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Monday, July 31, 2023


American astronaut Jim Irwin salutes the U.S. flag while on the Moon during NASA's Apollo 15 twelve day mission July 26-Aug. 6, 1971.  Moon lander "Falcon" in background next to NASA's first moon rover.  Photo: Astronaut David Scott.

Lunar Roving Vehicle first used on the Moon 

On this day in 1971, Apollo 15 astronauts James B. Irwin (riding shotgun) and driver David Scott first used the four-wheeled battery-powered Lunar Roving Vehicle to extensively explore the Moon's surface, in particular the Hadley-Apennine site. 

Decades later interviews with the crew's third member Al Worden reported the LRV often had two-wheel airborne during the drive, which maxed out at about 6 mph. Also, it was scary to learn today’s i-phone has way, way more computer power than the landing crew had on liftoff from the moon, said Worden.

Learn more about the lunar roving vehicle in Earl Swift’s new book Across the Airless Wilds: The Lunar Rover and the Triumph of the Final Moon Landings (Custom House, 2021). 

APOLLO 15 Flight Details CLICK HERE. 

FOUR WHEELS FOREVER. Apollo 15 astronaut Jim Irwin works at his lunar roving vehicle station during the first Apollo 15 moonwalk. It is remarkable to know those tire marks and foot prints still exist today on the moon. Also in view is 13,000 ft. Mt. Hadley 12 miles in the distance. Picture by David Scott, NASA. 

ONE OWNER. Built by General Motors and Boeing the LRV has very low mileage (17.5 miles) while traveling on the surface of the moon.  

SPEED RECORD. Astronaut David Scott seen here zipping by at the controls of the Apollo 15 LRV holds the four-wheel speed record on the moon, 6 mph. Because no photos were possible showing both astronauts riding NASA’s moon Jeep, shown below, is an image of David Scott (right) and Jim Irwin test driving the LRV along the Rio Grande River canyon area near Taos, New Mexico. 

TROUGHS. Hadley Rille is shown above Apollo 15’s LRV. The rille a deep lava channel created a very long time ago.  This Rille is viewed from Apollo 14 command module (photo below) and can be seen even with amateur telescopes from Earth.  

Sunday, July 30, 2023



The Maidservant, 1881.
Portrait by William Breakspeare (1855-1914).
 Image courtesy of the Astley Cheetham Art Collection.


The Mouse was published in “Under a Glass Bell”, a collection of short stories by Anais Nin, in 1944. Nin, who is known for her erotic texts and considered a groundbreaking writer, presents here the absolute opposite of erotica and the erotic woman. The Mouse is a fearful maid who lives with her mistress in a houseboat on the Sein. The nickname Mouse is given to her by her mistress for the endless fears that govern her and characterize her behavior – fear of being sacked, fear of the terms of her employment worsening, fear of the men roaming the river banks. But it is her fear that leads her, like an animal, to erotica, which she defines as “anything extraordinary”, and eventually also to her own demise. As a lower class unmarried female, erotica is a dangerous thing – if it’s not handled with caution it’s very difficult to cope with its outcomes. The mistress is the only person willing to listen to the Mouse and hear about the conundrum she has found herself in. She is the one willing to tell her story and lead a gallant rescue attempt. But in a masculine world, which vigorously refuses to let the hero survive, it seems that even the “rescuing” woman will not succeed in ridding the Mouse of her nickname and status; she will not mention her name even once, thereby denying her the figure of a living person truly worthy of saving. –By Yael Dean Ben Ivri. 


By Anais Nin (1903-1977). 

Published 1944. 

The mouse and I lived on a houseboat anchored near Notre Dame where the Seine curved endlessly like veins around the island heart of Paris. 

 The Mouse was a small woman with thin legs, big breasts, and frightened eyes. She moved furtively, taking care of the houseboat, sometimes silently, sometimes singing a little fragment of a song. Seven little notes from some folk song of Brittany, always followed by the clashes of pots and pans. 

She was always beginning the song and never ending it, as if it were stolen from the severity of the world and something frightened her, some fear of punishment or danger. Her room was the smallest cabin on the houseboat. The bed filled it, leaving only a corner for a little night table, and a hook for her everyday clothes, for her mouse-colored bedroom slippers, her mouse-colored sweater and skirt. Her Sunday clothes she kept under the bed in a box, wrapped with tissue paper. 

Her one new hat and a small piece of mouse fur were also kept in tissue paper. On the night table there was a photograph of her future husband, in a soldier’s uniform. Her greatest fear was of going to the fountain after dark. The houseboat was tied near the bridge and the fountain was under the bridge. It was there the hoboes washed themselves and slept at night. Or they sat in circles talking and smoking. 

During the day the Mouse fetched water in a pail, and the hoboes helped her to carry it in exchange for a piece of cheese, left-over wine, or a piece of soap. She laughed and talked with them. But as soon as night came she feared them. The Mouse emerged from her little cabin all dressed in her mouse costume, a mouse-colored sweater, skirt and apron. She wore soft gray bedroom slippers. She was always scurrying along as if she were threatened. If she was caught eating, she lowered her eyes and sought to cover the plate. If she was seen coming out of her cabin she immediately concealed what she was carrying as if she were thieving. No gentleness could cross the border of the Mouse’s fear, which was ingrained in the very skin of her thin legs. Her shoulders sloped as if too heavily burdened, every sound was an alarm to her ear. 

Anais Nin (1903-1977).

 I wanted to dispel her fear. 

I talked to her about her home, her family, the places where she had worked before. 

The Mouse answered me evasively as if she were being questioned by a detective. Before every act of friendliness, she was suspicious, and uneasy. When she broke a dish she lamented: “Madame will take it out of my salary.” When I assured her that I did not believe in doing this because it was an accident and an accident could happen equally to me, she was silent. 

 Then the Mouse received a letter which made her cry. I questioned her. She said: “My mother wants a loan of my savings. As I am saving to get married. I will lose interest on the money.” I offered to lend her the sum. The Mouse accepted but looked perplexed. 

 When she thought of herself alone on the houseboat, the Mouse was happy. She sang her little beginning of a song she never finished. Sometimes instead of mending stockings, she sewed for herself, for her marriage. 

 The first storm was caused by eggs. 

The Mouse was always given the same food as I ate, and not treated like a French servant. The Mouse was happy to have everything to eat, until one day when I ran short of money and I said to her: “Today just get some eggs and we’ll make an omelet.” 

The Mouse stood there, with a great fright in her eyes. She said nothing but she did not move. She was very pale, and then she began to cry. I put my hand on her shoulder and asked her what was the matter. 

 “Oh, Madame,” said the Mouse, “I knew it could not last. We had meat every day, and I was so happy, I thought at last I had found a good place. And now you are acting just like the others. Eggs. I can’t eat eggs.” “But if you don’t like eggs you can get something else. I don’t mind. I only mentioned eggs because I was short of money today.” “It isn’t that I don’t like them. I always liked them, at home, on the farm. We ate a lot of eggs. But when I first came to Paris the lady I worked for was so stingy—you can’t imagine what she was like. She kept all the closets under lock and key, she weighed the provisions, and she counted the pieces of sugar I ate. She always scolded me for eating too much. She made me buy meat for her every day, but for me it was always eggs, eggs for lunch, dinner, every day, until I got deathly sick. And today when you said… I thought it was beginning all over again.” 

 “You ought to know by now that I don’t want you to be unhappy here.” 

Anais Nin with author Henry Miller

 “I’m not unhappy, Madame. I’m very happy here, only I didn’t believe it. I thought all the time there must be a catch in it, or that you were only engaging me for a month and were intending to throw me out just before the summer vacation so that you would not have to pay my vacation, and I would be left stranded in Paris in the summer when there are no jobs to be had, or I thought you would send me off before Christmas so as not to have to give me a New Year’s present because all this happened to me before. I was in a house once where I could never go out; in the evenings I had to watch over the child, and on Sundays when they all went out I had to watch the house.” 

She stopped. That was all she said for many weeks. She never referred to the eggs again. She seemed a little less afraid, but she scurried and hustled just as much, and ate as if she were ashamed to be caught eating. 

And again I could not cross the frontier of the Mouse’s fear. Not even when I gave her half of my lottery ticket, not even when I gave her a frame for the photograph of her future husband, not even when I gave her writing paper the very day I caught her stealing mine. 

 Then one day I left the barge for a week, and the Mouse was left alone to guard it. 

When I returned I found it harder to catch the Mouse’s eyes, or to make her laugh. A woman who had been walking along the Quays with her lover lost her hat. It fell into the river. She knocked at our door and asked the Mouse if she could come onto the barge and try to catch it with a pole. It was floating around the other side. Everybody tried to reach it through the windows. The Mouse almost fell out carried down by the weight of the broom and the pull of the current. Everybody laughed, and the Mouse too. Then she got frightened hearing herself laugh, and she hurried away to her work. 

 A month passed. 

One day the Mouse was grinding coffee in the kitchen when I heard her groan. I found the Mouse very white, doubling up with pains in her stomach. I helped her to her cabin. The Mouse said it was indigestion. But the pains grew worse. She groaned for an hour, and finally asked me if I would get a doctor she knew about who lived very near. It was the doctor’s wife who received me. The doctor had taken care of the Mouse before, but not since she lived on a houseboat. That made it impossible for the doctor to go and see her because he was a “grand blessé de guerre” and on account of his wooden leg he could not be expected to walk across an unsteady gangplank into a dancing houseboat. 

That was impossible, the wife repeated. But I pleaded with her. I explained that the gangplank was steady, that it had a railing on one side, that the houseboat never moved unless another barge was passing by, that it was anchored near the stairway and easy to get into. 

The river was very calm that day, and no accident was to be feared. The doctor’s wife was half convinced and gave me a half promise that the doctor would come in an hour. We watched for him out of the window, and we saw him arrive limping at the gangplank and hesitating in front of it. I walked over it to show him how steady it was, and he limped across it slowly repeating: “I am a grand blessé de guerre. I can’t be taking care of people who live on houseboats.” 

But he did not fall into the river. He entered the little cabin. The Mouse was forced to make certain explanations. She was afraid she was pregnant. She had tried using something her sister had told her about, pure ammonia it was and now the pains were terrible. The doctor shook his head. The Mouse had to uncover herself. Strange to see the little Mouse with her thin legs raised. I asked her why she had not told me. “I was afraid Madame would throw me out.” 

 “On the contrary, I would have helped you.” 

 The Mouse groaned. The doctor said: “You risked a terrible infection. If it does not come out now you’ll have to go to the hospital.” 

 “Oh, no, I can’t do that, my sister will find out about it, and she’ll be furious with me, and she will tell my mother.” “Maybe it’ll come out all by itself but that is all I can do: I can’t be mixed up in things like this. In my profession I must be careful, for my own sake. Bring me water and a towel.” He washed his hands carefully, talking all the time about the fact that he could not come back, and that all he hoped was that she would not have an infection. 

The Mouse was hunched in the corner of her bed looking anxiously at the doctor who was washing his hands of all responsibility. The grand blessé de guerre did not look at the Mouse as if she were a human being. Everything about him said clearly: you are only a servant, just a little servant, and like all of them you get into trouble, and it’s your own fault. 

Now he said aloud: “All you servants make trouble for us doctors.” After washing his hands he limped down the gangplank with a definite good-by, and I returned to the cabin and sat on the Mouse’s bed. “You should have confided in me, I would have helped you. Lie quiet now, I’ll take care of you.” 

 “Don’t send me to the hospital, my mother will find out. It only happened because you went away, and during those nights alone I was terribly afraid. I was so afraid of the men under the bridge that I let my young man stay here, and that’s how it happened, because I was afraid.” 

 That’s how it happened to the Mouse, just in panic, she scurried into the trap, and was caught. That was the love the Mouse knew, this moment of fear, in the dark. “To tell you the truth, Madame, it isn’t worth it. I don’t see anything to it at all. To have all this trouble afterwards, to get caught like this, and what for? It isn’t anything extraordinary.” 

 “Lie quiet, I’ll come back later and see if you have a fever.” A few hours later the Mouse called me: “It happened, Madame, it happened!” But the Mouse had a fever and it was mounting. There was an infection, and no doctor would come to the houseboat. As soon as they heard what it was about they refused to come. Especially for a servant. That happened too often. They must learn, they said, not to get into trouble. 

 I promised the Mouse to talk to her sister and invent some reason for her going away if she would let me take her to the hospital. She agreed and I offered to pack her valise. At the mention of valise the Mouse grew very pale. She lay inert and looked more frightened than ever. But I took her valise from under the bed and laid it beside her. “Tell me where your clothes are. You will need soap, a toothbrush, a towel…” 

 “Madame…” The Mouse hesitated. She opened the small night table beside her. She handed out to me all the objects I had thought lost during the last month, my own soap, toothbrush, towel, one of my handkerchiefs, one of my powder puffs. So many things that I smiled. Out of the shelf came one of my chemises. I pretended not to notice. The Mouse’s cheeks were red with fever. She packed her little valise carefully. She packed writing paper for her young man, and her knitting. 

She asked me to look for a book she wanted included. It was a Child’s Reader. The Mouse had worn down the first ten pages, the stories of the lamb, the cow, the horse. She must have been reading the same pages for many years, they were so threadbare and gray like her bedroom slippers. 

I told the Mouse I would get her a new pair of slippers. The Mouse reached for her pocketbook which was hidden under the mattress. “My God, has nobody ever given you anything?” 

 “No, Madame.” 

 “If I were poor and sick in bed, wouldn’t you give me a pair of slippers if I needed them?” 

 This idea frightened the Mouse more than any other. It was impossible for her to imagine this reversal. “It isn’t the same thing,” said the Mouse.

 She was carried out of the houseboat. She looked very small. She insisted on wearing a hat, her Sunday hat taken out of its tomb of tissue paper, and the very small fur neckpiece the color of her mouse eyes. 

 At the hospital they refused to take her in. 

 Who was the doctor taking care of her? 


Was she married? No. Who performed the abortion? Herself. This they doubted. They advised us to try another hospital. The Mouse was losing blood. The fever was consuming her. I took her to another hospital where they sat her on a bench. The Mouse kept a firm grasp on her little valise. They plied her with questions. Where did she come from? Where was the first place she worked in? The Mouse answered meekly. And after that? She could not remember the address. This held up the questionnaire for ten minutes. And before that? The Mouse answered again. She kept one hand over her stomach. “This woman is losing blood,” I protested, “Are all these questions necessary?” Well, if she didn’t remember the third address, did she remember where she worked after that? And how long? The time was always two years. Why? asked the man at the desk. As if her not having stayed in the house longer were surprising, suspicious. As if she were the culprit. “You performed the abortion perhaps?” asked the man, turning to me. The woman bleeding there on the bench meant nothing to them. The little round moist eyes, the tiny worn piece of fur around her neck, the panic in her. The brand-new Sunday hat and the torn valise with a string for a handle. The oily pocketbook, and the soldier’s letters pressed between the leaves of a Child’s Reader. Even this pregnancy, accomplished in the dark, out of fear. A gesture of panic, that of a mouse falling into a trap. 

Saturday, July 29, 2023


Yes, on this day it was an early morning espresso in the shade to let the sunburn heal. But, the Barbarosa Restaurant on Paros, one of the Greek Islands is seldom this quiet but always delicious. For routy hour video CLICK HERE. 

Address: In Limanaki-Naousa, Old Naousa Port, Naousa 844 01 

Then, of course, there's the Ragoussis Bakery Bistro, below,

for excellent coffee drinks and huge selection of sweets.

Friday, July 28, 2023



Through November 5, 2023. 

Worker and Machine, 1928. Oil on panel, 30” x 31” From the collection of Sandra and Bram Dijkstra. Image courtesy of Mary Ryan Galley, New York 

rawn from the collection of San Diego collectors Sandra and Bram Dijkstra, this exhibition features a series of works created during the years between the American stock market crash of 1929 and World War II and offers an expansive view of work from often-overlooked artists with a diverse range of backgrounds, locales, and worldviews. 

During this era, which led to and included the government-sponsored WPA (Works Progress Administration) of the 1930s and 1940s, many American artists created scenes that represented the state of the country and sought to produce art that expressed fundamental human concerns and basic democratic principles. The scale of these state-run programs was unprecedented, and many artists produced works that explored the hardships of the era and the government's response. Given the relevance of these themes to the present day, this collection of artwork holds particular significance. 

Known as "people's art," these works were created with the intention of being accessible and meaningful to the general public. They feature imagery related to the period, including depictions of laborers, the poor, and the disenfranchised going about their activities in both urban and rural environments. This encompassing look at WPA-era art features 45 paintings from the East, Midwest, and West, with a strong representation of work by Californians, who have often been omitted from the narrative. Some paintings capture simple pleasures or quiet moments of the Great Depression era, while the majority convey the struggles and hardships of the time. 

Art for the People: WPA-Era Paintings from the Dijkstra Collection encourages viewers to see works from this time in a more expansive way and to celebrate artists from varied backgrounds and locales. The artwork offers a historical lens, celebrating the artists and their accomplishments. 

 This exhibition was previously shown at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento and will travel to The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden in San Marino after it closes at OMA. 

Oceanside Museum of Art Location: 

704 Pier View Way, Oceanside CA 



 Artwork pictured at the top of the page: Fletcher Martin (1904-1979),
Migrant Woman, 1938. Oil on canvas, 20.25" x 16". 

From the collection of Erle Loran (1905-1999), San Francisco Docks with Alcatraz, 1940. 

From the collection of Sandra and Bram Dijkstra. Belle Baranceanu (1902-1988), Model: Lee, 1931. 



Wednesday, July 26, 2023


The Pentagon was the world’s largest office building for more than 80 years. This new building in Surat, India is now bigger. 

For more than 80 years the Pentagon was the world’s largest office building. Now, a new mega office structure in India claims to be even more spacious, according to CNN’s Oscar Holland. 

The newly opened Surat Diamond Bourse will be a one stop center for more than 65,000 diamond industry professionals. Built on 35 acres, the project consists of nine rectangular buildings all 15 stories tall. 

The Bourse is connected via a central architectural spine that connects the 7.1 million square feet of floor space. CNN published photos of the complex last week. Images were taken by Edmund Sumner. CLICK HERE for more. 

The structure’s spine flares out at each end to funnel
breeze through the buildings. 

The building’s atriums were designed to encourage natural ventilation
through the nine (15-story) structures. 

 The building was created by Indian architecture firm Morphogenesis following an international design competition. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2023


Sterling Vineyards, Napa Valley, California

Tom Gable, this blog's favorite wine guru shares another one of his popular under-the-radar vintage discoveries.  Today, he takes us to a California Costco warehouse of all places for an on-sale ($30) Napa 2018 Sterling Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Platinium.  

Devil in the details: darkest purple (Port-like), viscous (14.9 alc.); ripe grape, prune, herbaceous, berries, mint and oak nose (19 months in oak); low-mid acids; medium-full tannins; long, deep, semi-hot chewy finish.  Has a 16.5 UC Davis scale. Outstanding with grilled steaks.  For more of Tom Gable's wine expertise and value discoveries: 


Monday, July 24, 2023


Soccer fans Joe and Jill Biden put this yard sign in front of their Washington DC home.  So far, Team USA in search of a third straight FIFA Womens World Cup trophy beat Vietnam on Friday 3-0 in Auckland, New Zealand. USA's Sophia Smith scored two goals with Lindsey Horan adding the other.  Next game will be Thursday in Auckland vs. The Netherlands.   CLICK HERE for team roster and individual photos.

Sunday, July 23, 2023


Ellis Island arrivals, 1903, are dressed in the best they had
as a show of respect to their new country.  
Teen wearing a tie and carrying family belongings
clutches the hand of his wary-eyed sister.

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! 
Give me your tired, your poor 
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, 
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. 
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, 
I lift my lamp beside the Golden door.”

 --"The New Colossus,” a poem by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor. 

 Migrants trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico approach the site where workers are assembling large buoys to be used as a border barrier along the banks of the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas, Tuesday, July 11, 2023. 
 --Associated Press photo by Eric Gay

Posted with every ounce of affection I possess to honor the memory of my family's migrant forebearers from Eastern Europe and Mexico.
Happy Birthday, Mom.

Saturday, July 22, 2023


The Taste of Imperial Ave. will take place on Friday, August 4th from 4 PM – 9 PM with it taking place from 19th street to 31st street along Imperial Ave. 

Participants of the taste event will have the opportunity to walk from restaurant to restaurant enjoying incredible tastings, as well as experience musicians, bands singers, and artist who will be bringing entertainment for attendees and community members to enjoy. 

The main event will be held at the Gilliam Space (2835 Imperial Ave, San Diego, CA, 92102) starting at 6:30 PM. This main event will consist of having a beer garden and a stage with music from local artists. Additionally, we will allow the space to have a few booths for small business owners to come out and promote their businesses. 

 Ticket Prices: 

--Food Tasting Ticket: $20 

--Food & Beer Tasting Ticket: $30 Tickets on day of Event: $35 

To purchase tickets use the following link: 

Friday, July 21, 2023


Ernest with his secretary (and future daughter-in-law), Valerie Hemingway, at his 60th birthday party in Spain. 

This gem of a memory from the Atlantic magazine’s first rate Literary Hub blog: 

 “…On July 21, 1959, Ernest Hemingway turned sixty. To mark the occasion, his wife Mary threw him a now-legendary party, at La Cónsula, the Málaga home of wealthy American expats Bill and Annie Davis. 

Mary spared no expense—she had champagne flown in from Paris and Chinese food (fifty pounds of sweet-and-sour turkey, to be precise) flown in from London, in addition to baked hams, seafood casseroles, and a three-tiered birthday cake stuck with ninety candles—sixty for Ernest, and thirty for Carmen Ordóñez, the wife of a famous bullfighter. 

 “Guests to the lavish feast reportedly included Lauren Bacall, David and Evangeline Bruce, the Maharajah of Cooch Behar, and the Maharajah of Jaipur, as well as all of the rest of Ernest’s nearest and dearest friends. 

 “It was an absolutely magnificent party,” recalled Valerie Hemingway, who was at the time a young journalist, and who later married (and even later divorced) Ernest’s son Gregory. 

“The setting was lovely, and there were some very silly things there," Valerie said, "For instance, they set up a rifle range, and in some cases there were caricatures of people Ernest didn't like and they were used as targets. Then there was a time when I think Antonio [Ordóñez, the aforementioned famous bullfighter] had a cigarette in his mouth—it got pretty wild—and they were trying to shoot the ash from the cigarette.” 

 There were also flamenco dancers, a live orchestra, and thirty minutes of fireworks—whose sparks accidentally set a nearby palm tree ablaze. The local fire brigade was summoned; according to legend, after the firefighters quenched the tree, they joined the party. Why not?...” 

Thursday, July 20, 2023


On this day in 1969, the Eagle lunar landing module, carrying U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin (“Buzz”) Aldrin, landed on the Moon, and several hours later Armstrong became the first person to set foot on its surface.  Photo: Neil Armstrong, NASA.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023




Kudos to the McT Real Estate Group for putting on a community-wide GARAGE SALE in North Park on Saturday, July 29 from 8 am onward. 

 If you register your yard by July 24 you will be put on promotion materials pointing out where your sale is located. Email and include your name, address and phone number. 

The McT team will promote the event to the community with both print and digital advertising. And, create a map of all participating homes. Plus, they will place directional signs the night before. 

 And it’s FREE. 

 Be sure to register by July 24 and place all sale items on your driveway by 8 am for maximum returns. 

Monday, July 17, 2023


 50,000 TIMES THIS LOST SOUL. A Russian soldier killed during combat against the Ukrainian Army lies on a cornfield in Sytnyaky, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine on March 27, 2022. More than 50,000 Russian soldiers have died in the war in Ukraine, according to a newly released statistical analysis. AP Photo by Rodrigo Abd.

If you’ve lived in Louisville KY or any nearby ‘burbs for any amount of time then there’s a good chance you know someone from Jeffersonville, Ind., a small town on the other side of the Ohio River. 

What Jeffersonville has to do with this post is simply its population is 50,000 men, women and children. 

That number 50,000 is how many Russian soldiers have died in battle since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, 2022. 

Two independent Russian media outlets, Mediazona and Meduza, working with a data scientist from Germany’s Tübingen University, used Russian government data to shed light on one of Moscow’s closest-held secrets — the true human cost of its invasion of Ukraine. 

One man started the Ukraine war. No one else. 

In comparison, 46,000 persons die in car crashes per year says United States Road Crash statistics. No one person is responsible for those deaths. 

 The U.S. Military reports 58,220 American troops died during the entirety of the VietNam war. No one person is responsible for that carnage. 

 The Battle of Gettysburg in 1863 caused 51,000 casualties on both sides combined. No one person started the Civil War. 

 But in Russia one man commanded the invasion of the Ukraine. One man is responsible for the obliteration of 50,000 of his own people. 

Sunday, July 16, 2023


While some people may be older in chronological age, their biological age might be much younger 

GUEST BLOG / By Ellen Quarles, Assistant Professor in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan via likely know someone who seems to age slowly, appearing years younger than their birth date suggests. And you likely have seen the opposite – someone whose body and mind seem much more ravaged by time than others. Why do some people seem to glide though their golden years and others physiologically struggle in midlife? 

I have worked in the field of aging for all of my scientific career, and I teach the cellular and molecular biology of aging at the University of Michigan. Aging research doesn’t tend to be about finding the one cure that fixes all that may ail you in old age. Instead, the last decade or two of work points to aging as a multi-factoral process – and no single intervention can stop it all. 

What is aging? 

There are many different definitions of aging, but scientists generally agree upon some common features: Aging is a time-dependent process that results in increased vulnerability to disease, injury and death. This process is both intrinsic, when your own body causes new problems, and extrinsic, when environmental insults damage your tissues. 

Your body is comprised of trillions of cells, and each one is not only responsible for one or more functions specific to the tissue it resides in but must also do all the work of keeping itself alive. This includes metabolizing nutrients, getting rid of waste, exchanging signals with other cells and adapting to stress. 

Our mission is to share knowledge and inform decisions. Aging results from a number of physiological factors. The trouble is that every single process and component in each of your cells can be interrupted or damaged. So your cells spend a lot of energy each day preventing, recognizing and fixing those problems. Aging can be thought of as a gradual loss of the ability to maintain homeostasis – a state of balance among body systems – either by not being able to prevent or recognize damage and poor function, or by not adequately or rapidly fixing problems as they occur. 

Aging results from a combination of these issues. 

Decades of research has shown that nearly every cellular process becomes more impaired with age. 

 Repairing DNA and recycling proteins 

Most research on cellular aging focuses on studying how DNA and proteins change with age. Scientists are also beginning to address the potential roles many other important biomolecules in the cell play in aging as well. 

 One of the cell’s chief jobs is to maintain its DNA – the instruction manual a cell’s machinery reads to produce specific proteins. DNA maintenance involves protecting against, and accurately repairing, damage to genetic material and the molecules binding to it. 

 Proteins are the workers of the cell. They perform chemical reactions, provide structural support, send and receive messages, hold and release energy, and much more. If the protein is damaged, the cell uses mechanisms involving special proteins that either attempt to fix the broken protein or send it off for recycling. Similar mechanisms tuck proteins out of the way or destroy them when they are no longer needed. That way, its components can be used later to build a new protein. 

Aging disrupts a delicate biological network. 

The cross-talk between the components inside cells, cells as a whole, organs and the environment is a complex and ever-changing network of information. When all processes involved in creating and maintaining DNA and protein function are working normally, the different compartments within a cell serving specialized roles – called organelles – can maintain the cell’s health and function. 

For an organ to work well, the majority of the cells that make it up need to function well. And for a whole organism to survive and thrive, all of the organs in its body need to work well. 

Plus Aging can lead to dysfunction at any of these levels, from the sub-cellular to the organismal. Maybe a gene encoding an important protein for DNA repair has become damaged, and now all of the other genes in the cell are more likely to be repaired incorrectly. 

Or perhaps the cell’s recycling systems are unable to degrade dysfunctional components anymore. Even the communication systems between cells, tissues and organs can become compromised, leaving the organism less able to respond to changes within the body. 

 Random chance can lead to a growing burden of molecular and cellular damage that is progressively less well-repaired over time. As this damage accumulates, the systems that are meant to fix it are accruing damage as well. This leads to a cycle of increasing wear and tear as cells age. 

 Anti-aging interventions 

The interdependence of life’s cellular processes is a double-edged sword: Sufficiently damage one process, and all the other processes that interact with or depend on it become impaired. 

However, this interconnection also means that bolstering one highly interconnected process could improve related functions as well. In fact, this is how the most successful anti-aging interventions work. 

 There is no silver bullet to stop aging, but certain interventions do seem to slow aging in the laboratory. While there are ongoing clinical trials investigating different approaches in people, most existing data comes from animals like nematodes, flies, mice and nonhuman primates. 

 One of the best studied interventions is caloric restriction, which involves reducing the amount of calories an animal would normally eat without depriving them of necessary nutrients. 

An FDA-approved drug used in organ transplantation and some cancer treatments called rapamycin seems to work by using at least a subset of the same pathways that calorie restriction activates in the cell. Both affect signaling hubs that direct the cell to preserve the biomolecules it has rather than growing and building new biomolecules. 

Over time, this cellular version of “reduce, reuse, recycle” removes damaged components and leaves behind a higher proportion of functional components. The effects of calorie restriction on aging are still under study. 

Other interventions include changing the levels of certain metabolites, selectively destroying senescent cells that have stopped dividing, changing the gut microbiome and behavioral modifications. 

 What all of these interventions have in common is that they affect core processes that are critical for cellular homeostasis, often become dysregulated or dysfunctional with age and are connected to other cellular maintenance systems. 

Often, these processes are the central drivers for mechanisms that protect DNA and proteins in the body. 

 There is no single cause of aging. 

No two people age the same way, and indeed, neither do any two cells. There are countless ways for your basic biology to go wrong over time, and these add up to create a unique network of aging-related factors for each person that make finding a one-size-fits-all anti-aging treatment extremely challenging. 

 However, researching interventions that target multiple important cellular processes simultaneously could help improve and maintain health for a greater portion of life. These advances could help people live longer lives in the process.

Saturday, July 15, 2023



Today, we're sharing a story from a news blog reader Glenn K. in Louisville, Kentucky: 

"…On a recent bicycle trip on the Katy trail in Rocheport, Missouri, my anti-theft GPS tracking device fell off my bike without my knowledge. I did not realize it was missing until returning home to Louisville, Kentucky. The GPS tracker was still transmitting its position but battery life was decreasing.

It was a long shot but I emailed the Meriwether Cafe and Bike Shop in Rocheport, Missouri. I received a response from Max C., the kitchen manager for the cafe, who was willing to look for it. 

The beacon signal was 9 miles away from the cafe and Max was able to locate the device. I offered him a $50 reward plus the cost of postage. He refused and mailed it back to me out of his own pocket. 

The GPS unit arrived and I want to thank Max C. and the Meriwether Cafe and Bike Shop for selflessly helping out..." 

The Meriburger

Meriwether Cafe 700 First Street, Rocheport MO 65279

That's Meriwether Lewis (left) William Clark and Sacagawea. She's pointing
out that the Meriwether Cafe is just around the next bend.