Sunday, November 04, 2007

A lil' bit of death mixed in with a lil' bit of hallucination. All flashbacks from a long life of dying. Thanks fer holding my hand.

Top of the morning gents,

Even a moron can learn something new. If ye try
something long enough, ye just might figure shit out
and get darn near good at it. Dying too.

Every fucking time I stroll through the nursery at the
local village hospital, I recognize each and every
newborn. Ya see, there ain't too many Eskimo souls in
this universe. More simply, if there was a heaven for
natives, I already know what it smells like.

The Here After I've set sails for is packed full of
Finns. I got a face only me mum could love, and my
kind ain't welcome 'round yer deceased darker
relatives.

When we go home, we all go to where we're welcome, not
some rezzed out Valhalla ruined diverse and
hodge-podge mixed with muddy sapien varietals. "Silly
humans. Silly human race." "Yours is no disgrace."
(Yes-Squire/Anderson)

Both heaven and hell are mud farms. Nowhere in Alaska,
but South of 60 hidden somewhere between Bellingham
and Snohomish. This I know. The line between
non-reality blurred long before my eyes started
failing. But since meeting you lot and after the
stroke.

Got a room full of crying newborns? One quick walk
‘round all them ugly little shit Inukuns and they’ll
all get mum really quick. Most them recycled corpses
likely remember the dickhead that done helped ‘em hang
themselves, smoke rat smack, or snort cyanide cat piss
diesel.

Yup, that dickhead was most likely me coaxing pressed
rat collections, dog legs and feet across Death’s
Door. Get fucked up and dance with me. "A friend of
the Devil is a friend of mine." (G. Dead)

Fuck it. That ain’t why I’m writing ye. More on that
later. I got some serious problems dudes.

I woke this morning with a deep L-shaped cut in my
goddamn ball bag. Minimal bleeding dudes, but a real
smart piss off when I pull up my trousers to boot and
jacket up. Hurt like shit. What’s am I gonna do with a
slashed bag out on a fucking arctic ice shelf? Bleed
on shit before I shoot it?

I ain’t been drinking so much as I used to: trying to
steer clear of excess spirits and foul temper and too
many injuries. Besides, I can’t have no more gun
accidents.

My memory is pert near perfect, save a tad too much
axle grease, heavy crude and chronic tar build up on
my teeth, but I got no clue who kicked me square in
the nuts hard enough to cut open my nut sack and
ventilate my perforated mud flaps.

I showed Bun my bleedy ball sac: she made me go
straight to our local shitty Indian village clinic.
BIA hospitals are just fucking great place to enjoy a
peroxide douche, scrotal stitches on my extruded
ovaries, then bandage my bashed marsupial blood pouch
that contains my soul kitchen and 2 extra brains.
There's a whole universe inside yer nads, and mine are
slashed and leaking a bit. Fuck my pussy hurt.

Here’s the weird part, when I dropped trou for that
fat native nurse to show her my punctured male bag,
she found no injury only red wet mess. She then got
angry and slapped with bloody gloves cuz I got happy
again. And hard.

This ain’t the first time I woke up all fucked up like
this. Some mornings I wake with busted limbs and
teeth, deep cuts, stinky burns and punctures, only to
panic like a girl, run crying all the way across my
reservation yet miraculously heel as I’m filling out
that bullshit non-native paperwork.

Lots of blood and bruising, but zero gaping cunt
shaped knife or ballistic impressions. No shit, after
waiting goddamned hours next to smelly sick natives,
my fingers, teeth and gonads re-attach.

Before the stroke I used to wake with injuries like
that. But they were real injuries such as loosened
teeth, electrocuted limbs and danglers and spit up
lungs full of prison potable.

But since kyping someone else’s passport and body, I
now awake to injuries I can’t remember getting doled
out on me. Last June, in Kotzebue I woke up with a
crop of pimples on my chest, stomach and groin. Real
doozey pimples too: Greg Lantz a boil grade. When I
went into the bathroom to pop all them fuckers, I
squeezed out pus and birdshot.

I’m so fucked up. As far back as I can remember, I was
always on the other side of the shotgun.

Let me do a quick self-check: yup, clicking ribs,
loose skin and chips in me mouth and lumpy bruises on
me nads. I gotta stop giving and taking so much sex in
my violence.

The hell I inhabit is a hell I created. Why do I feel
imprisoned on the wrong side of a brittle membrane?

Blimey struth you fucks, makes brilliant sense now.
Don't ever let happen to your children, what I done to
other people. To dream is to become stigmatised by
your own sins.

I fucking had enough, my nuts are killing me and I'm
really scared. Could one of you soldiers call me on
the Bat Phone and wake me up?

Thanks.

Karl.

---

Science awakens to the possibilities of human
hibernation

By Scott LaFee

http://www.paramuspost.com/article.php/2007020822504911


In December, a 35-year-old Japanese man was found
after he spent 24 days in the wild, reportedly without
food or water. The man - Mitsutaka Uchikoshi-told
rescuers he remembered falling asleep in a field,
possibly losing consciousness after a fall. After
that, nothing.

When searchers discovered him, Uchikoshi appeared to
be beyond sleep. His pulse was almost undetectable.

His body temperature had dropped to 71 degrees - 27
degrees below normal. His organs had mostly shut down.

Uchikoshi was treated for hypothermia, multiple organ
failure and blood loss from his fall. Remarkably, he
recovered fully, with no lasting ill effects. His
doctors speculate that he survived, essentially
unscathed, because he slipped into some kind of
hibernation.

Maybe, maybe not. In fact, there's little scientific
evidence that humans are even capable of
hibernating-at least not in the same way as some
animals, such as Punxsutawney Phil, the celebrated
groundhog who looks for his shadow on Gobbler's Knob
in Punxsutawney, Pa., each February.

Potential, on the other hand, is a different matter.
Increasingly, researchers think it may be possible to
apply elements of hibernation to a host of human
ailments and endeavors, from extending the utility of
donor organs to permitting long-term human space
travel.

"It may not be necessary to learn how to put humans
into the very deep, profound hibernation states of
some animals in nature," said Hannah V. Carey, a
zoologist at the University of Wisconsin and a
hibernation researcher. "It may be enough to learn how
they do what they do and mimic some of those states."

Such knowledge would be useful in treating surgery and
trauma patients, she said. "Some hibernating animals
are masters of knowing when to eat and when to stop.
If we understood those signals, like when the body
knows it has enough fat and switches metabolisms, it
could be very useful."

Practical success will not come easy. Hibernation
isn't simply sleeping deeply. It isn't merely
triggered by cold or the calendar. The fat-tailed
dwarf lemur of tropical Madagascar, for example,
hibernates during winter not because the weather is
cold (the average temperature is 63 degrees) but
because conditions are dry and food is scarce.
Hibernation in its various forms and degrees boils
down to survival, making it through hard times by
doing less with less. Different animals do it in
different ways, but humans can take lessons from all
of them.

ARCTIC GROUND SQUIRRELS

Arctic ground squirrels are hibernation champs and a
preferred research subject. (For obvious reasons, they
are a lot easier to work with than, say, bears.) When
winter begins in northern Alaska, the indigenous
squirrels burrow underground, curl into balls and, for
all intents and purposes, play dead. Metabolic
processes like heart rate, blood pressure and
respiration virtually disappear. Body temperatures
hover around freezing. The squirrels are utterly
unresponsive to touch. And yet, come spring and warmer
temperatures, they emerge unaffected from their
slumber and burrows.

John Hallenbeck, a researcher at the National
Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, said
part of the reason is the way the squirrels deal with
fat. As any cook will tell you, fat is affected by
temperature. When it's cold, some fats separate and
congeal. The same thing happens inside cells.

Cold causes saturated and unsaturated fats in the
membranes of cell components to differentiate. While
unsaturated fats remain liquid, saturated fats turn
into a kind of crystalline gel. Proteins - the cell's
workhorses - can become stuck in the gel and stop
functioning normally.

Hallenbeck and his colleagues discovered that squirrel
cells get around this problem by changing their
internal structure, clustering proteins in patches of
liquid unsaturated fat so the proteins can continue to
work regardless of how cold it is. When temperatures
rise, the cells restructure again - usually within a
couple of hours of the animal waking and warming up.

Something similar, albeit less effective, occurs
inside chilled human cells, according to Hallenbeck.
By figuring out how squirrel cells do it better, he
believes scientists might apply the knowledge to human
biology, leading to improved cryopreservation
techniques and storage of transplanted organs.

BLACK BEARS

Black bears are not true hibernators - not like
squirrels and other small mammals. Because of a bear's
size, its temperature does not drop as dramatically,
nor does its metabolic rate. Indeed, bears frequently
wake up during hibernation, leaving their den or
"hibernaculum" for brief periods of time. Still, they
spend as much as five months in hibernation. For
humans, such a prolonged period of inactivity would be
catastrophic, perhaps fatal.

"Bedridden patients lose 0.7 percent of their strength
per day, resulting in problems such as severe
atrophy," said Hank Harlow, a professor of zoology at
the University of Wyoming. Bone and muscle loss can
approach 80 percent to 90 percent.

But post-hibernation bears display comparatively
little loss of either. Seth Donahue, an associate
professor of biology at Michigan Technological
University, said bone production in black bears
remains constant throughout hibernation, even though
the bears are not eating.

Donahue credits recycling. During hibernation, black
bears rarely urinate or defecate. Virtually all
metabolic waste is reused, including excess calcium,
which is refashioned into new bone.

Similarly, black bears help keep their muscles full
and fit by converting urea - a nitrogen-rich waste
product found in urine - into new amino acids, thus
preserving existing proteins and contributing to new
muscle tissue.

They also exercise - in their sleep. Using electronic
leg braces attached to the knees of hibernating bears,
Harlow and colleagues showed that the animals undergo
massive episodes of shivering about four times a day.

"It's almost like a human getting on an exercise
bike," Harlow said. "We think these massive muscle
contractions are helping the bears to maintain
strength and muscle tone through the winter."

Work like Harlow's presents a wide array of potential
applications, from treating muscle disorders to
minimizing the negative effects of prolonged hospital
confinement to exercising astronauts during lengthy
space missions.

LEARNING FROM EXAMPLES

Bears and squirrels are hardly the only animals to
hibernate. It's a diverse evolutionary adaptation.
Certain terrestrial frogs, for example, essentially
freeze during winter. In most species, that would be
fatal. Ice crystals forming inside the cells would
puncture delicate membranes, killing the cells and,
ultimately, the animal.

Ice crystals form inside hibernating frogs, too - in
the body cavity, bladder, under the skin - but the
frogs survive because their vital organs are flush
with the sugar glucose, which acts like antifreeze.

Skeptics note that humans aren't like tree frogs or
ground squirrels. We lack the ability to concentrate
glucose in key organs or safely vary our metabolic
processes. They question the practical value of animal
hibernation models. But other researchers counter that
humans may not be so completely different.

"It's hypothesized that hibernation represents an
ancient trait in mammals that continues in selected
lineages today, including possibly humans," said Brian
Barnes, director of the Institute for Arctic Biology
at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

Case in point: oxygen deprivation. In hibernation,
many animals significantly reduce oxygen flow to their
brains with no negative consequences. There are
anecdotal examples of humans surviving under similar
circumstances. In 1999, a female Norwegian skier was
pulled from icy waters after being submerged for more
than an hour. With no measurable heart rate,
respiration and a body temperature of 57 degrees, she
appeared to be dead. And yet, she was resuscitated and
recovered fully.

In 2001, a Canadian toddler named Erika Nordby
wandered outside at night in a diaper and T-shirt. The
temperature was minus 11 degrees. When Erika was found
two hours later, her heart had stopped and her body
temperature was 61 degrees, but she, too, was revived
with frostbite as the only lingering complication.

SLEEP AIDS

Even if humans can't hibernate, Barnes and others say
they are inching closer to reproducing hibernation's
protective and beneficial effects through drugs and
therapies. Already, researchers have discovered how to
place lab mice into suspended animation, using a
common gas produced by the body.

Hydrogen sulfide smells like rotten eggs, but
scientists have found that in small doses (an 80
parts-per-million mixture with air), it puts mice into
a hibernationlike state, substantially reducing their
heart rate, breathing and body temperature while
keeping blood pressure normal. Exposed to normal air,
the mice recover within minutes.

The phenomenon presents some interesting
possibilities, said Mark Roth, of the University of
Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
in Seattle. In safe doses (high concentrations of
hydrogen sulfide are toxic), the gas could be used to
slow oxygen-deprivation damage in people with critical
injuries or during transplantation surgeries.

It might even lead to more effective cancer therapies.
To wit: Some cancer treatments work by denying oxygen
to malignant cells. But the approach can also harm
nearby healthy cells. If the oxygen needs of healthy
cells could be reduced through suspended animation,
then cancer medicines could be used longer, with
greater effect.

"Right now in most forms of cancer treatment, we're
killing off the normal cells long before we're killing
off the tumor cells," Roth said. "By inducing
metabolic hibernation in healthy tissue, we would at
least level the playing field."

"The cool thing about hydrogen sulfide is that it
isn't something manufactured that we're taking down
from a shelf - it isn't 'better living through
chemistry' - it's simply an agent that all of us make
in our bodies all the time to buffer our metabolic
flexibility," he added. "It's what allows our core
temperature to stay at 98.6 degrees, regardless of
whether we're in Alaska or Tahiti."

Meanwhile, other scientists are investigating the
potential of vitamin C. Humans and primates get most
of their vitamin C from food, but many animals
synthesize it in their livers. Margaret Rice at the
New York University Medical Center and Kelly Drew at
the University of Alaska note that hibernating
squirrels and turtles accumulate massive amounts of
vitamin C in their brains and central nervous systems.


The vitamin, they theorize, protects against damaging
free radicals and acts as a buffer when the animals
emerge from hibernation and expose their depleted
brains to lots of oxygen, which can be just as
damaging as not enough oxygen. The findings could have
direct significance for stroke victims, who frequently
suffer additional brain damage when blood flow
returns.

Chances are, humans will never be like Arctic ground
squirrels. Space-faring astronauts aren't likely
anytime soon to slip into hibernation pods for
journeys to distant planets and stars.

"Human applications are years, if not decades away,"
said Steve Swoap, a hibernation researcher at Williams
College in Massachusetts.
But prospects of hibernation science, say Swoap and
others, are numerous and eye-opening.

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