Kvick Tänkare

I just started listening to RadioLab and going through their back catalog.  If you’re interested in animals at all I highly recommend this show from 2007 about zoos.

YT has a post which questions the innovative impact war has on civilization.  This is the post which deserves the phrase ‘a roller coaster ride’ and it really deserves some deep unpacking.  I have to admit that I love the style: hyper-caffeinated, minor digressions everywhere, and a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

There’s a disease called hemochromatosis which causes a buildup of iron in the body.  It’s apparently pretty easy to control though:  you just need to occasionally have some blood removed.  The disease can’t be passed on and it poses no risk to anyone.  In short, people who suffer from this disease are perfect blood donors.  They have to have blood drawn regularly and the blood is safe.  So, why won’t the Red Cross (which controls almost half of the nation’s blood supply) accept blood donations from people who have this condition?  It’s not like they’ve got plenty.  No, it’s for a much better reason (Are you ready?  This is going to be the dumbest thing you’ve heard in awhile):

…the Red Cross has a long-standing policy that potential donors are not allowed to receive direct compensation for their donation (beyond the usual orange juice and cookie). Because people with hemochromatosis would otherwise have to pay for their therapeutic phlebotomies, they would in effect be getting something of value for being able to donate for free. Thus the Red Cross has ruled that such donations violate their policy.

How about a little poetry…I usually don’t find this subject matter humorous but really, this is classic and worth you 6 minutes.

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