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This weeks best home entertainment: from Better Call Saul to The Twilight Zone – The Guardian

Posted: February 21, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Bob Odenkirks Jimmy McGill has finally taken the Saul Goodman name for the fifth season of this Breaking Bad prequel, and it looks as if he is ready to delve into the dodgy dealings we came to love him for. As we get closer to the Breaking Bad timeline, work on Gus Frings meth lab is progressing and DEA agent Hank Schrader looks to be on the trail.From Monday 24 February, Netflix

When actor Connor Ratliff was fired from a minor role in the miniseries Band of Brothers by Tom Hanks for having dead eyes, it sparked years of hilarious and often poignant soul-searching through the acting industry, which he now unpacks in this entertaining podcast.Podcast

Sally Wainwrights tale of her mothers second marriage returns for its fifth season, with Alan (Derek Jacobi) now looking for a part-time job to keep himself busy and Celia (Anne Reid) pursuing the finer things in life. Its a charmingly sedate family drama.Sunday 23 February, 9pm, BBC One

The inspiring story of the cold war race between the US and USSR to put the first black man in space a power-play that was reframed to make a radical statement during the height of the civil rights era.Thursday 27 February, 9pm, Smithsonian Channel

Academic Aminul Hoque takes a trip back to his birthplace of Bangladesh in this thoughtful documentary probing the often harsh realities of his fathers generation, who came to Britain in the 1960s. Now taking his children with him to Bangladesh for the first time, he asks how our sense of home and immigrant identity changes over the course of generations.Wednesday 26 February, 9pm, BBC Four

The creators of Stranger Things and The End of the F***ing World bring a new series based on Charles Forsmans graphic novel about a teenage girl, Syd, who discovers there is more to her puberty than the occasional rage at her mum there are superpowers involved. Also dealing with the recent death of her dad, this is a wry take on grief and young adulthood.From Wednesday 26 February, Netflix

Playing like an advert for influencer culture, this series on the brightest of Waless young entrepreneurs returns. There is online currency trader Ashley, video game streamer Gonth, and sisters Sophie and Hannah, whose brand of makeup brushes has left them worth a sweet 12m.From Monday 24 February, BBC Three

Its 2348 and humanity seems to have ensured its immortality by being able to transfer consciousness to new bodies but only for the rich and powerful. As the second series of the show begins, we follow Takeshi Kovacs as he continues to try to discover the reasoning behind his death 250 years before.From Thursday 27 February, Netflix

The two Catherines are great in Martin Provosts funny, moving drama. Catherine Frot is the rather abstemious, serious-minded midwife Claire; Catherine Deneuve the older more playful Batrice, former mistress of Claires late father. The pair establish a charming rapport when Batrice reveals she has a terminal illness.Saturday 22 February, 10.45pm, BBC Four

The 1950s horror anthology series gets a reboot from Get Outs Jordan Peele, starring the likes of Seth Rogen and Chris ODowd. The opening episode sees Parks and Recreations Adam Scott playing an investigative journalist on a seemingly doomed transatlantic flight, except he is the only person who knows its fate and can save his fellow passengers.Tuesday 25 February, 9pm, Syfy

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This weeks best home entertainment: from Better Call Saul to The Twilight Zone - The Guardian

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

The Mystery of Irma Vep Is Campy Fun When the Spirit Moves It – Riverfront Times

Posted: February 21, 2020 at 2:51 pm

Lord Edgar, the diminutive but mighty nobleman and recreational Egyptologist has recently remarried, three years after the death of his beloved wife and son. The new bride is the handsome Lady Enid, an actor of no small renown who's finding life at the country estate Mandercrest to be a little lonely. The stately pile that is her new home is haunted by a wolf in the night, whose howling drowns out the wind from the moors, and that distasteful Nicodemus the swineherd creeps around the house trying get a good look at her. It doesn't help Lady Enid's state of mind that the only other woman present is the maid, Jane, who is openly hostile to Enid from behind her mustache.

Yeah, about that mustache. Lord Edgar and Jane are both played by Esteban Andres Cruz, while Lady Enid and Nicodemus are played by Tommy Everett Russell. Every character in the play is performed by these two men, who change outfits and demeanors quicker than you would think possible. Both men are also pretty handy with a costumed dummy and a hasty exit. The Mystery of Irma Vep, currently being produced by the Repertory Theatre St. Louis, is a mostly successful campy comedy that's at its best when Cruz and Russell are both on stage indulging in gleefully ridiculous antics. It loses its momentum when the actor onstage has to carry the load while the other is racing around behind the scenes to get in position for the next entrance, a hindrance no doubt exacerbated by the size of the Loretto-Hilton Center's Mainstage Theatre. With a running time of two hours, the comedy occasionally sags rather than sings.

Still, when they're on, Cruz and Russell are on. Charles Ludlam's script pays homage to Hitchcock's Rebecca, Victorian melodramas and the horror films of Hammer Studios. Indeed, scenic designer Michael Locher has created an imposing manse with a steep staircase, a parlour with a fireplace and several exits. Above it all looms a portrait of Irma (unfortunately visible only from one side of the theater) surrounded by red roses and surmounted by a massive, grinning skull. Lighting designer Marie Yokoyama douses it all in eerie green and menacing red lights, and her stylized lightning bolts are impeccable.

Cruz's Lord Edgar is a man of action who stalks the moors in search of that damned wolf and is fond of a dramatic pose and a wide stance but still releases a coquettish squeal when Lady Enid hoists him up in the air and spins. Russell's Enid has the charming wiles of a girl-detective, who subtly grills Jane for information about Edgar's first wife (Irma) and son. According to Jane, Edgar believes the wolf killed his small family, hence the hunting. Jane implies that she believes it may not be so clean-cut a mystery, which spurs on Enid's investigation. Before the play ends we'll all go to Egypt, revive a long-dead mummy and witness one character transform body part by body part into a werewolf right before our eyes. (Russell performs this metamorphosis with guile, panache and a magician's sense of misdirection. It's one of the best moments in the play.)

Despite the antics happening onstage, the play ends on a serious, albeit hopeful note. Charles Ludlum wrote The Mystery of Irma Vep during the 1980s AIDS crisis, and he himself succumbed to the disease. In the play's final moments, Lord Edgar and Lady Enid ascend the staircase to their bedroom, discussing the ancient Egyptians' bid for immortality. All the while, they slowly draw closer to that leering skull atop the set. Make fun while you can, for we all take that walk some day.

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The Mystery of Irma Vep Is Campy Fun When the Spirit Moves It - Riverfront Times

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Mediterranean diet scores another win for longevity by improving microbiome – CNN

Posted: February 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm

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Mediterranean diet scores another win for longevity by improving microbiome - CNN

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Longevity Tips from the Blue Zones | The Heart of the Farm is the Family – Lancaster Farming

Posted: February 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm

Have you ever heard of the term Blue Zones? This phrase refers to five different regions around the globe that researchers have identified as having the highest concentrations of centenarians in the world.

While in the U.S., the average life expectancy is 78 years, in the Blue Zones, living to be over 100 isnt uncommon. The regions that make up the Blue Zones include Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.

Despite the geographical differences, people in these areas share nine key lifestyle habits, which have been coined the Power 9. Here is a glance at what the longest-living people in the world have in common, and what you can do to adopt their longevity practices, no matter where you live.

Move Naturally

Physical activity is part of daily life for the residents in the Blue Zones and is incorporated into the day through activities like gardening, walking and cooking. Research on men living in the Sardinian Blue Zone discovered that living longer was associated with activities like raising farm animals, living on steeper slopes in the mountains and walking longer distances to work. Building more physical activity into daily life can help meet the physical activity guidelines for Americans. These guidelines suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity per week.

Sense of Purpose

In the Blue Zones communities, having a sense of purpose in life is associated with living longer.

In Okinawa, a life purpose is known as ikigai and in Nicoya, it is referred to as plan de vida.

Having a reason to get out of bed in the morning is closely intertwined with happiness, and without one, it can be difficult to maintain healthy behaviors and a lifestyle that contributes to a longer life. Research on psychological well-being has linked a sense of purpose and happiness with a reduced risk of death. The evidence is clear; having a positive outlook on life can influence how long you live.

Manage Your Stress

We know that too much stress is bad for us and often leads to inflammation that is associated with many age-related chronic diseases. In the Blue Zones, people still experience stress, however they have different routines that help manage their stress. For example, people in Okinawa take time every day to remember their ancestors, while Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda often pray, Ikarians take frequent naps, and Sardinians partake in happy hour. It is clearly important to find stress management techniques that work for you, whether that is getting the right amount of sleep, being physically active or socializing with friends and family.

Eat Until You Are 80% Full

Another practice that Blue Zone communities have in common is that they dont overeat. Okinawans follow the 80% rule, which is known as hara hachi bu. It simply means that they stop eating when they feel 80% full, rather than 100% full. Because of this, it is harder to consume too many calories, which leads to weight gain, obesity and other chronic diseases. Strategies like placing your fork down between bites and focusing on your sense of fullness can help make it easier to stop eating when you feel 80% full.

Plant Slant

It may sound strange to us in the United States, but the cornerstone of most Blue Zone diets is plants.

Although most are not vegetarians, they do tend to eat a 95% plant-based diet. Instead of being the main course, meat is served as a small side, and is often considered a celebratory food or a way to add flavor to plant-based dishes. Diets in the Blue Zones are rich in vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.

Moderate Wine Consumption

Another factor common to many of the Blue Zones is moderate wine consumption. Some studies have shown that one to two drinks per day can significantly reduce mortality, specifically from heart disease. In the Icarian and Sardinian Blue Zones, red wine is the drink of choice, with many people consuming 1-2 glasses per day. Red wine contains an antioxidant called resveratrol, which may prevent blood vessel damage and may reduce LDL cholesterol. It is important to remember that these benefits are only seen for moderate wine consumption (up to one 5-ounce glass a day for women and up to two for men). Be sure to talk with your doctor before making any changes in alcohol consumption.

Find Community

Most of the Blue Zones are religious, with the majority of people belonging to a faith-based community. Many studies on faith and religion have shown that being religious is associated with a lower risk of death. It is unclear why, however, researchers speculate that this could be due to social support and reduced rates of depression. If this is the case, being a part of any meaningful community could also increase longevity, whether that be faith-based or not.

Put Family First

In the Blue Zones, family members are often close. Not only do younger generations value older generations, but they often live together and help care for older family members. In many Blue Zones, it is not uncommon for grandparents to live with their families. In fact, studies have shown that grandparents who help raise their grandchildren have a reduced risk of death than those who do not care for grandchildren. It seems that being close with family can influence lifespan.

Maintain a Fulfilling Social Life

People in Blue Zones have supportive social circles and actively participate in them. In Okinawa, the term moais refers to groups of five friends that are committed to each other for life. Social support and a sense of community are essential in all Blue Zones areas, and research has linked this to good health, happiness and longevity. Additionally, many studies have shown lower rates of hypertension, obesity and diabetes in those who have a strong support network.

Katie Greenawalt is a Penn State Extension educator for food, families and health in Lebanon County.

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Longevity Tips from the Blue Zones | The Heart of the Farm is the Family - Lancaster Farming

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

African Killfish Can Put Aging on Pause. Do They Hold the Secrets of Longevity? – Discover Magazine

Posted: February 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm

The African turquoise killifish might not live long but, during development, it will stop growing and wait for better, wetter living conditions if it needs to.

If the pond the fish lives in dries up too much, killifish embryos can stop maturing for over six months. That pause can be even longer than their usual, uninterrupted lifespan. It appears that the fish emerge from these months relatively unscathed. Those embryos that put off growing live as long, and have as many offspring, as embryos that never pause, according to new research out in the journal Science.

What is remarkable is the embryos ability to stop damage that would happen over time, says study co-author Anne Brunet, a geneticist at Stanford University. The tiny tissues emerge in good condition and seem to have put off aging. By studying how the killifish genome changes for this months-long pause, researchers could one day prompt those alterations to preserve human organs as well.

Its not totally clear how killifish know it is time to stop growing. Not all enter this hibernation-like freeze, Brunet says, and those that do likely receive a signal from their mothers instructing them to do so. Her team was interested in finding out what all happens inside the embryos that end up waiting out those long months. As killifish bred in Brunets lab, she and her team examined genetic material from embryos before, during and after their stalled growth. Some genes werent as active as they are normally. This makes sense, Brunet says after all, the embryo isnt growing. But a few genes were operating at higher-than-usual levels. Some of these highly active genes were responsible for wrapping up large chunks of the genome and effectively turning them off, an efficient process that shutters several genes at once instead of a bunch of individual pauses, Brunet says.

Other genes active during this developmental hiatus have a role in muscle development. Brunet and her team didnt see how crucial they are for keeping the embryos healthy until they bred some of the fish with dysfunctional versions of these genes. When it came time for the growth pause, the brand-new muscle tissue in the genetically modified fish disintegrated. The team concluded that the reason these genes are normally so active in stalled embryos is because they keep those muscle cells from falling apart. Its not easy to maintain muscle its an active process of amendment, even if the cells dont proliferate. Without it, the muscle is no longer preserved, Brunet says. Thats really remarkable in hibernation.

Brunet and her team plan to investigate how these genetic changes can lead to healthy muscle cells. In other words, what is happening with the fish's hormones or metabolism that lets the embryonic muscle cells keep developing even in stasis? Further down the line, the scientists say it might be worth investigating whether the dormant stem cells in our own bodies share any of the same pause mechanisms as killifish.

That is very preliminary, but that is something that would be interesting, Brunet says. If the machinery is conserved, could that also function to preserve cells in tissues in the longterm? It will take much longer than a killifishs frozen development to find out.

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African Killfish Can Put Aging on Pause. Do They Hold the Secrets of Longevity? - Discover Magazine

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Understanding the mechanism and longevity of corrosion inhibitors in insulation: part one – Hydrocarbon Engineering

Posted: February 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm

Insulation systems, comprised of thermal insulation, jacketing, mastics, and sealants, are designed to keep water out in order to maintain the integrity of the thermal insulation and limit corrosion under insulation (CUI). However, even the best designed and installed systems sometimes become compromised in real-world applications, resulting in the presence of water at the pipe surface and the potential for CUI.

As industry experts explore new ways to mitigate and inhibit CUI, a new strategy based on the chemistry of the insulation has been developed. This concept considers how the insulations chemistry can promote or inhibit corrosion after water has been introduced to the system. The first step in exploring this new mitigation strategy is understanding the corrosion by-products of different insulation types based on their chemistries. In order understand this, Johns Manville (JM) recently conducted two new studies to explore how insulation influences the chemistry that occurs on the metal surface of a pipe and whether or not the XOX Corrosion Inhibitor found in Thermo-1200 and Sproule WR-1200 maintains its efficacy after repeated wet-dry cycling. The purpose of the analysis is to better understand how CUI is impacted by the interaction between the thermal insulation chemistry and the metal surfaces that are routinely seen in industrial systems.

The first test protocol used in this study was based on ASTM C1617 Standard Practice for Quantitative Accelerated Laboratory Evaluation of Extraction Solutions Containing Ions Leached from Thermal Insulation on Aqueous Corrosion of Metals. Per the test method, the leachable content of the insulation was extracted via a boiling liquid extraction. The extractions were then dripped onto heated carbon steel coupons for a period of 96 hours to mimic accelerated wet/dry cycles.

In this study, after 96 hours of exposure, the surface corrosion and by-products on the carbon steel coupons were subjected to laboratory analyses via electron diffraction spectroscopy (EDS), optical microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The EDS analysis was used to determine the composition and relative amount of each element on the surface layer of the coupons. The enhanced optical and SEM analyses were used to visually inspect the surface of the coupons.

The insulation samples tested in this study and listed below cover the CUI range and are designed for use in applications up to 1200F:

JMs EDS analysis of surface corrosion layers on carbon steel showed that different chemical compositions form depending on the type of insulation that was in contact with the metal surface. Insulation materials with corrosion inhibiting chemistries, like Thermo-1200 and Sproule WR-1200, were shown to decrease the proliferation of corrosion on metal surfaces by depositing a protective layer of sodium silicate onto the metal surface. This layer was present when testing the Sproule WR-1200 (hydrophobic perlite with the XOX Corrosion Inhibitor) sample and the Thermo-1200 (water-resistant calcium silicate with the XOX Corrosion Inhibitor) sample.

The elements present in this study were predominantly metal oxides, including silica oxide, iron oxide, and calcium oxide, as well as sodium, magnesium, and chlorine. The close inspection of the metal coupons revealed that components leaching from different insulation chemistries interact with pipe surfaces in different ways, some propagating corrosion and others inhibiting it. By analysing the CUI surface layer (or absence of a CUI layer), engineers can understand how the insulation chemistry can influence the potential for long-term corrosion of the system as a whole. Johns Manville will discuss this research in greater detail in its live Insulation Intel webinar, Mitigating CUI: A Two-Pronged Approach on 25 February 2020 at 2pm ET (Register Now), and during its presentation at the upcoming NACE Corrosion 2020 Conference and Expo on 15 19 March. Part two of this article will discuss the results from the corrosion inhibitor longevity testing after repeated wet-dry cycles.

Written by Marybeth Jones, Johns Manville.

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Understanding the mechanism and longevity of corrosion inhibitors in insulation: part one - Hydrocarbon Engineering

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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