Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Vampires got it right, say scientists studying youthful blood (The Funny Side)
My daughters were not really listening to me so I told them that Justin Bieber had just been outed as an alien from the Helix Nebula here to kidnap Taylor Swift. Instant full attention.
 
My wife disapproves of my methods, but the fact is there's no proof he isn't. And no one thinks that guy's normal, right?
 
The extreme weirdness of folks these days was brought home to me by a news report I just read that a woman named Tina Gorjanc is using DNA from her hero, late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, to grow his skin which she plans to turn into a jacket. Imagine her wearing it to a posh restaurant. Maitre' d: "May I hang up your jacket, madam?" Gorjanc: "Yes, but leave the cloakroom door open. Alex doesn't like the dark."
 
I wondered why she would make a McQueen-skin garment instead of growing a whole new McQueen? (I also wondered whether I could get some Taylor Swift to send me her DNA? "Hi, Taylz, instead of a signed photo, could you scrape the inside of your cheek on to this medical spatula and return it to me? Thanks!") I posted my first question on one of those websites that provide answers and some guy eventually wrote that scientists were not actively working on cloning human beings "except in China". This makes no sense. Do they not have enough people in China?
 
The high level of weirdness in modern life was reinforced by a reader who sent a recent news report about a UK man who "identifies as a vampire". The 25-year-old has legally changed his name to Darkness and sleeps in a coffin every night. "Everyone has their beliefs and I don't believe I should be persecuted for following mine," Darkness told the Lancashire Telegraph.
 
Being British, Darkness is a bit too well-bred to bite his neighbours, so he orders packs of human blood substitute from medical suppliers. Forgive my cynicism, but that's not really the same, is it? If the Dracula legend had been about a guy sitting waiting for an Amazon delivery, the whole vampire scene would never have taken off.
 
One of my colleagues has just told me that she once interviewed a self-proclaimed vampire who said that blood tastes metallic. "When vampires need a snack, they suck coins," she said. The reporter also said the vampire "was a pain in the neck, and interviewing her really sucked". And now you know why journalists have bruises on their shins. Their addiction to corny puns makes them eminently kickable.
 
The really weird thing is that a financial reporter friend told me that science may support the vampire theory. A US company named Ambrosia (which means "food of the gods") wants to inject young people's blood into older folk. They were inspired by a group of scientists who injected young mouse blood into older mice and got "signs of a return to youthfulness". I assume this means the older mice instantly became addicted to sending impenetrable emoji-laden messages to each other on smartphones.
 
Whatever. Anyway, if Taylor sends me a bit of her DNA, I'll try to grow my own and report on the results. My office door may be locked for some time.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
  

 

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Upcycling Plastic Waste
Concerned citizens work at sustainability in a variety of ways. But it is the intrepid social entrepreneur who manages to create a win-win situation for all—artisans, themselves and mother earth. Aarohana EcoSocial Developments, founded three years ago, stands for the ascending scale of music in Indian classical music. In this context, it connotes rise in sustainable development. Aarohana believes that sustainable development can be achieved only if it is ‘EcoSocial’, i.e., taking care of the environment and engaging the society to its fullest! 
 
Aarohana’s core areas of work, namely, enabling rural livelihoods and conserving our environment and heritage are geared to achieve this goal. Over the past few years, Aarohana has been delivering services to companies and non-profit organisations in designing, implementing, monitoring and measuring impact of such projects through its projects—Aarohana EcoSocial Services and Aarohana’s EcoSocialProducts’.This includes ‘needs’ and ‘impact’ assessment, training, workshops and participation as well as project implementation in association with technology and community partners across various states.  
 
Founded by Amita Deshpande and Nandan Bhat, Aarohana sees itself as a catalyst for sustainable development. They started their journey in the social sector after working with multinational companies in India and the United States of America for over a decade. Being long-time friends and nature-lovers, Amita and Nandan enjoyed hiking in the Himalayas and hills of Sahyadris. While walking across these beautiful locales they invariably encountered heaps of garbage, especially non-biodegradable plastic. 
 
A turning point was the Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh disaster in June 2103 when Amita was rescued after five days from Kinnuar while she was on one of her hiking expeditions. Deeply affected by the disaster, she, with an enthusiastic volunteer from France, Simon Valdenaire, headed back to Uttarakhand to work with the people affected by the natural disaster. This experience helped Amita partner with Nandan Bhat, also from Pune(Maharashtra), to start Aarohana EcoSocial Developments.  
 
The project for ‘upcycling’ plastic is part of its EcoSocial Product development. Disturbed by the large quantities of plastic waste in garbage dumps of cities; choking aquatic life in streams and rivers and releasing carcinogenic gases at our landfills, Aarohana’s founders were determined to work at reducing plastic waste. 
 
“While researching and experimenting several solutions which could work towards reducing the impact of plastic waste on the environment as well as enabling rural livelihoods, we finally found an answer to this through an innovative process of using plastic waste to produce handicraft,” says Amita. Aarohana started handcrafting bags, pouches, office products and home décor items through a unique process of weaving plastic carry bags using a traditional charkha and handlooms. Aarohana works with craftsmen in some villages across Gujarat and Maharashtra to clean, cut, roll and weave plastic waste into fabric and, finally, manufactures products in Pune. Thus, Aarohana’s eco-social products were born out of what the founders hated the most, ‘plastic garbage’.
 
Local artisans are supplied discarded plastic bags gathered by waste-pickers from dumpsters and other locations. They are washed, cut into strips and rolled using the traditional charkha. These are then skilfully woven into a fabric using a handloom to make beautiful, sturdy, upmarket bags. These bright bags and pouches with snazzy designs have a ready market among eco-conscious individuals, corporates, NGOs and even government organisations. It puts information on these bags and products on its website along with exact details of how much plastic waste has gone into each of them, fostering a sense of participation in the conservation effort. 
 
Amita claims proudly, “Aarohana measures its impact and, till today, has removed over 50,000 plastic carry-bags from going into the landfill and has provided thousands of hours of work to our rural artisans. We want to drastically increase both these numbers to create an ‘eco-social’ impact!”
 
Aarohana EcoSocial Developments
Amita Deshpande’s Mobile: 91-8275175567, 
Nandan Bhat’s Mobile: 91-9702422111, 

 

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