Friday, November 28, 2008

The Limitations of Science

I spoke with several biological engineers and researchers about the possibility of utilizing the methods from my previous musings on the immortal jellyfish. They are all shortsighted and say that this type of research is decades or centuries away from producing any real results. I know there are ways to get research done quickly, and they are concerned with methodical rules and regulations. A solution 100 years from now, or even 30 years from now will do me no good. Relying exclusively on others is a dead end, I must continue to find my own means of getting things done, as Bathory once did.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Laws of Nature

A friend and reader recently passed on an article to me – a jellyfish that does not die, and maintains its eternal youth. Fascinating!

"The hydrozoan Turritopsis nutricula ... appears to have achieved immortality. The solitary medusa of this species can revert to its polyp stage after becoming sexually mature (Bavestrello et al., 1992; Piraino et al., 1996). In the laboratory, 100% of these medusae regularly undergo this change. Thus, it is possible that organismic death does not occur in this species!"

Surely this ability can be harnessed and turned into something useful for human beings. Animal traits combined with human physiology could produce something greater than either alone. There is no mistake that in our literature, werewolves and other hybrid creations are a common theme.

If we are to break the rules of Mother Nature, we should take the best of what she has to offer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lessons from the Nursery

I was never very close with the majority of my many step-children. At the time, I told myself I shouldn’t concern myself with them. But I was wrong. Young people have a unique way of doing things, and show a power of imagination that people sorely lack as they age.

It seems that children have a penchant for deceiving their parents. There were times when I was alone looking after them, their fathers off doing business. I would quickly grow tired of their company and send them to bed. I recall checking on them to make sure they had gone to sleep. As I approached their rooms, the floor boards invariably creaked under even my light frame. I would hear the flutter of blankets and sheets as they hurried back into bed. Eyes and faces so tightly scrunched were a sure sign they were faking, but to them the deeper they were asleep, the tighter their eyelids must be compressed. A minor example of a poor, but common, deception.

Other times, though, I was genuinely impressed. On more than one occasion, from several different children, in several different homes, they would hide contraband in the most peculiar ways. I was often married to men who could afford abundant luxuries, and their children were just as showered with gifts as I was. The little ones knew their fathers and I had no interest in their silly playthings.

Children with too much money have a tendency to buy things they shouldn’t. One of my first husband’s little delinquents had a love for horribly violent comic books, published before congress forced them to clean up their act. Well, I found a stash of them in his toy chest. He was far too young and fragile, and making sure a developing mind remains untainted is the duty of a good parent.

Still, others astonished more. One hid make-up, which she would carefully apply before, and then remove promptly after school, in her dollhouse. Another kept bottles of soda, which his father expressly forbade, in his tree house. Certainly none impressed more than the incident with the firecrackers hidden in the neck of a stuffed giraffe.

After episodes like that, I was convinced that strictness bred creativity. Perhaps the cruel constriction of time might have the same effect for me.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

John Kellogg

While researching radical diet changes that are said to promote health, I was reminded of the misguided efforts of John Kellogg The man seemed to be obsessed with stamping out passion and energy from life, a way of living that I most assuredly would abhor.

His way of thinking does beg the question though, is a simple alteration of one’s diet capable of producing drastic changes in health and demeanor? Are there specific foods that might tap into the wells of youth? Our tastes change as we age, as our taste buds wither and die, so might it be wise to look to the tastes of children to determine what we should consume?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Immortal Spirit

Throughout history, many men and women have sought eternal youth. The Babylonians, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, even our own Western traditions, it is one of the constants in all of our history.

Countess Elizabeth Bathory, of Hungarian legend, comes to my mind first. A truly exemplary woman, who took her own fate into her hands. She failed because she didn’t test her methods. She believed bathing in the blood of a virgin woman would keep her eternally young.

She lacked a control test. There are several easy experiments one could have set up, and with modern methods and thinking, I have no doubt she’d have been tireless in her research to find a way.