Thursday, October 27, 2016

Daily Fail piffle from 2008; the July 1960 issue of Scientific American; and the 9th episode of Hogan's Heroes.
I'll take "Pop-culture coverage of the healing properties of heavy water for $200", Alex.

A request to the Library Pixies for "most up-to-date review of deuterium-oxide cytotoxicity" was promptly answered with the delivery of Katz's paper from Sci. Am. [1960].
We learn much from it that is interesting (for sufficiently obsessive values of "interest")... but in particular, that the idea of curing cancer with heavy water has been around for as long as the heavy water itself was available in any quantity [Barbour & Allen 1938], with a new burst of enthusiasm every decade or two. The added molecular weight, stronger bonds and slower chemical dynamics of deuterium compounds have no end of ripple-on effects on cell metabolism, but they particularly bork fast-dividing cells (stabilising the self-assembly of microtubules blah blah blah mitotic spindles blah blah blah)... therefore slower tumour growth.

Katz concluded that for the effect to be clinically useful requires most of the water in an animal's body to be replaced with D2O. Unfortunately the inconvenient and undesirable side-effects at this concentration (in the form of death when the percentage reaches 20-30%) has hindered the uptake of heavy-water therapy.

Were the scriptwriters of Hogan's Heroes aware of (and influenced by) the Katz paper? It would be irresponsible not to speculate. In Episode 9 (1965), a barrel of heavy water is stored for safe-keeping at Stalag XIII, until the prisoners are appraised of the fact that it is a component in the German A-bomb program, so they persuade Werner Klemperer's character to drink it in the belief that it is invigorating (and hair-restoring) spa water.*
ANYWAY... the most recent re-inventor of the heavy-water-for-health wheel is one Mikhail Shchepinov. His twist is to synthesise deuterated nutrients -- heavy fat, heavy proteins, carbodeuterates -- using algae of various persuasions, which can survive 100% heavy-water environment. Then the strengthened molecular bonds (in specific nutrients, in specific stages of metabolism) will create fewer free radicals. These are bad, therefore immortality.

Eight years later, Shchepinov is still pursuing a Proof of Principle for his iFood.** But his idea is not insanely stupid, and something may come of his "Retrotope" biotech company (though it has kept a low profile for a while, apart from sending delegates to grifty conferences like DDTWC).

Sadly, the mendacious shouty people at the Daily Fail got hold of the notion and ran it through their Enstupidising Machine, as part of their "ongoing ontological program to divide all inanimate objects into ones that will either cause or cure cancer" [Ben Goldacre, 2006].

 "Why have you shut Swearing Bob in the Evolvamat?" asked tigris.

"To stimulate his dormant genes into activity," I explained.

"Yes," tigris allowed, "it's the Evolvamat, that's what it does. I was not under the impression that he was in time-out. Which genes?"

"The ones we share with choanoflagellate algae," I said. "Dating back to our common eukaryote ancestor."

"They will increase his tolerance for heavy water," Another Kiwi vouchsafed, "allowing us to pump him up to 100% in his fluids instead of 25%, as a cure for cancer."

Tigris did not rate highly for this research program. She reminded us (punctuating her argument with pokes with a pointed stick until we acceded to the force of her logic) that when a high density of deuterium is combined with the quantum coherence tunnelling properties of microtubules within a cytoplasmic environment, there is a non-zero chance of a runaway cold-fusion reaction.

"Would that be a bad thing?"

"It is best left as a plot device for Stross's next Laundry novel."
* Thx LGM commenter

** iFood not to be confused with Nu-Food.

UPDATED with Bonus Isotopia Scamming:
All this talk of Nu-Food and iFood, but we forgot to mention CellFood (from NuScience) -- a blend of petroleum by-products "virgin earth fossilized plants" and Deuterium Sulphate. This seems to be the same as Open-All drain-cleaner and Improved Deuterium-system Soil Normalizer (to repair the soil after what the queers are doing to it), which was rebranded in 1997 as a Food Supplement when the scammers realised that suckers are far more credulous about what they put in their bodies than what they add to their gardens.
Mouse [below] in convulsions from Deuterium
overdose and from reading Alt-Med websites
I am not making this up:
Everett Lafayette Storey, inventor of the technology used to develop the triggering mechanism enabling the Hydrogen Bomb to exist. Storey was a physical chemist, microbiologist, publisher, and author. And while Storey has been credited with many discoveries, his favorite achievement was designing a substance to heal the body and restore the environment; CELLFOOD®. Storey was an expert in the little-known uses of Deuterium, the only non-radioactive isotope of Hydrogen, DI-Polar DI-Base technology, as well as heavy water and atomic binding-force technology. From this, he created CELLFOOD® (Deuterium Sulfate), a product he claimed was the key to any disease treatment in the world. Everett L. Storey's formula has the unique ability to dissociate the water molecule into nascent Hydrogen and nascent Oxygen. This splitting of the water molecule results in the release of nascent Hydrogen and Oxygen gases simultaneously in a chain reaction that only involves about one five-hundred thousandth of the available moisture in the body at one time. This results in an additional source of Oxygen. Genius.

After the war, Everett Storey and many of his colleagues discovered they were dying of radiation poisoning, as a result of exposure while witnessing bomb tests. It was then that Everett Storey developed the conceptual blueprint for Cellfood. He theorized that he same water-splitting technology that produced the bomb could be made to heal a human life. by utilizing hydrogen's non-radioactive isotope, deuterium, and full blend of required trace minerals, enzymes and amino acids, he would create a solution-- and electromagnetic equation'--that could release vital oxygen and hydrogen into his blood stream, remove toxic radiation, rebuild his systems, and return him to health.
Search the Great Gazoogle for "CellFood" and so much fabulation and stark staring crazypants fantasy bubbles up to the top of the cesspool, it is difficult to know where to start. It is as if every party involved in the grift, from manufacturer to distributors to local retailers, feels obliged to contribute additional layers of mendacity, and things quickly escalate to ALL-CAPS. Hence the Deuterium Freedom Act of 1985 [completely fictional], and the two Nobel prizes.

It may be a drain-cleaner and a soil conditioner, but it's organic! And it's got "an incredible 78 electrolytes that can be used by your body instantly"!
Cellfood’s proprietary formula weakens the bond of water molecules in the body, releasing oxygen into the body in a chain-reaction that typically peaks in 8 – 12 hours.
Cellfood is colloidal and ionic (negatively charged)— just like blood, plasma and lymph fluid— and has a surface tension identical to the body’s own fluids allowing it to move through the cell walls easily to be absorbed and assimilated quickly and efficiently.

"Wait", thinks the reader, paying some belated attention. "Deuterium Sulphate, D2SO4? Isn't that just sulphuric acid with two extra neutrons?"
Yes indeed, that is the icing on top of the scamcake. It is as if the food-supplement industry were engaged in a not-entirely-ethical experiment to plumb the depths of human stupidity, and to determine if there is any way of insulting the intelligence of magical-thinking eedjits and barmpots so badly that they'll stop paying money to pour noxious products down their throats.

The market is so large that NuScience / Deutrel are confronting a competing Deutrosulfazyme Deuterium-Sulphate Food Supplement company, DeutroCell -- a couple of brothers who claim to possess UNCLE EV'S "ORIGINAL" KITCHEN FORMULA. Thereby infringing the NuScience copyright / trademark of the fictitious "Everett Storey" character.

Hilarity ensued in the form of a bitter courtroom battle. I'm cheering for injuries.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We can remember it for you wholesale in small artisanal batches, using organic stoneground spelt and millet flour

It is never a dull moment for the students and research assistants of Dr Michael Persinger (Friend of Riddled). When they're not obtaining slices of pickled human brain for EEG measurements, they are mixing up conductive Play-Do as a brain-tissue substitute (or purloining it from the nearby kindergarten) and teaching it tricks with electric shocks.

The question of assigning this notion a value of p ('bakedness') on I.J. Good's partly-baked-idea continuum is left as an exercise for the reader.

Above: Batter
Below: Battery

It remains to be seen how many engrammatic quanta of memory can be squeezed into each cubic centimetre of unleavened dough. If a sufficiently high information density can be reached, I foresee a coming era of post-human mnemonic enhancement when wearing a loaf-based memory augment is as natural as clothing, if not more so.

All of us in the wider Mad Scientist community owe Persinger a vote of thanks, for he has shown that you do not need expensive equipment or a buried volcano laboratory to carry out Mad Science... Necessity is the mother Tleilaxu prosthetic birthing-tank of invention, and all that. Though you do need best-practice surge suppressors in your laboratory wiring, otherwise one rogue lightning storm can send an animating current surging through the dough and OH GOD IT'S ALIVE. That never ends well.
Here at Riddled Research Laboratory we are inspired to conduct our own experiments, though our cerebral simulacrum is a combination of meringue and whipped cream rather than dough, and instead of classical conditioning we follow the Pavlovian paradigm.

But Persinger was not the first memory theorist to have drawn his inspiration from the kitchen. Edward de Bono introduced his own model of memory, involving jelly, back in 1969:
So when we run electricity through a confection of sponge-cake, jelly and sherry, we are paying homage to both pioneers. Also we are safe from the usual small-minded harassment from ethical-review panels and animal-welfare inspectors that has hindered our research so often in the past.

For the law is not concerned with trifles.

Mnemonic bread: DOIN IT RONG

Monday, October 24, 2016

Behind the scenes at Riddled

We are committed to maintaining a high level of novelty and creativity in Riddled posts. We are continually upgrading our literary techniques to remain at the cutting edge of comedy.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

What the ack are you wearing now, monkey boy?

Mrs Spat is not impressed with my new t-shirt.
But it has an octopus on it!

Eat your branchial and systemic hearts out, P.Z. Myers.

Friday, October 21, 2016

"Bother!" said Pooh, as the first landing ships of the Kzinti expeditionary force touched down in the Hundred-Aker Wood

"You scream and you leap," explained Tigger
I would pay good money 400 NZQuatloos for a mash-up of "House at Pooh Corner" and "Fight Club" which ends with Eeyore's acceptance that the Tigger character, visible only to him, has all along been simply a projection of a repressed aspect of his personality.
Alas, the externalised aspect of my own personality refuses to write it.

Also, why is there no Unicode character / pictogram for "Quatloo"? THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE, World.

Afterthought: Atlantean high-priest Klarkash-Ton does not get enough credit at TVTropes for Schizoid Creator, an early contribution to the Split-Personality / Imaginary Friend / It-was-me-all-along genre.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Congress and the Congress

Lawks a'mercy! Is there no end to the excitement? [Spoiler alert ---- NO]. One checks the Riddled mailbox, eagerly hoping that the Brewers After Dark 2017 Nude Calendar one ordered from that special website has finally arrived, only to find a personalised, cajoling invitation to a Conference. One's heart is all a-flutter as one spits a mouthful of Spargelpony Asparagus Witbier.

The specific nature of the meeting is not clear from the missive, which is a chimaeric mosaic of sorts, a kind of quantum wavefunction superposition: it vacillates between expecting my company at MHF-2017 [Mental Health Forum], and HCC-2017 [Health Care Congress]... not to mention ICN-2017 [International Conference of Neuroscience], and ILCS-2017 [International Lung Cancer Symposium]. Could these all be the same meeting, viewed from different perspectives in the manner of Rashōmon? Perhaps attendees will wear colour-coded clothing, and will be issued with bandpass goggles that only allow them to see other members of the conference they selected. Perhaps the organisers, having booked a particular venue for a particular weekend, are naturally eager to maximise their ROI by luring suckers there on as many different pretexts as possible.

Congress facilities were not as advertised
So the Coordinator of this congress lacks coordinatory capacity over the template for the spammograms she signs. Also she continues the theme of denominative ambiguity. With only an initial in the place of a surname, the semi- anonymous Marie E. appears to have stepped straight from the adhesive pages of Victorian pornography... along with the forbidding but hotblooded Marquise de P., Brigadier Arbuthnot F. of the __th Fusiliers, and saucy demi-mondaine Daphne W.

Following the links from the "Pioneer Century Science" conference pages leads us to Global Century Science Group, the parent organisation, organ-grinder to the monkey. Its site consists largely of a list of destinations and a general theme of getting people to them by any means short of abduction. That is to say, GCSG is primarily a travel agency that has fallen upon hard times and has been reduced to walking the mockademic-meeting side of the street.

One has long imagined that automation had taken over the process of scouring antisocial networks and publishers' websites for e-addresses of suckers to harass with solicitous spambuscades, i.e. that conference grifters rely on software. How it will cheer you, gentle reader, to learn that great corporations like PCS retain the personal touch... they outsource the dirty work to Mumbai. There are things that software scripts have too much pride and principle to do.*

"Collect data and potential speaker' -s contacts by professional publications or keywords from internet resources"

So there is a career pathway: study for a B.Sc or Masterate or Pharmacy degree, qualify for a career of stalking academics for their contact details so Chinese conmen can target them. The vocational-guidance advisors at school never mentioned this particular match to one's aptitudes. O brave new world, that has such job niches in't! Oh globalisation!!
Smut burying a lede
But perhaps one is burying the lede here. For there are SHOCKING REVELATIONS: Only last year, one Iris Fu from the BIT Life Sciences Group was badgering John Podesta to attend and speak at the 6th Low Carbon & Green Growth Earth Summit. The invitation does not mention the $1300 registration fee levied upon speakers and non-speakers alike. Wikileaks has the full story, brought to us by way of Julian Assange, Russian hackers and vulnerable e-mail accounts.
Dear John Podesta,
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, it is a great honor for me to welcome you to join BIT¡¯s 6th Low Carbon & Green Growth Earth Summit (LCGGES-2016) as a Speaker in GG108:Low Carbon Clean Technology of Forum GG1: Mitigation & Adaption, which will be held on June 30-July 3, 2016 in Korea International Exhibition & Conference Center (KINTEX), Gyeonggi-do, South Korea.
Keynote speakers were not as advertised
As any fule kno, this BIT Group is one of the longer-established players in the field. They started out on the fish-head circuit [H.S.Thompson 1973] in the 2000s, operating out of an office in a technology park in Dalian, organising meetings at second-tier venues and palming them off to credulous foreigners as Major Prestigious Events that fully warranted a $2000 registration. In the course of growth they acquired a reputation for shenanigans:
  1. spamming people relentlessly;
  2. packing out the venue with multiple simultaneous meetings;
  3. stonewalling on the concept of "paying an invited speaker's travel expenses", while offering a bounty in the form of discounted attendance if you manage to recruit enough other suckers;
  4. pioneering the passive-aggressive grift of wording an initial letter as if it were the third or fourth reminder, in the hope of instilling the recipient with a sense of guilt for ignoring the non-existent earlier communications;
  5. adorning their promissory programs with the names of noted authorities in a field, neglecting the minor formality of notifying those individuals that they had been enlisted as Keynote Speakers or Meeting Co-Chairs;
  6. being easily counter-pwned by bogus promises of a speech. For instance, from Dr Kurt Buttnase of the Center for Extraterrestrial Sciences, on "Effective eradication of the bit bug by massive response with mocked-up targets" [read the whole thing].
At some point BIT Life Sciences / BIT Congress people realised that simply charging for attendance (and handling accommodation) was leaving money on the table, as it left attendees (or their travel agencies) to book their airfares. They became BIT World Travel Group.

Travel arrangements not first-class as promised

Then BIT World Travel Inc in turn spawned Pioneer Century Science Conferences, which is where we started. Pai & Franco write of the two companies as if they compete:
...but in fact the same person, Ms Helen Zhao, runs both. The companies are two buttocks of a single bum [T. Sturge Moore 1911].

So far the mainstream media have ignored the shocking news of a Clinton advisor's links to the scamference industry, which is to say a direct link to Secretary Clinton herself, but it is only a matter of time.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

BONUS passive-aggressive grifting: Bio-Accent Open Journal (which is to say Ravishankar Kuppala of Hyderabad) tries the guilt-trip gambit for eliciting manuscripts. "If you don't give me your valuable paper and pay me for it, we won't be able to put the next issue of my skeevy little journal on-line!"

Hmm, difficult choice.

When they are not channeling pathos and pity-fucks through a publishing company named like a detergent additive, Ravi and Raju are directors of Isoy Info Technologies and Endos Info Technologies. I hope they are a little less annoying in those endeavours as the computer-software industry is not so receptive to sadness.

* The Facebukkake is littered with the pages of people proudly boasting that they received an invitation to be speaker at a Prestigious PCS Conference. Do they also boast about how their financial acumen has been recognised when they receive business-collaboration offers from a Nigerian Prince?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Gorbachev Sings Tractors:
Turnip! Buttocks!

The headline-writers at the ComPost (Wellington's paper of note) appear to have run out of fucks to give.

Donald Trump is probably to blame somehow, although precisely how is not immediately obvious.