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April 22, 2007

Transgendered poplars

In another major initiative by the Chinese government -- so far as we know, unrelated to the 2008 Olympics -- about 300,000 "female" poplar trees will be given hormonal treatment to deal with the changes brought about by arborial menopause.

Only kidding, I think. It's a little hard to tell what's serious and what's not when a news article says that "female" poplar trees will receive "sex changes operations." Apparently, the pollen produced by these trees in Beijing is causing health problems for people with asthma and allegeries. The trees will be injected with some unspecified substance, perhaps testosterone, to reduce the female pollen. I don't really know that it's testosterone, but if you suddenly begin to notice that the trees in Beijing are punching each other and making loud belching sounds, I think we'll know how that happened.

Next initiative: Circumcising the males of the species.