Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Melville "on film"

Here is the wonderful (at times) iPhone shooting Melville in the rain, from my car, and getting some 1970s film treatment - my most recent Kodachrome 64 preset for the iPhone, which i like most.

All batch, single click processing. Not for HDR junkies ..

Very dark, hugh ? But that's precisely how it felt then !

Here are few more, from down the road, heading for Parktown / Hillbrow


Sunday, November 20, 2011

A portrait

This portrait stays with me, and i consider it amongst the best i've ever taken from the very few i've taken, if not the best. It also makes me sad.

My late Dad with his grand daughter, Raia, 2005

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The promise

"Every photograph makes a promise. And the promise is never kept. That's what makes a photograph great .."

Monday, November 14, 2011

The 10 Commandments of Longevity and Cardio Vascular Health

This update of 15 May 2016


I am not a medical professional and I will not be held responsible in any way for any loss or injury or disability of any sort resulting directly or indirectly from reading or applying anything contained in here, from its interpretation or from its execution.

Here, the focus is on how to live longer, how to live a better life, avoiding disease and delaying and prolonging the ageing process. 

This subject has kept me on my toes and in search of a common model, a helicopter view of it all - for some time now, after encountering some worries with my health and thankfully - having most of them discarded as "false-positives". And also, after i could not find a different and compelling answer to the question : Does the doctor want you healthy and well. That is i could not come to answer other than a .. No

Think for yourself .. It's like asking : Does the mechanic want the cars to never break ? For this reason most doctors will tell you very little from the list below, if any, and will laugh it all off as "where is the evidence based medicine" - to quote a statement from a highly regarded specialist upon seeing my list of supplements, which included Vit D3 among few others. So you wonder why i openly "attack" and question why so few doctors focus their efforts on prevention.

Here is an excerpt from the revised, modern Oath of Hippocrates, as adopted in the American Medical Association, more here :

"I will ensure patients receive the information and support they want to make decisions about disease prevention and improvement of their health. I will answer as truthfully as I can and respect patients' decisions unless that puts others at risk of harm. If I cannot agree with their requests, I will explain why."

Take one : I want you to sit back now and think - how many of your doctors abide by above ? How many were passionate to tell you how to stop, prevent, and induce recovery even if it was the case of a common flu ? 

Take two : Do you notice the red text above ? What it means contextually (and legally) is that if you do not specifically request "further information" or information on prevention per se, then your doctor is in no breach of above oath! That is if the doctor does not provide such information on his own accord, even when such information exists in numerous medical studies conclusive in their results. 

Take three : Doctors do not have to disagree with patient's request or view, thus, no explanation is due, especially when "as truthfully as I can" is included as above - doctors often say they subscribe to clinical or evidence based medicine, therefore invoking this very clause .. and then your time is up - there is a queue building up in the waiting room ..

So .. How far do you believe is the "exit / back door" open, when you read this above ? Where is the commitment from the doctor to always encourage and guide prevention ? Patients are not educated and very rarely act in prevention / planning mode, they almost always fight fires. 

This is how i feel, if you want to read a similar and short summary of the above by a MD, go here

The "commandments" below, reflect on some of the recent or at least - XXI century research in the field of biochemistry and clinical medicine. They also present of what should be done to avoid or cure certain conditions, yet i will leave out what exactly and how exactly in order not to cross a fine line here, and generate certain amount of outright dismissal and remarks "from a tall white horse" ..

Finally, i am sure that for many of you, some or most of this could be old news, yet still, i want to see them in this particular format and will myself abide by - as presented. An enormous amount of detail and research is available in my research, but for a number of (obvious)  reasons cannot be presented here and in this brief summary. 

So on with the fun ..

The 10 Commandments of Longevity
rev 1.2 of 6 Jul 2013

1. Avoid soft drinks, alcohol (especially hard alcohol!), nicotine (incl passive smoking!), sugar, high fructose intake. Increase coffee intake. If alcohol is to stay, then take it complimented by specific "anti-venom" supplementation  (available on request). Never drink on an empty stomach or early in the day. Drink only wine and only finest of wine, as opposed to various alcohols or good table wine or plenty of either or both

2. Take Supplements. NB - not vitamin combos but selected supplements ! We are talking 2 main groups of supplements here : Those that are not naturally produced by/in our bodies but so required, and those that act as inducers / restarters of most critical and age-inhibited processes at cell level. Schedule available on request, but needs to be individually discussed and determined. Here are 2 more generally applicable and extremely powerful suggestions, which i follow in tandem - the first is very clinical medicine, and often prescribed when the condition is in a late stage, the second - alternative and favourite : 

  A. Take a vasodilator supplement / medicine starting at the minimal dose (as per    
  guidelines), if any two or more below are present and there is no pre-existing or   
  diagnosed heart condition :
  • hypertension is confirmed or alcohol is consumed regularly together with regular strong coffee and heavy salt intake
  • resting pulse staying high
  • if a man of age > 45
  • if long hours of stressful work, or bursts of stress, eg unproductive meeting
  B. Take at least 1-2 grams, of Vit C divided into small doses, combined with few grams of 
l-lysine, immediately before food, something like 0.5+1.5 before breakfast and 0.5+1.5 before supper. 

  C. Take the minimum at the very least daily amount of Mg, Zn, and 1000 - 1500 IU of Vit D3 every day.

3. Focus on glutathion (re)generation and cortisol reduction. Take foods and supplements which are confirmed glutathion precursors.

4. Measure the right stuff. For example, don’t be fooled by the “cholesterol mafia” in believing that high total cholesterol or high (non specific) LDL is causing arterial damage. Even more - leave the HDL to LDL ratio as a final test, after all else has been tested and analyzed. Keep insulin and blood sugar low ! 

My getting already extensive research in this field as a layman - i am NOT a doctor, resulted in some conclusions around what are the most telling / appropriate tests to be taken for checking your heart health in general - in 2014  - 2016and after some enlightening and often - conclusive research which has completed in recent years but also in the past 25 years or so. Same findings were discussed in one-on-one, and largely supported by Dr NV, specialist physician, and Dr NN, dermatologist, to mention but a few.

  16 May 2016 Update :

Critical cardio markers for annual / bi-annual evaluation

Marker Significance / Predictor Value Key :

        1        : Confirmed in numerous research papers, the De facto standard. Excellent predictor
        0        : Still in research or conflicting findings, marker questioned .. Likely to emerge as marker / predictor
        +        : Top diagnostic markers for condition / disease, the ones for 1st line testing. If half of them reported as indicated, then “code Red”
        #        : Test outside condition critical diagnosis, annually, as part of 1st Line testing

CVD Panel

cTnI (cTnT)
 HDL and / or Apolipoproteins A-I and A-II (HDL subfractions)
Serum Cortisol
Serum Testosterone 
Serum Free Calcium
IL-1, IL-6
Factors & Life style triggers. Condition aggravators
1st Line Tests >



Target Values / Range >
Low - Very Low
Low - Normal
Low - Normal
Very Low - Undetectable
Elevated  -High
Low - Normal
Normal - High
Low - Very Low
Low - Normal
Low - Normal

Active Atherosclerosis and/or MI event

or High ..
 or Normal ..
or High ..
 or Normal ..

or Normal ..

 or Normal ..

 or Normal ..
or High ..
Obesity, stale lifestyle, high diastolic BP. MI family history. High stress regularly with no chronic medication for it
Stable Angina Pectoris

Ischematic Disease of the Heart


   hsCRP - Inflammatory marker (cardio specific). Keep low to very low
   Lipoprotein-a / Lp(a) -  keep low, < 15 - 17! This is a genetically determined 
                                       lipoprotein, with strong correlation / confirmed (in  
                                       numerous randomised trials) - role in cardiac events prediction 
                                       and outcomes. As bad as vsLDL plaque  
                                       builder - seen as the triggering condition by many (see references below)

   cTnI - keep low / undetectable. Very good predictor for a number of other conditions. Emerging          
             evidence that it is a better predictor for incoming cardiac events than cTnT - 
             which is primarily used for confirmation of cardiac event in progress

   Fibrinogen - keep low - normal
   Free plasma (blood) Calcium - keep low and within range
   Free Plasma Testosterone - keep within range
   Plasma D3 (xxx D25 test) - keep above range, i.e. in the 50 - 75 range
   Apolipoproteins A-I and A-II (HDL subfractions) - keep high, or at least in the upper   
                                                                           reference range
   Homocysteine - keep low and within range
   Fasting Insulinkeep low and within range
Further investigation / new research in progress :

   IL-1 - emerging evidence of it's role in the cardiac events prediction, density, outcomes
            Target : keep it low - this is a pro-inflamatory interlukine 
   LDL particle size
   Lp(a)'s Apoprotein A (apo(a)) particle size
   Plasma Mg
   Plasma Oestrogen levels
   Triglycerides - keep low and within range. Revisiting this one in time - its significance                             for cardiac events has come under question ..

Non-cardio :

   PSA - for men of course ..
   IL-6 keep low to very low. Very good predictor for a number of other conditions

NB! cTnI (and cTnT) are more "end stage", confirmation markers than predictors, however, new research is placing significance of cTnI as an early stage MI predictor

I believe, that any of these in isolation, but probably with the exception of hsCRP combined with cTnI, is only partially telling the truth. I believe that the traditional high cholesterol (LDL) watchdog is only a bleak, if not a misleading (when results are good) indicator of arising problems or absence of such.

All above combined and assessed in a single test becomes the target here - a far more reliable predictor in my view - in this way MI CAN be foretold reliably and thus managed / reversed!

I also believe that the level of your total cholesterol means very very little, and much less then the ratio between HDL and LDL. Even the latter alone tells us no much really (bar some sound AHA research in this, finding a lower risk of MI as ratio moves towards 1), for the exact mechanism of site plaque formation is largely debated, disputed and still in investigation. In my life, i've taken side with the many who believe that it is not the LDL levels that predict cardiac events and MI specifically, but the level of their oxidation and activity (Lp(a))

So why are doctors sending you to measure cholesterol, and not the markers above ?? How about two possible answers which spring to mind :

   A1. How can they send you to measure these when they are stuck in Harrison's and in  
         traditional assessment and diagnosis methods, unaware of modern research in the 
         field ?

   A2. Why do they have to send you for these, when based on these alone they have no 
         basis for prescribing cholesterol lowering agents (statins) and thus forfeit the 
         promised "rewards" from the pharmaceuticals ?! What if these are elevated - they 
         can only be lowered by a diet and/or supplements !

And the damage caused by statins (Lipitor, et al)  in the long run, should be subject of a separate review - this is how big this subject is ! How well it is exploited in the medical field !

Finally, your blood pressure (BP) needs to be always low or at least within range. This was briefly discussed in 3 above and in 6 - 9

6. Eat less, eat little, eat right. Enjoy excellent starters as opposed to wholesome (and fatty) main courses. Eat ALL foods raw or less prepared.  Avoid simple and carbs in general - i subscribe to the Tim Noakes' diet and way of life rather.. Avoid oils and fats which solidify after heating up. Palm oil and derivatives are worse than alcohol - you can regenerate your liver, but not your arteries ! Enjoy spices such as cumin and turmeric in your food. Live cultures yogurt with soft poached eggs. Focus on high Q proteins, but avoid most nuts, with the exception of walnuts and Brazilian nuts. Here some suggestions :

   A. "Greens" i choose to enjoy : red peppers, onions, broccoli, tomatoes, red cabbage, parsley, Chinese cabbage, watercress and spinach. 

   B. These fruits make me smile : pomegranate, pineapple, mulberries,  
       black currant, blueberries, cherries, goji berries, lemon, plums, avo. Certain apples

   C. Fruits i try to avoid : Mango, grapes, nartjies.

   D. Fruits i will not touch : All orange peel fruits. Mango. Grapes. Dried fruits

7. Drink enough water. Non-carbonated mineral water or alkaline ionized water are the two best choices. The higher the water PH the better - look for water with >7 PH. The soft drinks are strictly forbidden ! As well as excessive consumption, of > 0.5L per day of 100% fruit juices - this does not apply to fresh vegetable juices though.

8. Exercise regularly and effectively! 1 hour of daily brisk walk or jog, step machine or tennis court - best choices. Do not consume fructose in any hard or liquid form 2 hrs after each exercise. Sugar does not exist as we already agreed above - it’s only in your memories from your childhood

9. Start breathing deeper and slower. So the same way you don't down the wine in your glass but take it slowly, in a few mouthful sips, that is the way you want to breath - slowly and deep

10. Less is more. And the glass is half full .. And read some Viktor Frankl and modern philosophy in general

I will be glad if this blast of ideas brings some value to your life and prevents what needs to prevented ..


The list is exhaustive, and impossible to fit in here without spending days. What i'll do in this update (30 dec) is add a new reference - one of a vascular surgeon, forwarded to me by a colleague (thanks Anthony!) which is a telling story by a professional, told professionally :

The sites below are a fascinating read on the subject and more. Most of the listed below are from Medical Doctors. Cardiologists, Biochemists, Endocrinologist and so on. If i have to single out one link in those, then it must be this one :

And the rest are :

Will try to keep it updated regularly


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Joburg Zoo

revisited .. So many happy animals, that we felt like we are better off there and almost stayed.

And then, one elephant lifted some dry grass and put it on top of her head to protect from the sun, as in image below

1200p so you can see in ..