Regularly, someone tries to remind women that they can't have children after a certain age. This week's effort comes from Carolyn Butler in the Washington Post, who writes about a study published in a journal called PLoS ONE telling us that we have fewer eggs by 30 than previously thought.
Women start out with about 300,000 eggs, and the new study says they have 12 percent left at 30. After 35, fertility drops and potential problems rise every year, which I'm pretty sure we all already knew. Halfway through the piece, Butler quotes a scientist, Robert Stillman, and then rather belatedly tries to reassure us:
'This adds to the abundant evidence that for women, unfortunately, it's use 'em or lose 'em.'
A JetBlue employee whose harassment case was thrown out in 2007 won an appeal last week that will revive her claim. A judge had thrown out the case, in which Diane Gorzynski provided evidence of gender, racial, and age discrimination from her supervisor and complained about it to the same supervisor she accused.
In Missouri, yacht owners continue to enjoy a sales tax exemption that costs the state $6 million. The report, from The Kansas City Star, comes my way via Balloon Juice and also tells us that the state Revenue Department refuses to tally the cost of exemptions like these because it would be too burdensome on taxpayers. Meanwhile, the state Legislature has recommended cuts to schools and shelters for battered women.
The Renaissance Learning company, which runs a reading test program called Accelerated Reader, has a list of the top 20 books high school students read, and it's not pretty for those of us who doubt the educational merits of the Twilight series. Jay Mathews at TheWashington Post rightly bemoans the lack of nonfiction on the list. Nonfiction is important. Those high school students are about to become voting citizens, and the more they know about the real world, the better off we all are.
A graduate student named Adam Shriver contributed to our never-ending quest to get rid of our guilt over the industrial agriculture system in a New York Times op-ed, promsing that we could soon have pain-free animals. Removing proteins or genes from some animals could prevent the things that should hurt them from doing so, creating a more humane agricultural system, he writes.
If we cannot avoid factory farms altogether, the least we can do is eliminate the unpleasantness of pain in the animals that must live and die on them. It would be far better than doing nothing at all.