It all started with a cloned sheep named Dolly. Now we can tinker with so many strands of DNA, picking and choosing to our heart's content. The latest genetic tweaking involves redheads.
Yes, I'm talking the long maligned carrot tops of the world. So seemingly repugnant is a baby born with red hair that sperm donor clinics are vying to weed out the genes responsible for reds.
Obviously the ethics of any such genetic tinkering are dicey and alarming, especially when they come down to particulars such as colour of skin or hair. (Is it just me, or does it smell like Nazi spirit around here?)
According to the UK Telegraph, Cryos, the world’s largest sperm donor bank has started turning away red-headed donors.
That means no more Ronald McDonald. No more 'Red' from the busty, lusty Christina Hendricks of Mad Men fame.
Ironically, there is one country in which redheads are still in demand. The land of the freckle-faced, flame-haired. In Ireland such so-called red donors reportedly sell “like hot cakes.”
If you were paying for a donor, and could stipulate certain preferences with regard to appearance, would you?
From Arnie to Weiner and Tiger, adultery is deeply entrenched in modern society. Historically, biologically, infidelity is a practically a given. According to relationship columnist, Dan Savage, we’d all be better off if we scrapped monogamy, since as a species we’re obviously not cut out for it.
Savage went one step further and suggested, when it comes to sex, heterosexuals would be happier if they started acting more like homosexuals, particularly gay males like himself. Savage claims to be faithful, although his definition of fidelity isn’t exactly textbook.
"My partner's fidelity to me is as important as anyone who's in a monogamous relationship with someone else; we just don't define sexual exclusivity as the be-all and end-all of commitment. In other words, we're faithful to each other, but sometimes we have sex with other people.”
Needless to say, his comments sparked a huge moral controversy.
Something in his genes? Recent research from the Swedish Karolinska Institute has found that men’s faithfulness to their partners may be governed by a specific gene variant – nicknamed the "divorce gene." The more of it you have, the more likely you are to stray.
Savage feels getting a bit on the side may be just the thing to keep a marriage alive. "I'm absolutely not saying that people should be free to sleep with whoever they want… All I'm arguing for is a little latitude, a little forgiveness, a little realism."
However, Andrew Marshall, author of How Can I Ever Trust You Again? From Infidelity to Recovery in Seven Steps, begs to differ, claiming he has yet to meet a heterosexual couple that has made an open relationship work.
"The only couple I've counselled who tried to do that fell at the first hurdle,” says Marshall. “They tried to be honest with one another, but the amount of jealousy and upset was extraordinary… You may think you're having uncomplicated sex, only there's no such thing because sex binds people together.”
Therein lies the paradox. Humans may be unfaithful by nature but we are also -- gay or straight -- programmed to be jealous.
Marshall suggests we aim high instead, and “try to be a little more charitable and try to solve the underlying causes that lie behind infidelity. If people put the same energy they expend on an affair into their marriage or relationship, it's quite possible they could solve their problems.""
We've all heard the groan-worthy saying about kids getting to choose which nursing home your aging parent goes to.
But in certain provinces, adults are in fact legally obligated to support their parents financially -- as one British Columbia man is finding out the hard way.
Even though his mom all but abandoned him when he was 15, she's now suing him for parental support.
In a strange family law, also applicable in the province of Ontario, adults must support parents who are "dependent on a child because of age, illness, infirmity or economic circumstances."
Other provinces, such as Alberta, have scrapped the legal obligation to support parents.
Do you think adults should be responsible to support their parents financially? Or does the expectation of quid pro quo stop once a kid leaves home?