Making Sense Of The Movement Toward Digital Immortality – Worldcrunch


MADRID The Three Ages of Man and Death, by the 16th century German painter Hans Baldung, is a portrait of the ravages of aging. In it, a female skeleton holds an hourglass to indicate our inexorable fate, while above, to the right of the figures, a cross points toward the heavens as our only possible hope after death.

The painting, housed in Madrid's Prado museum, is a good reminder that religion was where we long turned for consolation concerning fatality. But today, technology may be usurping that space. And by 2030, it may perpetuate our lives artificially.

This is what the artificial intelligence (AI) pioneer and futurist Ray Kurzweil terms "singularity," a concept that is depicted in science fiction as either simulation of human conduct or replication of people who have died.

The Three Ages of Man and Death by Hans Baldung Wikipedia

The computerization of all our digital data would effectively come to constitute a decoupling of what we are our identity from biological chains. In this digital transcendence, our consciousness would outlive our body or rather 'inhabit' or survive in a machine.

An embryonic version of all this is the Eternime project, a startup founded by MIT fellow Marius Ursache that saves people's stories, thoughts and memories forever, and allows them to create avatars that can interact with others, or even themselves, through their digital fingerprints.

An episode of the science fiction series Black Mirror, entitled Be Right Back, depicted immortality in those terms. Depending on the data available on a person, the algorithm can create and relive predictable behaviors. Patterns identified through data analyses would allow construction of intelligence systems superior to the Turing Test. People might even be replicated.

In some ways this form of transcendence is the same one poet and philosopher Miguel de Unamuno attributed to writing. The writer leaves his or her imprint for posterity, and his readers will encounter a part of the departed writer. "In my absence, this will be a memento of what I was," he wrote. Or it can be a painting, like Salvador Dal's The Knight of Death.

The computerization of all our digital data would effectively come to constitute a decoupling of what we are our identity from biological chains.

The novelty with digital perpetuation is that our bequest will not be static, like a picture, photograph or lines written in a memoir. It will be our conscience, reconverted into AI, able to interact and learn over time and adapt to new situations, through what is termed machine learning and deep learning.

All technology purports to be the solution to a problem, and death is certainly a problem. But it's also one of our fundamental taboos, the unmentionable. It constitutes a break with our idyllic view of life, especially in a time when happiness seems to have become a moral (and commercial) obligation. Death, therefore, must be removed from this model life plan.

El cavaller de la mort Photo: Fundaci Gala - Salvador Dal

The cultural historian Philippe Aris duly warned that from a familiar conception of death, we have moved toward an inability to accept the fact that we are finite. We have moved from death as an inevitable and quotidian part of our lives, and an experience to be lived like any other, to death as a curse. It must be systematically hidden from our view because it reminds us in spite of our efforts, that we are limited beings.

We fear death to the point of leaving the dying in solitude, as the sociologist Norbert Elias pointed out in his last years of his life. The dreams of transhumanist perfection and prolonged existence after our biological death thus clash with the notion of a limit. It is the limit that defines us and distinguishes us from others.

But would life without limits make sense? Is conscience stretched through computation not a simulation rather than an authentic prolongation of our being? Again, fiction helps us understand it.

All technology purports to be the solution to a problem, and death is certainly a problem.

The Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges observed in his short story The Immortal that in winning eternal life, the race of tired immortals comes to see the infinite value of all that is limited, and the irredeemable nature of a single life. Humans, he wrote, merit pity for their "ghostly" condition and their inevitable disappearance, "like the face of every dream."

Mario de Andrade, the Brazilian writer, offered his own take on the mortality question. "We have two lives," he wrote in his poem My Soul is in a Hurry. "And the second one begins when you realize you have but one..."

What if that life were eternal? For Borges, Baldung, Unamuno, Dal and Andrade thanks to their immortal writings and paintings it already is.

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Dating in the Kitchen cast: Meet the stars of the latest hit Chinese drama – HITC – Football, Gaming, Movies, TV, Music

The first season of Dating in the Kitchen has just premiered on Tencent Video, but who are the cast of this new romantic-comedy-drama?

If you are a fan of romantic-comedy dramas, Dating in the Kitchen is definitely a series you should check out.

The first season has only just debuted on Tencent Video, but fans are already falling in love with the characters as they start to fall for each other, but who are the stars of the show?

Zhao Lu Si (English name Rosy Zhao) is a popular Chinese actress from Chengdu in Sichuan Province.

Viewers will recognise Rosy from her roles in Untouchable Lovers (2018) as Ma Xue Yun, Oh! My Emperor (2018) as Luo Fei Fei, I Hear You (2019) as Bei Er Duo, Love of thousand Years (2020) as Qin Chuan and in The Romance of Tiger and Rose (2020) as Chen Xiao Qian.

The 21-year-old has also appeared in Love Better Than Immortality (2019), Prodigy Healer (2019), Autumn Fairy Tale (2019) and Cinderella Chef (2018).

Rosy is set to have a busy few years ahead of her, with main roles in The long Ballad (2020), A Female Student Arrives at the Imperial College (2021), Please Feel At Ease Mr. Ling (2021) and New Generation (2021).

You can follow Rosy on Instagram @rosy.zls.

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Lin Shen (also known as Lin Yushen) is a popular Chinese actor from Longyan in Fujian who has appeared in a variety of blockbuster movies and television shows.

The 39-year-old is best known for his performances in Heavenly Sword and Dragon Slaying (2019) as Yang Xiao, If Paris Downcast (2018) as Dai King Jie, Under Cover (2017) as Bao Yu, To Love Somebody (2014) as Lin Fan and Crazy in Love (2007) as Ah Kang.

Shen has also appeared in The Twin Flower Legend (2020), Im Lucky (2017), Flower Pinellia (2013), Single Child (2013), Stand By Me (2011) and The Frightening Night (2011), amongst many others.

Shen will play the main role in the upcoming drama Detective A & B, which premieres in 2021.

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Dating in the Kitchen cast: Meet the stars of the latest hit Chinese drama - HITC - Football, Gaming, Movies, TV, Music

Woodburn: Every town has its own ‘Moonlight’ – VC Star

Woody Woodburn, Columnist Published 8:56 a.m. PT Sept. 18, 2020

As long as Shoeless Joe Jackson and the other ballplayers in the movie Field of Dreams stay on the magical baseball diamond in an Iowa cornfield, they remain forever young.

We learn this when young outfielder Moonlight Graham steps across the first-base foul line and becomes his elderly self as Dr. Archibald Graham, giving up immortality in order to save Ray Kinsellas young daughter from choking.

In response to my column last week, readerLindsay Nielson shared a humorous anecdote about feeling like he had crossed the foul line in the opposite direction during his annual physical with Dr. Geoff Loman.

I told him, Doc, I think I am immortal, Nielson wrote in an email. Really? Why is that?came his response.

I rattled off all the things I had been through two heart attacks; a fall that resulted in three screws to hold my hip together and a titanium bar in my femur; a few stent implants; back surgery that resulted in eight screws in my spine; and my second home in Palm Springs had burned to the ground, etc.

Dr. Loman said, Wow, Lindsay, that is something. But, I went to a pretty good medical school and it is my opinion that you probably arent immortal.

As the mortal Dr. Graham, Burt Lancasters character sagely says of his disappointing one-game career in the Big Leagues without an at-bat: If Id only gotten to be a doctor for five minutes now thatwould have been a tragedy.

Rick Throckmorton feels it would have been a tragedy had his own family doctor not had a long medical career, writing: Your column brought back old memories of Dr. Albert Crites, who founded the Port Hueneme Belinda Hospital, later Adventist Hospital. I dont know if he was a poet or not, but I remember him as surely being an angel or saint in disguise on earth.

Dr. Crites treated my grandmother, who was a sad hypochondriac, and who visited him almost daily with her alleged aches and pains. Once, I accompanied her while I was on a leave from the Army. I remember him saying, Bessie, now you know theres nothing wrong with you, but I have something that might help. Its a wonder medicine. He would give her a vial of what I later learned were plain sugar pills, but Grandmom was always better after taking them!

Dr. Crites once fixed my broken finger (before splinting it) by pulling it straight after telling me, Ricky, this is gonna hurt a little! I was in the seventh grade and a fly ball had hit squarely on top of my ring finger and broke it to 90 degrees. It hurt like heck, but Dr Crites soothing words calmed the tears.

Some years later, I was involved in a serious accident while in Hueneme High School and the ambulance took me to Adventist Hospital. I had not seen Dr. Crites since the broken-finger incident and there he was. He said again, Ricky, looks like this is gonna to hurt a little as he treated my severe burns.

Dr. Crites took care of my mom, too, as she had to have full hysterectomy; and my WWII veteran dads bad heart; and I was there with Dr. Crites when dad passed away early from a massive heart attack.

In the movie Field of Dreams, James Earl Jones character Terence Mann says, Every town has a Doctor Graham, Throckmorton concluded. Andevery town has, or should have, a Doctor Crites.

If not, now thatwould be a tragedy.

Woody Woodburn writes a weekly column for The Star and can be contacted atWoodyWriter@gmail.com. His books are available atwww.WoodyWoodburn.com.

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God, Brad Pitt Is So Good at This – Vulture

Hes a master class in how to play the game as a celebrity. Case in point: his Fast Times at Ridgemont High table-read performance. Photo: CORE/YouTUbe

To succeed at celebrity is to master the art of image construction and management. It is to turn yourself into a brand in which performance is the method and the point. The step and repeat on the red carpet. The reaction to a seemingly impromptu paparazzi swarm. The interviews. The magazine covers. The charity events. Its all in service of an image created, not born. Throughout the history of Hollywood, there have been figures who buckled against the weight of the personas they walked behind, like Errol Flynn and Lana Turner during the height of the studio system. There have been others whose image-making was so refined as to make it hard to tell where the real person began and the star ended, la Archibald Leach, better known as the debonair Cary Grant. After the fall of the classic studio system in the 1960s, much changed in the imagination of what Hollywood could be. Chiefly, stars were free agents unwed to a single studio. But the tricksy, mercurial alchemy that goes into becoming and remaining a star endured. No one has proved more adept at playing this game lately than Brad Pitt.

In the wake of his contentious, ongoing divorce from Angelina Jolie on the heels of their grand, volcanic romance that bloomed on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, when he was still married to Jennifer Aniston, causing a tabloid obsession that continues to this day 15 years later Pitt has played the celebrity game with slippery splendor. While Jolie has kept relatively quiet, Pitt has been more forward-facing. His star persona is that of the high-school quarterback: charismatic and beloved. (If anything, Hollywood at large comes across as a more knotted version of petty high-school politics anyway.) Pitt hasnt played the game perfectly so much as invisibly his relationship with his new 27-year old girlfriend, whom he took to the chateau he shared with Jolie, might read like a rote, midlife-crisis sort of scenario. And one of the most cunning turns in Pitts recent approach to his own image is to once again position himself in solidarity with his ex-wife, Jennifer Aniston, an alliance that bloomed during the 20192020 awards season, perhaps helping him nab an Academy Award for his supporting performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, hes sidling up to Aniston once more, for a recent Fast Times at Ridgemont High table read.

What better way to shore up goodwill than painting yourself as the breezy, charming man who easily spends time with an ex-wife with whom people are still obsessively hold out hope youll reunite? Hi, Aniston, he croons. Hi, Pitt she replies before calling him honey. I could practically feel the heat index increase on Twitter in that moment. Personally, I have never been invested in the Pitt and Aniston relationship; I was far more intrigued by the sexual heat and emotional complexity between Pitt and Jolie. But the dynamic between Pitt and Aniston demonstrates the ways in which the personal can be leveraged for the professional for celebrities. And Pitt isnt just good at it, he ranks as one of the best, a talent fully on display during this table read. Hes more than merely charming, hes a supernova of lightning-bright presence. Hes more than willing to be silly and carefree, listening with full-bodied attention. Its a way of being hes mastered, that helps him to create indelible moments in celebrity history, like his suburban-themed photo shoot of curdled domestic bliss with Jolie in the pages of a 2005 issue of W magazine and now this video alongside Julia Roberts and Morgan Freeman. Pitts unique skill comes in how effortless he makes everything look, which takes his star image away from feeling studied and makes it seem natural. Every celebrity is playing the same game. But the ones who make it seem like they arent performing, and instead are speaking directly to us with some conspiratorial intimacy, are able to carve the kind of immortality actors dream of.


God, Brad Pitt Is So Good at This - Vulture

How To Support Racial Justice, Diversity And Activism This Weekend In Louisville (9/18) – Louisville Eccentric Observer

FRIDAY, Sept. 18

Old School FridaysThe Palm RoomNo cover | 5 p.m.-closeJoes Palm Room, the famous Russell jazz club, has been reopened and reinvented by Black business owner Marcus Withers. Check it out at the Palm Rooms new, weekly event, Old School Fridays, featuring The Palm Room House Band and happy hour from 5 to 9 p.m. and music and live visuals from DJ K-Dogg from 9 p.m. to close. Calling all steppers and ballroom dancers, organizers say.

Arrest the Cops RallyOffice of the Attorney General, Louisville Branch OfficeFree | 5:30 p.m.Protesters, led by the family of Breonna Taylor, are rallying at the Kentucky Attorney Generals Office to demand that the police officers who fired their weapons in the raid that led to Breonna Taylors death are arrested. This event is also organized by Until Freedom and Louisville activists.

Statements After an Arrest Under the Immortality ActOnlineFree | 8 p.m.UofLs Department of Theatre Arts presents this reading of a play about a white librarian and a Black school principal in South Africa, whose love affair is reported to the police during apartheid. You can watch virtually on Friday or on Saturday at the same time. After the performance, there will be talkbacks with specials guests. On Friday, hear from Actors Theatre of Louisville Executive Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming, playwright and translator Amlin Gray and UofL Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Cherie Dawson-Edwards. And, on Saturday, playwright Larry Muhammad, former South African resident Shachaf Polakow and UofL law professor Enid Trucious-Haynes, will discuss the show.

Voter Services Pop-upPortland KrogerFree | 11 a.m.-1 p.m.The Louisville Democrats will have a booth at the Portland Kroger offering help for voters. You can get started on requesting an absentee ballot, register to vote and, if youre formerly incarcerated, volunteers can check to see if your voting right has been restored. Then, on Sunday, the League of Women Voters is sponsoring a rally encouraging the public to vote. Bring noisemakers and signs to the corner of Douglass Boulevard and Eastern Parkway from 4 to 6 p.m. (The event is nonpartisan; organizers ask that you do not bring signs promoting specific candidates.)

Taking Up Space: Art as BusinessChange Today, Change TomorrowFree | 7-10:30 p.m.This is a new, monthly networking and educational space for Black creatives, created by Change Today, Change Tomorrow and A Well Written Photograph. This month, Ashley Cathey, a Louisville painter, will speak about Art as a Business over free cocktails and food from My Cafe, a locally-owned Back eatery.

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How To Support Racial Justice, Diversity And Activism This Weekend In Louisville (9/18) - Louisville Eccentric Observer

Venom: Knull Just Killed a Dark Guardian of the Galaxy | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

In Web of Venom: Wraith #1, Wraith searches for answers about the Exolon and faces Knull, god of the symbiotes -- and it doesn't exactly end well.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Web of Venom: Wraith #1 by Donny Cates, Guiu Villanova, Dean White and VC's Clayton Cowles, on sale now.

Web of Venom: Wraith #1 picks up on a story that first began in 2019's Guardians of the Galaxy #3. In the latter, the Kree warrior known as Wraith joined Eros' Dark Guardians of the Galaxy, a team whose mandate was to hunt down Gamora, the adopted daughter of Thanos. Wraith is generally more of an anti-hero, so his presence on the team was curious. But the truth is he only joined the team because Eros promised him something in return: answers about the Exolon, the dark parasites that have granted him immortality for so very long.

Wraith seeks to put an end to his curse and, in Web of Venom: Wraith #1, he goes on a quest for answers. However, what none of us expect is that this turns out to be Wraith's final adventure in the Marvel Universe.

RELATED: King in Black Teaser Unleashes a Swarm of Grendels on the Marvel Universe

Wraith firstappeared in 2007's Annihilation: Conquest event. The character played a central role in the cosmic story, but he didn't have a whole lot of appearances outside of it. However, his return in 2019's Guardians of the Galaxy was noteworthy, especially considering that Eros teased the character had some sort of connection to Knull, the god of the symbiotes.

Now, in Web of Venom, Wraith uses a teleportation device and coordinates left to him by Eros to get the answers he so desperately wants. He starts by visiting his father's old lab, where he discovers thatthe scientist knew about Knull, and the threat of his darkness. It's why his father tried to invent a powerful source of light, to counter the menace Knull represented.

After learning of this connection, Wraith then travels to the planet Klyntar, which is essentially a cage that the symbiotes built to contain their god. Little does Wraith know however that at this very moment, on Earth, Cletus Kasady collected all of the symbiote codices to awaken Knull, as seen in the 2019 event,Absolute Carnage. Therefore, shortly after Wraith arrived on Klyntar, the planet is ripped apart and the god of the symbiotes reveals himself toWraith.

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Venom: Knull Just Killed a Dark Guardian of the Galaxy | CBR - CBR - Comic Book Resources

Cubs: 3 players whose futures with team are doomed after shortened season – Cubbies Crib

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Cubs pitcher Tyler Chatwood has likely thrown his last pitch for the team. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

Despite carrying the second-best record in the National League into Wednesday nights matchup with the Cleveland Indians, the Chicago Cubs have a great deal of uncertainty around them.

The pitching staff feels like trying to plug holes in a sinking ship using your fingers, guys you counted on to carry the offense havent showed up and beyond 2020, the financials for the organization will be a huge focus for ownership.

Underperforming stars like Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez arent going anywhere. Why? Because Theo Epstein isnt about to sell low on any of them. It seems far more likely the club hopes for a return to form with eyes cast toward some potential trade deadline deals in 2021.

Chicago is hoping to pull off one more deep postseason run before the group that gained baseball immortality in 2016 begins to go its separate ways. Next years Cubs could look vastly different and for a variety of reasons, these three guys seem highly unlikely to be a part of the 2021 club.

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DCeased Makes the Justice League’s Most Powerful Foe More Dangerous Than Ever – CBR – Comic Book Resources

In DCeased: Dead Planet, one of the Justice League's most powerful foes is even more dangerous after the end of the world.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for DCeased: Dead Planet #3 by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, Gigi Baldassini, and Rain Beredo, on sale now.

One of the Justice League's most dangerous supervillains, Amazo, is back in DCeased: Dead Planet #3. Amazo has plagued the Justice League since the 1960s and proves to be as formidable a foe as ever. In this issue,the surviving members of the Shadowpactenter the Southern Bunker they believe houses more survivors. What they find in the Southern Bunkeris just as terrible as the horrors that lie outside.

After Zatanna kills the infected Plastic Man, who was guarding the Southern Bunker, the remaining survivors enter the fortress and are greetedby Maxwell Lord, the Penguin, and Jason Blood. It's revealed that the Southern Bunker was built by billionaires long ago as a place of refuge after the fall ofcivilization. Jason Blood pulls Constantine aside and takes the form of Etrigan and tellsthe Hellblazer that the souls of the infected and dead are "locked inside the anti-living," and that Hell isn't pleased that it's not getting its fair share of souls. Etrigan tells Constantine that Trigon is planning towipe out everything on earth, both the infected and the living, and plans to start all over again.

Related: DCeased Turns Every DC Hero Into A Stone-Cold Killer

To try and save what is left of this world, the billionaire super villains have been creating an army of Amazo androids. Amazo is a Gardner Fox and Mike Sekowsky creation and first appeared in The Bold and the Brave #30. After it's debut in 1960, Amazo has gone on to become one of the most fearsome and powerfulJustice Leaguevillains.

Amazo was created by the mad scientist Professor Ivo who was obsessed with immortality. Ivo programmed Amazo to focus on the Justice League in the hopes that their defeat would prove his genius and grant him immortality. Amazo is built using Ivo's Absorption Cell technology, which makes the android able to absorb all the natural skills and super abilities of any hero. When Amazo gets close enough, he can absorb, for example, the superpowers of Superman and the speed of the Flash. Even worse, the android can physically replicate the weapons and equipment of heroes as well. Amazo can simulate Green Lantern's power ring, Harley Quinn's huge hammer, and Wonder Woman's Lasso of Truth.

Related: DCeased Revives A Doomed Fan-Favorite DC Team

Though originally created as a mindless android, Amazo achieved self-awareness over time due to its ability to adapt to any situation. Now able to think on its own, Amazo is constantly upgrading itself, becoming more and more intelligent and powerful. The limits to Amazo's power haven't been reached and it has evolved into being able to use multiple powers at the same time. Amazo has confronted and beaten the Justice League on several occasions.

All these powers are what one Amazo android can do. In DCeased: Dead Planet #3, Ivo has created an army of Amazo droids. One Amazo has proven capable of handily defeating the Justice League. An army of Amazos could easilyconquer the world, which is what it seems Jason Blood, is hoping for. If they are able to save the planet, then Trigon will not interfere, and the villains will then be in control of everything. This is a win-win situation for the super villains and just made the heroes' jobs that much more difficult.

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DCeased Makes the Justice League's Most Powerful Foe More Dangerous Than Ever - CBR - Comic Book Resources

Are Mushrooms the Future of Wellness? – The New York Times

Even before the onset of the pandemic, which has increased the demand for all manner of so-called organic immunity elixirs, wellness-minded Americans were warming to mushrooms. To be clear, mushrooms dont cure Covid-19, but they are thought to provide a host of other benefits, from serving as an aphrodisiac to bolstering ones defenses to toxins. As Ligaya Mishan explains in her essay for Ts Fall Mens issue, Eastern cultures have long been enthusiastic about edible fungi, both in culinary and health contexts mushrooms are rich in umami, the Japanese fifth taste that denotes savoriness, and woody species such as reishi are often prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine while the West has been more ambivalent. Today, though, American cooks and diners delight in foraged morels and matsutakes, while others mix mushroom-based powders into shakes and teas. In an article published in 2014 over 80 years after the British scientist Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin, the powerful group of antibiotics derived from the fungus Penicillium the mycologist Paul Stamets, best known for the TED Talk 6 Ways Mushrooms Can Save the World, described mushrooms as natures miniature pharmaceutical factories.

Fungi have the ability to soak up and escort waste from our cells, and have a digestive system almost identical to that of humans, says Liz Smithers, who studied Ayurvedic medicine and herbal sciences before launching the sustainable Kauai-based nutrition brand Laka Living with her sister, Kate, in 2015. The line includes a chocolate-flavored hemp protein ($34) containing mushrooms such as lions mane (shown in studies to reduce anxiety and prevent cognitive decline), and Super Shroom Dip ($30), a macadamia nut butter laced with a five-mushroom blend. At this point, only 7 percent of the worlds fungi have been discovered, and Hawaii, the most isolated archipelago in the world, has some of the most understudied species, says Benjamin Lillibridge, the Kailua-Kona-based founder of the wellness company Mlama Mushrooms, and of the Hawaii Fungi Project, a nonprofit dedicated to the discovery and responsible use of the islands native species. Of course, there are also plenty of noteworthy mushroom nutraceutical ventures Stateside see Shizu Okusas brand Apothkary, which has teams in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. but Lillibridges wider point, perhaps, is that with so much still to discover about fungi, who knows what heretofore unknown powers they may possess? Here, a list of just some of the beneficial properties mushrooms are thought to have, and where to find the best blends.

I grew up in a super-traditional immigrant Japanese family where my parents wouldnt give me Tylenol or Advil, says Okusa, who was instead given dark, oozy drinks of mushrooms and dried herbs that had been brewed for days in stone pots. Last year, she launched Apothkary, offering her Immunity Set ($45), a trio of different mushroom powders that draw on the blends of her youth: One pairs reishi with ashwagandha root to reduce inflammation, while another is made purely of ground reishi and meant to be used as a concentrated booster in teas and smoothies by advanced herb users, she says. Reishi by itself can be a bit more difficult, taste and potency wise. Meanwhile, Steven Gundry, a Palm Springs-based cardiologist, has grouped what he calls the big three reishi, chaga and coriolus, the latter two best known for their high antioxidant content and immune support benefits in his Gundry MD M Vitality immune support tonic ($66), drops of which can be applied directly to your tongue. If youd prefer something sweeter, consider Forest Juice ($31), a reishi- and chaga-infused maple syrup from Rainbo, a line of mushroom-based supplements and food products founded by the holistic chef and nutritionist Tonya Papanikolov.

Lions mane, which has the look of a shaggy, faux-fur ottoman, was found in a 2016 study published by the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine to promote peripheral nerve regeneration in rats. For humans, the mushroom is typically used with the goal of enhancing concentration, memory and mental clarity. It has a mild taste and is fantastic sauted in butter, says Wooden Spoon Herbs founder Lauren Haynes, who gets hers from Oregon and upstate New York. For the brands Mushroom Cocoa powder ($38), a scoop of which can be added to your morning coffee, fruiting bodies of lions mane and other varieties are extracted via a long-simmer method and flavored with vanilla and mesquite. Another option for those hoping to improve recall is Gaia Herbss Mind Spring powder ($35), which contains lions mane and turmeric. Cordyceps, on the other hand, whose stems often resemble Cheetos in both shape and color, may contribute to physical acuity. In the 1993 Olympics, three Chinese runners were screened for steroids, but all the panel found were cordyceps, says the naturopathic doctor Nadia Musavvir. She recommends Four Sigmatics Instant Mushroom Coffee With Chaga and Cordyceps ($15) the chaga is purported to neutralize caffeine jitters.

Tremella is amazing for boosting gut and skin health from the inside out its been revered as a beauty mushroom in Asia for hundreds of years, Stephanie Park, the founder of the Brooklyn supplement label Wylde One, says of the vitamin D-rich variety. Wrapped in single-serving packets, the brands Golden Glow Up ($29) adaptogenic turmeric latte blend contains astragalus and tremella, also known as silver ear mushrooms, along with cardamom, black pepper and digestion-enhancing ginger. Another option is Moon Juices Collagen Protect powdered creamer ($58), which incorporates organic tremella extracts and rice bran-derived tocotrienols, or tocos, natural sources of vitamin E that lend a mildly malty finish. Picking up some raw shiitake mushrooms from your local farmers market might also be a boon: Jeannette Graf, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine, says the familiar umbrella cap contains significant levels of vitamin D, selenium and zinc, which help to maintain skin health. And then theres Sun Potions Astragalus the Great Protector ($57), made with ingredients grown wild at high elevations, and filled with polysaccharides, which have long been endorsed as natural aids for hydration and soothing stomach ulcers.

The repeatedly invoked cure-all of functional fungi is reishi. Its most popular and well-known benefits are its ability to reduce stress and fatigue, and, in general, help chill you out, says Lillibridge, who suggests Mlama Mushroomss Reishi Mushroom Extract Powder ($30). When taken consistently, the multitasking queen healer, as reishi is sometimes called, is even believed to help regulate rest cycles: Its been shown to increase deep delta-wave sleep, Lillibridge says. For a soothing nightcap enjoyed half an hour before bed, try the reishi- and valerian root-filled Sleep Superfood Water Enhancer by BareOrganics ($12), which will dissolve in liquid at any temperature, or Kamu Labs Dream nightly sleep drops ($60), which enhance the mushrooms calming effects with those of CBD and California poppy. Its no wonder emperors of the Qing dynasty were said to exchange gifts of ceremonial ruyi scepters sculpted to resemble reishi, the so-called mushroom of immortality.

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Are Mushrooms the Future of Wellness? - The New York Times

I’m Thinking Of Ending Things: Who The Caller On The Phone Is – Screen Rant

In I'm Thinking of Ending Things, a young female character receives mysterious phone calls, so who's on the other end? Here's our breakdown.

WARNING: Spoilers for I'm Thinking of Ending Things.

In I'm Thinking of Ending Things, a young female characterreceives mysteriousphone calls, so who's on the other end? The Netflix film initially plays out like a quirky relationship drama, but then evolves into a surrealist character study about love, loss, and regret. Written and directed by the eclectic filmmaker Charlie Kaufman, I'm Thinking of Ending Thingsis based on Iain Reid's 2016 eponymous novel.

Starring Jesse Plemons andJessie Buckley,I'm Thinking of Ending Things' titular concept stems from insecuritiesfaced by a couple during the early stages of their relationship. On a snowy evening, Jake (Plemons) drives girlfriendLucy (Buckley) to his parents' home for a first meeting, only something feels off from the start. Jake can seemingly hear Lucy's inner dialogue, and then behaves oddly when arriving at the country destination; he refuses to enter his formerhome right away, and instead gives Lucy a property tour while explaining the deaths of various sheep and pigs. When the couple finally joins "Mother" (Toni Collette) and "Father" (David Thewlis) for dinner, Lucy comes to realize that Jake most likely had a difficult childhood. But what troubles her the mostare incoming phone callsthat she doesn't respond to.

Related:I'm Thinking Of Ending Things: How The Movie Compares To The Book

Within the first 10 minutes of I'm Thinking of Ending Things, Lucy receives a call from someone named "Lucy."Shortly after, Jake references an early 19th century poem by English writerWilliam Wordsworthentitled "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood." Jake then informs his girlfriend Lucy thatWordsworth once wrote a series of poems for a woman named Lucy, whom he describes as a "beautiful, idealized woman who dies young." Later, during the family dinner, Lucy notices that she has several missed calls from "Lucy" and now"Louisa." After the family dinner, she spots a photo that appears to be herself as a child, and theface then changes to a younger version of Jake during a second glance. Seconds later, Lucy receives a phone call from "Yvonne." From this point forward, it's heavily implied in I'm Thinking of Ending Things that Lucy is a figment of Jake's imagination, and that the older janitor (Gus Boyd) - who frequently appears in side sequences -has dreamed up the entire narrative while reflecting about his life. The mysterious calls are messages from the janitor to his subconscious.

The cryptic phone calls in I'm Thinking of Ending Things thematically link tothe opening minutes. During voiceover narration, Lucy states that "It feels like I've known Jake longer than I have." The character stands on a city sidewalkand looks to the sky as snow falls, and then feels drawn to something in the second or third level of a nearby building. The aforementioned janitor looksdown at Lucy and mutters to himself: "The assumptions are right. I can feel my fear growing. Now is the time for the answer. Just one question." Seconds later, Plemons' Jake shows up, and the narrative properly begins, or so it seems. With this early passing moment in I'm Thinking of Ending Things, Kaufman establishes the premise for the cryptic phone calls, evidenced by the fact that the mid-movie voicemail from"Yvonne" includes a line from the opening: "There's only one question to answer."

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I'm Thinking Of Ending Things: Who The Caller On The Phone Is - Screen Rant

The Water Man | TIFF 2020 Review | The GATE – The GATE

With his feature directorial debut, the Spielbergian family adventure and drama The Water Man, actor David Oyelowo shows that he might have a true knack for big budget blockbuster filmmaking. An unabashed love letter to young adult literature and the slightly-scary coming of age stories that were all the rage in the 1980s, The Water Man is a moving, well performed, and gorgeously shot effort that should entertain viewers of almost any age.

Twelve-year-old bookworm and budding graphic novelist Gunner Boone (Lonnie Chavis) sets aside his dream of writing a detective series when he learns his mother (Rosario Dawson) is battling an aggressive form of leukemia. With his father (Oyelowo) not offering much support, Gunner puts all his bookish efforts into trying to find a cure for moms suffering. One day, he stumbles upon a young girl named Jo (Amiah Miller) telling a bunch of kids about her encounter with a mythological legend known as The Water Man, an immortal humanoid creature that dwells in the forests. Gunner goes down another rabbit hole of research and begs Jo to help him find The Water Man, believing that the mythological beings immortality holds the key to curing his mothers cancer.

Oyelowo and screenwriter Emma Needell refuse to take easy or hammy shortcuts with their story, instead preferring old school, layered storytelling and character work over jump scares, set pieces, and teary eyed manipulation. Unlike many family films pitched at a similar level, The Water Man (executive produced by Oprah Winfrey) comes about its adventure and heart-tugging emotions naturally, with Oyelowo preferring to focus on performance and story. Its a story that couldve been cheesy in lesser hands, but Oyelowo and his young stars who boast exceptional chemistry together have crafted a genuine, cynicism-free bit of wonderment.

The Water Man is nostalgic and modernist in equal measure, with lots of nice touches that enhance the overall tone and entertainment value. Theres some clever use of animation, delightful supporting performances from acting luminaries Alfred Molina and Maria Bello (as a local historian and the town sheriff, respectively), and it builds to a perfect emotional payoff. Hopefully this film finds the audience it deserves, because The Water Man has the potential to be a family movie classic in the making.

The Water Man screens at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival outdoors at the Visa Skyline Drive-In at Cityview on Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 pm and indoors at TIFF Bell Lightbox on Saturday, September 19 at 4:00 pm. It will also be available to stream online for a limited time during TIFF 2020 via Bell Digital Cinema starting at 6:00 pm on Saturday, September 19. All online screenings during TIFF 2020 are geolocked to Canada. If seeing a film in cinemas, please take all necessary precautions. Practice social distancing, wear a mask, and stay home if feeling ill.

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In the Garden: Peony is the perfect plant for lazy gardeners – Mansfield News Journal

Richard Poffenbaugh, In the Garden Published 5:58 a.m. ET Sept. 15, 2020

It would be helpful if plant breeders and growers would rate plants according to their maintenance level, such as low-medium-high. Any veteran gardener can quickly classify a plant according to a maintenance rating.

For example, my rating for the tall bearded iris is high, the peony low. But I must add the peony is an exception; not too many plants have a low rating.

The indoor plant like the African violet would be high maintenance. My mother grew them, and she spent hours caring for her plant collection.

The garden rose is another high maintenance plant. Gardeners spend many hours growing these special plants.

The peony is an unusual plant in that it has a short bloom period of only one week. I'm amazed some breeder hasn't come up with a peony that blooms for at least a month.

As I used to tell my biology classes, "The world is wide open for new ideas in the plant world." And this is certainly true in horticulture.

If you want a low maintenance plant for the landscape, the peony should be at the top of the list little or no maintenance. Deadhead the flowers and fall cleanup is all. It's a perfect plant for the lazy gardener.

A tall bearded iris displays exceptional colored flowers in late May. Some are rebloomers with another flower in the fall.(Photo: Richard Poffenbaugh Photo.)

Then we come to the tall bearded iris; a very high maintenance plant in the garden.

The tall iris stem with large colored flower on top puts on a strong color display. But the thick roots grow fast and require frequent attention to prevent crowding. Generally, this plant is a fast grower, which means extra labor. Most of this work is best done on your hands and knees, which is no easy task. There are few iris growers working beyond age 80-85.

My active iris growing was from age 45 to 60. The later years included growing reblooming iris. These plants had two bloom periods during the year spring in late May and a second bloom period in September into October.

I remember one year there was a very late iris bloom and also late watermelon ripe in the garden at the same time. Timing was not right for both of these plants, but it did happen.

Reblooming iris are gaining in popularity. I visited a grower and breeder of them named Earl Hall in 1995. He grew hundreds of them at his home at West Alexandria, Ohio (near Dayton). It was the only time I saw gravel used as mulch in his fields of iris plants. Normally you do not mulch iris, but he said the gravel had great drainage and helped control weeds.

One of Earl's colorful pink rebloomers he named Pink Attraction, and it had a beautiful pink color.

A favorite catalog with assorted plants for fall planting, this large catalog has 103 pages with a wide assortment of plants. Call 1-800-803-9624.

It includes all the typical bulbs for fall planting plus, rarely found in catalogs, rebloomer iris like Immortality and Pink Attraction; also organic fertilizers from Espoma in New Jersey.

Richard Poffenbaugh is a retired biology teacher and active home gardener since 1960. He is a member of the Mansfield Men's Garden Club and was editor of the club newsletter (The Greenhorn) for 21 years. He resides in Ontario with his wife, Barbara. Reach him at 419-529-2966.

Poffenbaugh, Richard(Photo: NJ file photo)

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5 reasons why the Incarnations of Immortality books would make a great series – Winter is Coming

Image: On a Pale Horse/ Del Rey Books

Piers Anthonys Incarnations of Immortalityseries may not be for everyone, but as more content creators look for ways to woo viewers, this eight-book saga could give the right network season after season of excellent content.

Incarnations of Immortalityexplores the realms that lie beyond our everyday lives. We cant see them, but theyre where immortal agents engage in an eternal battle between good and evil. Each book covers a different supernatural office, with different mortals being drafted to fulfill these roles over time. The offices are Death, Time, Fate, War, Mother Nature, Satan, God and Night. This is a series that will grip you early and surprise you at the end.

But before we get to why this series work so well on TV, lets find out who these immortals are. Throughout the series, we learn how these beings become immortal.On a Pale Horse, which came out in 1983, tells the story of Death, who roams the world collecting souls and balancing the scales of good and evil to determine their fate in the eternal realms.

Bearing an Hour Glasstells us the story of Time, who lives his life backward, knowing the future but not the past.

With a Tangled Skeinintroduces us to Fate, she who controls the threads of mortal life, and immortal life as well.

Wielding a Red Sword introduces us to War, the incarnation of immortality who feeds souls to Death, and lives to coax men to evil deeds.

Our last Immortal is Mother Nature, whom we meet in Being a Green Mother. The other Immortals trust her, possibly at their peril.

The final two books in the series, For Love of Evil and And Eternity(1990) bring us face to face with Satan and God respectively, but with a twist. (Theres also a final book,Under a Velvet Cloak, which came out in 2007, but it has a different setting probably wouldnt be adapted as part of the main series.)

So those are the basics. Why are these books so ripe for adaptation?

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5 reasons why the Incarnations of Immortality books would make a great series - Winter is Coming

Norwalks Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum virtual Starlit Gala includes talk on bioethics in the pursuit of immortality – Thehour.com

Glenn E. McGee, PhD, will discuss biotech advances toward immortality at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum virtual Starlit Gala on Oct. 17. Tickets are $50 to $100.

Glenn E. McGee, PhD, will discuss biotech advances toward immortality at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum virtual Starlit Gala on Oct. 17. Tickets are $50 to $100.

Photo: Hamerman Photography, 2017 / Contributed Photo

Glenn E. McGee, PhD, will discuss biotech advances toward immortality at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum virtual Starlit Gala on Oct. 17. Tickets are $50 to $100.

Glenn E. McGee, PhD, will discuss biotech advances toward immortality at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum virtual Starlit Gala on Oct. 17. Tickets are $50 to $100.

Norwalks Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum virtual Starlit Gala includes talk on bioethics in the pursuit of immortality

Norwalks Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum will celebrate science and history at its virtual Starlit Gala on Saturday, Oct. 17, that will include a presentation on humanitys pursuit of immortality by award-winning expert on bioethics, Glenn E. McGee, PhD.

Along with McGees talk, the 8 p.m. event, co-chaired by trustees Trudy Dujardin and Mickey Koleszar, will honor David Westmoreland, a longstanding supporter of LMMM and its preservation.

There will be a catered dinner and silent auction. All all proceeds will benefit the museums educational and cultural programs. Tickets are $50 to $100.

During these uncertain times, this educational and cultural icon needs support from all of our communities, and the gala is a major opportunity to step up to the plate, Dujardin and Koleszar said in a news release.

McGee will discuss revolutionary advances in biomedical science technology in pursuit of immortality, and the ethical, legal and social questions they pose.

McGee is the author of three books, The Perfect Baby: A Pragmatic Approach to Genetics; Beyond Genetics; and Bioethics for Beginners, and more than 100 articles. He is the founder and served for 11 years as editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Bioethics, the leading publication in its field. He has served on the board of directors of the American Society for Bioethics and on more than a dozen federal and state advisory panels. He has received the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Cellular and Molecular Devices Advisory Panel Outstanding Service Award. McGee is Deputy Provost for the University of New Haven and received a B.A. from Baylor University and M.A. and Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University.

Born in Houston, Texas, Westmoreland graduated from Baylor University with a bachelors degree in Computer Science and worked for 23 years in the field of Information Technology at such corporations as American Airlines and Arrow Electronics. He completed his Master of Landscape Architecture at Cornell University in 2006 and is a registered landscape architect and co-owner, with Mike Mushak, of Tuliptree Site Design, Inc. in Norwalk.

Westmoreland serves the community in Norwalk in a number of roles, including: Chairman of the Second Taxing District Commission (SNEW), Redevelopment Agency Commissioner, and on the Norwalk Historical Society Board of Directors, among others. He has served as chairman of the City of Norwalks Historical Commission, overseeing the relocation and development of the new Historical Society Museum, the renovations of the buildings and park at Mill Hill, and three city-owned cemeteries, along with the historic buildings at Mathews Park, including the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.

The virtual Starlit Gala is sponsored in part by Fairfield County Bank and David Scott Parker Architects. The graphic design sponsor is Miggs B Design.

LMMMs cultural and educational programs are made possible in part by funding from LMMMs Founding Patrons: The Estate of Mrs. Cynthia Clark Brown; LMMMs Leadership Patrons: The Sealark Foundation; LMMMs 2020 Season Distinguished Benefactors: The City of Norwalk and The Maurice Goodman Foundation; LMMMs 2020 Distinguished Benefactors for Education: The Daphne Seybolt Culpeper Memorial Foundation, Inc.

For more information on the gala, visit lockwoodmathewsmansion.com.

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Norwalks Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum virtual Starlit Gala includes talk on bioethics in the pursuit of immortality - Thehour.com

Shelly Aldean: The Measure of a man – Nevada Appeal

In a book he entitled Why Lincoln Matters written prior to and in anticipation of the presidential election of 2004, former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo summoned to the stage for another posthumous bow, a statesman, who perhaps better than anyone before or after him, encompasses the character and indefatigable resourcefulness of a nation he proclaimed to be the last best hope of earth.

As in times past, the name of Lincoln is again being invoked by people from across the political spectrum as they grapple with the challenges of a polarized, violently shifting ideological landscape. This is no surprise since for generations, as Cuomo puts it, politicians have twisted themselves and Lincoln out of shape to make it appear that they are standing next to the 16th president. His achievements make him irresistible and his eloquence makes him easy to quote.

Although Cuomo reasons this philosophical adoption of Lincoln is expected and expedient, he contends there is no political label elastic enough to fit around his magnificent complexity or to do justice to his complicated combination of strengths and vulnerabilities, his genius and insufficiencies, his brilliant boldness and wise pronouncements.

Cuomos contention that Lincoln looms, even today, as one of the most coveted and revered figures of the past, is supported by the wide diversity of people wishing to claim him as part of their political, ideological, experiential, racial, and even lifestyle lineage.

Lincolns humble beginnings, according to Cuomo make him a natural favorite of generations of seekers and strugglers who have built this nation and continue to strengthen it.

In 2008, an anthropologist working for the Institute of Historical Science claimed to have analyzed a lock of Lincolns hair and identified a strong African genetic link in Lincolns DNA; some have inferred that he was gay because he often shared a bed with David Davis, a fellow lawyer, while traveling the 8th Judicial Circuit in central Illinois. It should be pointed out, however, that the alternative to sharing a bed was sleeping on the floor in often primitive accommodations!

Despite all of his admirable qualities, Lincoln, like the rest of us, was not without his faults. He was, after all, human, which by practical definition, made him subject to his own particular assortment of weaknesses and failings. As human beings, our opinions are molded by a lifetime of experiences shaped and formed by unique circumstances and peculiar twists of fate.

As such, Lincolns opinion of slavery evolved over time. While not explicitly advocating for the equality of Blacks as a younger man, it is clear that the practice of slavery offended his sensibilities. In a letter to his friend and colleague Joshua Speed in 1855, he declared that slavery is wrong, morally and politically.

Having witnessed slaves shackled together on a steamboat trip from Louisville to St. Louis in 1841 he confided that the sight was a continual torment to him. Yet, according to author and historian Greg Caggiano, the final transformation of his thinking would not be complete until the waning months of the American Civil War when an embattled Lincoln was able to convince his cabinet to go forward with a 13th Amendment to the Constitution granting slaves their freedom.

Since everyone views the world through a slightly different lens, it is incumbent upon all of us to be sympathetic to the differences among us even though the urgency of the moment or the passion of our emotions may dictate otherwise. Although originally critical of Lincolns perceived indifference to the abolition movement, Fredrick Douglass later recalled that In all my interviews with Mr. Lincoln, I was impressed with his entire freedom from popular prejudice against the colored race. He was the first great man that I talked with in the United States freely who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself

In a book entitled Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of his Time written 21 years after Lincolns death, Donn Piatt, a 19th century journalist, remarked that by our popular process of eliminating all human weakness from our great men, we weaken and, in a measure, destroy their immortality, for we destroy them.

As we debate the worthiness of our Founders and our other historical predecessors, let us focus on their strengths and contributions not on their weaknesses and indiscretions for it is hypocritical to expect perfection in others when we ourselves fall short of that measure.

Shelly Aldean is a Carson City resident.

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Shelly Aldean: The Measure of a man - Nevada Appeal

Perspective: A Sign Of Immortality | WNIJ and WNIU – WNIJ and WNIU

Francisco Solares-Larrave's "Perspective" (September 2, 2020).

Sometimes, I take a walk through a cemetery near my house. There's nothing morbid about it. In fact, I enjoy cemeteries, and during a trip, I insisted on seeing the cemetery of a small French town, and we found the tomb of Marc Chagall. I felt vindicated.

The one near my house has no celebrities that I know of. It looks a bit abandoned, despite some shiny headstones here and there. When I walk through it, I stop to contemplate some groups.

There's an entire family -- they have the same last name -- that makes me think they're together, like sharing an eternal Thanksgiving.

There are also several small headstones with a man's name first, and a woman's below it, with the title "wife" added. Were they stoic? Were they good neighbors? Did they like music?

I also find it mystifying that some headstones have just one name, nothing else, as if that were enough.

Is this immortality? That you may be known by your first name? That your family will be buried around you, in a section of the cemetery? It may seem odd, but to me there is some measure of immortality in their choice of headstone. That's how those Finnish, Swedish, German and British last names tell stories of struggles, success or failure. They left an imprint visible today. If that's not immortality, tell me what is.

I am Francisco Solares-Larrave, and that's my perspective.

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The Nature Corner: Aging – The Coastland Times – The Coastland Times

By Ernie Marshall

Some years ago, I took a walk along a stretch of Reedy Branch, a tributary making its way to the Tar River, with a tree specialist to pick his brain about the trees we encountered. There were a lot of old trees, virgin forest perhaps since the area was once farmland back when farmers didnt attempt to clear and farm the bottomlands or floodplains. We talked about the different look of aging trees, coming near the end of their lifespan of a century or more. Their crowns thin out, less full with fewer branches and less foliage, they often develop some lean, no longer have that straight and tall look and the oaks and hickories no longer bear nuts. They seem to look old, as if imitating our changes with age, a bit bent over and balding. They even seem to get a look of wisdom earned with age. Everything in nature ages just as do we.

Some trees are quite aged, being the oldest living things on Earth. Redwoods get to be at least 2000 years old and sequoias over 3000. Both are topped by the bristle pine, which lives 5000 years or more.

Longevity in nature is a very wide spectrum. Most herbaceous plants live only a few months, then disperse seeds to start anew. Many insects live only a matter of days or weeks. The tiger swallowtail sipping nectar in your garden may be gone tomorrow. At the other extreme, stars go through a cycle from birth to demise that lasts billions of years, when they burn all of their hydrogen and perhaps go out with a bang as a dazzling supernova. (No cause for alarm, our sun should last another five billion years, being about half way through its life span.)

Aging is not to be confused with immortality, the fact that all of us will die at some point. Aging is part of life, death is lifes opposite. We tend to think that we fear our own death. Perhaps what we fear is dying, an end stage of the life process. I think the first century B.C. Roman philosopher Lucretius summed it up by saying we have nothing to fear in our death, because when I am here death is not, and when death is here I am not. Mark Twain puts it this way: The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

To make more interesting comparisons between the life spans of living things and get closer to home, let us consider what has been called the heartbeat hypothesis that all mammals whose longevity ranges roughly from the pygmy shrew that lives only a year or so to the bowhead whale that may live 200 years live for the duration of about one billion heartbeats.

Consider the following instances:

Pygmy shrew 1.02 billion total heartbeats (1300 bpm, 1.5 year average lifespan)

Mouse 1.31 billion (500 bpm, 5 years)

Cat 1.18 billion (150 bpm, 15 years)

Human 2.24 billion heartbeats (60 bpm, 71 years)

Horse 0.93 billion (44 bpm, 40 years)

Elephant 1.03 billion (28 bpm, 70 years)

Notice that the larger the animal gets, the slower its pulse rate. A cat is roughly 100 times larger than a mouse, but its heart rate is about a third as rapid as that of the mouse. The pygmy shrew, with it very rapid pulse, burns itself out in a year or so.

Note who breaks the one billion heartbeat rule us, humans. We get something like twice what other species get. If we followed the rule, our life expectancy would be 35 years instead of 71 years. (It is commonly thought that human life span has increased through history. It seems not, that the Bible three score and ten is fairly constant, considering only death from old age, not disease, accident, death in tribal warfare, death in childbirth, etc.).

There is a plethora of hypotheses about why our species is an exception to the one billion heartbeat rule. I will leave you to ponder or research this. I would like instead to ponder the one billion heartbeat rule.

Heartbeats seem a better measure of life than years, the pulse of a life sustaining organ in our bodies, rather than Earths annual trip around the sun.All of a sudden we have a yardstick for the lives of us and our fellow mammals.Or do we?

My dog Bullitt ages at about seven times the rate that I do. Does that mean because of his more rapid heartbeat (and metabolism) that he experiences time differently? Does his lifetime feel as long as mine?Does he experience a difference in my wife and I being away for an hour for an errand and our being a way for a weekend?Humans seem hyperconscious of time.We make plans for the future and remember the past (or worry and regret). Does my dog just live in the moment, an ever-repeated present?

Despite our dependence on watches and calendars, the experience of time with humans is largely subjective.An hour spent in a hospital waiting room for news about cancer or a newly arriving baby seems much longer.An hour with a cherished friend seems much briefer.

And since Einstein, there is no longer a cosmic yardstick in physics for the universe at large for measuring time. (The question what time is it on the moon? is totally meaningless.)

Oh my, a stroll along a stream bank looking at trees has led us to bumping into Albert Einstein. Time to conclude thiscolumn. May you have a long life, age well and fill your time with bright and memorable moments.

Ernie Marshall taught at East Carolina College for thirty-two years and had a home in Hyde County near Swan Quarter. He has done extensive volunteer work at the Mattamuskeet, Pocosin Lakes and Swan Quarter refuges and was chief script writer for wildlife documentaries by STRS Productions on the coastal U.S. National Wildlife Refuges, mostly located on the Outer Banks. Questions or comments?Contact the author atmarshalle1922@gmail.com.



The Nature Corner: Aging - The Coastland Times - The Coastland Times

Goblin & 9 More Of The Best Supernatural K-Dramas | ScreenRant – Screen Rant

For fans of something a little supernatural these horror comedy (and even horror rom-com) K-dramas are perfect binge viewing.

Several South Korean dramas center around supernatural elements like fairies, spirits, and the concepts of immortality and rebirth. Goblin is a prime example of such K-dramas. After attaining a worldwide following, Goblin opened a new world of fantasy series in South Korea, and winning over audiences from all over. Such was its impact that even affected fashion trends and several parodies around the world.

RELATED: 15 Of The Best K-Dramas On Netflix Right Now

These shows are often heartwarming, dramatic while playing around with local histories and folklore and tying this rich past with the country's contemporary times. Here are some of the best supernatural K-dramas with the same elements as Goblin.

Possibly one of the greatest dramas in the pantheon of South Korean fantasy shows, Goblin (also known as Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) tells the story of Kim Shin. He's a decorated military general from the past who is cursed with immortality, in exchange for all the lives he took. At the age of 939 years, he becomes the Goblin, the guardian of souls seeking a bride for himself who can break his spell.

The show generated an immense cult following, becoming a cultural phenomenon in South Korea and one of the country's highest-rated series.

Bring It On, Ghost has a fun premise of an exorcist befriending a spirit. Lonely and disgruntled in his profession, the exorcist befriends a wandering spirit as his roommate and ghost-fighting partner, later sharing a romance with her.

RELATED: 15 Best Korean Shows To Stream On Netflix

Filled with moments that can tug viewers' heartstrings, the show much like the webtoon it's inspired from shows the potential of K-dramas to perfectly blend romance and everyday drama with fantasy elements.

A light-hearted take on the supernatural genre, this 2015 show features a timid girl who gets possessed by the ghost of a much bolder young woman. This ghost attempts to fulfill all those desires that she otherwise couldn't in her mortal life. The situation gets complicated further when the ghost wishes to hook up with the girl's boss, a famous womanizing chef.

Oh My Ghost carries on the usual tropes of fantasy K-dramas while adding a heartfelt love triangle in the mix. A Thai remake of the same name premiered three years after its release.

Just like Goblin's aged protagonist, My Love From The Star also stars an extraterrestrial being (Kim Soo-hyun) stranded on Earth for four centuries. Much like the other leads of the shows in this list, the hero Do Min-joon is initially pretty lonely and cynical till he starts spending time with a leading actress (Jun Ji-hyun) of the current era. She changes his overall mindset as his faith in humanity gets restored.

The show was praised for its fast-paced plot and the performances of its two leads. It even went on to inspire a Filipino show of the same name in 2017.

Inspired by South Korean folklore, Legend of the Blue Sea is a visually-appealing, emotional drama dealing with the love story of a mermaid and a con-man. The mermaid belongs to the Joseon period of South Korean history. Hence, like many other fantasy K-dramas, this show too occasionally shifts to an archaic past while connecting it to contemporary times.

RELATED: 15 Insane Foreign Sci-Fi/Fantasy Movies You've Never Heard Of

Jun Ji-Hyun, in particular, drew great praise for playing the mermaid Se-hwa with child-like innocence and charm.

Written by noted South Korean screenwriters The Hong Sisters, A Korean Odyssey is a modern retelling of the classic 16th-century Chinese text Journey To The West, set in the year 2017. The world is inhabited with dark forces as the forces of two Kings clash with each other, one is representative of heaven while the other embodies hell.

Very popular at the time of its airing, the show lives up to its epic source material with many likable young characters, each of whom fights for their own circumstances, making the division between the good and evil much less watertight.

Three Korean freedom fighters protest against the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1930s. However, they get reincarnated to the present day as a best-selling writer, a fan of the writer, and a ghostwriter. The three characters reunite to find the truths behind their 80-year-old past.

Chicago Typewriter has a wildly original and unpredictable plot, moving beyond several cliches of supernatural K-dramas. And then as mentioned, the show also functions as a heartwarming tribute to Korea's history of struggles and revolutions.

Master's Sun is often hailed as one of the most romantic K-dramas is often dubbed as a 'hor-rom-com' (horror romantic comedy). The protagonist Gong-shil is a woman who gains the ability to see ghosts after a mysterious accident. Traumatise by this curse, she finds solace with Joong-won, a rich, handsome CEO of a company (So Ji-sub) around whom the ghosts disappear.

RELATED: 10 Other K-Dramas To Watch For Fans Of Love Alarm

While it seems like a simple love story, Joong-won sticks with Gong-shil for his own motives as he hopes to meet the ghost of his dead ex-girlfriend. How the two characters deal with their tumultuous relationship forms the remainder of the story.

With a binge-worthy season of 16 episodes, W is a classic fantasy K-drama that revolves around a clash of two words, one being the real world and the other being an alternate universe from a digital webtoon called W. In the middle of this, two hopeless souls in their early thirties, belonging to each of these two dimensions end up falling in love.

High on action and romance, the show drew immense praise for its unique concept. It marked a new wave of K-dramas that relied on sci-fi rather than just fantasy and supernatural elements.

The titular hotel in this series is an establishment that caters only to ghosts. Again written by the Hong sisters, the horror-comedy gives a hotelier's perspective of the hotel's history and mysterious founder.

Apart from its light tones, the show also ventures towards emotional territories, especially towards the series finale. Even in terms of world-building, Hotel Del Luna is a pretty unconventional drama drifting away from the common depiction of spirits or allusions to historical periods like the Joseon era.

NEXT: The 10 Highest Rated K-Dramas In 2019 & 2020, Ranked (According To IMDb)

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Based in Delhi, India, Shaurya Thapa is a Third World boy writing on First World pop culture. He's into freelance journalism, hip-hop, and engaging in critical analyses over films and TV of varied genres.

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Goblin & 9 More Of The Best Supernatural K-Dramas | ScreenRant - Screen Rant

My date with history… and hope | Yosef I. Abramowitz | The Blogs – The Times of Israel

All things are mortal but the Jew, Mark Twain once marveled. What, he wondered, is the secret of his immortality?

The answer, Im happy to say, is sweeter than you think. And it is blossoming on Kibbutz Ketura in the Arava region, 40 minutes north of Eilat. Yes, the New York Times just broke the story of the children of Methuselah and Hannah, biblical date trees (that didnt meet on JDate) with some impressive history and something to teach at this perilous time as a lead up to the Jewish New Year.

Times reporter Isabel Kershner has been to Ketura before and in her article on the budding solar industry in Israel back in 2012 dubbed me Captain Sunshine. Actually, she quoted Dr. Elaine Solowey calling me Captain Sunshine. Anyone who beats the government bureaucracy is a superhero, said Dr. Solowey, a renowned authority on desert agriculture. And since then Ive been wearing a ring with a 2,000 year old coin minted in the temple in Jerusalem with an insignia of the sun, fighting the fossil fuel lobby and working with partners to achieve, finally, the redemptive 100% solar daytime goal for Eilat and the Arava.

Dr. Solowey, along with her partner in bringing ancient history alive, Dr. Sarah Sallon from Hadassah Hospital, are the heroes of the day. Or actually the millenium. Back in 2005, Dr. Sallon got hold of some ancient date seeds found at Masada, the last stand of the Jews against the conquering Romans. The seeds were from the Judean Palm, a variety that is extinct. Could they resurrect these ancient seeds in this, the Third Jewish Commonwealth?

A year after Theodor Herzl convened the first Zionist Congress, in Basel, Twain published Concerning the Jews in Harpers Magazine. The Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Persians rose, filled the planet with sound and splendor, then faded to dream-stuff and passed away; the Greeks and Romans followed and made a vast noise, and they were gone, observed the essayist, but not the Jew. All other forces pass, but he remains.

The place where I go to recharge is Ketura, a kibbutz founded by fellow members of my youth group, Young Judaea, during a lull in the fighting amidst the Yom Kippur War. While a nation was in shock from the surprise attack and the heavy losses, a group of American 20-somethings planted themselves in the third most extreme desert in the world with the hopes of establishing a blossoming community. The kibbutz became famous when, in 2005, Steven Erlanger also of the Times, reported that the first 2,000 year old Masada seed sprouted and was named Methuselah. Methuselah, to the disappointment of Drs. Solowey and Sallon, was male and would not produce any ancient dates.

Undaunted, the researchers continued to push the boundaries of science and our spiritual imaginations and revived more ancient seeds. And just as El Al flight 971 was on its way back from its historic peace mission in the United Arab Emirates, Drs. Solowey and Sallon sat me down at a table of the hotel lobby on Ketura with a questionnaire and a date. I was given Sample #1 to evaluate, the first insider-outsider to taste the fruit of reviving Jewish history and pride. (They, of course, tried some earlier).

With researchers, Dr. Sarah Sallon (L) and Dr. Elaine Solowey. (Courtesy Yosef Abramowitz)

What is the blessing for a moment like this? What does a moment like this really represent? And why was I crying holding this date?

It turns out that the mother plant, appropriately named Hannah, the biblical figure who prayed in the ancient temple in Jerusalem for a child, who became the prophet Samuel, has a secret history of her own pre-dating the father from Masada. Her DNA is Iraqi. Six hundred years before Masada fell to the Romans, Emperor Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to Zion from Babylonia, apparently carrying dates and seeds with them.

The DNA of the date in my hand encompasses both exiles from the land of Israel, about to be consumed 2,000 years later on a kibbutz the birthplace of the solar industry in Israel and Africa and in the sovereign State of Israel.

My date with history. September 2020 (Courtesy Yosef Abramowitz)

We blessed the creator of the universe for the fruit of the trees.

We blessed the creator of the universe for bringing us to his special time, shehechiyanu.

And then Mike Solowey, a founder of the kibbutz who is married to Elaine, recited the line from Psalm 92, The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.


Our tears could have sprouted another dormant seed.

The date, a bit leathery at first taste, is a hybrid of the soft Medjoul and the solid Dekel Noor. And then wait for it a soft lingering taste of honey, not silan, but bee honey flavor. A perfect way to get ready to welcome a New Year. And, for a moment, with all that historic spiritual energy flowing through me, I felt more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

The world feels so bleak lately. Politics and Corona have chipped away at the spirit of optimism and possibilities in many places, including Israel. And yet. Two generations after the ancient Israelites were crushed by the Babylonian destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem, they returned to the land, dates in hand, to fulfill the prophecy of Ezra and Nehemia. Masada, the location of a mass suicide 2,000 years ago, is today the site where their descendants returned to fly an Israeli flag.

Those ancient seeds have a story to tell and a message to deliver. Hope can spring eternal if nurtured, even against great odds. That is the challenge of our generation. Mark Twain, the secret of the immortality of the Jews is our ability to preserve and nurture hope, which is also our national anthem and our gift to the world.

Shana Tova & Shazam!

Yossi Abramowitz is a Jewish educator, impact investor and activist who deploys solar energy in Israel and Africa. Co-founder of major Jewish initiatives including MyJewishLearning.com, Interfaithfamily.com, birthrightisrael.com and BabagaNewz, he currently serves as CEO of Energiya Global Capital, a Jerusalem-based impact investment platform that provides returns to investors while advancing Israels environmental and humanitarian goals of providing affordable green power to underserved populations as a fundamental human right. Yossi was named by CNN as one of the top six leading Green Pioneers worldwide, as Person of the Year by the Israel National Business and Energy Conference, by PV Tech as one of the most inspiring solar CEOs worldwide and winner of the Green Globe -- Israels highest environmental and climate award. (He volunteers with several NGOs including Hillel Israel, the Association of Ethiopian Jews, Zalul, Heschel Center, Toniic Climate Impact and more) The winner of the Covenant Award for Excellence in Jewish Education, Yossi served on the Israeli negotiating team at the Paris Climate Conference. He was the first private sector and openly pluralistic candidate for President of the State of Israel. Hes lucky to be married to Women of the Walls Rabbi Susan Silverman -- best-selling author of Casting Lots: Raising a Family in a Beautiful, Broken World (De Capo, 2016). They have five children and are active members of Jerusalems Kol Haneshama.

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My date with history... and hope | Yosef I. Abramowitz | The Blogs - The Times of Israel

Magic: The Gathering – Who Are the Vampire Conquistadors in the Legion of Dusk? – CBR – Comic Book Resources

The Legion of Dusk is the vampires' conquering fleet on Ixalan, and they hunger for eternal life and the blood of the living.

In Magic: The Gathering, vampires exist on most planes, from Innistrad to Dominaria to Mirrodin. On Ixalan, they are on a ruthless crusade for true immortality.

Vampires are one of the major races on Ixalan, and they are locked in a four-way battle with the pirate coalition, the native Sun Empire and the merfolk. The vampires plan to use their zealous conviction, blood hunger and disciplined military to gain supremacy in this wild land. And they are getting close to victory.

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The vampires of the Legion are native to the Ixalan continent known as Torrezon. It is not depicted in the game, but a few key events are clear. A few centuries ago, the Immortal Sun was held in a mountaintop monastery there, and its influence strengthened the nearby nobles. Eventually, the people of the Torrezon kingdom fought a civil war, and a queen emerged triumphantly. Elenda of Garrano undertook a ritual to become the plane's first-ever vampire, hungry for blood, and her followers did the same.

Elenda's crown and church spread its influence across Torrezon and conquered the other kingdoms out of sheer hunger in a holy crusade, and the other kingdoms fell to the Legion of Dusk. Thos drove off the last free humans, who formed an informal pirate fleet called the Brazen Coalition and fled Torrezon. However,at some point, a great winged beast took away the Immortal Sun and transported it to a continent across the vast ocean. The Legion of Dusk's vampires wanted it badly, so they assembled their own vast fleet made up of many caravels and a handful of massive, cathedral-style galleons.

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Hundreds of clerics and knights of the Legion boarded the ships and made the journey to the new land, where the Brazen Coalition had fled earlier. Unlike the opportunistic and self-centered pirates, however, the Legion's members are highly trained, disciplined and zealous, fighting for their queen and church against all enemies. But this crusade has an edge of desperation about it; the vampires can't stand their constant blood hunger, so they crave the Immortal Sun and its powers. The Legion believes that the Immortal Sun, if they can claim it, will give them true immortality, free from the mundane hunger for blood.

The Legion arrived at the new continent and set up their forts and bases in an area known as Miraldanor. It includes fortresses such as Adanto (the first and largest), Leor, Durran and Conquerer's Foothold. The Legion enjoys a number of advantages over the native Sun Empire, the merfolk and the pirates, but they do have their work cut out for them.

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No one is willing to ally with them against the other races, and the Legion's forts and camp walls can't handle the sheer strength of a dinosaur's charge. Worse yet, the merfolk and Sun Empire natives know the land much better than the Legion's troops do, and they can trap, divert or even slay Legion soldiers and clerics with the power of the wilds. Only the Legion's advanced skills, zealotry and vampiric strength will keep them in the game and give them a chance of finding the lost city of gold and the Immortal Sun inside it

The Legion of Dusk is representedwith black and white cards in the Ixalan and Rivals of Ixalan sets, and their most common creature types are Vampire, Cleric, Soldier and Knight. Strategy-wise, the Legion wants to go on the offensive and stay that way, using the white-weenie power of their creatures and effective removal in both colors to push damage turn after turn. These creatures tend to have high power and may have abilities such as first strike, lifelink, deathtouch and the ability to become temporarily indestructible, a replacement for regeneration.

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Many Legion of Dusk cards like to create 1/1 white Vampire creature tokens with lifelink, and many of these cards can pump up allied creatures either individually, or the entire board at once. Vampire spells may also force opponents to discard card or lose life, and the vampires make modest use of Treasure artifact tokens. These decks can't match the Dinosaurs pound for pound, so they kill off the strongest enemy creatures and attack with its small aggro creatures, gaining life the entire time. In short, these decks are ruthless and precise, and they should be used that way.

A few notable Legion cards have appeared in the Ixalan sets. Twilight Prophet is a 2/4 for 2BB that has flying and Ascend. If its controller has the city's blessing, then they may (on their upkeep) reveal the top card of their library and put it into their hand. Then each opponent loses life equal to its CMC while Twilight Prophet's controller gains life equal to the revealed card's CMC. This is like a stronger version of Dark Confidant: drawing an extra card, but gaining life equal to its CMC while other players lose that much life.

Elenda, the Dusk Rose is a legendary 1/1 Vampire that costs 2WB and has lifelink. Anytime another creature dies, Elenda gets a +1/+1 counter, and when it dies, its controller gets a number of 1/1 white Vampire creature tokens with lifelink equal to however many +1/+1 counters it had. This creature can make for an effective commander in the Commander format with tribal Vampire support.

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I graduated high school in Kansas City in 2009, then earned my Associate's in Arts in 2011 at MCC Longview, then my BA in Creative Writing at UMKC in 2013. I have a passion for creative fiction and I've studied and practiced my craft for over ten years. Currently, I'm expanding my resume and skill set with jobs such as SEO writing and journalism.

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Magic: The Gathering - Who Are the Vampire Conquistadors in the Legion of Dusk? - CBR - Comic Book Resources