I uploaded a video this week about the possible link between senescent cells and arthritis. Injury can generate senescent cells. Injury can make cause (or at least increase) osteoarthritis. So could that be the mechanism? Could senescent cells be causing or exacerbating osteoarthritis? I’m not the first to think so. This paper from 2017 shows how a drug to kill senescent cells in mice helped with arthritis. But, unfortunately, the drug didn’t work in people as of 2020.
This got me thinking of arthritis and “high-heel socks.” So I made this comic in collaboration with an artist. I’m very glad Snowman was available to do the art again. They do wonderful work.
Here was my attempt.
I started reading a Dave Barry book, “I’ll Mature When I’m Dead.” I used to love Dave Berry. He was absolutely hilarious when I was a kid. It was very tame family stuff, but always with a strange twist. The new-ish book (2010) is not inspired. Aged like milk. But the cow wasn’t too healthy to begin with. Syphilis maybe. I’m not loving it.
At the same time, however, I picked up “Peter and the Starcatchers.” It’s supposed to be for a young audience, but it has a really good heart and a lot of humor and I’m enjoying it. I get a hint of Dave Barry’s sense of humor and gross characters, but the plot and pacing are tighter than I’m used to from Dave. He worked with Jim Dale to write it, and I think that the collaboration worked very well.
This Science Friday article talks about how culture and race affect what we see as healthy. Certainly, what we regard as healthy is not 100% evidence based. Maybe it’s very hard to collect good evidence on what food is healthy. I remember reading a scientific article that found that the glucose spike after eating varied wildly from person to person. So, two people could eat the same food, but get a very different blood glucose spike. so that would make it somewhat necessary to look at healthy food at an individual person level rather than at an average person level.
I was happy to read that Silicon Valley may be investing more in basic scientific research. It seems that some of the big money types are starting research foundations. I think that that’s wonderful. If their vision of long term support for open-ended research works, maybe that will push government science in the same direction.
A profile in The New Yorker of the fiction of Kim Stanley Robinson was really enjoyable. It talks a lot about how Robinson’s fiction relates to climate change. The structure of the article is a back-and-forth between a story of a hike through the California mountains and a story of this author’s attempt to portray possible outcomes of climate change. It really worked for me. And their audio version was great. I’m really happy when publications post an audio version along with their text.
I have been following the Herman Cain Awards. I’m not happy with what that says about me. But there’s the fact. I take no pleasure in seeing stupid people being misled into a fatal mistake (i.e., not getting vaccinated and not wearing masks). I do take a lot of pleasure in the demise of “leaders” and “influencers” who make money encouraging people to make bad decisions. As the saying goes: “If you can’t be a good example, you can be a terrible warning.” This article is about preachers who told their ‘flock’ not to get vaccinated, and then died of COVID. Karma doesn’t always work, but it’s nice when it does. Good riddance.
Up Is Not Jump did this video about coffee and its production. It makes me consider giving up coffee. I do not want to give up coffee. I half-knew that coffee was an extremely labor intensive commodity. But this really drives that home. Maybe I should be drinking less coffee, and coffee that is more ethically sourced. I’m pretty sure that my large can of Kroger pre-ground coffee is 99% exploitation-sourced. I think the other 1% is roach. I mean, it’s delicious, and it has a lot of caffeine, and I love it, but…
This was really fun for a lot of reasons. I would have made the same hypothesis as Steve Mould: the boiling point of ethanol is low enough that the kettle should stay on perpetually. And we were not correct. And he tested it thoroughly. Which was really fun.
I would try this. My dad said “It’s too bad beefeaters doesn’t make bourbon.”
My understanding is that inflation should be thought of as “too much money chasing to few goods.” That can happen when there is a shortage of goods or when there is an overabundance of money. This fairly technical video explains that in more detail. Are we headed for high inflation in 2022, or will we resolve the supply chain issues, upgrade our infrastructure, and return to a modest rate going forward?
This last week, M&Ms were in the diScOuRsE. Miss Green Eminem traded in her stilettos. Apparently, the Mars candy company wanted to appear more socially conscious and feminist positive. Why is this even a thing? The “controversy” over the cartoon candy mascot’s shoes was a distraction from their child slave scandal. Cooool. Cool.