Topic: "Bovine Stem Cells?"
THE WASHINGTON POST today reported the details of a major felony in the farmlands surrounding our Nation's Capital. It seems that someone purloined a huge number of "straws" containing bull semen.
In a setting reminiscent of the genetic laboratories exhibited in the movie "Jurassic Park," the seminal fluid of shorthorn bulls is maintained for the appropriate act of artificial insemination. The magic elixir is packed in tubes (known as "straws") and contained within nitrogen-heavy solutions with temperature levels cold enough to keep the contents fresh. The straws are drawn when needed and the contents injected into the appropriate orifice, and in approximately the same gestation period as a human being a new shorthorn comes into being. The benefit of this to the "farmer" is that no bulls are actually required to live on the farm.
Frodo supposes that the value of the bull semen is dependent on a number of factors. It would seem logical that if the semen came from a very highly-regarded bull it may carry more value than if it came from a rather ordinary bull, say a bull named "W" for example. Another consideration of the value is certainly the alternative cost of maintaining a bull on the farm. Frodo is afraid that this speaks to the motive of the thieves in the subject crime.
Keeping "W" (as an example) available could prove to be a real budget-buster. Huge deficits would be created. Security would have to be strengthened. Coalitions with neighboring farms would have to be established for mutual protection. Disaster plans would be put into preparation. All in the effort to protect the business.
"Yeah," says Frodo, "that 'W' is a whole lot of bull."
If a ransom note comes from the semen thieves, Frodo suggests that the farmer pay it. The alternative might be three more years of bull.