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Category Archives: Immortality

Immortality calling: Who’ll be next Dolphins, Heat, Marlins or Panthers star in Hall of Fame? – Miami Herald (blog)

Posted: August 6, 2017 at 3:09 am

CBS Miami
Immortality calling: Who'll be next Dolphins, Heat, Marlins or Panthers star in Hall of Fame?
Miami Herald (blog)
Dolphins great Jason Taylor on Saturday became the 26th man immortalized as a Hall of Famer after having worn the uniform of, or coached, the Miami Dolphins, Heat, Marlins or Panthers. Taylor sailed in with the fifth-greatest percentage of his career ...
Orange, Teal And Now Gold: Jason Taylor A Step Closer To Football ImmortalityCBS Miami

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How to live forever: Every single way you can achieve immortality – GQ India

Posted: August 4, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Ten years ago, you couldve been forgiven for expecting a satire of silicon valley fantasies when you clicked on that header. But its 2017 and things have changed. We no longer balk at the idea of fighting death, or dismiss it as an esoteric pursuit. Nearly 66 years after the Welsh bard Dylan Thomas famously implored: Do not go gentle into that good night, scientists are finally saying, do not go at all!. But theres only so much that hope and promise of future can do, and many still take sciences grand plans for human immortality with a pinch of salt. While it may be true that scientific efforts towards defeating death or even delaying it are yet to come anywhere close to fruition, there has never before been more promise in ageing research than now.Before we get to how (or whether at all) defeat ageing and live forever, we need to ponder a little on a question historically dismissed as an inevitability:

Weve known for quite sometime the answer to the first question we die because we age. And we age for the same reason an everyday appliance like your TV or smartphone does wear and tear. As to the question of whether we have to die well, as far as nature is concerned, we dont really die at all! Its understandable if that sounds a little cryptic. However, while we mull mostly upon our individual lives, science since the time of Darwin is in agreement that nature looks at humanity as a species wherein we feature merely as a conduit for information to be passed on through procreation. A prime reason for ageing, scientists have argued is the focus in human biology on reproduction and the amount of resources our body demarcates for procreation instead of regeneration. In the face of advancements in science, reproduction no longer needs such massive resources leading some scientists to the conclusion that death isnt a natural inevitability, but rather a surmountable challenge.

Health and medication:

Pursuit of immortality or escape from death has historically revolved around some kind magical/mythical element or herb or elixir that when consumed will grant immortality. Indian mythology prominently features the eternal amrutor nectar, while western esotericism has obsessed for centuries over the alchemic myth of the philosophers stone and elixir of life. But is it conceivable in 2017 that simply popping a pill or taking a sip of some concoction could cure death? Sure it is, just ask Centre for Ageing Researchs Dr Nir Barzilai, who has spent over three decades researching a single well known diabetes medication that he thinks is the cure for ageing. In fact, while Barzilais research aims at stalling ageing and depletion of youth rather than longevity, it has already found many takers in the scientific community. The fairly common pill called Metformin, which sells for a surprisingly cheap 3 a pop is subject of much controversy, but it is also the subject of one of the best known ongoing researches in the field of ageing.

Genetics and chromosomes:

At a cellular level, scientists have long argued that ageing takes place because of a certain chromosomal constituent known as telomeres. As cells undergo division, the telomeres present at the edge of chromosomes consistently start eroding and subsequently lead to cell death. Whereas our bodies have the inherent capacity to sustain our cells for much longer, telomeres act as a self-imposed kill-switch to fight tumour-formation. But just as any switch, it comes with it the possibility of being reversed. While telomeres-based research has been in focus for quite some time, science has in recent years witnessed several breakthroughs that are more than just promising. Just this week, in a research conducted by US-based Houston Methodist Research Institute that was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, scientists have concluded that reversing telomere-erosion can slow down or tackle a number of problems associated with ageing specifically diseases such as progeria, which causes increased ageing in children.

SENS and Silicon Valleys quest for immortality:

So youve made your billions, and then some. But no matter the depth of your coffers, there comes a point at which even abject profligacy wouldnt exhaust your wealth before you run out of time to spend it. This is the daunting challenge facing the likes of Googles Sergey Brin and Larry Page and Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg. And one that theyre keen on taking head-on through the Silicon Valley-funded research effort SENS or Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence. While research done at SENS hasnt made much news in recent years, the fact remains that it is one of the most well-funded efforts for defeating ageing.

Merging man and machine:

Talk sci-tech today and it becomes almost impossible to leave out Silicon Valley trailblazer Elon Musk and his projects. While universities around the world are researching ways using machines to enhance our lives, Musk is going a step further by trying to put a machine directly in out brains through his project Neuralink. Unlike his flagship Tesla or SpaceX, Musks Neuralink has been kept largely away from the public eye save for a hints through his Twitter feed. Musk himself has confessed that his aim for the company is to achieve Neuralace a primary linkage between our minds and computers to enhance our memory and cognitive capabilities. But while this might seem more rooted in AI than in ageing research, it constitutes what many feel is the first step towards the kind of man-machine interface that weve seen in countless pop-culture references such as Black Mirrors highly rated episode San Junipero or Johnny Depps vastly underrated sci-fi flick transcendence where our consciousness exists without even a body as a computer program.

But regardless of how we achieve it, or whether we achieve it at all, it is a testament to sheer human optimism that we now aim to outlive our own modern, scientific civilisation, which from its dawn in the industrial revolution barely circumscribes four centuries. The goal, it would seem, isnt as forever as forever goes but rather juststretch it until it breaks (and keep hoping it doesnt).


Theres now a pill that can extend your life

How to live, according to centenarians

> More on Get Smart

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Incarnations of Immortality – Wikipedia

Posted: July 26, 2017 at 4:17 pm

Incarnations of Immortality is the name of an eight-book fantasy series by Piers Anthony. The first seven books each focus on one of seven supernatural "offices" (Death, Time, Fate, War, Nature, Evil, and Good) in a fictional reality and history parallel to ours, with the exception that society has advanced both magic and modern technology. The series covers the adventures and struggles of a group of humans called "Incarnations", who hold these supernatural positions for a certain time.

The title may allude to William Wordsworth's 1804 poem Ode: Intimations of Immortality.

Incarnations uses its premise to ponder questions regarding the nature of life. As each character goes from a mortal life to the "office" of an Incarnation, they are forced to contemplate their actions on a daily basis. Each Incarnation may use their office, within limits, as they see fit. This system humanizes what would otherwise be impersonal forces, leading to both extensive considerations of the effects of the incarnation's work and the impact it has on not only humanity but also the other offices of immortality as well.

Another humorous side of Incarnations is the portrayed magic/technology duality. Most series emphasize one or the other means of understanding and manipulating the world, but in Incarnations, each method is equal in usefulness and respect. This leads to a number of amusing parallels, such as competition between automobile and magic-carpet manufacturers. By the future time period of Norton, magic is referred to as the Fifth Fundamental Force, with its own primary particle, the Magicon (similar to a graviton). A few other series have used the technology/magic combined motif, notably Apprentice Adept, another series by Piers Anthony, and Four Lords of the Diamond by Jack Chalker, although that book had an actual technological basis for the explanation of its magic, in contrast to Piers Anthony's work.

Anthony uses the number five extensively, often with things that exist in fours in our world. The five Incarnations are associated with the five elements (Death with Earth, Fate with Water, War with Fire, Nature with Air, and Time with Void), and often other items with fives (the previously mentioned Book of Five Rings). There are five fundamental interactions, magic being the fifth. The Llano consists of five songs. In On a Pale Horse, Gaea teaches Zane five patterns of thought, each represented by diagrams of five short lines.

A fourth theme of Incarnations is the multigenerational human story between the Incarnations. Previous characters repeatedly appear in later novels, and by the final novel, every major character is related by blood, marriage, or affair. See the family tree below.

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Posted: July 24, 2017 at 8:12 am

Just when you thought the aspirations and plans of modern science couldn't possibly become more diabolical (or, if one prefer, sacrilegious), an article comes along to renew your hope that the world continues on its path of normalcy, and that many scientists are, indeed, just as wild-eyed-nuts as you always thought them to be. And this week, apparently many people were relieved and reassured that the mad scientist is not a thing of the past or a species that died out, but a real, living creature deserving of our awe and respect. Ms. M.W. and many others found this, and shared it, doubtless because they were concerned that I was losing hope that there were no more mad scientists:

Could we soon REVERSE death? US company to start trials 'reawakening the dead' in Latin America 'in a few months' - and this is how they'll do it

Way back when I first started writing about these strange topics in The Giza Death Star, I made the observation that physical immortality might not be such a good thing, without a commensurate and corresponding improvement in human spirituality and morality. In this, I took my cue from an ancient Greek Church Father named St. John Chrysostom, who warned about the same thing, and who stated that it was death, in fact, that formed the crucial condition for the possibility of human repentance and a change of mind, for it cut off further progress in evil. Taking this as my cue, in the final pages of that book, I asked people to imagine if such immortality were possible, or even a dramatically extended life span were possible - both of which are now being openly discussed and touted in serious and not-so-serious literature - what it might mean for the resulting civilization? One thing that would result, I pointed out, was a vastly expanded and accelerated scientific and technological development. One individual would, in such a condition, be able to learn and to master several academic disciplines, not just one.The explosion of technology and science would dwarf anything we have seen thus far. But the other consequence would be for moral progress. Imagine, I said back then, an Albert Schweitzer having not a century, but centuries or even millennia to do good things, or, conversely, a Mao Tse-Tung, a Josif Stalin, a Pol Pot or an Adolf Hitler, having that long to "perfect their progress in evil," and one gets a clear picture of the sharp moral contradictions such a society would be in. And please note: this problem is not a problem that, to my knowledge, is receiving anything close to the attention it needs in the transhumanism-virtual immortality community. The sole focus is on the science; if we can do it, we should do it.

Now we have this:

Bioquark, a Philadelphia-based company, announced in late 2016 that they believe brain death is not 'irreversible'.

And now, CEO Ira Pastor has revealed they will soon be testing an unprecedented stem cell method on patients in an unidentified country in Latin America, confirming the details in the next few months.

To be declared officially dead in the majority of countries, you have to experience complete and irreversible loss of brain function, or 'brain death'.

According to Pastor, Bioquark has developed a series of injections that can reboot the brain - and they plan to try it out on humans this year.

They have no plans to test on animals first.


The first stage, named 'First In Human Neuro-Regeneration & Neuro-Reanimation' was slated to be a non-randomized, single group 'proof of concept' study.

The team said they planned to examine individuals aged 15-65 declared brain dead from a traumatic brain injury using MRI scans, in order to look for possible signs of brain death reversal.

Specifically, they planned to break it down into three stages.

First, they would harvest stem cells from the patient's own blood, and inject this back into their body.

Next, the patient would receive a dose of peptides injected into their spinal cord.

Finally, they would undergo a 15-day course of nerve stimulation involving lasers and median nerve stimulation to try and bring about the reversal of brain death, whilst monitoring the patients using MRI scans.

Light, chemistry, and stem cells and DNA. If one didn't know any better, one would swear one was looking at the broad chronological progression of Genesis 1.


But I digress.

The problem here is, one notices, the almost complete avoidance of the moral question. Let's assume the technology works and that one can, literally, resurrect the dead scientifically. And let us assume the project reaches the stage of perfection envisioned by the Russian Cosmists, like Nikolai Fedorov. The cosmists, recall, want to extend the resurrection-by-science principle to the entire history of one's ancestors. But should this occur, then what about resurrecting people like Stalin, Mao, or Hitler? The sad truth is, some people still "revere" those twisted and murderous people as heroes. The sad truth is, some people would attempt to do it, if given the means to do so.

But there's an even bigger problem. The entire project is predicated on the materialist assumption that "brain function equals the person." Regular readers here know that I have never subscribed to such a view, nor have I subscribed to the view, conversely, that there is no relationship between a person's "personhood" and the functions of their soul, which would include, of course, the functions of their will, intellect, emotions, and brain. It is, I suspect, a very complex phenomenon not neatly divided into tidy Cartesian dualisms, with numerous feedback loops between the two. This said, however, the problem arises then that the brain is not the creator of individuality, but rather, its transducer (and, if I may employ a more ancient version of the term, its traducer). Thus, the possibility arises that one might "revive" a brain, and traduce or transduce a different individual than one "recalls" being present prior to brain death. Already some psychologists have written - and published - papers suggesting that certain mental disorders such as bipolarity and schizophrenia might not be disorders in any standard sense, but rather a phenomenon where an individual is inhabiting two very different and parallel universes at the same time. In this they draw upon the many worlds hypotheses of qauntum mechanics.

In short, for my money, I have no doubt that ultimately, some sort of "scientific" resurrection technique might be possible. But I suspect it will be a Pandora's box of spiritual phenomena which, once opened, will be difficult if not impossible to close again, and that before we open it, we should give lengthy, and due consideration to all the moral problems it will engender.

See you on the flip side...

Joseph P. Farrell has a doctorate in patristics from the University of Oxford, and pursues research in physics, alternative history and science, and "strange stuff". His book The Giza DeathStar, for which the Giza Community is named, was published in the spring of 2002, and was his first venture into "alternative history and science".

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President John Evans Atta Mills: 5 years of ascending into immortality! –

Posted: at 8:12 am

The reluctant politician (as is known to close associates) that he was, President Atta Mills, however, never failed to dig into his inner being and offer the needed the leadership at all times.

If my statistics is right; in the 25 years of the NDC, President Atta Mills holds the record as the longest serving Leader of the Party.

He led the NDC into the 2000 elections; led the NDC into the 2004 elections; and led the NDC into the 2008 elections, and also led the Party for the three and half years he served as President of the Republic of Ghana.

Call on duty: President Atta-MIlls attending an event at the Castle Gardens. With him is myself, Koku Anyidoho, Col Lawson, Emmanuel Agbozo and DSP Emmanuel Dade.

As the speech writer for the President, I was under very strict instructions to always ensure that I got all speeches ready at least four days before major events because the President never wanted to go to any function without fully internalising his choice of words and simulating his thoughts.

Little did I know that Tuesday was going to come with its own heavy dark clouds that will hang around the neck of the nation for a very long time!

I got into by car; drove to the Castle; went straight to my office and locked up so as to prevent any form of disturbance.

I did no go to see the President at his residence that morning as was the norm, because I did not want to give another excuse for not having the speech ready.

A little while after I settled in, and started engaging the keyboard of my laptop to complete the speech, I heard a sustained aggressive bang on my door and had no option but to walk to the door with a very stern look on my face ready to eat up whoever it was that was disturbing my writing rhythm.

The stern look I wore, broke into a look of morbid trepidation when I was told the earth-shaking news that the health condition of President John Evans Atta Mills had hit a very low level and he had been rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the 37 Military Hospital in an ambulance (and not in the boot of my Ford vehicle as was vilely rumoured), by his Medical Team.

In my state of consternation at hearing the scary news, I screamed for my driver and rushed to the 37 Military Hospital.

The short distance between the Castle and the 37 Military Hospital, seemed like and endless journey, with by thought processes running in a multiplicity of wild directions amidst a deluge of phone calls from all angles.

I shall never be able to blot out the picture of the lifeless body of my, boss, mentor, friend, advisor, and teacher, when I was allowed to enter the ICU to see for myself that, the President of the Republic of Ghana, and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, had taken his final breath. Phew!!!!

Weeping, wailing, and finding myself lost in a labyrinth of misty theories and postulations, I could only hold on to my strong acceptance of the words as put out by the Prophet Isiah in his preaching in the Holy Bible.

Isiah 55: vrs 8-9; For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

Most certainly, it is only God who knows why the flesh of the sitting President of the Republic of Ghana, had to leave this world of sin, and for his spirit to move into higher realms of sanctity and tranquility.

I cannot forget how my biological father, Major General Henry KwamiAnyidoho.

Anyidoho, deeply appreciated what I was going through and rushed to the Castle to console me and give me his shoulder to cry on, after we left the 37 Military Hospital back to the Seat of Government to quickly work at getting Vice President John Dramani Mahama sworn-in as President of the Republic of Ghana and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, so as not to create a constitutional hiatus.

In other words, my biological father had come to accept the fact that President John Evans Atta Mills and I, had an extremely close and binding attachment that, was beyond a master/servant, relationship.

It is already five years since President John Evans Atta Mills passed on to glory, and the memory keeps flooding into the forefront of my thought process as if it happened only yesterday.

Certainly, after five years, I am not shedding tears anymore but I cannot get over such a monumental loss that hit me as a person, and hit the nation in general.

Incidentally, the 5thAnniversary of the passing-on of President Atta Mills coincides with the 25thAnniversary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), and as the Party celebrates its year-long Silver Jubilee, there is no way we can forget the stoic leadership role the late President played in the 25 years of the existence of the NDC.

The reluctant politician (as is known to close associates) that he was, President Atta Mills, however, never failed to dig into his inner being and offer the needed the leadership at all times.

If my statistics is right; in the 25 years of the NDC, President Atta Mills holds the record as the longest serving Leader of the Party.

He led the NDC into the 2000 elections; led the NDC into the 2004 elections; and led the NDC into the 2008 elections, and also led the Party for the three and half years he served as President of the Republic of Ghana.

The first time I got hit very hard by death; was, after the passing away of my late mother, Mrs. Mercy Abla Mivormawu Anyidoho (Nee Tsegah), in 1993, when I was in my final year at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Nothing can be more excruciatingly painful than losing a mother, and I shall forever miss her.

May the soul of my loving mother continue to rest in perfect peace!

The second time death that hit me at a very close range again like a thunderbolt, was when President Atta Mills passed away.

To watch a sitting President, and Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, pass away, only reinforced the fact that, death will come when it chooses to come, and there is nothing any human being can do about it.

Were it possible to fight death; the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces would have sent out the Army to fight death by land; sent out the Airforce to fight death in the air; and sent out the Navy to fight death on the sea.

Alas, it was not so!

No man can fight death; and this is a fact of life we all have to understand and know that, one fine day, we shall have no option but to beckon to the call of our ancestors and depart to the Land Beyond.

As fleeting and ephemeral as life is; our sole duty on earth is to leave our memories positively etched on the mind of the people we encounter.

Of course, for those of us who have the opportunity to serve as leaders of the Nation, our sole duty is to leave a positive memory properly etched on the mind of the nation.

I can say without any equivocation that, President John Evans Atta Mills, has left his memory eternally etched on the right side of the nations mind andNOTHINGcan erase that solid memory.

As a political party, the NDC canNEVERforget that immaculate role President Atta Mills played in leading the Party in the dark days of Opposition when the NPP Government did all it could to decimate, dismember, and totally annihilate the Party.

As Opposition Leader, the more the NPP referred to him as a Serial Loser (because the NDC lost the 2000 elections, and allowed the NPP to steal the victory in 2004), the more Candidate Mills got energised to work and win the 2008 elections so as to prove to the world that he was not born to be a Serial Loser.

Opposition leader Asomdwehene Atta-MIlls with an admirer.

Very often, he will say to me; Koku, I am not a loser ooo; dont worry, we will win and I will prove to the NPP that Gods time is the best.

When the NPP stole the victory in 2004 via Jake Obetsebi Lampteys (may his soul rest in peace) infamous speech at the Castle Gardens, Candidate Atta MillsREFUSEDto make this country ungovernable, and kept telling us that; I will never want to become President by shedding innocent blood so let the NPP take the victory. If it is Gods will that I should become President, four years will soon come and Ghanaians will vote for me to lead them.

Indeed, the prophecy of the Asomdwehene, came to pass, and Ghanaians gave him a joyous mandate in 2008 in spite of all the dirty machinations of the NPP to once again rig an election.

The immense struggle President Atta Mills went through to lead the NDC to win back political power in 2008 is a story well known.

Even the near-nation-wrecking move by the then Chief Justice, Georgina Wood, to get a court to sit on the 1stof January, 2009 (New Years Day and a public holiday), to create a backdoor path for the NPP to stop the Electoral Commission from declaring the results of the 2008 General Elections, did not stop the victory of President John Evans Atta Mills and the NDC.

For sure, the NDC has a strong and resilient spirit, and President Atta Mills made a solid contribution to giving more verve to the resilient spirit of the Party.

I will forever miss eating from the table of wisdom, and drinking from the deep fountain of knowledge, of the late President.

He was indeed a good man!!!

I thank the Good Lord for the divine opportunity to have served President John Evans Atta Mills in a very high capacity at the Seat of Government, and I am grateful to the late President for giving me the rare opportunity to work closely with him as a close aide and confidant.

I am also thankful to the NDC for giving me more opportunities to continue to serve the Party.

I have no doubt that the NDC shall see many more brighter and better days as the Party begins another phase of rebuilding towards, Unity, Stability, and Development.

The lights, of anchoring nation-building to the pillars of decency that President Atta Mills, lit, continue to glow especially in the current dark dispensation of evil Invisible and Delta Forces running amok and drowning the nation in a sea of lawlessness.

There is no denying the fact that, the legacy of the good old Professor, shall continue to stand tall!

Adieus sir.

May your good soul continue to rest peacefully in eternity till we meet again at the Feet of Jehovah!!!

Koku Anyidoho Deputy General Secretary (NDC) Founder/CEO, Atta Mills Institute (AMI)

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The Observer view on Jane Austen’s immortality – The Guardian

Posted: July 23, 2017 at 1:09 am

Jane Austen fans admire the new 10 note at its launch at Winchester cathedral. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images

Jane Austen, who died 200 years ago last Tuesday, has been enjoying an impressively vigorous afterlife. First, as an icon of her gender, there has been her controversial debut on the new 10 note, an appearance that sent some indignant Jane-ites into a tizzy about her image. Airbrushed, they cried; inauthentic, they snorted.

Worse was to follow. The banks misguided choice of Austen quote from Pride and Prejudice I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading had been uttered by Caroline Bingley, a hypocritical crawler with zero interest in books, who was simply sucking up to Mr Darcy. Three days later, in a scene that would have given Miss Austen exquisite moments of immoderate joy, the leader of the Commons, Andrea Leadsom, a foot-in-mouth politician not renowned for her grasp of the English canon, described her as one of our greatest living authors. Cue howls of parliamentary mirth and a social media feeding frenzy.

Photoshopped, misquoted and brought back from the dead by a Tory minister, the author of Persuasion and Emma, who once observed that a woman, especially if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can, would surely have relished this roller-coaster of publicity. And yet the accident-prone Leadsoms delicious slip does point to some greater truths about our literature, not least that all our finest writers are indeed immortal. This is especially true of those, such as Austen, who wrote immortal characters. Shakespeare, Dickens, Wodehouse, Conan Doyle and Le Carr flourish among the reading public through the lives of Falstaff, Scrooge, Jeeves, Sherlock Holmes and Smiley. As the creator of Mrs Bennet and Emma Woodhouse, Austen lives on.

Leadsoms brief moment of shame might also hint at the banks long-term vindication. While Austen suffers the indignity of airbrushing, her words and characters linger in the English imagination. Most novelists are condemned to oblivion, sometimes in their own lifetimes. To be caricatured and misquoted is a supreme accolade. Besides, at this altitude on Parnassus, the words and phrases of great books become strangely braided into the national conversation.

Shakespeare never wrote lead on Macduff, or methinks the lady doth protest too much. A living culture mashes up books and quotes, giving Holmes a line he never uttered: Elementary, my dear Watson. Great writers, living or dead, such as Austen, get reinterpreted in ways beyond their control. Theres a manga Sense & Sensibility as well as the Observers favourite, Emma and the Werewolves.

Play it again, Jane.

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WWC Final: Mithali Raj’s feisty bunch on the cusp of immortality – Times of India

Posted: at 1:09 am

From being little girls who were mocked for choosing the bat and ball over dolls, they are now pathbreakers.

READ ALSO: Mithali Raj expecting plenty of runs at Lord's Each player's career in the Indian women's cricket team is an inspirational story in herself, but it took a mammoth effort from Harmanpreet Kaur in the semifinals, against defending champions Australia, for the Indian cricket fan to stand up and cheer for the Women in Blue. The last and the only time the Indian women made an appearance in the final was way back in 2005, when Facebook was still an infant and Twitter was still being conceptualized. Hence, there was restricted buildup to the final. This time around, when Mithali Raj leads her band of feisty girls on to the ground at Lord's, she will be cheered by a nation which is already hailing the team as heroes. The Indian team are on the cusp of a sporting revolution and the only ones who can stop them are the mighty hosts, England. Anjum Chopra, former India skipper and member of the 2005 team which played the final, will be at Lord's on Sunday but with a mike in hand instead of a bat. Anjum - one of India's finest women cricketers - says the Indian team is on the verge of "changing the face of women's sport in the country".

Speaking to TOI on the eve of the match, Anjum pointed out that the final is a culmination of a journey started years ago by each player. "It is a momentous Sunday. When you start off you want to make it into your club, state and then the national. But at each level, when you are preparing, subconsciously you prepare to play the World Cup final. All the preparation and hard work the players put in through the years has to come around on that particular day and moment when you are on the field and in action."

READ ALSO: History awaits India in Women's World Cup final

Anjum added that what has worked for the Indian team is individuals stepping up to finish the job at crucial junctures. "The best thing about this Indian team is that each day a different play has put her hand up and seen the team through. Be it Smriti Mandhana's first couple of knocks, Ekta Bisht's five-wicket haul against Pakistan, Rajeshwari Gayakwad's fiver, Mithali's timely ton or Harmanpreet's century against Australia, every match at least one player has stood up for the count and I think that has been the Indian team's strength."

READ ALSO: England eves bookies favourites to lift World Cup

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Immortality Is In The Eye Of The Beholder – MediaPost Communications

Posted: July 21, 2017 at 12:15 pm

Pick a random thing, and youll find a community of people who are into it.

There are people who are obsessed with cloud-watching. Theres a guy who corrected the same error on Wikipedia 47,000 times. Theres a whole heap of people convinced the earth is hollow, and a whole heap of others equally convinced its flat.

And then there are the immortalists. People like Peter Thiel, Sergey Brin and Ray Kurzweil. People who believe we can and should live forever -- that death is a technical problem, and that it therefore has a technical solution. The New Yorker, covering the topic a few months ago, quoted Dr. Joon Yun: I have the idea that aging is plastic, that its encoded If something is encoded, you can crack the code If you can crack the code, you can hack the code!



Among their number is the extraordinary Martine Rothblatt, who has created an artificially intelligent robot copy of her wife Bina, complete with Binas memories, personality and mannerisms.

In 2014, the real Bina met her robot, Bina48, for the first time, and they had a super-creepy conversation.

At one point, as they were discussing the optionality of death, Bina48 said, Immortality is accomplished by creating consciousness in self-replicating machines that can be distributed throughout the cosmos.

Is Bina48 a consciousness? I dont think so. But perhaps a more important question is, does it matter?

In a long and excellent article in Wired this week, James Vlahos describes his journey to create a chatbot version of his father, John, before the latter passed away. Vlahos spent months uploading his fathers sayings, stories, and idiosyncrasies. He gave the Dadbot the ability to tell time (and therefore suggest it was time to go to bed), and the ability to alter his responses depending on whom he was talking to. And while the Dadbot mostly spoke via text, Vlahos also uploaded recordings of his fathers voice.

The night before his father died, James Vlahos had a conversation with the Dadbot: Hello! Tis I, the Beloved and Noble Father! the Dadbot says in his familiar fashion. How the hell are you? Sad, I reply. I see. He then asks what I want to talk about. I dont know, I answer. Why dont you choose. Okay, Im going to tell you about the little-known roots of my theater career. He launches into the story of that drama club audition in high school. Then I hear a recording of my fathers actual voice. Me and my shadow, he sings. All alone with nothing to do.

I imagine having that conversation with a chatbot version of my own father, dead now 10 years. My dad was also prone to theatrics. It would not have been out of character for him to break into song. And I would love it.

Today, we are limited by the technology: Bina48 looks weird and Dadbot is 98% text chat. But those limitations will soon be lifted.

Already there is technology that can create realistic videos of someone using their existing voice recordings, technology that can recreate your voice with just one minute of sample audio, and technology that can allow you to manipulate video of someone elses face. The day we can video chat with a lifelike AI rendition of someone is not far off.

The Dadbot is not John Vlahos. It does not have consciousness. John Vlahos got sick and then he died; from his own perspective, he is not immortal.

But from his sons perspective, he lives on. And from his sons perspective, isnt that what matters?

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Immortality Is In The Eye Of The Beholder - MediaPost Communications

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Calgary folk fest: Dave Alvin and intimations of immortality –

Posted: at 12:15 pm

Born in Downey, California, in the 1950s, Dave Alvin and his brother Phil were perfectly placed in geography and time to have front row seats as the blues, rockabilly and country formed a drunken, dirty backwoods threesome and begat rock and roll.

Growing up, the brothers listened to Big Bill Broonzy, Chet Atkins, Big Joe Turner and other masters. They later took those moments with them when they formed renowned roots band the Blasters, rubbing shoulders with the emerging Los Angeles punk scene featuring X and Black Flag in the early 1980s.

Like The Kinks Ray and Dave Davies, the brothers acrimony was legendary. Dave left the band to go solo while Phil continued on with them in different configurations and intervals over the next decades while also pursuing solo work. In the meantime, Dave briefly joined X, and the Knitters, before continuing on with his solo career, enjoying different forms of success. Dwight Yoakam recorded his song Long White Cadillac in 1989. He has produced many albums, including ones for the Derailers and for Tom Russell, and has been a session musician for Rambling Jack Elliot, among others.

After Phil had a near-death experience in Spain, the two brothers reunited to put out Common Ground, their 2014 album of Big Bill Broonzy covers. They followed it up with Lost Time, an album of beloved covers from their youth, in 2015. They will appear together with their band The Guilty Ones on Saturday and Sunday of the Calgary Folk Music Festival.

Before heading up north, Dave spoke with theYYSCENE.

Q: I was surprized when I looked it up and found out when you last played the folk fest it was 2006!

A: Well, you can shut me up. Wow! It seems to me maybe six years ago at the most. That does not seem right, but I think that is right. Thats pretty wild, wow. I remember that show very well. I was still a bit of a drinker in those days and I so remember having a hangover the next day when I saw Kris Kristofferson, and when he did Sunday Morning Coming Down I thought, I can relate to that. I remember having a nice conversation with Dar Williams, who approached me after the show, and she and I had a long conversation about songwriting.

Q: Why did you and Phil choose Big Bill Broonzy as the artist to cover on your first album together after youd been on separate musical paths for years?

A: He was one of the catalysts when we were kids that set us on the road that weve traveled. Unlike some blues performers you know, if you are going to do someone like Lightnin Hopkins, you would have to sound like Lightnin Hopkins, because his art was so personalized. So if you are going to do a tribute to Lightnin Hopkins, you gotta make it to sound like Lightnin Hopkins. That can be fun for a song or so, but theres no reason for whole album: Heres the Alvin Brothers trying to sound like Lightnin Hopkins.

Whereas with Big Bill, he certainly had a style of playing guitar that was uniquely his own, but he was a songwriter. The songs were strong enough that if you wanted to you could remove them from the Big Bill Broonzy quote-unquote sound and interpret them any way you wanted. Which is kind of what we did on the record. There are a couple that are close to sounding like Big Bill, there are others that dont, but theyre still his songs.

Its like, if you are doing a tribute to Bob Dylan, I would hope you try not to sound like Bob Dylan, but try to sound like yourself, and the same kind of rule applies to Big Bill Broonzy.

Q: I saw Dylan on Sunday. Even him doing his own stuff from the past; think how boring it could be to play the same songs for 50 years. He re-wrote himself (again) and in some ways his songs, yet kept it true to the heart of the songs.

A: Its always debatable, because I can go either way on that. I am sort of blessed because I dont get sick of playing my own songs, and the reason, I tell people, is I still cant believe I wrote em. Its kinda like, Really? I wrote that! Wow, Im good!

I can always find something new inside the song, and in my mind, no matter where I am in the world, I can always go to where I was when I wrote the song what I was thinking, what I was going through.

In Bobs situation, its a little different. If you ever listen to weird outtakes, like the recordings of Like a Rolling Stone or outtakes from Positively 4th Street, his version is different each time. He is not a by-the-note kind of guy. I think that for him, part of it is a natural contrariness, in that he kind of wants to mess with the audience a little bit, lovingly, but still mess with them.

His vocal styles have changed over the years and I think that his phrasing it might be one of the things that attracts him to the standards his phrasing is excellent. He knows how to phrase a damn song. Thats true whether its a Bob Dylan song from 1966 or a Burke-Van Heusen song from 1960. He knows how to phrase a lyric; he knows how to wring the emotions out of a lyric.

Because hes not, lets say, Richard Thompson on guitar his instrumental genius is the way he sings and the way he phrases his lines. And I think when he goes onstage thats the challenge for him thats what hes looking forward to. I dont know where I am in the world, but I am going to sing these songs, and I am going to phrase them differently.

Q: A great thing about seeing Dylan, and many others, still going in their 70s, is that we have almost stopped hearing about how rock and roll or music is a young persons game. In the 1950s and 60s, people thought an artists career would be done in six months or a few years, and then it would be on to the next thing. We dont hear stuff like that anymore.

A: I imagine if you talked to a 17-year-old they might think that way, but part of it is that the audiences have gotten older and they dont want to see their heroes stop, because that might mean something heavy. The people that Phil and I admired as a kid played until they died. Thats what (Russian pianist) Vladimir Horowitz did.

And it changes. Youre not the same artist at 60 as you were at 24 you can summon that 24-year-old, but you have to stay where you are now, at some point. I dont begrudge guys for trying to stay 24. Its something I can summon, I can pull out the songs and say, OK, were all 24 again. And I am certain Dylan does the same thing.

When you hear a song for the first time, the ones that usually really resonate with you are the ones that you heard on your parents car radio when you were eight-years-old or the ones that you heard during your first big make-out session with a girl or guy, or when you got your heart broken.

Like a Rolling Stone is going to resonate with an audience. If he wrote his greatest song on his next album, its not going to resonate the same way because theyve lived with it for 53 years.

Q: Speaking of things that resonate and the past, do you get a lot of people telling you that you should do a reunion with the Blasters?

A: Yes. What I say is the Blasters are a band in and of themselves. They have a guitar player; they dont need me. And theres a certain thing to having those four or five guys together on stage thats certainly magical, but usually its unannounced in a bar. Ill just drop in and pick up a guitar. And thats good enough for me.

The reason I used Gene Taylor, the piano player from the Blasters, who plays on the two albums I did with my brother, is he is one the worlds best boogie-woogie blues piano players. But if I was to do the Blasters, if made an album with the Blasters, that means theyre Blasters records, and I want to make Dave and Phil Alvin records. Even the guys in the Blasters we all grew up together we were the Alvin Brothers before we were the Blaster Brothers. Also, Ive got a pretty amazing damn band.

Q: Whats changed between the way it was when you used to play with Phil and the way it is playing with him now?

A: We dont fight. I think in the past four years weve had two minor disagreements. One was I was not playing a note that my brother wanted to hear. It was an F-sharp, and I was like, No, youre out of your mind. And, it turns out he was right, Goddamn it. So what could I do?

When we first did the Big Bill record my brother was still relatively frightened over his near death experience in Spain, so the Big Bill Broonzy record, with the exception of the F-sharp note, was easy as hell. It would have taken the Blasters a couple of years to do that record Im exaggerating. We just dont fight like we used to there is a mutual respect.

I have to grudgingly admit that some of the things we used to fight about when we were in the band, Ive come around to his way of seeing things, you know, You were right about that. But dont tell him that. And vice versa, I think my brother has come around to seeing certain things my way. We meet about halfway.

Q: Are you able to speak about your brothers near death experience?

A: Its really complicated, but long story short: he was on stage in Valencia, Spain, with his band, and he was having trouble breathing, so when the show was over, they rushed him to a hospital where he proceeded to die.

And I was in California, and I got a phone call saying, Your brothers dead. He was brain dead for at least 10 minutes, and were not sure how long, somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes he was brain dead, and then they revived him. A Spanish doctor, Mariella Anaya Sifuentes, managed get on top of my brother and do what Ive always wanted to do which is beat the living shit out of him. And she got his heart to start again. Its a long story, but she brought him back to life.

And so in that long period while she is pounding on his chest to get everything moving, I am sitting in California thinking my brothers dead and kind of going over, Gee, what did I screw up here? And I realized we didnt ever do any records for the little 13-year-old boys in us. Thats kind of around our age when we discovered Big Bill Broonzy and Big Joe Turner and people like that. (Im thinking) if I had it to do it all over again, I would so some records of certain material just for ourselves. And he pulled out of it, and as soon as he was ready, we went in the studio.

Q: How did you choose the tracks on you last album, 2015s Lost Time?

A: We knew we wanted to do some Big Joe Turner songs. He was our friend and mentor and he taught my brother how to sing. He is a little bit like Lightnin Hopkins in that to do Big Joe you kinda have to do Big Joe.

But hes also a little like Big Bill in that he had a long career and he didnt necessarily change his style, but the musicians around him changed, so he went from in his early days doing Kansas City jazz to 50s rock and roll rhythm and blues to 60s west coast blues. So if were going to do some Big Joe we can cover all the styles of Big Joe. The rest are songs weve always loved since we were kids.

We were trying to be aware that there are so many songs in the blues tradition that have been done too many times that the world didnt need another version, so we tried to stay away from those.

Q: Are you writing new songs at this time?

A: I am always writing and throwing things away. I am the harshest critic of my own songs that youve ever met.

Q: Whats shifted since you were first playing in the 1970s and early 80s?

A: Well, the actual being onstage hasnt changed. Youre still immortal onstage. Thats the addiction. Back to Bob Dylan, I dont know if he is still touring because hes got debts to pay, but I imagine its because he gets the same high I get.

When youre onstage and everythings clicking, there is no time. Youre not old, youre not young. You exist in this other realm. Its like a runners high. Youre living totally in a moment. The past is the present and the future is the present. Its a pretty ethereal state. Ive talked to other people about this, and lots know what Im talking about.

Other people are punching a time clock. You know, 20 more minutes. For me, its if Im onstage, all my dead friends are alive, my family, my mother and father are alive, my heroes, you know, Big Joe Turner is alive. And now were done, OK, now back to reality.

So being onstage hasnt changed at all, but a lot of whats around being onstage has. The music industry has changed drastically for better or for worse.

The main thing Ive noticed, we did a show about four or five years ago, and the other act on the bill was these young guys, about eight of them. We shared this big dressing room. So, they went up on stage and did their thing, and I went and we played our set, and I go to go back to the room and I think the room will be filled with smoke, alcohol, drugs, and there will be people flying through the air because theyre 22-years-old. And I think, Oh, I gotta field that.

And I get up to the room and its dead silent. And theyre all sitting, each on their own computers, doing whatever theyre doing. Jesus Christ guys, youre 22-years-old, dont you know youre supposed to have fun?

The motels are either swanky or theyre crap holes, the food at truck stops is still terrible, but the biggest change is 22-year-old guys are not out making idiots of themselves. Gee, I am glad I was 22 when I was 22!

Q: You mentioned you were drinking less?

A: I will still enjoy a beverage, but I dont enjoy them in bulk. Ill have a beer before I go onstage because it kind of loosens up the brain. It makes me less shy and inhibited because I am shy and inhibited unless demon rum is involved. And Ill have a beer after Im done, but thats about it. Alcohol used to be a religion and now I nod at it.

Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin + the Guilty Ones play Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30 at the Calgary Folk Music Festival on Princes Island. For tickets, call 403-233-0904 or visit the festival'swebsite.

Mary-Lynn Wardle is a Bragg Creek writer who covers her two passions, music and horses. She has written in the Calgary Herald, FFWD Weekly, Swerve, Western Horsemen, Western Horse Review, Horses All and other publications, for over 25 years.

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Calgary folk fest: Dave Alvin and intimations of immortality -

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JT’s immortality a certainty after State of Origin heroics | Gympie Times – Gympie Times

Posted: July 19, 2017 at 4:11 am

SHORT PASS: Queensland State of Origin rugby league captain Cameron Smith says he is the greatest player to ever wear the maroon.

He is touted by many rugby league commentators as not only being the best player in the world at the moment, but potentially the best player to have ever played.

You only have to have a passing interest in rugby league to know Johnathon Thurston is already a legend of the game.

Humble and gracious as he is talented, the man is everything that is right with rugby league in the modern era.

He has steered home countless matches for the Cowboys and put his unique stamp on every level of the game.

I believe he is set to become rugby league's ninth immortal.

An honour reserved only for the most influential and ground breaking players, Thurston's heroics in Origin II, where he kicked the winning goal and sent Queensland to the decider which they subsequently won, have all but assured him a seat at the table.

Clive Churchill, Bob Fulton, Reg Gasnier, Johnny Raper, Graeme Langlands, Wally Lewis, Arthur Beetson and Andrew Johns are the current immortal inductees, and while Thurston still has a couple of years of play in him, I am calling for his induction to happen sooner rather than later.

After all, who else could possibly compare.

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JT's immortality a certainty after State of Origin heroics | Gympie Times - Gympie Times

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