Sins of the grandmothers:
There is an article (Grandma’s curse ECONOMIST vol. 405 no. 8809 November 3, 2012 page 82 reviewing work by Vanderver Rehan of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute polished in BioMed Central Medicine) that reports that if a woman smokes while pregnant her children and her grandchildren are at increased risk of asthma. 

They point out that this has to be epigenetic.  Of course I fully concur.  My own work indicates to me that it is indubitable that epigenetic changes can be carried over multiple generations.  They put the matter into historical and philosophical context and add wit that I am incapable of.  The article starts by saying that the term epigenetics covers a host of sins and wind up quoting “the sins of the fathers will be visited upon the sons even to the third and fourth generation.”  Very clever.  But … that’s my line!  If they are going to use my line – the biblical reverence referring to epigenetic change – please mention my message.  Oh well.  They probably came up with it independently.

It has happened before.  There was a movie “The Sons of Men,” about a world in which people could not reproduce.  I was already embarked on this project when the movie came out, but the book came out it 1994, before I had made any great effort.  The story is about events happening around the fact that a woman turned up pregnant.  Big brouhaha about the woman.  But the real question was, “Who was the father?”  In the book men have low sperm counts.  Just one fertile male would be able to save humanity.  But no, the drama is all about the woman.   

The movie is rather more subtle.  They introduce a couple of people who are brain damaged.  And they mention that the crisis, although abrupt, rather sneaked up on people.  Furthermore, although nobody seems to be in primary production, food is just not a problem.  One unmentioned event would explain all of it.  Some virulent infectious disease gave people fevers so high that sperm was destroyed; mumps used to do that.  It caused brain damage; Spanish flu did that and I rather think it had more effect on the lamentable history of the 20th century than people give it credit for.  And it dramatically reduced the population; strategic food reserves evidently were ample for as long as the survivors were going to live. 

All right, they used my imagery but not the idea that gave rise to the imagery.  I wish they had. 
And another time.  I have mentioned too many times my foreboding that the loss of the Arctic ice cap will so change the pattern of air currents as to usher in a new ice age.  There was a movie “Day After Tomorrow,” that portrays that.  Except instead of using air currents as I had surmised, they invoked ocean currents.  Probably they brought in some scientists who said, “Ice ages are caused by ocean currents,” and went with it, even though ocean currents could not possibly change fast enough to produce the sudden cold snap that the plot and imagery required. 


Maybe, just maybe, eventually … I’ll get used to it.

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