Ending Alzheimer’s Disease

The End of Alzheimer’s, by Dale Bredesen, MD, is finally out. I’ve been waiting for this forever. All the details of his protocol are now available to the public!

This book may save your mind and the minds of your loved ones. Buy it. Read it. Loan it to your doctor. 🙂

Clinical studies using Bredesen’s ReCODE protocol are showing breakthrough results in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease as well as pre-Alzheimer’s. Over 200 patient success stories exist, many are breathtaking. In each case, the disease was well documented before treatment.

Bredesen’s ingenious basic science research on Alzheimer’s Disease has been published in peer-reviewed journals for 28 years, yet strangely his successful clinical protocol papers have received a cold shoulder from the medical establishment.

Is this because Bredesen is going after causes while mainstream medicine is interested only in masking symptoms? No. It may seem that way sometimes, but the truth is much more interesting.

It boils down to a rigid devotion to traditional experimental design which insists that each component of any therapy must be studied separately. Yes, rarely the medical gatekeepers will make an exception and study two medications simultaneously for certain diseases, but the moon has to be just right for such madness.

Historically this monotherapy approach has worked fairly well for diseases with single causes, but it creates a roadblock to clinical research on complex diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Though the evidence against monotherapy for Alzheimer’s Disease is a billion-dollar wasteland of failed clinical trials, medical authorities cling to their linear way of thinking, blindly following the sacred tradition of scientific fundamentalists throughout history who have uniformly obstructed all major paradigm shifts with their flawed scientific beliefs and assumptions.

In the case of Alzheimer’s Disease, the belief is simple: if you don’t isolate one thing at a time, you’ll never know exactly what that one thing does in isolation.

Brilliant deduction. The assumption, though, is that knowing what each thing does in isolation should always be the ultimate goal of science and medicine.

This is narrow reductionism – dissecting a thing with the mistaken belief that answers can only be found in the parts.

But as Emerson said, “Foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” Sometimes the destruction of a forest cannot be prevented by focusing only on the trees.

In medical science, understanding a system as a functioning whole in both disease and health is more central than reductionism to the overall goal, which is saving patients’ lives.

Bredesen’s protocol is doing exactly that, as documented in peer-reviewed journals.

Disease complexity is why monotherapy experimental design has made no significant progress against Alzheimer’s Disease. This is a disease with at least 36 to 50 different “things” that can go wrong in various combinations that cause the mind to fail. The numbers and mixes of partial causes differ from one patient to the next, but three broad categories have emerged: Inflammatory, atrophic and toxic.

All three produce the same pathognomonic plaques and tangles under light microscopy, so pathologists consider Alzheimer’s a single disease, and drug companies target amyloid with their failed monotherapies.

It’s not as simple as they assume.

Clinically testing Bredesen’s therapies for each of the 36 to 50 causal elements in isolation, if it were possible and fundable (which it’s not), would take many decades and result in falsely negative and/or equivocal outcomes. This is because:

1. Each component of Bredesen’s protocol reverses only a small fraction of the 36 to 50 disease-promoting processes, and those processes are not uniformly distributed in the Alzheimer’s population. So any one of them tested in isolation would not likely have enough overall effect to achieve statistical significance. It’s like firing a shotgun one pellet at a time expecting to stop a serial killer in your bedroom. Stupid, right? Bredesen’s total protocol (tailored to each patient with lab tests) is needed to reverse mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease.

2. The synergistic effects of therapeutic components are foolishly eliminated by linear monotherapy-biased experimental design. Keep red and green separate and you won’t discover yellow.

Ignoring Bredesen’s work, as the orthodox mainstream currently prefers to do, is the moral equivalent of physical abuse to Alzheimer’s patients.

The mechanisms producing Alzheimer’s Disease take decades to produce symptoms, so when memory loss or difficulty with word-finding shows up, the disease has already been silently progressing for decades. The earlier you treat it, the better your chances for complete reversal. The worst thing you can do is wait for early symptoms to progress.

If you know anyone with subjective cognitive decline or mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, do them the biggest favor of their lives. Read Dale Bredesen’s breakthrough book for yourself and share your knowledge. Maybe the person you care about won’t be fooled by the supercilious, confident, sophisticated-sounding monotherapy zombies who feel they must watch their patients die while waiting for a prescription pill from a drug company.

Sorry, that sounds harsh. But people are dying in the worst imaginable hell while a scientifically documented breakthrough is ignored. It’s astonishing!

The problem is that most MD’s are too busy to read extensively and learn how to distinguish good science from unsubstantiated claims. So they blindly listen to authorities who have the power to take away their licenses.

In medical school, we studied our lecture notes and books with virtually no impetus to learn to critically evaluate journal articles. We had one brief class in statistics.

Anyway, here’s a video interview of Dale Bredesen discussing the groundbreaking, unprecedented results of his ReCODE protocol. Enjoy!

Learning the truth is always fun, and…

“It’s fun to have fun, but you’ve got to know how.” – Dr. Seuss.

Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD
Retired Pathologist, science fiction writer, and novel content editor.

(I have no conflicts of interest to report and no personal acquaintance with Dr. Bredesen.)


Publishers Scam Scientists and the Public

“Aaron [Swartz] believed… you literally ought to be asking yourself all the time, ‘What is the most important thing in the world that I could be working on right now?’ And if you’re not working on that, why aren’t you?”

I’m glad we writers have Amazon et al. competing with the traditional publishers.

Nothing’s perfect but imagine the old days: working for a decade or two on your writing skills, finally hammering out a novel that works, and then feeling like you’ve won the lottery if you’re lucky enough to get past the slush pile and sell your copyrights to a publisher for 5  to 15% of the take.

It wasn’t the worst possible arrangement, but things are better now. If you pour your life energies into your writing, you’ve got choices for finding readers…

Unless you’re a scientist.

“So, a researcher, paid by a University or the people, publishes a paper and in the very last step of that process… after all the original research is done – the thinking, the lab work, the analysis… then the researcher has to hand over his or her copyright to this multi-billion dollar company… It’s an entire economy built on volunteer labor… the publishers sit at the very top and scrape off the cream.” – Christopher Soghoian

 

“Talk about a scam. One publisher in Britain made a profit of three billion dollars last year. I mean, what a racket!” – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D), Congresswoman California’s 19th District.

Scientists are forced to donate their writing to someone who didn’t do the work.

Most research scientists are paid through government grants, so maybe it’s not as crazy as it sounds. Why should taxpayers want to pay anyone to write for profit? I guess we pay solar companies to make a profit, but maybe scientists don’t deserve that special treatment. They’re only trying to cure cancer and get a few of us off the planet before we blow it up – nothing as important as solar power.

Ideally, science should be free from monetary bias and the corruption it brings. Maybe if they sold their own writing it would affect their integrity more than drug or tobacco company funding.

I doubt it.

Part of me thinks scientists have the right to sell their work, same as anyone else.

Assuming I’m somehow wrong about that, what should happen to the articles that government-funded scientists produce?

Should they be

  1. given to private corporations to sell, or
  2. distributed freely – at least to the taxpayers who funded the research?

The current science journal system has a bad smell and could probably use some fresh air and rational thought – with consideration for the worldwide scientific community, some of whom can’t afford scientific literature at current prices.

The whole situation highlights the capacity of educated people to be manipulated by a few parasitic corporations.

Incidentally, this parallels the way Americans in general have been quietly hoodwinked by another for-profit privately owned parasitic corporation, the Federal Reserve “System.”

Most of us don’t seem to know (or care?) that a few anonymous FED shareholders are skimming six percent off the top while the corporation they own, the FED, is diluting the value of US dollars with “computer money,” and thereby shrinking the middle class into poverty.

Here’s that complex story, free of the technical language that once allowed Bernanke (former FED chair) to say with a straight face, “We’re not printing money” to a fully conscious journalist.

The trick to hiding corruption is to make it complex and leave it out in the open where people become habituated to it, like the unfair loopholes in US tax code or the depressing, outdated myth of Neo-Darwinism that’s preached like a religion in government schools.

But I digress.

A brilliant young man in his early twenties, Aaron Swartz, saw an entrenched system where science articles are confiscated and sold for profit by private corporations. He tried to challenge the system, broke some laws and was charged with thirteen felonies. We’re told he committed suicide in 2013.

The way the government lawyers went after him was outrageous. In the blur of hatred for real cybercriminals it took more discernment and integrity than the authorities could muster to see that Aaron was an idealistic genius trying to make the world a better place, not a dangerous criminal. But I guess discernment is not a prosecutor’s job in a Universe where fairness and compassion, like consciousness itself, are assumed to be illusions by society’s “thinkers.”

Here’s something from a speech Aaron gave:

“…a lot of these [scientific] journal articles – they go back to The Enlightenment. Every time someone has written a scientific paper it’s been scanned, digitized and put into these collections. That is a legacy that has been brought to us by a history of people doing interesting work, a history of scientists. It’s a legacy that should belong to us as a people, but instead it’s been locked up and put online by a handful of for-profit corporations who then try and get the maximum amount of profit they can out of it.” – Aaron Swartz (1986 – 2013)

Maybe research scientists need to peer-review each other’s articles outside of the system. Then publish independently for profit, eliminating the scientific publishing “system” we have now.

Politicians might feign outrage and force scientists to give their work away again, but hopefully to the public, not to a private corporation. This would make the latest research available to developing nations and end the science info cartel’s glorious reign.

“What is the most important thing in the world that I could be working on right now?” – Aaron Swartz

Got a comment?

(Update 10/12/2017:)

“Major periodical subscriptions, especially to electronic journals published by historically key providers, cannot be sustained: continuing these subscriptions on their current footing is financially untenable.” – Harvard University.

Check out this teenager who discovered a new test for early detection of pancreatic carcinoma. He tells the truth about the publisher’s info-sucking money scam near the end of the video.

“And a child shall lead them…”

Cheers,

M. Talmage Moorehead, MD

 

 

 


UFO’s, NASA and Religion ~ Gulp!

 

What would happen to religion if ET’s landed?

NASA granted a million dollars to the Center of Theological Inquiry to study this question. Really.

Here’s a NASA dot gov link talking about it. A “.gov” URL can’t be faked, so this must be real, not a hoax.

Two explanations come to mind…

1.) NASA needed to dump some “excess” year-end money.

At the Pettis VA Medical Center where I worked for 13 years as a pathologist, I was told that any department that didn’t deplete its budget money by fiscal year-end would have its budget cut the following year by the unspent amount. They said it’s like this in all government agencies. Congress funds NASA, too, of course.

If this budgeting habit is widespread, it might help explain why the US seems to be fading, like every other powerhouse nation in history, into a ghost of its former stature. Runaway debt is poison. Enjoying world-reserve-currency status merely prolongs the decline.

But the point is, NASA may have been dumping excess year-end money, feeling too rushed to consider the appearance of tax dollars going to a religious study.

Odd but right at home with the US spending shenanigans in The Death of Common Sense, by Phillip Howard.

2.) There’s also the remote possibility that NASA has a genuine concern for the fate of religion in a world where ET’s become real, no longer forgettable things that nearly all scientists agree must be out there somewhere.

As a sci-fi writer, I use the UFO literature as a muse. Endless ideas. But I’ve probably read too much of it because some of the UFO people don’t sound simple-minded, crazy or dishonest to me at all.

Two of the non-crazies are President Carter and Paul Hellyer (a former Canadian Minister of Defense).

Worldview anomalies from these people are hard to ignore. And they’re not alone. A few astronauts, along with hundreds of government and military personnel have given lengthy video interviews about UFO’s and ET’s.

For instance, here’s the late Edgar Mitchell (God rest his insightful soul), the sixth man to walk on the moon:

 

There’s also FAA Division Chief John Callahan who reports a UFO in Alaska, describing multiple witnesses, radar corroboration and CIA cover-up – “This meeting never happened.”

If that’s a little unnerving, a former ER doc, Steven Greer, MD, who left the emergency room to pursue “UFO disclosure” full-time, challenges both the UFO community and the general public with his detailed stories and documents.

Most MD’s I’ve known over the years would love to escape medical practice and its complex, risky and stressful routine. Some manage to get away, usually climbing the food chain to administration.

But doctors from the top ten percent of a medical school class (AOA), like Dr. Greer, don’t willingly accept a loss of prestige. And because they’re heavily in debt, they rarely opt for a lower income without a solid business plan.

As far as I can tell, there’s nothing prestigious or solid about UFO’s in the US. So Dr. Greer is difficult to ignore.

His Jewish wife of nearly four decades must be a saint to have followed and supported him in this unusual lifestyle. He thanks her publicly.

He says he’s seen UFO’s since childhood.

Stanton Freedman, PhD sounds a little edgy, highly intelligent, and happens to be a nuclear physicist who’s dedicated most of his life to studying UFO’s, even though he’s never seen one.

There’s no way I can ignore a person like him. Sorry, Mom.

Richard Dolan is a historian with an academic delivery that appeals to people who like objectivity. His level-headed views and philosophical analysis of UFO’s give him a unique voice in the spectrum of “experts.”

He’s never seen a UFO. Here’s his perspective. I find it riveting…

But for some reason the guy who sounds the most convincing to me is The Honorable Paul Hellyer of Canada. He’s 93 years old now but sharper in front of a panel of politicians than most younger people would be. Aside from his topic, he sounds as rational as a math teacher on Tuesday morning.

When he went public on UFO’s he hadn’t seen one. Then a few years later he said that he and his wife had finally seen one (twice).

While atheists are understandably upset that some of NASA’s tax dollars went to a religious outfit, there’s a group of well-educated religious people who think that the arrival of ET’s on Earth would support the theory of intelligent design.

I’d agree. “Coincidences” like Earth’s hypercomplex DNA codes showing up in a “mindless universe” can’t happen on one planet after another without spoiling science’s enthusiasm for the neo-Darwinian myth.

Spirituality provides meaning and purpose to most people today, and has done so for our ancestors throughout recorded history. Perhaps science demotes these facts to everyone’s peril.

Is it possible that the rocket scientists at NASA truly worry that religion might die if our world accepted ET’s as real?

I guess fundamentalism (both scientific and religious) would take a hit. But I don’t think most people’s appreciation of God would suffer. Mine wouldn’t.

How about yours?

Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD

 


Fundamentalism in Science and Religion

The growth spurts of science come from dissent, doubt, and radical questioning of normsThese are the sunshine and water of science.

When your interpretation of evidence brings you to disagree with something that science has proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, you are following in the footsteps of the greatest scientists in history: Einstein, Copernicus, Salk, Papanicolau… the list grows with every decade.

But when we agree vehemently (and emotionally) with a scientific dogma that we haven’t personally studied in-depth, or that we can’t understand after having studied, we find ourselves following the footsteps of the average American fundamentalist, whether “religious” or “scientific” – and that distinction needs to be tentatively abandoned because “scientific materialism” is an untestable assumption that rules out God and the reality of our own minds without considering one piece of evidence, pro or con. That’s more akin to fundamentalist religion than objective science.

The thing that all fundamentalists have in common is a belief that they are in possession of a source of ultimate truth, whether old writings, a person with special insight, or an array of science journals. The important parts of their “truth” must be kept static, never doubted or questioned because the facts have been proven and are now known forever.

To go against the known “truth,” or even to doubt it, is considered irrational and morally wrong, especially among modern scientific fundamentalists. (Many Christian fundamentalist groups have been arguing over “important details” long enough to have seen the irony and abandoned much of the vicious outrage of bygone generations. Scientists could learn something here.)

Of course the religious fundamentalists must label their dissenters as heretics, infidels, heathen or whatever.

The scientific fundamentalists don’t use the same terms, they casts aspersions upon a dissenter’s educational credentials, sanity, mental acuity, motivation, and funding, but not so much upon the detailed logical weaknesses of opposing ideas. It’s too much work and they already know they’re right.

An important example is the way the scientific fundamentalists have responded to Stephen Meyer, PhD in his detailed analysis of DNA and molecular biology that concludes that intelligence must have been involved in writing the code and designing the cellular systems of life if the Universe is really only 13.8 billion years old.

The fundamentalist gatekeepers of science journals obstruct publication of dissenters’ work because of narrow-minded bias. They seek to embarrass anyone who dares talk rationally and openly about a shunned concept.

An example is the general rejection of “functional medicine” by orthodox western medicine. More specifically, Dale Bredesen’s breakthrough work with Alzheimer’s patients is ignored because it goes beyond standard experimental design where one variable must be isolated independently, a practice that grossly underestimates the complexity of many diseases and disallows examination of multiple simultaneous synergistic treatment effects.  (The whole treatment is better than the sum of its parts as tested independently.)

And yet, fundamentalism is the natural style of human thinking.

Ever wonder why?

Is it because we’re social “pack animals” or because God created us this way?

Is it the result of a “residual primitive brain” or the result of “sin?”

Maybe none of the above, or all, but the human groupthink tendency probably offers a survival advantage that’s underrated by those of us who perhaps value objectivity too highly.

Could it be that we shouldn’t paint fundamentalism in the same black-and-white colors it endorses?

That’s a tough challenge for me, personally.

But maybe fundamentalism is like salt: necessary for survival, but fatal if the dose is too high or too low.

Is religious and scientific fundamentalism good, bad or somewhere else – maybe on an amoral spectrum of usefulness?

What do you think?

M. Talmage Moorehead


If War Generals were MD’s

It’s midnight. Your squad sits in a valley with hills on all sides. Fifty hills. The ground beneath your boots vibrates with enemy tanks rumbling beyond the blind horizon.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they attacked from one direction? They’ve done it before.

But they could just as easily attack from fifty directions, the way you would.

You’ve seen war up close. You place a priority on winning.

But the Generals back in DC are MD’s now. Their “evidence based medicine” extends to every problem humanity faces, even war.

Today they’ve set up a test. Your orders are to defend whatever comes over the big hill to the north, ignoring attacks from other directions.

If your troops lose, the Generals will have ruled out the hill to the North.

After the loss, they will select another hill for study with another garrison of expendable troops. You won’t be among them. And you won’t be looking down from Heaven. Now that western science owns DC, there is no Heaven. Namaste.

“One hill at a time” is the motto of “Evidence Based Warfare.”

Though BS scouts have crawled up the hills on their bellies to find enemy troops ascending each of the fifty discovered hills, basic science must be ignored until war deaths can be analyzed and published. It’s the only way to be sure: First, do no harm.

War drums bang in your ears. Enemy tanks leap over the hills.

Your squadron fires North with deadly weapons. Nothing stands against them…

To the North.

But your flanks are exposed. Casualties mount.

Against better judgment you call D.C.

“They’re coming over all fifty, Sir. It’s a multi-pronged, attack.”

“You woke me up for this?”

“General, Sir, I’m sorry, but I’ve got an idea. Listen, I know this is a little late, but if you give the order to defend our flanks, I think we could still…”

The General laughs like a sadistic resident enjoying the pimping of a medical student. “You don’t seem to understand experimental design, Captain. Your job is to isolate one variable. If you go off willy-nilly defending multiple hills, we can’t generate meaningful statistics. Scientific chaos. Evidence Based Warfare demands a blinded, randomized study with one and only one variable at a time. That’s why progress has to be slow.”

It’s the only way to be sure, a voice says in your head.

“But Sir, we are blinded. Totally blinded down here. And honestly, some of my kids aren’t ready to die. Shelly’s barely eighteen.”

Silence.

“Sir, I know we’re going to die, I can accept that. But can’t we go down with a fight this time?”

Silence.

“Just this once? Hello?”

“Do you want the words, ‘Snake Oil Soldier’ carved into your gravestone, Captain? There’s one scientific way. You know it. You know you know it.”

“Yes, but couldn’t we just think outside the…

“What is it we’re doing here, Captain? Come on now, you know the drill. Say it with me…”

“Evidence Based Warfare.”

“Good. And what’s your motto, soldier?”

“One hill at a time, Sir…” Your last words on Earth.

I wrote this to illustrate the blind spot in so-called “Evidence Based Medicine,” the inappropriately named paradigm of emotional superiority currently pushed in western medicine as the only way to weed out bad science.

If you’re familiar with Dale Bredesen’s breakthrough work on Alzheimer’s Disease, then you know that this lethal disease can’t be approached with the same methods and assumptions that have worked against simple diseases with a single cause.

Alzheimer’s is a multifactorial killer with dozens of separate biochemical points of failure coming together to cause what is wrongly considered a single disease – simply because of its appearance under a light microscope.

Aerobic exercise and carbohydrate restriction are two of the many components of Bredesen’s protocol, a multifactorial therapy that is unequivocally working in the fight against dementia.

Ironically, some MD’s are calling for a slower approach with double-blinded studies and monotherapeutic (one-pill) experimental trials.

Someone needs to ask these critics how to doubly blind a study that involves exercise, fasting, eliminating all simple carbohydrates, doing yoga, meditation, eating more vegetables, limiting meat intake, using an electric tooth flosser and an electric tooth-brush in addition to taking multiple non-prescription pills and prescription hormonal replacement therapy.

Let’s see… one group exercises, the control group doesn’t, one group does yoga, the controls don’t, (etc.) and somehow neither group knows if they’re the therapeutic group or the “placebo” group? And also the doctors in charge of the experiment can’t know who’s doing what.

It’s an impossible requirement, and the critics know it if they’ve actually read Bredesen’s peer-reviewed articles.

The critics don’t seem to be interested in evidence-based medicine at all. Their agenda appears to be creating a roadblock to effective treatment of Alzheimer’s, along with every other multifactorial disease.

Meanwhile Alzheimer’s patients are suffering and dying in hell’s worst agony.

The rigid absurdity of the critics makes me wonder if they’re not funded by drug companies or maybe the sugar industry.

Drug companies are not objective in this fight. Monotherapy has always meant economic survival to them. A multi-therapeutic approach involving mostly over-the-counter pills and lifestyle changes is likely seen as threatening to their tradition of educating and motivating doctors to sell their products.

Drug reps are the prominent educators of busy MD’s in the US. And our MD’s are busier and more chronically exhausted than most people would ever imagine.

My short story is intended to clarify the weakness of the current experimental design paradigm that cannot accommodate multifactoral diseases like Alzheimer’s in an efficient, reasonable way.

The truly scientific and compassionate way to approach complex disease is to save dying patients as efficiently as possible by applying basic science knowledge in multifactoral human studies, despite the technical “shortcomings” of such studies. We must not let cranky perfectionists stop medical breakthroughs the way they’re trying to shout down Dale Bredesen’s monumental accomplishments.

Why let the “perfect” be the enemy of the good? Perfectionism isn’t perfect. It’s flawed like everything else on Earth.

I hope medical practitioners and their patients will allow “Reality Based Medicine” to dominate the 21st century rather than the straightjacket of yesterday’s simplistic experimental designs that targeted one disease caused by one organism, treated with one antibiotic. That mindset worked for a while with simple problems, but it’s the wrong approach to modern complex diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Medical science needs to defend all fifty hills at the same time or patients will continue to die unnecessarily.

If you know someone, a relative or friend who has Alzheimer’s disease or just early memory problems, please click here, I’m begging you. Learn about Dale Bredesen’s unprecedented work, then send an email to the person you have in mind, sharing Bredesen’s links.

I’m telling you, this is important. Do it for the sheer joy of helping someone who needs you!

Do not put it off, please.

Run! Go! Get to da Chappa!!!

With warmest regards,

Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD

http://www.storiform.com


Please help me decide…

I’ve been raving about The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne for a while.

As a Big Five editor for 25 years, Shawn’s grid method was so sought after that successful authors would leave their publishers to work with him. But the stress was making him miserable, so he left the pressure cooker, finally creating a balanced life where he does what he loves: developmental editing, which is, in Shawn’s words…

“…working with somebody who is very dedicated to what they want to do, and taking the time and working methodically through a process so that they become a better and better writer.”

He’s doing that now with Tim Grahl on a podcast that’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard.

Of the 85 books about writing fiction that I have on my shelves and in my Kindle, The Story Grid is a significant outlier. In terms of reducing bestseller magic to concrete, reproducible, often indispensable parts, Shawn’s book is in a league of its own.

His grid process is ingenious, detailed and requires sustained effort to learn and follow – about like everything else on Earth that works any sort of wonders. (Speaking of wonders, please check out The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle.)

So I applied for one of 25 slots to learn The Story Grid’s developmental editing techniques from Shawn Coyne in Nashville this September, and to my surprise, I was accepted. I’ll be listed on his site as an editor offering his methods.

Now I need your help in deciding something that’s really important to me. I have 6,733 followers here.

Tell me if I should…

1. Use this site (storiform.com) for my future developmental editing service as well as my blog, probably with a lighter-colored theme, or…

2. Should I make another site for the editing service?

What do you think?

I just need a 1 or a 2 as a comment below. (If you have time, more advice would be appreciated, of course.) Or email me.

Thanks so much,

M. Talmage Moorehead


My Gray Alien

“Disgusting!” it said. “I don’t care much for cultured cheese. Have you got any white trash?”

“That’s racist,” I said, cringing. “You claim you’re mechanical? Prove it.”

It nodded sincerely. “Brains and all.” A narrow tongue came out to test a pea, encircled it and drew it into its mouth. “Gross!” Two spindly hands came up and pushed the plate of peas aside. One pea came out of its mouth under pressure and flew across the room, striking Halo, my black Labrador Retriever, in the left eye.

Her eyebrows drew in, then up, questioning our motives.

“Sorry, sweetheart,” I said, hoping her eye wouldn’t swell shut. I knelt beside her to inspect things, but all was right once she realized the bullet was edible. Her beaverish tail toppled the milk cartons on the kitchen trashcan as her backend sidestepped to the refrigerator and beat a runic canter – whap, whap, whap.

I loved that happy sound, but my thin guest had won Halo’s heart in under a minute with a single pea. It was unsettling.

“Everything you’ve given me tastes like weed killer,” it said and tossed an arc of peas at Halo’s nose, one after another, spaced an inch apart.

“Proof enough,” I said coveting its dexterity and quickness.

If Halo had held position, the peas would have landed on her nasal septum, but she lurched after the first few and the others beat a cadence on the milk cartons and floor.

Glyphosate,” I said to explain the peas’ flavor, hoping not to prompt a round of whining about herbicides, carbon dioxide and the rainforests. One grows weary, and if this gray non-alien joined the chorus, I was prepared to shoot myself. “I like the way a tablespoon of Roundup subtlizes the bouquet,” I said, winking at my gourd-headed guest. “Millions would starve without this fine chemical and the GMOs that suck it up.”

“I’ll join the starving,” it said, exposing the empty plate to Halo’s tongue. “What’s the year?”

“2017.” I glanced at my watch to avoid error.

This morning when I met my guest, I was minding my own business, stepping out of the shower.

There it stood beside my slippers without a stitch of clothing and no detectable genitals. Just great, an alien finally shows up and it’s a clichéd Gray! But the little thing claimed to be from the future. Earth’s future.

“Why don’t you have any genitals?” I asked, going straight to the philosophical.

“Gender wars. Both sides wanted truce, but neither could stand the sight of the other.”

“I see,” I said, though I didn’t. “The whole cache of humanity opted for test-tube progeny?”

“Quite.” The creature looked at my shower curtain with thinly veiled disdain, its non-nostrils sniffing and flaring.

“None of the concupiscence of lessor times, then,” I said, as a song came to mind…

No balls at all, no balls at all.

Married a man with no balls at all.

I hoped the little thing wasn’t telepathic.

“None.” It cocked its head thoughtfully. “The horizontal deed became loathsome and abhorrent.”

“So you say.”

Just this morning I had believed its every word, but now I was seasoned and more inclined to press for truth. Can you imagine humans abolishing copulation? Ridiculous claims demand preposterous proofs, as the astronomers say.

“So humans will rid themselves of gender. Interesting. But if so, would I be far afield in assuming that these brilliant and technical humans of Tomorrowland seldom poop?”

“The seldomest.”

“As in, absolutely never?” I was relentless, leaving no wiggle room for unwarranted bathroom confrontations should the creature’s visit become protracted.

“‘Never’ would imply the seldomest,” it said. “Unless I’m mistaken.”

“Would you care for a wing of bird?” I asked, pawing at the refrigerator with my back to the slightly gray non-alien. “It’s chicken, loosely speaking.”

“Oh, no, no, no, no, no.” It gagged as if ready to hurl on Halo’s floor. Nothing came up, though. “Two thousand seventeen? Are we sure?”

I am.” I re-checked my watch. “Yes. 2017.”

“I should have studied history,” it said. “I never imagined cannibalism in this era.”

“It’s not human chicken, for heaven’s sake. It’s scarcely avian.” I searched the box for ingredients but found none.

The self-proclaimed human closed its eyes and bowed its head. “This is why we became mechanical.”

“What is?”

“What is ‘what is’?”

“I’m asking why the human race became mechanical.”

“Oh.” It had no eyebrows, but seemed to raise one at me nonetheless. “The more our technology compared animals to humans, the more blurred the distinction became. Self-awareness, free will, zero-field soul, continuity of identity, participation in the One, etcetera, etcetera.”

“Thanks for that last couplet. If you’d included ‘enlightenment’ I might have stuffed my head down the garbage mill and flipped the switch.” I glanced at the sink.

It ignored me. “The deeper we explored, the more identical our signatures appeared, until we realized we were basically indistinguishable from the rest. Hence the need for a vegan diet.”

“Indistinguishable, really?”

It nodded. “Qualitatively, but objectively.”

“You might have a go at an avocado, then,” I suggested.

“It all started with vitamin B12,” it said as if confiding a deep regret. “A touch of genetic tinkering to sidestep megaloblastic anemia on a vegan diet. Our motives were pure as the solar silk.”

“I didn’t know the sun had…”

“Then the lac operon. A perfectly simple patch to bring humanity into line. No more cow’s milk for adults.”

“I see. Couldn’t they have more easily declared cow’s milk sacred?” I suspected India’s ancient “aliens” of similar mischief.

It shook its head dismissively. “Altering the lactate genes opened Pandora and the pursuit of a moral utopia smothered genetic diversity.”

Verbose little thing. “Moral utopia?” Again, I thought of Disneyland.

With refrigerator doors open and my hunting instincts engaged, I found an avocado and thrust it behind me in the direction of my guest, then bent at the hips for a glimpse of the bottom shelf. Halo appeared beside me, her head millimeters from mine, her tongue lapping the bottom shelf. The cooling motor came on and startled her. She flinched and bumped her nose on the shelf above but kept licking.

“I can’t promise this is non-GMO,” I confessed without looking, “but a dash of soy sauce hides the three woes.” I waved the expensive fruit blindly behind me and felt the smooth skin of its fingers touch mine as it accepted the offering.

“I’ve read about these,” it said. “Never dreamed I’d see one.”

“I’d rather see than be one,” I said, mainly for Halo’s edification.

Our guest laughed.

I stood and turned.

“That’s a reference to the purple cow!” it said, and laughed loud and long.

Though nothing was funny, I laughed along with it, unable to abstain.

It gained composure before I did and took a bite of the avocado, peels and all. Then swallowed without chewing.

Suddenly I knew it was human. Just as human as Halo and me. Well, not Halo, I suppose. But our unlikely guest was not a machine at heart, and now I’d found a way of knowing such things with certainty. A breakthrough!

“OK, then,” I said, feeling ready. “What’s the message?”

“Come again?”

“Clearly I’m the chosen one. Selected to deliver an urgent message to humanity. Let’s have it with haste, I don’t care how trite it sounds.”

The genderless gray picked up a pea that Halo had missed, hardly bending its knees in the process, its hands so close to the floor. “No offence, but I didn’t come to see you, Sir. I’ve come to witness a dog. Since extinction, they’ve become legend. Entire planets devoted to their memory – cults arising in youth sectors.”

“Oh.” My ego felt like a balloon propelled by escaping gas in a brief arc to the floor.

The creature gave the pea to Halo and tried to make kissing sounds the way I do, but with no lips it was futile. “If you want to deliver a message, though, I suppose…”

“Yes, yes?” Perhaps some glory for me after all.

“Tell humanity they’re depleting the most precious and rare resource in the Universe: the sacred ones and zeros.”

“Fabulous! I’ll spread the message far and…” But wait. “Ones and zeros can’t be depleted. How could they be sacred?”

The tiny human looked into Halo’s eyes as if I weren’t part of the real conversation. “You’ll figure it out,” it said. “Just make sure it’s something that can compete with digital devices. Something fun. Shame won’t free the digitally captured soul.”

Digitally what? I caught my reflection in the window above the sink. “Should I grow my hair out?” Maybe a ponytail. No. “What about a pompadour – like five inches tall with hairspray?”

…End of transmission…

M. Talmage Moorehead

On a more serious note, the spellbinding painting above is an oil by Spira of Greece. It’s entitled, “From Stardust” and comes to us on wood. Below is a closeup detail of the same piece. Thank you, Spira for allowing me to show this on my blog.

Please click over and meditate on this mesmerizing work, and maybe do some slow breathing to wake up the prefrontal cortex: SPIRA Soul Creations.