Monday, April 25, 2005

Here's a comment, in the wake of news that being slightly overweight actually isn't that bad.

These general studies just create confusion. OTOH there are about 10 million very good studies out there on specific foodstuffs. Personally, I want to make it to at least 100, hopefully 140ish, in good health, so I take the following twice every day:

Life Extension Mix powder
Life Extension Herbal Mix powder
(LEF is a pretty good company, they add ingredients to their mixes based on good research)
1/4 teaspoon green tea extract (which is also in the above, but I like more; this is the equiv of 5 cups of green tea)
25 mg dihydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)
aged garlic extract
200mg boswellin + 500mg curcumin (this is great for joints, in addition to the curcumin's antioxidant properties)

and in addition to that:

75g protein shake every morning (15g ea of caseinate (goatsmilk) protein, egg, soy, whey, and one other I can never remember) with a couple teaspoons flax seed
3 grams Vitamin C (1 gram at odd intervals)
Dimethylaminoethanol (commonly known as DMAE; for mental acuity; prescribed in Europe for ADD)
about 7 cups of green tea (stashtea.com has a great selection) brewed with a cinnamon stick. I brew it very strong, in 20 oz cups. This has a great effect on my disposition as well, I've noticed. I'm much calmer and better able to deal with my several hi-stress jobs and hobbies (I take 1/16 tsp theanine as well, if I'm expecting something especially stressful to come up; this is an amino acid in green tea that calms you (the Japanese actually spike their soft drinks with it)).
I also take a growth hormone booster (which is basically a few grams of some amino acids in a certain ratio) for 3-4 days every couple weeks. This and the DHEA are more about bodybuilding, or least maintaining muscle mass than disease prevention or anti-aging per se.

And of course I work out with weights (I found the Arnold book had some good exercises; my base is squats, skullbusters, bicep curls, dumbell rows, bent-over rows, deadlifts, and barbell military press plus some odds and ends; I rotate through so I hit each exercise at least once a week) and do slow inclined situps every morning, never miss. I recently got an elliptical machine as well; it's mostly for my gf but I found a good 1-2 minute sprint really pumps me up.

Of course even with all that I could still keel over tomorrow, but I like to think I'm maximizing the odds in my favor. I'm 30 now and am fortunate enough to enjoy a fairly good income, and instead of spending a lot I (try to) put away enough to be financially secure by 40, which plan really makes very little sense if I only live to be 39. So it's a financial common-sense decision as much as anything. Long-term inventments don't pay off if you die in the short term.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

A big public fight is never good for Republicans. The media will define the issue using DNC talking points. In fact, they’ve already started.

See any mention of the fact no candidates have ever been filibustered before this Democratic Senate began the practice? Or that when a party has controlled both the executive and legislative branches, they generally get 100% of their nominees confirmed? Now try to name a Dem talking point that doesn’t appear in the article. There will be thousands more stories like this written in the MSM, right up until the 2006 election, if this goes through.

Just wait until the polling starts: “Do you believe in checks or balances, or should one party have total power?” I can see the caption: Public Opposes GOP Attempt to Seize Total Power followed by Dems Bask in Public Support of Senate Shutdown

We need to think about what the impact will be of this story being covered constantly for the next 1½ years. Yes, we’re right and they’re wrong. But do we want to risk throwing away the Republican majority on a few judges we may get with 60 votes soon anyway?

And if you think the GOP has any chance of winning the PR battle on this one, just remember: the Clinton impeachment, despite finding all kinds of misbehavior, actually worked in Dems' favor once the press got done spinning it. Can you imagine if Bush was caught having an affair with an intern and covering it up? Or imagine the media reaction if Don Rumsfeld did what Sandy Berger did, or if any Republican Senator had the past of Robert Byrd or Ted Kennedy (look what happened to Trent Lott over a comment). I could go on for dozens of examples, if I had time.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

This seems like a good sign.
U.S. Forces Detain 6 Linked to Helicopter's Downing

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The U.S. military said on Saturday it had detained six Iraqi men in connection with the shooting down of a commercial helicopter this week in which 11 people were killed, including six Americans.

The arrests were made on Saturday following tip offs from Iraqi civilians who led U.S. forces to where the suspected attackers lived. It was not known where the men were seized.
From the area the incident occurred in, I am assuming these are Sunni civilians they are talking about. Sounds like even the Sunnis have tired of the insurgents' terrorism, and want to be on the winning side. As the Arabic expression goes, everyone likes the strong horse. It probably doesn't hurt that while the New Iraq offers freedom, democracy, and prosperity, the best the insurgents can offer is a return to the tyranny, mass graves, and state-sanctioned torture of the Saddam regime.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The indefatigable Ace links to a New Editor piece which makes a ridiculously optimistic projection that we'll achieve human immortality in 25 years.

Functional immortality is still a pipe-dream. We won't see it. Our grandchildren might.

Best we can hope for is about 140 years.

You might be interested to know we have only very recently discovered why men live longer than mice. It has nothing to do with "accumulating junk proteins"; that's a 1970s hypothesis popularized by Larry NIven's "A Man Out of Time" and other fiction, but since pretty well discredited. Why do men live longer than mice? We have protein encoding for the creation of antioxidants that slow down cellular-level damage from free radicals. Animals that live longer have more of these proteins, shorter-lived animals have fewer.

It's now believed that it's the simple accumulation of cellular damage, the result of which is cascading loss of information that all cells need to perform their incredibly complex operations, that causes aging. This cellular entropy will be very hard to fix; you're talking about a process roughly equivalent to debugging a decillion terabyte program. Oh, and the data is stored in three dimensional amino acid base pairs, and you have to keep the program running while you fix it or the person dies. Good luck.

And we're only beginning to understand how the data is encoded three-dimensionally; the supercomputer Blue Gene was built for this specific purpose. We're not anywhere close to being able to fix any of the damage. It'd be like asking a Stone Ager to fix a microprocessor.

Of course, it's far easier just to create a new organism from scratch than to continue fixing the old one in the face of entropy. Which is why nature does exactly that.

Monday, April 11, 2005

LGF notes CNN and BBC will be promoting tourism in Iran. I can see the ad now:

[fade into a gallows with a body slowly swinging in the morning breeze, silhouetted against a beautiful mountain range over which the sun is rising]

"Where else can you see a teenage girl executed for the crime of being molested by her brother?"

"Come to Iran, the land of the friendly mullahs!"

[zoom in on face of hanging girl, which suddenly comes to life and smiles as her bound hands come up with a "thumbs-up" gesture as two grinning robed and bearded figures enter from the sides of the picture and put their arms around her, while somewhere a band strikes up "I've Got a Feeling I'm Into Something Good", because it's just another happy day in Iran]

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Powerline notes an especially appalling choice for Pulitzer in the editorial cartoonist category, but I say Pulitzers are overrated anyway. Who'd want to belong to a club that welcomed Walter Duranty as a member?

It's like the Nobel Peace Prize being given to Arafat or Carter. The whole thing is a just one more part of the giant liberal echo chamber, so vast and hegemonic that some of those inside honestly don't realize there is an outside. Liberal committees nominating liberals who champion liberal causes especially well for awards, who are then declared by liberal media to be the geniuses of our era, and given grants by liberal foundations to go out and do more for liberalism. And if you don’t agree with this received wisdom -- hey, you're just a know-nothing anti-intellectual. And to prove it, liberals in academia compete to employ these anointed, award-winning liberals on the basis of the awards given to them by other liberals. It's almost eerily beautiful what an effective closed system the whole thing is.

You might almost call it a... vast left-wing conspiracy. But of course that would just be crazy.

Instapundit notes higher oil prices mean more interest in alternative energy sources, which any sane person realizes is a very good thing.

There was a WSJ article last week talking about the huge boom in ethanol production. Apparently farmers all over the Midwest are investing their life’s savings to build ethanol refineries. They said ethanol production is up 400% over 4 years ago, from 2 billion to 8 billion gallons I think it was. The author of the article seemed to think the farmers were likely to get burned when oil prices fall.

Funny how the enhanced attractiveness of alternative energy sources never gets mentioned by the press as a benefit of higher oil prices in their daily doomsaying on the topic. I get an oil price story every day in my Yahoo news feed, and have for about a year now I think, and I don't think they have ever mentioned this aspect. Would they report things a little differently under a Dem admin? Remembering the sudden outbreak of homeless stories in the Reagan years, one wonders…

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Powerline finds in a Zogby poll that torturing Terri Schiavo to death wasn't so popular after all, when people actually understood her condition.
"If a disabled person is not terminally ill, not in a coma, and not being kept alive on life support, and they have no written directive, should or should they not be denied food and water," the poll asked.
A whopping 79 percent said the patient should not have food and water taken away while just 9 percent said yes.
I’ve been saying for weeks that those poll results showing people wanted Terri starved to death were utter BS. This is a perfect example of the kind of meme the MSM liberal echo chamber creates and perpetuates… and this time, it arguably got someone killed by appearing to make intervention unpopular.

I guess they get the Walter Duranty Award for Ethical Journalism.