The goodness that is contained within us

posted in Media on March 22nd, 2007

Imagine this: every year, about 100,000 people die because they suffer from organ failure and are unable to be treated, either because no compatible organs can be provided at all, or, if compatible organs are available, they are found too late, at a time when the point-of-no-return has been long passed.

Now imagine the following situation: With todays medicine and cloning techniques, it is, essentially possible to reconstruct the genome of our genetical ancestor. The one lifeform we all derive from. This would be a huge step forward, not only would that mean that humanity has reached a level of sophistication that it’s able to, essentially, play God, but actually do good and save itself from extinction.

Naturally, you’ll ask yourself, “why bother and go back that much in time, when we can just clone a normal organ and put that in”. Being a crossmedia engineering student, I can’t completely explain this, but I know this:

First of all, there is no way, yet, to only clone an organ and not get all the other stuff that comes with it at the same time. Organs, unlike plants, cannot grow in isolation, they need the environment only a human body (or highly modified animal body, rats are used for this from time to time) can provide. Otherwise, you’ll get a “dead shell”, so to speak. A piece of tissue that hasn’t matured correctly and probably matured in ways that are incompatible with your needs anyway.

Every person’s genome is different, what works for one, doesn’t work for the other. If you’ve ever seen ER or Grey’s Anatomy, you’ll know that people who get transplants sometimes reject them. Their body deems the replacement organ incompatible with the host and therefore stops supporting (read: providing the organ with oxygen, blood and other fluids) said organ. The result can be fatal, not only for the organ but also for the host.

Luckily, there are companies out there that see the importance of providing humanity with a supply of compatible organs. One of these companies is called GENADA. Little is known about them and their website isn’t all that informative either, but from what I heard in the comunity, they got a good thing going. Something that will, if it works out, not only change the lives of thousands of people, but also will make some investors rich(er) beyond belief.

Even though GENADA tries their levelbest in limitting the amount of information that is able to leave their premises, I know of at least one account of a person who worked there and decided to start talking.

Well, literally speaking, said person didn’t start talking directly, but they found a way to channel their information too, a middleman of sorts.

They say that artists use lies to tell the truth and I have to agree. In probably every story you read, you’ll find some sort of truth. Maybe that truth is tainted by the beliefs of the author, maybe it’s not - the only one who knows that for sure is the author himself.

Either way, we do know this: there’s more and more on this world happening beyond what the public actually knows.

Scott Sigler also contributes to this kind of “game”. His kick-ass book Ancestor was first published in the fall of 2005, as an audio only book. Now, you can download the whole PDF for free, from his site.

If you’re looking for high quality entertainment, for free, go to the site, download a copy and don’t put it away. Start reading it immediately, you’ll love it. Sigler has a way of describing things in such vivid detail that you’ll feel cold sweat forming on your palms and sometimes, he’ll do his best to make your stomach turn.

I’m certain that you’ll enjoy his story and if you do, spread the word. Tell others about it and maybe even pre order his book on April 1st 2007. Show the man that you appreciate his work and show that independent authors are a force to be reckoned with.

2006 - a(n) (audible) year in review

posted in Media, personal stuff on December 29th, 2006

This is the third and final part in a series of posts where I’m reviewing media from the past year. The first part discussed printed media, followed by my thoughts on televised media. The finale of this trilogy belongs to audible media, anything from music to spoken content.

2006, for me, marked the year of indie content. I bought more albums from this year than I did buy in retail stores during the last five years. Why? Because I like their concept. I get to choose how I acquire my media (loads of formats available), how much I pay and best of all … I get to share it with friends. Their concept is great and I’m thankful to them for providing such a great service.

Number one hit, for me personally, this year was certainly Scott Sigler’s Ancestor. While the story actually started in September of 2005, it wasn’t concluded until spring this year. Scott’s plot about xeno transplantation and the various side effects kept me hooked till the bitter end. Thanks to this podiobook, commuting actually became bearable.

Dubbed “medicine for the soul” by a commenter on YouTube, fingerstyle guitar artist Andy McKee really deserves a spot in my toplist. The way he makes love to the guitar is just amazing. It’s just amazing how he manages to convey a very vivid image with his song, without the need for any vocal support whatsoever.

Last but not least, Grey’s Anatomy Soundtrack, Vol. 1 is the perfect candidate to conclude this review. Featuring songs from season one of the show, the compilation contains songs which have the power to make you feel happy. Out of the 15 songs on the disc, I personally like two thirds a lot and find the other third to be awesome. It rarely happens that I like more than half of a compilation’s songs, but this time, it’s spot on.

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Ancestor - more podcast goodness

posted in Media on September 11th, 2005

It seems that sometimes begging works. When I recently asked Scott to hire me, I was more joking than not, luckily Scott wasn’t. We teamed up and created something very interesting…

The story is called Ancestor and will be another serialized podcast novel, produced by Scott.

If you can’t wait till September 12th, go here and download the teaser - it’s worth the bandwidth.

I already got a tiny peak at the story and let me tell you this: if you thought that Earthcore set a new standard, think again - the standard just got one up. Ancestor is full of the stuff Earthcore listeners will love - violence, a great theme song, a solid story and the occasional dead body…

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