October 15, 2012

...need to read

This is a mish-mash of articles, all built around the theme of understanding conservative values & politics and history.

The leftist Frank Rich, from the NYT: "The Tea Party Will Win in the End".

Historian Alan Brinkley (a PDF), from CUNY: "The Problem of American Conservatism".

Janice Biamengo, from PJ Media: "Biased Against the Bright".

The California Association of Scholars: "A Crisis of Confidence".

 

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August 05, 2012

...prolong therapy

...plan on living to 100 or more? Much more!

Future Pundit: Plan on Living to be 100.

We aren't going to stay helpless against aging tissues. The legions of scientists experimenting with pluripotent stem cells, tissue engineering, gene therapies, and other promising therapies will succeed and they will succeed in the first half of the 21st century. Once we can fix and replace failing parts the mortality tables go out the window as we gain the ability to do what we can now do to old cars: replace parts and keep on going. At some point in the 21st century we will reach actuarial escape velocity where the rate at which we can repair the body exceeds the rate at which pieces of the body wear out and fail. Our rejuvenated bodies will then go on for many more decades and eventually centuries.

In a nutshell: If you are in your 30s or below I think your odds of dying of old age are remote. Whether folks in their 40s, 50s, and beyond will live to benefit from rejuvenation therapies probably depends on how long they will live naturally. Someone who is 50 years old and has 40 years to go even without biomedical advances will certainly live long enough to enjoy the benefits of biotechnologies that will enable them to live well beyond 90 years.

...bring it on.

 

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July 30, 2012

...exercise doesn't matter

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Science Codex: "Hunter-gatherers, Westerners use same amount of energy, contrary to theory".

The research team behind the study, led by Herman Pontzer of Hunter College in New York City, along with David Raichlen of the University of Arizona and Brian M. Wood of Stanford measured daily energy expenditure (calories per day) among the Hadza, a population of traditional hunter-gatherers living in the open savannah of northern Tanzania. Despite spending their days trekking long distances to forage for wild plants and game, the Hadza burned no more calories each day than adults in the U.S. and Europe. The team ran several analyses accounting for the effects of body weight, body fat percentage, age, and gender. In all analyses, daily energy expenditure among the Hadza hunter-gatherers was indistinguishable from that of Westerners. The study was the first to measure energy expenditure in hunter-gatherers directly; previous studies had relied entirely on estimates.

These findings upend the long-held assumption that our hunter-gatherer ancestors expended more energy than modern populations, and challenge the view that obesity in Western populations results from decreased energy expenditure. Instead, the similarity in daily energy expenditure across a broad range of lifestyles suggests that habitual metabolic rates are relatively constant among human populations. This in turn supports the view that the current rise in obesity is due to increased food consumption, not decreased energy expenditure.

So, why exercise at all?

The authors emphasize that physical exercise is nonetheless important for maintaining good health. In fact, the Hadza spend a greater percentage of their daily energy budget on physical activity than Westerners do, which may contribute to the health and vitality evident among older Hadza.

- Apparently, only to stay fit into old age. I.e., to continue to enjoy life.

 

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...aspirin

BBC: "Taking [daily] aspirin a no-brainer". Too important not to include all the following. 

Taking low-dose aspirin for five years halves the risk of developing colon cancer, according to data published two years ago by Peter Rothwell, from Oxford University.

But Prof Cuzick told Newsnight the most up-to-date data showed "much stronger results".

Last year, research indicated daily low-dose aspirin cut the risk of dying by 66% for oesophageal cancer and 25% for lung cancer. When researchers looked at all solid cancers together, the risk also fell, by 25%.

This year, the team looked at aspirin's effect on the spread of cancer, and found it reduced the risk of secondary spread to the lungs, liver and the brain by "about half".

Low-dose aspirin is already recommended to cut the risk of heart attack and stroke, but there are no national guidelines on who should consider taking it to prevent cancer, or how much to take.

I'm going to add a low-dose (dunno what that means, yet) aspirin component to our diet, along with the vitamin D. No down-side. Considerable up-side.

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July 16, 2012

...archaelogy

An absolutely fascinating and accessible study on the "Kennewick Man" find of 1996 in the Columbia River Gorge (accidentally, and during a boat race, as it seems).

Kennewick Man ...in 9 parts: read all nine. Especially Part 8: The Jeldark Decision.

...a good read.

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