Thursday, January 19, 2006

1/19/06 DVR

DVR is slowly destroying me. I've had it for a month. For 1/3 of that month I wasn't even at home. So I've really had it for about 20 days. In those 20 days, I'm going to venture to guess that I've easily watched 100 hours of TV. Ok, 5 hours a day might be pushing it, but it's been a lot. At the rate I'm going, I'll surpass my total TV watching for 2005 in about 3 more weeks.

This week alone (Since Monday) I've watched the first 2 episodes of "24 "(4 hours), a documentary on Abraham Lincoln (3 hours), 2 episodes of celebrity poker (3 hours), 2 episodes of PTI (1 hour), and a few cartoons like The Simpsons, South Park and The Family Guy (maybe 2 hours. Maybe more. I can't keep track any longer). That's 13 hours of TV in 3 nights. That's wrong. That's terrible. That doesn't even count the basketball I watched in the gym while working out last night. It's to the point where, when I come home, it's like I have homework to do. And my homework is to watch my recorded shows.

In conclusion, if you see me starting to lose my mind. It's most likely because of DVR. In that case, please, please return it to the cable company on my behalf.

It's a good thing I don't have DVR in the bathroom. Otherwise I would never read anymore. While I'm still reading that book about the genome, I'll probably keep posting little tidbits I find interesting.

Today's fact is about Telomeres. You know how your DNA is a long, double-helix, almost like a zipper? And when the DNA divides, it unzips in half and combines to make another double-helix? Well, telomeres are the caps on either end of the strand of DNA. It's like an aglet (the plastic tip) on your shoelace that keeps the shoelace from fraying. Each time a cell divides, part of the telomere is lost. Which is why the number of times a cell can be replaced in a human body is limited and why you age and die.

Due to exponential growth, the number of times each cell needs to divide in order to create a human body is under 50. After 47 cell divisions, there are more than 100 trillion cells. This, in part, is how your DNA can stay in tact. Sadly, most cells cannot divide many more times due to the limited length of the telomeres.

Sticking with the topic of science, Einstein's most famous equation, E=Mc^2, has been challenged. Scientists are proposing that the speed of light has decreased since the beginnings of the universe. Which could explain the inflationary expansion of the universe in the first seconds after the big bang. (That wasn't in the article. I came up with that one all by myself. Boy, I hope my parents are proud of me and my misguided knowledge.)

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