Item 6. Crocheted two hats for the hat and mitten tree that Max's school puts up every year. Had hoped to get more done than that--but well, when you wait until the last minute, that's what happens. Perhaps for next year, I will try to make one each month so I'll be way ahead of the game.
#11. Watch 50 documentaries.
Item 7. Gray and I watched Planet in Peril for school. And we both thought it was really good. Though I think we'll watch Strange Days on Planet Earth soon, because I think it's even better.
#16. Bake 50 different kinds of cookies.
Mmmmmm...these cookies are so incredibly yummy. (Of course non-cranberry fans likely wouldn't agree.) I used the not-freezing-dough-ahead-of-time method. (And they're scrumptious without the chocolate and nuts, too...not that I snuck any before the dipping phase or anything...)
#37. Read 50 books I never heard of before buying/borrowing from the library.
Item 4. The Red Market: On the Trail of the World's Organ Brokers, Bone Thieves, Blood Farmers, and Child Traffickers by Scott Carney. A total impulse grab off the "new non-fiction" shelves at the library a few weeks back.
My random thoughts:
*This is one of those books where I'm tempted to say "I really enjoyed it" except that "enjoy" just isn't quite the most accurate word. It was utterly fascinating. And horrifying. And eye-opening.
*I'd never even heard the term "red market" before this book. The red market refers to the market in human bodies, living and dead, and human body parts. After an introduction to the whole concept of the red market, Carney begins the book with a personal story from his life, the death of one of his students. It was her death and what happened in the immediate aftermath that led to his interest in the red market. Each subsequent chapter focuses on a different sub-market--blood, bones, eggs, children, and much more.
*He admits right from the start that he's focused on the problems that crop up in the red market.
By and large, I have not focused on the millions of red market transactions that go right every day. There is no doubt that without transplant technology, blood collection, and adoption programs there would be terrible human fallout. We don't need to follow the stories of people living happy lives because of something they bought on the red market. That is the story of tissue demand. It is far more important to understand how tissue makes it to the market than how it is used. This book is an exploration of the supply side of the economic equation...
*In some ways, it might seem unfair to only look at the problematic. But he makes what to me is a very convincing argument overall. Part of what he has to say:
If we want to live in a world where human lives are priceless and in some ways equal, then the market cannot be the best decider of which people have the right to other people's bodies. Inevitably even the best systems of donation break down at some point and let in criminal elements. Even if most of the time it works without people being exploited, the crimes, when they happen, are so extreme that they undermine the benefits of the entire system to society at large.
And extreme they are. Some of the stories are just mind-boggling. If I'd seen them in a movie, I'd have found them unbelievable...and yet these things are happening. And of course, they're happening to those most vulnerable, the world's poor.
*On the lighter side, I did want to kick the author at one point. He gave away what I can only assume is a major spoiler for Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, a book I was hoping to read very soon.