I made this!

Here are the lumps of bone they removed from my wrist two weeks ago. The big yellow lump is surprisingly big, soaked in formalin, and still has assorted goo attached. No wonder the tendons were getting so annoyed by its presence. The other little chip is just bone, with no goo.

What do you think I should do with it? (Apart from removing the goo, obviously.)

For bonus complications, NZ law is unclear on what I’m allowed to do with it. Selling it is, in NZ, possibly not illegal, but Trade Me won’t sell body parts. Whether body parts count as property once removed and can thus be owned is actually complicated. I’m lawfully in possession of this lump, but it’s possible that I’m not allowed to own human tissue, even my own, once it is removed. If I had died, then there are assorted laws about what can be done with my body. Bodies don’t count as anyone’s property, so cannot be sold. If I am alive and living in the US, I am allowed to sell my blood because, once removed from my body, my blood counts as my property. In NZ, I’m not allowed to sell my blood, eggs, or sperm. In the UK, I think I’m allowed to sell my blood, but almost everyone gives it away freely.

I dunno. Law is weird.

Comfortably boring pictures of my wrist after removal of the extra bone

I’ve had an extra bone growing in my wrist for the last few years. My wrist had gradually worsened from “hurts when I do handstands” to “explodes with swelling if I hold a circular saw for more than twenty minutes”. Given that we’re still working on the house, this needed fixing. So last monday, I slipped under general anesthetic and woke up an hour later feeling annoyingly chirpy, minus the bone. I’ve asked for it back, coz a) it’s mine, and b) every other time I’ve seen my own bones has been accompanied by copious bleeding, so I’d curious to know what they look like when I’m not entering shock.

I pulled the dressing off last night. I’ve some deep bruising and a pretty tiny scar, with threads from the internal stitches poking out. These get removed next week and in the meantime I have to not fiddle with them.

Cut for large but non-bloody pictures

Marine resources paper released

What I’ve been up to at work for the last few months:
Future Marine Resource Use – the vast wealth of our ocean resources and the limited knowledge we have of these resources.

From the news release: “Generating sustainable wealth from New Zealand’s vast ocean resources requires us to proceed carefully, according to a new paper produced by the Royal Society of New Zealand. Marine mining, bio-discovery and marine power generation all provide opportunities to generate extensive wealth for New Zealand in the future but there is a lack of information about the vulnerability or resilience of our ocean ecosystems.”

Download the paper or listen to the briefing from the Science Media Centre.

And if it’s TL;DR, then the conclusion is:
“In just a few decades, the fisheries industry has transitioned from crisis to a substantial and long-term generator of wealth for New Zealand. As shown by New Zealand’s experience with the fisheries Quota Management System, institutions matter. Our developing understanding of New Zealand ocean energy, minerals and petroleum, ecosystems and biodiversity all suggest that more potential sources of wealth are present in our oceans. However, appropriate management frameworks (i.e. institutions) are critical if New Zealand is to develop its marine resources efficiently and responsibly.”

And my personal view is that we can manage and limit the environmental impacts of offshore activities, even up to and including major drilling for oil and gas. However, to do so we need an ability to regulate any offshore industry, to stop the companies from capturing and controlling the regulators, and the capacity to cope when mistakes are made. As shown by the Rena fuckup, marine industries are not adequately regulated, and I’ll just refer here to my post last year on Is NZ ready for a major oil spill?, the answer being oh ffs no!

Press coverage so far:
Stuff – Making the most of NZ’s undersea wealth