LONGEVITY REPORT 20
Alcor UK Opens New Facility Alan Sinclair
Status Report John de Rivaz
Letters Karate, BHT, Aluminium
Emigration Opportunity and Time Capsule Launch David Pizer
Proposal for International Cooperation In Cryonic Suspension John de Rivaz
Lifepact Unveil Video Package John de Rivaz
Homoeopathy and Longevity M.Sankey
Cryonics in Australia John de Rivaz
Venturist News John de Rivaz
Feverfew - Miracle Herb O.M.T.
Alcor Opens UK Facility
by Alan Sinclair
As you may or may not know, Mizar has now changed its name to Alcor UK Ltd, and we now have our own premises and mobile recovery unit, a fully equipped ambulance. These are shown in colour on the front cover.
Training Sessions are taking place in England in April of this year, so we hope shortly to be able to offer in Britain (and hopefully Europe) the opportunity of being suspended. So if there is anyone out there who has been holding back because of the lack of facilities or who would like to get involved with the training sessions, now is the time to come forward.
Our techniques will be parallelled with Alcor - USA, the only difference being, the perfusion will be carried out at the Eastbourne unit and the patient will be prepared to dry ice temperature, at which point they will be flown to the USA in a specially designed transport container, packed in dry ice.
It may interest you to know that the Transport Container is having its first major test at present, by taking a patient who is signed up with Trans-Time Inc from Norway to the USA. We will let you know more about this when we have the results.
Our address at Eastbourne is:-
Potts Marsh Industrial Estate,
We will be pleased to send information and show the unit to anyone interested.
We are very grateful to Mr Sinclair for providing us with some colour stick on photographs for the front cover of this issue. Those of you who subscribe to Cryonics magazine will have seen further coverage of this important advance in the global development of cryonic suspension. For details of how to subscribe to Cryonics, please contact Alcor UK direct.
Alcor have also produced a new brochure, and a very nice looking professional job it is too. If you wish to have a copy, or one to show to a friend, then I am sure that they would be happy to send you one.
64 of Fractal Report's 400 readers expressed an interest in Longevity Report when they renewed their Fractal Report subscriptions. Unfortunately none of them decided to subscribe after seeing the current issue. It would seem that we are getting something wrong, because otherwise Fractal Report readers are intelligent and articulate people. I wouldn't have expected the take up to be that high, but none out of the 64 is more serious. I don't think that if Longevity Report ceased to be published the loss would harm the longevity movement unduly except for one important point. That is that Longevity Report is the only immortalist publication that openly campaigns against high costs and against the idea that spending other people's money is unimportant.
This isn't to say that I plan to cease publication. One of the advantages of doing it all oneself is that even if there are only ten readers the newsletter could still be published. At the moment we have 63 subscribers, which is a figure I shouldn't moan about, I suppose. Nevertheless, I would be much happier if I could get some of the same quality of article into Longevity Report as I have been able to attract for Fractal Report. And it would be nice to have 200 subscribers so that I could have it printed professionally, as the result is so much better.
To encourage more readers I think that what we need is more "how to" articles concerning life extension, and they need to be innovative. This is indeed a tall order. Unfortunately I don't know enough about the subject myself to be able to contribute much in this respect. This is unlike Fractal Report where if the number or quality of programs is lacking I can quickly run up something in a couple of days that steers the newsletter in the right direction. All I can do with Longevity Report is to write something like the article I did in the last issue.
(Graphic not included in web version to save space)
We are fortunate in having gained the support of Mr Ashleigh Brilliant, who has for some years been supporting various cryonics and immortalist groups with his "pot shots" - humorous post cards with an immortalist bent. He offers a catalogue of titles for $2. The real intention of these cards is as post cards, but they are ideal for illustrating immortalist publications. Mr Brilliant makes a living by the sale of these cards, so any support Longevity Report readers can give him would be welcome. I would imagine that the range covers many of subjects, not just immortalism. Perhaps you know of a local shop that would like to stock some? Mr Brilliant's address is as follows:
Mr Ashleigh Brilliant,
U. S. A.
We are also fortunate in having obtained permission for a publication that circulates in the US only called Offshore Medical Therapies to reprint some of their articles. U.S. readers can find its address in our overseas leaflet.
From Mr Jerry Thompson
Upon receiving Longevity Report 19 I was, of course ,pleased you had kindly printed my letter but - shock! horror!, late in the Report I find my fine character has been unmasked by a Mr Ted Bell and Mr Mike Zehse.
It would seem as a person interested in Karate, I am innately unpleasant and my psychopathology is in doubt. [Presumably I am some sort of psychopath.] My children are quite amazed that they have reached the age of 14 and 17 without me beating them to death. Perhaps I couldn't fit it in with me mugging of old ladies!
The thug needs only to pick up a Stanley knife or hammer or to pick on the elderly, infirm or young over which the bullies' superior physical strength protect them from retaliation. Why would the mindless waste years studying to acquire skills when there are these short cuts to domination and the indulgence of their sick pleasures?
To be more precise on several points in the article, I am always sceptical of famous but unnamed Japanese instructors who take part in championships in such places as Hong Kong or Taiwan etc., which always seem to include a large amount of blood and often death. Being an expert on blood myself, after ten years on haemodialysis, I know that a little blood goes a long way, but this description sounds more like an excerpt from a Stephen King novel!
As for the Tae-Kwan Do expert who beat his child to death, I wonder if the author of this article having found another child murderer was interested in tennis or golf, would conclude that these sports were also the refuge of the mentally ill. The assertion that "Akaido is probably the best martial art" sounds a little like "my instructor is better than your instructor." It is true Akaido is interested in the development of Ki (in Chinese Chi) but this is the goal of virtually every martial art. Having got that off my chest, I would like to turn positively to martial arts and longevity.
Tai Chin Chuan, Pa-Kua and Hsing-I are three Chinese martial arts that are famed in the far east for improving health and engendering a long life. Tai Chi etc are Taoist arts through which they sought immortality. I don't propose that we all become Taoists, merely explore their knowledge. These arts plus the study of Chi Gung (basically the development of Ki) might be worth investigation by longevists who are interested in the effect of exercise, meditation and breathing techniques. These arts could possibly have similar affects as Hatha Yoga and other exercise health systems. For someone interested in longevity I believe all avenues of research must be explored with an open mind. We must not fall into the same trap as most of the media have about longevity when they take a blinkered view when dismissing anything uncomfortable (ie death - if we don't think about it, then it does not exist.) These points are in my personal opinion based on my own experiences.
We are not the heir to all knowledge, until we are we should be open to all new ideas and concepts.
From Mr E.P. Bell
In reply to Mr Jerry Thompson in Longevity Report 19: It is quite clear from the response of Jerry Thompson and others that I have in some senses been misunderstood. It is not my intent to brand all martial arts practitioners as "mindless thugs".
I myself have studied Karate both in England and Germany , although I have never become really skilled in it. I rely on it today as a means of personal defence. I thank God that as yet I have not had cause to use it in earnest.
The point I was trying to make was that the response made in defence against an aggressor, often dictates the aggressor level of armament ( how well he must prepare or what weapons he must carry to be the aggressor).
Forgive me now if I retell the story wrong as I heard it second hand, but in the last few weeks a self styled vigilante shot one or more trouble makers on the New York subway because they acted in an aggressive manner.
These aggressor would not expect any ordinary citizen to be carrying a hand gun as it is an offence in New York. They would expect their own unarmed handfighting skills to be enough. Are we therefore likely to see young thugs on the New York subway carrying guns just in case they are shot at by the target of there abuse?
My point is that if I carry a knife to defend myself against a knife attack, I run the risk of using it, I become the aggressor.
I faced just such a problem about four years ago. I was squatting at Oxford street tube station because no seats were available. I was tired, I had been trying to earn a living selling insurance. It was a particularly cold winter or at least it appeared that way to someone exposed to the weather a lot. I had brought myself a hat and I don't think it really suited me.
A group of young rowdies (probably returning from a football match) went by and although they were quite boisterous I would have ignored them had not their leader decided to knock my hat off. I was in no mood to let such a slight be passed by without a challenge, so I got up, walked down the platform and challenged him to explain himself.
The result was that he and I ended up staring each other down separated by about two feet. His mates were egging him on and jeering at me.
I was confident that if he attacked me he would get more that he bargained for, for whatever reason he did not attack me and fortunately I was not angry enough to attack him.
To sum up. My self confidence in my ability to defend myself led me close to doing what the vigilante did, that is becoming the aggressor in the guise of self defence.
It is not simply Karate or the hand gun that is to blame, as in all things the state of mind of the individuals involved is the key factor. Mike Zehse sums this up well when he refers to the Tae Kwan Do exponent who battered his 5 year old daughter to death in Bristol. Because his state of mind had been affected by his own experience as a child his reaction was to use his skills to a brutal end.
As a proponent of a long and vigorously healthy life, I would prefer that no one is trained to kill with their hands, lest one day they kill me over some slight that I make them like cutting them up on the motorway. It was not long ago that an individual was beaten up on the motorway by four men for doing just that.
In closing I say to Jerry Thomson, if you must teach Karate please teach self control first.
From Mr Andrew Blackall
I did enjoy the way your Wipe out Herpes with BHT February sale leaflet fell out of Longevity Report 19 and took on a life of its own, blowing onto a nearby café table - Herpes, No! Such a nice young man!
Well, actually, I do suffer orally, and I have found BHT useful. I haven't read the book but Pearson and Shaw dealt with it in Life Extension - A Practical Scientific Approach. Constant use seemed to dull the suppression of sores. I find better effects with a two weekly does of 1/4 tea spoon full plus this amount when problems occur, like times of high stress. I do occasionally get side effects from the BHT comparable to mild intoxication. (I rarely drink alcohol and never to excess, but in my foolish youth I did on occasion over indulge.) Mike Price of Alcor UK has also reported this by no means unpleasant sensation. To avoid it, I take BHT before going to bed. What effects have your readers had?
As for the black listing of certain drugs by the NHS all I can say is that my ex-GP told me about this two years ago. He also told me that Hydergine cost 35. Perhaps it was a case of trying to persuade me from the slippery road to immortality.
Well, anyway my order for hand printed cryonics T-shirts rushed in and order books for December still have to be filled!
I have recently stopped taking all life extension supplements, aminos and vitamins, for three months. For me at least I proved to myself that they do work and Life Extension Products Ltd will soon be receiving my new order. I have felt less energetic, had more colds and generally felt "seven out of ten".
I work at present as a builder, and although not my chosen vocation it is a job that pays the bills for now. Unfortunately I am in a catch 22 situation. I work with aluminium every day and I am worried by the long term effects exposure may have. I shower twice a day and eat no food until cleaned up, but what of the effect? I don't know what to do. Is there an aluminium leach that I can use? Will 12 months exposure damage my prospects of a normal life expectancy, let alone the extended one I crave? I do not jest on this point. Can anyone help with
I would sooner be in some sedentary job. Any ideas?
But for now I am mortified by the idea of Old Timers (Alzheimer's) disease.
I am well insured and cryonics, as your readers will no doubt have forgotten, is one of my interests. But frozen with severe senility isn't my idea of a prelude to perpetual life!
As far as I know, if you handle aluminium there is no problem. However you should not drink aluminum containing indigestion remedies, or foods cooked in aluminium pans or kettles. If any other readers have more up to date information, then we all will be pleased to hear from you.
From Ms Suzanne R. Stebbing
I enclose a photocopy of an article taken from the American newspaper The Examiner that may interest you. [It described the effects of a herb Uxtali, used by a 67 year old Guatemalan woman to appear like a teenager, according to her photograph. The herb was said to be found in the Guatemalan jungle, and that Spanish Catholics had murdered people cultivating it as witches, thus rendering it very scarce now. Dr Marco Chavez, of the Agricultural University of Peten, Guatemala, thinks it has some kind of action on the pituitary system by inhibiting the enzymes that tell the body to age. -ed]
Will it be possible to obtain Uxtali soon? Perhaps Life Extension Products can track down the herb and get capsules manufactured. [I gather that they are investigating this possibility - ed.]
Also have you come across chlorella as an anti-aging product? The Wakasa Chlorella with concentrated RNA/DNA costs around 70 a bottle. The other chlorella is far cheaper in tablets and granules.
Do you know of any herbal product that helps the pituitary gland?
From Herr Klaus Reinhard
[Mr Reinhard made two important and interesting points that are summarised below.]
Young people are concerned about sudden death as opposed to death through ageing. Therefore they will probably die in circumstances where they cannot be perfused immediately upon death. Therefore they will not be attracted to high technology perfusions.
If cheap cryonic suspension opportunities are offered, then they may attract people who think that there is only a small chance that the process may work. The chance of success may be slight, but then the loss of income and capital is also slight.
by David Pizer
David and Trudy Pizer, owners of a small motel in Wrightwood, California, would like to hire a cryonicist to help them manage their motel. The job would entail cleaning one to ten cabins each day. It takes four hours to clean all 10. In addition it involves watching the office sometimes when the Pizers are gone. This involves answering the telephone and giving information, taking reservations on the 'phone, checking guests in at arrival time and being able to think! Also some maintenance work will be done when other activities are slack.
The job would require the manager to work about seven hours a day, five days a week. When the Pizers were gone the manager would have to stay at the main headquarters but could read or do other personal activities.
For more information call David Pizer in California at (619) 249-3553. Or write to him at Mount View Hotel, PO Box 458, Wrightwood, California 92397, USA.
David Pizer proposes to bury some time capsules (50,100,250 years) at the abovementioned premises on 25 May 1990. The property will pass into the holdings of the Venturists upon the Pizers' cryonic suspension, so the capsule will remain undisturbed. If the Pizers move, then the capsules will move with them. All cryonicists are invited to submit packages for placement in one of all three of the capsules. They must be small, about the size of a book or jelly jar. They can contain written material, works of art or DNA samples, perhaps from hair strands.
If you want to send a message to the future, then simply send the Venturists package along with instructions on which capsules you want them placed in.
The Venturists will also be holding an event to celebrate the placement of these capsules on 25 May 1990. It will start at 7.00 pm local time on 24 May and close on the evening of the 25th. Reservations by 10 May are requested, and further details are available from David Pizer at the above address.
The job opportunity seems an ideal for anyone unemployed with no ties and who wishes to emigrate to be near Alcor. I am sure that Mr Pizer would give you as much help as he could with the paperwork associated with such an undertaking. He included a colour brochure produced by the Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce, and the environment of the hotel looks similar to that around the Colorado hotel depicted in the film The Shining, shown on television recently. Wrightwood is situated 85 miles inland of Los Angeles in Swarthout Canyon at the 6,000 ft level on the north slope of the San Gabriel Mountains, and its main industry appears to be skiing holidays. When the snow doesn't fall, they make their own, boasting one of the largest snow making systems in the Western United States! Access to Los Angeles (and Alcor) is via modern freeways. In addition to skiing, other sports in season include fishing, hunting and hiking, with the Pacific Trail passing through the town, where there are many "quaint" holiday gift shops.
by John de Rivaz
The use of the British international transport container, built by the British Oxygen Company for Alcor UK Ltd, to transport a client from Norway to Trans Time's facility was announced by Alcor UK as a "test".
However I feel that it could and should be the start of a new era of glasnost in cryonics.
There is a real difference in philosophy between the Cryonics Institute and both Trans Time and Alcor in respect of the level of restoration capability of future science and technology. The Cryonics Institute maintain that their substantially cheaper whole body process is perfectly adequate. The technology required to reanimate people, they claim, would be perfectly capable of restoring additional problems caused by their economies. Because much less money is involved, the risk of legal attack are reduced, as there is less reward if a litigator succeeds. Also it gives patients of modest means the chance to devote more funds to reanimation funds or other cryonics activities.
The Cryonics Institute is also concerned as to various aspects of the neuropreservation option, and have reservations with the idea of uploading the contents of brains into computers or artificial bodies.
Trans Time and Alcor, on the other hand, are dedicated to the pursuit of excellence subject to a very much higher level of cost. Neither use the most extreme method suggested in the pursuit of excellence - individual suspension of each bodily organ - but their approach is that we should use everything at our disposal in the suspension of clients, because we simply don't know the exactitudes of reanimation. They would point out that if a cheaper option was to miss out some vital point whereas their option would succeed, then the cheaper option is in reality more expensive, because it has bought precisely nothing. Also, both Alcor and Trans Time offer the neuropreservation option, which reduces costs substantially, although costs are still above those required of the Cryonics Institute.
Alcor have a more exacting sign up schedule than the Cryonics Institute, and this in itself produces costs inasmuch as the services of professionals are required. These costs in no way benefit the cryonics movement. Again they would argue that this level of diligence is in line with a greater chance of success. I do not know the position with Trans Time.
Regular readers of Cryonics will be aware that a Spanish client of Alcor, Laura Thomás, was placed in suspension under very much less than ideal conditions after deanimation on one of the Balearic Islands.
It would seem to me that in cases like this the advanced methods are a waste of time and money, except possibly as training exercises, and the patient would be far better off using the Cryonics Institute process.
The Cryonics Institute and Trans Time have realised that they are no more in competition than purveyors of Minis and Rolls Royces. They offer a different level of service, and as such they exchange leads, and indeed it is even possible to buy Trans Time perfusion followed by Cryonics Institute storage.
Now that Alcor is offering an international service, with the suspension of a Spanish client, and the transport of a Norwegian client, it would seem reasonable for Alcor UK to offer as a service the delivery of clients from England and Europe to the Cryonics Institute as an extra option. Payment could be arranged by invoice to the Cryonics Institute, so Alcor UK would not have to be concerned with any of the sign up paperwork. Their contract would be with the Cryonics Institute, not the client.
Like all good deals, this one offers advantages to all parties. Alcor UK's facilities are likely to be underused for some while. There are some older Cryonics Institute people in Europe who may be persuaded to sign with the Cryonics Institute if this option were allowed, which could provide work for Alcor UK before any of their current members reach old age.
Cryonics Institute's prices put whole body suspension in reach of many people who couldn't afford Alcor's whole body rates. If these people are young, then as they get older they may be able to afford Alcor and change. If they had rejected cryonics when they were young on grounds of cost, by the time they get older they will be set in their ways - which do not include cryonics.
The Cryonics Institute has a sign up fee and even if people do change from them to Alcor as they get richer, then they will still benefit by these initial fees. They will also benefit from the fact that it is easier to get members from around the world. They are essentially a Michigan organisation, and make no pretensions to recruiting overseas clients. Existing overseas clients have to be transported by the funeral industry - which would obviously be less satisfactory than the service that Alcor UK Ltd could provide.
Links between Alcor and the Cryonics Institute will strengthen both institutions in the event of a disaster to either. Many Alcor people may feel that their organisation is superior, because it is more expensive. Suppose they are right, and suppose that the remains of Professor R.C.W. Ettinger are lost. Suppose then that there are Alcor reanimations. What will people of the future think of cryonicists if they let the founder of their movement and his closest family members perish?
If the idea of Alcor UK providing delivery to the Cryonics Institute was brought into operation obviously there would have to a lot more put into it than I have done within the space of this article. Factors that need to be considered are that Alcor UK must put Alcor' clients first. It is no good if there is a Cryonics Institute transportation in progress when an Alcor member deanimates.
Fortunately there is a way round this, and that is to have a second container made for CI clients. Provided these containers don't deteriorate with time spent unused, this should not be too serious a problem. Indeed, private investors could be found to pay for the CI container and lease it back to the clients, as is done with shipping containers. Rather than Alcor UK pay an annual rent, the rent could be so much per trip. Initially, the lessors would probably be CI's first overseas clients, and, of course, they could depreciate their asset and get income tax relief thereon.
Another problem would be that Alcor UK's staff could be dealing with a Cryonics Institute deanimation when an Alcor patient deanimates. Obviously priority would have to be given to the Alcor patient, and this should be made clear to all concerned.
Lifepact Unveil Video Package
At a meeting for Northern California members on 12 March, at the home of Ralph Merkle and Carol Shaw in Sunnyvale, Fred and Linda Chamberlain unveiled their latest package for those wishing to make video recordings of their personal history, outlook on the future and numerous other subjects.
Over the new year holiday they worked out a solo package, so that an individual can use video taping, audio taping, computer entry or just plain old pencil and paper to express his personality. The topics of the interview will also cover familiarity with the cryonics concept and the LifePact concept. Recording it onto tape takes about two hours. They regard the interview as a "LifePact Contract" itself, with far more believability than a piece of paper, where even notarised signatures can always be argued about if lawyers feel they can make enough money out of it.
For further information about LifePact, the address is Box 18690, South Lake Tahoe, California 96706, USA. They also welcome enquiries from those who are not signed up for suspension.
Homoeopathy and Longevity
by M. Sankey
Dr Trevor Smith, MA, MB Chir, DPM, MF Hom, has no doubts about the place for longevists. He has us firmly under the chapter heading Hysteria in his book Talking About Homoeopathy. Those who wish to prolong their youthfulness, he asserts, are suffering from the psychological diseases of immaturity. Further, he adds disapprovingly, such people often manage to look younger than their years.
If, in addition to your Peter Pan complex, you have a paralysed vocal chord, Dr Smith suggests you try Gelsemium. If your hysteria is complicated by psychotic jealousy and you have few friends, then Platina may help. Your immaturity may extend to your sexual relationships, however, in which case Pulsatilla could do the trick. On the other hand . . .
George Vithoulkas, a New Age Homoeopath who has practised extensively in Greece and North California, reckons that finding your constitutional remedy can increase your natural ability enough to add years to your life. He cites John D. Rockefeller, who lived into his nineties under the care of a homoeopathic physician.
You can find your constitutional remedy by visiting a qualified practitioner at a cost of between 20 and 30 initially and half that thereafter. If you have something wrong with you, there are easily available first aid remedies. People who are beginning to suspect vitamin manufacturers as having the ethics of old-time used-car salesmen will be relieved to learn that homoeopathic remedies are CHEAP. However the powers that be have decreed that some of them are available now on prescription only. The reasoning behind this is opaque, since no remedy contains an entire molecule of any medication good or bad. While Merc Sol, a solution of toxic mercury, is for some reason available freely, jaborandi, a tropical bark, needs a prescription. It is perhaps a back handed compliment - somebody up there obviously thinks it works. Or perhaps it is just a reflection of the fact that homoeopathy is run by doctors.
Treatment can, of course, be obtained free at the Homoeopathic Hospital. In these days of National Ill-health Service, it is worth remembering that the Homoeopathic Hospital has many of the departments of an ordinary hospital and that the treatment in these is entirely orthodox. I was once referred there for an old sports injury. There were no waiting lists, no queues. In fact I had the department to myself. The physiotherapist was relaxed and efficient. She did not offer me a dose of Rhus. Tox., though I should not have objected if she had. I was not discouraged before the end of my treatment and needless to say, the problem has not recurred.
Cryonics In Australia
by John de Rivaz
I recently offered an exchange subscription to Longevity Report with Cryonics Australia, and was grateful to its editor, Mr Robert Cardwell, to be accepted.
The following article was written initially with a viewpoint to publication in Funeral Service Journal at some future date.
Cryonics organisations appear to be springing up all around the world, although in fact many of them have been in existence for some years. Famous for its television soap operas such as Neighbours and Cell Block H, Australia has been incubating cryonics interest for as long as these programmes have been shown, and indeed longer. In the 1970s and early 1980s, a lot of the work was done by an ex-patriot American mathematician, Dr Thomas Donaldson. His prodigious productivity may have been marred by an unwillingness to accommodate people who needed time to embrace the cryonics concept, and its legal and financial implications. At that time he was recommending Trans Time, and he and a few other Australians had signed up with that organisation. However for reasons unknown to the writer he returned to the USA in the late 1980s, and for a while cryonics activity down under was at a low ebb.
However in 1988 coverage of cryonic suspension in Funeral Service Journal and The Embalmerawakened the interest of a major Australian funeral director, and he has now been supporting the activities of the remaining Australian cryonicists. Dr Donaldson now believes Alcor to offer the best service, and it appears that his Australian followers resigned their Trans-Time memberships to follow suit. In the 1980s there were five cryonicists signed up in the Australian Central Territories, and they decided to obtain the equipment necessary for basic patient stabilisation, although they relied on US operators being flown in. The equipment was obtained on indefinite loan from Alcor, but training was never accomplished, and Alcor required its return last year.
Now they are a very isolated group, but they have a dozen people signed up with Alcor. I understand that signing up with Alcor these days is no mean feat, requiring the filling in of 4 1/2lbs of forms, all of which require searching questions to be answered involving relatives, next of kin, and expensive and sceptical professionals, such as doctors, hospital administrators and lawyers. They claim that this number of suspension members makes them the largest group outside of the USA.
Their plans are ambitious and costly. They estimate that they will require $30,000 to attain full suspension capability, and plan to levy each member of the order of $1,000 a year for several years to raise this sum. To purchase outright a complete Alcor kit to modern standards will cost them $10,000, and the training and other disbursements will make up the balance. However once they have the capability, they believe that they will be in a stronger position to recruit more members.
They have already began a programme of contacting various officials to determine the likely problems associated with practising cryonic suspensions in Australia. Some States require that a remains be embalmed before it is shipped out of the State. However it transpired that what officialdom actually demands is a certificate signed by a professional embalmer, and that embalmers are likely to regard Alcor's procedure as being equivalent to ordinary embalming for these purposes, and so grant such a certificate.
More troublesome is likely to be the risk of autopsy. They have determined that there is no "conscientious objection" to autopsy as exists in the USA, and that should a client fall into the hands of the coroner the outcome is likely to be commensurate with execution. However in some States, coroner's offices told them that the wishes of relatives are listened to. In their newsletter they advise members to avoid the risk of accident or sudden death, and to see their doctors every month! In the event of a sudden death, the doctor must have seen the deceased within 30 days in order to sign a death certificate.
The only cryonic suspension client ever to leave Australia so far has not been a human but a dog, the pet of one of their younger members who is yet to sign up himself. The elderly dog perished on a Friday night of a gastric illness, and its owner contacted Alcor who were helpful with advice. A cooperating vetinary surgeon was found, and he spoke with Alcor over the telephone to establish a procedure. The animal was put to sleep with a barbiturates overdose after the vet had established that there was no chance of recovery. It was also injected with heparin to prevent blood clotting, and stored in dry ice over the weekend. Unfortunately nothing more could be done until working hours the following week.
An embalmer was found who also spoke with Alcor, and the dog was perfused according to Alcor's instructions, and its head removed. Unfortunately in order to import it to the USA as a Natural History Specimen, the request had to come from there, and it was five weeks before it could be processed. The dog's frozen head was meantime kept in it's owner's bedroom, which event was initially unknown to the owner's parents! They were predictably upset when they found out, but apparently they didn't manage to prevent the suspension.
The total cost was $2,200, and writing in Cryonics Australia the owner said it was well worth it for "the only joy in an otherwise lonely life." He said it was his turn to give her everything he had in return for her devotion. He already had a $100,000 insurance policy ready for his eventual sign up, and this also covered the dog.
I have been asked to do a monthly column of between 300 and 500 words for Venturist Monthly News, the newsletter of the Scientific Venturists, the cryonics support organisation originating in Phoenix, Arizona, but now based near Alcor in California. This will enable my writing to reach a number of Alcor members who do not read The Immortalist or Longevity Report.
Venturist Monthly News consists of two stapled sheets with three columns in 8pt print, about the same size but better quality than the very earliest issues of Longevity Report. It attracts a good style of writing, and I was honoured to be asked to join them. I hope that more Longevity Reportreaders will subscribe to them, and also support David Pizer's products that Longevity Books offers.
A subscription to 12 issues of Venturist Monthly News costs $8.00 USA, $10.00 Canada, and $15.00 pa rest of world. The address is Post Office Box 458, Wrightwood, California 92397.
The first two articles I have sent them are (p)reprinted below. They appear under the column heading of Porthtowan Vantage Point.
I was flattered to have been asked by David Pizer to do a regular column for Venturist Monthly News. Although I have written much in The Immortalist, have a monthly cryonics column in Funeral Service Journal (which reaches 60% of the UK profession) and run my own newsletter Longevity Report in the UK, I am not the average cryonicist type at all. I more closely resemble Dr Isaac Assimov's Dr Urth, who stayed at home and yet let his mind roam time and space, as opposed to Larry Niven's Jerome Branch Corbell, the "born tourist" cryonics hero of World out of Time who "flitted around the universe like a ping pong ball" as one reviewer put it. Judging by the proportion of the movement that attend conferences around the world, Larry Niven's character seems more appropriate. (Compare this with say the total number of people in the IEEE and the number who attend functions. The British Wind Energy Association can sometimes have an attendance of about 4%, for example.)
Having had an engineering education, I am always very keen on efficiency, and this is reflected in my view of the financial world. Whereas when I complain about my accountant's bill and he suggests I put up my prices to compensate, I find this idea an anathema, considering the acceptance of money from people for goods or services to be money taken in trust, and one of my first duties being to keep customers' costs to a minimum for whatever it is they want. I believe it would be a better world if people could strike against costs, not for more salary. My economic and investment ideas may seem strange to some cryonicists, but hopefully a few of the better ones may filter through and be of use and benefit to the movement.
Possibly one reason, apart for wanting to be in control, why I like to stay at home is because I am a true "teckkie" which trait is probably popular amongst cryonicists, and like my technology. I hide my own shortcomings by the use of machines, notably computer systems, which have resulted in a very substantial improvement in my writing standards. I expect to bring to this column various technological news items and insights that appear appropriate. Next month, I will feature the application of fractals to cryonics.
I hope that readers of Venturist Monthly News will enjoy this column and find topics about which they can debate and write their own letters to the journal.
In Scientific American of February 1990 page 35 there appeared an article on fractals, and as a reader of Longevity Report (Steve Gallant) knew that I also publish a newsletter for computer users called Fractal Report (it gives short fractal programs for people to try and modify), he sent me a copy.
One very interesting aspect of Chaos and Fractals in Human Physiology was the fact that the authors proposed that the variation of average heartbeat with time obeys the laws of fractal geometry, and that a relatively simple process can display the attractors or "basics" of those laws. What you do is to sample the heart rate at intervals. If you plot a graph of these samples against time you get an apparently random waveform. However if you plot the period at time t against the period at time t+n, then you get fractal figures which represent the attractors of the heart rhythms. These attractors were found to give an accurate prediction as to when death will occur.
Many fractal images have a lifelike quality, and indeed methods have been found to use fractal geometry to reduce the information content of video transmissions and recordings by substantial amounts. An article appearing on page 77 of the March 1990 issue of Scientific American, a copy of which Fred Chamberlain kindly sent me, showed how a device is to be marketed that translates pictures of 3M Bytes to only 5.8k bytes, 30 times a second.
Most fractal computer programs produce fractal images by taking a point x,y and subjecting it to a transformation, which produces another point. The new point is subjected to the same transformation and so on. This repetition is known as iteration. Another method, as is used for the famous Mandelbrot and Julia sets, is to apply the transformation to the point a large number of times and then plot the original point with a colour depending on whether after iteration it approaches infinity or settles down to oscillate within finite limits. The mean of these limits is known as the attractor of the iteration. The transformations can either be obtained from data, such as in the image system, or from equations such as many of the examples studied by fractal enthusiasts.
The Mandelbrot set is produced by iterating a complex number z [=x+iy, where i is the square root of minus one], by squaring it and adding it to a constant. The basic set looks like a black beetle, but surrounding it are colourful swirls, which can be magnified to infinity producing many strange life like objects.
The fractal appearance of biological features suggests that fractal geometry may describe the basic processes of life, and therefore it's understanding could be a crucial part in developing the nanotechnological programs to recover the program and data from cryonically suspended human brains.
FEVERFEW: A MIRACLE HERB.
Feverfew is a natural herb which has been used for centuries to safely treat many conditions including arthritis, migraine, psoriasis, insect bites, stress, premenstrual tension and menopause.
Feverfew has proved effective against osteo-arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. Feverfew is able to provide substantial pain relief from the majority of pain in about seven days. Improvements in mobility are usually seen in twenty-eight days or less.
Feverfew has been extensively used as a self-treatment for migraine. In one survey more than 70% of 270 migraine sufferers who had taken feverfew every day for prolonged periods claimed that the herb decreased the frequency of the attacks or caused them to be less painful or both. Many of these people had failed to respond to orthodox medicines. All migraine headaches respond favourably to feverfew treatment. Often permanent pain relief is obtained. No synthetic drug has been shown to give as much relief as feverfew. Feverfew should not be used as a simple painkiller. Only a small amount of feverfew is required to relieve migraine, however, it must be taken continuously in order to derive maximum benefit. Feverfew is probably very safe for long term use and large numbers of people have used it continuously for many years ( more than ten years in some cases ). Many migraine sufferers experience a reduction in bouts of nausea and vomiting whilst taking feverfew.
Feverfew has proved exceptionally effective against both heat-aggravated stress-induced psoriasis and long standing psoriasis. Feverfew is even able to improve scalp psoriasis. There have been no reports of feverfew failing to produce positive benefits in psoriasis. Relief usually begins within days, however, it may take up to six months to reach maximum effectiveness.
Feverfew shows great potential in counteracting many of the unpleasant effects of the menopause including osteoporosis.
Other Beneficial Effects.
Many diverse effects of feverfew have been reported including a complete cure for incontinence, lowering of blood pressure to normal, returning bodyweight to normal, improvement in the appearance of fingernails. Feverfew has been found to be of tremendous benefit to hayfever sufferers and those with general allergic complaints.
Hearing and Eyesight.
People with hearing difficulties have derived tremendous benefits from using feverfew. In particular those with arthritis of the neck can often obtain spectacular results. There have been several reports of improvements in vision in people using feverfew.
Anticancer and Antibiotic Activity.
The components of the feverfew herb have been shown to have anticancer and antibiotic activity. Feverfew is able to inhibit the growth of bacteria, fungi and yeasts.
Dosage and Administration.
Arthritis and Migraine.
a) Arthritis (at onset stage), migraine (at monthly intervals or more), stress (in early stages, ie., not requiring tranquilizers), insomnia.
All of the above usually respond to a daily dose of 200 mg. For insomnia feverfew tablets should be taken at bedtime.
b) Arthritis (in developed stage with severe pain and swollen joints), migraine (severe attacks at less than monthly intervals), stress (requiring regular tranquilizers), ankylosing spondylitis.
Double dosage is advisable ie. 400 mg for an initial period of 10-14 days, followed by a reduction to 200 mg until relief is obtained.
Menopause and Premenstrual Tension.
200 mg taken daily until benefit is obtained.
For mild psoriasis 200 mg daily for a period of one month. If psoriasis coverage is widespread it will probably be necessary to take 400 mg daily for up to three months. The dose should slowly be reduced as the psoriasis subsides.
1) Take feverfew with food whenever possible.
2) With double dosage take 200 mg morning and night.
3) Do NOT take feverfew with high dosage blood pressure tablets.
4) Do NOT take alcohol during the initial treatment period. Alcohol diminishes the beneficial effects of feverfew.
1) Berry M.I. The Pharmaceutical Journal, 232(611-614) May 19, 1984.
2) Heptinstall S. The Lancet (1071-1074) May 11, 1985.
3) Johnson E.S. British Medical Journal 291 (569-573) August 31, 1985.
AMINOGUANIDINE CAN IT STOP THE AGING PROCESS?
After many years of research, scientists now believe that aminoguanidine helps to stop the aging process. Aminoguanidine has recently been singled out as one of the most promising new anti aging therapies, with the ability to stop aging damage before it occurs rather than just as a treatment for the signs of aging. It is now widely believed that the cross-linking of the proteins that make up the human body plays a large part in the human aging process and in diabetes which seems to be a kind of accelerated aging1,2.
Everyone is familiar with the effects of cross-linking reactions, as these same processes cause food to go yellow and become tough as it ages.
Scientific research has shown that the sugar glucose is partly responsible for cross-linking which in turn leads to irreversible aging damage.
The sugar glucose is found in every cell of the body and is used to supply energy. Glucose is relatively stable, however, it can join to part of a protein forming a protein/glucose combination.
This protein/glucose combination goes through a series of steps which eventually lead to substances that are very active cross-linkers. Fortunately, the formation of these products is reversible 3,4,5. These substances stay in the body for months or even years, cross-linking with the proteins around them. The effect of cross-linking on a protein is similar to that on a person crippled by having a hand stuck to a foot by superglue. This continuous cross-linking cannot be stopped unless aminoguanidine is used regularly.
In theory, as more and more of these cross-links form with increasing age , the bodies essential proteins become stiff, tough and unable to function properly.
Scientific research into diabetes has provided support for the idea that cross-links cause aging. The levels of cross-linking products in diabetics, with their much higher blood glucose levels, are two to three times greater than normal. Diabetes can be seen as a form of accelerated aging6.
Glucose cross-links are responsible for many problems of old age including senile cataracts, thickening of the arteries, some cancers and damage to the immune system. A damaged immune system leads to increased susceptibility to infection.
Cancers may arise from the effect of glucose on DNA; the chemical that is responsible for life. DNA contains all the information necessary to create a normal cell, however,it can also react with glucose to give damaged DNA which in turn causes abnormal cells to be produced.
A new supplement has been developed called Aminoguanidine which is able to join up with substances that could cause cross-links and so stop cross-links from developing. Aminoguanidine may be able to prevent senile cataracts, thickening of the arteries, kidney failure, thinning bones, osteoarthritis, skin wrinkles and all other signs of aging due to cross-links.
Probably, no aspect of aging is as dramatic or so obvious as that which occurs in the skin . The presence of facial skin wrinkles clearly shows that time has passed and that aging has begun. A component of skin that is particularly involved in skin changes with aging is the protein collagen7. Aminoguanidine with it's proven ability to prevent collagen cross-links will prevent the appearance of skin wrinkles. Aminoguanidine cannot break down cross-links that have already formed and so will not remove wrinkles. If regular use of aminoguanidine is started early enough it is possible to stop wrinkles appearing or to stop the number of wrinkles already present from increasing.
Aminoguanidine has the potential to stop the aging process by protecting the proteins that make up the human body such as the skin proteins-collagen and elastin, eye lens protein, nerve protein and kidney protein from aging damage.
All the bodies proteins deteriorate with advancing age and in diabetes and so aminoguanidine is able to combat some of the adverse effects of diabetes and improve the quality and duration of life in healthy people.
Aminoguanidine is the supplement of choice to prevent cross-links.
Aminoguanidine does not prevent the joining of glucose to protein, as it would be impossible to use drugs which would prevent this occurring. In the same way it is not possible to avoid protein cross-linking by reducing dietary sugar intake. The ideal way to prevent cross-linking and therefore aging, is to inhibit the long term reactions that lead to the formation of the cross-links. Aminoguanidine works in just this way and so is able to truly combat the aging process.
Aminoguanidine shows very low toxicity and so is safe to use All the anti aging research carried out with aminoguanidine has used the hydrochloride derivative not the more commonly available bicarbonate. Aminoguanidine hydrochloride is the preferred form, being more soluble and much less irritating than the bicarbonate.
The most effective dosage of aminoguanidine is 300 mg taken twice a day with food. This dose should not be exceeded.
1) Principles of Mammalian Aging, R.R Kohn, Ed. (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1978).
2) D.E Harrison & J.R Archer, Exp. Gerontol. 13:75 (1978).
3) J.W Baynes et al., in Methods in Enzymology:Posttranslational Modifications, F. Wold & K. Moldave, Eds. (Academic Press, New York, 1984), vol. 6, pp 88-98.
4) H.B Mortensen & C. Christophersen, Clin. Chim. Acta. 134:317 (1983).
5) M. Brownlee , H. Vlassara, A. Cerami, in Diabetic Complications: Scientific and Clinical Aspects, M.J.C. Crabbe, Ed. (Pitman, London, 1986).
6) V. Monnier, R.R. Kohn, A. Cerami, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 81:583 (1984).
7) Verzar, F. Exp. Gerontol. 3:69-75 (1968).
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