Adding healthy years to your life


Virginia Oliver, lobstering crew member, is 101 years old

Death comes for us all. But recent research points to interventions in diet, exercise and mental outlook that could slow down aging and age-related diseases – without risky biohacks such as unproven gene therapies. A multidisciplinary approach involving these evidence-based strategies “could get it all right,” said Valter Longo, a biochemist who runs the Longevity Institute at the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology…

Time will tell who’s right regarding the life span of our species. What’s clear is that certain lifestyles help individuals live longer than they otherwise would – including the genetically blessed. Harvard researchers found that healthy habits add nearly 15 years of life expectancy. “That’s over $100 trillion in health-care savings,” said Harvard biologist David Sinclair…

Stress that’s good for longevity can be caused by nutrition. Ideally, our ancestors enjoyed protein-rich red meat for peak energy and performance. But when hunting expeditions failed, people resorted to eating hardy plants. Today, our bodies still infer a state of scarcity if we consume lots of vegetables, switching on the longevity genes. Indeed, such a diet is associated with longer lives, according to the Harvard study. Becoming a full-fledged vegetarian probably isn’t necessary, but, to maximize what longevity experts call “healthspan,” at least 50 percent of protein should come from vegetable sources, Longo said.

Exercise can further simulate our ancestors’ stressful environments, some experts say, which can dupe your genes into extending your span of health. Just don’t do too much…As with fasting, just don’t go overboard…

Lots more in the article including love and happiness. Companionship helps…if and when you find the right person to be your better half. I try to keep up with what proves to help. I passed my textbook average a few decades ago. Feeling better all the time. :-]

I won’t name the store…

…but, whoever thought up the name of whatever this crap is that they’re selling would have been taken out at sunrise and shot…in days of yore.

Since Yore has been relegated to graphic novels, I would be satisfied by just making them paint proper flowers and fruit over these signs.

And, then, before we went out the door, we stopped at the obligatory forecourt Starbucks for coffee-to-go. Instead of ordering my usual mocha java latte – no whip, I decided to try the pumpkin spice latte (warming up to Halloween). Don’t waste your time! Mine tasted like Cardboard Chicken Gumbo NO Spice latte.

At least we got to buy most of the stuff we were there for.

Meet the humble snot snake!

Meet the humble hagfish, an ugly, gray, eel-like creature affectionately known as a “snot snake” because of its unique defense mechanism. The hagfish can unleash a full liter of sticky slime from pores located all over its body in less than one second. That’s sufficient to, say, clog the gills of a predatory shark, suffocating the would-be predator. A new paper published in the journal Current Biology reports that the slime produced by larger hagfish contains much larger cells than slime produced by smaller hagfish—an unusual example of cell size scaling with body size in nature.

Hagfish slime is an example of a non-Newtonian fluid, in which the viscosity changes in response to an applied strain or shearing force. … Applying a strain or shearing force will increase viscosity—in the case of ketchup, pudding, gravy, or that classic mix of water and corn starch called “oobleck”—or decrease it, like non-drip paint that brushes on easily but becomes more viscous once it’s on the wall.

Hagfish slime can be both. It turns out that the suction feeding employed by many of the hagfish’s predators creates a unidirectional flow. The elongated stress of that sucking flow increases the goo’s viscosity, the better to suffocate said predators by clogging of the gills. But when the hagfish is trying to escape from its own slime, its motion creates a shear-thinning flow that actually reduces the viscosity of the slime, making it easier to escape. In fact, the slimy network quickly collapses in the face of a shear-thinning flow.

Lots more exciting, thought-provoking analysis like this in the article.

As a youth, our family fed ourselves significantly by coastal fishing. I caught a hagfish – once! I wish I hadn’t.

Prevent disease? Start by removing sugar.

Cutting 20% of sugar from packaged foods and 40% from beverages could prevent 2.48 million cardiovascular disease events (such as strokes, heart attacks, cardiac arrests), 490,000 cardiovascular deaths, and 750,000 diabetes cases in the U.S. over the lifetime of the adult population, reports a study published in Circulation…

Implementing a national policy, however, will require government support to monitor companies as they work toward the targets and to publicly report on their progress. The researchers hope their model will build consensus on the need for a national-sugar reformulation policy in the US. “We hope that this study will help push the reformulation initiative forward in the next few years,” says Siyi Shangguan, MD, MPH, lead author…“Reducing the sugar content of commercially prepared foods and beverages will have a larger impact on the health of Americans than other initiatives to cut sugar, such as imposing a sugar tax, labeling added sugar content, or banning sugary drinks in schools.”

Say “Amen!”

World’s oldest edible ham

The 119-year-old ham which is reportedly the oldest in the world, was originally cured in 1902 by the Gwaltney Foods meat company before it was lost in storage. On its rediscovery two decades later, the elated Pembroke D. Gwaltney Jr. made the piece of pork his “pet ham.” He put a brass collar on it and paraded it around various expositions to prove to customers his meat could be kept without being refrigerated…

The ham is housed in the Isle of Wight County Museum, which is also home to the world’s oldest peanut. It occupies a climate-controlled display case with two other hams, one of which is purportedly the largest ham in the world. A nonstop, live-streamed “ham cam” allows anyone to keep up to date with the preserved pork, as does the ham’s Twitter account.

Strange and delightfully frugal.

$200 french fries offer ‘escape’ from reality…while killing your budget

The Federal Reserve chair, always on the look-out for signs of inflation, might want to drop by Manhattan’s Upper East Side, where a $200 plate of french fries stretches the definition of haute cuisine.

The restaurant Serendipity 3 already claims world records for the most expensive burger ($295) and ice cream sundae ($1,000), so if the question is, “You want fries with that?” its answer is a resounding yes…

The Crème de la Crème Pomme Frites start out as Chipperbec potatoes. They are blanched – or scalded – in vinegar and champagne. Then they fry in pure goose fat, not oil, and not once but twice, so they are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Sprinkled with edible gold and seasoned with truffle salt and truffle oil, they are served on a crystal plate with an orchid, thin-sliced truffles, and a Mornay cheese dip. The sauce, too, is infused with truffles…

Like many restaurants, Serendipity was closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and Calderone and Schoen-Kiewert thought the fancy fries would be a good way to announce its return.

It’s working. There is an eight- to 10-week wait list for the fries.

No. My name ain’t on that list.