Archive for January 10th, 2012

January 10, 2012

Unintentional Humor

plan nine

Unintentional humor is the act of making other people laugh without actually meaning to. There are several different kinds of unintentional humor that arise out of various situations. It is possible for unintentional humor to arise when two different well-meaning people contribute independent pieces of information, but in combination, they contradict each other. A misstep in the (in)appropriate environment is often considered humorous, that is the tension or embarrassment it creates is released by laughter. Examples are misspeaks or falls by a famous individual, catching somebody at an official event with inappropriate manners or embarrassing body noises.

Some books, movies, and other literary works end up being unintentionally funny because they are comically clichéd or overwrought, despite appearing to be earnest and serious efforts by their creators. Examples are ‘so bad they’re good’ movies, such as ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space,’ and the style of bad writing celebrated by the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (where entrants are invited ‘to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels’).

January 10, 2012

Museum of Bad Art

lucy in the field with flowers

The Museum of Bad Art (MOBA) is a privately owned museum whose stated aim is ‘to celebrate the labor of artists whose work would be displayed and appreciated in no other forum.’ It has branches in Dedham and Somerville, outside Boston. Its permanent collection includes 500 pieces of ‘art too bad to be ignored,’ 25 to 35 of which are on public display at any one time.

Explaining the reasoning behind the museum’s establishment, co-founder Jerry Reilly said in 1995: ‘While every city in the world has at least one museum dedicated to the best of art, MOBA is the only museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting the worst.’ To be included in MOBA’s collection, works must be original and have serious intent, but they must also have significant flaws without being boring; curators are not interested in displaying deliberate kitsch.

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January 10, 2012

Fertility Tourism

commercial surrogacy by sandeep joshi

Fertility tourism or reproductive tourism is the practice of traveling to another country for fertility treatments. It may be regarded as a form of medical tourism. The main reasons for fertility tourism are legal regulation of the sought procedure in the home country, or lower price. In-vitro fertilization and donor insemination are major procedures involved. It has been proposed to be termed ‘reproductive exile’ to emphasis the difficulties and constraints faced by infertile patients, who are ‘forced’ to travel globally for reproductive procedures.

There is generally a demand for sperm donors who have no genetic problems in their family, 20/20 eyesight, a college degree, and sometimes a value on a certain height, age, eye color, hair texture, blood type and ethnicity. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the inventory of taller men who are blonde and blue eyed is most popular.

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January 10, 2012

Snowflake Children

Nightlight Christian Adoptions

Snowflake children is a term used by organizations that promote the adoption of embryos left over from in vitro fertilization to describe children that result, where the children’s parents were not the original cell donors. These embryos are transferred to infertile couples via embryo adoption, although the legal process of taking ownership of an embryo differs from that of traditional adoption. The term was coined by the first agency to provide the transfer service, Nightlight Christian Adoptions. Proponents also use the term for the frozen embryos themselves.

The term ‘Snowflake babies’ was first used to describe babies born in this manner, but the first snowflake children are no longer babies. The first snowflake baby, Hannah, was born in 1998 to Marlene and John Strege. Former president George W. Bush has made public appearances together with snowflake children while speaking about his support for adult stem cell research and his opposition to embryonic stem cell research.

January 10, 2012

Donor Conceived Person

donor conception support group

Donor Sibling Registry

A donor offspring, or donor conceived person, is conceived via the donation of sperm (sperm donation) or ova (egg donation), or both, either from two separate donors or from a couple. In the case of embryo donation, the conceiving parents are a couple.

Donor conceived people may never learn of their true birth origins as information about their true biological parent(s) is not recorded on the birth certificate. This is compounded by the fact that only a small proportion (av. 10%) of donor conceived people will ever be informed of the nature of their conception by the recipient parent(s).

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January 10, 2012


her body my baby

Surrogacy [sur-uh-guh-see] is an arrangement in which a woman carries and delivers a child for another couple or person. This woman, the surrogate mother, may be the child’s genetic mother (called traditional surrogacy), or she may be biologically unrelated to the child (called gestational surrogacy).

If the surrogate receives compensation beyond the reimbursement of medical and other reasonable expenses, the arrangement is called commercial surrogacy, otherwise it is often referred to as altruistic surrogacy.

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