Life is Too Short

I just got off of Photosig and as I was looking through the photos, there was a nude done up to look like an Iraqi prisoner at Abu Ghraib. Comments that followed said it was too crass.

You know where war and the human suffering that it entails is concerned, I don’t think you can be crass enough.

One photo that will always stick in my head as long as I live is the photo of the Korean prisoner being executed, the one where you see the wince on his face and the bullet exiting his skull along with splattered brains.

This was all in the name of stopping the spread of communism, an economic system which has largely proven to be a failure with the possible exception of Cuba, and thus didn’t need “stopping”, and certainly not at the expense of all the lives involved.

Now we’re killing hundreds of thousands and maiming millions in the interest of controlling oil fields when we’re sitting on more oil than all of the middle east combined right in our own country.

This makes me just positively sick. The only reason the middle eastern oil is attractive is because it’s cheaper to extract, in some fields it nearly squirts out of the ground on it’s own, and it’s cheaper to refine being light sweet crude for the most part.

The heavy sour crude we have in the continental United States exceeds all of the oil in the middle east several times over, but it is more expensive to extract, anywhere from $12-$30 per barrel as opposed to $3-$8 dollars a barrel for middle eastern oil. As a result the damned oil companies, and I do hope every one of those bastards that supports the war in Iraq burns in hell, can make $62-$67 profit while oil is selling at $70/barrel, where with US sourced oil, they’d only make $40-$58 profits per barrel. If the oil companies paid for the war they’re promoting, these profits would dry up.

It just angers me no end the death and suffering we are willing to inflict on fellow human beings in the name of oil company profits and that is ALL this war is about. It’s not about terrorism, if it weren’t for oil our foreign policy in the Arab world wouldn’t be so screwed and the Arabs wouldn’t be pissed. If people were forcing their culture down my throat and killing and maiming my children, I’d be pissed too.

Life is too short for this shit. I hope we throw some of these damned oil company bought republican war mongers out of office this fall.

New Material

I told you I’d get some new material for you when I got my camera back. I got a replacement as you can see, they lost the original. I’m still learning how to work it but I’m getting some usable images out of it.

I’ve started a Photography forum on my BBS. It’s free, come participate.

Just point your browser at

Also, if you like web games, I’ve put a few online at

Strange Phone Call

Tonight I received an unusual telephone call from someone who was convinced I was part of the secret underground cabal. He wanted me to share information with him.

I did do a lookup of the number I got on caller ID on Google and found out he was a Hispanic musician in the Los Angeles area with a website on beta records and

There is something about artistic capability and stability but what would the world be without it’s artists. I’m not the most stable individual on the planet myself so I guess I should cut other people some slack.

I wish I had some musical talent but alas it was not meant to be. I did try to learn to play the French horn while in Jr. High school, that was a disaster. Later tried to learn to play the guitar. I think I got three cords down, C, F, and G, and that’s about it. It didn’t help though that the guitar had a wide neck and I have small hands that didn’t really fit around it well, making many chords physically very difficult.

One thing that really bugged me about the call is that he seemed so convinced I was part of this underground because of something I’ve written about here and I can’t figure out what that might be.

To be sure I’ve had some very unusual life experiences and I’ve written about them but I’ve never been approached by anyone to join or take part in any sort of underground agenda.

What I know is a function of life experiences. Running an ISP I’ve had a lot of people tell me things over the years that they probably shouldn’t. But none of them confessed to being part of any underground cabal either. If you do much hunting around the Internet you’ll find that it is replete with speculation and in some cases I believe actual information.

I do agree with the caller that some sort of underground controlling non-elected government exists. You look at the last election, John Kerry vs. George Bush, both distant cousins, both former members of skull and bones. When the CEO of Diebold says he will deliver George a victory you can take his word on it! Pretty slimey the way they shorted the democratic counties of Ohio of adequate machines in the polling locations.

I’d like to know what the caller knows. Years ago this guy I knew from a local “weird science club”, a group of us that used to get together to explore areas of fringe science, anti-gravity and that sort of thing (never did run across anything convincing in that area, in particular we were looking at asymmetrical capacitors and the supposed levitating effects, that appeared to be nothing more than ion wind).

One of these guys brought a tape which I watched that had some supposedly former military officer talking about aliens and underground bases. It all seemed rather far-fetched at the time but I’m not sure anymore.

When I saw the footage of the 9/11 events, that sure looked like a controlled implosion to me. The pancaking explanation made no sense as the planes hit low. The top floors wouldn’t have sustained any heating or thermal weakening of the structure, yet that’s where it seemed to start when you watch the video. The heating would have been asymmetrical heating where the plane impacted and the fire burned, yet the building didn’t collapse on one side first and fall over, it went straight down.

I’ve watched controlled implosions of buildings before, that’s sure what it looked like to me. They cleaned up all the rubble in just days. That seemed like a move to prevent any forensic evidence from being gathered. It was also strange how parts of the rubble remained white-hot for days. And the company that removed the rubble specializes in controlled implosions. They were also the same company that rapidly removed the ruble from the Oklahoma federal office building bombing.

And flight-800, I’ve seen the pictures of the missile heading towards the plane. If it wasn’t a missile why did the FBI collect all of the pictures people took and threaten them if they didn’t keep quiet?

And Columbine, isn’t it funny how it turns out one of the kids involved was seeing a military psychiatrist at the time?

And Waco, in spite of the fact that they kept reporters two miles away, I saw footage taken with a telescopic lens where you can clearly see a tank mounted flame thrower torch the building after it had been loaded up with CS gas killing all those women and children.

So yea, I am convinced there is some government that we didn’t elect running things. And I’ve got mixed feelings about their agendas.

One of the agendas they seem to have is globalization, the elimination of national borders, free trade, and you know many people oppose these things.

However, if one looks at history, historically anytime we’ve had open free trade, everyone involved prospers. So I don’t see that aspect as a bad thing.

My concern isn’t globalization per se, although I will say that I think it’s impossible with the current polarization and hatred that exists on this planet. My concern is that it’s going to be government of the people by the oligarchy for the oligarchy. The rich get richer and more powerful, the rest of us get screwed.

Another aspect that bothers me is that these people seemed very bent on absolute control and create incidents to achieve it. Anybody who is paying attention should see the tactics being employed. They create a perceived need for something they want to do.

They want to disarm us so they create a few incidents like Columbine and Charles Joseph Whitman. That gets the public to demand gun control laws. If they’d just try to enact them they would have been met with resistance, this way the people demand what the controllers want.

The 9/11 event is another case in point. I don’t believe the Arabs were behind that. This group wanted to restrict our air travel, monitor every breath we take, tap our phone lines, install cameras, restrict our access to materials that could be used to make weapons. But if they tried to do all that crap without first creating public demand for “security”, it wouldn’t have gone over so easy.

I mentioned this tape with the former military talking about underground bases and all. One of the things about it that is making me re-think the subject is that he alluded to a plot where first the Soviet Union was used as a threat to control people, but when it became non-credible, then terrorism would be the new threat. Well, this was back in the very early 80’s when the cold war was still going full tilt.

But now a couple of decades later that is exactly what happened. And this same plot called for a faked alien invasion when terrorism was no longer credible. So how long will the terrorists remain credible? When do the saucers start shooting at us?

What I haven’t been able to figure out is WHY they want to control us. They’ve already got all the money and power. What’s left?

Reminds me of the Monty Python film, the meaning of life, in which they have the board meeting scene at the Very Big Corporation of America, in which someone is giving a speech, “there is still much of the world to be owned”.

Anyway, if there is anything I know I’d be happy to share it but whatever I know doesn’t come from my participation in any sort of underground cabal. I can’t even afford to fix the leaks in my roof and struggle month to month to make ends meet.

But running an ISP has introduced me to a lot of interesting individuals over the years, I’ve had customers that were former NSA employees, customers that worked at area 51 (whom either don’t answer me when I ask or deny that anything involving aliens went on there), and other unusual people.

I can see a lot of what is going on, and anybody that knows how to use Google can, what I don’t understand is the WHY. These people already have all the money and power, what more can they want?

I know what I want, a peaceful world in which people are connected to each other and to nature and live in harmony in a sustainable manner that optimizes life for everyone and everything involved.

I’m opposed to this “consumer society” we now live in. I see it this way, banks loan money and charge interest. In order for the whole economy not to collapse it has to grow at a sufficient rate to cover that interest. There is only so much real need, food, clothes, shelter, so growth can’t keep happening unless you can convince people they need all sorts of garbage they don’t need.

This leads to the excessive consumption of energy, raw materials, and the excessive generation of pollution and garbage, not to mention a rather shallow existence in which the most important things in our lives, friends and family, are replaced with television, I-pods, video games, and work work work to create all that crap we don’t need.

The only fix I can see for this is at transition to an economy that does not involve interest and inflation. That can be sustained at an appropriate level to meet our needs but not at a level that requires the creation of artificial demand, the job of marketing, which has become a huge industry.

I don’t know how we get there. Communism has proven to be an abject failure. In a situation where individuals have no potential for advancement other than an elite minority that can rise through party lines, there is no motivation. It just doesn’t work.

But capitalism in it’s current flavor is also seriously flawed, both because of the interest and inflation issue requiring an ever growing economy, but also because markets can be artificially manipulated to benefit a handful at the expense of the masses.

So I don’t know what the solution is. Nor do I know what the plan of the controlling elite is.

Another aspect of the call I found strange is that this person, a Hispanic according to his myspace website, liked Bush.

I find this odd since it is Bush and the republican party that has focused attention on Hispanic illegal immigration. It is my view that they did so for the same reason they spotlighted gay marriage and an amendment to ban the burning of the flag, because these issues take attention away from the real issues, the war in Iraq, the oil company raping of the American people and the administrations involvement in that.

I don’t know, none of this makes any sense for me.

I’m sure the caller will read this and I want to say to you if you are, why would someone involved in this underground cabal maintain such a public profile? You said you had a difficult time contacting me, yet all my contact information is published on my website which there is a link to from this blog.

I wish I could convince you that I am not a member of this underground cabal, if you saw where I live and how I live I think you would be convinced. I am a much a victim of this current economy as everyone else. I certainly have not benefited from it.

I do read a lot about a lot of things, I do see a lot of disturbing trends, but I do not know what the big plan is although I think I see some elements, and most of all I do not know WHY. That’s what I would like to know more than anything. If you already have all the money and power then WHY do you have to do these things?

A 100,000 Iraqis and 10,000 American’s have died in Iraq, for what? Yea I know the official figures for American deaths are much lower but that’s because when someone is seriously injured they fly them to Germany, and if they die there they don’t count as a death in Iraq, and because they’ve outsourced much of the war effort to private companies, Halliburton, mercenaries, and their deaths aren’t counted either.

But WHY do all these people have to die? It’s obviously NOT to help the Iraqi people, you don’t help a people by killing 100,000 of them and maiming a million, much of them women and children.

The answer is obvious, oil. But we have oil, we have LOTS of oil. We have more oil than all of the middle east combined right here in this country. No, it’s not sweet light crude, it’s heavy sour crude and tar sands and oil shale. It costs more to extract, it costs more to refine, but at the current price of oil it is plenty economic to do so.

However, the oil companies can get oil from Iraq at $4 dollars a barrel, when the going rate is $70 that’s more profitable than having to spend $15-30 a barrel to extract it here. And since the American people bear the costs of the war to obtain it, that’s not their problem.

They already got more money than they know what to do with and they’re NOT investing it in technologies to replace oil, so what the hell are they doing with it?

And where is all the money that goes to various government black projects going?

These things are questions everybody should be asking. You don’t have to be a member of any secret underground cabal to see that something is very very wrong with the world.

Look, Caller, I’ll tell you what I know but what I know does not come from being connected with any cabal. It comes mostly from personal research. Research anyone with a computer, internet connection, and knowledge of how to use Google can do.

Well, one other source, I’ve had some really weird ass experiences in my life, some of which I’ve described here, some on my future blog, and that does influence my perception of reality. When you’ve had the alien encounter experience, there is no longer a question of whether or not we’re being visited. When you’ve had an experience where gravity goes away and a long jump turns into a 130 foot jump, you know there is more to reality than is accepted by the mainstream.

But again that has nothing to do with any cabal.

There are the dreams I’ve had of earth changes. Those have lead me to really look into what IS going on geologically and I’ve come to conclusion that the potential for the scenes in my dream to play out does in fact exist. Unusual things are happening inside our planet, at least unusual in terms of modern human history, but not so unusual in terms of geological timeframes.

Strange things are also happening with our Sun. The last solar cycle was THE most intense cycle of solar activity on record, and records date back more than 2000 years thanks to Chinese monks who have been recording sunspot observations for several millennia.

Whatever this secret cabal might be up to on earth, I don’t believe they have the power to cause the deep geological processes that are currently underway. Nor do I believe they have the power to influence the Sun.

I’ll tell you one thing I think may be a factor. The Sun, as it orbits the center of gravity of our galaxy, bobs up and down in the vertical plane. Scientists seem to be in complete disagreement with respect to the period of that oscillation, but it does appear that we are presently near the center of the galactic plane.

In that center, the density of “stuff”, dust, bits of rock, and who knows what else, is highest because that is the center of gravity that everything is attracted to in the vertical plane while it orbits the galactic center of gravity. More stuff includes more stars, more stars means more neutrinos, and I think this may be a piece of the puzzle.

Richard Feynman came up with a method of diagramming nuclear reactions that became known as Feynman diagrams. One outshoot of this is that reactions are reversible. Nuclear reactions that involve the conversion of an electron and proton into a neutron also involve the emission of an electron neutrino.

Since Feynman showed that reactions are reversible, I believe that neutrinos should be capable of catalyzing reactions in the reverse direction, those involving the conversion of a neutron into a proton and electron and the absorption of electron neutrinos in the process. Energy is also involved.

I am hypothesizing that higher neutrino density near the galactic plane is catalyzing additional nuclear reactions in the suns core and in the earth that are in turn heating both the sun and earth up.

It’s not just CO2 induced global warming folks, Mars is heating up too and our probes couldn’t have contributed enough CO2 to affect Mars. Pluto is also heating up, so are some of the moons of the giant planets. Pluto is heating even while it is in the portion of it’s orbit carrying it rapidly farther away from our sun.

One thing I wonder is if this cabal as the caller refers to it, The Illumati seems to be the preferred term in many conspiracy theories, I wonder if they understand fully what’s going on and know that it’s going to lead to global catastrophe. And they just aren’t planning for their comfortable survival while the rest of us perish.

It’s just a thought but I can’t think of other reasons they’d be trying to disarm us while getting even more richer and powerful than they already are when their power now is almost absolute. Maybe the “almost” is in error too.

I don’t know what else it could be. But I do know I haven’t received any invitation from these people to save my sorry ass.

From the Callers website it is clear he thinks it is the work of Satan. I’m not sure that he isn’t correct. One photo that really haunts me is a UPI photo of the building burning and smoking just before it collapsed and what appeared to be the face of Satan in the smoke.

Yea, I know you can look at clouds and see bunnies and other things, but that picture really creeped me out. It didn’t look at all ambivalous, it looked very clear. And it FELT evil. It really gave me the creeps and it STILL gives me the creeps thinking about it.

Well, I’ll say this, to the caller, I’m curious about your handle, godcamefrommexico, that’s an interesting assertion and I’m curious what exactly you meant by that.

I can tell you I’ve seen some interesting videos of “psychic surgery” from Mexico, and I know the tricks these people use to make it look real and you can bet I was watching for those, but damn they looked convincing. One of the guys in the science group I mentioned earlier was Mexican, and he told me about some pretty weird shit that used to go on in his church.

And the accounts of people who’ve used Salvia, those frequently involve a female deity, very interesting. If you’re interested, do a Google search for salvia and look for personal accounts. You’ll find some of the usual things you’d expect from hallucinogens, but you’ll also find a huge number of accounts involving a female deity and usually the person encountering her will gain some wisdom they find truly useful in their lives, helping them down the path.

There is at least one group that believe she is an incarnation of the virgin Mary. I personally have no idea, I haven’t tried Salvia, I’ve only read other peoples accounts, but some of them seemed so real I felt severe effects from just reading their encounters and I have NEVER experienced this reading about anyone else’s drug experiences with any other drugs and I’ve read a lot (and experimented with a few myself when I was younger, 15-25).

Anyway, caller, I’ll be happy to share what I know but please do beleive me when I tell you that I am not part of any cabal.

CompUSA / Mr. Wessel Came Through!

After a year of trying to deal with the people at CompUSA and GE Warranty Management Inc’s 800 numbers, I decided to take it up again with the management of the store I originally bought the Minolta dImage Z1 camera and extended service warranty from.

A retail manager there, Mr. Wessel, yesterday promised to contact the district manager and get this taken care of.

Today, I received a call from Mr. Wessel telling me it would be handled, and to come out to the store.

I went out to the Lynnwood store, found out my original camera had been lost. Apparently when they closed the Bellevue store, which is where I was directed to take it in for repair, much inventory got lost. It isn’t clear if it was sold in a clearance sale or stolen, but at any rate, it’s lost.

So they allowed me to pick out a new camera. Konica and Minolta had merged and there wasn’t really an equivalent camera in the Konica / Minolta line, so I chose a Cannon PowerShot S2, which is shaped like the Z1, uses AA batteries and SD memory like the Z1, and has overall similar functionality.

The Cannon does have a slightly better imaging chip (5 megapixels verses 3.2), and the software seems more capable, but the user interface is completely different so it’s going to take me a little while to learn how to use. But shortly I’ll be able to create some fresh material for you folks.

I want to again thank Mr. Robert Wessel at the Lynnwood store for resolving a long term problem and restoring my faith in CompUSA. I do wish they’d get some people at the customer service end of their toll-free lines that were as helpful, but as long as I’ve got someone locally that I know will deal with any issues, I’m happy!

After Bush

If we make it through the Bush presidency, I hope that American’s will be so sick of the lying and corruption that, as with the post Nixon election, they will demand a squeaky clean president.

Jimmy Carter did some very positive things for this country. The Freedom of Information Act gave American’s more access to the internal workings of their government. Unfortunately, it has been largely gutted by George Bush Sr, Reagan, and George Bush, “I wanna be president like daddy”, Jr.

Jimmy Carter also pushed through an act that provided a tax incentive for American automotive companies to produce flex-fuel cars. The bill did not require that they advertise the capability.

I feel the current historical path we are on is one of self-fulfilled prophesy. The western religious fanatics have taken power in the United States (Christian fundamentalism), and have always had control in the Middle East (Jews, Muslims) but the more fundamentalist elements have taken control there.

All of these religions believe in an apocalypse or Armageddon, and they all seem to be striving hard for self-fulfilled prophesy, and the people in these respective nations all seem to be behind them.

This is not the historical path I would choose. I’d choose a path that leads us to cooperative living, freedom, abundant clean energy, food that hasn’t been poisoned with chemicals, genetically altered, or irradiated, water that’s not full of chemical crap and upstream sewage. I’d choose a path that eliminated poverty in the world, and uncontrolled disease.

But that doesn’t seem to be where the majority want to go right now. For the majority, it’s
Armageddon or bust!

It’s sad because it doesn’t have to be that way. If we were willing to make the commitment on a planetary level, or even a national level, we could have controlled hydrogen fusion putting power on the grid in just a few short years.

Doing so would eliminate the need to burn fossil fuels for power, and eventually it would displace fossil fuels for transportation needs.

That would end the fighting over oil in the middle east. Oh in case it sounds like I’ve contradicted myself with respect to fundamentalist religions bringing on Armageddon, the two are not unrelated. The Warring parties aren’t truly religious, if they were they’d respect the commandments, “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, which is present in all of these religions and most others. Leaders of these countries truly are not religious, they use religion to motivate their respective peoples to fight.

They have been doing this since the days of the Old Testament. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Dog Gone

We had to have our dog put down today. He has been sick for a while, all indications are cancer though the vets were unable to locate it on an X-ray. He had a melanoma a couple of years ago that was surgically removed, it may have metastisized.

All his blood cell counts were low, anemic, low white cell, low platelets, and he was basically bleeding to death internally and not responding to medications.

He had lost his sense of smell and in the last two days went deaf and lost his sense of balance. This morning he had a blood bowel movement. It was clear that he wasn’t going to be able to go on much longer and there was no realistic chance of recovery.

There was nothing the vet could do for him and suggested the most humane thing to do at this point was to end his suffering, which is what we did.

You know he was stubborn and unenergetic, but damn I’m gonna miss him.

Baby Boomers, Anti-Aging, Getting Old Anyway…

Anti-aging sites seem to be overtaking porn on the Internet. I guess I shouldn’t find that surprising since the median age of the Baby Boomers is now around fiftyone. It won’t be too long before the term “Baby Boomers” is replaced with the term “Geritol Generation”.

I’m fortyseven, on the tails of the Baby Boomers. This is depressing to think about if you know you’re not taking as good of care of yourself as you should be. Unfortunately that would be my category. The unfortunate aspect is that I know better!

I’ve explored anti-aging sites. They are all trying to sell you something, books on anti-aging, megavitamins, exercise machines, anti-aging videos, special foods, and lots of magic elixers.

I can remember being in my twenties and working for Pacific Northwest Bell, the local telephone company here at the time, in downtown Seattle, 4th and Spring. It’s a hotel there now. Qwest sold the property off years ago.

When I was working for the telephone company, I used to walk down to Wendy’s for lunch. It was cheap and close. Wendy’s used to have tables with a likeness of circa 1920 newspapers advertisements printed on the top.

You’d find advertisements for things like Dr. Jones magic elixer, takes care of everything from consumption to constipation (consumption used to be the catch-all name for the plethora of diseases involving cell over-proliferation just as cancer is now plus a few other diseases of unknown origin). Hi-voltage electrical devices, the violet wands which had glass attachments for every orifice. These are sold as sex toys for the adventurous today.

In the early eighties, when I was reading these advertisements I thought it was amazing that the government of that time allowed such ridiculous claims.

2006 and the Internet, it’s like the 20’s all over as far as advertising goes. Magic elixers abound. One positive note, the cures for erectile disfunction these days mostly involve synthesized chemicals so at least various, often rare, animals don’t have to be sacrificed for the magical properties of various body parts. No more rhino horn or shark cartilage. Today it’s viagra or some clone thereof. I read somewhere that no animals were used in the testing of viagra but the sheep seemed a little nervous afterwards.

Rarely do I find a site that says if you want to stay healthy, eat a good variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid fats, especially saturated fats, exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight, keep stress under control, don’t smoke, don’t drink excessively, get plenty of fiber, limit intake of meat, especially red meats, avoid high fructose corn syrup like the plague. Well, unless they’re selling some exotic fruits or vegetables, $15,000 exercise machines, weight loss miracle drugs or diets, smoke ending patches, etc.

And it’s not just the Internet… In the back of Scientific American, or a page or two from the back, there is an advertisement for a machine made by ROM that sells for a reasonable $14,615. The claim it makes is that you can workout in just four minutes each day.

The main flaw I see in this has to do with the nature of aerobic exercise. The idea behind aerobic exercise is that you exercise at a level that gets your heart rate up to 80-85% of your calculated maximum heart rate (220-age) for a minimum of twenty minutes a day. There is no way to condense that time frame because you are already exercising at near your maximum capacity.

Even when it comes to muscle building, if you’re going for function and not just appearance that’s no good. Yes, in 4 minutes, you can increase muscle bulk somewhat doing heavy lifts. But you’re not going to improve the vascularization or the innervation of muscles in that time frame, so bulk is all you will get and probably nowhere near what you could achieve on a more rational program and it will not equate to strength.

But the advertisement keeps showing up month after month so there must be people out there with $14,615 that buy it. Maybe it’s like owning a Mercedes or BMW, you don’t own them for any practical reason, you own them as status symbols. And I emphasize the you because I’ve got no status, or money to symbolize. Consequently, I won’t be buying myself a $14,615 exercise machine any time soon.

I know what I need to do to be healthy. It is finding the self-discipline to do it that is difficult. Good exercise is hard to stick with. It is hard work. It can be boring. There are always other things competing for time. Eating, you know the general rule is, “If it tastes good, it’s not good for you.” I have found some exceptions.

To make some rational sense of the anti-aging field, it helps to understand a bit about your own physiology. What happens when we get old? Aerobic capacity, that is the ability to use oxygen to produce energy, declines. Muscle mass and strength decline. Bone density declines. Cartilage in the joints disintegrates. Skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity. The lens of the eyes harden and become less accommodating, eventually becoming opaque. The macula may degenerate. Hair may turn grey and may fall out. Gums recede from the teeth. Teeth deteriorate and fall out. Overall metabolic rate declines. The mind becomes less sharp. The arteries become hard and less compliant. Blood pressure goes up. Arteries become clogged with fat and later plaque deposits.

The majority of these things can either be prevented altogether or substantially delayed. Many of them share a handful of preventable causes.

Hardening of the arteries, the eye lens, supporting structures of the skin, and of tendons and ligaments, all of these have one common cause, binding of adjacent protein molecules by glucose. The higher the blood glucose level, the more rapid the damage. This makes diabetes deadly. High glucose levels rapidly harden the arteries leading to heart attacks and stroke. The tiny capillaries are damaged and many organs starved for nutrition and oxygen as a result.

There are two types of diabetes. In type I diabetes, an auto-immune condition has destroyed the inlet beta cells of the pancreas. These are the cells that produce insulin.

Type II diabetes is a condition where fat and muscle cells no longer respond properly to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that would normally tell fat cells to take up glucose and store it as fat, muscles to store it to later burn for energy, and the liver to convert glucose to glycogen and store it for later use.

Auto-immune diseases are not entirely preventable but there are things you can do to reduce your risk. If you are going to have children there are also some things you can do to reduce their risk of developing auto-immune diseases later in life.

It has been discovered that the immune system does not develop properly if not occasionally challenged during the first couple of years of life. Of coarse you want to protect your infant from disease, but a totally sterile environment just about guarantees allergies later in life and increases the likelihood of contracting auto-immune diseases. So you do not want to totally sterilize the environment for your young children. Obviously you want to protect them from potentially fatal or debilitating disease but a totally sterile environment makes for poor health later on.

Exercise also reduces auto-immune responses while simultaneously increasing the immune response against legitimate invaders.

So by now as far as your risk of type I diabetes goes, you’re stuck with the risk inherent as a result of the environment you spent your first two years in and to some degree as the result of genetic factors, but you can reduce your risk of auto-immune disease through exercise.

But type I is the minority of cases. Let’s look at what happens in type II. If you are overweight, your fat cells are already full, they don’t want anymore fat, they become less responsive to insulin. At the same time, muscle cells which are not exercised also become less responsive to insulin and won’t take up as much glucose in response to insulin. Muscle cells can store a certain amount of glycogen, a polymer of glucose, which is the primary form in which the body stores glucose. Even though the muscles can store only about 1% by weight, whereas liver cells can store around 8%, the total amount the muscles can store is greater than the liver.

When you eat, the food is digested, and the sugars and starches are broken down into glucose which enters the bloodstream. Glucose is the primary source of energy for all your body cells, everything from brain cells to muscles run primarily on glucose. But excess glucose levels bind proteins and are toxic to the body. So the body stores glucose in various repositories. Insulin from the pancreas tells cells to begin synthesizing and storing glycogen.

Well exercised muscle cells are more capable of storing glucose as glycogen and later more capable of breaking it down and using it for energy. Fat cells which aren’t already maxed out are more capable of storing glucose. For these reasons a healthy weight and well exercised muscles result in effective blood glucose regulation. This is true on both ends of the stick, after a big meal blood sugar is held in check, and when glucose is required, it can be provided by these cells.

Other than weight and exercise, there is another factor. When blood glucose levels rise after a meal, the pancreas responds by secreting more insulin, which causes muscle, fat, and liver cells to store glucose as glycogen. But there is a delay in this feedback loop, it takes a finite time for insulin levels to rise enough to cause glucose to be stored, and time for the cells to respond to the insulin signal and reduce the blood glucose level. Thus after a calorie rich meal, there is a spike in blood glucose levels.

In people who are not diabetic, this short term spike still happens. The more fit you are, the more muscle mass you have, the more conditioned those muscle cells are, the less saturated your fat cells are, the smaller the amplitude and duration of this spike. It happens to some degree with everyone. It is during this spike that binding of proteins happens rapidly causing the arteries to harden, the skin to become less elastic, and the eye lenses to harden.

The amplitude of this spike is determined in part by the nature of the food that you eat. Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down giving the whole insulin feedback loop time to operate minimizing the spike. Simple sugars and starches which are rapidly broken down don’t give the insulin feedback loop time to respond and a high blood glucose spike occurs. The degree to which foods cause blood glucose levels to spike is called the glycemic index. Foods with a high glycemic index are more damaging to your body.

Fructose is broken down much faster than ordinary table sugar (sucrose). Sucrose consists of a fructose plus glucose bound together. Sucrose must undergo an additional step to break the bond between these two molecules before glucose can enter the blood stream. This difference is non-trivial. Fructose causes protein-protein binding at a rate of six to eight times that of sucrose.

If you look at the ingredients of almost any processed food, you’ll find the ingredient “high fructose corn syrup”. This stuff is evil. In addition to causing damage to your arteries, eye lenses, skin, and even cartilage, the high fast spike of glucose also “rewards” the brain and you come to crave the foods which contain it. High fructose corn syrup is cheaper than ordinary sucrose, table sugar. That’s one reason the food industry loves to use it. The addictive effect, in the short term, is good for sales. In the long term it hurts sales because people die off sooner. Industries rarely think past next quarters results.

You can reduce damage caused by glucose binding of proteins by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding foods with a high gycemic index.

Traditional wisdom says you lose a certain amount of capacity each decade. There are examples that defy this assertion. There are centurions running marathons who have the cardio-pulmonary capacity of an average thirty year old.

I’ve looked at the habits of a number of these people and what they have in common is that they all train hard continuously, 2-4 hours of good aerobic exercise every day, eat well, and sleep well. Maybe that’s beyond what the average person can do but the average person is not going to be running marathons on their hundredth birthday.

Understand this about the human body; the majority of the time during it’s evolution, food was scarce. As a result, the human body is tremendously efficient. Unused brain neurons die. Unused muscle shrinks. Unused nerves degenerate. Unused heart and lung capacity diminishes. Unloaded bones lose density, thickness, and strength. Unused tendons lose strength and tear more easily. The red blood cell count goes down if oxygen demand is low.

In short, the human body is a use it or lose it machine. Muscle loss, loss of aerobic capacity, overall decline in metabolism, osteoporosis, these things are more lack of use related than age related. They happen more in the elderly in large part because they’ve had longer to go unused.

When I was 25 I had a aerobic capacity that was on the low end for someone 35, at 45 I had an aerobic capacity that was at the high end of someone 35. The difference amounted to one single variable, regular aerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise also burns fat, clears the blood stream, makes the muscles respond better to insulin keeping blood glucose levels moderate. In fact that is why I started doing aerobic exercise. My blood pressure was high. My doctor wanted to put me on blood pressure lowering medicines, which I knew had a number of highly negative side effects. I told the doctor I knew what I needed to do to get my blood pressure down. We made a deal that basically gave me six months to do so and if I didn’t it would be meds. I was successful in my endeavor.

Bone mass is a function of load, aerobic exercise will help somewhat as it improves oxygen and nutrient supply to all body tissues. To prevent the loss of bone mass you need to do weight bearing exercises. These also improve muscle and tendon strength and build muscle mass.

Non-aerobic exercise, generally referred to as strength training, involves targeting specific muscle groups, exercising them to cause them to grow, muscle tone to improve, strength and endurance to improve, but different types and intensities of exercise have different effects.

Low repetition high weight exercises cause the muscles to respond by getting larger, bulking up. To some people this is all they are looking for, look good on the beach, even if they drop dead next week. But in my view gaining muscle mass should be part of an overall fitness goal because it does increase the muscles capacity for absorbing and using glucose and oxygen, more muscle does result in some strength gains but not nearly as much as you can get with a more balanced approach.

Muscle size isn’t the only thing that impacts strength, an even larger factor is muscle innervation. Each motor nerve connects to a number of muscle cells. This comprises a functional group. In a poorly innervated muscle, the functional groups are small and many cells have no nerve connection. This means only a small percentage of your muscle actually gets put to work, your strength isn’t what it could be and your endurance will be garbage because those few cells that are innervated are doing all the work for the rest of the slackers.

A muscle twice as large but with only one tenth the muscle cells innervated might look cool but isn’t going to provide the strength or endurance of a muscle half it’s size with all the cells innervated. In addition working all the muscle cells will grow the muscle faster and larger.

Here is one of the problems with high weight low repetitions only routine. Innervation involves using the nerves again and again. Keep stimulating them and they grow axons that reach out and touch someone. Specifically, they reach out and touch more muscle cells resulting in larger functional groups, more muscle response for a given nerve stimulus and a larger percentage of the muscle cells being functional.

With high weights you can’t do enough repetitions to improve innervation before your poorly innervated muscles are exhausted. So while you might want to do some high weight low repetition exercises to grow the muscle tissue, you also want to do some low weight high repetition exercises to promote good innervation. The combination of more muscle tissue and well innervated muscle tissue will provide you with the highest strength possible.

Then there is the matter of endurance. Your muscles can produce energy for a short period of time drawing on stored ATP molecules. But for long term output they need to be continuously supplied with oxygen, otherwise lactic acid will rapidly build up resulting in pain. In order for muscles to be continuously supplied, they need to have good vascularization. That is, blood vessels, especially small capillaries, have to exist sufficiently to provide the required oxygen and nutrients.

Like almost every other aspect of the body, blood vessels grow to the degree to which they are needed. Low repetition, high weight, doesn’t allow you to keep a muscle in the state that encourages vascularization long enough. Low weight won’t put enough strain on the muscles. So in addition to high weight low repetition exercises for muscle fiber growth, and low weight high repetition exercises for innervation, you also want some medium weight exercises to improve vascularization. These are exercises you can keep doing for quite a few repetitions but place enough load on the muscle that you feel the burn, you cause some lactic acid build-up which is a signal to the body that hey, more oxygen is needed here.

Weight lifting, loading the muscles, also improves bone density and tendon strength but several words of caution are in order here. Don’t start out slamming the most weight you can in a single repetition. Two bad things happen, unconditioned tendons stretch or tear. Conventional wisdom says that once stretched they never return to their original length without surgery. I know this to be false after an incident with my shoulder. It took almost a decade, but with gradual exercise the joint eventually did tighten back up without surgery. But it’s best to avoid doing stupid things than spend the better part of a decade recuperating.

The second bad thing that can happen is that lifting heavy weights causes your blood pressure to spike. If it spikes too high you could be in for a stroke. One thing to be very careful about, when you are in the contraction phase of an exercise, DO NOT hold your breath. Doing so can considerably increase the amplitude of that blood pressure spike. Be very aware of your breathing and continue to breath normally through the contraction phase.

If you want to do heavy lifts, work up gradually over time. This gives your body time to accommodate. The tendons will grow stronger, additional calcium will be deposited in the bones, vascularization will improve.

When a muscle demands oxygen and nutrients, the arteries feeding it dilate, and other arteries constrict, forcing more blood to the muscle. If vascularization is poor, it’s like trying to force water from a hose through a closed nozzle, pressure goes up. Good vascularization allows blood to flow more freely. So you want to start out with lower weight and more repetitions to give this time to happen, particularly if you are older and more of those proteins in the artery walls and tendons have been cross-bound with glucose resulting in less elasticity.

Macular degeneration, the degeneration of the fovia and related structures near the center of the retina, is often very closely related to vascular health. Vascular health can be maintained through adequate and proper exercise, and by avoiding high glycemic index foods.

So, of the items in my original list, aerobic capacity, that is the ability to use oxygen to produce energy, can be maintained through adequate aerobic exercise.

Muscle mass and strength can be maintained through strength training. Bone density can be maintained through load bearing exercises.

Cartilage in the joints will to some degree disintegrate, but exercise and avoidance of high glycemic index foods will reduce the rate at which this occurs.

Skin becomes thinner and loses elasticity, avoiding smoking, proper nutrition, and exercise will keep the skin well nurished and reduce the rate at which this happens. Particularly avoid smoking. Smoking constricts the peripheral blood vessels starving the skin of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in premature aging.

We have all heard about the danger of excessive exposure to the Sun, skin cancers. But we are only given half-truths by the marketing media. The truth is moderate UV exposure is best, not zero, not too much. Australia is the nation with the highest skin cancer rate in the world, in part because the ozone layer is less effective at filtering UV radiation from the sun in this region.

A study was done in Australia comparing the rate of skin cancers of people that spend all day outdoors, people that spend all day indoors, and people that spend part of their day indoors and part of it out.

The people that spent all day outdoors had, as expected, the highest rates of skin cancer. But what wasn’t expected is that the people who spend all day indoors had significantly higher skin cancer rates than those that spent part of their day indoors and part of their day outdoors.

The people conducting this study then wondered if UV radiation from fluorescent lighting in indoor space wasn’t at fault for the high rate of cancer for those that spend all day indoors. The UV output from fluorescent lighting varies highly between different manufacturers and different phosphor coatings. Some fluorescent lighting has a fairly high UV output, other fluorescent lighting has very little. So what they did is they was to survey all the locations where the people included in their indoor sample worked, and then divided the indoor sample into groups based upon the amount of UV light they received indoors.

What they found was that the group with the highest indoor UV radiation had the lowest melanoma rates and the group that received the lowest indoor UV had the highest melanoma rates.

Another factoid, in the continental United States, Seattle has the distinction of being the city that receives the least annual sunshine. Seattle also has the distinction of being the city with the highest melanoma rates.

Two other factoids to consider, while high UV rates do correlate with high skin cancer rates, low UV rates correlate with high melanoma rates in the Australia study and low UV exposure also correlates with higher breast cancer rates even when vitamin D supplementation is present.

Oh, one more, some of the organic UV blockers used in sunscreen have been found to be carcinogenic. So if you elect to use a sunblock, pick one of the metal oxide blockers, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Yes, they are generally uglier, though there are some newer nano-particle suspensions of metal oxides that are visibly transparent.

The lens of the eyes harden and become less accommodating, eventually becoming opaque. UV exposure correlates with higher incidences of cataracts. It’s a good idea to protect your eyes from UV. If you ware glass glasses, they block the majority of UV, plastic lenses are more transparent to UV and will not provide protection unless equipped with UV filters.

Proper exercise and avoiding high glycemic foods can delay this. It will still happen if you live long enough because glucose binding can not be prevented entirely because our cells depend upon glucose for energy. But it can be greatly reduced. Exercising the eyes can also maximize the strength of the muscles controlling the lens shape maximizing their ability to accommodate for any given lens condition.

The macula may still degenerate, but doing what you need to do to maintain good cardiovascular health, aerobic exercise, avoid high fat foods, especially saturated fats, get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids (the benefits of omega-6/9 are less certain), avoid high glycemic index foods, will delay that degeneration.

Hair may turn grey and may fall out. These things are largely hereditary. There is some evidence that stress levels does indeed increase graying and exercise and proper nutrition can help with those, but largely this is genetically determined.

Gums recede from the teeth, teeth deteriorate and fall out. Proper dental maintenance decreases this, brushing, flossing, and use of mouthwash to minimize tartar build-up and getting your teeth professionally cleaned when needed reduces this.

Overall metabolic rate declines… If you sit on your but and watch TV all day. Proper exercise can prevent this.

The mind becomes less sharp, keys get lost more frequently. This is another use it or lose it. People who learn multiple languages are in general much less subject to general age related cognitive decline. The brain also uses between one third and one half of the bodies entire energy caloric consumption. This means that proper infrastructure is very important to the brain, vascular trouble will result in dead neurons. Wild sugar fluctuations result in dead neurons. Lack of oxygen results in dead neurons. Too much alcohol results in dead neurons. Exercise your mind, body, avoid excess alcohol, and more neurons will live on into old age.

The arteries become hard and less compliant, blood pressure goes up. They may become clogged. Maintaining correct weight, regular exercise, and avoid high glycemic index foods will minimize this.

With the exception of hair color or loss, damn near every aspect of aging can either be stopped or significantly delayed. And that’s before you even consider magic elixers.

Hair dye can address color if it’s a big deal and various treatments can address the cosmetic issue of hair.

And now there are some real magic elixers. Retin-A, can improve skin elasticity and thickness, as well as reducing age spots, and it has been documented to even reverse some precancerous conditions. It can have some benefits in reducing acne. Retin-A also dries and irritates the skin. So it’s not strictly magic, but it can be helpful.

I read somewhere about an experimental drug which undoes the glucose binding of proteins, restoring arteries, connective tissues, skin, and the lenses of the eyes to a more youthful state. I don’t remember the specific drug, but it was being tested in dogs as a possible blood pressure medication where upon they found it also had these other effects. To the best of my knowledge, human testing is not yet underway. But this may be something that becomes available to us in the future.