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IVF mixup causing heartache, again

I think companies that do this should be shut down :P

Short story: Couple A have a couple of rounds of IVF, no joy. Couple B have twins via IVF, but it is identified that the embryo's belong to Couple A. Couple A go to court to try obtain parental rights before the birth. The twins, born this week, are wanted by Couple B and, as this is Italy, the law recognises the woman who gave birth as the legal mother.

Ouch! No one is coming out of this happy :(

Italian language news source, roughly read via Google translate:

BBC News from Elsewhere:


I Ain't Ded

I am just using G+ almost all the time instead as google is my email client as well and there are people there who never use LJ but use G+ daily.

Trying to think how to cross post at least the personal info items, not my 'here is an interesting thing that might be interesting to you' so much as that means I post multiple times a day :P


Agree / Disagree?

A world in which all rights are protected isn't just impracticable - it's not even conceivable. Freedom of expression is a good thing, but so is protection from hate speech. We all want to be free to voice our views without fear, but we also want to be free from being insulted or stigmatised. The two freedoms will always be at odds, for they protect different and competing human interests. Both are universal human values, but they'll never be reconciled in any kind of harmonious whole.

[BBC] A Point of View: Two cheers for human rights

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas or Winter Festival of Choice!


Not a cross post / yes I live

But I mostly post to G+ now, especially the random stuff that sparks my attention like the below. However today I am being good and not being on G+ as well as trying to post here at least once a week. All of these are from the BBC, but my computer thinks I am in the US so the last ( may not be visible to UK peeps:

Weinsteins sue Warner over Hobbit film ~ this amused me due to one critic (being a bit negative) referenced Discworld: But The Telegraph's Robbie Collin countered: "The tone is 100% Jackson - a kind of thundering gloominess, cut with the occasional glint of Discworld mischief."

The revenge porn avengers ~ I wish revenge porn (the posting of your ex's intimate pictures on the web) was not a thing. This article does pose some moral questions, or rather, as Mark Bennett puts it (paraphrased) Just because something is wrong doesn't mean it should be a crime (the actual bit is a paragraph long & worth reading, if from the point of a ardent USA First Amendment protector).

Open mouth, insert foot: 6 gaffes that fuelled fury which is related to Dennis Wilson of Lululemon joining "five other executives, some of the worst offenders when it comes to shooting themselves in the proverbial ‘good business’ foot with comments that have been perceived as racist, sexist or simply insensitive to broad swaths of people."

Fictional food


The idea being that this site attempts to create / recreate / reproduce the recpies we read / see in movies / books etc.

Found via various links including:


I found this article, Kudzu and the California Marriage Amendment, via a repost of this 2011 G+ post by Randell Monore aka XKCD author (sadly no longer active on G+).

The Kudzu etc article is basically about deciding who counts as male or female according to law. And thus who can marry according to any law that tries to specify a legal gender for each person. Now obviously for the majority of happily cis-gendered individuals this is not technically a problem, although they may not want to be married to an opposite cis-gendered person (we are discussing legal gender, not gender preferences).

BUT not everyone is born male / feels male / happily male or vica versa for female.

Worse there are some individuals with absolutely legitimate gender complications. The classic, and one brought up in the article is Androgen insensitivity syndrome: basically the baby is XY (male) but something in the genetics just refuses to acknowledge the existence of androgen. Androgen makes you look male, and is the precursor to testosterone. without androgen to make the XY baby look male surprise surprise the baby looks female.

You can then end up with the situation that someone diagnosed as female at birth (nappy zone = female) but later identified as genetically male is ONLY allowed to marry an XX person according to a 1 XY + 1 XX = Marriage law.

There is more, and better put. Go read if you are interested. by Rick Moen, originally posted August 25, 2008 but last updated June 28, 2013.

Intent versus Impact

Scientific American / Psysociety / “But I didn’t mean it!” Why it’s so hard to prioritize impacts over intents.

relates to cognative bias as to why we think the intent of the person causing an impact matters when the outcome is the same.

.. nothing in the research that I’ve cited thus far has ever suggested that intent is more important than impact. If anything, it places them both as equal contributors to people’s perceptions and attributions. But it is a cognitive bias that can explain why it is difficult for people to focus solely on impacts. In the words of Ames and Fiske themselves in the abstract of their study cited above, their results suggest that “people may focus on intentional harms to the neglect of unintentional (but equally damaging) harms” (emphasis mine). This entire line of research does not argue that intentional harms are more damaging than unintentional ones. But it points to a reason why people might be biased towards focusing on intents rather than impacts, and why those of us struggling to emphasize this “intent vs. impact” point might be hitting a wall.

Does it matter if the person who knocked you down as you were going across a pedestrian crossing did so while distracted by [a] texting [b] drinking [c] a bee (and whether they were allergic to said bee) or [d] a choking child?

To Niqab or to ban niqab

Coming across a lot of articles today both about the full face veil some Muslim women chose/are made to wear (depending who you talk to / what they say) and modest dress / working with the society you live in:

Muslims and bathing costumes / All in it together is a piece about a young German Moroccan Muslim girl who wanted to opt out of the mandatory mixed swimming lessons at her school in order to be modest and not be forced to splash around with scantily clad boys (or ideally be able to swim girls only). The judgement was that she could dress in a burkini but could not opt out.
The bit that struck me, and was highlighted in the article was: The most interesting part of the ruling stated that "the basic right of religious freedom does not confer any entitlement to be spared from encountering, at school, the behaviour of third parties...[behaviour] which is widely observed in daily life, outside school, at certain seasons."

Then you get the Independent's "debate" (or attempt to start a comment flame war?) of Should the veil be banned in some public places? matched against a new statesman article Have you ever met a woman in a niqab? Has one ever harmed you? . The comments on both are... interesting and somewhat predictable.

I do see that some find the idea of cloaked and masked persons in black wandering the streets to be rather strange and possibly frighting given our local culture. I have worked with someone who wore niqab, but a white veil and never wore black at all, was somewhow not the same.

Is it different if the clothing is not black? Or like some of the Christian sects who require modest dress, hair covering etc?