementary to dating sites," she says.
So far, the company, which launched with US$500,000 in seed money from investors, has been approached by two major dating sites. In the first nine days of operation, it signed up more than 270 customers.
Nate Elliott, an online marketing analyst at Jupiter Research, says the US$750 million online dating industry is showing signs of saturation when it comes to new users, so sites will need to extract more money from existing customers. Unique services, such as the one offered by GenePartner, could help them do that. "As a marketing tool it should get some attention," he says. "But to survive they'll need big partners."
So, hooked up to an IV drip for my screwed up immune system, it seemed fitting to follow up on this story. I can't say I'm a huge fan of online dating, but it sure would be nice to find a stud who could provide me with a child who doesn't has to suffer from a weak immune system.
While the Western world prepares to re-engineer the traditional mating practice of swapping spit to breed best-brand-babies, the East is also modernizing spitting traditions.
"It's good to spit, it's good for your health," said the 40-year-old man unapologetically as he rubs his shoe over the foul puddle he has just created.
Although there is now a wide consensus that spitting is "uncivilised" behavior, as pre-Olympics manners campaigns term it, spitting is still pretty much a trademark sight and sound across the country.
Even though the government has stepped up punishment for spitting, a possible fine of 50 yuan ($A8) does not deter Guo.
"That's okay - most of the time, they don't see you," he said.
Few who visit China can help but notice the frequency of spitting in public, which often follows a irritatingly gravelly clearing of the throat and lungs, and a complete lack of embarrassment about the habit.
Late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping was a known to be an enthusiastic spitter who proudly kept a spittoon close by when he greeted foreign dignitaries at the Great Hall of the People in the 1970s and 1980s.
Although the practice spreads diseases that are rife in China, it is still common on the roads and alleys of the Chinese capital to have to dodge disgusting blobs of saliva - especially in winter when they freeze and become hazardous to pedestrians and cyclists alike.
But to many Chinese, spitting is a physical phenomenon as natural as sneezing or belching, and is traditionally nothing to be ashamed of.
"Well, I can't spit inside my car, can I?" said taxi driver Sui Ningguo, as he wound down the window and propelled his phlegm outwards. "No one cares about spitting anyway."
Medical experts say phlegm is generated normally when one is suffering from respiratory infections, but it is also produced when the lungs are irritated by pollution and habits such as smoking and eating heavy, oily food.
Li Yan, a respiratory disease expert at Beijing's Xuanwu Hospital, believes widespread respiratory infections, partly due to China's polluted environment, and the population's lack of hygiene awareness contribute to the habit.
"Dry climate in many Chinese cities, coupled with bad air quality, also lead to the build-up of mucus in one's respiratory tract, hence generating phlegm," she said.
She said air-borne respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and influenza can be spread by the phlegm of a disease carrier.
Doctors say the urge to spit is probably more to do with the commonly perceived concept in China that one should spit whenever one feels a throat irritation.
"A lot of it is just bad habit. Some people spit even when there is no phlegm and what they spit out is in fact saliva," said Wang Jidong, professor at the Beijing Chinese Medicine University.
"But saliva is part of your normal secretion and aids digestion. It's just a wrong idea that people have."
Earlier this year, officials admitted that getting the capital's residents to bring their manners up to international standard in time for the Olympics next August could be a bigger task than constructing the new sports venues.
Zhang Faqiang, vice head of the Beijing Olympic organising committee, said the most difficult area in staging a "civilised" Olympics" rests in "the quality of the people".
But some ordinary Beijing residents say they really do not care.
"As an individual, I can't care too much about the country's affairs. To be honest, who cares?" said Guo, the bicycle attendant.
It's telling that China has worked to promote itself as "civilized" right down to its spit. If it is in China's interests to promote itself as civilized, one must ask who benefits from damning China? While the Left is seizing the spotlight to illuminate the human rights abuses in China, it should reconsider if it wants to serve the Anglo-Empire with China-Bashing-Delite. Larry Chin writes,
Virtually every government on the planet is guilty of human rights abuses, and these abuses deserve to be exposed and protested. But to simplemindedly (and, with more than a little racism thrown in) protest China, based on human rights “causes” created, manipulated, and co-opted by Anglo-American intelligence propaganda is to fall directly into the hands of the exponentially greater violators of human rights all over the world: the United States and its allies.
Indeed, activists and protesters all over the world must ask themselves whose side they are really on, and to whose orders are they marching? The vast majority of both pro- and anti-Chinese protesters fail to acknowledge the complexities underlying their pet causes, or the corruption poisoning the situation from every side.
Far from actually alleviating any suffering in Darfur, Tibet or within China itself, activists are being guided into deepening the suffering; assisting the Anglo-American empire’s own plans to destabilize and conquer (energy-rich and strategically situated) Africa and (energy-rich and strategically situated) Tibet, and politically hamper Beijing.
China is the target of long-term US military and political aggression. A full-blown superpower conflict is underway. China is being simultaneously used as the labor engine for the world’s capitalist economy, while being geostrategically and militarily encircled. China is also in the process of being financially seized and gutted by the World Trade Organization. Every move made by the Beijing government, particularly for its own stakes in oil and gas, have been violently contested by the Western powers.
China’s attempted rise to the world stage, out of decades of isolation, is headed off by rapacious US-led machinations. Today’s anti-Chinese Olympics protests are simply the latest manifestation.
It is no surprise that US presidential aspirants Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have jumped on the anti-Chinese Olympic boycott bandwagon, joining the worldwide anti-China propaganda noise. It is now politically expedient for all of the presidential nominees, as well as the Bush-Cheney administration, to hammer at Beijing, without bothering to mention the true complexities of US-China politics.
It is tragically ironic that the predominantly Western/developed market-based “Save Tibet” and “Save Darfur” activists and anti-China protesters have done relatively little, if anything to “save themselves.”
Compared to the militant zeal expended against China, relatively little passion or outrage has been aimed at the Bush-Cheney administration. These “activists” would rather focus on “saving those poor Tibetans and Africans,” even as their own human rights, liberties, material assets and well being have been systematically ripped away, by an openly criminal administration that (with the help of a corrupt Supreme Court, Congress, Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, etc.) enjoys absolute unchecked power.
The “Save Tibet,” “Save Darfur,” and “Help Falun Gong” movements are as deceptive as the “war on terrorism.” The “causes” are controlled by Anglo-American intelligence apparatuses and/or co-opted by them, in order to provide the masses with the propaganda justification for wars and intervention, and resource conquest.
So, that concludes today's discussion of spit: the answer to true love and covert weapon of the American Empire.
DNA Adds New Twist to Online Dating via Maclean's
Is the CIA-behind the China Bashing Olympic Protests? by Larry Chin via The Centre for Research on Globalization
Also, read The Olympics: Unveiling Police State No. 2 by Naomi Klein via ZNet