In an attempt to effectively procrastinate, I have been contemplating the use of my fingernails. Clearly, they are not just something that has long lost its function, like the hair of the head, for example, because I use them an awful lot for a variety of things, and when I cut them (as I recently did), I notice that certain things are harder. There are labels to peel, flat things to pick up, itches to scratch, and enemies' faces from which to draw blood. Evolution was kind in the gift of the fingernail.
There are things on me that grow very quickly, which I wish did not, and things that grow slowly that I wish grew more quickly. For example, the hair on my head. It does not grow fast at all. I had worked for a long time to achieve a Jesus-like coif. My hair had finally gotten very long! I had it trimmed and my long mane was exactly how I wanted it. Of course no one liked my hair long but I did not care. It was what I wanted it to be. Then I went home for the funeral and my mother freaked. But she made her point. I may be almost 30 years old, but she still has veto power on certain things, like the hairdo. So I cut it down to the scalp. I felt like I was mourning two things--my uncle, and the loss of my hair.
On the other hand, I'm not so into having a beard but my facial hair grows at an alarming rate. I can sneaze and have a full beard. It is course, thick hair so it is not easy to shave--so sometimes I just trim it up and shape it out and let my biological nature have its way. When I go through the intense process of removing it from my sensitive skin, it is always a big relief.
Fingernails and toenails--quick growers. Most women would envy how fast I can grow those bitches out from the tips of my extremeties. I'm indifferent, though, as I mentioned above, they are useful. Sometimes you have to bare your teeth, sometimes you gotta show show your claws. There has been more than one occasion where they have literally been used as a weapon (of self defense of course) but more often than not they function in the modern world to pick at things that are not otherwise easily picked at. I cut them recently and they have that "in the quick" feeling. A squirt of antibacterial non-water hand wash is a little tiny bit painful.
Now I turn to my paper that is due tomorrow, about which I must also present. I think it is ok, though my problem in philosophy is ever taking a firm position one way or the other. I like to lay out all sides of the debate, and then at the end of the day I'm not convinced either way. In my last attempt at the paper/presentation episode, I laid out the "good" side of a market for human organs so well that when I got down to concluding that we should not allow such a thing, I wasn't convinced myself and had barely made an argument for it. Score one for the opponents of my heartfelt position!
Here is where I try to lure Professor Rob Helpy Chalk in via his referral log, rather than being ballsy and emailing him directly, who judging by his paper on the subject (.pdf) of the ethics of genetic engineering is something of an expert on the subject. I am sure that there is nothing that he would rather do with his free time, now that the semester is over for him, than read a mediocre paper by a student who is not only not enrolled in any of his courses, but not even at his university. Wouldn't that excite you, too? That he is cited a few times therein might be additional incentive.