The Mega Foundation

    Amber is now 20 months old and turning into a little girl.
We bought her an outdoor playhouse, and have turned the cardboard box in which it was packed into an indoor playhouse. Here's Amber sitting on her throne, with two of her dolls in attendance. 
    Tommie and I have been busy almost beyond description. We spend several hours a day playing with her. We're spoiling Amber wonderfully. Amber has caught every virus that has found its way into Huntsville, and after years of freedom from colds and other viruses, Tommie and I are now catching everything Amber gets. But we're gradually, gradually getting more time. And Amber will only be these ages once.
The Day the Earth Stood Still:
    For the past few days, the media have been saturated ad nauseum with Barack Obama and the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, feeding the crowds bread and circuses. In the meantime, what may be one of the most important happenings in human history has passed as unnoticed by the world as the birth of the Son of Man in the hills of Judea two millennia ago.
    There have been several momentous milestones in human development... the taming of fire, the evolution of language, the development of writing, the appearance of craftsman and specialization in the early river-valley city-states... that have transformed what it means to be human. Today, came announcements of what I believe may possibly lead to the next millennial-class transformation in human development. Two psychologists, Susanne Jäggi and Martin  Buschkuehl in the Department of Psychology at the University of Bern, have discovered a training technique that appears to significantly elevate fluid intelligence. Further, the technique shows a more-or-less linear dose-response relationship over a period of 8 12, 17, and 19 days (with 25 minutes of training per day). More...
-2007:  As you can see, there's been a slight change in this title page--a hyacinth in our December.
:  The last few months have been hectic, to put it mildly. Someone has to be with Amber around the clock, for four 44-hour shifts a week. Most of the time, Tommie and I are both engaged with her. Although we've tried to baby-proof our kitchen-family room, someone needs to be in attendance whenever she's awake, to make sure that she doesn't chew through lamp cords or climb up on the coffee table. During her all-too-brief naps, we either catch up on sleep ourselves, or service the infrastructure that supports her. She had her first birthday on August 28th, and is taking steps by herself and saying a few words. It has its rewards, though. I sing to Amber and walk her to sleep most nights, since that seems to work well. I'll forever cherish that little head snuggling into my shoulder as she heaves sighs and drifts off to sleep. It's rare and precious in this life that, as adults, we get this kind of unconditional closeness with another human being. We perform double handsprings in this life to earn others' approval. With a baby or a small child, it comes copiously and with no strings attached. It doesn't last forever, although the closeness of parent and child can remain for a lifetime.
    We've enrolled Amber in a playschool, which she seems to relish. This is giving us some discretionary time for the first time since last December. In the meantime, I've found myself drifting back to posting the science news on a daily basis. My plans to update the archives have come to naught, as I race from pillar to post, scrambling to keep up with all my obligations.
    One other time-consuming activity that has eaten whatever bits and pieces of time I've been able to muster is investment in the stock market. I'm not interested in making money to buy anything for myself. I'd like to make enough money quickly enough that I could give some away in ways that I think might be particularly effective. Of course, optimizing one's investment strategy is always beneficial. There's a lot I'd like to write about this that I think might be of interest. Maybe I'll have time in the next few weeks to present this. In the meantime, here are a few ideas.
    My personal guess is that the stock market is going to recover from its deep, steep dip and climb higher (with some ups and downs) for the remainder of the year. I'm also speculating that we won't go into a recession before 2009, after the 2008 presidential election. According to the Stock Trader's Almanac 2007 which analyzes 173 years of data stretching back to Andrew Jackson's presidency, the third year (e. g., 2007) after a presidential election is the best year for the stock market (up 10.6% on average), followed by the fourth year (2008) which is still upward-trending (up 6.7%). The first year (2009) is often a flat or down year (up 1.6% on average), bottoming during the second year (2010) and then starting up again (up 3.7% on average).
    Some investments that look good to me right now may found here.
:    On Monday, August 28th, 2006, our oldest daughter, Lisa, delivered her first and last child: a baby girl. On the morning of Sunday, December 3rd, 2006, Lisa died quietly in her sleep, leaving Tommie Jean and me to rear her three-month-old infant. Since then, it's been a wildly busy time. Because of this development, I've modified the website, changing it to provide news archives in various areas of interest rather than a daily posting of 120-130 science news items. I'll still be scanning the same news, but I'll be saving only items that seem worthy of archiving. Also, as time permits, I'll generate lists of links to specific archives, such as "Cancer: Food and Herbs". There is a wealth of potentially life-saving information in these Science News articles, and archiving it in specific lists should make this information much more accessible than it is now.
    The first example of these new lists is the list for "Alzheimers Disease"

:  Michael McKay has written to say, "In your page you start analyzing a Wal-Mart crowd. Your results are already skewed. The lower IQ people are less likely to be able to get to Wal-Mart in the first place."
    I think that's a good point. I hadn't thought of that. Offhand, I'd imagine that it might not make too much difference until the IQ gets well below average, but I don't know.
    With the arrival of the new baby, I've been unable to write additional articles.  I'm hoping this will permit me to update some previous articles dealing with global warming, investment options, cancer avoidance strategies, etc.
    I'd also think that in an adult population, IQ may not be that good a measure of someone's practical ability to cope. IQ tests purport to measure certain kinds of mental abilities having to do with pattern recognition and the potential to learn. On the other hand, I would imagine that age-related cognitive decline (for example) could lead to serious degradation in the ability to do well on an IQ test without necessarily impairing someone's ability to drive, or to negotiate a shopping mall. Lack of sleep could slow someone down on IQ-testing-type activities without implying a lack of innate capabilities under more favorable circumstances. It's always possible to get an uncharacteristically low score on an IQ test. And there certainly are mental gifts that don't show up well in school or on timed IQ tests. (For example, untreated ADHD can probably interfere with IQ test performance.)
    It seems to me that we all do amazingly well driving every day. Driving under the influence can lead to accidents as can reckless or emotional driving and errors in judgment, but otherwise, I think we drive exceedingly reliably.
:  Here's a 2006 Computer Technology Update.
    Beginning today, June 19th, I'm cutting back somewhat on the content of the daily web pages. New panels of "Calvin and Hobbes" are no longer available for download, and I'll have to drop them. Also, I'm closing the "Words-of-the-Day" in order to save time that I urgently need for other purposes. In return, I'll be posting a number of what I think might be important "essays", that I think you might want to catch. I've written these and published them in "Gift of Fire" but haven't gotten around to posting them here.
    Reducing the amount of material in the Science News pages hasn't reduced the amount of time it takes to prepare the website. I either have to cut back or shut down the science news service altogether. It takes too much time. I'm going to try retrenching like this and see if that solves the problem.

The Calvin and Hobbes website is no longer available, so I'm starting the series at the beginning. Tonight's cartoon is the first Calvin and Hobbes strip published.
  Beginning next Saturday, May 6th, I'm going to at least temporarily cut back on the science news.pages. They eat my lunch. Between updating the website and living in the real world, I'm unable to do anything discretionary. I work from the time I get up in the morning until about midnight. I'm unable to answer emails, and I'm unable to clean up this website, so re-organizing and testing this website will be one of my highest priorities. I'm going to cut back to only the more significant news items. I had originally planned to post four news items a day, then ten, and by now, it's up to about 110 news items a day. Many of these are of little or no interest to most, such as many of the articles on the environment. I'll try this for a few weeks, and see how it works.
    The website will still be updated every day; there just won't be as much new news... only the most compelling. I don't think you'll miss it, and a better-organized website should be a major offset.

Two Important Papers on Aging
  Here's an article I just submitted on global warming for "Gift of Fire".
    Asko Eerola has sent this very, very interesting article concerning a breakthrough that might allow a continuation of Moore's Law advances through 2020 using conventional silicon transistors (circuit design rules below 6 nanometers, from their present level of 65 nanometers at the bleeding edge, or 90 nanometers for practical 2005 production). By a curious coincidence, I rousted myself out of bed last night to look up the forecasts I had made in May, 1991, concerning present-day (2005/2006) prices and capabilities. In 1991, I had predicted a price tag of about $50 gigabyte for dynamic RAM today. Circuit City's current price is $27 for half a gigabyte, or $54 a gigabyte. 
    At our present rate of progress, Moore's Law would lead us to circuit dimensions of 45 nm. toward the end of 2007, 32 nm. by 2009, 22 nm. by 2011, 16 nm. by 2013, 11 nm. by 2015, 8 nm. by 2017, and 6 nm. by 2019 (8 nm. in practical production). RAM should run about $50 a terabyte in 2020, in line with what might be needed for human-level AI in robots. Flash memory, which costs $100 for 2 gigabytes today, might be expected to run 4 GB for $100 in 2007, 8GB for $100 in 2009, 16 GB in 2011, 32 GB in 2013, 64 GB in 2015, 128 GB in 2017, and 256 GB in 2019. Of course, it may not scale this way, and/or we may be using something else by 2019. However, HDTV video recorders might use 16 GB flash memories--"solid-state disks"--by 2010, off-loading to PCs, iPods, or DVD recorders later on. Ultra-HDTV camcorders may also arrive, given 6-10 mega-pixel CCD's, higher resolution displays, and adequate storage capacities.

T'was the Night Before Christmas...
5:   Santa Claus and the Government Grant
The Dawn of a New Era in Space?
7/3/2005:      Another Revolution in Optics?
Roomba's Daughter
"The Cell" Finally Arrives
  Is human hibernation finally coming within reach?

On this 100th anniversary of Einstein's publication of "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies", Johnny Asia ("the Guitarist of the Future") has forwarded this article.

Al Chan has asked that I link his website,, to the "Links to Other News Sources" page. His website,, "is an internet gateway portal designed to bring useful and interesting microbiology informational resources to all interested. is a firm starting point for finding information concerning Microbiology." Thanks, Al.    
The Race to Space
Robots, Space Blimps, and the Methuselah Mouse
Kudos for the Bush Administration, and Robotics - updates in carmines
Kudos for the Bush Administration, and Robotics
Here's an article I received today from a friend. 

Cultural Evolution 
Here's the latest installment in the health series running in "Gift of Fire".

 President Bush' Second Term - 2
 President Bush' Second Term
   Johnny Asia and Ronald Penner, Updated Again
   Johnny Asia and Ronald Penner, Updated
   Johnny Asia and Ronald Penner.
T'was the Night Before Christmas...
Santa Claus and the Government Grant
Here's yet another installment in the "Must We Grow Old?" series.
Flynn Effect Conundrums-1
Jonathon Stewart has highlighted a website that provides copious practice tests for the Miller Analogies Test and many other popular tests such as the SAT and the GRE. Thanks, Jonathon.
    I'm working on very-high-range IQ tests that would be timed and proctored. These tests are intended to span a range from slightly-above-average to the highest levels of human capability, and would be consonant with conventional IQ tests. (One of the approaches might be to add high-range questions as  optional annexes to existing popular tests of ability.) Unfortunately, I can't openly publish these tests since open publication would invalidate them. However, I'm hoping to provide parallel versions of these tests that could be placed in the public domain as realistic practice tests.

The Cell, and Armageddon in the Stars
Today, I investigated the possible role of the influence of the Flynn Effect on Age-Related Cognitive Decline.
Here is the latest installment in the "Must We Grow Old?" series.
Several months ago, I cleaned out this page, relegating most of the material on it to the various above indices. Somehow, it has returned. I'm now sweeping it again.
    I've dropped the ABC news site. It has always been a not-as-desirable news site in terms of slowness to load, and of pop-ups and other site blockers. Recently, I realized that ABC posts its news items for only a week. ABC News has some interesting articles, but there's a wealth of other good news sources that retain their articles indefinitely--viz., the BBC. Who needs articles written in disappearing ink?

We're ba-a-ack! It was a most interesting conference. I'll try to review some of the presentations as soon as I can, but for the moment, I'm racing to catch up with the news.
  About tonight's Science News...
  About tonight's Science News...
Big News!

Must We Grow Old? - Redux, Part 2

The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away
Jeff Novick has called attention to this article, featuring Walter Willett, M. D., with the Harvard School of Public Health. I have purchased Dr. Willett's "Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy", and have been very pleased with a book that can authoritatively answer questions about what to eat. Thanks, Jeff.
Intel Throws in the Towel
An Update from Your Canary
An expanded version of the " Must We Grow Old - Redux?" article for "Gift of Fire".is available here (in html format). This, and the original print-formatted version of the article (requires Microsoft Word), appearing in the June, 2004, issue of "Gift of Fire", gives an introductory overview of caloric-restriction. 
The makers of the Vocaboly vocabulary-building program have asked that I provide a link to their page, which I'm certainly glad to do.
  Bacterially Induced Cancer, and Desktop Fusion Power
  Mocrosoft and Resveratrol
  More Vitamin D.
   A Google search for weapons of mass destruction, followed by a sobering view of our political prospects.
   Vitamin D and Cancer updated.
   I've updated yesterday's Prolengevity installment.  New!  Vitamin D and Cancer
   Rostam Seddiq has sent the web address of an e-book on space tethers. Thanks a bunch, Rostam. Coincident with this, I found two articles yesterday reporting: 100-metre nanotube thread pulled from furnace - Nature, and Yarn spun from nanotubes - New Scientist.
News Commentaries
Water on Mars.
More on Nutrition and Cancer - 2
More on Nutrition and Cancer - 1
/2004:    The End of the Age of Oil; Human Embryos?-3
The End of the Age of Oil; Human Embryos?
    Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention: What Should You Do? 
    Unfortunately, the Mega Foundation website seems to be off the air tonight.
Background material concerning the cancer-preventive effects of vitamin D

2/3/2004:     An article appeared today concerning "The Cell"--the one-trillion pointing-float-operations-per-second chip that IBM, Sony, and Toshiba announced that is scheduled to emerge in the 2004-2006 time frame. There hasn't been a peep out of them for a while, and I was wondering whether they had dropped the idea. But quite to the contrary, Sony is ponying up 1.1 billion dollars to prepare for mass production of The Cell.
    I'm also updating the article on vitamin D and cancer.
   I have found some further information regarding vitamin D and cancer.

How Much Farm-Raised Salmon Can You Safely Eat?  Quantifying the Risk - Updated
How Much Farm-Raised Salmon Can You Safely Eat?  Quantifying the Risk 
Tommie's Heart Attack 
12/25/2003:   Santa Claus and the Government Grant
  .'Twas the night before Christmas..."

Michael Crichton's Characterization of the Environmental Movement as a Religion
Michael Crichton on the Environmental Movement
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 9
The new New York Times?
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 8
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 7 ;
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 6
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 5  
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 4
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 3
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 2
Was Humanity's Rise to Preeminence Fueled by Fish Oils? - 1
Brain Boosters Again
Children Above 180 IQ:  Follow-Up Interviews with Children I, J and L and Sugar Diabetes
All Michael Jackson, All of the Time
I'm working on reversing the aging of skin (because it's easy to check for validity) and upon optimum diets. It's a slow study.   
What Is a Good Diet?. Thanks to Patrick Wahl for pointing out that yesterday's "Intermediate Word of the Day" should be "deliquesce" and not "delinquesce". Thanks, Patrick.
To Your Good Health and Long Life - Updated Again... and Again
The Hoodia Cactus.
Steve Coy and Leon Hansen have written expert comments concerning the problem of beaming power up to a "lifter", and William Sidis.
Flywheel-Powered Space-Elevator "Lifters"?  (Today's updates are in carmine)
Flywheel-Powered Space-Elevator "Lifters"?  (See Space Flight Index)
The good news is that:
    As I promised a few weeks ago, I have completed a high-range analog of the Miller Analogies Test (instead of answering my e-mail). 
    The bad news is that   
(1)  it's culturally loaded; and
(2)  I can't show it to you just yet. It has to be validated, and then normed. 
    But at least it's done..

   New Developments in "Brain Boosters", updated.
New Developments in "Brain Boosters"
I'm working on high-range IQ tests. (You'll hear more about it when I get something farther along.)
Space Elevators Revisited/Grumpy Old Men
The Midlife Crisis 
, The final version.
   The OWL, and Computer Technology-Take_3 
(Today's additions are in green.)
I have updated the article on progress in robotics (progress since January, 2000). I have also included our experience using Roomba, the blockbuster automatic vacuum sweeper introduced in September, 2002, by Dr. Rodney Brooks' (MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory) spin-off company, iRobot.
   The OWL, and Computer Technology-Take_2
   Today's additions are in carmine. Last-minute note:  The Mega Foundation site went back on the air a few minutes after I wrote that it was off the air, so I've restored the links to their Mega Foundation targets. Our good webmaster may have been working on the site to improve its uploading capabiliti
   The OWL, and Computer Technology
     Today's Update
  Is the Internet in a Terminal State - 2?
  Is the Internet in a Terminal State?
  Two cardiologists have proposed a "polypill" that could lengthen life spans of one-third of those  over 50 by 11-to-12 years A 'polypill' a day may keep death away  Multi-pill 'could cut heart risk' . The polypill would contain aspirin, a statin, three kinds of blood pressure medication (at half dose), and folic acid. 10-to-12 years is quite a bit.
 It's a Small World After All! 
    From 1996 to 2000, Michael Kearney was feted in the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest student on record to earn a Master's Degree (in chemistry). Then in 2000, he was upstaged by 12-year-old (almost 13)
Tathagat Avatar Tulsi. (Michael had spent 18 months on the talk show circuit before undertaking his M. S. program.) Now 15, Tathagat is on his way to a Ph. D. in physics.     
The dean of the physics department, SV Subramaniam, describes Tulsi as a 'good boy, very lovable and working to achieve his goals', but declines to comment on the description of Tulsi as a prodigy.
"Tulsi passed the institute's normal admission tests, Dr Subramaniam adds.
    "'Of course he is different from others. His grasp is quick and very fast,' says senior scholar S Hassan.
    "An engineering student recently completed his doctorate in less than a year at the institute."

   In the meantime, Michael, now 19, received his second Master's Degree (in Computer Science) from Vanderbilt University last May 10th, a day before Maeghan Kearney was awarded her Bachelor's Degree by Middle Tennessee University. Michael is currently a Microsoft interne for the summer. Maeghan is working part-time until she returns to school in the fall. Both of them are enjoying friends, cars, normal lives and learning. 
Robotics Update -- Part I
I'm working on a robotics update, but it isn't quite complete. In the meantime..
Anything into Oil
The Cell
The Sludge Buster
  Alternative Energy
  "The Singularity" and Transhumanism-2
  Tonight's disquisition has been delayed, pending more thought.
  Mind-Booster Updates
  "The Singularity" and Transhumanism
  Wireless Networking and Plastic Computing
Intel Inside
Benfotiamine - The Fat Soluble Form of Vitamin B1
  Dolly, and Diabetes
  The Economy (Continued)
  The Economy
   Could Walmart Be in Trouble?
   The Wedding
1/23/2003:   Cancer Prevention Nutriceuticals?  I wrote up this treatment today for family members, so it includes references to local grocery stores.  
   On Christmas Day in the Morning   
  (...And all the bells on Earth shall ring...)

  .'Twas the night before Christmas...
 Shove-it-in-your-face advertising
 Western Medicine
 The West Nile Virus.
 Here's a write-up concerning the Law of Malthus (populations tend to increase until they exceed the resources necessary to support them).  
  Update on Energy Conservation
Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side of the Fence?
     Much Later: Here's the AD Update .
4/9/2002:      Today's editorial will be devoted to the subject of Alzheimer's Disease (AD), which I'll try to amplify later today in a separate update.

   One of tonight's articles,
'Brane-Storm' Challenges Part of Big Bang Theory   - , suggests a five-dimensional manifold in which four-dimensional hypermembranes drift, so discussions of four-dimensional hyperspheres embedded in five-dimensional manifolds may be an educational exercise. 

   The 3/3/2002 discussion of brain boosters may be found on the
Intelligence Site Map page under My Experience with Brain Boosters .

    It's interesting to note that there has been continued questioning of the existence of black holes:
New Theories Dispute the Existence of Black Holes and Hawking's Breakthrough Is Still an Enigma .    
     Previous discussions of relativity may be found
here .


1/23/2002I'm having a problem updating this website. In the meantime, you can access the current web site at . (I'm able to update it daily.)
Here's a first cut at the January - March, 2002, News of the Ultranet.>

    Please see the November 29 thru December 5 editorial pages for a discussion of solar and geothermal power

    Please see the August 30 thru September 5 editorial pages for a discussion of stock market cycles. 
    The sister website may be found at
    Prior remarks may be found on the Editorials page.

News of the Ultranet, Millennium Edition (Winter, 2000)
News of the Ultranet (Spring,2001)
'Smart mice' offer clues to memory studies
   Patrick Danville's Shel Talmy , "who is arguably the 'most famous' Quiz Kid apart from Dr. Watson".

The Year 2000 Ultranet Gathering
Experts' Panel Discussions
My Agenda
Update on Life/Youth Extension
Update on Life/Youth Extension
Yesterday's Prolongevity Discussion

The complete set of " Window to the South ", and " And Finding No Mouse There " may be found here on the website to peruse at, (and if it be) your pleasure.

    Click on the cartoon below to visit the Kearneys' Ritalin cartoon and the official Calvin and Hobbes website . Click here for previous Calvins . "Calvin and Hobbes" is presented in honor of Michael and Maeghan Kearney, who are at least as fond as I of "Calvin and Hobbes".