Posts by dyan campbell

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  • Hard News: One man’s Meat Puppets is…,

    Good god, is this some kind of record for number of pages?? Wonderful reading…

    And, dear old Heart. They were awesome musicians, really stuck it up those who said “rock is for men”, but dear lord, how tedious I found their stuff.

    Heart played my cousin’s high school graduation. By all accounts they could rock a high school party.

    At my school Nick Gilder (Sweeney Todd) played sock hops and dances many times before he became too pricey for high school dance budgets.

    Sweeney Todd
    Hot Child in the City

    Nick Gilder was later replaced by Bryan Adams,.

    Warning: This photo is of Bryan Adams aged 15 with a Mullet Perm, when he replaced Nick Gilder in Sweeney Todd

    And these guys – unknown here in NZ I think, but a big deal back then in Canada – played our grad dance.

    April Wine
    I Like to Rock

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This Is Not A Complicated Issue,

    it’s wrong.
    Attitudes must change.

    What Angela and Sacha said.

    Lockwood Smith's pompous and undemocratic pronouncements would have attracted considerably more heat in Canada.

    The idea that if someone with a disability wishes to participate in the life the rest of us can take for granted, they'd better find the money to do so themselves would be considered unacceptable, inhumane, unjust and possibly insane in Canada.

    Whether the obstacle to participate is physical or conversational, it all comes down to access to what the rest of the world takes for granted. It comes down to a right to participate in this life we enjoy in the society we create. And for that last point alone, it's essential that people with all kinds of points of view should have the right to participate without facing obstacles the able bodied do not face.

    Coming from Canada people with disabilities (they still call them them disabilities I think) tend to be revered as Canada's greatest athletes inspirational national heroes. Of Canada's top 10 greatest athletes of all time, these two were disabled. They both had huge impact on both social attitudes and many pieces of legislation for a lot of different things in Canada.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Cats Love Cameras,

    I may not have a scanner, but I have links to youtube - Islander, this cat may not be a Maine Coon, but you might like this clip of a cat who is best pals with an owl.

    When I was a kid my cat and dog were very friendly and non threatening to my half tame crow, though perhaps not quite this animatedly.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: Cats Love Cameras, in reply to Emma Hart,

    I am surprised no one else has commented on this photo, but EMMA WHAT IS YOUR CAT DOING TO THAT BARBIE DOLL?

    This thread is awesome. Thanks Robyn.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Te Rerenga Wairua,

    That's an amazing little film - quite wonderful.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Coming Up For Air,

    Lucy said

    Current life extension, however, where people linger on and on in very poor health...that's another story. If that's all we manage - a life where you're old, really old, in ways that restrict you from doing all those things you dreamed of, for more than half of it - I don't know that there's much point to it.

    A population doesn't collectively share a linear progression towards increasing ill health in old age - there are actually two distinct clusters of illnesses culminating in death.

    You get the cohort sicken and die in middle age 55 to 70 - think cancers, metabolic diseases, auto-immune, cardiovascular. You see a lot of gall bladder disease progressing to choleocystitis and then liver cancer. You see a lot of COPD, strokes:, cardiac events and conditions requiring expensive and unpleasant ongoing care. Many, but not all of these are lifestyle related issues - alcohol , tobacco and food choices harvest the epigenetically unfortunate at this point.

    Then this drops off for those in the next cohort - the 71 to 81 decade - not all of whom have good lifestyle choices, but in those cases they are epigenetically fortunate. Or they live in areas or have customs that contribute to their longevity, and longevity is so often conveniently linked to excellent health.

    f you have made it to this age in good health, statistics are in your favour that you are likely to proceed to your late 80s or your 90s before significant illness culminating in death spikes again. At this point your illness is less likely to be nearly as expensive partly because don't live that long. and for obvious reasons, they tend not to throw everything expensive at conditions that emerge significantly later.

    There are a host of genetic, epigenetic , environmental, lifestyle and pure dumb luck variables that affect these things of course. But the perception that advances are being made to extend old age are ignoring the actual work being adapted to medicine - medical advances are going to be for what used to be diseases of late middle age,. Some of which are emerging in childhood and adolescence these days. Yipes!

    David said

    At any rate, it’s good that the poetry in your heart is completely in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics – a very cheerful state of being for the festive season!

    For any season, really. I am so fond of reality, it's one of my favourite things. For so many women it's handbags, chocolate or shoes. Not me,.

    Here is poet/philospher/enemy of the state (usa)/singer/activist/ John Trudell talking about the difference between religious and spiritual perception. His point is the spiritual perception is the one that takes stock of reality and helps us find our place in it.

    Yay Christmas holidays! It seems so luxurious to be able to write something at this hour on a weekday. Though I really should be cooking. If I have time I will try to dig out the JAMA and Scientific American articles to back up my public health claims.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Coming Up For Air,

    Bart said:

    Apoptosis is about individual cells or tissues not the organisms as a whole, except that apoptosis is part of development to create organ shape etc.

    Oh you incorrigible reductionist Bart. Apoptosis is not as simple as first thought.

    The cross-talk between apoptosis and autophagy is therefore quite complex, and sometimes contradictory, but surely critical to the overall fate of the cell. Furthermore, the cross-talk is a key factor in the outcome of death-related pathologies such as cancer, its development and treatment.

    Nor does it only affect one aspect of the cell’s life, without influencing the organism’s life

    Dying cells can display several distinct cell death phenotypes, each driven by a different subset of proteins and molecular pathways. Examples are the caspase-dependent apoptotic cell death, autophagic cell death and programmed necrosis.1 Cells exposed to the same input signal can switch from one cell death modality to another in response to specific perturbations,2, 3, 4 and in some cases, a mixed type of cell death can also be observed.

    David said:

    But from a thermo point of view life is definitely *not* steady state, right? Since we started off with a barren planet and ended up with a multitude of beasties?

    Abiotic synthesis, or Oparin’s theory as proven by Miller you mean? I thought Bart was talking about life as it pertains to an individual organism… obviously abiotic synthesis is not negative entropy. Further down the page I linked to on entropy, you will find this:
    Entropy and life
    For nearly a century and a half, beginning with Clausius’ 1863 memoir “On the Concentration of Rays of Heat and Light, and on the Limits of its Action”, much writing and research has been devoted to the relationship between thermodynamic entropy and the evolution of life. The argument that life feeds on negative entropy or negentropy as asserted in the 1944 book What is Life? by physicist Erwin Schrödinger served as a further stimulus to this research. Recent writings have used the concept of Gibbs free energy to elaborate on this issue.[56]
    In 1982, American biochemist Albert Lehninger argued that the “order” produced within cells as they grow and divide is more than compensated for by the “disorder” they create in their surroundings in the course of growth and division. “Living organisms preserve their internal order by taking from their surroundings free energy, in the form of nutrients or sunlight, and returning to their surroundings an equal amount of energy as heat and entropy."[57]
    Evolution-related concepts
    • Negentropy – a shorthand colloquial phrase for negative entropy.[58]

    And while life certainly generates negative entropy at a local level (but net positive entropy, of course), isn’t that an argument for Bart and Lucy’s point of view? So long as you can have a sufficient energy input then you can avoid the undesirable effects of entropy at a local level?

    Simple! Except… how do you identify and supply the sufficient energy input to prevent the cross talk between cell-death types and their interplay? And bear in mind, Bart’s assertion was pretty bold:

    I really don’t see any solid reason why the “natural” causes of death are certain.

    Like Lewis Wolpert says, theoretically possible, but in practice not likely.

    David said;

    Lord Kelvin (of whom I’m a huge fan, by the way) made a few of those pronouncements – most famously about aeronautics

    But aeronautics have such quantifiable, knowable and limited variables compared to biological sciences.

    I agree with Lewis Wolpert and David Suzuki – that when you really begin to understand the way living organisms function and interact, you begin to realise things are far more complex than you first thought, and that processes that seem simple and knowable may be so in isolation, but in nature these do not exist in isolation. A more apt comparison would be Fleming's warning that penicillin would not be a wonder drug for long if it was used carelessly, and that bacteria would evolve much more quickly that we could develop methods with which to control it.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Coming Up For Air,

    In order to define death, we first have to define life.

    I’ll get back to you on that one.


    Well I hate to get all spiritual and poetic on you all, but I feel in my heart that life is

    a steady state and negative entropy

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Coming Up For Air,

    Death is a necessary, and unavoidable, part of life. N’est-ce pas ?

    Beautifully put, Jackie!

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: Coming Up For Air,

    I really don’t see any solid reason why the “natural” causes of death are certain.

    Really? What about





    And as Lewis Wolpert and David Suzuki both keep saying, things are much more complex than we think when we first start to learn about them – here’s Lewis Wolpert explaining why this theoretical immortality might be possible, but is very unlikely to be realised

    Interview with Lewis Wolpert – Blogging the PhD

    “Evolution doesn’t give a hoot about us as long as we reproduce and bring up children.” It also allows for some fascinating speculation about the biological possibilities of prolonging life, in particular upon the assertion by the English biologist of ageing, Thomas Kirkwood, that immortality is theoretically possible. Did he agree?

    “Yes, I do. The reason I say so is because there is one set of cells that never age, and these are the germ cells. They have a mechanism to prevent ageing so if we understood precisely what that was, then in principle one could put that mechanism into all the cells and they would be immortal. Apart from accidents one wouldn’t age. That’s the remarkable capacity of germ cells. But even if you could find out how they did it, then you’d still have the problem of putting that into all the cells. And who would be the scientist who’s going to give us immortality? He would be in his forties already by the time he did it, so would he ever know if it worked? And always remember, as I was only telling students the other day, that however complex you think cells are, they’re always more complex. In fact they’re so unbelievably complex and clever that to change our genetic constitution in such a way as to ensure immortality would never practically be possible. Theoretically possible, yes. But practically, no.”

    Edited to fix a typo!

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

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