Personal Crap

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Meaford, ON, Canada
A big lover of all types of media, from Movies to Video Games, Books to Music, Television to Stage.



Okay, here's the deal: Blogger has been having problems with their counters as of late, specifically with those blogs marked as having adult content. Now, this particular blog was marked as adult content since it is written as a train of thought, including all the rotten language that flows through my head constantly :) As a result, I marked it adult for that, not for having pornographic photos all over the place. So, simply put, be aware that there is language on this blogsite, and if you are offended don't bother complaining because I wrote this so that you'd know it before reading, and it is your fault if you don't believe me and decide to possibly get offended anyway. If language of a vulgar nature might make you upset, go read something by Disney.


8th BGJ Blog Entry

How Would You Like To Live To Be A Thousand Years Old? - March 21st, 2005 - 10:14 AM.

You read the title correctly. This is something that has been worked on for a few years already by certain people, who I will name and provide solid information for, and who no longer believe this to be a flight of fancy. This is real, this is happening, and we are more than probably going to reap the benefits within the next ten years. (Not quite, but possibly very close to that) I'm not full of shit; you can find this stuff out for yourself.  (In fact, the CTV News At Noon had a piece about this particular topic during the last few weeks, and I'll expound on that later)
Here we go:
Aubrey de Grey. Most articles or writings of this nature take a long damn time to give you the name, or to reference who did the original writing, and that is done generally to ensure that anyone bored after the first couple of sentences won't pursue it further. This isn't those articles. Aubrey de Grey is your man. And he's an educated man. This isn't a science fiction novel dreamed up by some jackass sitting in a pool of his own filth (though it could probably be argued that this blog is; not science fiction, but everything else could be said to be accurate...). No, this guy is a computer scientist, has written piles of articles in peer-reviewed scientific literature, and been featured in Fortune and last month's Technology Review, published by MIT (Original blog had a link here, but it's no longer active.  It was found at the Technology Review website.  Hunt out his name on Google or Bing, you'll find him). He has his own foundation. He has a New York public relations agency. He is also the instigator of the M Prize (M for Methuselah - see Marigold, I do know my Bible) (Marigold is a code name for my cousin - Hi cousin!) which will give a cheque for $1 million US to the first researcher who can make a pair of mice live for five years - three times their normal life span.
So, simply put, this guy has a head on his shoulders and the following to back him up. I'm not inventing this guy, nor, again, am I making this shit up. Keep reading.
Now, the question is how? How is this possible? Well, there is the common folk description, and there's the "Holy shit, there is no fucking possible way I'll ever understand all this" description. For the former, keep reading; for the latter I'll provide a link (Sorry, again, this link too has been removed due to it dead-ending on a missing webpage.  If it's any consolation, the link went to a page on the University of Cambridge's Department of Genetics website.). Also note that this link will provide you with an e-mail link directly to the man himself, so for the final time I'll say this, I'm not full of shit. If you do think I'm full of shit, fuck off and ask him yourself. This entry will still be here when you get back, and I'll still smile on you beautifically regardless of you doubting me. You little prick. Anyway...
The process will progress in stages. As the future unfolds, the stages will improve technologically, and the procedure (don't freak, we'll get to that) will become less and less of an ordeal (I said don't freak). The first stage is expected to extend the lifetime of your average human being anywhere from 30 to 40 years. I'll write that again, in longform: thirty to forty years. Even if started by someone at the age of sixty. Now, during that time, the second stage will be introduced to increase the lifespan even more, and the first stage will be improved.
The first step is this: Gene therapy has to be combined with stem-cell research.  (I think, but am not certain, that this is being done in Canada, leading to the aforementioned CTV News segment)
Controversy, more controversy, even more controversy, holy shit enough with the controversy, more controversy, controversy. Yes, we're in the same uncomfotable arena as cloning. Yes, we are dillying about with what some perceive as the natural order of the world. Certainly, we are at the very least futzing about in the playground of God. But should we? It is not could we - in all the years of scientific advancement and technological discovery, the question has never, ever, been 'could we?' Should we? Personally, I say yes, and not even for this purpose! Parkinson's disease. Alzheimer's. Multiple Sclerosis (I bet you people didn't think I could even spell that). Cancer. AIDS. There's five off the top of my head, and don't even get me started about replacement organ growth. The reasons to go this route are innumerable. So, fuck off with your 'cloning is an affront to God;' police these institutions and foundations, and if it will make you comfortable police the 'police' too. Just because an asshole can pick up the atomic bomb and blow the shit out of New York doesn't mean that nuclear energy is a bad thing. Proof? Fine, without World War Two, we'd still be trying to figure out how to get to the moon, and space colonization would still be solely in the realm of science fiction.
Now, the combination of gene therapy and stem-cell research needs to focus on one thing: Telomerase. Telomer-what? Telomerase. Its an enzyme, the enzyme in the body of every living thing, from tree, to orchid, to cute little kitten, to that old bitch down the street whose house is probably haunted by all the baseballs lost in her yard. And what is telomerase, you ask? It is the enzyme responsible for cell division, pure and simple. Eliminate telomerase, cells can't reproduce uncontrollably, and you just cured every old-age-related cancer in the world my friend. But, there's a downside. Get rid of telomerase and the replication of cells which need to divide, such as blood and skin, stops cold. So, the first stage of this treatment? Every decade or so, get a stem-cell injection. That's it. C'est tout. Are you hearing me? It is as simple as that.
Keep in mind, however, that this alone will not slow aging to a crawl. There will be other treatments; in fact there has to be other treatments, and some at the outset could involve hospital stays of up to a month. In theory, this could be reduced to less than a day within ten years, and ultimately be reduced to a simple injection or a pill themselves. The end result, however, would be a life as long as you'd ever want, except for murder and accidental death.
So, the next question is this: Why isn't this happening now? Why isn't the news flooded with this information? Well, a couple of reasons. First, I did in fact start researching this last night as a result of reading a newspaper article (Toronto Star, Sunday, March 20th, 2005, Page D3), so it is getting into the news (which, even with all the bullshit surrounding the U.S. presidency in regards to media manipulation, most people still consider information to not be valid unless it is in print in a reliable media source). Second, there are a lot of morality arguments about this, such as over-population and the problem of children. Obviously, taking this route could mean choosing between having or not having kids. Now I fall heavily on the 'not' side of this argument. Sure, when I was married, I felt that I wanted children, but since that fell apart I have rediscovered all the reasons I think negatively about that decision. (This decision has changed yet again with the introduction of the new wife - much to her and my cousin's relief)  The planet can comfortably support 6 billion people. We passed that mark in the early 1990's, if I'm not mistaken (the year may be wrong, but the number and the timeframe are dead on the money), and are likely to double that by 2012. And yet, we still see a Pope arguing against both birth control AND abortion, Third World nationality families popping out 3 or 4 children each AFTER having moved to a First World country (in other words, the kids aren't dying here in Canada, so the need to have 4 so that one will survive isn't the case anymore), kids are growing up in broken homes (1 in 2 marriages end in divorce), and people are actually using the argument that the birth rate will drop as a reason not to support gay marriage! I mean, what the hell is mankind thinking? Okay, I'm calm, not going to rant...I'm fine. That is a blog for another day.  (Apparently, a day that has not yet arrived, but you never know, 2011 is coming)
Third, there's the ethical God question. Sorry, Mari, but I gotta touch on this one. My argument is simple, and though I loathe myself for admitting it, it is one of the few things my mother ever said that I agree with 100% (and if you ever met the bitch, you'd know just how much this pains me to admit; if you never met her, consider yourself not only lucky, but look upon each day as a gift, and live your life knowing the sun has always shone more brightly on you than many other unfortunates on the planet). My argument is this: God, if you believe in such an entity, created the planet and everything in it; logically, He/She/It also created illness, disease, sickness, death, aging, mosquitos, the gunk that grows between your toes if you spend the day walking in the snow in boots, and Hitler. It also stands to reason that He/She/It also created (or provided the means to create) doctors, hospitals, bedpans, cremation, canes, flyswatters, athlete's foot spray, and the Thompson sub-machine gun. Oh, and don't get me started on the fact that He/She/It also had something to do with my mother, unless you want a really virolent argument involving terms such as "the pus-filled drippings from Satan's prick" bandied about (hey, piss off; language was God's too, so blame Him/Her/It). So, if God created sadness AND happiness, pain AND joy, then that means there should be an opposite to each and every negative thing you can name, and they are all right here on the planet, waiting to be discovered/created/synthesized (see also - Newton's Third Law Of Physics, regarding every action having an equal and opposite reaction). All we have to do is look. So, if God didn't want us to stop the effects of aging, it stands to reason that He/She/It should never have created Oil Of Olay in the first place.
Finally, the fourth and final reason: Some people think that de Grey is just stark-raving mad. I don't think I need to expound on this one...
What it all boils down to is this: People could live for a thousand years. The knowledge of what is needed to be done exists. The ability currently does not. The ability can be invented, and people are doing so right now. The problem as I see it is not ethical, moral, or any other kind of -al. It is this - people need to wake up to the fact that aging can be considered a life-threatening disease, one that needlessly kills 100,000 people a day world-wide, and it can be slowed and nearly stopped in our lifetimes. Show me the argument against trying to accomplish that. Don't argue the above points over again, argue why we shouldn't put our current technology to use in order to give our future generations the ability to choose to use this ability or not. Should we limit the future's right to choose because we find something hard to get our heads around? Think of the knowledge one could accumulate in a thousand years, the wisdom, the life experience. Imagine having enough time to do every last goddamn thing you have always wanted to do. Visit every country in the world. Hell, visit them twice. Have a career in dance, and then another as a teacher, then another as an author, and then another, and another after that. Have the ability to sit and watch the world mature as nations wise up to the horrible devastation being done to one another over misinterpretation of beliefs. Better yet, watch peace and intelligence wash the world anew. I think I'd like to be around to see that. Wouldn't you? At this point, you, reading this, may just have that opportunity.
That's something worth striving for, don't you think?
(Now for the information provided by the CTV News At Noon in the past few weeks:  They are already walking down the path, as we speak.  A segment discussed the fact that there are mice and rats being experimented on [no, I don't personally agree with it, but some things are a necessary evil] which are not only showing signs of not ageing, but actually growing younger.  So, while some readers of the original post chose to argue with me rather than looking into it themselves, I hope that those reading it this time will actually do some research on the subject on their own.)

Just Before Year's End, Saber Rattling Gets Loud

Okay, I promised not to write any blog entries about current events until I had finished posting the older site's entries, but I just read something that really gets under my skin.  So, sorry about breaking my word, because I hate doing that, but I feel I need to say something about this one.

North Korea, as it is being reported this morning as of 9:14am Toronto time, is threatening nuclear war with South Korea.  Now, they have both been guilty recently of threats upon the other, mainly in the form of training exercises to demonstrate military might, but this is going way beyond firing a tank or shooting a gun.  I am going to quote the CTV News article here as my source.  See if you can spot the word that gets me so pissed off.

POCHEON, South Korea — North and South Korea beat the drums of war Thursday, with each threatening the other with immediate retaliation if attacked. 

Seoul has staged days of military drills in a show of force meant to deter North Korea, including live-fire exercises earlier this week on a front-line island shelled by the North last month. Angered by the exercises, North Korea threatened Thursday it would launch a "sacred" nuclear war if Seoul hit it and warned that even the smallest intrusion on its territory would bring a devastating response. 

Have you spotted the word?  It is even in quotes.  That's right, "sacred" is the word we're looking for.  That really gets my nuts in a bunch.  Here it is, once again, religion being used to justify large-scale slaughter (and don't kid yourself, a nuclear explosion would cause EXACTLY that, whether to humans or wildlife).  Haven't we yet, as a race, gotten past the need to excuse our actions by blaming our right to do something on a deity?  Don't even get me started on the religious argument on it's own, just let me keep to this specific facet of it:  Religion has caused more and bloodier wars than any other possible incitement in the history of the planet, and while this war isn't being threatened over a religious dispute, religion is already in the fray as a reasoning for using the largest weapon on the planet.

Defence chief Kim Yong Chun said North Korea is "fully prepared to launch a sacred war" and would use its nuclear capabilities, calling Monday's drills a "grave military provocation" that indicated South Korea and the U.S. are plotting to invade the North. 

See?  Religion is not the reason for the dispute, it's just the convenient way North Korea is going to justify their use of a nuclear weapon to change the global map.

Kim told a national meeting in Pyongyang that the North's military will deal "more devastating physical blows" to its enemies if they cross into the North's territory even slightly. He also threatened to "wipe out" South Korea and the U.S. if they start a war, the official Korean Central News Agency said in a dispatch. 

As you can tell by the bits I'm quoting, I don't have to make this stuff up.

China -- North Korea's only major ally -- called again for restraint on Thursday.

And this is the problem.  The US is allies with South Korea, China is allied with North Korea, so what we're REALLY talking about here is a war between China and the Americans.

Now, who's up for a nice peaceful game of RISK?

CTV News article can be found here: