Longevity

Longevity Primer

Laura Deming runs the $26 million Longevity Fund – a VC firm dedicated to funding early-stage companies with a high-potential for increasing human lifespans.

Her blog has an interesting primer on longevity and the science behind increasing human lifespans. It’s filled with all kinds of well-referenced facts about things that affect our aging and ability to lead long lives.

10 years ago, one of the first projects I worked on was trying to understand a weird fact about reproduction in worms. If you take little worms and get rid of their gonads (I know, it’s weird), they live ~60% longer than normal. But this only works if you get rid of the stuff inside (sperm/eggs – these worms are hermaphrodites, which means they carry around both). If you get rid of the whole thing, lifespan goes back to normal.

Don’t miss the 95 things that make mice live longer and 70 drugs in the clinic that might make people live longer sections.

Via Oreilly

What Is Old?

Having recently turned 40, the question “At what point does a person get ‘old’?” holds some interest for me. I like this idea from the above link, “A person becomes old when his mind is more occupied by memories than aspirations”. I like this because it doesn’t stigmatize being old and at the same time allows for becoming old to be a choice. But I think the more honest answer is “One becomes old the minute one is aware of how they are perceived by those who are young.” Old is not a state of mind – at least not your mind – old is inflicted on you by youth.

The Top 100 Most Annoying Twitter Accounts

It’s difficult to separate the signal from the noise on twitter. Actually, it’s difficult to tell if there is any signal on twitter at all (but that’s a whole other blog post). There are literally hundreds of over-active accounts, mostly bots, that provide little to no value to your average twitter user. Here are a few of the most blatant abusers.

InternetRadio is the most often updated (with nearly 900,000 tweets), non-news related, active account. It’s a bot that simply lists songs being played on shoutcast.com. I’m not sure what use this is to anyone. Ill Street Lounge and Boot Liquor (almost 420,000 updates) do the same thing for soma.fm

Father Time (over 275,000 tweets) is a bot that updates every minute, on the minute, with the time. That would be 720 times a day. How could that really help anyone? But if that’s not enough for you Is It Now… (over 550,000 tweets) does the exact same thing. At least Big Ben is entertaining.

ThinkingStiff (over 430,000 tweets) appears to be an account the owner is using to climb to the number one spot on the Cursebird leaderboard. This is actually a somewhat interesting project but is still a very annoying twitter account.

Twitterholic keeps a continually refreshed list of the 100 most updated (annoying?) accounts in twitter.

Full disclosure: my incredibly annoying twitter account can be found @hubs.

Raclette

The blizzard of oh-six has been more fun for me than hassle. We were finally able to get the cars dug out yesterday after three long days of being stuck and serious shoveling by both G and myself. The storm allowed me a few snow days from work that were rather lazily spent. On Wednesday night a few nearby friends braved the accumulating drifts and headed over to our house for Raclette. I had never had Raclette before and it’s wonderful, perfect for a cold snowy evening stuck indoors. How can you go wrong with cheese, sausage, potatoes, and onion? Yummmmm.