Art and beauty, economics, ethics, health & fitness, philosophy

Dan Price – Minimalist Living

Since 1990 Dan has been living off the land in Oregon.

He’s an artist. A writer. A traveller.

For the last 15 years or so he’s been living in a little Hobbit House only 8ft (2.4m) wall to wall with a roof only 4ft (1.2m) high at the entrance rising to 5ft (1.5m) at the back.

Dan has a website called moonlight chronicles where he documents his simple life.

Dan Price’s underground home, art & philosophy on $5,000/year

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

cycling, health & fitness, hiking, travel

My Dental Vacation in Portugal

I got implant dental surgery November 11th at 11am. #NotChicken

I’ll update this post with details on how it went.

Canadian dentists are WAY too expen$ive.

Nations around the world that cater to “dental tourists” include:

Not Portugal. BUT I wanted to travel to Portugal for hiking and cycling in November. Also, it’s one of the most vaccinated large nations in the world during a pandemic.

Of dentists in Lisbon I looked at online, most impressive was the Institute of Implantology.

Here’s their Dental Tourism page.

I booked a FREE assessment appointment on my birthday:

  • November 2 ~ free assessment
  • November 4 ~ cleaning and measurement for ‘flipper‘ (temporary replacement tooth)
  • November 11 ~ implant surgery and placement of the flipper
  • November 15 ~ final checkout

The last 4 days in Lisbon were in case of complications. And that allows time to adjust the flipper, if needed.

Happily I had no infection nor swelling. And the flipper looks pretty good. Can you tell which top front tooth is now removable?

In fact, I’m as good looking as ever. … Ladies? 😀

I’ll return to Lisbon in 4-6 months to have the permanent fake screwed in.

The Institute of Implantology is not cheap. Price everything included for me will be about CAD $5000 (US$4000, EUR3490). Here are some of the major costs:

  • €160 CT Scan
  • € 160 Extraction
  • € 890 Implant placement
  • € 650 Bone Graft
  • € 280 Flipper

The bone graft encourages regeneration of bone and increases the odds that the tooth will stay in my skull for life.


The Institute of Implantology is the second private hospital I’ve used. The other was Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Toronto. Both are excellent. I wish I was rich enough to use more private clinics.

My surgeon was Dr. Gonçalo Caramês. Trained in Los Angeles, he married another dentist. They planned to set up practice in Seattle but he opted instead to return to Portugal because of the pandemic.

The facility itself is impressive. Chic. Very modern technology.

economics, government, health & fitness, things getting better

Who invented the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine?

Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci, a married couple, are both now billionaires. 

Financial Times People of the Year for 2020.

In 2008 Özlem co-founded the biotechnology company BioNTech, which in 2020 developed the first messenger RNA-based vaccine approved for use against COVID-19.

How many lives have been saved by their vaccine? 

How much illness reduced?

They first heard of Covid on January 8th, 2020. And instantly switched from the Cancer therapy they had been researching for two decades — to Covid. 

By March 2020, they had five vaccine candidates ready to test in humans, and by November 2020, results indicated that the vaccine was more than 90% effective.

mRNA could be used for future vaccines even more quickly next time. BUT we should build manufacturing capacity NOW to be ready for the next one. 

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube

ethics, government, health & fitness

Electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack?

Until about age-30, I assumed I’d die from nuclear radiation.

Now age-63, I’m still surprised each morning to be enjoying life.

A nuclear electromagnetic pulse (NEMP) weapon is designed to be detonated far above the Earth’s surface.

The explosion releases a blast of gamma rays into the mid-stratosphere, which ionizes as a secondary effect and the resultant energetic free electrons interact with the Earth’s magnetic field to produce a much stronger EMP than is normally produced in the denser air at lower altitudes.

Just one such weapon could kill everything electronic for months or years.

COULD YOU SURVIVE IN A TENT WITHOUT POWER? FEED YOURSELF FROM THE LAND?

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

cycling, ethics, government, health & fitness, hiking, travel

I’m fully vaccinated

😀 Send me ALL the vaccine passports.

I got dose #1 of “Covishield”, the Indian version of Oxford–AstraZeneca, March 18th. NO — I’m not worried about blood clots.

I was in the first 7.76% of Canadians to get jabbed.

When Alberta started allowing the second dose of AstraZeneca after only 4 weeks, I signed up. Got jab #2 on April 16th.

Sounds like Vaccine Passports are a terrible idea.

But it’s inevitable that something like this will become required for international travel for many months. Or years.

books, good news, health & fitness, movies, science, things getting better

The Code Breakers by Walter Isaacson

Have you heard of CRISPR?

(clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna won the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their contributions in the development of a method for genome editing.

It’s called the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors.

Based on how bacteria fights off virus attackers, in future CRISPR will be used to fight coronavirus variations.

Click PLAY or see how it works on YouTube.

Most people my age know about Watson and Crick’s discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. But I certainly couldn’t explain anything about CRISPR before reading this book.

Once again, Walter Isaacson made a complex story entertaining with this 2021 biography:

The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race

The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.

When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the code of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didn’t become scientists, she decided she would.

The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. The past half-century has been a digital age, based on the microchip, computer, and internet. Now we are entering a life-science revolution. Children who study digital coding will be joined by those who study genetic code. …

After helping to discover CRISPR, Doudna became a leader in wrestling with these moral issues and, with her collaborator Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in 2020. Her story is a thrilling detective tale that involves the most profound wonders of nature, from the origins of life to the future of our species.

simon and schuster

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

The first half of the book is the story. Very entertaining.

Then it gets better.

A detailed look at the drama over WHO wins the awards. WHO gets the patents.

Of course there are many other scientists who could have and should be lauded for breakthroughs in this field. They are covered in the biography, as well.

Most worthy — perhaps — is Feng Zhang. But he and his boss Eric Lander come off as BAD GUYS in this book, unethical in their collaborations.

ONE bit of good news. When COVID-19 was announced early 2020, both Zhang’s and Doudna’s companies changed research priorities towards developing CRISPR-based coronavirus tests. Both were successful and both hope to make simple at-home tests ready for market in 2021: Sherlock and Mammoth.

The most entertaining of the CRISPR giants is geneticist George Church. When the movie is made, he’ll be the fan favourite.

Emmanuelle Charpentier is an intriguing personality, as well. I’d read her biography.

education, ethics, government, health & fitness

What Nations come out of COVID-19 Strongest?

There’s an argument that governments should have let the pandemic run its course. Kept most things open as Sweden did at the beginning. More early deaths, more illness, more long long-haul side effects.

Leaders leaning this way include Trump, Nicaragua’s Ortega, Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Mexico’s Obrador, Belarus’s Lukashenko, Turkmenistan’s Berdimuhamedow, Cambodia’s Hun Sen, Tanzania’s Magufuli.

Populists pandering to their dumbest voters.

When the pandemic ends we’ll be able to calculate which nations survived best: economically, educationally, healthiest. It won’t be any of those nations. They will include New Zealand, Taiwan, South Korea, Iceland, Senegal, Denmark, Saudi Arabia.

health & fitness, travel

Canadian Vaccine Passport?

Though Trudeau is worried about unintended side effects, vaccine passports are inevitable for some months and years to come. International airlines will require them, for example.

About 250k Canadians have already downloaded the most popular app — so far:

CANImmunize app

High privacy standards.

The app is available for free on iOS and Android devices and on the web at canimmunize.ca.

I manually added my 1st COVID vaccine. That can’t be in any way official.

But governments may eventually adopt this app for travel. I’ll be ready.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.