Welcome to Megaplex's monthly newsletter! We alert the up-market shopper and social distancer to the new and interesting in Sandton and Bryanston. This month' entertainment is Toastmasters contest and a good dose of science –including how to extend your healthy lifespan. Want the disastrous State of Disaster to end? Then say so! There's also our alleged humour. Please feel free to support our advertisers! To subscribe, see our subscription page.
Every year around this time, over 16,000 Toastmasters clubs worldwide hold club speaking contests. We have prepared speeches, impromptu speeches, and speech evaluations. The winners at club level compete at Area level, Division level, and then District level. Those winners compete at Toastmasters International to be the World Champion of Public Speaking. Last year a lady from South Africa, Verity Price, took that title: It can be done.
Visit us online this Tuesday (22 Feb), 18:00–21:00 as Mariswe Toastmasters and Bryanston Breakfast Club run their combined club contests: Register here and please say Rick invited you. .
And/or register for the club contest of 4th Dimension Toastmasters Club on
Wednesday 23 Feb, 18:00–20:00.
Book Review: "Lifespan" by David Sinclair, PhD.
Here's a best-seller about science that reads like a thriller. A detective story about a world-leading medical scientist chasing down one of the oldest and deepest mysteries of life: Why do we become aged and die?
Dr Sinclair proposes that, instead of treating individually the many diseases that afflict the aged –which he calls "whack-a-mole medicine"–.we should treat ageing itself as a disease, the root cause of the others.
What if that disease is curable?
A genetics expert with over 30 years' experience and laboratories at Harvard Medical School and the University of New South Wales, Sydney, he proposes the "Information Theory of Ageing". The genome, made up of DNA, is digital, and preserves its information across generations. Then what differentiates cells? What makes a liver cell different from a brain cell or a bone cell, while they have identical DNA? That is done by the epigenome, chemical structures that control what parts of the genome are expressed. Unlike DNA, the epigenome is not digital but analogue. Like AM radio, it is subject to "noise". Over time and with stress, it degenerates and is less able to control and repair the DNA. Like scratches on a DVD, errors accumulate, giving rise to diseases.
The author says that we can "wake up" the natural cell repair mechanism –"polish" the DVD– by putting our cells through non-lethal crises. He suggests intermittent fasting, cutting back on sugar and meat, periodic high-intensity exercise, and exposure to heat and cold.
I see a parallel in the teachings of the ancient Stoic philosophers: Don't be too comfortable all the time, they said; deliberately experience hardship. You may not live longer, but it will feel like it!
Now there are also drugs that evoke this repair mechanism: Rapamycin, Metformin, Resveratrol, and NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide). In the next few years, Dr Sinclair expects other therapies. These include the ability to reset the epigenome, effectively cutting 10 to 20 years off our biological age, repeatedly. If you're alive today, you could live well to 150. Your children, to 200. We will grow older in years, but continue to be healthy for almost as long as we want. This will have profound effects on society and the world.
The book is "Lifespan – why we age, and why we don't have to" by David Sinclair, PhD. Read it.
A Timely Mondegreen
"Transnet's frayed rail network" –President Cyril Ramaphosa, SONA, 10 Feb 2022.
New on the Block, Movers and Shakers Back to top
"dear South Africa" writes:
For two years, South Africa has been under a "State of Disaster," providing a handful of parliamentarians excessive power. We've seen this power used to ban the sale of flip-flops, ready-to-eat meals, alcohol, tobacco and to stop people from leaving their homes after a specific time.
Minister Dlamini-Zuma recently published new regulations that enable medical staff or the police to force you into isolation. The new rules allow medical samples to be extracted from you, and to contain you against your will.
It's terrifying to imagine what laws and legislation our government will propose next.
This is not normal. It's not right. We've had enough, and we want it to STOP.
We need your comment. Then there can be no shadow of doubt that ending the State of Disaster is the will of the people.
Thought for the Day:
Q: What is the noblest dog of all?
Defunct: Back to top
You know you're South African if...
It is overcast for three days and you miss the sun so much you consider emigrating to Britain.
From Wikipedia via Tim Ferriss: “The Azolla event is a scenario hypothesized to have occurred in the middle Eocene epoch, around 49 million years ago. Blooms of the freshwater fern Azolla are thought to have happened in the Arctic Ocean. As they sank to the stagnant sea floor, they were incorporated into the sediment. The resulting draw-down of carbon dioxide is speculated to have helped transform the planet from a ‘greenhouse Earth’ state, hot enough for turtles and palm trees to prosper at the poles, to the current icehouse Earth known as the Late Cenozoic Ice Age.” .Read more: Wikipedia - The Azolla Event
"Where are the Arnold Schwarzenegger action figures, please?"
"Aisle B, back!"
Your name in print! Would you like to contribute a lockdown tip, a less obscure joke, or something else for this Newsletter? Please e-mail us. You will get full credit (unless you want anonymity). Reach 4,804 shoppers and shop-owners: Advertise in this newsletter! Editor: Rick Raubenheimer.