March 25, 2005


Q1: When eating a meal, do you eat a little of each item until you're done with everything on your plate, or do you eat each item one at a time until that item has been completely consumed, and then move on to the next item on your plate? Regardless of which way you do it, do you think it's odd when you see someone else doing it the other way?

Q2: Despite how you feel about the situation itself, do you approve of the U.S. Congress intervening in the Terri Schiavo case?

Q3: How many towels do you use to dry off after showering or bathing?

Q4: An influential committee of UK politicians recently advised that the British government allow couples who use in vitro fertilization to become pregnant to have the option of choosing the sex of their child. Do you think gender selection for social reasons should be allowed? What about for medical reasons?

Posted by Mikal at March 25, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack


Q1) I eat a little of everything, picking my way around the plate and leaving the best bite for last.

Q2) No.

Q3) One towel.

Q4) No, and no.

Posted by: Jay at March 25, 2005 1:46 AM

1. I suppose I eat a little of everything. I don't really pay attention to how other people eat so I guess eating the other way doesn't bother me.

2. No.

3. One.

4. For medical reasons, maybe--considering the number of X-linked diseases. Otherwise, no. One has only to look at countries which control the number of children couples can have and/or use ultrasounds to determine children's sex and see the resulting problems of skewed sex ratios.

Posted by: sya at March 25, 2005 8:55 AM

1. I eat a little of everything and save the best bite of anything for last. Anymore I don't pay attention, but years ago, I noticed that a friend ate all of one dish before going on to eat all of another dish, and so on. I had to ask why because at that time I thought it strange.

2. No way, not at all.

3. One, why do you ask? Do you know someone who uses two (or more)?

4. No, and no again.

Posted by: Zoe at March 25, 2005 9:38 AM

1. I usually eat a bit of each at one time. Sometimes when I make a salad, I save the green olives for last.

2. People get taken off life support everyday. I think Congress has only gotten involved because of the parents fight to keep their daughter alive. If the husband wants to go on with his life, divorce his wife and let her parents have custody of her. But no, Congress shouldn't be involved.

3. Two, one to dry off and one to wrap my hair in.

4. I don't think it's right for people to start choosing the sex of their children. Why should you have to choose, just be thankful for what God gives you.

Posted by: Missy at March 25, 2005 10:46 AM

Q1: No, I try not to watch other people eat... it grosses me out. I cut everything in half first, I try to only eat half of everything on my plate, but once that part is done, I take turns eating from the differnt foods.

Q2: I think it is only humane to let the woman die, it has been so many years that she lay there in that vegetative state with people gawking at her. Her parents need to let her go. Even animals are not made to suffer like that. Valuable lesson people ... LIVING WILL.

Q3: 2. One for my hair and face, and one for my body.

Q4: Yes. If you canít have children naturally and have to go through invitro, and all of the expense... why not be able to choose the sex.

Posted by: at March 25, 2005 11:20 AM

1. i used to go assembly line but now i sample
2. no i don't approve. sets a mandate that congress should save all vegetables and unevolutionables everywhere.
3. 1, sometimes 2.
4. im not against selecting the gender. i like it random myself, but say you had five girls. i think it would be okay to choose a boy for the sixth.

Posted by: Johnny at March 25, 2005 2:09 PM

1. A little of each at a time. Nothing really bothers me about how others eat unless they're really sloppy eaters.
2. Absolutely not.
3. One
4. No, and no. It would set a dangerous precedent in my opinion.

Posted by: mike at March 25, 2005 3:06 PM

1. I'll usually taste each item and perform a mental "ranking," then eat each item one at a time in order of preference, from least to best.

2. No, absolutely not. I long for the days when conservatism meant less government intervention.

3. One.

4. What real medical reasons would there be to preselect a child's gender? No.

Posted by: Scott at March 25, 2005 3:43 PM

I eat a little bit of everything until I finish.

No, the Congress, the President and the Governor of Florida had no business poking their nose where it doesnít belong. It should be a family matter and her guardian has the right to make the decision. I think that they only did it for political gain.


No, the only exception I think should be if for some reason the mother cannot be pregnant with a boy or girl. That it would result in either a miscarriage or death of the mother.

Posted by: Diana at March 25, 2005 5:21 PM

Q1: I eat a little bit of everything until my meal is completely consumed. I was blown away the first time I saw someone doing it the other way (which wasn't until I reached college in Texas), and still to this day, when I see someone eating each item one at a time until that item has been completely consumed, I think it's a little odd.

Q2: While Congress had no standing in this case, it was just another example of our leaders acting out some unfathomable plot from a wacky movie. You have to understand, conservatives and the religious right win either way on this one. As a former co-worker of mine recently said, it doesn't matter to them what happens to Shiavo, her family, or the Constitution, and if she dies, so much the better. Her supposed martyrdom and their ability to paint judges and liberals as heartless murderers will serve them well for election cycles to come.

Q3: Two, always, along with a small hand towel for drying off my glasses (yes, I wash my glasses while I shower).

Q4: Yes, I do believe couples should be allowed to choose the gender of their child for social and medical reasons. If a family has three boys and wants a girl, who am I to say it is not appropriate to choose the gender of their next child? Many of those who are fearful of this practice, I feel, are misinformed and mislead us when they talk about a slippery slope. Thereís a clear difference between giving someone the opportunity to choose the gender of his or her child and choosing somebodyís eye color or IQ.

Also, in one of the replies above, someone asked "What real medical reasons would there be to preselect a child's gender?" Well, there are circumstances--a gender-linked disease, for instance--when sex preselection makes medical sense, and in which case parents may want to seek high-tech interventions. For couples with a family history of certain diseases, gender selection is more an imperative than a preference. Research shows that about 500 serious diseases, including hemophilia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, develop only in males (though females can be carriers). Increasingly, experts say, couples at risk are using technology to avoid having a boy, and I find this perfectly reasonable and acceptable.

Posted by: Mikal at March 26, 2005 12:44 PM

1. I normally eat a significant portion of one item, then do the same on the next item, and then the next. If mashed potatoes are involved, or rice, then I mix the potato/rice together with the primary dish. Other people are all weird in their ways, eating or otherwise...they are human...weird.

2. Terri Schiavo NEVER should have been a concern of Congress. They are sworn to protect the Constitution, yet (especially this administration) regularly try to stretch or flat-out ignore the precepts therein. In this case, they attempted to make a law for ONE citizen. WHAT THE HELL IS THAT??? I'm so sick of these 'leaders.' They need to get their moral imperitives out of our lives. The woman requested not to be left in this state, and that's why all the legal wrangling comes up the same way...pull the tube. How many times does the Supreme Court have to deny this case? Will this become like the fight over the Delaware/NJ border? Will the Supremem Court have to put down a declaration that they refuse to hear the class of arguement forever more? Ridiculous. We need to fire Congress.

3. One towel. Why would you use more?

4. I believe that gender selection will get us rolling down a steep, nasty slope of social selection. I believe that creates a precedent, or at least opens the door, for selecting the genetic traits one would like for their designer child. Currently, we select the genetic make up by selecting our partners, but there's still a HUGE crap shoot. And, I think that's the way it should be. As is, we have medically, scientifically, trumped natural selection. That's why we live beyond our natural lifespan, and it will only serve to create more problems in our society. We need to know when to let go of our fellow humans. We need not fear death. And, we need not fear creating the 'perfect' child through natural means. Cafeteria creation is an unethical means of procreation, and it parallels racially motivated genocide too closely. Hitler was all for a genetically superior race; is that the direction the Brits are heading?

Posted by: MixMasterMatt at March 26, 2005 1:11 PM

Let me clarify my answer a little more on selecting gender. What I meant was that under certain conditions a mother could have an allergic reaction to her own fetus. If I remember my Biology 101 correctly, a mother could have a fatal allergic reaction to the Y chromosome. Only in that circumstance would I be in favor of selecting the gender of the baby, and only to save the motherís life. Anything else, I would have to think long and hard on.

Suppose we find the gene for dwarfism; would it be OK to abort the fetus? Or if we find a gene for homosexuals or transsexuals, would that be OK to allow somone to abort the fetus? After all, some would say we would save them from a life of misery. As for other genetic diseases, I think in the very near future we will find cures for them that will repair the defective gene.

Posted by: Diana at March 26, 2005 7:59 PM

Q2: I happened to speak to my mother last night at great length about this very sad case. Generally, we tend to be on opposite sides of the political fence, she being more liberal and somewhat religious, while I am more conservative and somewhat less religious. However on this case, it was clear that we both agreed; the State is not only allowing a woman to die but disallowing anyone else from saving her, two very distinct imperatives.

Article II Section 3 in the US Constitution grants the right of the President that "he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper." It is no more improper to doubt the motives of the President or Governor Bush for their infusion into this case as it is to believe completely that Michael Schiavo is telling the truth about a conversation he had with his wife 7 years prior. (Here's an exercise; try to remember verbatim what someone ELSE spoke during a movie you watched together 7 years ago. Another: try to remember verbatim anything YOU have spoken 7 years ago).

It is inaccurate and cynical to assume that this issue divides Congress by party lines. The Schiavo bill in the house was passed 203 Yeas - 58 Nays - 174 Not Voting. Democrats cast 47 of the Yeas without which the bill would not have left the House. The Senate bill passed only with an anonymous hands only vote. Is it not unreasonable to think that Sen. John Edwards, with respect to the untimely death of his son Wade, must empathize immensely the grief the Schindlers are going through? Have we been so polarized into supposedly two camps, pull-the-plug Democrats or life-at-all-cost Republicans, that we forget about the most helpless among us and do what is right?

How many times can we remember personal stories or from documentaries about patients who were told by all the doctors that they would never walk, talk, see, hear, think again only to have the "experts" baffled at their recovery with tireless "try until" therapy and positive hope. The hard reality is that doctors spend VERY little time with patients such as those in Terri's condition, rather it is the nurses that spend the lionshare and better know the progress of the patients. How does one grapple with the idea that others who have been in Terri's condition or worse are currently being interviewed speaking fluidly and cogently and not wonder why Terri couldn't have the same opportunity? Terri only received a few years of therapy before her owner/guardian started the legal process to end her life.

Naturally, this case has caused people from either side to draw up their own living wills to give more specific death instructions. Ironically, because this case has gone through so many judges from district, state and federal court, it has set a legal precedent that such a living will is NOT REQUIRED for someone else to end your life. The courts have effectively recognized that verbal instructions will suffice in the most important life or death situations. Moreover, many people who think it is humane to allow Terri to starve and dehydrate to death would consider it torture or cruel and unusual punishment if administered to fully conscious serial killer. (I am fully AGAINST the death penalty)

In or to continue or humane, should we scour the countryside hunting victims of cerebral palsy or other severely brain damaged people, either by birth or later trauma, who can't defend themselves and ending their lives since we assume that they would not want to live that way? Of course not. These people aren't "humanely" put out their misery mostly because someone else is not aggressiviely trying to put an end to their existence. This case greases the wheels for the demise of some of the most unfortunate (or even "abnormal") among us.

This case is not at all about the right to die. If she had written her intentions down beforehand in living will, it is only right to respect her wishes. Rather, it begins and ends with trusting Michael Schiavo to his word. So ask yourself, do you trust him, or do WANT to trust him? Perhaps more importantly, WHY do you trust him?

I told my mother that I would never want anyone to pull my life-support or feeding tube under any circumstances, that there was always hope for a better tomorrow and that hopefully I have surrounded myself with optimistic people equally obsessed with my recovery.

Posted by: Dave at March 27, 2005 12:05 PM

1) It depends. Usually I only have one thing to eat at any one time (i.e. a sandwich), but when I have more than one thing, I usually try to eat whatever will get cold the soonest, then move onto whatever is next. I hate cold french fries, but a burger can hold its heat better.

2) They were doing what they always do. Accomplishing nothing on the one hand and looking good for their constituents on the other. It was a lot of posturing. If they hadn't done it in this case, they would have done it for something else.

3) One.

4) I can't think of as medically necessary reason to choose a baby's gender unless ovarian or testicular cancer ran in the famly, but even then, I have qualms. AFAIK, medicine isn't to the point where they can say someone will definitely get a certain disease. They might have an increased risk, but that is not the same thing.

Posted by: Mike at March 27, 2005 3:28 PM

ì... as it is to believe completely that Michael Schiavo is telling the truth about a conversation he had with his wife 7 years prior.î

Did you know that way back in 1993 Michael Schiavo testified in court that she did not want to be kept alive by external means? Did you know that her parents agreed in court that she was brain dead? Did you know that her parents testified in court that they encouraged Michael Schiavo to start dating again and get on with his life? Did you know that it wasnít until after the he won the civil suit that her parents then started making these claims? Did you know that Michael Schiavo offered to donate the settlement money to charity?
The Miami Herald had a good article about the whole fifteen years or so of trials.

Posted by: Diana at March 27, 2005 9:56 PM

Q1."A little bit of everything till it's all gone"

Q2."no" I believe the family should sort it out themselves.And just to weigh in on that argument that continues to rage through the u.s.,I strongly believe she should be allowed to die with dignity and a bit of grace...

Q3."just one"??????(2TWO) towels for one shower???????

Q4."no","no"and "no" enough said.

Posted by: laurie at March 28, 2005 1:48 AM


Thank you for the link. I would like to respond to the 5 rhetorical questions which you derive from this one article you trust is factual. I have purposely omitted repeating the questions to save space.

1. The article doesn't say when the conversation occurred. It could have been 4 years prior to her injury. Nevertheless, even if she would have said this just days before her injury, 3 years is a very long time to remember a specific conversation. What you should ask yourself perhaps is if she did in fact say that she did not want to be kept alive by external means, why would he wait 3 years to make such a statement? Why didn't he work diligently to fullfill "her" wishes within months of her injury?

2. The article you cite states that her parents (neither of which are neurologists) conceded that she was in a persistent vegetative state and had extreme brain damage, not brain dead as you seem to have misinterpreted. According to Healthlink-Medical College of Wisconsin, PVS "is sometimes described as when a person is technically alive, but his/her brain is dead. However, that description is not completely accurate. In persistent vegetative state the individual loses the higher cerebral powers of the brain, but the functions of the brainstem, such as respiration (breathing) and circulation, remain relatively intact." This misinterpretation notwithstanding does not require ending her life. There are many thousands of patients that extremely low-functioning by either injury or birth but are cared for just the same by loving families and/or charities.

3. This is not relevant to the admissibility of hearsay evidence which should have never been allowed. It actually makes Michael look even more heartless, that Terri's parents wanted to encourage him to be happy again and he repays them by actively trying to kill their daughter using the judicial system.

4. Because both the Schindlers and Michael were united in wanting to care for Terri. By encouraging Michael to start a new life they were implying that he let her go both spiritually and legally. He keptHowever, after the civil suit, Michael wanted to walk away with all of the cash. The parents wanted a portion of the money to help continue her care. Michael wanted all of the money to start a new life without Terri, which by then had become a boat anchor.

5. Ostensibly, this argument is made to show that he has no financial motive for working so diligently to end Terri's life. But once again, how can you trust that he will do this? And if he did give the money to charity, what makes you think that he would have done so if this case was not made so public? His offer to give the settlement money to charity now raises a red flag masking some personal culpability. Look... shiny keys.

Posted by: Dave at March 28, 2005 6:24 PM

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