Volume 6 no 45. First published June 1993. ISSN 0964-5659.
Dental Products Douglas Skrecky
Terror Libris Brian Haines
Am I the Mug? Brian Haines
Terra Libra Progress Report Frederick Mann
Not present in htm edition, as it was not presented in electronic format. Link provides access to a site which is successor of terra Libra .
Swap Country Yvan Bozzonetti
Astronomical Conservation Yvan Bozzonetti
Socialising with the Czar Bob Brakeman
Letters: Shark Cartilage and Rock Salmon, Silica Warning, "Host", DMSO < /EM>
A Touch of DIY Medicine Brain Haines
Living On Brain Haines
Caffeine, Chelation, and Melatonin Douglas Skrecky
Longevity Report's Reviews New Hope International
Me? A Grandparent? Chrissie Loveday
by Douglas Skrecky
Toothpastes contain either sodium fluoride or sodium monofluorophosphate as anticaries agents. One could suppose these must be equally effective, since if they were not toothpaste manufacturers would have no choice but to use only the better of the two if they wished to remain competitive. Wrong. Tests have found sodium fluoride to be significantly more effective than sodium monofluorophosphate in preventing caries.1 Don't buy toothpastes containing sodium monofluorophosphate. Some toothpastes contain additional anticaries ingredients. Sanguinarine (Viadent) has little or no effect, but triclosan (Colgate Total) does inhibit the growth of plaque.2 Some toothpastes also contain potassium salts to treat dental hypersensitivity. Of these salts the most effective is potassium citrate.3
Not all mouthwashes are useful in inhibiting plaque. Plax for instance is reported to have no effect at all.4 Mouthwashes containing essential oils (Listerine) and quaternary ammonium compounds (Cepacol, Scope) do inhibit plaque.2
Chewing gum is not generally regarded as an essential part of dental hygiene, but nonetheless can be a very effective adjunct. Chewing gum which is sweetened with xylitol inhibits the growth of cavities, even 5 years after the regular use of this gum is stopped!5 Recently the Canadian Dental Association has recognized xylitol as an effective cavity fighting ingredient. This has greatly increased the sales of Trident sugarless gum, which contains the approved cavity fighter Dentec (a.k.a. xylitol).6
Since teeth contain a lot of calcium one would suppose that a high calcium diet could inhibit caries. Increased calcium content in plaque is associated with decreased caries.7 However not all calcium salts can increase plaque calcium. Calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, calcium chloride and calcium gluconate do not inhibit caries development in rats when mixed with solid food. Calcium glycerophosphate is helpful when mixed with food, but has no effect when given in the drinking water.8 Calcium lactate inhibits caries in rats when either mixed with food or given in drinking water.9,10 In humans a calcium lactate mouthrinse has been documented to increase both calcium and phosphorus in plaque and to reduce calculus.11,12 Adding 7% calcium lactate to toothpaste also reduces calculus.13 The best time for administration of calcium lactate for maximal effectiveness is apparently after meals.14 Calcium lactate looks to be is a cheap, effective, non toxic cavity fighter. No commercially available toothpaste, no mouthwash and no chewing gum contains calcium lactate. Hopefully this will soon change. For now at least it is little trouble to add calcium lactate to mouthwashes.
1 A Critical Review of the Relative Anticaries Efficacy of Sodium Fluoride and Sodium Monofluorophosphate Dentifrices 337-360 Vol.27 1993 Caries Research
2 Agents for the Management of Plaque and Gingivitis 1450-1454 Vol.71 No.7 1992 Journal of Dental Research
3 Use of Multiple Sensitivity Measurements and Logic Statistical Analysis to Assess the Effectiveness of a Potassium Citrate Containing Dentifrice in Reducing Dentinal Hypersensitivity 256-261 Vol.19 1992 Journal of Clinical Periodontology
4 The Effect of Using a Pre-Brushing Mouthwash (Plax) on Oral Hygiene in Man 679-681 Vol.19 1992 Journal of Clinical Periodontology
5 Long Term Effect of Xylitol Chewing Gum in the Prevention of Dental Caries: A Follow-up 5 Years After Termination of a Prevention Program 495-498 Vol.27 1993 Caries Research
6 Gum Maker Smiling After Dentists Okay Trident Sugarless October 21,1993 The Globe and Mail
7 Plaque Minerals and Caries Experience: Associations and Interrelationships 427-432 Vol.57 No.3 1978 Journal of Dental Research
8 Protection Against Dental Caries in Rats by Glycerophosphates or Calcium Salts or Mixtures of Both 717-724 Vol.20 1975 Archives Oral Biology
9 Preliminary Studies on Calcium Lactate as an Anticaries Food Additive 12-17 Vol.16 1982 Caries Research
10 Effect of Calcium Lactate and Calcium Lactophosphate on Caries Activity in Programme Fed Rats 368-370 Vol.19 1985 Caries Research
11 Effect of a Mouthrinse Containing Calcium Lactate on the Formation and Mineralization of Dental Plaque 146-150 Vol.23 1989 Caries Research
12 Influence of Calcium Lactate Rinses on Calculus Formation in Adults 376-378 Vol.24 1990 Caries Research
13 Control of Calculus Formation by a Dentifrice Containing Calcium Lactate 277-279 Vol.27 1993 Caries Research
14 Effect of Timing of Administered Calcium Lactate on the Sucrose Induced Intraoral Demineralization of Bovine Enamel 187-191 Vol.37 No.3 1992 Archives Oral Biology
by Brian W. Haines
Who would not wish to wake up one morning to find every venture had succeeded: to find that all financial worries were over; and cheques, bank drafts pour in by every post. At last the light is burning brightly at the end of the tunnel, never again will there be that terrible burden of worry about paying the next bill.
Just a moment though, isn't this called the Midas Touch. And wasn't there some moral to be drawn from that ancient story?
The idea of a world free from war, taxes and disease. A world where everyone dwelt in harmony free from want, slavery or oppression, is no new concept. From the times of the earliest recorded histories down to the socialist ideas of Richard Owen and the present day experiments with communism people have indulged in this Utopian dream. Surely Utopia was itself an ideal to be sought.
And where has it all led us? What has gone wrong that after something like 5,000 years we are no nearer this perfect society?
Why is it that given the chance to create a State based upon justice and love for humanity, people are unable to sit down to reason logically and start from a peaceful foundation, and instead destroy everything they have, as has happened in Yugoslavia?
The answers are I think given very clearly in the Progress Report for Terra Libra. One does not have to read very far before realising there is something seriously flawed in the attitudes and cultural understanding of an organisation that wishes to evade the responsibilities of supporting the machinery of State.
Of course Taxes are onerous, of course it is an invasion of privacy for the State to pry into your most private affairs. But on the other hand who is to watch over you while you sleep, Who is going to step in to settle the argument you have with your neighbour who is always the most unreasonable, most selfish person in the world.
Some-one has to pay for those services we take so much for granted. The State does not have a little private gold mine under the Parliament building, neither do the people who put themselves forward to organise the machinery of State have a private income to fund all the necessary departments to keep the Country free of strife.
Cleaning away the refuse, lighting the streets, providing education, all the regular amenities that go to make up a civilised world have to be funded.
Think for a moment what it would be like without the regulation provided by the State. Take that Trust for instance. What do you do about the currency it is expressed in when there is no universal recognisable unit backed by the Government? Where do you go when the people have disappeared to whom you have entrusted your wealth?
What do you do to enforce the terms of your Trust which so cleverly evades all legislative control. Suppose you fall ill and there is no-one to look after you. Who is supposed to come and pick you up in the street when a tram car crashes into your wheelchair? And who regulates the traffic as you travel around blissfully free of all financial oppression?
Your maximum personal freedom is equivalent to the optimum oppression of your neighbour. You cannot walk with impunity upon the freedom of others. Your right to sit back and draw an income upon your investments depends upon the enforced labour of another section of the community.
The cry that automation will replace labour has no foundation in a world of living organisms. Not until automatons totally replace humans will there be no human labour and that means the extinction of the human race. No labour and no humans leads to a sterile world in which futility is the predominant factor.
At last the ultimate freedom will have been achieved. No effort, no community and no life.
It is possible to live in peace and harmony on this earth, today, now and in the future. The way forward is not the selfish desire to attain more material wealth. You can only sleep in one bed at a time, you can only eat one meal at a time, you can only enjoy one conversation at a time. The aim is an inner peace, the peace achieved by an understanding of all the needs and desires of others. From the time money was first introduced it was found it played no part in happiness. The lesson "give all thou hast to the poor" is no more than a direction to divest yourself of the encumbrance of money to find freedom.
Material wealth is a false God. Freedom is a state of mind, it does not come in schemes of evasion.
This is one point of view ably stated. However right of reply is, of course, offered to all Terra Librans and Libertarians, and Mr Haines almost gives it in the following piece.
Am I the MUG
by Brian W. Haines
I have just heard of the sentence passed upon a couple for the death by neglect of their baby. It isn't the fact of the neglect that shocks me, one becomes hardened to stories of inhumanity, children are dying in thousands all over the world from neglect and starvation; what causes amazement are the circumstances.
In this particular case the local Council had provided a large house and spent some £120,000 on renovation. The couple were maintained it seemed by the State. It was not a question of poverty or poor living conditions, by any standard they were well off. Just think for a moment of what sort of income is needed for a normal couple to buy and spend £120,000 upon repairs and also have sufficient to pay the running costs and have sufficient to pay for the necessities of life. I think it would need an earned income of something in excess of £20,000 a year. This family had it given to them. The lot. All they had to do was answer the door for the Giro.
It is not an isolated instance. I have several acquaintances, indeed some relatives, who have never done a hands turn in their lives whose welfare income equates to more than double my actual income. What with income support, no Council Tax, housing benefit, rebates on entertainment, free educational and recreational classes, cheap or even free meals and sundry other give away's, they do not know what it would be like to earn to maintain them in such a style.
In spite of this easy existence these people are not happy. Wingeing, whining and moaning is the commonplace norm. Nothing is right, and the world is bounded by a betting shop and the television screen, with the off licence as the first stop on Giro day.
All my life I have worked, there have been weeks, months even when my income fell below subsistence level, and never once did I deviate from the self imposed duty to support myself.
Being very poor, being hungry and cold, being tired and wet makes you miserable. I have been all those things. Now I ask myself, was I the MUG. Would it not have been more sensible to claim my lawful right to support by the State. Wouldn't I have had a happier life with a full stomach and a roof over my head? The money was there for the taking, and no-one would have reproached me for accepting it. No-one would have known and I could have walked in society well shod and a clean shirt.
Objectively the reasons are sound. Subjectively they are very different. I would know, I would have reproached myself. I have always had this belief I have a duty in this world to maintain myself. If I am to live forever, I cannot expect it to at the expense of anyone else, least of all the State.
It is a matter of approach, of a personal philosophy. The eternal question of Why? How can anyone who lives, or some would say scrounge off social welfare all their lives ever believe tomorrow is another day, a better day, a day when there will be an answer to the effort of getting up to perform some task that justifies existence?
No. on mature consideration I am not a MUG, I am sorry for those caught in the welfare trap. There is no future there, they answer their own question in the statement of "how can I think of work when I get more on the Social". They are lost souls wandering in the wilderness of futility. No wonder they neglect children, it isn't wickedness, it is despair. Nothing matters when there is nothing to gain.
Strange that a system set up to save lives, wrecks them. In the world of tomorrow let us hope better counsels prevail.
by Yvan Bozzonetti
For some time now we have seen a set of projects about new countries, for example Terra Libra and Project Atlantis have found their way into Longevity Report. After the end of 19th century global exploration, the only way out for libertarians was to look at space travel to get their feet on new ground. That was first dreamed of in sci-fi novels and then worked out partially with the Apollo program.
Now, we seeing a new brood of countries made from social order, not merely from a piece of land. The land can come later, for example in the Atlantis Project, a sea city. Outside a land to settle, a country is a minimum link between some people. That link is the exchange medium of the society, that is a currency. There is no country without money. The simplest form of it is swapping.
If a group wants to found a new country, its members must have some common value beyond what is found in the old countries, that is, they need an exchange unit with a narrower spectrum of values. For example, stamp collectors use some of their used stamps as a swap money between them. Any collectors of a particular kind do the same in their "collection country".
Longevity Report does the same in the domain of longevity information, so it is a potential longevity country. The logical next step would to extend the information swap to a material item swap. That could take the form of material hardware for some longevity activity or some hard to find biochemical distribution.
Who has some more ideas about this?
Anyone want a used vitamin pill? Seriously, this may be a worthwhile idea, especially for books. Longevity Report will take advertisements, free of charge to paying subscribers, £20 up to 100 words others (ie you may as well subscribe), from people wanting to sell or swap books.
by Yvan Bozzonetti
Some readers know for some time now of my astronomical hobby. My last buying in this domain was, on the 24 of December a polishing machine to make some telescope mirrors up to 2 m in diameter. The builder of the system think I am crazy: he can't produce mirrors larger than 75 cm on its own system. The solution holds in a sombre story of glass dust in tiny grooves, without interest here. Four months before, when I ordered the system, my idea was as follows: First to produce and sell some large mirrors for amateurs, using for the reflecting coat the service of a nearby observatory. With the expansion of that activity, my hope was to buy my own low pressure chamber to do the coating operation. This system is the same we need for freeze drying operations, an interesting alternative or supplementary security for cryonics activities.
In the meantime, I have learned about a mirror coating process without the need of a low pressure chamber, so I need no more any collaboration from the professional observatory nor more investments for my astronomical activity ... This is too an end for the freeze drying perspective.
To produce astronomical mirrors, there are two kinds of system: the single and double exocentric systems. The second, the more compact, was my choice, with a reservation: It can be converted to the single exocentric form by addition of an exterior rotating table. In that configuration, its capacity expands to four meters mirrors. Sadly, a blank Pyrex disk of that dimension costs well over £ one million. I have not that amount of money right now, so I was searching for a less costly solution.
I came up with a simple idea: To use metallic mirrors made from a thin aluminium plate. I know it work because the Reosc enterprise making the polishing work on the 8.4 m mirrors of the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory has tested this tool system on a 7 m aluminium mirror. Well, aluminium is a soft metal ready to deform. The solution is then to put it as a cover on a large iron can where air is pumped out. The ten tons pressure per square meter on the aluminium surface gives and maintain the needed form. So, I am looking now at building four meters in diameter cans.
Now, assume you are interested in big drying chambers, if you have at hand a large telescope of that kind you have everything to turn it into an emergency dryer.
Socializing With The Czar
by Bob Brakeman
This analysis is part of a series of 104 magazine articles by the present author, a series designed to bring together and interrelate the principles of immortalism and those of libertarianism. Libertarianism matters (or should matter) to immortalists because government criminals are the only serious obstacles to eventual cryonics/immortalist success.1 Immortalism matters (or should matter) to libertarians because it's a hollow victory to have figured out all political/economic issues correctly --- and then rot as a reward.
There have been pro-liberty heros in all epochs, but because the life-extension technologies are so young, previous centuries offer us only what might be called quasi-immortalist heros: People who laid the groundwork for a thoroughly rationalistic understanding of the natural world. Such an understanding led eventually/inevitably to immortalism, for when that kind of rationalism is applied to the life/death issue, it leads necessarily to the rejection of all mystical "afterlife" fantasies and therefore to a commitment to preserve the only lives we have, our physical selves, using cryonics and other life-extension technologies.
In most encyclopedias of astronomy or cosmology, the twin founding fathers of modern rocketry are usually listed as the American Robert Goddard and the Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. Those men deserve roughly as much credit as they are given, but their work was predated, by decades, by the ideas of another Russian, Nikolai Kibalchich.2
In 1881 Kibalchich performed a certain intellectual feat for the first time in human history. That history has always included dreams of visiting other worlds, and Kibalchich was the first to outline a practical way in which that might be done. He said that humans would fly to other worlds not with wings, but with rockets.
Rockets were already a reality in 1881, but they were terrestrial rockets rather than space rockets---they were war-Rockets. As weapons of government murder, they were used as early as 1232 in the battle of K'ai-fung-fu (it is a near certainty that it was the Chinese who invented them. European governments, interested as they have always been in efficient means of mass terrorism, took an interest, but that interest waned as weaponry veered toward guns and standard artillery. But then the interest was reawakened by a colonial people whom the British government was terrorizing in the 17OOs. Native Indian soldiers used rockets so effectively against the English invaders at the battles of Seringapatam in 1792 and 1799 that a British artillery officer became an admirer of their possibilities. By the time William Congreve was through improving and perfecting the design of war rockets, rocket batallions became a familiar part of all European armies.
But Nikolai Kibalchich wasn't interested in mass murder (as will be seen in the second half of this analysis, his life was devoted to opposing it). He was interested in travel to other worlds, and over a several week period in 1881 he devised a detailed plan for achieving that goal.
His seminal idea was that humans could travel in space using a large rocket, one which would be propelled by a series of gunpowder charges. Not only did that idea lead the way to the part of the future which is already past (the last few decades), it also presaged part of the future which is yet to come: Decades from now, there is a reasonable prospect that deep-space travel may rely upon ships propelled by a series of nuclear or thermonuclear explosions - - - very close to Kibalchich's concept.
The thoughts of Kibaichich are worthy of being admired on at least three separate grounds:
(A) Practical grounds. As we've just seen, his views led directly to both the future-past and the future-future.
(B) Methodological grounds. Kibalchich derived his conclusions by use of the scientific method, not through any mystical or metaphysical means (nor was he a mere entertainer, like Jules Verne; N.K. meant it, meant his views as a prediction of the future).
(C) Philosophical grounds. Kibalchich realized the importance of space travel: His point (and this was a point fully developed by Tsiolkovsky and Goddard and the others who followed) wasn't that Interplanetary or interstellar travel would be fun, it was that it was important: Since 99.99999999999%+ of the cosmos is out there rather than down here, to comprehend the universe in which we live out there is where we need to go.
As people who depend on the general advancement of science for their future extended lives, cryonicists should of course admire Kibalchich on what might be called general (scientific) principles, because anything that advances science generally helps us. But by being the intellectual progenitor of the space program Nikolai Kibalchich helped us in some much more specific ways: A good deal of the general science research which has been done in connection with the modern US and Soviet space programs has led to major advances in nanotechnology and miniaturization and microprocessing --- all areas crucial to the final success of a movement dedicated to reviving and repairing frozen humans. And if all that weren't enough, there's this final point: A key feature of the evolving space program of the future (and to a lesser extent of the current one) is the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. As I've outlined elsewhere3, the key "pro" factor in being willing to spend money on that project is that highly advanced civilizations would almost certainly have achieved physiological immortality. A man who invented the phenomenon (the space program) through which we might contact people who have achieved physical immortality ought to be elected to the immortalist movement's hall of fame, even though there was no immortalist movement around to rescue him in 1881.
And even if there had been, the Czarist secret police would not have allowed any rescue.
For Nikolai Kibalchich became the intellectual father of the modern into-space movement while in prison awaiting execution for the assassination of Czar Alexander II4.
A thousand years of Standard Government Behaviour (slavery and mass murder and endless terrorism) had finally led, in the 18OOs, to widespread revolutionary activity directed against the Russian government. A key group in that activity was one called People's Will, and in 1881 one of their assassination attempts succeeded.
Because life-extension people tend to be, on average, more committed to rationalism than most people, it's not too much to ask that they be able to figure out that the terminology used by the government controlled propaganda media to describe these events was the reverse of the truth: They called what happened to Alexander II a "murder" and what happened to Kibalchich an "execution"; in fact Alexander, as a lifelong murderer and terrorist, was executed by People's Will, and Kibalchich was murdered by the government. It was precisely because he was willing to apply general logical principles to the nature of the government (all government, but especially that one)5 that he was able to conclude that the regime was a collection of criminals/murderers -- the same logical principles which allowed him (when he applied them to other areas of life) to conclude that space flight was both (A) possible and (B) important. The whole point of the series of 104 magazine articles of which this one is a part is that if one applies general rationalism to the life-versus-death issue one must arrive at some kind of immortalism, and if one applies those same principles to political matters one must come up with some variety of libertarianism. Both those two world views are summed up so well in the life of Nikolai Kibalchich that we might as well just name this whole series the "Nikolai Kibalchich Memorial Essays".
1 Although it seems like baby talk to have to explain why the state is the principal obstacle to immortalist success, it is possible that some readers of this analysis were subjected to child abuse while growing up --- child abuse in its most intense form, being sent to the government's indoctrination- factories, which are apparently called "schools". Since those indoctrination-factories of course teach idolatry of the government and hide its inherently predatory nature, we should be explicit about the governmental threat to immortalism:
(A) Only the state has the power to illegalize-out-of-existence cryonics or anything else; the state is in the business of prohibition, and while immortalists could defend themselves and their laboratories from the occasional attack by private-thugs-with-guns, there is no defense against government-thugs-with-guns. The ignoramus majority of the public could be ignored, but an ignoramus majority controlling a monopoly-of-force (the state) is a lethal threat to us.
(B) Similarly, only the government is in the business of seizing any amount of resources it wants, from any source it chooses. In a bloodbath depression politicians will not wait long to complain about "rich people freezing themselves while babies go hungry" -- and not long to go about "redistributing" some assets (just as a government under the control of the psycho-religious right would not hesitate to illegalize cryonics as "blasphemous").
2 Any biographical dictionary will show you that Kibalchich's life/death dates were "1853-1881". 28 years is not very many, but one of the points of this story is to show how well spent they were --- and another is to show that (as is so often the case) governments and their hired killers, the police, were the cause of the short lifespan.
3 See my How To Think About The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence.
4 These things seem to be cyclical. Although moral/rational people see the government as largely criminal force in all times and places, outbursts of direct action against them seem to rise and fall quickly -- for a while such direct action is a bit of a fad, and then it fades. Among the various times of fad- intensity:
(A) Two of the last three Russian Czars were assassinated (Alexander II was; his son Alexander III escaped; and A-III's son Nicholas II did not escape).
(B) 3 out of the 4 most important Indian politicians were assassinated - Mohandas Ghandi and Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi - only the worst of them, the neo-communist terrorist Nehru, escaped).
(C) All US presidents elected at 20-year intervals beginning in 1860 were assassinated (Lincoln and Garfield and McKinley).
(D) And after Augustus and his stepson Tiberius (the first 2 Roman emperors), the next six R.E.s in a row were all assassinated (or essentially forced to commit suicide): Caligula and Claudius and Nero and Galba and Otho and Vitellius)*
5 Nikolai Kibalchich wasn't the only "celebrity" to be murdered by this particular government: Perhaps the greatest of the Russian poets, Aleksandr Pushkin died at 38 in a duel instigated by the government; and when the poet Mikhail Lermontov wrote On The Death Of The Poet to protest that conspiracy, he too became extremely dead within a few years.
* You know you're in length-trouble when you start adding asterisks-to-the-footnotes, but too bad: Two additional (and important) ideological points can be made about the shooting gallery periods alluded to in footnote 4:
The first is that in the case of the Roman Empire, such periods didn't end with the six-in-a-row assassinations after Tiberius. For example, after the natural death of Marcus Aurelius in A.D. 180, the next three Roman Emperors in a row were all dealt with in a way which was just and appropriate: Commodus was strangled by a wrestler hired by conspirators whose previous assassination plots had failed. His successor was Pertinax, who was quickly killed by a member of the Praetorian Guard. When Didius Julianus succeeded him, it was soon decided that the public welfare required that he should be dead, and soon he was, on the orders of Septimius Severus, who then succeeded him. The repeated executions ("assassinations" as the governmentally-indoctrinated called them at the time) of prominent criminals (i.e., members of the government) in Roman times sprang principally from a certain realization among ancient peoples --- the realization that government is "them", not "us", and that it is an "us" which is criminal in the purest and narrowest sense of that term : Everything it does is financed through theft (which is apparently called "taxation" among the quasi-brain-dead classes) and what it does always consists of (A) more theft, (B) assault, and (C) murder.
Which brings us to Septimius Severus.
Although he was, like politicians in all times and places, a sociopath and lifelong criminal, he was, in one important limited sense, the "greatest" of the Roman Emperors. His "greatness" consisted not of the stuff which enthrals the government-controlled "historians" of most times and places ("great victories in war" - meaning mass murder, or "providing a government economic security net" --- meaning stealing money from those to whom it belongs and giving it to strangers); rather, his greatness lay in his honesty, however demented: Throughout his lifetime he reacted to all crises and threats to his power by doing the only thing that mattered --- he strengthened and increased the army. He understood that government has nothing to do with "consent" or "democracy" or whatever code words were used in your little-red-indoctrination-factory when you were in third grade and learning that the-President-is-your-friend- and-the-great-white-father; that instead it is simply mass murder and lesser degrees of terrorist force. If you have the army (and the army under another name, the police) on your side, nothing else matters. Thus it was both "reasonable" and "honest" of Severus to ignore all protests and all appeals and all crises and all justice and all morality, and to simply focus on keeping the army/police infrastructure at murderous strength and vigour at all times. Furthermore, Severus' actions during his lifetime was nicely topped off by comments from his deathbed --- comments showing that he never lost sight of the true nature of the government (a terroristic occupying army). When asked by his advisers what they and his successor should do about various protests and appeals-for-justice and rebellions and calls-for-redress-of-grievances which were happening all over the Empire, Severus "wisely" (from the perspective of a government criminal) told them they could ignore all that, that all they needed do was: "Pay the army".
Bob Brakeman, the author of more than 2000 articles on Immortalism and Public Affairs, resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
From Mr Brian Blair-Giles:
(He sent a latter enclosing a cutting about shark cartilage. The cutting was most interesting, and I have extracted the salient points as follows:)
Writing in The New Statesman and Society Duncan Campbell claimed that the advantages suggested for shark cartilage are bogus. Heading his article A Case of Shark Practise he said that claims for cures and prevention of cancer and AIDS were unfounded. He quoted British shark expert Dr Keith Banister, of the University of Kent, who said that some of the potions being sold contained no material that could be shark cartilage. Dr Banister said that if you really want to eat shark cartilage, the cheapest way to do it is to go to the fishmonger and buy "rock salmon". Rock salmon is just dogfish. Dogfish are small sharks. He advises you to eat the flesh for your supper, and if you want cartilage, then chew or suck the backbone.
From Mr Douglas Skrecky
I am wondering if the authorities shouldn't crack down on silica supplements Inhaled silica causes silicosis in the lungs. I am not sure how dangerous orally administered silica is, but I am sceptical about purported benefits. Silica helps catalyze the generation of free radicals.
Oxidative DNA damage by Crystalline Silica 463-472 Vol 14 1993 Free Radical Biology and Medicine.
Anonymous: (at the editor's recommendation)
People will never cease to amaze me, and with regards to cryonics, if that is their comfort then good luck to them. The idea seems very untidy to me, and the thought that anybody could be remotely interested in reviving millions upon millions of frozen people to put back into a world of millions upon millions of unfrozen people, is beyond even my imagination. I'm sorry, words fail me. Let's now drop the subject. I am leaving my body for transplants, hopefully via an "exit pill", hoping someone might be pleased and that I can be of some use to people in my death. I have left instructions that a funeral is unnecessary, and the hospital to dispose of the remainder after they have the bits they want..
(The writer is a regular reader interested in healthy living and who has been taking vitamins of various sorts far longer than I have!)
A similar letter appeared in Omni, April 1994. At the moment the cryonics movement is hardly leaving millions of frozen people for future science to deal with. But I regard the reason why people will be revived is the same reason that huge budgets are spent on public health care today. Certainly cryonics revivals make more sense than spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on giving an elderly person surgery to prolong their life a few more months with some prosthesis to replace whatever organ or limb was removed. People will not be revived if they cannot be made perfectly healthy - I would agree that it would be irrational to introduce them to society as a class of disabled people requiring constant care. Of course re-education of healthy people is another matter entirely. Even today we have adult education.
From Mr Peter James,
(Originally written to Comments from Cornwall, my column in The Immortalist. Sample copies of The Immortalist are sometimes available free of cost from Longevity Books, depending on availability. Subscriptions have to be ordered from the Immortalist Society, though.)
I always read your column in The Immortalist with interest, and noticed your remark in the April 1994 issue about my novel Host being far too negative, and felt I ought to write to you and at least present the case for my defence!
I did a great deal of research for the novel, visited Alcor in the US and met a number of their members both in Los Angeles and UK members here in England. I would have liked to talk to Cryonics Institute and Trans Time members also, but felt that I had sufficient information. I will admit that when I started my research, I was very sceptical about the subject and the nature of the people I would find involved. However, my opinion changed very rapidly, and by the completion of my research, I became convinced that cryonics could work, and depending on developments in medicine and technology, may become a method of achieving extended life and possibly permanent life. During the course of my research I talked to a number of sceptics, including David Pegg, and discovered that off the record, many were far less sceptical than might be imagined.
I also became very impressed with a number of the people actively involved in the field of cryonics, and I have said publicly on a number of television programmes, on many radio programs, in lectures and in numerous newspaper interviews I have given since publication in the UK last October that I believe the people in the forefront of cryonics research are bright, rational people who will ultimately succeed, and that I personally believe that the human race will in the foreseeable future defeat death.
Now during the course of both my initial research for the novel and my interviews following its publications I encountered a massive amount of negativity towards both cryonics and the concept of immortality by any means - and I think part of the problem is that for most people to take the concept on board requires a massive shift of philosophy and a re-thinking of all that people have been taught and have inherited instinctively. It is a very big problem in deed. And it is evidenced in the very low figures of signed up membership for cryonics, and they, I think, depressingly low, in spite of some small signs of an upward trend.
In all my novels I deal with the unknown; I write scary stories about the supernatural, about medicine and about technology. I see my role not just as an entertainer, but hopefully someone who through tackling taboo or uncomfortable issues, provokes discussion and thought, and the publicity I tend to get, which on the whole is serious and very favourable, backs this up - I have already done 60 interviews on Host to date with much more to come when it is published in paperback here in the UK this October, in the States next spring and world-wide in 22 languages over the next 18 months. In all of these interviews I have made the point very clearly that I believe in cryonics, and the evidence is very strong that it will work in the future, and that people currently in suspension may well be recovered one day, sooner than we think.
Now to deal with the story itself: Sure it is a horror novel with science fiction overtones. I set out to try to write a 1990's Frankenstein: When Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein it was at a time when electricity had been invented, progress was being made with surgery and there was a real fear among people that it might be possible to build a human being. Frankenstein has endured today as a classic tale, and a cautionary tale about meddling with science, but I don't think it did any damage to the scientists, surgeons or doctors of the day: In fact I think it did a great deal of good, because it brought all kinds of debate out into the open.
Cryonics needs this kind of debate. It hasn't got it from Forever Young, nor from Sylvester Stallone, nor from Chiller (which ultimately failed to grip me) but people are beginning to be aware more now, because of exposure in the media of these movies and books, as well as mine, of the subject. I have had some terrific reviews on Host - the Daily Telegraph reviewer described it as the best science fiction novel he could remember reading, Time Out gave it a rave, and I had a very long and interested review on the Internet, among many others.
And I don't in all fairness, think you can really say that Host is negative towards cryonics: During the novel a young woman, suspended for nearly 20 years is recovered. She is frozen by vitrification, which is the process David Pegg believes could ultimately be used on entire human bodies, and I have tried to be as technically accurate as possible. This woman becomes fully conscious and sentient again - and yes, sure, there is a big problem, which is that she had a history of mental illness no one was aware of, which resurfaces - but I don't think any reader can blame cryonics for that!* If anything, it further underpins the fact that cryonics could indeed recover a human being intact with their memory. The novel concludes, unequivocally, that immortality, either through cryonics or through downloading a human brain into a computer, are very real possibilities. I don't think that's negative.
Apologies for the length of this tome, but I want all cryonicists to know they have a friend in me, not an enemy and I shall bat hard for you all.
I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading Host, but I was perturbed as to the effect it may have on someone who was new to cryonics. I can just imagine being told that "Well there you are, you see, look at the sort of things that would happen if you start to interfere with God's great plan for you." (and I say " - to wither and suffer and die - great indeed!")
* Put the word "intelligent" before reader and I'd agree. Unfortunately many people would miss this point.
From Mr Brian Haines
Thank you for the little booklet DMSO etc. I have been hanging fire on replying because I wanted to check up on what the medical library had to say on the subject.
I went down to the Welcome Institute and did a search yesterday and came up with the Pharmacopoeia (try that one on people who think they are good at spelling!). Most of the other books only give a passing reference. But what is perhaps interesting is that the little booklet is a distillation of the reference to the chemical in the Pharmacopoeia, there is quite a lot about it including all the work that has been done and all the articles that have been written.
It is unfortunate that some of these little booklets give the impression that no-one except the author realise the potential of some chemical when in fact a lot of work has been done and the promise has not been realised. I was initially very impressed with what the author had to say. Now I am not so sure.
I am the first to accept any new wisdom about alternatives to orthodox medical practise, and sometimes some little discovery has been overlooked. But I do wish some of the authors would do proper research before making claims about what something can do, otherwise it means some people might blunder in and do themselves active harm when real research has already shown what the problems are.
A Touch of DIY Medicine
Brian W. Haines
There is a chemical called Dimethyl Sulfoxide, DMSO for short. It has the property of penetrating the skin and carrying with it almost any other chemical that is combined with it.
Immediately you have the vision of a wide range of uses. For instance the idea of substituting the hypodermic needle with this chemical. It is called a carrier as well as a penetrant.
The real problem arises with the possible side effects. Suppose for instance you are allergic to Sulphur drugs. This stuff gets right down into the blood stream. And then there is the question of dosage. When you consider what is claimed for the effects of Homoeopathic preparations and the minimal dose, great dollops of this chemical could have all sorts of odd effects. And there is the further chance that there could be some reaction between the chemical and the agent being carried.
It is all very well looking at reactions between chemicals outside the body, but there is no certainty some sort of reaction will not take place inside the body. Most people know of the effects of catalysts, these are substances that have no direct reaction, yet they cause changes on other substances. Who knows what catalytic properties the body itself may have upon a mixture being introduced into it*
In fact since the discovery of DMSO many scientists have tried out a number of experiments and the chemical is well documented. There do seem to be some beneficial effects in the reduction of swellings and yet a nagging suspicion remains that all is not well. The results have been variable. Of course much the same can be said for many drugs, some people suffer the most adverse side effects. On the other hand consistency is a requirement so that a reasonable number are predictably cured. This does not seem to happen.
Upon reading of this chemical I was impressed at first, but I was wary. The general description of one side effect was a continuing taste of Garlic in the mouth, and a smell from the breath. This gave me an idea.
First of all I did not want to use the chemical itself as there are warnings of what can happen if it is not absolutely pure. Any contamination is carried into the body, and if you are sick the last thing you want is more trouble. In any event I had not access to a supply of DMSO.
Now my particular disability was a bursitis on the elbow. This is a swelling composed of fluid and passes under the name of Miners elbow. When it occurs on the knee it is called Housemaids Knee. I get that as well, although I am not, and never have been a Housemaid. Neither am I a Miner for that matter.
I reasoned that if the use of DMSO gave a Garlic smell to the breath, then was it not possible that Garlic itself could be used instead to try to reduce a swelling. Garlic has been used for gene rations as an antiseptic and is not known to have any great adverse side effects unless it is used in very large quantities. Perhaps it is worth remembering that overdoing anything is harmful and garlic is no exception, there is a footnote that death can result from excessive use of the oil of Garlic.
My method was to crush a clove of garlic, mix it with water and then apply to the Bursitis. It may be coincidence, or it maybe a real effect, I can't tell. All I know is that the following morning the bursitis had considerably reduced and in a matter of days had almost disappeared.
Why did I mix the Garlic with water? Because the use of DMSO requires a dilution of water, too strong and it blisters the skin. Garlic also reddens the skin, so caution is advised.
My next problem is rather more difficult. I have just developed a mild hernia. A common problem peculiar to men. I tried the Garlic and it had some effect but by no means successful. My books tell me a herb called Mouse-ear, or Hawkweed can do the trick. The Doctor is against an operation, largely I think because he knows I am against surgical intervention. I would be very interested in anyone who has a treatment for this in the alternative field.
But meanwhile, read up DMSO and you may find some other ideas that will be effective substitutes. In fact when you think about it this is what the aroma therapists claim for many of their oils. I pin my faith on good old fashioned Lavender.
The books say water is a good carrier and penetrant, something that has also gone out of fashion. The Hydrotherapists are due for a come-back.
by Brian W. Haines
The concept of immortality is incompatible with a belief in God. Of course the opposing point of view is that if God is immortal and man is part of God then both are one and the same. Thinking in these terms rapidly becomes fatiguing for the arguments become circular. Yet even in this there some redemption for we can see all life as a whole of perceived existence within an enclosed circular system which has no need of external forces to maintain it.
The human intellect is unable to let it stand at that, and goes on to ask what lies outside the circle.
In recent articles these thoughts passed across my mind when reading of allusions to God as a supreme being, and of extra terrestrial organisms being the origin of life on Earth.
Throughout the generations philosophers have asked the obvious question of who created the creator and naturally others have asked who created the extra terrestrials. To these questions there have not been, nor are there, any answers. It is like the reflection in a mirror from another mirror, it goes on to infinity. The concept of a God is no more than a convenient mechanism to comfort those who are unable to accept the black hole of non existence.
There is of course an alternative, that is to live forever. This has the effect of investing the individual with God like qualities. There is no longer any reason to fear the blank uncertainty of death; whether it is a finality or a beginning ceases to be of consequence. Except for those who are about to die, few of us have a real expectation of an immediate demise so that the contemplation of extended living however impracticable becomes a realisable dream.
There is within the animal psyche an implicit faith that somewhere over the rainbow things will be better. Cows will always push to the last extend of the wire to get at grass outside the barrier even as they stand upon the lushest of meadows. Beyond the horizon is a better land waiting attainment and there planted in a field will be the goal of existence. How much we need those extra vital years to take the last few steps.
If we do not believe this, then what is the use of an extended life? Why live for ever if there is nothing but purposeless existence to dog our days? The eternal round of get up, do some work, eat, go to bed and get up again must in the end become dull unless the cycle is broken with a point of departure into some understanding of an aim to break the weary monotony.
The paradox of life is the dreadful emptiness of realised ambition. The wide vistas of empty space at the top of the ladder. Nothing can be more desolate than the next step into a world of final achievement. The barrier between the cow and the further mouthful is a very necessary truth for the protection of the species.
To break free of the bonds of the eternal quest for the grail, to gambol free in the pure sunlight of unrestricted understanding, to walk at will amongst the delights of total satisfaction would indeed destroy the spirit with an indigestible excess of wonder and content.
So we are left, leaving the table with just a little space for more. To enjoy what life we have whether it is short or for ever, everyday must contain that tiny element of discontent to send us searching on for that ideal, so undefined as to be a shadow dancing in the dark drawing us ever onward.
And that is the answer to the philosopher who demands why we do what we do. We do not know, we do it because it is there to be done, and life sprang from that desire.
Notes on Caffeine, Chelation and Melatonin
by Douglas Skrecky
For years tobacco companies successfully evaded health concerns about their product. Young people were lured into nicotine addiction by low cigarette prices as well as by images of tough cowboys such as the Malboro man proving their virility by smoking. Well, the Malboro man is dead of lung cancer now and cigarettes are heavily taxed to help pay for the increased medical bills their usage eventually entails.
The age of acceptance of nicotine is past, but there is another drug even more dangerous which still commands respect. Like many drugs it increases brain neurotransmitters such as dopamine.1 It also induces withdrawal symptoms to ensure that the innocents remain addicted. Typical symptoms include headache, fatigue and occasionally increased anxiety, impaired psychomotor performance, nausea, vomiting and craving. These commence after 12-24 hours of abstinence, peak at 20-48 hours and end after a week.2 This drug has been known to induce panic attacks in susceptible individuals and its use is usually reduced but unfortunately not eliminated in depressed patients.3 It is the most common drug addiction in existence as roughly 10% of the entire North American population has been estimated to suffer significant adverse effects due to its abuse.2
What is the name of this harmful drug? It is CAFFEINE. Increased anxiety and depressed mood has been associated with chronic intake of less than 1 cup of caffeinated coffee per day and larger dosages result in a progressive worsening of indices of mental health. Average grades of students are highly inversely correlated with caffeine intake. In one survey the grade point average for caffeine abstainers was 2.38, 0.6 cups/day reduced it to 2.28, 2.5 cups averaged 2.14, while 8 cups came in at the bottom with 1.83.4
Contrary to the clean bill of health accorded caffeine by some addicted scientists this drug is far from being innocuous. It is probably the single greatest cause of unnecessary human suffering in the western hemisphere.
A CHALLENGE: Switch to decaffeinated coffee for a month and feel the difference...
1 Behavioral Effects of Intrastriatal Caffeine Mediated by Adenosinergic Modulation of Dopamine 97-103 Vol.39 1991 Pharmacology Biochemistry & Behaviour
2 Caffeine Dependence: A Review of Human and Laboratory Animal Studies 437-451 Vol.94 1988 Psyopharmacology
3 Anxiogenic Effects of Caffeine on Panic and Depressed Patients 632-635 Vol.145 1988 American Journal of Psychiatry
4 Ad Lib Caffeine Consumption, Symptoms of Caffeinism and Academic Performance 512-514 Vol.138 No.4 1981 American Journal of Psychiatry
For years calcium chelation with EDTA injections has been used by "holistic" doctors to treat cardiovascular disease. This has met with objections from the medical establishment which has argued that there exists no evidence that this therapy is effective. In a conversation I had with one doctor who practices chelation therapy he mentioned that the rationale for its use has always been that his patients feel better. However some objective tests of the effectiveness of EDTA therapy have been completed and this controversy has now been resolved.
Unfortunately it has now been proved that it doesn't work. Examinations of EDTA patients reveal no benefit.1 In a further test rabbits given EDTA show increased atherosclerosis.2 It is strongly recommended that all doctors practising chelation therapy cease this activity or they may face possible legal action.
The only remaining question which needs an answer is to explain why patients report feeling better after chelation. This was, after all the reason EDTA therapy became popular in the first place. The effect is so robust that it does not appear to be entirely a placebo effect. This can be accounted for by the ability of excess vanadium in the brain to induce mood disturbances. EDTA is an effective vanadium chelator and the use of EDTA (and vitamin C) has been found to improve mood.3 Thus the sad saga of chelation therapy arose from a confusion of mood enhancement with amelioration of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately feeling better is not the same as being better.
1 Arteriographic Findings in EDTA Chelation Therapy on Peripheral Arteriosclerosis 122-125 Vol.162 1991 American Journal of Surgery
2 EDTA Reduces Liver Cholesterol Content in Cholesterol-fed Rabbits 181-188 Vol.96 1992 Atherosclerosis
3 The Therapeutic Effect of Ascorbic Acid and EDTA in Manic-depressive Psychosis: Double-blind Comparisons With Standard Treatments 533-539 Vol.14 1984 Psychological Medicine
(Reprinted from the Winter 1994 issue of Canadian Cryonics News)
Recently a new supplement with purported life extension benefits has been made available to the public. This supplement is a hormone called melatonin, which is normally secreted by the pineal gland during sleep. The pineal gland slowly calcifies during adulthood and melatonin levels progressively decline starting around 30 years of age in men and somewhat latter for women. Could maintaining youthful levels of melatonin with supplements prolong youth? Would maintaining higher levels be more beneficial?. Is there are real evidence that melatonin can extend lifespan is any animal species? Here are the facts: Pineal grafts implanted in 16 month old C57BL/6 mice extend maximum survival from 24 months in controls to 31 months for the implanted mice. Pineal grafts in 22 month old BALB/cj mice extend maximum survival from 26 months to 31 months. Pineal grafts in 19 month old hybrid mice extend survival from 25 to 33 months. Melatonin supplements given to autoimmune disease prone NZB mice starting at 6 months of age had no effect on mortality until 16 months of age, when mortality rates abruptly diverged. Maximum survival of control NZB mice was 19 months, for mice given melatonin at night it was 23 months, while curiously mice given melatonin during the day time when the pineal gland is known to be inactive lived only to 20 months. Night melatonin given to 18 month old C3H/He mice extended their survival, but when given to 12 month old C3H/He mice it proved to be toxic and survival was reduced slightly from 30 months to 28 months. Night melatonin given to 19 month old C57BL/6 mice increased their survival from 27 to 33 months.1
If the results with mice can be extended to humans modest (3 milligram/day) melatonin supplements should be taken only in the evening and should be considered mostly by those over 55 years of age. The goal should be to maintain youthful levels of melatonin at night, but not to exceed this. Shiftwork can suppress melatonin secretion so young adults doing shiftwork might benefit from the occasional supplement.2 Melatonin taken before sleep is known to help ameliorate jetlag.3
1 The Pineal Control of Ageing: The Effects of Melatonin and Pineal Grafting on the Survival of Older Mice 291-313 Vol.621 1991 Annal of the New York Academy of Sciences
2 The author has found melatonin to be quite helpful in reducing the fatigue associated with shiftwork.
3 A Double-Blind Trial of Melatonin as a Treatment for Jet Lag in International Cabin Crew 526-530 Vol.33 1993 Biological Psychiatry
Longevity Report's reviews:
We are always interested to know how others see us, and these reviews appeared in New Hope International, edited by Gerald England. [20 Wenerth Avenue Gee Cross Hyde SK14 3N1].
I suppose in 1600 AD there'd have been considerable scepticism about the possibility of a person sitting in their electric light illuminated study pressing knobs with letters on them that appeared on a piece of vertical glass. Reading Longevity Report forces one to wonder what miracles really will be achieved by 2400 AD and what so-called advances since 1600 will have gone the way of the coal mines and branch railways. There's no doubt that people live longer if they stimulate neuropeptide activity by thinking. But I'm content with the idea that Eternity is NOW. On the other hand I'm pleased to have had my neuropeptides tickled by the quirky English of a fascinating article by Ivan Bozzonetti on Time & Money. (Colin Blundell)
#41. This issue reprints previous reviews so these words too may be destined for immortality. There seems strong parallels here with much American right-wing libertarianism but whereas for them the kingdom of unfettered self-expression is a survivalist mountaintop in the near-now. For these people it is clearly in a future far off. Articles range from the sweepingly theoretical to practicalities of ensuring wealth, when reawakened, by investment in sunrise industries now. The setting up of permanent trusts, moving money to offshore Terra Libras, and so on. Other topics include ESP via vitamin C, plant gene implantation in mammals and the use of astronomical techniques to take brain pictures. Yvan Bozzonetti hopes to move into aluminising in a low pressure chamber that can also be used for freeze drying. It sounds bizarre but my neighbour once converted a spin dryer into a cement mixer, so who am I to doubt? The church is challenged to come clean on its attitude to cryonics; time travel by lining up 50 neutron stars in a rotating cylinder is suggested. This magazine is a window into unconventional ways of thinking. (Steve Sneyd)
#42 Interesting articles on cryogenics; (sic) Optimum Lifespan, Dental Health A Brief History of Death &C. Well written intriguing articles but like academic papers for members of a club. (Eddie Harriman)
Me, a Grand-parent?
by Chrissie Loveday
I recently looked into the eyes of my first grandchild. We stared at each other for many minutes. The tiny, five day old gaze seemed to be hypnotic in its attraction for me. What was she seeing from those dark depths? Oh, I know all about the blurs of unfocussed sight and the fond imaginings of instant communication ... that isn't what I was meaning. Those eyes hold knowledge and un-tapped information. They hold the capacity to see things we know nothing about yet. They will see, and take for granted, things that to us are out of the ordinary but which will be common-place. We only have to think of the changes in our own times. It isn't many years since the thought of people actually having computers in their own homes, was so extraordinary as to be eccentric. And here am I typing away on a tiny machine, on my lap, in the garden!
Naturally my thoughts run forward to wondering how long I shall know this grandchild. If all the promises of longevity are fulfilled, I should see her well through further education, marriage and childbirth, if all that is still in existence. Failing my own proposed long life, cryonics might be the next best way of ensuring the trip into the future!
What is left to discover and develop? My grandparents would doubtless have considered that the world has already done quite enough to damage itself. I won't go through the boring lists of changes, or the many things that remain the same hard work! All I want for myself, is to retain the capacity for accepting change and innovation and for harnessing any new energies to make time stretch further. There are lots of things I would like to include ... some way of travelling instantly, a sort of Star Trek transporter, for one!
I began thinking about what I should like to leave behind me as a memory for this and any other grandchildren. I actually decided that it would be grossly unfair to burden anyone with lots of possessions, even if I had them! I hope that I shall have the chance to provide lots of shared experiences, memories that take up only brain-space. I shall never leave anything very dramatic in the way of artistic creation and the many photographs mean little to anyone else. When eventually, I am quite forgotten, at least I can be satisfied that I did what I wanted to do ... or as much as the dreaded TIME allows.
The eyes of my first grandchild will have changed the next time I see her. She will be seeing more of reality by then and those first few blurs will have hardened into a solid world. She is becoming her own person ... not some ego trip into immortality for me, or her parents.
Where did those years go, since I gazed into the dark depths of my son's eyes? How can this new baby be his child? I still feel the same as all those years ago. I can't possibly be this much older, but then age is irrelevant compared with immortality.
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