Posted by: Brad Nixon | May 11, 2010

Order Your Mammoth Today!

There is not much that differs today regarding the distribution of wealth between haves and have-nots from other times in history. The wealthy have a lot; the poor have little or nothing. If you’re reading this article from somewhere within the United States, you have, by global standards, immense wealth. There ARE a few of you faithful readers in Europe, and you have it good, too, relative to the mass of our fellow humans. You have enough money to bail out Greece, after all. Our retirement plans thank you for doing so!

One recurring news item that reminds us that there is a stratum of society possessing wealth beyond the dreams of avarice is the one about the “space tourists,” typically American or Russian bozos with more money than God himself could mint in an average working day who fork out twenty million U.S. dollars to ride a rocket up to the International Space Station. These, we assume, are people who have decided that a 400-ft. yacht designed by Phillipe Starck and a private island off the coast of Dubai are not enough. No one notices, particularly because one does not want the press roaming around the compound in Dubai or interfering with the guests on the boat. Besides, the few minutes of press that one generates with those paltry accomplishments just doesn’t fill the demand of the global always-on/always-gross media frenzy.

Nixonian Correspondence #37: There is an almost perfect correspondence between the Warholian 15 Minutes of Fame and a trip to the space station.

Well, I predict that a new day is about to dawn in the international consumption race, which has replaced the arms race of my childhood as the primary competition between The West and Elsewhere: The Mammoth Race. Who will be the first to have their very own live Mammoth, cloned from DNA recovered from frozen remains of ancient animals frozen in glaciers?

This idea comes from an article in the N.Y. Times about reconstructing the genetic evolution of Mammoths from their progenitors in Africa,  HERE. Mammoths, according to current research, began life as elephants in Africa and migrated north to become the mammoths of Siberia. This article reports research about how warm-weather animals — elephants — evolved to accommodate the life of the Siberian tundra, and were able to survive into the era of the last ice age. It’s fascinating reading, including information about how contemporary arctic animals like fox and hare have circulatory systems that allow their feet to maintain temperatures near freezing so that they don’t give up more heat than necessary to the surface of the ground they are standing on.

What I think is notable about this article is that a respectable scientist proposes that there may now be enough DNA information available to clone a mammoth from the Pleistocene. He puts the cost of the project at ten million dollars. Certainly, if there are millionaires with the expendable income who can toss $20 million into a ride into space, there must be one or more of their clan who would leap at the chance to spend half that amount to have a genuine mammoth roaming around the property! Bragging rights? Duh!

“Komrade! I haff just returned from my flight to ze Space Station! Vat do you tink off dat?

“Hah! I laff at your silly sitting in a chair and riding into space. Komm out here and see my mammoth!”

I do not intend to enter this competition. I am waiting until a low-cost provider of labor undercuts the competition and offers a clone of a Tyrannosaurus Rex from some laboratory in central Africa. My T. Rex will take on any and all Woolly Mammoths any time, anywhere. Bring your game! For the right odds, Mr. T.R. will take on two, three or more mammoths! Let the games begin.



  1. Oh no. I just got over my fear of dogs. Now this.


  2. niiiiice! after the space ride, some mastadon burgers! remember when the movie “2001 a space odyssey” came out? i really thought we’d be
    hopping up to the moon for a long weekend by now.


    • Let’s all agree right here and now that if we bring any Mammoths back to life, they are not FOOD. Sheesh.


  3. Why wait for a mammoth? You can get affordable highland cattle today, on Skye. It’s quite interesting to turn a corner and finding a few of these blocking the one lane road you’re bouncing along.

    Google an image of one of these wooly boys. I don’t think I’ve had a highland burger, but they are beef cattle. Still, they eat Haggis there, so you never know.


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