September 9th, 2012

Mutation Butts

by Wayno & Piraro

Bizarro is brought to you today by the Wonders of Science.

I really like this cartoon because it is simple and humorously depicts a serious subject. I’m not a person who is unduly frightened by scientific advances; I think stem cell research is the coolest thing since free porn on the Internet, for instance. But genetically modified food is one that scares the crap out of me. The biggest reason is that you can’t control it. Once it’s out there, it gets carried by wind, birds, and insects to who-knows-where and pretty soon, all crops are genetically modified. How do you control these mutations? You can’t. What if they begin to cause health issues for those who eat them? They are. Why did the FDA allow them to be grown and sold without labeling them as such, when their own scientists advised further tests? Because corporations run our society and, by definition, are about making money, not morality. Which of the two major political parties openly wants to give corporations more power and freedom? If you don’t know the answer, you shouldn’t be voting.

Our next cartoon today is about the games of children. Americans younger than 40 have likely never seen an ashtray full of sand with cigarette butts sticking out of it, but up until smoking was effectively outlawed in the U.S., you saw these near elevators and doorways everywhere. I’m a cigar smoker, as you may know, but I am fine with outlawing smoking inside public spaces. I do, however, think that it is ridiculous to outlaw smoking outdoors the way they do in California parks and beaches. I also think people should be allowed to smoke in personal spaces, like closed offices or break rooms, and that businesses such as bars should be able to allow smoking if they choose to.

Second-hand smoke isn’t nearly the health hazard we’ve been led to believe it is (diet-related illness kills far more people each year than lung cancer but nobody would dream of outlawing BBQ) and may not be a health risk at all––what we’re really doing is outlawing an odor that some people find offensive. Many will say that’s a good thing, but what if your community decided to outlaw perfumes, colognes, hair chemicals, etc.? The odor of perm solutions and bleach in beauty salons is hideous and likely as dangerous to your health as second-hand smoke (that’s just a guess as I am only an imaginary scientist) but nobody is on that bandwagon. Too many people want curly blonde hair to worry about the health of beauty salon workers, I guess.

A well-researched, detailed article about the scientific evidence of second-hand smoke risk can be found here.

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