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Seventeenth Issue 10 January 2005
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Buy this essay and others in Jim's new book Being Sovereign.

The Indomitus Report
Volume 2, #2

17 January 2005

Being Sovereign

The pistol is the great equalizer. Whether you are tall or short, male or female, strong or weak, old or young, you should get yourself a pistol and learn how to use it.

A pistol is easily concealed. It is easy to use. It is easy to maintain. And it provides tremendous, dramatic, and immediate power to the person wielding it.

By "wielding" we do not necessarily mean "firing," although you should know how to use any weapon you own. However, simply wearing a pistol, where doing so is not itself a source of difficulty, or showing a possible attacker that you are armed, is an immediate deterrent to bad behavior. Simply presenting the fact that you have a gun makes a would-be assailant reconsider their actions in a great many cases. And in those cases where the assailant isn't deterred by the fact that you have a gun, you'll be very glad you have a gun with which to defend yourself.

It is never too early to discuss gun safety. There are four basic rules. Every gun is always loaded. The first rule is the essential, inviolable fact about all guns that you simply must accept. The gun you just picked up and verified is empty is, when you hand it to us, loaded. The first thing we do when we pick up a gun, even a gun we own and use frequently, is verify the chamber. Is there a round in there?

If you ever act as though a gun is unloaded, you may do something foolish. There is no substitute for verifying this fact. There is no reason not to be aware of the chamber condition of the gun. There is nothing about a gun that is more important.

Since every gun is always loaded, it follows logically that you should never cover anything with the muzzle of your gun that you would not be prepared to shoot. The second rule is, don't point a gun at anything you aren't prepared to destroy. That's why pointing the muzzle straight at the ground is a good idea. If you fire straight up into the air, deliberately or due to a negligent discharge, that bullet goes somewhere. If it goes straight up, it'll come straight down, and you would be very unhappy to be underneath it when it arrives. Whatever speed it leaves your muzzle, it is going to go up until gravity cancels that speed and it is at rest, momentarily, high in the air. Then, inexorably, gravity is going to accelerate the bullet to the exact same extent that it slowed the bullet on the way up. So, when it comes back down to Earth to be close to you and things you love, it is going to be moving about as fast as it was when it left you. People who fire blanks are being casual about firing weapons, which is suboptimal. People who fire live rounds into the air are being negligent, and we don't want them around.

You cannot destroy the ground, if your gun goes off. So pointing your weapon at the ground when you consult the chamber about its condition is a good idea. Point a gun at someone, or even allow some portion of your muzzle to cover that person, and you are either engaging in threatening behavior or negligent behavior. You cannot expect a good reaction either way, so don't do it unless you mean it.

The third rule follows from the first two rules. If you aren't ready to fire the gun, don't put your finger on the trigger. Guns do not "just go off." They go off when the trigger is squeezed, or pulled, or even jerked. Sudden, reflexive, fist-clenching motions may arise if you sneeze, if you are startled, if you are off balance, if you have to deflect something, or if you are hit, among other possible triggering events. So, if your finger is on the trigger of your gun, it may go off, and that would be a negligent discharge. Never put your finger on the trigger unless you are about to shoot. That way, if you are careless about the fact that the gun is loaded, and you happen to be careless momentarily about covering something with the muzzle that you don't wish to destroy, you should be able to recover without any harm done.

The fourth rule is also perfectly logical. Be aware of where your bullet is going to go - your intended target and the backstop. Bullets travel very fast and have a great deal of force. The bullet you shoot may penetrate your intended target, be it a paper target, an animal, or an enemy. It is your responsibility the moment you squeeze the trigger, so be sure you know what to expect of that bullet. Don't shoot things you don't want to destroy. Be aware of the things behind your target, because they may also be destroyed.

Why is it good to be armed? Well, criminals aren't stupid. Park a police car next to a bank, and the criminal would most likely go to another neighborhood to find a different bank to rob. Put a barking dog in your home, and the burglar is likely to find another house with no dog. A security system decal on your window, or a sign in your yard, is nearly as effective as the security system itself in deterring the average criminal. Show a criminal that you have a gun, and he's going to leave you alone. The extraordinary criminal, who is determined to come after you, no matter what, is one you don't want to meet unarmed.

What kind of gun is best? The kind you are comfortable using. If you find the gun unwieldy, if you feel it is too heavy, if firing it at a gun range is very disturbing in terms of recoil or "kick" or in terms of lifting it to bring the gun to bear on the target, then you are going to be reluctant to carry that weapon or draw it or fire it. When you need it most, you want to be comfortable having it, drawing it, and using it. Otherwise, look for a better weapon.

Ideally you should carry the largest caliber handgun you can fire comfortably, which you can afford to purchase, for which you can easily obtain ammunition, with the largest capacity magazine you are able to handle. The larger the caliber, the more stopping power you are likely to have. The larger caliber may not be comfortable, though, because depending on the way the rounds are loaded, it may be difficult for you to control. The gun you cannot afford to buy is a gun you won't have. The gun you can't find ammo for is the gun which isn't ready to fire whenever you need it. A GyroJet may be the niftiest gun ever made, but if you cannot afford to use the ammo, you should have another gun.

What about revolvers? A revolver is an excellent weapon. It is generally small, always very reliable, based on simple technology invented about 1835, easy to maintain, hard to misfire, easy to clean, generally easy to handle. A small five-round .38 caliber snub-nosed revolver would be very easy to conceal, and loaded with "hot hand-loaded wad cutters" may be a very effective weapon. (In this parlance, "hot" means the rounds have extra powder providing more propulsive force; "hand-loaded" means the round was custom loaded by a specialty shop or by you at your basement re-loading bench; "wad cutters" are a round designed to tumble when they impact the target, doing much more damage.)

Another effective weapon is the .45 caliber auto pistol, such as the Browning 1911 A. This gun is fed with a magazine, typically holding eight or ten rounds, though large capacity magazines for 15 rounds are available. The Browning 1911 in particular was designed for the USA Army during the occupation of the Philippines after the Spanish American War of 1898. The insurgent Hukbalahap natives were berserkergang, or able to entrance themselves so as to be able to take two or three rounds from a .38 caliber service revolver and keep coming. The Browning 1911 was able to stop one of these natives with a single shot.

So why not carry a rifle? Actually, many people do. Ken Royce, known by his nom de plume "Boston T. Party" recommends that if you are certain you are going to be in a gunfight, bring a rifle. He suggests that a handgun is a weapon for use in fighting your way back to your rifle, but it should not be your only weapon. (Boston's Gun Bible p 25/1, 2002)

Every tool is adapted for some purposes and not for others. A handgun is adapted for concealment, it is effective for ease of carry so you'll always have one with you, it is designed for quick access yet may be carried out of your way, and it provides some firepower right now. Moreover, there are combat situations when your rifle fails, when switching to your sidearm is essential, or when a handgun is simply better adapted to an enemy approaching close quarters. As we discussed last week, a handgun may not be your best choice for immediate close quarters combat. You should also carry a knife.

Keep in mind that we are developing your defense in depth starting with your skin and working our way outward. You should cultivate good attitudes about your personal safety, learn skills such as unarmed combat (we particulary like gung fu), be aware of your surroundings - all these things go on inside your head or within your reflexes. Outside your skin you should be able to grab body armor to defend yourself. You should have weapons for defense: a good knife, a handgun, a rifle, night vision gear, target illumination. You should have a good system of communications in place. Depending on what you have to protect, you may need more people involved, so you'll need a quality system for identifying, selecting, and managing such people.

But when your defense grid fails, when your alarm system short ciruits, when the cops are fighting rioters a dozen miles away, when you have to rely on yourself, you don't want to be unarmed. Your sovereignty, your liberty, your property, and ultimately your life may depend on how well armed and armored you can get, quickly.

In addition to a gun you know how to use, training to keep your reflexes sharp, and plenty of ammo, what do you need? A good handgun should be easy to carry. Some type of holster for open carry that you find comfortable is good for situations where open carry is acceptable. You'll also want a good system for concealed carry, such as a purse, fanny pack, or concealable holster that is adapted for your weapon. Don't forget that you need to carry re-loads, either speed loaders for your revolver or magazines for your auto-pistol. Have bulk ammo somewhere nearby, in the car or house.

You should be able to quickly pick out your target and your front sight. Tritium sights are an excellent approach to this need. Tritium is a very mildly radioactive form of hydrogen which, in paint, causes a luminous effect. You may remember watches with radioactive lithium numerals and hands; these proved to be mildly carcinogenic to the users. Tritium is much less hazardous, and provides sights which you can easily see in the dark.

In addition to sights, you want to be able to see not only your target, but also the backstop. Remember the fourth rule of gun safety: be aware of your target and backstop. If you cannot see what you are shooting, you should not be shooting. Thus, a flashlight or gun-mounted light is very important. A laser illuminator is interesting, but you have to be able to see well enough to pick your target before you illuminate it with the laser - the little red dot isn't going to shed much light on the subject.

Which is as good a reason as any to be thinking about night vision gear. With an infra-red or ultra-violet light, you can illuminate your target and backstop, see where you are shooting, without putting up a big bright "here we are" light for your enemy to shoot at. Night vision gear is increasingly affordable. Most of it works by accumulating available light and providing a false-color image with much more light intensity than the surrounding objects are reflecting.

You can also get infra-red and ultra-violet lamps which emit a light not normally visible, and goggles which let you see in these parts of the spectrum. Your eye normally sees the spectrum of visible light: violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and all the colors in between. A prism in sunlight will reveal these colors to you. But light comes in all colors, including microwave or radio wave radiation, including deep infra-red, and so forth. Various tools exist to detect radiation in wavelengths other than your eye is designed for - including your skin which is clever at detecting heat or infra-red light.

"What do you want," the garage mechanic asks at one point in a film. "I know what you want," is his rejoinder moments later. "You want to be invisible, invulnerable, and invincible. You want to come and go like the wind."

These are excellent ambitions. Keep your wealth and your property and yourself on a low profile. Use pseudonyms and alternate identities when you are able to protect yourself with them. Get tools to protect your privacy, your anonymity, your property, and yourself. Body armor and defensive weapons such as knives, guns, rockets, planes, and tanks help provide invulnerability. Night vision gear lets you see without being seen. Nothing can make you invincible, so don't believe that you are.

In future issues we'll take a look at some of the companies that make the gear you want to have. After all, in a world where defense is coming to cost a millionth the amount of offense, or less, the demand for defensive tools is going to be huge.

Next week is time for a thoroughgoing appraisal of rifles.

Free Market Money

    "As the benefits of freedom and free markets are more and more advocated and understood, it is only a matter of time until the inherent weakness and dangers of an international fiat currency system will become apparent. A radical free market revolution will continue into the 21st Century. And eventually the monetary part of that revolution will conclude that an economic system cannot long last based on politically controlled and managed little pieces of paper, electronic impulses, credit entries, etc. Coming in the future is a true monetary revolution where competition will arrive in the marketplace between government controlled currencies and private money systems based on gold. This is not some wild dream of the future. As this is written, several high tech companies in the United States are developing private electronic money systems and several companies are developing a similar system in which the currency will actually be weight of gold in ounces which can be electronically transferred at the touch of a computer pad. These transactions can be entirely private (encrypted) based on gold stored in many different countries. The new gold money of the 21st Century will be a new international gold standard without regard to borders, based on thousands of years of proven history of gold as the ultimate money. Indeed the philosophical and economic arguments for such a gold based monetary system are so sure that it is not a matter of if this will happen, but a matter of how soon. It is my hope that the combined wisdom represented in this small book will help in that radical monetary revolution."
    - James U. Blanchard, III,
    Golden Insights: a Collection of My Favorite Quotes on Sound Money and Free Markets
    1997

From Jim Blanchard's lips to God's ears. Many of the quotes on free market money which we've used in each issue of this newsletter have been from Jim's book.

Free market money is now, and the revolution should be enormously entertaining.

Gold Mining

Here's how the stocks we presently suggest in this area look right now:

Company Symbol C$ US$
s
Exploring
Almaden AMM.TO 1.64 -
-C$0.10
Free Gold ITF.TO 0.31 0.25
+C$0.03
Luzon LZN.V 0.21 -
- C$0.08
Holding
Lumina LCC - 4.46
- 0.18
Silver Standard SSRI - 11.21
- 1.57
Vista VGZ.TO 4.01 -
- C$0.99
Mining
Newmont Mining NEM - 41.87
-1.43
Northgate NXG - 1.52
- 0.13

Yes, it is all red, except for Freegold, which it seems we recommended early enough that it hasn't quite been dragged down by the current price of gold. We find that the price of gold has been much more volatile since the exchange traded funds went on line. Whether there is a connection we are uncertain. So far, the January effect is coming a cropper, and much higher gold prices are not here yet.

We continue to suggest that you maintain stop loss orders against any position which represents significant value to you. Tight trailing stops should allow you to let the red ink be someone else's problem, and you can buy back in when you feel the bottom has been passed.

Lumina Copper is clearly affected by the strength of copper prices. Much of the value of the company is predicated on its inventory of copper in the ground. While we continue to suggest this stock as a good value, the price of copper on the spot market has not been very helpful. Copper is reported to have an eight year cycle, and its last peak was about $1.45 about nine years back. Well, the sixth month chart at KitcoMetals is quite telling. Copper topped $1.47 in October, again in early December, and again at the beginning of January. It has obviously not made a new high, and the peak was the first of these three pulses. It appears to be a "triple-tap" on an upper channel marker or overhead resistance, and it doesn't seem likely to penetrate that level any time soon.

Free Market Money

Gold in London at $420.50 on 18 January 2005 at 03:30 in NY. There seems to have been a mad cat fight betewen $420.50 and $422.50 in Sydney and Hong Kong. This volatility suggests that a lot of very speculative money is following any momentary trend, playing hob with price stability. Last week we were concerned about gold holding above $418, which it appears to have done for the full week.

Silver has been a model of stability in comparison, over the same period. Perhaps there isn't an exchange traded fund in silver? As we went to press, silver was $6.54, higher by a dozen cents from last week.

The two stocks we've suggested in this sector are PVH and MCG. Finally, there is some action here! PVH and MCG are both up at our press time. PVH is back up to 0.04 and MCG is up to 0.64. All the stocks on PVCSE.com are traded in grams of gold (gAu).

To review briefly, the PVCSE is a private venture capital stock exchange, which we discussed in a previous issue. PVH is Pecunix Venture Holdings. PVH is a shareholder in the Pecunix.com online currency system. We understand they issued a dividend at the end of 2003, and we would anticipate a dividend for 2004, though we haven't ascertained whether this dividend has been issued.

MCG is Micro Casino Gold. Shares of MCG are trading once again, and are based on the Gold Casino shares which trade at dBourse.com. Each share of MCG represents half a percent (one two-hundredth) of a share in the Gold Casino. Shares of the Gold Casino recently traded at 103 grams of gold on dBourse.com and shares of MCG are trading at a slight premium. The Gold Casino (TGC) is paying a dividend which yields about 8% per year. Dividends are paid out monthly to TGC shareholders, and MCG shareholders are also paid monthly, following the distribution from dBourse.

GBH is down a bit at 0.972 gAu, and is now actively traded. The company is Gold Barter Holdings. GBH just issued a dividend which we gather is about 4 cents per share. We understand from sources close to the company that this dividend payment was limited by the availability of Pecunix. Another dividend payment at the beginning of April is anticipated. We understand that dividends of around 16 cents total are to be distributed, which suggests earnings may be as high as 32 cents per share. On that basis, the company has a price to earnings ratio of about 41. We are now suggesting you consider this stock, since it is both actively traded and paying dividends.

The other stock currently listed at PVCSE is A11. We don't see any indication of stock trades, and we are uncertain about the situation with this company. It apparently offers asset protection services of some sort. There is some evidence of a related company being listed on LESE, another private exchange service.

Getting started at PVCSE is pretty easy. Follow our referral link to get started. There is also a quick-start page on the site. You'll need to open a Pecunix.com account, although we're told that PVCSE is to implement a Gold-Cart feature very soon. Fund your PVCSE trading account from your Pecunix.com account. There is a half gram fee for getting started. Once you have funds in your PVCSE account, you can buy stocks, receive dividends as they are paid out, sell stocks, or otherwise enjoy trading. There are not yet any trailing stops possible, as all orders are market orders.

Space Frontier

It is not completely clear what Jeff Bezos is doing with Blue Origin. He's got a 53,000 square foot warehouse in Seattle. We now learn that he's bought the Corn Ranch, 165,000 acres up north of Van Horn, Texas. You can find Van Horn on a map showing Interstate 10 as it approaches El Paso from the east.

The FAA corroborates that Blue Origin is planning to set the place up as a commercial launch site for suborbital rockets. MSNBC's report suggests that the company would use the facility for a vertical take off and landing craft that would carry three people to space altitude at suborbital velocity.

If the estimates of six to seven years for development and testing are correct, this approach would seem to be a bit behind for the arrival of the suborbital tourism market. Branson's Virgin Galactic seems to be planning a much earlier entry, perhaps in three years.

While anyone who has been to the Mojave Spaceport can attest that it is well away from population centers, it is also fairly near the coast. It is not nearly as remote as Van Horn, Texas. So, as a testing and development center, Corn Ranch makes some sense. As a space tourism center, it seems rather...distant from the market.

Visitors to Carlsbad Caverns, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Big Bend National Park, or El Paso would certainly have much to talk about, since suborbital launches from Corn Ranch would be visible from these nearby locations. The number of tourists going to those places pales in comparison to numbers for places near Mojave Spaceport.

We can hardly wait for the environmentalists to get up in arms about some West Texas critter that the new Corn Ranch space port may alarm. But, at the end of the day, Jeff Bezos now owns a huge chunk of land in West Texas. Who knows, maybe George W. Bush can come out of retirement and drill some dry wells on the property.

And if his new career in space tourism doesn't work, he's still chairman, president, and CEO of Amazon.com. So, we wish him all the best.

Here's how things stand for the stock we suggested in this sector:

SpaceDev is at $1.62. It is up $0.12 since we first suggested it.

Launch Technology

Any review of Brazil's space program should reach basically the same conclusions as our views on NASA. Brazil's "AEB" may be smaller, on a tighter budget, but it seems just as bent on socialistic ideas as NASA. AEB was cooperating with NASA on developing parts of the International Space Station with as much as $120 million of Brazilian taxpayer money. Part of that effort was to build an "unpressurized logistics carrier known as an Express Pallet" according to the above captioned Space Daily article. We shudder to think how it would be possible to spend $120 million on a pallet, given that unpressurized logistics carriers known as pallets are about $5 at the local hardware store.

Brazil's astronaut, Lt. Col. Marcos Pontes, was sent to the NASA Johnson Space Center in 1998 to train, at the expense of the Brazilian taxpayers as well as the American taxpayers, for a flight in 2001 that never took place. We find it delightful that when the program was cancelled, the Brazilian astronaut stayed in Houston.

But, on the plus side, Brazil has wasted an enormous amount of taxpayer money on developing its VLS rocket system. Sadly, the catastrophic explosion of the VLS in August 2003 killed twenty-one of the finest space technicians in Brazil, and destroyed the launch tower at Alcantara.

Alcantara, Brazil, is just three degrees South of the Equator. So, it is an excellent place for a launch site. The rotation of Earth provides about a thousand miles an hour of extra velocity to a vehicle launching to the east from the Equator. This extra velocity drops by the cosine of the latitude as you move away from the Equator.

In addition to their own version of "kaputnik," Brazil is planning to make the Alcantara facilities available for launches of the Tsyklon 4 rocket system from Ukraine. We gather that geostationary communications satellites may be launched by the Tsyklon 4. (Tsyklon is Russian for Cyclone.)

Sergio Gaudenzi, the president of AEB, says that he plans to build an international space port, a university campus, and a complex of space museums at Alcantara. "We want to create a great international space tourism and scientific center at Alcantara with university campuses, labs, hotels, and an ecological reserve," he said.

So, picture Brasilia as depicted in the film "Brazil" and add a dash of madness.

New Country Developments

In 1991, through assorted machinations and excessive unpleasantness, including false arrest, a prosecutor lying to a judge, a crowded holding cell with an inch of raw sewage on the floor in a jail that was already under investigation for cruel and unusual punishment where only detention was authorized, a lawyer with a conflict of interest, and other difficulties, Space Travel Services was destroyed. Some day we'll write a book providing more details. Meanwhile, although our individual freedom was provided for with an artful compromise and a new lawyer, our ability to change the way people think about space was severely limited. Obviously, the USA wasn't a free country.

Having one's illusions shattered while being betrayed by what one believed was one's country, one's judicial system, and one's own attorney (at least the last of these had a contract to violate) is unpleasant. Becoming aware that one has no country from which to operate a successful space tourism company is a dramatic realization. When this particular epiphany arrived, as part of the tedious and sordid process, it became clear to us that we needed to find a better place to go.

So we encountered the Atlantis Project in 1993. This project is not to be confused with an earlier Atlantis Project organized by Werner Stieffel, nor the even earlier Atlantis Project organized by one of Ernest Hemingway's kin. This Atlantis Project was one of the first to use the power of the Internet to make contact with about 1,200 dedicated liberty enthusiasts worldwide. Advertisements in Reason magazine and much promotion through various USEnet newsgroups brought a lot of interested people together.

As a result of our involvement, we wrote The Atlantis Papers in 1994 to explain the constitution of the new country. We have since, of course, become disillusioned with the tissue of constitutional theory. A constitution, even one based on an actual contract, is no substitute for individual sovereignty, nor is delegated power any less likely to corrupt those to whom it is delegated if they ignore a written constitution rather than an unwritten one.

The Atlantis Project with Eric Klien at the helm was a failure. The project failed for various reasons, including inappropriate allocation of financial resources. In Spring 1994, some $250,000 was borrowed from prominent libertarians to pay for a conference at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and a detailed architectural model of the new ocean platform-based country, Oceania. The funds were ultimately used, it seems, based on reports we have, for handling margin calls for Mr. Klien's stock brokers. In any event, the project collapsed and the conference never took place.

Several friends had lent money to provide for the critical conference, and when it failed to transpire, we learned of their concerns that their money was neither used for its intended purpose nor repaid to them. In late 1994, we began meeting with several of these prominent liberty enthusiasts. One, Courtney Smith, organized a founding conference for the New Country Foundation in November 1995.

We attended, along with about thirty others. We met John Perry as a result of this conference, learned of Michael van Notten's plans for a free port in Africa, met briefly with various financiers, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. At the conference were representatives of the then-also-new Free Nation Foundation.

The New Country Foundation provided materials and some support for the Free Nation Foundation's web presence. A few years later, Free Nation Foundation principals had a falling out, and the Libertarian Nation Foundation was organized. Our good friends Wayne Dawson and Roderick Long are still involved.

In other new country developments, we learned this month about some difficulties at Havenco. There seems to be some trouble with the service provider for Havenco's last miles from shore to the platform, so traceroutes seem to hit the London Telehouse router but never reach the Sealand platform. The Gold Casino seems to have relocated its services to another country, and we are not expecting services to the platform to be restored soon. There may be an opportunity to buy out Havenco and place it under more sensible management, though as it seems to have lost its last few remaining customers, it isn't clear how that would be a good investment.

Longevity

    "It's very early days for understanding the connection between neural function and aging."
    - Dr. Kerry Kornfield, Science, 14 January 2005

Dr. Kornfield's study involved three doses of nineteen classes of drugs using fifty roundworms of the C elegans species. Moderate doses of the anticonvulsant drug ethosuximide extended the mean adult lifespan of the test subjects by 17 percent. The related drug trimethadione was even more successful, extending mean lifespan by 47 percent and maximum lifespan by 57 percent.

Let's try to relate that to your life. You are reading this essay, so chances are you have passed your fifth birthday. Infant mortality has a dramatic effect on lifespan, such that once you are passed your fifth birthday, your expected lifespan is about 85 years, whether you are a man or a woman. To give you a sense of how much infant mortality reduces average lifespan, the figures are about 72 years for men and 74 years for women.

Maximum lifespan is not a figure which has been thoroughly documented, but 120 years is widely regarded as the maximum lifespan figure for humans. So what would be the results, if this study in roundworms provides a therapy that is effective in humans?

The seventeen percent improvement in mean adult lifespan from ethosuximide would mean that instead of an averge adult lifespan through 85 years, you could expect to live to about 99. The 47 percent increase in mean lifespan with trimethadione would result in a mean lifespan of 125 years - so many people would live longer. The maximum lifespan would move from 120 years to 188 years.

In other longevity news, a report in the 14 January 2005 issue of Cell reveals that iron deficiency alters the expression of 80 or more genes in yeast cells. Duke University's Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology Dennis J. Thiele, Ph.D, and colleagues at the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center demonstrated that in iron deficiency conditions, yeast cells shut down the major usage of iron in order to maintain essential cellular functions. The yeast cell is similar to human cells in terms of genome, so similar effects may be expected in humans. Among the genes affected by this process are those involved in generating energy, copying the genetic code, protecting the cell from free radicals and aging, and many unknown functions. So, nutrition plays a vital role in cellular health.

Two studies now confirm that mice fed a calorie restricted diet are at less risk from Alzheimer's disease, and the diet reduces the plaques which characterize the disease. The most recent study is to be reported in Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "A rather mild change in diet resulted in a remarkable measure of disease prevention," said Dr. Guido M. Pasinetti, MD, PhD of Mt. Sinai's department of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, Geriatrics, and Adult Development.

What makes tomatoes and watermelons red? Lycopene. Lycopene is a dietary carotenoid. The March 2005 issue of International Journal of Cancer reports a study of 404 men in Southeast China which establishes an inverse association between prostate cancer and intake of all the dietary carotenoids including lycopene, alpha carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Tomatoes, pumpkin, spinach, watermelon, and citrus fruits are good sources of these. So, eat your vegetables.

Our father was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer, among his other travails. As there is increased risk of prostate cancer in men with a family history of it, we now consume a four-ounce can of tomato juice every day, shortly before the evening meal. As with Wobenzym, resveratrol, and other dietary supplements, the purpose is to maximize the benefits a healthy diet can provide. Regular exercise is another important aspect of a healthy lifestyle.

If you want to live as long as possible, nutrition and exercise are vital components of your arsenal against disease and degeneration. Research suggests a 50 percent increase in mean lifespan for caloric restriction, and resveratrol seems to mimic these effects. Which means you should be able to take a few simple steps to greatly increase your expected lifespan, so that when more radical therapies, based on the anticonvulsants or some other approach become available, you'll still be alive to benefit from them.


Publication note: We are late with this issue, and regret the delay.


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