Quick links

I’m having a thoroughly distracting week, so here, have some fast links rather than a real post:

How life may have survived the Snowball Earth conditions.

Snowball Earth, as it is also known, lasted from 720 to 635 million years ago. And you’d think that a layer of ice over the ocean, cutting off the oxygen supply, would have hindered the forward march of animal life; but fossil evidence indicates that this wasn’t even remotely the case.

Rapamycin appears to be one of the most promising anti-aging treatments currently available. 

Side effects of rapamycin are a problem, but it’s since been found that a transient (3-month) treatment with rapamycin can extend life expectancy up to 60%. (Ref.) More studies are needed to determine the dosing regimen with maximal efficacy and minimal side effects. (Ref.)

Intermittent dosing at once every 5 days also extends lifespan in mice, and this “demonstrates that the anti-aging potential of rapamycin is separable from many of its negative side effects and suggests that carefully designed dosing regimens may permit the safer use of rapamycin and its analogs for the treatment of age-related diseases in humans. ” (Ref.) Note also that this dosing regimen wasn’t started until the mice were quite old, at 20 months, and it still extended lifespan.

House passes bipartisan anti-robocall bill

Good God, bipartisan action we can ALL get behind, who would have seen that coming?

These days, I just DO NOT CARE what charitable cause is being supported. I hang up on ALL robocalls and ALL requests for money and ALL people wanting to conduct a poll. I’m so over it, there are no words to express my feelings on the subject.

Also, I happened to get a scam call the other day: Amazon has blocked a fraudulent charge to your card, but we’re placing a hold on your account just to be sure you’re protected; call this number to sort it out.

That actually sounds sort of possible. A quick Google search did not pull up this exact scam. Still, a scam still seemed like by far the most likely explanation for the call. Just to make sure, I contacted Amazon — not by calling the number — and checked. Yep, it’s a scam.

I hear lots of scams now involve someone purportedly from Amazon. For heaven’s sake, let’s push that bill through and kill all robocalls of every kind. I don’t care if a tiny fraction are legitimate. That is one baby that I’d be happy to throw out with the bathwater.

Okay, the above is nice, but not soothing. Here’s something soothing:

We may have just found the perfect cure to a long work week: watching the sun set on the shores of New Zealand with a pack of contented alpacas to keep you company.

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