Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The DNA damage theory of aging

Damages are physical abnormalities in the DNA, such as single and double strand breaks, 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine residues and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon adducts.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Historically Speaking

The Seven Sisters:

1. Mount Holyoke College
2. Vassar College
3. Wellesley College
4. Smith College
5. Radcliffe College
6. Bryn Mawr College
7. Barnard College

The above are "historically women's colleges" [Vassar and Radcliffe are no longer segregated by sex]

I don't think the "Emily Dickenson" in "Animal House" actually exists.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States

There are 105 official "historically black" colleges and universities today (public and private combined.) Here are 7 fine ones:

Name: Year founded: Enrollment (white): Type

Stillman College 1876 1116 (13) Private

Alcorn State 1871 3443 (283) Public

Morehouse College 1867 2891 (4) Private (100% Male)

Spelman College 1881 2186 (1) Private

Howard University 1867 10623 (114) Private

Grambling State University 1901 5039 (197) Public

Morgan State University 1867 6891 (149) Public

Friday, October 21, 2011

And what of Charon?

Recent Ra Ras of Egypt can't help but remind one of Greek gods and gods-like, and how infrequently we concern ourselves with them. Even this blog, or a relative blog, left Prometheus bound and bitten, back a bit, with never even a baleful backwards blink.

But inquiring minds want to know. Max wants to know. For example what of Charon? Late-night on a Thursday night such as this, though not under the stars. How many more trips has he made across since you last thought of him? An old man by all accounts, working 24/7 one assumes, no union protection that I've heard of, wearing only an old cloak - a hoodie, probably, like cousin death, sans scythe.

Married? I wonder. Doubtful. Long hours and serious lack of mixers in the Underworld. Still, fer chrissakes, even Typhon had a wife, and he had a hundred dragon heads. Charon perhaps allows himself a moment to revel in the sweet misery of the irony and unfairness of it all. Still, it's a steady job.

Maybe a dim lantern hanging from a stick at the stern of the boat, but otherwise dank and dark. Not cold, I suppose, but still...

Only the sounds of tiller or pole in water. In-Ancheron as it were - and the incessant whining of the damned damned in the bow. Could they not just shut the hell up for once? He supposes not.

Pay is easy - just take the coins out of the mouths of passive passengers; all must pay or sit on the shore for 100 years. But where to spend? What to buy? Where to sup? Is there a Cafe Styx on the far shore? For employees only? Inquiring minds want to know.

Does Hermes bring him an occasional flask of Lethe Latte to help fade the unpleasant memories of that fat lady passenger yesterday? Last month? Last eon? One hopes. But deep inside one knows there is no Hermes or anyone else to remember old Charon. Maybe the infrequent odd blogger. Otherwise just endless lines of lost souls and no motor on the boat.

Inquiring minds want to know.

On top of all that endless rowing and remembering... does Charon also have to feed the dog?

Sunday, October 16, 2011


"We now return our souls to the creator, as we stand on the edge of eternal darkness. Let our chant fill the void in order that others may know. In the land of the night the ship of the sun is drawn by the grateful dead."

-- Egyptian Book of the Dead

Touch of Grey

Saturday, October 1, 2011


"I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close."

—Pablo Neruda (Cien sonetos de amor)