25 April 2006

Ancient Meals?

What did people eat centuries ago? –Long before money hungry multi-national corporations un-naturally speed-slaughtered speed-raised animals and flung nutrient-depleted fast-trash garbage wrapped in toxic-laced packaging at the hungry and the ignorant: What ingredients, foods, spices –meals were enjoyed by the well-fed? Once upon a time a Roman gourmand wrote a food manuscript. As long-time participant of Culinary Historians, this author recently received the following:

Help Save Marcus Apicius!

Most Culinary Historians know about the cookery manuscript attributed to Marcus Apicius, the first century Roman gourmand. Containing five hundred recipes, the manuscript was assembled and hand copied in the fourth century. In the ninth century, monks at the Fulda monastery in Germany recopied the recipes in a simple manuscript adorned by red letters. This ninth century manuscript has amazingly survived through twelve hundred years of wars and natural disasters and is believed to be the earliest copy of Apicius, the only recipe collection we have from the ancient Mediterranean.

During the Reformation, the manuscript was shipped to the Vatican Library, which also owned another, slightly later, set of Apicius’s recipes. The Vatican sold the Fulda manuscript to a private collector. The manuscript was sold at auction and eventually was given to the New York Academy of Medicine. The 1,200 year old manuscript is falling apart and needs to be rebound. The New York Academy of Medicine approached a professional manuscript restorer; the estimated cost of rebinding is $15,000.

The Culinary Trust, the philanthropic partner of the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) has taken on the task of raising the necessary funds to restore this manuscript and to promote the importance of preserving our culinary heritage. All funds collected will go directly to this restoration project. For more information about the Trust, go to: The Culinary Trust

I’d be delighted to answer any questions– please email me at asmith1946@aol.com

Andrew F. Smith
Vice Chair/Chair elect
The Culinary Trust

Remedy: Should you be wanting to do something positive, make this part of your legacy for future generations, you can participate in restoring the manuscript with donation –any amount, even $10. is ten dollars more than they have now, to save an ancient part of our history. The Great Fire in Rome destroyed nearly all the books written up to that time. What a splendid treasure has survived, can be restored. If you know an individual or an organization who would like to donate to help restore this ancient manuscript: please forward.

Tags: ancient Food, ancient meals, ancient manuscript, Roman ancient recipes, printed matter restoration, Culinary Historians

21 April 2006

Oily “Decider” Decided: Was It Good For You?

Remedy: The Rummy should go –stay? Republicans –care about the quality of your life, your health, your job –about what's good for the country, the Treasury, the “war,” the environment so much that when came to the hard decisions on The Rummy they? –Got outta town. Gosh those rascals are good for a chuckle, But they left it all up to their fearless leader: The “Decider.” “Decider” decided remedy –to ask oily pals, who fish for oil off Katrina-destroyed coast –to donate funds to restore? –Demanded they build homes for employees and their families? –To make sacrifices –for his made-up war? The “Decider” decided: to blame YOU –for being an oil addict.

The Rummy should be booted or keep on bungling? –Irrelevant. The “Decider” decided: if The Rummy was
ordered to get the hell out, the “Decider” would have to Actually accept responsibility –for his own incompetence. But Oily corporations’ contribution –to “war” –to coastline restoration –to pollution reduction? —So: Their patriotic contribution?

In every other real war this country has engaged in: Americans, big and small, individual and business, wealthy and working class, were asked to sacrifice. So: oily corporations’ contribution? WHERE is oily corporations’ sacrifice? Nada. Squat. Zip. Why?

In case you don’t already know and haven’t read it in this website’s pages: The “Decider” decided to invade the two countries which form perfect path –to the Caspian Sea –for ships to load oil –using “terrorism” as his excuse. So the “Decider” decided: to lob the nation’s Guard into Iraq –to get rid of a dictator –who stood in their way. NOTHING whatsoever to do with “terrorism.”

Oily corporations donated to “Decider” –first and second election campaign. Pay-off? They get to hide behind all of it. Their ‘contribution’? They get to dig deep –into your pocket –into your business profit –into your plans for the future –your livelihood –your vacation –your grocery money. They claim: ‘switching to “summer” fuel’ –costly transport of corn additive –‘not enough refineries’ –are driving up the price.

HOW did corn get to be additive to gas? Remember good ol’ Democrat Dashle –and slurping Republicans who “demanded” corn was necessary in gasoline? Oily lobbyists went after Senate, House members and got them to write a Bill. The ‘invoice’ –corn as additive—was supposed to help Daschle’s state, for which he expected them to be so grateful they would re-elect him. Instead: Republicans got the Bill to help their oily pals –and then went after Daschle’s seat and got that too. Americans got stuck with the tab, for both. It costs TONS to transport ‘refined’ corn –by truck, ethanol can’t be shipped by railroad car. Reduction of gas cost: Zip.

“Not enough refineries.” If you hear any oil-related mouth-piece say that sentence: KNOW oily corporations shut down over 100 refineries –to damp down the supply, squeeze up the price. Remember that –they voluntarily SHUT refineries –when they decided price was too low. –They couldn’t care any less about re-opening or building refineries –THAT would defeat goal.

Oily corporations' –goal? Drive UP the price, of course. How they do’n? According to their mouthpieces: things are ‘terrible’ –Iran “might” do something –and this and that, until: most believe the hype –that oil is in “short” supply. If –IF that is actually True: HOW do they have the Money to send Exxon’s chief geezer out the door –with $400 MILLION bucks? IF oil/gas was in tight supply: there would NOT be extra revenue generated, things would stay equal, including the amount of PROFIT. NO EXTRA. Hence: crowning the Chief Executive Oinker with $400 MILLION –their way of saying ‘Thanks for the bloat –for getting us more bucks.’

“Decider” decided: to cause death –of Iraqi families, American families, Marines, soldiers; to reveal undercover agent’s name –for revenge for the agent’s spouse exposure of their lies; to ignore your need for medical insurance –to ignore any help for 99% of Americans.

The Rummy should –go –stay? The question –whole subject is irrelevant because, this author believes, the people, behind the scene, who run the “Decider” want everything that’s happening. “Decider” –even though he evaded doing actual military service the way everyone else was forced to, is a good little soldier. He is taking orders –delivering the ‘goods.’ Even if The Rummy was booted: would 2,500+ marines, soldiers, pilots be returned? –Over 50,000 would get back their legs –arms, eyes, hands? –Toddlers would get back their daddy? –Whole Iraqi families would be reunited? –Americans would get back the “disappeared” $9 Billion bucks –or the money Haliburton sucked out of the Treasury for un-washed laundry, un-hot food, aided by the President of Vice?

How much money is enough for those people? How much power? How many more "wars"?

The Remedy to destruction, theft, mendacity, death IS in your control. If a bunch of students and senior adults can get a king to reinstate democratic parliament (in Katmandu): can you do less –than demand your local Registrar of Voting get voting machines that can NOT be altered with easily-invaded software? Demand, like California: ink dot voting, with paper trail receipt. Can you do any less?

YOU Can contact the person who is Registrar of Voting in your county –region –state and Demand voting machines be changed; that no easily-altered software electronic voting machines be allowed. Don’t want to go it alone? Ask people you have lunch with, people at work; PTA –Little League/Soccer parents –Boys/Girls club parents –any, all to join you in contacting the Registrar of Voting. Make a simple flier with:
“CONTACT: Registrar of Voting Mr./Ms. X
telephone: 000-000-0000
web address: ______________
Electronic Voting machines: REMOVED –Long before November election.”

Don’t want to –get involved –ask others to get involved –contact Registrar? Then: you may as well contact real estate agent –in another country, because this country will belong / OWNED by corporations and YOU, your family, your neighbors will have fewer and fewer rights each year; declining health, quality of life. Is your legacy –to be cowardice? Are you here only to get your ‘share’? Your ‘share’ of zero: will be zero –without your voice, your energy, your intelligence –your involvement. You’ve seen what Republican-controlled government has gotten this country. Even the “religious” right-wingers are angry. There are more of us, in opposition, than those who run corporations –and the “Decider” pals. --Now only 36 (33?)% “approve” job those people have done. –Medical insurance –six years of job security, raises?

Today, Friday April 21, 2006: Gas on the Commodity market went to over $75. a barrel at the close. Supposedly each dollar equals $.24 –therefore

at $70. per barrel earlier in the week equates to:
Gas at $3.02 will go to $4.22 for one gallon. Wow.

Remember: de thug Delay, Republican, forced to give up his position in the House and then his seat, is under indictment and going to trial for criminal political activity. Remember: “Decider” has decided to ‘release’ Karl Rove –to work on November elections –if KKKarl doesn’t get indicted before then.

Remember: “Decider” HAS to borrow money EVERY DAY –to cover his messes.

Remember: they used $6 MILLION bucks to fly around –in First Class –on OUR money, tons of which was wasted on un-used un-returned tickets.

Remember: There are More of us who Oppose corporate take-over of America than there are supporters of pollution, corruption and spreaders of disease and global warming. YOU CAN make a difference. Vote with your wallet. Get on your feet and get your neighbors, your family, friends, co-workers involved.

Remedy: Make a Boycott flier
Then: Go door to door on your block –ask each neighbor not to buy gas from Mobil or Exxon; distribute to co-workers; make extra for them to hand out. Find Independent gas stations –only buy from them, until Mobil and Exxon are forced to reduce gas price, change disgusting ‘bonus’ given to their gougers of your wallet, your life.

Remedy: Call your union rep/office manager
Ask if your union/employer holds any stock in any oil company. If so: demand they divest –sell all such stock. Ask your co-workers, family, friends to make the same request. Unhappy shareholders will have even bigger effect on oil oinkers than negative news stories about the price of gas. Then: call your local newspaper and tell them you are calling for Mobil, Exxon boycott and for unions and employers to sell oil company stock.

click the link for more ways to make a difference:

Plant Solutions

Remedy: Boycott Mobil, Exxon
Remedy: Send this as e-mail to ten people, ask each to send to ten people (use link below)
Remedy: Demand SECURE safe voting machines –for our lives.
Remedy: link to this page, send out in every e-mail.
Get busy!

Thank you for supporting the sponsors of this website that make this website possible

Tags: gas price, oil price, boycott Mobil, boycott Exxon, Rumsfeld, incompetent Republicans, boycott, divest Mobil stock, divest Exxon stock, Afghanistan Iraq war invasion, theft, voting machines, election, November election

20 April 2006

White House: Changes?

Changes --in the White House? Those wiley coyote Republicans "running" government for us took a look at their "approval" ratings and decided to make changes? Oval Office Occupant "remedies" for deaths of nation's National Guard, entire families in Iraq --US treasury bleeding so much red ink this generation's great grandchildren will be cursing him, us as they walk to school, work struggling to pay it off. Changes? The "decider" decided --to blame the messenger, booting the press secretary and 'demoting' messenger Krafter KKKarl. Oval Office Occupant "decider" decided: the ship stinks so the deck chairs need rearranging --before the ship sinks.

Open Letter to Media: You deliver the news this "government" delivered $190 MILLION bucks to a contractor to build 16 clinics in Iraq, including one on top of a pond --because no employee of this "government" could be found to change the site or oversee the contractor or the money. Now the clinics sit without windows, floors, unfinished and contractor has 'moved on.' New clinics built in the US? Squat. You deliver news: wealthy whackos have Finally found way to get Bible into schools --via new labeling as "literature." Are they trying that tactic in Shaker Heights --Dearborn --Beverly Hills? Or only in poor districts where representatives don't give a damn about laws? Just what will it take to get you to report: emperor is Buck Nekkid?

That the "Architect" of "plan" to raid a country lets: its museums, offices, schools be looted; disbanded its military, police, civil service; gave $70 million, in cash, to officers to hand out to any 'neighbor' who ratted out a "terrorist" then transported those "terrorists" --on no evidence--to 'secret' prison, to be interrogated without any rights --so far for five years; 'engineered' torturing of others, some until death --for what purpose? Can Anyone, anywhere name even a Single thing this employee has done right --correctly --well? Yet reward for his incompetence, violation of laws, international treaties, human rights? --Yup, keeps his "job." Media: Is his medal being minted while we wait --for photos of the dead; phony death stats, funerals "Decider" won't attend, the other shoe to drop?

That the President of Vice "crafted" energy policy 'for the country' --using cronies. CEO of Exxon: while price of oil, gas soaring "because of shortage; switching to summer fuel; transport costs of corn additive; lack of refinery." IF even ONE of those were actually True: HOW do they wind up with enough cash to fork over $400 MILLION "bonus" bucks to a geezer as he walks out the door? Another CEO geezer who "helped" with energy "policy": on trial --for looting the company. He didn't do the looting? Where's the money? HOW did he wind up with Multi-millions in the months just prior to house-of-rats exposure? Other CEOs: whined about annoying laws, so miners died; nation's parks got opened for drilling, logging; more coal toxin got dumped in waterways --but no biggy, it only happens on 'rainy' days. But President of Vice was so busy making world safe for oil companies: he didn't notice; spy --working in his office three years; his chief of staff spilling his guts --and an undercover agent's name to newspapers.

While FEMA ordered, paid for trailers --that can't be wired for electricity, hooked up or used in wet land, Homeland "Security" employees arrested for child molestation and office pornography, Occupant hands out contracts to foreigners to 'guard' our ports, while his brother hands out our money to cruise ships connected to the same foreigners --all on no bid, no compete contracts, violating federal law. Consequences? Media: Just Exaaactly WHEN will any of you get a spine --demand Impeachment --Arrest --Resignation?

Was it good for you? CEO policy meeting --to get medical insurance for all Americans? --Bargaining with drug makers? Reasonable pay for doctors? Reimbursement for failing hospitals, ERs? More of America's best got wounded, maimed, dead; more watched their home blow away; more filed for bankruptcy; more got deeper in debt; more began living in trailers, cars, sidewalk tents. More people got confused which way pollution is blowing; more children got asthma; more tornados, hurricanes; melanoma.

"Decider" decided to: remain silent on demanding oil companies make contribution to war --and not raise prices --donate to clean up, restore areas where they pump. "Decider" decided to --look out for You? "Decider" decided to: rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. To: Become the worst Thing that ever happened to this country.

Remedy --for arrogance, indifference, no medical insurance, no drug bargaining? Your rep in the Senate and the House needs to hear from you --while they are still there. It's the last chance they have to do the RIGHT things to remedy these messes --before they are kicked to the curb in November. You can find your rep in the links on the left margin. YOU are the CEO of your life --don't just tolerate abuse --ACT. They can only get away with looting with your silence.

Tags: White House, press secretary, oil policy, Ken Lay, Exxon Mobile, oil drilling, pollution, cancer, hurricanes, homeless, disease, soaring gas price

18 April 2006

Impotence –Hair Loss –Barry Bonds?

Impotent –but the little blue pill handy remedy? Loosing hair –but goop in the tube slathered on daily? Hmmm…then what, exactly, is the problem with Barry Bonds?

‘Pious’ Senators, sports writers, authors, parents (–you?) –condemn him; demand professional baseball outlaw drugs. Here’s a question: why?

Right to criticize what an athlete does to be his best? If a professional athlete trains using ballet, pink bat, nude sunbathing, pockets stuffed full of four-leaf clovers, 48 hours of pre-game silence or muscle-enhancing drugs: what is it to you? How is that your /anybody’s business?

You didn’t do any whining when a foreigner with family ties to The most vile organization in history entered the country, and then body contests, very obviously with a body-enhancer, and used the results as stepping-stone to hitch himself to: one of the most famous US families, movie roles and political office. –All without education, experience, skills, knowledge or a peep outta media, Congress or you. He got his body that size –because he was ‘healthy’ and worked out? How does a ‘healthy’ 49-year old: wind up with emergency surgery for a heart attack? –Eight women on record about his grab & shove ‘technique’ on movie set locations –rumors all over Hollywood about what’s on video tape before he turned ‘actor.’ Duh. Uh, no problemo with reportedly foul-mouthed vulgar Babe Ruth, who stuffed food and booze in Depression-era sport –seeing how many women he could stuff into a hotel bed?

So what’s your beef with a contemporary athlete who has trained, has skill and single-minded purpose? Ooooh, you think he sets a ‘bad’ example for your kid? So: How many beers are you downing on the week-end? Cigarettes, cigars? Nightly bottle of wine? Your waistline –same as when you were in high school or reaching for pizza, ice cream, cookies, too much of everything so none of those clothes would fit? Let’s talk a little walk…down the hall…to your bathroom…crack open the medicine cabinet…what’s this –the ‘little purple pill’ for acid reflux “disease” –instead of eating less quantity and better quality? A bottle of headache remedy; one for wrinkles? The three main over-the-counter ‘sleep’ drugs earned $2 billion bucks last year –but you’re not one of the ‘contributors’ –those pills don’t do your sleeping for you? A drug for cholesterol –diabetes –AIDS –herpes –diarrhea –bad breath? Birth control? –Inhaler? –Allergy –sinus, sore throat –tooth ache? Any –drug, salve, pill, prescription beyond dental floss and tooth brush in that wall safe: Your “need” to cover for an erection –grey hair, pregnancy, flatulence, obesity, pain, wrinkles –justified? Tossing back toxins for vanity or ‘health’ but not for cure: Then you are being a hypocrite.

–But a professional athlete’s goal –for fame, money, personal satisfaction of attaining a record is not?

How about instead of getting another law on personal behavior: you recognize some responsibility and stop teaching your kid that your drugs are “okay” and stop sending hypocritical mixed messages. Go the natural route. Tell your child: ‘very fine’ the way they are; they don’t need to be anything other than who they are for you to love them –unconditionally. Then let them have the advantage of learning on their own –pull them out of Pewee /Little League –soccer –any adult-organized sport –No wearing a uniform; way NOT more fun than child-organized dodge-ball, basketball, softball –and let children have a childhood; play for pure pleasure and fun of playing –adults and pressure Out of the way–without ‘winning’ a damn thing.

The remedy for children: is having a childhood and seeing their parents be toxin-free –way not in getting Congress to stick their collective nose into Professional sports. Tiger Woods was maybe the oldest-looking 21-year old sports figure ever to appear on camera. Dump the toxins, let your child play without adult interference and leave Barry Bonds alone. Or: admit you are a hypocrite.

11 April 2006


by Abraham Flexner

"Is it not a curious fact that in a world steeped in irrational hatreds which threaten civilization itself, men and women—old and young—detach themselves wholly or partly from the angry current of daily life to devote themselves to the cultivation of beauty, to the extension of knowledge, to the cure of disease, to the amelioration of suffering, just as though fanatics were not simultaneously engaged in spreading pain, ugliness, and suffering? The world has always been a sorry and confused sort of place—yet poets and artists and scientists have ignored the factors that would, if attended to, paralyze them. From a practical point of view, intellectual and spiritual life is, on the surface, a useless form of activity, in which men indulge because they procure for themselves greater satisfactions than are otherwise obtainable. In this paper I shall concern myself with the question of the extent to which the pursuit of these useless satisfactions proves unexpectedly the source from which undreamed-of utility is derived…

…We may look at this question from two points of view: the scientific and the humanistic or spiritual. Let us take the scientific first. I recall a conversation which I had some years ago with Mr. George Eastman on the subject of use. Mr. Eastman, a wise and gentle farseeing man, gifted with taste in music and art, had been saying to me that he meant to devote his vast fortune to the promotion of education in useful subjects. I ventured to ask him whom he regarded as the most useful worker in science in the world. He replied instantaneously: “Marconi.” I surprised him by saying, “Whatever pleasure we derive from the radio or however wireless and the radio may have added to human life, Marconi’s share was practically negligible.”

I shall not forget his astonishment on this occasion. He asked me to explain. I replied to him somewhat as follows:

“Mr. Eastman, Marconi was inevitable. The real credit for everything that has been done in the field of wireless belongs, as far as such fundamental credit can be definitely assigned to anyone, to Professor Clerk Maxwell, who in 1865 carried out certain abstruse and remote calculations in the field of magnetism and electricity. Maxwell reproduced his abstract equations in a treatise published in 1873. At the next meeting of the British Association Professor H. J. S. Smith of Oxford declared that ‘no mathematician can turn over the pages of these volumes without realizing that they contain a theory which has already added largely to the methods and resources of pure mathematics.’ Other discoveries supplemented Maxwell’s theoretical work during the next fifteen years. Finally in 1887 and 1888 the scientific problem still remaining—the detection and demonstration of the electromagnetic waves which are the carriers of wireless signals—was solved by Heinrich Hertz, a worker in Helmholtz’s laboratory in Berlin. Neither Maxwell nor Hertz had any concern about the utility of their work; no such thought ever entered their minds. They had no practical objective. The inventor in the legal sense was of course Marconi, but what did Marconi invent? Merely the last technical detail, mainly the now obsolete receiving device called coherer, almost universally discarded.”

Hertz and Maxwell could invent nothing, but it was their useless theoretical work which was seized upon by a clever technician and which has created new means for communication, utility, and amusement by which men whose merits are relatively slight have obtained fame and earned millions. Who were the useful men? Not Marconi, but Clerk Maxwell and Heinrich Hertz. Hertz and Maxwell were geniuses without thought of use. Marconi was a clever inventor with no thought but use.

The mention of Hertz’s name recalled to Mr. Eastman the Hertzian waves, and I suggested that he might ask the physicists of the University of Rochester precisely what Hertz and Maxwell had done; but one thing I said he could be sure of, namely, that they had done their work without thought of use and that throughout the whole history of science most of the really great discoveries which had ultimately proved to be beneficial to mankind had been made by men and women who were driven not by the desire to be useful but merely the desire to satisfy their curiosity.
“Curiosity?” asked Mr. Eastman.
“Yes,” I replied, “curiosity, which may or may not eventuate in something useful, is probably the outstanding characteristic of modern thinking. It is not new. It goes back to Galileo, Bacon, and to Sir Isaac Newton, and it must be absolutely unhampered. Institutions of learning should be devoted to the cultivation of curiosity and the less they are deflected by considerations of immediacy of application, the more likely they are to contribute not only to human welfare but to the equally important satisfaction of intellectual interest which may indeed be said to have become the ruling passion of intellectual life in modern times.”


What is true of Heinrich Hertz working quietly and unnoticed in a corner of Helmholtz’s laboratory in the later years of the nineteenth century may be said of scientists and mathematicians the world over for several centuries past. We live in a world that would be helpless without electricity. Called upon to mention a discovery of the most immediate and far-reaching practical use we might well agree upon electricity. But who made the fundamental discoveries out of which the entire electrical development of more than one hundred years has come?

The answer is interesting. Michael Faraday’s father was a blacksmith; Michael himself was apprenticed to a bookbinder. In 1812, when he was already twenty-one years of age, a friend took him to the Royal Institution where he heard Sir Humphrey Davy deliver four lectures on chemical subjects. He kept notes and sent a copy of them to Davy. The very next year, 1813, he became an assistant in Davy’s laboratory, working on chemical problems. Two years later he accompanied Davy on a trip to the Continent. In 1825, when he was thirty-four years of age, he became Director of the Laboratory of the Royal Institution where he spent fifty-four years of his life.

Faraday’s interest soon shifted from chemistry to electricity and magnetism, to which he devoted the rest of his active life. Important but puzzling work in this field had been previously accomplished by Oersted, Amp²re, and Wollaston. Faraday cleared away the difficulties which they had left unsolved and by 1841 had succeeded in the task of induction of the electric current. Four years later a second and equally brilliant epoch in his career opened when he discovered the effect of magnetism on polarized light. His earlier discoveries have led to the infinite number of practical applications by means of which electricity has lightened the burdens and increased the opportunities of modern life. His later discoveries have thus far been less prolific of practical results. What difference did this make to Faraday? Not the least. At no period of his unmatched career was he interested in utility. He was absorbed in disentangling the riddles of the universe, at first chemical riddles, in later periods, physical riddles. As far as he cared, the question of utility was never raised. Any suspicion of utility would have restricted his restless curiosity. In the end, utility resulted, but it was never a criterion to which his ceaseless experimentation could be subjected…

…In the domain of higher mathematics almost innumerable instances can be cited. For example, the most abstruse mathematical work of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was the “Non-Euclidian Geometry.” Its inventor, Gauss, though recognized by his contemporaries as a distinguished mathematician, did not dare to publish his work on “Non-Euclidian Geometry” for a quarter of a century. As a matter of fact, the theory of relativity itself with all its infinite practical bearings would have been utterly impossible without the work which Gauss did at Gùttingen.

Again, what is known now as “group theory” was an abstract and inapplicable mathematical theory. It was developed by men who were curious and whose curiosity and puttering led them into strange paths; but “group theory” is today the basis of the quantum theory of spectroscopy, which is in daily use by people who have no idea as to how it came about.

The whole calculus of probability was discovered by mathematicians whose real interest was the rationalization of gambling. It has failed of the practical purpose at which they aimed, but it has furnished a scientific basis for all types of insurance, and vast stretches of nineteenth century physics are based upon it…


…I am not for a moment suggesting that everything that goes on in laboratories will ultimately turn to some unexpected practical use or that an ultimate practical use is its actual justification. Much more am I pleading for the abolition of the word “use,” and for the freeing of the human spirit. To be sure, we shall thus free some harmless cranks. To be sure, we shall thus waste some precious dollars. But what is infinitely more important is that we shall be striking the shackles off the human mind and setting it free for the adventures which in our own day have, on the one hand, taken Hale and Rutherford and Einstein and their peers millions upon millions of miles into the uttermost realms of space and, on the other, loosed the boundless energy imprisoned in the atom. What Rutherford and others like Bohr and Millikan have done out of sheer curiosity in the effort to understand the construction of the atom had released forces which may transform human life; but this ultimate and unforseen and unpredictable practical result is not offered as a justification for Rutherford or Einstein or Millikan or Bohr or any of their peers. Let them alone. No educational administrator can possibly direct the channels in which these or other men shall work. The waste, I admit again, looks prodigious. It is not really so. All the waste that could be summed up in developing the science of bacteriology is as nothing compared to the advantages which have accrued from the discoveries of Pasteur, Koch, Ehrlich, Theobald Smith, and scores of others—advantages that could never have accrued if the idea of possible use had permeated their minds. These great artists—for such are scientists and bacteriologists—disseminated the spirit which prevailed in laboratories in which they were simply following the line of their own natural curiosity.

I am not criticizing institutions like schools of engineering or law in which the usefulness motive necessarily predominates. Not infrequently the tables are turned, and practical difficulties encountered in industry or in laboratories stimulate theoretical inquiries which may or may not solve the problems by which they were suggested, but may also open up new vistas, useless at the moment, but pregnant with future achievements, practical and theoretical.

With the rapid accumulation of “useless” or theoretic knowledge a situation has been created in which it has become increasingly possible to attack practical problems in a scientific spirit. Not only inventors, but “pure” scientists have indulged in this sport. I have mentioned Marconi, an inventor, who, while a benefactor to the human race, as a matter of fact merely “picked other men’s brains.” Edison belongs to the same category. Pasteur was different. He was a great scientist; but he was not averse to attacking practical problems—such as the condition of French grapevines or the problems of beer-brewing—and not only solving the immediate difficulty, but also wresting from the practical problem some far-reaching theoretic conclusion, “useless” at the moment, but likely in some unforeseen manner to be “useful” later. Ehrlich, fundamentally speculative in his curiosity, turned fiercely upon the problem of syphilis and doggedly pursued it until a solution of immediate practical use—the discovery of salvarsan—was found. The discoveries of insulin by Banting for use in diabetes and of liver extract by Minot and Whipple for use in pernicious anemia belong in the same category: both were made by thoroughly scientific men, who realized that much “useless” knowledge had been piled up by men unconcerned with its practical bearings, but that the time was now ripe to raise practical questions in a scientific manner.

Thus it becomes obvious that one must be wary in attributing scientific discovery wholly to any one person. Almost every discovery has a long and precarious history. Someone finds a bit here, another a bit there. A third step succeeds later and thus onward till a genius pieces the bits together and makes the decisive contribution. Science, like the Mississippi, begins in a tiny rivulet in the distant forest. Gradually other streams swell its volume. And the roaring river that bursts the dikes is formed from countless sources…

…The considerations upon which I have touched emphasize—if emphasis were needed—the overwhelming importance of spiritual and intellectual freedom. I have spoken of experimental science; I have spoken of mathematics; but what I say is equally true of music and art and of every other expression of the untrammeled human spirit. The mere fact that they bring satisfaction to an individual soul bent upon its own purification and elevation is all the justification that they need. And in justifying these without any reference whatsoever, implied or actual, to usefulness we justify colleges, universities, and institutes of research. An institution which sets free successive generations of human souls is amply justified whether or not this graduate or that makes a so-called useful contribution to human knowledge. A poem, a symphony, a painting, a mathematical truth, a new scientific fact, all bear in themselves all the justification that universities, colleges, and institutes of research need or require…

…We make ourselves no promises, but we cherish the hope that the unobstructed pursuit of useless knowledge will prove to have consequences in the future as in the past. Not for a moment, however, do we defend the Institute on that ground. It exists as a paradise for scholars who, like poets and musicians, have won the right to do as they please and who accomplish most when enabled to do so."

You were given gifts, finite amount of time on the planet. Use them --well. Pursue your curiosity.

04 April 2006

Acid Reflux: "disease"?

What does that mean: “acid reflux”? Is “reflux” a “disease”? Do you have diagnosis of acid reflux? Do you take a prescription drug for acid reflux? If so: you are among –15 to 17 million Americans taking a prescription drug for it.

“Everybody Loves Raymond” TV show actress who played the irritating mother made the talk-show circuit several years ago to alert Americans that “acid reflux” was a real disease and that there happened to be a pill for it –a ‘little purple pill.’ So helpful…so necessary? Do people in Asia, Africa know about this?

Acid reflux –a disease on the rise? If you saw ABC NewsTonight last week, you would think so. The latest tool for acid reflux disease, according to ABC’s resident doc? A camera – swallow a camera that takes photos as it goes…cost? $450. –well we are the ‘throw-away’ country, what’s the big deal about actually swallowing and discarding 450 bucks worth of tool? We ‘lucky’ to live in a country where the ‘little purple pill’ is available? Well if you were employed by the drug house that makes the ‘little purple pill’ things have worked out well, and Yup –if you don’t mind being part of neurotic gang, getting fleeced, getting worthless diagnosis.

“Acid reflux”? “Acid” –the fluids in the stomach that break down food. “Reflux” –when stomach acid travels Up the digestive track. Is that a “disease”? Why does stomach acid travel up? Consider: it is a ‘gift’ –in the same way that pain is a gift if your finger is over an open flame. Your brain gets a message ‘hey –this is HOT –move it.’ Without the ‘gift’ –the feeling of pain, you could leave your finger until burnt to the bone. Acid coming out of the stomach is the same: it is ‘message’ –‘not enough acid.’ Talking a drug that stops the acid from rising –for such condition –a good thing? A dumb thing.

What causes acid to rise? Your stomach does not have enough fluid to breakdown the food consumed. Sending fluid UP –a natural reflex of your body. If you consume too many different foods, requiring too many different acids to breakdown = depletion. Consumed foods in wrong order = depletes acid. After many years of breaking down foods: your body does not produce as much acid as before. Consume too much food, all at once = depletion.

So prescription –to prevent acid from rising, from giving warning signal? Utterly worthless. If stomach acid is depleted? People in Asia, Africa: Do not know anything about ‘heartburn’ ‘acid reflux’ “disease.” They get on fine without pills –of any color.

Remedy 1. Add acid. Yup, if stomach acid depleted –add acid. –One to two Tbs. unfiltered apple cider vinegar –all at once.

Remedy 2. If your doctor has not told you any of this, but has written prescription: consider getting recommendations for another doctor. –One of three things is true:
a) Doctor doesn’t know how stomach works
b) Has listened to your request for a prescription –after you watched TV ads, and is only complying with your request –even though You know nothing about anatomy, diagnosis, consequences of putting a toxin in your body
c) Doctor has entered into oral or written contract with drug-maker for “acid reflux” made-up “disease” –to sell drugs for such “disease” and receives ‘compensation’ –cash, trips/travel, meals or gifts–for making drug-maker wealthy beyond imaging….
Find: another doctor.

How does this happen? How, Why is a drug house able to do this? Politics. Politicians created an agency, Food and Drug, which oversees what goes into the marketplace. Except that FDA relies on funding from those it regulates. Every drug submitted for approval arrives with data designed to show ‘wonderfulness’ and ‘necessity’ of the drug and with a check. Those checks are FDA’s primary source of funding. Those checks are major part of the reason drugs get approval. Then the drug-makers write more checks –to elected members of Congress as ‘support’ and ‘thank you’ for continuation of system in which everybody makes money and you get: diagnosis “acid reflux disease.” Pick up some unfiltered apple cider vinegar next trip to grocery store, eat less food, fewer different foods, and “cure” yourself of the “disease.”

Remedy 4. Remember: “Vioxx? FDA had evidence of heart problems caused by that drug, several years before yanked from the market –after several died of heart failure. Write to your representatives in Congress:
-Demand FDA be independently funded.
-Demand that if natural remedy exists that already can accomplish effect naturally, that no manufactured drug get approval.
You can find your reps' address on the left, under *Links*

That is remedy –for politics, policies, politicians enabling disease