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15 April 2009

the Pink Pearl eraser of memory / Fly Into the Sun / why Bob will never die / dl Folding @ Home, cure Alzheimer's

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Copyright (c) 2009 by Ron Bizer, All Rights Reserved

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Faux postage stamp from Ron in the USA state shaped like the palm of a right-hand mitten. He, his wife, his kids (I never asked if they have cats or dogs or fish or birds) live about 3 cm left of the bottom of the thumb.

Pretty self-explanatory (except that I thought the Pink Pearl art gum eraser was a hard disk).

This is why I careen and stagger through mathematics, and try to finger Mozart tunes on the new Casio (with Auto-Bossa-Nova and Auto-Polka!). Also stamps, poems, writing, programing, travels back and forth to the Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy on the Zeta Beam, travels to wherever I can sleaze off to ...

It has been observed from time to time that most of my furniture is in my head, I spend an inordinate amount of time in there, and I really am not looking forward to it failing to run pretty smoothly on all 12 cylinders, as it usually has up to now.

An older relative, a pal of mine, recently Moved On after about 5 years of this progressive disease. Mostly what vanished was her short-term memory. Things from decades, from a half-century earlier -- especially the things she'd liked and loved -- were still clear as crystal in fine detail, and we carried on very high-level conversations about Bing Crosby and Tommy Dorsey and Admiral Nimitz.

I don't think anybody really knows what can slow the progress of Alzheimer's. The Learn-to-Play-Mozart theory, and other such new and challenging activities, are intended to form new synaptic connections and networks in healthy brain tissue, which can augment your intellectual needs when Alzheimer's degrades and affects other brain tissue. The daily crossword puzzle -- the Big Hard One in Serious Newspapers -- is also recommended.

Folding @ Home, the Distributed Programing project from Stanford University in California, investigates the way proteins involved in Alzheimer's are manufactured from DNA/RNA. You can download it, forget it (but leave your computer running), and you can help find a breakthrough in treating or curing Alzheimer's.

And lots of other ghastly genetic-based ailments.

A really dreadful disease, and may they make great and quick progress finding a way to cure or manage this disease. If Stem Cells might offer hope, color me 100% for Stem Cell Research. Where do I sign?

The symptoms themselves are called Dementia, a term I think has been in descriptive medical use for a century or more. I think the Addams Family has a relative named Dementia.

I certainly don't want to go out that way -- families and professionals call it "The Long Goodbye."

If croak I must, I want to fall into the mouth of an erupting volcano -- maybe Anak Krakatau will wake up and take after Mom -- and perish. I want to slip on a glacier and slide into a Moulin, and come out the front end in 2300 years, in perfect condition (exept I'm dead).

Kick me off the boring Obit Page, where men coach Little League baseball for 18 years, and are Potentates of the Melha Shrine.

Let a polar bear devour me in
Pangnirtung and drag my bloody, mangled corpse to Page One, Above the Fold.

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Fly Into the Sun

by Lou Reed
from the LP "New Sensations" (1984)

I would not run from the holocaust
I would not run from the bomb

I'd welcome the chance to meet my maker
And fly into the sun

fly into the sun
fly into the sun
I'd break up into a million pieces
and fly into the sun

I would not run from the blazing light
I would not run from its rain
I'd see it as an end to misery
As an end to worldly pain

An end to worldly pain
An end to worldly pain
I'd shine by the light of the unknown moment
To end this worldly pain

And fly into the sun
fly into the sun
I'd shine by the light of the unknown moment
And fly into the sun

The earth is weeping, the sky is shaking
The stars split to their core
And every proton and unnamed neutron
is fusing in my bones

And an unnamed mammal is darkly rising
As man burns from his tomb
And I look at this as a blissful moment
To fly into the sun

Fly into the sun
fly into the sun
I'd burn up into a million pieces
And fly into the sun

To end this mystery
answer my mystery
I'd look at this as a wondrous moment
To end this mystery

Fly into the sun
fly into the sun
I'd break up into a million pieces
And fly into the sun

Send "Fly Into the sun" Ringtone to your Cell
Download "Lou Reed" Music

1 comment:

patfromch said...

Conservative forces like anti-abortionists have made a big fuss about stem sell research in recent years. It is my understanding that it is prohitbitet in some States in the US because of those forces (loonies).

But what is stem cell research ? What happens is this.

You know bout the bees and the flowers, right ? A stem cell is about 3 days old, a tiny blob, made up of about 150 cells or so.
The interesting thing is that this blob can be turned into various tissues which would help us to understand the development of organs and their functions etc. Cells copy and split, sometimes the copying and splitting goes haywire, one of the results being Cancer or Tumors.
What triggers these events is yet unknown, stem cell research could tell us more at what time which levers in the DNA sequence are being pulled and why they are being pulled.
Stem cell research is not abortion, it will help us to find out more about Alzheimer (as you sadly mentioned), Huntington, Lupus, HIV etc etc. Stem cell research will broaden our horizion and make our lives better. Period.

Just a few weeks ago the first child without a gene sequence that might trigger breast cancer was born. I dare say the study of peptides, DNA sequencing (peptides are part of DNA) and possibly stem cell research played a major part.

Terry Pratchett, my favourite writer when it omes to light entertainment, has recently been diagnosed with a light and rare form of Alzheimer, he is currently pumping money into research, asking questions and making people aware with TV documentaries etc. Good on him. (Terry is also involved in trying to save the Orang Utan for years). We need more folks like Terry.

We are on the right track, but much lies ahead.

Call your congressman or whoever is in charge to make sure that stem cell research will still be allowed in your state. This research, medical and scientific research in general must not be hindered by incompetent enemies of science, Creationists, Abortionists, ID loonies etc. Or Politicians with an agenda in that direction who care about their career than their kin.

Folding at home is also very brilliant, the first time non-scientists are able to take part in direct and actual science.
Most owners of a PS3 are probably not aware that their machine is folding in the background while they are gaming away. I want to see more of this stuff !

Read Genome by Matt Ridley as a general introduction. A tad bit outdated but still a good overview.

This being said as a very crude overview, all mistakes and errors are mine. Teh Innernet has more info, Wakepedia and Gaggle know more.

I only know this stuff because I applied for a job at a biotech company specialized in peptides. This sort of knowledge would be required and I want that job, even if it is only an office job.

Oh and just in case you are reading this and never left a comment before. Leave one right now, will you ? Make Bob Happy