List of Previous Titles

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Life Eternal? On earth? Starting Now!

The God Switch?

Last week I teased this topic while I took a bit more time to do some research and to get over my disbelief.

Stem cell research has always been controversial and very uncertain ethical ground. It starts with the placenta and takes many avenues. Many people hold that the very entry into an area that they see is reserved solely for God is sacrilegious for man to interfere into, so we should all shut down any findings so far and behave ourselves.

Too late!

It seems that scientists have found an indestructible gene, SP100, which I think is not an embryonic stem cell, but rather is a Pluripotent stem cell, a kind of magic cell that is currently being used to screen patients for cancer before they even develop it, and is also being used as part of a cure for cancer.

It also seems to have other uses, such as the ability to grow new cells to replace dying cells, so the logic of that is to farm such cells into something that is called IPS cells, or Induced Pluripotent StemCells to repair and to rejuvenate human cells indefinitely. In other words, a patient who signs up for this type of treatment could be buying life eternal.

This they call The God Switch!

I admit I am out of my depth and in the deep end over this topic. I first heard about this from a man called Patrick Cox who could hardly believe this giant step had been taken. Patrick is always looking for companies with potential as an investment. The company that holds the patent for this breakthrough he feels also holds the potential for massive growth as an investment, but I wonder.

I believe the average person would not wish to change the way things are,or if at all they might want to elect when to check out. They might want to stay around to finish important work, such as seeing their children grow up and start their own families. The fact is that people even now choose when to die through suicide. When a person has lost their partner, and is depressed, and is old themselves the timing might be perfect. But if you are not financially prepared it's not likely that you would make the choice to live forever.

However, Patrick Cox could be right as enough of the very rich never want to die. I was aware of a rich man who said on his death bed that death should take a poor man instead. He was rich and would help the poor if he was allowed to live.

It raises the question of  how many people would actually take up the offer if it ever gets past the regulatory bodies for life eternal here on earth. In christian religious faith believers opt for life eternal in heaven with Jesus. However, this type of meddling is a step too far. I think we haven't even begun to hear from these folks yet. There is also the possibility of adding genetic engineering to the mix that would all for us to construct the type of baby that we want by design. That is so off the chart that I feel I should be trembling as I type.

Where is all this going? The possibilities are startling when we absent the ethical considerations. However, I choose not to dwell in this zone because it frightens me much too much!

For more information try visiting " " and typing in The God Switch.

Copyright (c) 2013   Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Life Eternal! On Earth!

I am currently researching the following question: If you could realistically choose to live forever, free from major debilitating disease and in a young-ish state, what would be your choice, and why?

I will return next week to enlarge on this subject, but in the meantime I suggest that you take the matter seriously and think about it, and perhaps to even discuss it because the ramifications are enormous.

Be prepared for the most tremendous choice of your life.

Copyright (c) 2013  Eugene Carmichael

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Being Responsibility Prepared!

When it's time to go!

I have purchased a Golden Leaves Pre-Paid Funeral Plan for myself, and I have the most wonderful sense of peace of mind. Why, you may ask, would I do that?

I have taken this step to save my Next-of-Kin the trouble of having to find the funds to dispose of my body when I no longer have use for it. I believe that most people would agree that to do something like this for your family is a loving and responsible action to take. If you are living in your home country and you have a life insurance policy that will mature on your death with sufficient benefit to cover your last expenses, and, together with a Will, this should adequately cover the position.

The possible problems begin the moment you step out of your country, whether as a tourist or to live and work. When you do that you leave behind the society in which you and your family are possibly known, and have a credit rating and the support of other family members. Overseas, you are among a world of strangers and different rules apply when something as extreme as death occurs.

You would be a rarity if you thought beforehand about complications, such as I am enumerating.

Here in Spain every foreigner faces the same set of basic problems, and these can become hideously complicated due to religious or personal wishes. To begin with, it is the tradition to dispose of the deceased's body within twenty-four hours, or a maximum of 48 hours. When a man dies, his wife will have to call in a funeral director to remove the body, and she will have to follow the body to the Tanatorio, (the name given to a funeral home). There she will have to make known her wishes and the method of payment for services. Ideally, she should be able to debit her account for a cash payment, and the rest will go smoothly.

That rarely happens, in fact because most people don't have four thousand euros just sitting in a current account. The other problem will be Spanish/English languages. This is normally a time of great difficulty with emotions running very high. This is not the time to be scrambling over how to pay or even communicate effectively.

My Golden Leaves Pre-Paid Funeral plan works as follows: I have chosen a plan from among three options. I am in the process of completing payment for it. I am registered with a tanatorio at 25, Alfafar, 46910, Valencia. They have the details of my plan on record, and one day they expect to receive a call from my wife that they need to come and get me. They will ask her only one question: Do you wish for us to proceed strictly in accordance with the terms of the plan? I imagine she will answer yes, in which case they will then say tomorrow at 4pm. And that will be that. She can then make her calls and the first part of the transition will be complete, placing in her hands my death certificate. With that she will be able to proceed with the rest of the red tape.

This plan was devised by the internationally renowned firm of Funeral Directors, Rowland Brothers International, of the U.K. The firm was established in 1873, so they devised a plan to assist those who live, and die outside their native countries because out of their experience they have seen all too often the devastation caused when a member of the family dies unexpectedly and without preparations in place.

The other thing that I especially like is that the cost of the plan that I pay today is fixed for all time. I have said that it is my intention, and hope that I live to be 100 years of age. The company have said that will be fine, they will be there when I need them, and I am all paid up.

As a point of interest, statistically, men pre-decease their wives, and mothers their children

I will shortly visit the Tanatorio in Alfafar to meet the professionals who will care for me, and hopefully get a look at the process. This is a rare thing to do, and I'm fairly sure nobody else will have done that. I expect them to look at me curiously, and perhaps to say that they usually have to go and get me. I will reply that on this occasion I drove myself in, and I have every intention of driving myself home. Thank you!

A Golden Leaves Pre-Paid Funeral Plan, I think, is one of the best things I have done. Because of my status as a foreigner I have discovered that my life insurance policy and my Will are not sufficient to cover the situation here in Spain, so I have taken the necessary step to redress matters.

It makes sense!  Now, I can get on with the best years of my life that are yet to come.

Copyright (c) 2013   Eugene Carmichael

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Spanish Fiestas

A massive Monument as part of Valencia Fallas.
It has to be seen, and heard to be believed! 

At the moment here in Valencia there are at least two major fiestas on-going. One is Las Fallas in Valencia City and suburbs, and the other is La Magdalena that is taking place in Castell√≥n. These are both lavish and very loud because the logic goes that the noise scares away the old man of Winter. In Valencia City it usually scares away the city inhabitants too who probably thought at one time, long ago, it was charming, but by now the non-stop noise is driving them crazy and out into the quiet of the country.

I got to thinking about Spanish festivals in general, and as an exercise I turned back time before any of these rituals got started, and I made the assumption that it was my idea in the first place and that I had to go out and sell the ideas to various town halls. However, instead of approaching mayors in Spain, let's see what would have happened had I gone in to see Mr. Johnson, mayor of London.

Me: Mr. Johnson! Mr. Johnson!  Have I got an idea for you that will make London one of the most exciting and visited places in the world.

Boris: Oh yes, and what would that be?

Me: You could encourage people to bring out all of their old furniture and pile it at crossroads, and then at a certain pre-arranged time they could set them on fire. From the air it would make London appear to be on fire.

Boris: Bloody H......Well, you may have something there!

Me: In the fullness of time things would progress from simple old furinutre to amazing monuments depicting events in a satirical manner, and you Sir, would feature prominently.

Boris: But wouldn't that present a grave health and safety issue?

Me: Ealf 'n safety be damned man, live a little.

Boris: Just give me a second while I enter this in my smartphone. (Boris types and speaks out loud his understanding of what I had just said, but in reality he types, "Help! There's a madman in my office. Send a dozen big guys and a very strong straightjacket.)

Me: You could also consider closing off a small street and encouraging as many people as you can to go inside the street, then you could have about ten raging bulls at one end, then you could sic 'em on the people.

Boris: Good God man, wouldn't people get hurt?

Me: Not only that some will get killed, but that's how people will know how dangerous it is.

Boris: O.K. Just go along with these twelve men and explain your ideas to them, they are a committee. The jacket they want you to wear is to keep you warm.

Me: Oh! O.K.  Another thing you could do fellas is a rather novel way to use up 200,000 kilos of tomatoes.

There is no place like Spain. I love it!

Copyright (c) 2013  Eugene Carmichael  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Oscar Pistorius Jokes

A great athlete, But!
I do respect his ability on the track. 

Firstly, I have to tell you that from the very first time I ever heard of this man I was awed by his sense of determination and his ability to overcome his staggering disability. Like most people I was captivated, and I gave him my total respect.

However, a very beautiful young woman lies dead in her native South Africa, admittedly at his hand, although he insists that it was an accident. Well, he is strictly innocent until proved guilty, but his explanation has been met by ridicule in the court of public opinion and the Internet is alive with Oscar jokes, some of which are absolutely tasteless. So, I thought I would add my own which I hope you will find a bit more conservative.

Oscar says that although he knew his girlfriend was in the house he thought that the person in the bathroom was an intruder, so apparently without calling out to her or finding out whether the "intruder" was armed or simply taking a shit, he fired four bullets through the door. (Well, that's all right then, innit?)

As a result people around the world who are in the bathroom answer when their partner asks, are you in there, "Yes, its me. Don't shoot! Don't shoot!"

Why didn't it occur to Oscar to simply call out, Honey, are you in the bathroom? That's what I would do!

All men get frustrated by the amount of time our women spend in the bathroom, but Oscar, Bru, we don't shoot 'em.

Hi girls, Oscar's here and he's looking for a new girlfriend. Run!

Man, when Oscar wants in the bathroom, Move it!

Most people simply knock on the door before entering the bathroom.

How difficult will it be for Oscar to find a new girlfriend? He's a good looking guy, rich, successful and a very famous athlete. There is a long line of women, but they are running the other way.

In Oscar's next relationship he will probably be the girlfriend, and his boyfriend will be a big, sweaty cellmate.

Oscar will not have to take a course in how to properly treat his next girlfriend. There will not be a next girlfriend, unless she's a sadist with a whip and a gun.

Oscar, there are 50 ways to leave your lover.
Oscar: Make that 51.

The judge won't let Oscar go back to his house because there is only one bathroom. Somebody else might  get hurt.

 So, there you have them, my one dozen original Oscar jokes that I'm sure are going to turn up under other people's names. I hope you get a smile and I just have to remember to keep my sense of humour.

Copyright (c) 2013   Eugene Carmichael