Pete’s Cyborg Transformation round 2.0

cyborgMost readers of sci-fi, particularly cyberpunk novels will be familiar with the concept of cyborgs with heads-up displays built into their eyes, which would tell them all kinds of useful information such as speed, time, altitude, directions, etc.


I’ve recently had a very primitive version installed in my own left eye. Just last week I suffered a minor retinal tear and retinal detachment.  The procedure to fix this is called a Pneumatic Retinopexy, where they inject your eye with a small amount of inert gas which then forms a bubble. This bubble presses against the detached part of the retina and holds it tight so that it can heal back in place. Lasers are then used to spot-weld the retina in place so that healing can continue.

eye injectThe gas bubble sits in the top of the eyeball and is very visible at the bottom of my vision (as the eye flips what it sees due to the nature of the lens’ effect on light waves).  Whenever I move, the bubble moves in counter to my head’s position, exactly like a bubble in a level.  If I shake my head back and forth, the bubble jiggles, just like a soap bubble on water. It’s highly distracting and tends to block a significant amount of my vision, and looks like this when I’m looking directly forward.

landscape with bubbleNow I know what you’re thinking: This doesn’t make you a cyborg as this bubble isn’t doing anything for you except blocking your vision.  However, I’ve recently damaged my vestibular system (inner ear) that provides my brain with my sense of balance, and am forced to rely on my sense of vision to tell me whether I’m standing up straight or not.  I tend to stumble into things when walking in low light environments as I’m much more reliant upon my eyesight to tell me where up and down are than most people.  Giving my brain a visual signal of where my head is in space is extremely useful.

levelSo far, being able to tell where my head is located even in the dark has been very useful in situations like showering where being wet with closed eyes can cause me severe vertigo. Did I mention that this bubble is visible in my eye even in pitch black as the gas is directly stimulating the retina and causes a halo that’s apparent at all times.


Known Problems with current model:  The bubble is very distracting at its current size.  The bubble also moves from the lower edge of my vision to the center when I look down, so some method of attaching it to the top of the retina would be required, but it would still have to stay fluid.

eye of sauron

Installation is a breeze.

The bubble currently only tells me one piece of information, i.e. relative head position, it would be useful to be able to add some other info such as time, location etc.  no idea how to implement this. Perhaps a gas that changes colour based on various body signals such as temp or heart rate etc. Also, I’d like to be able to turn it off or on as needed.

Also, since the bubble obscures the bottom of my visual field, I find that I have to sit down to pee as I can’t see near my feet too well.  This is a major flaw.

Oh yeah,  the procedure apparently went quite well and my retina has been sealed back in place and is healing. Apparently the bubble will dissipate over the next week or two.

Further updates as warranted.

Update: Tuesday Sept 8, 2015.  Bubble has broken into smaller pieces which is way more distracting as they all move independent of each other.

landscape with bubble2

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A little brain damage humour:

Question:  What’s the worst thing about having a head injury?


Answer:  I don’t remember.

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Don’t believe the Hype

Contrary to what all the popular kids are saying these days, being hit by a Ford F350 doing 100 km/hr is not as much fun as it’s made out to be on all those other blogs. Granted I only did a sample of n=1, but I think my results are conclusive.


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Some thoughts on Cancer –

Disclaimer: This is just a rough (very rough unedited) collection of some of my personal thoughts on possible mechanisms behind cancer. It is definitely not medical advice. My professional education is in robotics (they don’t get cancer) and my highest level of biology education is grade 10 high school… so if you’re taking my medical advice on faith then you’ve got things wrong with you that no one can solve.

Cancer is believed to be caused by genetic mutations that cause cells to go crazy and do things that they wouldn’t generally do (Somatic Mutation Theory):
A great deal of research has been done to find out what these mutations are and document them, however, after much genomic mapping, no single genetic smoking gun has been found.

cancer cells do the following:
• they ferment glucose without oxygen (glycolysis) for energy rather than burn glucose or fat with oxygen (oxidative phosphorylation)
• they don’t die off when they should (failed apoptosis),
• they do not perform oxidation even in the presence of oxygen. (Warburg effect)
• They use up vast amounts of glucose compared to other cells as glycolysis is much less efficient than oxidation. ie: you get fewer ATPs out for each glucose molecule consumed (this is how a PET scan works as it looks for increased glucose usage using ‘radioactive glucose’)
• Some cancers cause the growth of additional blood vessels in an effort to get more energy (glucose) (Angiogenesis)
• eventually some cancers become able to live in the blood or lymph system and travel to new sites (metastatic) and travel from the original site and relocate somewhere else to create another tumor.

The major flaw in cancer research:
The belief that genetic mutation is the start of the process rather than the end. Cancer cells that stick around are ones that are able to survive off of glycolysis alone. This is called survivorship bias. It’s very common in fitness marketing. example: Everyone who does crossfit is lean and fit, just look at them… actuallity: all the people who weren’t fit enough or genetically gifted enough to complete the grueling crossfit methodology dropped out or became injured and aren’t being counted. Crossfit didn’t so much make people fit, it provided unnatural selection pressure to weed out all those that didn’t meet the minimum level to continue. In this analogy, all the fit lean people are metastatic cancers and researchers are wondering what makes them fit and lean, whereas they should be looking at the entire population of people who originally joined Crossfit and wonder what made them join to begin with.

Yet another Analogy: A bus load of tourists crash in the mountains (breakdown of OxPhos). Many die in the initial crash (Apoptosis). Some tourists happened to bring coats with them, and they manage to not freeze to death as soon as some of the others (conversion to running on glycolysis for their energy needs). Eventually the remaining survivors get hungry. Some are hungry enough to start eating some of the dead tour mates (Angiogenesis)…. these are the ones that survive. Eventually they are rescued and return home… now with a taste for human flesh (Zombism.. I mean Metastasis)

Current cancer research is directed at limiting the number of coats allowed on buses rather than making the buses safer, looking for a safer route through the mountain, or providing food supplies for emergencies.

Ketogenic diets keep the tourists alive without feeding the zombies… eventually the zombies die.

Curing Zombies: find research about cancer cells dedifferentiating back to healthy cells when given the right environment.

What causes cells to turn cancerous:
Some cancers are cause by infection by viruses that turn them cells cancerous for their own propagation (I won’t deal with those at this point)
Some people are born with genetic mutations that are cancerous (these people would have issues from birth)
if random genetic mutations or damage are the root cause of cancer then we would expect the rates of cancer to be linear as we age. Ie: you would find the same percentage of kids with cancer as seniors, as cells are constantly multiplying at similar rates as we age.

Since cancers are typically found with higher frequency as we get older, it implies that what is happening is not singular breakdowns of the genetic code, but a buildup of damage over time that eventually overwhelms the body’s ability to circumvent it.
all throughout our lives the cells are mutating at the same rate, but as we get older there are more buses breaking down in the mountains.

what causes the bus to break down? Ie: breakdown of oxphos system: (hint inhibition of Cytochrome C by blue light and cardiolipin by Omega 6 fats)

what causes the breakdown of apoptosis? Ie: why do cells not kill themselves when they are low on energy: (hint Cytochrome C oxydase and cardiolipin are key factors)

how do we prevent zombification of cancer cells? Starve them using ketogenic diets. (not this only deals with existing cancer cells, it doesn’t do anything to change the environment that is causing cells to initially turn cancerous)

can we reverse zombification of cancer cells?

do we need to go to war with cancer? Remember cancer cells are us (they have our DNA), going to war with yourself is quite literally suicide. There is some evidence to suggest that cancerous cells can be converted back to normal healthy cells depending on their environment.

Topics for continued investigation:
The crucial mitochondrial respiratory enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase, declines with aging (Paradies, et al., 1997), as the lipid cardiolipin declines, and the enzyme’s activity can be restored to the level of young animals by adding cardiolipin.
The composition of cardiolipin changes with aging, “specifically an increase in highly unsaturated fatty acids” (Lee, et al., 2006). Other lipids, such as a phosphatidylcholine containing two myristic acid groups, can support the enzyme’s activity (Hoch, 1992). Even supplementing old animals with hydrogenated peanut oil restores mitochondrial respiration to about 80% of normal (Bronnikov, et al., 2010).

look into the key differences between glucose based metabolism vs. fat based impact on NAD vs. NADH and their impact on ROS generation; Which substrate produces fewer ROS? Also Redox state in cancer cells.

T3 works on cytochrome oxydase

Analogy #3:
Field with 1000 sheep surrounded by 4ft fence. Average sheep can only jump 3 feet. Above average sheep can jump 4 ft. but there are sheep dogs outside to keep this under control. When there’s lots of food to eat, all the sheep stay put. If food becomes scarce some sheep will try to jump the fence to get at the food outside. If the field runs completely out of food, all the sheep will do is keep trying the fence again and again, as they have no option. Eventually enough will get out to overwhelm the dogs. These fence jumping sheep are then free to go to other fields where they start breeding a new line of high jumpers. repeat.
modern approach is geared towards killing the sheep after they’ve started jumping the fence, or burning entire fields that have good jumpers… wouldn’t it be better to just keep them well fed and get more dogs? (not sure how to deal with ketones in this analogy – basically food/breeding program for low jumping sheep only)

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A cure for what ails you.

Was feeling down the other day so my psychiatrist prescribed 2 hours of meditation… at Walmart…. walmart

my own troubles seem so petty now.

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Dear America,

I respect your right to bear arms. I understand that your union was forged in war and rebellion.  That you would not be the nation you are today if it weren’t for the general populace arming themselves and rising up in unison to fight against tyranny.

Plato and Aristotle define a tyrant as, “one who rules without law, looks to his own advantage rather than that of his subjects, and uses extreme and cruel tactics—against his own people as well as others

I’d like to point out of few things:

10 years ago, with the passing of the  Homeland Security Act, your constitution was legally dismantled and for all intents and purposes dissolved;

In order to travel both into and within your nation, your innocent citizens and foreign guests are forced to subject themselves to cancer causing radation;

Your commander in chief weekly orders the murder of innocents by remote control.  Innocents who have not been given trial, nor in most cases even been charged with a crime;

Your overall health peaked decades ago, is steadily dropping and becoming a laughing point amonst the other first world countries while the amount you pay for your alledged health-care is threatening to bankrupt you;

Today, the mere accusation of being a terrorist is enough to strip you of the right to habeas corpus;

In the last 10 years, the banks and wall street have systematically wiped out more of your wealth than it cost to defeat the nazis in WWII and yet there have been no major arrests made for this;

You are now, and have been for some time, living under Tyranny.

Why haven’t you used your 2nd ammendment rights yet and risen up en masse to defend this liberty you speak so fondly of?

If easy access to weapons of mass murder by deranged individuals is the price you have to pay to never live in tyranny, so be it.

However, since it seems so obvious that you’ve completely and utterly failed to use your 2nd ammendment rights for what they were intended for, then I believe it is time that they be forfeited.


Pete Wilson

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Tongue Tied

You know that feelingtongue you get when you’re trying to think of a word to use, but it’s just on the tip of your tongue?  There is no English word for that feeling.  My guess is that the only people who have a need for such a word are people who have problems remembering words to begin with.

I theorize that many words have been created over history for this feeling, and then subsequently forgotten by their creators, as the only people who need to use this word are people who are having problems remembering words.
This is an etymological black hole.  A place that you only need to find after you are already lost.

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