The Three R’s to Help the Planet Earth

Landfill 4

The three R’s to help the planet Earth are Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. Have you started recycling?  I started to become more of a recycler myself when becoming a home owner.  When I was growing up, my parents would have their aluminum cans recycled.  Also, another way that my parents and I have recycled is through having garage sales and donating used items.  I have become more concerned about the amount of trash that takes up space on Earth.  When I heard from someone else that garbage from New York City comes to Columbus OH, I was completely amazed when I heard that.  I was thinking instantly just how much garbage do we all produce on a daily basis.  Another thing that sparked my interest in doing research on this project was when I found the YouTube video of the big mass of plastic floating out in the open ocean.  It is a mass of a pretty huge size.

According to the article “Human Footprint” by Dan Kulpinski, we Americans discard four-fifths of a ton of trash per person, per year. Americans generated 251 million tons of trash in 2006.  Our per capita trash disposal rate was 4.6 pounds per person, per day.  Sixty-five percent of it came from residences, while 35 percent came from schools and commercial locations such as hospitals and businesses.  Right now, for every pound of garbage people generate, about seven pounds of waste are produced upstream (in the manufacturing process, before the product gets to the consumer).  If your trash goes to a landfill it will end up sealed in the ground.  It won’t decompose much, if at all, because air and water can’t get in.  “Most landfills are more like mummifiers than composters,” wrote Elizabeth Royte in “Garbage Land.”  They can leak liquids into the groundwater.  If your trash goes to an incinerator, it gets burned and turned into ash, which is used to make roads or parking lots, or is dumped into landfills.  In Manhattan, diesel trucks carry garbage 7.8 million miles every year, according to “Trash and the City”, a report by Environmental Defense.  That is the equivalent of circling the Earth 312 times.  “Waste is just really a design flaw and we have to be pushing on manufacturers and product designers to design things which are easily recyclable,” said Krebs.

Landfill 3 Landfill 5

 

 

Recycling has benefits such as manufacturers using less greenhouse gases that impact the environment. According to the EPA, recycling provides an annual benefit of 49.7 million metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions reduced, comparable to removing 39.4 million passenger cars from the road each year.  Scrap paper is our number one U.S. export by volume and scrap metal is among our most valuable exports.

 

Reduce Reuse Recycle 2Jack Johnson 1

Jack Johnson singing the song “The 3 R’s” is about Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. It is a song that my kids and I enjoy listening to and singing along with.  I recycle everything that can be recycled like paper, plastic, and glass.  I have garage sales and donate clothing and used items to Goodwill.  I want to make a positive difference living here on planet Earth and make things as less polluted as possible.

Advertisements
The Three R’s to Help the Planet Earth

The Food Offenders

Have you caught yourself wondering what is in the food that you are eating?   I caught myself wondering that question and I also wondered what kind of effect of what I am eating is having on my body.  I wanted to research this topic further so I did.  I read about different food additives in our food in various articles online.  Also, I started looking at the ingredients on packaging when I would go grocery shopping.  I was shocked to find lots of ingredients in many foods that are not good for our bodies.  I wanted to learn more about the food offenders.

There are several food offenders out there but I just decided to focus on the following ones which are Azodicarbonamide (ADA), Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), Carmine, Carrageenan, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG).

AzodicarbonamideAzodicarbonamide (ADA) is used as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner.
Azodicarbonamide Yoga MatThe principal use of azodicarbonamide is in the production of foamed plastics as a blowing agent.  The thermal decomposition of ADA results in the evolution of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and ammonia gases.  ADA has been linked to “respiratory issues, allergies and asthma” for individuals at workplaces where ADA is manufactured or handled in raw form.

BHTButylated HydroxytolueBHT Food Picne (BHT) is a lipophilic organic compound, chemically a derivative of phenol.  In the petroleum industry, BHT is used in hydraulic fluids, turbine and gear oils, and jet fuels.  BHT has been linked to cancer, asthma, and behavioral issues in children.

Carmine

Carmine also called crimson lake, cochineal, Carmine 2natural red 4, C. I. 75470, or E120 is a pigment of a bright-red color obtained from the aluminum salt of carminic acid.  The pigment is produced from some scale insects such as the cochineal scale and certain Porphyrophora species (Armenian cochineal and Polish cochineal).  As a food dye it has been known to cause severe allergic reactions and anaphylactic shock in some people.

Carrageenan 3

Carrageenan are a
family of linear sulphated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds.  They are widely used in the food industry for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.  The ingredient has been linked to GI disease in lab animals, including ulcerative colitis, intestinal lesions, and colon cancer.

Carrageenan 4

HFCSHFCS 4

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn starch that has been processed by glucose isomerase to convert some of its glucose into fructose.  It was first marketed in the early 1970’s by The Clinton Corn Processing Company, together with the Japanese research institute where the enzyme was discovered.  This ingredient can be linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and autism.

MSGMSG Side Effects

Monosodium Glutamate(MSG) is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids.  Glutamic acid was discovered and identified in 1866 by the German chemist Karl Heinrich Ritthausen who treated wheat gluten with sulfuric acid.  MSG has been used for more than 100 years to season food.  There has been some evidence called the MSG symptom complex where a person can experience symptoms of headache, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, tingling, burning, or numbness in the face, neck, and other areas, rapid fluttering heartbeats, chest pain, nausea, and weakness.Karl Ritthausen 2

Not saying we can get around all of the food offenders out there but this article is just a way of educating your mind about what is going into your body.  We have consumed many of these additives for years but the point is that we must cut down on our consumption of these additives in our diet.  Some people go to a Whole Foods store or Trader Joe’s to get foods that have less additives in them or some just shop in the Organic and Healthy Living section of Kroger.  I am still eating additives just not as many of them.  I have become a much more informed grocery shopper due to my studies about food offenders and I feel it will improve my family’s health.

The Food Offenders

The Arcade Age

I remember being so excited about going to the video game arcade when I was growing up.  One of my favorite video game arcades was called Scratch N’ Tilt.  There were so many different games to choose to play in this arcade.  Some of my favorites were Paperboy, The Gauntlet, Donkey Kong, Centipede, and Ms. Pac Man.  There was great excitement that grew inside of me as I raced over to the token machine and got those gold tokens for game play.  I would see my friends at the arcade which was nice too.

Paperboy Arcade gameGauntlet Arcade GameDonkey_Kong_arcadeCentipede Arcade GameMs. Pac Man

The birth of video arcades came from the ancestors of these types of venues called penny arcades.  The video arcade got its start in the late 1970’s and continued until the mid-1980’s.  The first video game to ever be created was by a Brookhaven National Laboratory physicist by the name of William Higinbotham in 1958.  The name of his game was called Tennis for Two created for Visitor’s Day and was played on an oscilloscope hooked up to an analog computer.  The analog computer would be hooked up to the oscilloscope in such a way that a “ball” of light would randomly bounce around the screen.  “We found,” Higinbotham remembered, that we could make a game which would have a ball bouncing back and forth, sort of like a tennis game viewed from its side.”  He never received any credit for his game in his lifetime and even if he did since he worked for the government, they would have owned the patent.

William Higinbotham

Tennis for Two Oscilloscope Game

In 1971, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney created the first coin-operated arcade video game to be sold commercially (and the first widely available video game of any kind).   It was called Computer Space and it was based on Steve Russell’s game SpaceWar.  A year later, another game created by Bushnell and Dabney named Pong became the first successful arcade video game and led to the popularization of the medium.  The word “video” in “video game” refers to a raster display device.  A raster display device is a scanning pattern of parallel lines that form the image projected on a cathode-ray tube of a television set or display screen. Prior to the “golden age”, pinball machines were more popular than video games.  The “golden age” of video arcade games in the 1980’s became a peak era of video arcade game popularity, innovation, and earnings.  The era saw the rapid spread of video arcades across North America, Western Europe, and Japan.  For example, in North America, the video arcades more than doubled between 1980 and 1982, reaching a peak of 13,000 video game arcades across the region (compared to 4,000 today).

Computer Space 4

Spacewar 1

Ted Dabney, Nolan Bushnell, Fred Marincic, and Al Alcorn

Jerry Parker Mayor of Ottumwa IowaOn November 30, 1982, Jerry Parker, the Mayor of Ottumwa, Iowa, declared his city the “Video Game Capital of the World”.  This initiative resulted in many firsts in video game history.  Ottumwa saw the birth of the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard and the U.S. National Video Game Team, two organizations that still exist today.   Other events were birthed like the first video-game-themed parade or the first video game world championship as well as the first official day to honor a video game player. In the 1990’s, the video arcades in North America were decreasing.  This was because of the technology of home video game consoles began to rival and eventually exceed that of arcade games.  Also, the rise of the internet kept many potential arcade customers home.

The Arcade Age

Old Industry versus New Industry

 

While you are out taking a drive, have you taken notice of old abandoned buildings that were once part of the Industrial Revolution in the United States?  Do you ever stop and wonder what was behind this building’s history?  What did the workers do there?  What were their lives like back then?  I have noticed these old pieces of architecture in our landscape and have felt that they were important pieces of history that I should know about.  Around 2007, I wanted to take photographs of some of these past haunts that you see while driving down Old US 52 in Ohio.  By the time my interest peaked about doing this project, I noticed on my drives that these buildings were being demolished.  I felt sad about that because I felt a piece of our history was being erased.

One of the buildings I have been referring to was the New Boston Coke Corp Plant in New Boston, Ohio, near Portsmouth.  This plant operated between 1917 and 2002.  The New Boston Coke Plant operated 70 ovens and had a production capacity of approximately 1,100 tons of coke per day.   It was known to be a pretty important economic force of work in the U.S. during WWII with it being the largest production center of 500-lb bombs that helped the United States win the war against Germany and Japan.  It was considered the most modern steel mill in the country in 1948 employing 3,800.  It moved up to 4,800 in the 1950’s and then came to a gradual shutdown of the entire plant by 2002.  This shutdown was due to increased foreign competition and also the high rate of air pollution and of soil and water.  Cancer rates in New Boston climbed to be some of the highest in the United States.

New Boxton Coke Corp 4New Boston Coke Corp 3New Boston Coke Corp 2

Another historical Southern Ohio business was the Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick Company.  In 1887, this company’s roots  had its beginnings in Portsmouth, OH and was called the Petersburg Brick Company, then the Deegan Brick Company and then the Forestdale Fire Brick Company.  In 1923, Mesars, Carlyle, and Labold began experimenting with clay from Lawrence County, specifically Petersburg (later Coal Grove) and Sheridan and found the clay to be of good quality.  Carlyle Labold constructed a new, modern factory which produced its first brick in 1925.  An elevated span from the factory to the clay mines over Pike Street and the Norfolk & Western Railroad (N&W) was opened in 1929. By the fall of 1928, their brick operation was so successful that a tile plant adjoining the brick plant was constructed and they changed their name to Carlyle Labold Tile and Brick to reflect their new product line.

Carlyle Labold Tile Plant 1Carlyle Labold Tile Plant 2

The clay was shaped into tile instead of brick.  The annual capacity of the plant was 12 million building bricks and as many tiles.  They made 10 different shapes of faced building brick and 10 different shapes of tile.  The plant was electrically operated, except for the coal used in the kilns of the brick division and the gas kilns in the tile division.  In 1935, the plant was sold to Mosaic Tile Company and operated under that name until 1978 when all operations ceased.  McGuiness Incorporated purchased the 30.85 acre property in 2006.  The former brick and tile plant was planned to be home to an intermodal rail, barge, and truck freight center which never got completed.  The buildings were demolished and the demolition completed by January 2007.  The Ohio EPA found a high level of poly-nuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) in the soil that exceeded the applicable standards so the village of Coal Grove became part of an Ohio EPA Voluntary Action Program(VAP) to help with site clean-up and remediation of the property.

So, here we have two booming and thriving businesses at one time in the Southern Ohio area that are gone among many others out there.  Not even their buildings still stand.  Old industry had unhealthy work conditions because of all of the pollution and endless work hours of working in highly dangerous conditions.

Old industry picOld Industry 4Old Industry 6Old Industry 3Old Industry 2

New industry involves the digital age.  The ‘new economy’ is believed to have started in the late 1990’s, as high-tech tools, such as the internet, and increasingly powerful computers,  began penetrating the consumer and business marketplace.  Companies in the new industry are heavily involved in the internet and biotech industries.  Manufacturing is going digital.  The old way of making things involved taking lots of parts and screwing them or welding them together.  Now a product can be designed on a computer and “printed” on a 3D printer, which creates a solid object by building up successive layers of material.  The digital design can be tweaked with a few mouseclicks.  The 3D printer can run unattended, and can make many things which are too complex for a traditional factory, to handle.  An engineer working in the middle of a desert who finds he lacks a certain tool no longer has to have it delivered from the nearest city.  He can download the design and print it.

New Industry Pics 1New Industry 6New Industry 5New Industry 4New Industry 3

New materials are lighter, stronger and more durable than the old ones.  Carbon Fibre is replacing steel and aluminum in products ranging from aeroplanes to mountain bikes.  Nanotechnology is giving products enhanced features such as a bandaid that helps heal cuts or crockery that is easier to clean.  Our society has moved towards having products made more swiftly and conveniently.  The manufacturing jobs of the future will require more skills.  Many dull, repetitive tasks will become obsolete.  The factory of the past was based on cranking out zillions of identical products: Ford famously said that car-buyers could have any color they liked, as long as it was black.  The factory of the future will focus on mass customization- and may look more like those weavers’ cottages than Ford’s assembly line.

What are your thoughts about manufacturing becoming more digital?  I think it is better in the way of working conditions being less harsh on workers out there and that health conditions have improved in the workplace.  Also, I am for technology improving and becoming better for mankind.  If the new industry helps promote less pollution and improves society’s health than I am all for things becoming more convenient as long as our society doesn’t become too fast-paced about everything.  I am not wanting to see workers replaced completely by robotics.  I think a good mix is workers and robotics mixed to achieve a great result for humanity.

A great movie I would recommend for you to view about, old industry, the textile Industrial Revolution in England is called North and South, based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel.  Her novel was about how different lifestyles existed in the North of England versus the South of England.  Milton England was a picture of how life was in Manchester England at the time

North and South 3North and South 5NORTH AND SOUTH

Old Industry versus New Industry

Black Hole Paradox

Ever since I was a young child and viewed the Disney movie Black Hole (1979) starring actors Maxmilian Schell, Yvette Mimieux, and Ernest Borgnine to name a few, I was deeply curious or trapped like light is within this phenomenon.  This movie left an impression on my mind.  I was fascinated with the concept of whether a black hole existed or not.  Little did I know at that time that scientific great minds had already been working on the dynamics behind this particular cosmic activity for years.

Black Hole Movie 2

John Michell

The idea of a body so massive that even light could not escape was first put forward by John Michell in a letter written to Henry Cavendish in 1783 of the Royal Society.  The first use of the term “black hole” in print was by journalist Ann Ewing in her article “Black Holes’ in Space”, dated 18th January, 1964 and then the first man to coin the term in a lecture he gave in 1967 was John Wheeler.   A black hole is a region of spacetime from which gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping.  Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity (1916) predicts that a sufficiently compact mass will deform spacetime to form a black hole.  The boundary of the region from which there is no escape is called the event horizon.  The event horizon is a boundary in spacetime through which matter and light can only pass inward towards the mass of the black hole.  This deformation becomes so strong at the event horizon that nothing can pull away from it.  An effect that was defined by Albert Einstein in 1907 which is called gravitational time dilation is where an object that is falling into a black hole appears to slow down to an observer as it approaches the event horizon versus an object that is further away from the gravitational pull.  At the same time, all processes on this object slow down, for a fixed outside observer, causing emitted light to appear redder and dimmer, an effect known as gravitational redshift.  Eventually, the object becomes so dim that it can no longer be seen.

John Wheeler Einstein

Ann Ewing Black Holes

Black holes are formed by gravitational collapse of astronomical objects such as stars which collapse at the end of their life cycle.  Supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses may form.  There is a general consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the center of most galaxies.  There are on one end countless stellar mass black holes that are peppered throughout our Universe as the result of remnants of massive stars that are 10 to 24 times as massive as the Sun and then we have on the other end of the spectrum what you call supermassive black holes that are millions, if not billions, of times as massive as the Sun.

Supermassive_black_hole Cygnus XR-1

Scientists can’t directly observe black holes with telescopes that detect x-rays, light, or other forms of electromagnetic radiation.  Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as light.  If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbit can be used to determine its mass and location.  Such observations can be used to exclude neutron stars.  Also, if a black hole passes through a cloud of interstellar matter, for example, it will draw matter inward in a process known as accretion.

In this way, astronomers have identified a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses in the core of our own Milky Way Galaxy.  X-ray emissions from the double-star system Cygnus X-1 and other recent precise measurements points towards evidence that there is a black hole existing there.  Astronomers have also found convincing evidence for a supermassive black hole in the galaxy NGC 4258, the giant elliptical galaxy M87, and several others.  Scientists verified the existence of the black holes by studying the speed of the clouds of gas orbiting those regions.

Cygnus_X-1

Cygnus X-1

Black holes act as an ideal black body as it reflects no light.  Stephen Hawking in 1974 provided a theoretical argument for black body radiation or Hawking radiation to exist within black holes.  Black body radiation is the type of electromagnetic radiation within or surrounding a body in thermodynamic equilibrium with its environment, or emitted by a black body (an opaque and non-reflective body) held at constant, uniform temperature.  A black-body at room temperature appears black, as most of the energy it radiates is infra-red and cannot be perceived by the human eye.

There are three internal parameters that are important concerning a black hole which are total mass, charge, and angular momentum.  It appears that information concerning these three parameters is only conserved and that all other information about an object entering a black hole is lost.  This brings about the black hole information paradox.  The black hole information paradox results from the combination of quantum mechanics and general relativity.  It suggests that physical information could permanently disappear in a black hole, allowing many physical states to devolve into the same state.  This has brought about controversy because it violates a commonly assumed tenet of science-that in principle complete information about a physical system at one point in time should determine its state at any other time.  If the material entering the black hole were a pure quantum state, the transformation of that state into a mixed state of Hawking radiation would destroy information of the original quantum state.  This presents a physical paradox.

Black Hole War 2  Stephen Hawking Kip Thorne

Stephen Hawking                              Kip Thorne

John Preskill

John Preskill

This annoyed many physicists, notably John Preskill, who in 1997 bet Hawking and Kip Thorne that information was not lost in black holes.  In July 2004, Stephen Hawking published a paper presenting a theory that quantum perturbations of the event horizon could allow information to escape from a black hole which would resolve the information paradox and he conceded his bet.  What are your thoughts about information that enters a black hole?  Do you think it burns up and disintegrates slowly according to Hawking radiation or do you believe the holographic principle that the information can be retrieved or encoded on the surface of the event horizon?  I believe that information is never lost.

Laura Mersini-Houghton

After reading this article, do you believe that black holes exist?  I feel strongly that they do exist.  A physics professor, Laura Mersini-Houghton at UNC-Chapel Hill in the College of Arts and Sciences is still not convinced that they exist.  She has submitted a paper to ArXiv, an online repository of physics papers that is not peer reviewed, offering by exact numerical solutions that they do not exist due to a star losing too much mass when it collapses under its own gravity and then it cannot form a black hole due to lack in density.  What are your thoughts about these being in existence in our Universe?

Black Hole Paradox

Human Cloning- Ethical or Unethical?

Identical Twins

What would the world feel and look like to you if you had another existing you or many of the same exact you to see?  My mom is an identical twin which is a natural form of human cloning which happens when the fertilized egg forms one zygote which splits and forms two embryos.   Monozygotic or identical twins are genetically nearly the same but are not genetically exactly the same.  Identical twins do not have the same fingerprint since they move around in their environment in the womb differently.  They don’t express the same phenotypes which are observable traits expressed by the genes of the individual.  The phenotype is controlled by the genetic make-up of the organism and the environmental pressures the organism is subject to which will be different for both of the individuals.  These different environmental influences can cause genes to be turned on or off or partially turned on or off which makes the identical twins not exactly the same.

Somatic-cell nuclear transfer

Stem Cell Treatments

Human cloning is the creation of a genetically identical copy of a human.  The term is generally referred to mean artificial cloning which is the reproduction of human cells and tissue.  It does not refer to the natural conception and delivery of identical twins.  There are two types of theoretical human cloning which are therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning.  Therapeutic cloning involves cloning cells from a human for use in medicine and transplants.  There are two common methods of therapeutic cloning which are being researched now which are somatic-cell nuclear transfer and pluripotent stem cell induction.  The somatic-cell nuclear transfer(SNCT) is a laboratory technique for creating a viable embryo from a body cell and an egg cell.  In this technique, you take an enucleated oocyte (egg cell) and implant it with a donor nucleus from a somatic (body) cell.  This process is used in both therapeutic and reproductive cloning.  Dolly the Sheep was created in 1996 using the somatic-cell nuclear transfer reproductive technique and was the first successfully cloned mammal.  Several other mammals have been successfully cloned since then as well.  Pluripotent stem cell induction is when cells can be generated directly from adult cells which can form every other cell type in the body such as heart, neuron pancreatic, and liver cells which could be beneficial for regenerative medicine.  This technique has a well-known pluripotent stem cell which is the embryonic stem cell.   The generation of embryonic stem cells involves destruction or at least manipulation of the pre-implementation stage embryo and has been the basis of much controversy.

Dolly the Sheep

“What do you think or make of the cloning of animals?”  “How do you feel about cloned animals being a part of our food supply?”  “Would you want to eat steak or a hamburger from an animal that has been cloned?”   “Would you like to see a human become cloned like what happened in the Doctor Who: “End of Time (Part One)” episode?”.  Being John Malkovich is another good example of seeing massive human cloning.  It gave me an uncomfortable feeling seeing so many of the same individual.  I felt like it was a loss of genetic diversity.  I think human beings in themselves like to see diversity in our society and see people being a “unique” being created naturally instead of an “artificially developed” being.  When I see the word artificial on food labels it bothers me and then when it comes to reading and thinking about it concerning humans or animals reproductively then it bothers me even more.  God created a natural way of life and I feel that we need to be careful of what we are creating on the scientific home front. “Will there be a loss of personality when you clone artificially?”  A person is developed naturally by combining a sperm cell and an egg cell versus in artificial cloning you have a somatic body cell and are taking the nucleus out of the somatic cell and placing it inside an egg cell.

Being John MalkovichBlade Runner

Star Wars Attack of the Clones

I became fascinated and cautious in my mind about the idea of cloning when I saw the movie Blade Runner which was based from Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?   The movie is about human replicants or clones.  The movie touched on important aspects of these individuals like if they had feelings or not or memories of their childhood being in their mind or absent.  The human replicant was only produced to act as slave labor in an off-world for so many years and then their time would be up.  “Would the replicants pose any real kind of threat to anyone else?”  This movie really made me think about the ethics behind cloning.  Another example of a science fiction movie that brings cloning into the forefront is in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.  Obi-Wan Kenobi finds out about the Republic’s sinister plan to build a clone army using bounty hunter, Jango Fett as the template.  Again, using these clones in a defense only lifestyle such as the army makes you wonder if they will have emotions about their lives and how they were created.  The fact is their lifestyle was chosen for them by the Republic and not by them.  That is where the ethics question of cloning comes in for me on whether it is ethical or not.  I believe that human cloning is ethical if used for therapeutic purposes but unethical for reproductive purposes.  Concerning the therapeutic, it would be incredible and beneficial if scientists found cures for the diseases through somatic-cell nuclear transfer(SCNT) but as for reproductive cloning then I think we are heading for a battleground when it comes to that technique of cloning.  Let me know what your thoughts are about this topic.

Human Cloning- Ethical or Unethical?

Cryopreservation-What Are Your Thoughts?

270px-Cryo_surgery

The gift of life is a beautiful thing that should not be taken for granted or wasted away by any means.  In fact, I am sure many of us find ourselves thinking about how life is so fleeting at times.  We celebrate with our family members and friends different occasions and then we might not see that family member or friend again for quite some time.  We fill our lives with so many activities that make us feel like life is infinite.  However, the gift of life is finite.  Many of us are probably struggling with the idea of death and can’t make any sense of it in the meaning of life since it is so opposite in its meaning.  We may find ourselves scared of that outcome and want to find some other answer.

According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of cryopreservation, it is the preservation (as of cells) by subjection to extremely low temperatures.   The definition of cryonics is a procedure in which a person’s body is frozen just after he or she has died so that the body can be restored if a cure for the cause of death is found.  Also, the cryogenics definition is a science that deals with how very low temperatures are produced and how they affect other things.  These two words cryogenics and cryonics are commonly mistaken for the same thing which they however are not the same thing.  Cryogenics is the study and manipulation of materials at extremely low temperatures versus cryonics is the belief that a person or person’s body parts can be frozen at death, stored in a cryogenic vessel, and later brought back to life.  Scientists are working on cryonics today and it is still in its infancy.

Can a person be brought back to life from being in a deep freeze for many years and still retain who they are?  We see this technology performed in movies or TV shows but does the procedure really work?  If it did work, would you want the procedure to be performed on you?  I was reading on a website  that certain celebs have signed up for this procedure in their future.  Simon Cowell from American Idol and the X Factor TV shows was one of them.  Larry King the popular talk show host was another one.  The famous baseball player Ted Williams has been in this state of being since his death in 2002.  I think that a decision like this is of a similar magnitude as a decision like donating your organs to others.  These are big and important decisions about your body.  Any decision about your body is important but some are on a much higher scale than others.

If it proves to be successful for human beings, what would your life be like if you could come back to life after being frozen so many years and retain your same personality and bringing that into a future world?  I think personally that the prospect of a decision like that is very intimidating to me.  I believe that because there is one constant in life which is change and there are certain people who will not be there anymore for you to see.  I think it would be strange to wake up from a deep freeze and see someone I knew thirty years older while I retained my same age at the time.  I think this idea of freezing is going against the natural process that God put into motion for all of us.  I am not saying that the study of it is exactly bad but there are downfalls in my opinion of this kind of physics.  I again believe that God put into play a natural progression of events in the process of life for us and changing the steps of it could be possibly harmful in some ways.  I am all for advancement in different areas of science as long as a line is not crossed too far.

The process of cryopreservation can begin within a few minutes after someone is declared legally dead according to the law.  There is a difference between legal death and total death.  Legal death is when the person’s heart has stopped beating versus total death is when a person’s brain function ceases.  The point of cryopreservation is to preserve a person right after legal death occurs so that they can preserve the cells that are biologically still alive.  The time for this process to occur is very important in preserving the personality and cell activity of that individual.  The scientists perform the vitrification process after the person is taken under their care.  The vitrification process has to do with them removing the water in the cells in the body and replace it with a cryoprotectant or antifreeze to preserve the cells from drying out and forming ice crystals.  Then, the person is stored in a cylinder filled with liquid nitrogen at a very low temperature of -196 degrees Celsius for long-term cryopreservation.  This procedure is very costly and can cost starting at $14,000 for neurosuspension to up to $200,000 for full-body suspension.  The cryopreservation process began in 1962 and there are 270 people that have undergone this form of treatment already.  There has never been any human that has been successfully revived from cryopreservation yet but they are expecting by around 2040 to be successful with this nanotechnology.

Part of the idea behind this physics is for people to be preserved and be revived when they find a cure for some disease that they were stricken with and was incurable at the time. This is medical time travel.  There have been some movies made about this topic such as Forever Young(1992) starring Mel Gibson and Demolition Man(1993) starring Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes to name a couple.  Benjamin Franklin, in a 1773 letter,[73] expressed regret that he lived “in a century too little advanced, and too near the infancy of science” that he could not be preserved and revived to fulfill his “very ardent desire to see and observe the state of America a hundred years hence.”  What are your thoughts concerning this matter of nanotechnology and where scientists are leading research for our future concerning this topic?

Liquid_nitrogen_tank_for_cryostorage-11

Cryonics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia// // //

Cryopreservation-What Are Your Thoughts?