Hold The Pickles, Hold The Lettuce–BABIES!

Remember, the catchy old Burger King commercial about “Have it your way”(where you can order the burger any way you want, no problem!)?

Now, we are reaching the point with DNA testing, where we can have it your way and order up babies the way you want them.

According to the Wall Street Journal, by getting genetic profiles of egg or sperm donors, you can search for a match with the genetic profile of the would-be parent to have a higher likelihood of desired traits (e.g. blue eyes) or lower likelihood of undesirable ones (e.g. heart disease).

23andMe, a DNA company (note: humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes) that sells home testing kits for $99, has patented a process for analyzing DNA and providing information on health and ancestry, and this could be used for system screening of egg or sperm donors through a tool called a “Family Traits Inheritance calculator.”

Calculating better babies by choosing desired matches at fertility clinics is only steps away from actually making marriage decisions based on genetic make-up–in that scenario love is only one factor in choosing a mate and maybe not the primary any longer.

The idea being to screen potential couples before marriage to yield “the best” potential children–smartest, athletic, good-looking, etc.

There are already genetic banks for screening and capturing genetic information on potential couples to avoid genetic diseases such as Tay-Sachs and others.

While bioengineering children for better health is one thing, creating a blue-eye and blond-haired race was the Nazi’s concept of an Aryan nation as a superior race that would dominate the world.

The ethical questions of how to screen out illness without creating a situation like in China under a one-child policy, where male offspring are considered superior and so we proverbially tilt the odds in favor of what we think is best even if it may not really be.

Neither a homogeneous superior race, nor a customized bioengineered baby is the answer–rather, we need to value healthy diversity in children, where each is a miracle and a blessing in their own right. 😉

My Beautiful Mom

My Beautiful Mom

This is a picture of my beautiful mother.

My daughter Minna found this picture in one of our old albums and made it new again with her wonderful photography skills.

Although my mom has aged and is not in the best of health anymore, she retains a glowing inner and outer beauty that radiates throughout the whole room–wherever she is.

I love my mom and am so grateful for everything she has done to raise me and help raise the grandchildren too.

She has always been there for us and we love her dearly.

Thank you mom for everything–you’ve done a great job by Dad and all of us who have depended on you, and we will never forget your kindness, generosity, and love.

May G-d bless you, always.

Get Your Newspaper With Style

Get Your Newspaper With Style

Some people give out the newspapers in the morning with a loud and resonant, “Get your daily newspaper!”

Others with a call to duty, “Look alive people–it’s a workday!”

A more tame and spiritual approach is the man who wishes everyone with, “Have a blessed day!”

And finally this cheerful young lady who greets everyone coming out of the Metro with a warm smile and a great happy hat!

Thanks to all the hardworking folks providing the news at Metro in the mornings, in all weather, and also at no cost. 😉

(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sharing Some Laughter and Happiness

Cherry_blossom

There are some cool articles in Mental Floss (March/April 2012) on laughter and in Harvard Business Review (January 2012) on happiness–hopefully an auspicious sign for us all.

Some things to think about with laughter:

– “Babies laugh 300 times a day, while adults laugh only 20 times.” —  Maybe we all need to be a little more babyish?

– Laughter is “used as a social lubricant; we use it to bond with others.” — This reminds me of something my father always said: “when you are with those you love, the joy is twice the joy and the sorrow half the sorrow.”  In essence then, people help us deal with our emotions and our emotions help us deal with people–we all need one another.

– Laughter is contagious, truly. “Hearing laughter activates the brains premotor cortex. preparing the facial muscles to smile and laugh in kind.”  — What a blessing to laugh and help others laugh as well.

A brief history of happiness:

1776 — U.S. Declaration of Independence declares right to the “pursuit of happiness.”

1926 — “Happy Birthday” song composed.

1963 — Invention of smiley face. 🙂

1977 — Introduction of McDonald’s “Happy Meal”.

So it’s only March 14 (National Pi Day 3.14)–and it already warm outside, the beautiful cherry blossoms are in bloom, and there is plenty to feel happy about, laugh at, and be grateful for in this world.

Thank you G-d!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Where There Is Life, There is Hope

 After a very busy week, I can really appreciate this video, called Move, where Rick Mereki and 2 friends travel 11 countries in 44 days.I love how fast yet seamless this video takes us around the world–like flying through space and time.There is so much to see and do and every moment is a blessing.My grandparents use to say, “where there is life, there is hope” and we are so fortunate to be alive and have the opportunity to change, grow, and self-actualize.

And while real life is not as smooth as this video–whereever we are, let’s try to enjoy the ride.

Have a great weekend!

>The Bigger Picture is Beautiful

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Just some reflection for the Jewish new year this week.

Enterprise architecture is about planning, governance, and the bigger picture.

This is a short inspirational video of the real bigger picture out there.

http://www.blessyoumovie.com/


Let this serve as a source of encouragement to all.

Andy