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One of the most intriguing--and certainly one of the most famous--Bible stories is John 2:1-11: Jesus turns water into wine.  This is said to be the "First Sign"--a miracle that convinced his disciples of his divinity.

Akinori Ito is the CEO of Blest, a Japanese company.  If plastic is just oil, maybe we can simply return it to what it was. So he set out to make a machine that would convert plastic back to oil.  Now, Blest produces the machines in various sizes that can be used for industrial purposes as well as home use.  As Ito puts it, "To make a machine that anyone can use is my dream,” Ito says. “The home is the oil field of the future.”

Miraculous?  Here's the video, complete with English translation.  You can decide for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m mad as hell about the way our elderly population—our parents, relatives, all our senior relatives and friends—are shoved aside, tormented, victimized and abused.  That shoving, tormenting, victimizing and abuse of helpless elders happens most often at home.  Not in nursing homes, although the abuse that happens there frequently captures headlines, but at home, where the family dynamic can camouflage mistreatment.  According to the American Psychological Association

"Most elder abuse and neglect takes place at home. The great majority of older people live on their own or with their spouses, children, siblings, or other relatives--not in institutional settings. When elder abuse happens, family, other household members, and paid caregivers usually are the abusers. Although there are extreme cases of elder abuse, often the abuse is subtle, and the distinction between normal interpersonal stress and abuse is not always easy to discern."

A Great Places reader, who's following the Senior Watchdog blog, shares her story of familial abuse.  We learn from her experience that the impact, the guilt and the shame, can last for decades.

"I can’t remember whether it was sunny or cloudy that August morning when the phone rang.  The only thing I remember for sure is that it was Rachel, my niece, on the line.  Rachel was 50 that year, but she looked at least 80: smoking, drug abuse, and most recently, methamphetamine addiction, had left her toothless and wrinkled.  Her voice was deep and raspy that morning. 'Your sister is back in the hospital, Aunt Edna.' 'Oh no, her heart again?' 'No.  Elaine is in surgery.' 'For what?' 'Aunt Edna, she had a bedsore and they had to operate.'

"My heart sank. I’m a nurse. I know that if it’s necessary to operate on a bedsore, the situation is dangerous. I immediately set out on the four-hour drive to the small-town hospital. When I arrived, my sister was in the intensive care unit, hooked up to IVs and drainage tubes. I looked at the pump discharge from her draining bedsore and realized it was serious.

"For several months I had pleaded with Elaine to go to a nursing home.  She refused: 'You’re not going to talk me into moving into a nursing home. I’ve heard enough horrid stories about those places.' This time, though, she agreed that I could look for one. When I asked whether Rachel had abused her, she turned away from me and whispered, 'No.'  I didn’t believe her. I discovered that the hospital had sent the police to her home to investigate the possibility that Elaine was being abused. Not surprisingly, neither Rachel nor Elaine admitted anything.

"My sister was suffering; the infection in her bedsore was beyond belief. When I got ready to leave, I promised that I’d be back soon, and told her how much I loved her. She said, 'I love you, too, Sis.' Soon after I got home, the hospital administrator called and told me that Elaine had died.

"I know that my sister died of abuse and neglect—not in a nursing facility, but in her own home. Elaine died of Seniorcide. It breaks my heart to say this. I should have been more assertive and taken her to a nursing home. I feel the guilt every day."





We at Great Places
are appalled by how our seniors are victimized--and we won't be quiet when family members abuse infirm seniors. 

The SENIOR WATCHDOG is on the case.  
 

 

In biblical times, people were long-lived.  It is said that Adam lived 930 years, and his son, Seth, lived to be 912.  Seth's son, Lamech, lived 777 years, and Noah, Lamech's son, lived to be 950.  Noah's son, Shem, lived to be 600, and his son, Arphaxad, lived 438 years.  Skipping a few generations, Abraham lived to be 175; jumping a few more, Moses lived 120 years. 

 

Recently, experts have generally agreed that humans have a theoretical maximum lifespan of 125 years--similar to Moses.  Even if that estimate is correct, we know that our health declines many years--even decades--before that. 

Many scientists believe that the 125-year lifespan, as well as the earlier decline in health, is caused by the gradual shortening of our "telomeres," which are the structures at the ends of our chromosomes.  This shortening is believed to be the so-called "clock of aging" in our bodies. 

 

The good news is that a human cell that does not undergo this shortening will divide indefinitely, which means that it would be literally immortal.  Bottom line:  If we could find a way to stop--or reverse--this shortening, we could live forever!

  

Enter Sierra Sciences, LLC, a biotechnology company founded in 1999.  The company is dedicated to preventing--or reversing--cellular aging, ultimately curing diseases associated with human aging, including the aging process itself.  Here's how:  Our reproductive cells don't experience shortening of telomeres; they don't age.  They have an enzyme, "telomerase," which re-lengthens the telomeres as they shorten.  Sierra Sciences is searching for pharmaceuticals that will produce telemorase in all our cells. 

If successful, the Fountain of Youth that Ponce de Leon thought he had found when he landed in St. Augustine, Florida, is actually 2,800 miles northwest, in Reno, Nevada.  That's where you'll find the home of Sierra Sciences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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