Geek jam session

Last night, I spent a fun evening playing board games (new: Container!) and engaging in geek talk. Oh, how I love a good intellectual discussion! (You know, like the Salon des Geeks.) I guess it’s the geek version of a jam session; everyone hangs around and throws in their particular views or brings up new themes as the thought strikes them. Here’s what the idea buffet served up last night:

  • According to the latest evidence, Homo sapiens apparently did not evolve from Homo erectus. Both of us, plus Homo habilis, came from a common ancestor — erectus and habilis were different (less successful) offshoots.
  • There’s an anti-aging chemical that reverses effects such as a loss of elasticity in connective tissue which has been doing human studies since 2001 (and shown that it helps with, for example, hardening of arteries). However, the chemical’s patent expired, so it is now in the public domain, and no pharmaceutical company therefore is interested in finishing the (expensive) trials needed to get it FDA-certified.
  • I claimed that irradiated food seems to be unavailable because people are scared of the word “irradiated” and therefore wouldn’t buy it. Others noted that irradiated food can actually have a bad taste, since the irradiation process can damage the “good” proteins in, say, milk, not just the “bad” (bacterial) ones. So there might be a valid taste-reason that irradiated milk is inferior to un-irradiated (bacteria-laden) milk. Also, apparently many people agree with this statement: “If you had some radioactive milk, boiling it would make it safe to drink.”
  • As annoying as shopping is, it can be viewed in a more positive light if you think of it as an act of exercising your financial power. I like that.
  • And to follow up on my comment about carbonated fruit, there is actually a company, Fizzy Fruit, that is marketing it.

  • There was much more, and it got very late, and it was a great evening overall.

    0 of 2 people learned something from this entry.

    1. jim said,

      January 20, 2008 at 11:57 pm

      Do you recall the name of this anti-aging chemical? Given how huge the herbal supplement business is, and how it’s based on unsubstantiated claims and guesses, I’m surprised it hasn’t been productized.

    2. IdahoEv said,

      January 21, 2008 at 12:09 am

      (Knew it already.)

      Yes, that was a pretty great conversation. More like it please!

      The chemical is a glycolysation breaker, and has gone by the names ALT-711 (name for experimental trials) and Alagebrium (trade name if the company ever gets enough investment to sell it). I’ve been keeping my eye on it for a few years because if it does successfully restore flexibility to crosslinked, stiffened collagen tissues (and results in Phase II blood pressure trials indicate it does), then I *want* some of that stuff.

      Imagine being able to restore some part of the lost flexibility that happens as you age… reduce orthopedic injuries and lower blood pressure… From the best I can tell, this stuff actually has a shot at being real rather than snake oil.

    3. Elizabeth said,

      January 24, 2008 at 2:16 pm

      (Knew it already.)

      I miss you. :)

    4. Iain said,

      February 1, 2008 at 10:18 pm

      A friend of mine seems to be thinking about carbonating cheese (Brie?). Odd.

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