Tits And Pot

This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And it is a Big Deal. So big our local paper made its front page pink. Evidently no one is aware that cannabis can cure some (maybe all) breast cancer. From the US Government. Copious links omitted here are available at the link.

Antitumor Effects

One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors.[3] During this 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by gavage. A dose-related decrease in the incidence of hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was observed in the mice. Decreased incidences of benign tumors (polyps and adenomas) in other organs (mammary gland, uterus, pituitary, testis, and pancreas) were also noted in the rats. In another study, delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo .[4] In addition, other tumors have been shown to be sensitive to cannabinoid-induced growth inhibition.[5-8]

Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis invasion and metastasis.[9-12] Two reviews summarize the molecular mechanisms of action of cannabinoids as antitumor agents.[13,14] Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death. These compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in glioma cells in culture and induce regression of glioma tumors in mice and rats. Cannabinoids protect normal glial cells of astroglial and oligodendroglial lineages from apoptosis mediated by the CB1 receptor.[15]

The effects of delta-9-THC and a synthetic agonist of the CB2 receptor were investigated in HCC.[16] Both agents reduced the viability of HCC cells in vitro and demonstrated antitumor effects in HCC subcutaneous xenografts in nude mice. The investigations documented that the anti-HCC effects are mediated by way of the CB2 receptor. Similar to findings in glioma cells, the cannabinoids were shown to trigger cell death through stimulation of an endoplasmic reticulum stress pathway that activates autophagy and promotes apoptosis.


I sent the above excerpt to my local paper along with:

There is much more. And yet your paper like so many others in the country continues to ignore the subject. Prejudice kills. And then there is cannabis and Alzheimer’s. Cannabis and diabetes. Cannabis and so many diseases. Because we have more endocannabinoid receptors in the body than any other receptor type.

When this becomes general knowledge it will be an indictment of our whole “news” dissemination system. And you will deserve it.


Not Very Good Music In Extremely Poor Taste

In other news: Asking If ‘Big Gov’t Sucks’ Got This Girl Kicked Off Campus. Because you only have free speech rights in free speech zones. The rest of the country is zoned unfree.

And a real surprise here: A Heart Warming Police Story. Sort of. At least no one was shot. And no puppies were involved. Probably fortunately.

And of course the perennially popular …rich people versus French and German banks, Goldman Sachs, and the Chinese Communist pals of Henry Paulson.


Even The Left Is Stupid On The Matter

I’m reading (well skimming more like) a long article on the woes of being an Alzheimer’s care giver in National Journal. No where in the article is there anything about how cannabis can help.

Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows.

Findings from the experiments, using a cellular model of Alzheimer’s disease, were reported online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Researchers from the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute showed that extremely low doses of THC reduce the production of amyloid beta, found in a soluble form in most aging brains, and prevent abnormal accumulation of this protein — a process considered one of the pathological hallmarks evident early in the memory-robbing disease. These low concentrations of THC also selectively enhanced mitochondrial function, which is needed to help supply energy, transmit signals, and maintain a healthy brain.

THC? Isn’t that the stuff that gets you high? How can hat be good for you? Anyway my guess is that that kind of prejudice goes a long way.

Update: Well that post I linked on cannabis was from August of this year. How about Time Magazine – October 2012? In the very first paragraph:

…a new review suggests that drugs similar to marijuana’s active ingredients may hold promise for preventing— or even reversing— brain aging and possibly Alzheimer‘s and other degenerative brain diseases.

It is not like the information is new or hidden. It just doesn’t register.


Sexual McCarthyism

This is an outrage:

The case against a 20-year-old UC Berkeley student charged earlier this month with rape has been dismissed, authorities said Friday afternoon, and he has been found “factually innocent” of that allegation.

Eugene Quillin was scheduled to enter a plea in the case Friday morning.

But Teresa Drenick, Alameda County district attorney’s office spokeswoman, said Friday afternoon that the case against Quillin was instead dismissed.

Quillin’s attorney, Ted W. Cassman, said shortly before 4 p.m. via email that the case was dismissed for insufficient evidence, and that the judge ruled Quillin to be factually innocent.

For over a week now, I have been reading about this case on an almost daily basis. The kid was arrested, held with a huge bail, excoriated in the press, etc.

And now? Will there be any apologies?

Does it matter that his life has been nearly ruined?

A friend said he didn’t understand why there aren’t more consequences for these accusers, and I think this comment explains why:

There seems to be a very reactionary, radical feminist movement on college campuses across America. It is clearly big enough to influence government and policy decisions. Unfortunately this movement seeks to subvert one of the basic tenets of the American criminal justice system: the rights of the accused. As a result, this young man’s future at Cal is over. Hopefully he is able to recoup his losses through some sort of lawsuit, and start fresh at another school.

When hysteria prevails, the rights of the accused mean nothing.


Goodness me, Goodness me, Government Disease

Dave has already touched on it, but I just couldn’t resist. pResident Obama appoints a lawyer to head ebola response. Not a doctor or a nurse, not a public health specialist or a disease researcher. A lawyer. Normally when you want to solve a problem you bring on some one who has relevant training and experience. What is the relevance of a lawyer to a disease outbreak?

Now what does this tell me? Assuming it is a rational decision and not the product of a diseased mind: Obama does not want to solve or manage the problem. He wants it to get worse (on the ground) while providing spin coverage in Washington.

And just to get the conspiracists hopping I’ll throw in a link to Agenda 21/America 2050 – depopulation. Is any of that rational? Reasonable? Possible? Well appointing a lawyer to solve a disease problem kinda makes me wonder.

And then sending troops to areas with high infection rates makes me wonder. The purpose is what? Getting the troops infected? Because I have never seen in the military literature anything about deploying divisions against a virus.

I will add that I just got a State ID the other day and was informed that because I’m of a certain age it doesn’t expire until I do. I do not think government has my best interest at heart.



There’s been a lot of criticism of this choice, but if Klain can do for Ebola what he did for Solyndra, I’m sold.

I’ve personally been wondering if it might be a good idea to stock up on lysine, which has some data (and a lot of anecdote) supporting use as an antiviral. Hopefully more research will be done on supplements, it’s picked up lately but still a ways behind where it should be.



Sometimes life is a circus:

A cruise ship carrying more than 4,000 passengers was denied entry to Mexico — and forced to return to the United States — after officials discovered that a woman on board is a health-care worker who handled fluids from a man dying of Ebola.

The lab tech, who worked at the Dallas hospital where Thomas Eric Duncan died, set sail from Galveston, Texas, on Sunday aboard the 1,000-foot Carnival Magic.

The woman — who has shown no symptoms of the deadly virus — waited until Thursday to quarantine herself and her husband in their room, the cruise line said in a statement.

“The individual remains in voluntary isolation,” Carnival said.

The rest of the passengers were permitted to disembark in Belize on Thursday, but the country would not allow her to go through its port to get a flight back to the United States.

On Friday, they arrived in Cozumel, Mexico, where Mexican officials refused to allow the ship to dock. The crew decided to go back to Texas, where they will arrive on Sunday.

Hey maybe we’re all gonna die!

I think not.

If the disease and as virulent is as deadly as some think, then after all these years why aren’t there more cases?


Why only animals?

Here’s a San Francisco news item that may or may not amuse readers. Animal rights activists are now targeting restaurant patrons:

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – An animal rights group said they would continue to target restaurants after one of their members stormed into a San Francisco restaurant and gave a tearful speech urging diners not to eat meat.

Kelly Atlas of Direct Action Everywhere entered Bluestem Brasserie and spoke out on the plight of her chicken Snow, in a videotaped speech that has gone viral. As of late Monday night, the video had more than 573,000 views.

Atlas and others said they want equal rights for all animals, not just cats, dogs and other non-food species.

“All animals” would include mice, rats, insects, worms, coral, and jellyfish, although it might unfairly exclude microorganisms. I mean if there are to be equal “rights,” why stop with insects and worms?

Shouldn’t the same rights be enjoyed by the hepatitis, AIDS, and Ebola viruses?

This narrow approach strikes me as animalcentrism.


The Impossible Thruster


NASA confirms ‘impossible’ thruster actually works, could revolutionize space travel By Drew Prindle — August 1, 2014

You just bounce microwaves in a cavity. So far about 50 micro Newtons of constant force. Not a lot. Now put this sucker in a circular orbit and watch it go. A nuclear battery would do nicely for about 10 years of thrust. BTW the microwaves were at about 950 MHz. Not too hard to generate these days.

The drive people have a news page.

NASA link.


Don’t you laugh!

A bumper sticker I saw for sale the other day cracked me up:


Not very politically correct, is it? How dare anyone play games with the sacrosanct “O” that was a very slick icon of a very slick campaign?

Political satire which ridicules this administration is frowned upon in an unprecedented manner. When I was a kid, ridiculing LBJ was fair game, and so was ridiculing Nixon. Over the years, I watched Ford, Carter, Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Clinton, George W. Bush all subjected to endless, often vicious ridicule. But making fun of this president is treated very differently.

Even this (which I saw the other day) might be considered disrespectful:



An Obama sticker on a garbage can? Could that have been some sort of passive aggressive statement, or was it an innocent mistake?

Comrade Kaprugina wants to know!


What if rights were treated equally?

From a piece by Bob Barr:

Imagine if voter ID laws were as rigorous as gun regulations found in many of America’s major cities. In order to vote in such a scenario, citizens would be forced to take a day-long class (at a cost of $100 or more) about the basics of the U.S. government and electoral process. They then would be required to take a competency test (only available at inconvenient locations during normal working hours) on the current election’s issues. Finally, after paying a non-refundable processing fee of $100 to score the results, they would then be forced to wait months for the actual voter registration card — which could be rejected for any reason — to arrive in the mail. If a voter decided to seek the help of a tutor to help ensure his non-refundable processing fee was not wasted by a possibly failing grade, he would have to be prepared to shell out another $100.

Why not allow all voters to own guns?


A tl;dr Critique of Islam

At Samizdata. Which also suggests Why I Am Not A Muslim.

And just for the jokers among us. I did read it all.


Things in Life

This is good.


Parallel Evolution

Now more than just a convenient assumption for casting in old sci-fi movies:

In his fourth-floor lab at Harvard University, Michael Desai has created hundreds of identical worlds in order to watch evolution at work. Each of his meticulously controlled environments is home to a separate strain of baker’s yeast. Every 12 hours, Desai’s robot assistants pluck out the fastest-growing yeast in each world — selecting the fittest to live on — and discard the rest. Desai then monitors the strains as they evolve over the course of 500 generations. His experiment, which other scientists say is unprecedented in scale, seeks to gain insight into a question that has long bedeviled biologists: If we could start the world over again, would life evolve the same way?

Desai’s yeast cells call this belief into question. According to results published
in Science in June, all of Desai’s yeast varieties arrived at roughly the same evolutionary endpoint (as measured by their ability to grow under specific lab conditions) regardless of which precise genetic path each strain took. It’s as if 100 New York City taxis agreed to take separate highways in a race to the Pacific Ocean, and 50 hours later they all converged at the Santa Monica pier.

One of my favorite Vernor Vinge quotes goes “Evolution doesn’t select for intelligence, it heads blindly for local optima.” In addition to not favoring intelligence, local optima may also not be particularly varied, particularly in a lab setting.

But some things are basic to life. For instance, we know now that non-carbon-based life is very unlikely as proteins have a chemically freakish ability to store information, allowing a spontaneously arising protein string to program incredibly complex factories to replicate itself — and then build an entire multicellular organism to house, protect, and continue replication of that protein, again all by chance. There is almost certainly no other class of compounds in which this is possible; we see complexity in some things like boron compounds but nothing that works anything like DNA.

Eventually I suspect we’ll learn that the universe has some absurd finetuning that happens to produce this chemical ability in our “organic” elements, and that even then the spontaneous arrangement of amino acids in a sequence that creates multicellular life (and particularly intelligent life) is extremely rare, much less than one per visible (or causally connected if you like) universe. The power of the weak anthropic principle is only just beginning to become apparent.


Emotionally unsatisfying facts?

I just learned that the human AIDS virus is nearly a century old:

A genetic analysis of thousands of individual viruses has confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that HIV first emerged in Kinshasa, the capital of the Belgian Congo, in about 1920 from where it spread via the colonial railway network to other parts of central Africa.

Scientists believe the findings have finally nailed the origin of the Aids pandemic to a single source, a colonial-era city then called Leopoldville which had become the biggest urban centre in Central Africa and a bustling focus for trade, including a market in wild “bush meat” captured from the nearby forests.

The study, based on analysing the subtle genetic differences between various subtypes of HIV, found the human virus had evolved from a simian virus infecting chimps which were hunted for food by people who had probably carried HIV with them into Kinshasa.

Interesting that they have traced it that far back. I knew that it was found in old blood samples from Congolese patients dating back at least as far as the 1950s — a fact which made me become very irritated when intelligent people I knew would scream and howl over how AIDS was invented by the US military in government labs such as Ft. Detrick, Maryland.

But it’s pointless arguing with people who have found an emotionally satisfying theory…


Ah, nostalgia!

Looking at this video from 1970, it’s amazing how few people were there.


The Grateful Dead were at their best before they were well known. I feel very fortunate to have seen them when they were still playing in basketball courts. 


There’s a Ph.D. in this

A link sent to me by a friend served as a reminder that there is a culture war raging in this country.

Over a particular breed of dog called the “pit bull.”

Supporters of the breed are called “apologists” or “pit nutters.” Not quite the same rhetoric is directed against anti-pit-nutters like this crackpot, but that’s the nature of culture wars.

This “war” has all the elements. Lower classes create the problem. Middle classes worry that it might “spread” to their neighborhoods and kill their children. Upper class hipsters own the same dogs that are seen as causing the problem and howl in protest. Libertarians inveigh against government heavy-handedness while communitarians fret about “the children.” Liberals and conservatives tend to want government solutions for different (but often disturbingly compatible) reasons. And of course, gruesome images live on forever on the Internet.

Reminds me of gun control and the drug war.

As to my own view, it’s admittedly quite personal. Anyone who wants to kill my dog is my enemy.

(That’s how wars start, doh!)


Faster, Please

As they say.

Finally: lab on a chip, coming to Walgreens. A few dollars for lipid panel, a few dozen for fertility test, one-day turnaround. Wow. Hope we get one here soon.

P.S. Bill Ardolino still owes me some respiroctyes (seriously, why are we all living three minutes from brain death? it’s insanity)

UPDATE: Apparently I’m behind the curve on this one. But I have confirmed my email address and will be notified when the Singularity arrives locally.


“Workplace violence”

As Simon reminded me, the Oklahoma beheading is being spun by our media overlords as anything bit terrorism.

So forget about this headline:

Oklahoma Beheader Linked to Al Qaeda Leader Awlaki, Boston Bomber’s Mosque

And NEVER MIND this picture of the “disgruntled employee.”

Of course, it could be argued that Osama bin Laden was a disgruntled employee, but never mind that! We’re just supposed to accept the risks of being beheaded. Naturally we are also supposed to be disarmed, too. That way, a guy carrying nothing more than a knife can just have his way with our collective necks.


Stretch out your necks!

Be sure to make it as easy as possible for the beheaders, lest you be seen as guilty of discrimination.

(This country has gotten so lame it’s no wonder things like this are happening.)


Beheading In Oklahoma

I just found out about it from Ulsterman. The “gentleman” doing the carving was a recent convert to Islam. And of course the usual suspects have chimed in.

No evidence Oklahoma beheading linked to terrorism – MSNBC. Well of course it is not linked to terrorism. It is terrorism. What they mean I think is that there is no link to Islam. Other than the guy doing the chopping was a recent convert to the Religion of Peace™.

Just remember – that except for Syria and the Islamic State and Al Qaeda and a few other groups too numerous to mention, we are not at war with Islam. They are at war with us. And your chances of getting your head chopped off are small if you don’t frequent the Middle East. Or Oklahoma.