Digression first. My car battery has died completely. Not surprising really, it had six weeks last April of being totally immobilised because of a broken gearchange cable. Naturally all dealerships were closed for Covid and it’s a dealer-only part. I eventually got one from the United Arab Emirates, for about half the cost (including import duty) of getting one from the local dealer. So that was fixed. Still the car hardly went anywhere.

More recently, the front brake caliper broke so that was another short period of car paralysis while waiting for parts. Fortunately these are fairly generic so no need to harass the dealers.

Normally, this car would have had a run to Wales and back at least once a year (over a thousand miles round trip), and would have had regular runs to Aldi/Tesco which is at least a forty mile round trip whichever one we go to. We have not set foot in Tesco since last March. We get online orders delivered. So, the car really only gets to run two miles to Local Shop once in a while. Over winter, that short trip also involves using lights and heater and well, batteries just don’t like the cold anyway. No wonder the battery is buggered.

So, I looked up battery replacements. I have a little booster, about the size of a mobile phone, which is amazing. Clamp it onto the battery and the car starts. You then have about thirty seconds to get it off the battery before the back-voltage makes it explode but hey, what’s life without a little risk?

I found that the AA have a mobile battery replacement service. As a member I just pay for the battery (they ain’t cheap) but even if you’re a non-member it’s worth keeping in mind. Non-members get charged £35 (plus the battery you’d have to buy anyway) for the job, and they will come to you no matter where you are stuck. They will, of course, try to sell you membership but they’ll fix your battery anyway.

I booked a slot online at 1 am (March 2nd) thinking it might be a few days before they arrived but then I wasn’t really planning to go anywhere. I was astonished to find I could book a time for March 2nd! Yes really, later the same day! So I booked it for the afternoon because mornings are the invention of Satan and I will have no truck with them. Besides, why rush? It’s not like anything is open out there. I admit to being impressed by this.

Anyway, the car has had more things go wrong with it this year than ever before and it’s mostly because it’s been sitting idle, sometimes for weeks at a time. The exhaust heat shield rattles too but I don’t think I need to worry about that. I think of it as background music (early Kraftwerk was very similar).

Anyway, enough digression.

Mad Hancock has taken control of the government’s ‘optional’ vaccine program. Things are about to get much more draconian. Merkel has declared that anyone in Germany not taking the vaccine will be ostracised from normal life. Australia is doing much the same as are many other countries in Europe. Some parts of Spain intend to fine people who don’t want the vaccine and Germany has new concentration camps for lockdown refuseniks. You’d think Germany would know better, but then Israel are refusing entry to the unvaccinated in many places and they really should know better.

The reality of vaccine programs, none of which have ever required this level of enforcement and propaganda even for much more dangerous diseases like polio or tuberculosis, is that you need roughly 80% uptake to keep the disease in check. This assumes the vaccine works. You do not need to vaccinate every last individual. If two in ten people are unvaccinated, and one of the two has the disease, they can only pass it to one other person. The other eight are safe and the disease can’t spread far. It dies out.

This is what happened with tuberculosis in the UK until Tiny Blur decided to let the rest of the planet move here. I’m vaccinated, and it was double-checked when I started in microbiology. I’m vaccinated against many things now. I’m not taking part in an mRNA experiment though.

Well, there are at least five vaccines out there. Pfizer and Moderna use the mRNA experiment. Oxford/AZ use DNA in a viral vector to do much the same. I don’t really believe any of these will change your DNA unless there are extra bits in there I’m not aware of. I have other reasons to be concerned.

The Novavax uses virus spike proteins in a tiny fat micelle. It looks like a virus but has no DNA or RNA in it. It’s basically like a viral infection that’s firing blanks. I don’t hear much about that one. Still, so far, none of these four contain any intact coronavirus. They should not be able to cause an infection.

The Johnson and Johnson one uses killed or attenuated coronavirus. Again, it should not cause an infection.

So, does it matter which one you get? Not at all. None of them work as vaccines. None of them stop you getting the virus and none of them stop you spreading it. The best they offer is a lessening of severity of disease and really, that only matters for the elderly or the infirm. I don’t know when we suddenly became so terrified of a virus that knocks you sideways for a couple of weeks, we’ve had flu since the beginning of humanity. It’s horrible but you survive it and then you’re immune.

Oh and ‘long covid’ is not new. It’s post viral syndrome. Many viruses can leave you in such a mess it can take months for it all to grow back. It’s not a new thing.

So now we have, suddenly, to vaccinate every single person on the planet with a vaccine that does not stop spread but the vaccinated will have a little badge to say they are safe to be around. No they aren’t. They have a vaccine that means they might not even get noticeable symptoms but they are still spreading it. They are very dangerous to be around. Not to themselves but to everyone else.

See, if you let a virus spread unhindered when you have blocked its vicious symptoms, you have created the ideal conditions for it to mutate into something utterly diabolical. It can’t do that if it makes people sick. Sick people stay home and well people know to be vigilant around the sick. The natural development of any virus is to become less dangerous and so become more easily spread. Nobody cares about the common cold. It’ll make your nose go crusty for a few days and then it’s gone. The less harm the virus does, the less care anyone takes about avoiding it. So simple Darwinism says that the less vicious variants will survive, the deadly ones won’t.

These vaccines allow the virus to continue spreading. It’s an artificial Darwinism: it’s not becoming less dangerous in reality, we’re making ourselves artificially resistant to this variant.

Since it’s an RNA virus it will be throwing up mutants all the time. By refusing to let it naturally decline into just a cold, we are allowing it to spread unhindered and there will be a much more dangerous variant at some point. One which will laugh at the vaccines.

This is Bill Gates’ prophecy of ‘the next pandemic will make people pay attention’. It’s being set up now.

And you know, none of this is happening to protect you or to boost your health. It’s all happening for the same two reasons it always happens. The same reasons behind everything that happens. Money and control.

The reason everyone has to be vaccinated this time is the Tiny Blur’s failed ID card scheme. This is the same thing again. Get the Covid card or never enter a business premises again. Never travel, never get credit, you are a nonperson. Why? Vaccination requires around 80% uptake to be effective against much more dangerous diseases. This time it has to be 100%.

Then there’s the money. People still think vaccines are for their benefit. They were at first but now it’s a business, not a medical intervention. Pharmers are not about cures any more. They are purely businesses and only interested in the bottom line. So you will have to get the vaccine every year at least and you can’t enter a supermarket unless you do. Dollar signs are lighting up the eyes of big business Pharmers the world over.

You think it’s free? Nope. Your taxes pay for it. You are paying.

The Covid passports are not about tracking you. That’s already easy. They are a first principle. Get one medication effectively compulsory and the sky’s the limit. You will need to prove vaccination against a whole raft of things just to buy a newspaper in your local shop if you let this go. It is not like the vaccinations you need to have to get into certain countries. This will be a range of vaccinations you need to have to visit your local coffee shop.

It is not about health. It’s been made very clear that the covid vaccines don’t do that.They do not stop spread so a vaccine passport does not make anyone safe to be around.

It is about money and control.

The Beer Licence

So, we can expect to have to show our vaccination papers to get into pubs and restaurants and theatres and shops. The government have denied this so many times that it’s inevitable.

Well I won’t have any. So I won’t be going to places that demand it. I rarely went to those places before so it’s not going to be a big loss for me, but it will be a powerful incentive for many others.

The doublethink in this case is off the scale. The vaccines have been clearly stated to not be ‘real’ vaccines. They don’t stop you catching it and they don’t stop you spreading it. All they claim to do is reduce the symptoms. Well, that’s not a bad thing in itself. The rabies vaccine I had years ago claimed much the same – it won’t stop you getting rabies but it will give you time to get to a hospital for treatment. Without it – and especially as my visit to China involved visiting remote farms – I’d have died if there were any rabid animals left that the Chinese hadn’t eaten.

In the end I didn’t get rabies. I only saw two dogs in my time there and both of them were roasted.

So, the vaccine will not stop you spreading it, therefore the vaccinated pose just as much risk of spread as the unvaccinated. The difference is that the vaccinated might be spreading the virus without getting sick themselves. And yet we are to believe that the unvaccinated pose a risk to the vaccinated. This is the polar opposite to any form of biology, immunology, logic or reason – and people believe it.

Somehow, even though the vaccinated can still spread the virus, giving them a ‘vaccine passport’ makes them magically safe to be around. Twitter is full of propaganda on this.

‘Well you have to have a yellow fever vaccine to visit certain countries’. Yes you do. I had a slew of vaccines to get into China, but once in, I never had to show my vaccination card at any restaurant or public building. I have not had yellow fever vaccine because I haven’t been to any country that needs it but if I wanted to go to one of those countries, I’d take the vaccine. I have the choice. Take the vaccine or don’t visit that country.

‘Wouldn’t you feel safer if the person next to you in the theatre / your Uber driver was vaccinated?’ Well, do I have to ask them if they’ve had vaccinations against polio or tuberculosis or tetanus or measles or mumps or a host of other diseases that are far worse than Covid? No? So why this one? Also, if they’re vaccinated, they might have mild or no symptoms, suppressed by their vaccine, but still be exhaling live virus. So no, I’d feel safer if they didn’t have this dodgy vaccine, thanks.

‘Oh, it’s just proof of vaccination. You have a driver’s licence, it’s no different’. I’ve never had to show my driver’s licence to get into a pub. In fact I haven’t been asked to prove my age in a pub since I was 15. The only time you have to show your licence is when you are stopped by the police while driving. And if you don’t have it on you, you can show it at a police station a few days later. I’ve actually never experienced that either. Do you think that if you forget your Covid pertmission slip, the pub will let you in as long as you turn up with it next week?

Can you imagine the absurdity of having to show proof that you can drive in order to board public transport? In the New Normal, would anyone be at all surprised? A driving licence is in no way comparable to a vaccination certificate. You have to pass a test to get a licence. You have to work for it. You have to prove you are competent to be in charge of a vehicle. A vaccination is a medical record. All you have to do is roll up your sleeve.

A region of Spain has just defied the European court’s ‘no mandate for vaccines’ order and imposed fines on anyone who refuses. This will spread. Some Scandinavian countries are issuing vaccination passports – but they are not passports. You do not need them to leave the country. You need them to go to the shops.

If some countries demand proof of vaccination from anyone visiting, fine. Greece currently wants either a proof of vaccination or a recent negative test if you want to visit. That’s okay. It’s like the yellow fever vaccine, you have a choice. Comply with that country’s requirements or don’t go there.

This is not what is being proposed. You will need a permission slip (to give it its true name) to go to the shops, to restaurants, to pubs, anywhere. You will need to renew it every year to deal with ‘new variants’ and anything else that comes up. And if you think it is going to stop with Covid, I have several bridges in stock that you might be interested in.

Once it’s in place, flu vaccine will be added. Then another vaccine, then another, and it will never end. You will have to prove it’s up to date to the security guard at Tesco’s door before going in for a pint of milk. One missing vaccination and you’re going nowhere.

Take it from the smokers. You give them a foot in the door with this ‘Covid passport’ and it’ll be a rerun of ‘We only want a nonsmoking area in restaurants’ all over again.

Okay, I understand that those who are vaccinated might think it’s no big deal. It only applies to ‘the others’. But it is not stopping with Covid. You will have to show your entire medical record to get on a bus if you let this go. Overweight? Walk to the next stop and try again. It’s not like the smoking ban, which had no real effect on nonsmokers. Apart from closing some of their favourite pubs. This Covid passport affects everyone and it’s going to get bigger.

It seems some pubs are all in favour of the Covid passport. Did they learn nothing from the smoking ban? This is not going to revive your business, it’s going to finish it – and you will need to employ an extra member of staff to stand at the door checking customers and doing nothing else. Pubs will, once again, demand a level playing field so none of them will be open to those of us who don’t want the vaccine. *Shrug*. They effectively threw me out in 2006 anyway. In the north of Scotland, an unheated outdoor smoking area holds no appeal.

One more thing. This Covid passport is not for tracking your movements. That’s a strawman. Your car is tracked by ANPR and GPS and those ‘average speed’ cameras wherever you go. Some modern cars have the tracking built in, as an incentive to pay lower insurance premiums if you don’t drive far. You can be personally tracked via your phone. Many people have installed Alexa listening devices and Ring-type cameras in their homes voluntarily. Your movements and conversations are already available to any government that wants to track you.

This daily-life passport is the ultimate control. Do as you are told, take whatever medications are mandated whether you need them or not, or you can’t buy food. Once currency is digital your entire life can be switched off for one word out of place. In this modern world that really could happen to absolutely anyone at any time.

Is this really the world you want your children to grow up in?

The Doublethinkers

Today, Bozza set out his (ha – ‘his’ :D) plan for getting out of lockdown. It’ll take months and it contains the caveat that it won’t necessarily end at all. That light at the end of the tunnel is just a fading eco-bulb nailed to a brick wall. They switch it on for a while, then switch it off again.

The communist enclave known as SAGE have declared that if lockdown ends, we will face up to 4000 deaths a day from the Virus of Doom.

On the same day, note this is all on the same day, Mad Hancock has stated that the vaccines are so good that hospitalisations from Covid are down 80%.

So… massive resurgence with corpses in the streets, or the vaccine is working well and hardly anyone even needs a hospital. Which is it? I have seen people believe both simultaneously. I read ‘1984’ many years ago and couldn’t quite grasp the concept of doublethink. I can see how it works now.

Meanwhile, there is much outrage over Mad Hancock handing his homework in late. He should have published details of the PPE procurement contracts within 30 days. He took 47 days and there was even a court case about it.

This is irrelevant. Who can honestly say they’ve never been late handing in a report when under pressure? Okay, I have little time for the man, but when this epidemic was at its height he had much more important matters to deal with than a bit of paperwork. I don’t care at all about late filing of the report.

I’m not even all that bothered about him giving contracts to his mates. As long as the PPE showed up, at that time that was all that really mattered. Who provided it is not really of any consequence to me. Okay, I can see it was pretty shady and sneaky and under-the-table but he’s a politician. What else would you expect? They are all the bloody same.

Much press time has been given to this late-homework nonsense. I am far more concerned about a much earlier lie. Mad Hancock told Parliament that he had commissioned a study into vitamin D and found it had no effect. No such study existed. He lied.

That was not a mistake. That was not ‘Dominic Cummings ate my homework so it’s late’. That was not passing lucrative contracts to his mates, who came up with what they were contracted to provide. None of those things matter.

The vitamin D lie was deliberate and potentially devastating. Most of those who got very sick and died with Covid were vitamin D deficient. A cheap supplement could have saved at least some of them and possibly made the disease far less nasty to many others.

I take vitamin D and so does CStM. A pack of 400 tablets of 4000 IU costs about a tenner. More than a year’s supply for less than the average price of one pack of cigarettes and much less than one bottle of decent whisky. Many people pay far more per month for Netflix or Sky than they’d pay for a year’s supply of vitamin D. Don’t wait for the government to supply it. They never will. Just get some. Especially if you are in northern Europe and have dark skin. You aren’t getting anywhere near enough of the free stuff from the pitiful amount of sunlight we get here in winter.

Also get some vitamin C, zinc and quercetin. That combination will help against a lot more than just Covid. The other diseases have not vanished, despite what the news tells you.

So now we have the press chasing Mad Hancock for getting his paperwork in late and giving him a free pass for openly lying about a vitamin D study that never happened. We have announcements on the same day telling us we’re all going to die and we are all simultaneously saved. We are all Schrodinger’s cat now.

It’s as if reality belongs to a different universe.

The Silent Editor

First of all, Mark Ellott’s new book, Reiver, is up on Amazon and Smashwords. I have a couple more to deal with but the backlog is gradually declining and the 14th Anthology will be open for short stories on March 1st regardless.

That’s the advertisement done (if it’s good enough for You Tube, it’s good enough for me) so on with the post…

A long time ago, I wrote a story called ‘The Gene Genie’, about a research student who worked out how to turn on archaic genes in the human genome, and gave herself gills and a tail. It’s in ‘Fears of the Old and the New‘ and I thought I had posted it on the blog, but it seems not.

Anyway. The information I had on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for Covid suggested that it was an adenovirus manipulated to express coronavirus spike protein. I was corrected on this recently and it seems it’s actually worse than I thought. It’s not using standard vaccine methods at all. The Johnson and Johnson and the Novavax ones use dead coronaviruses or the spike protein alone. You can’t catch anything from them, they just show your immune system the dead virus proteins so it can get ready for a real infection.

There is still the issue of antibody-dependent enhancement which has plagued attempts at coronavirus vaccines for fifty years. Basically, the vaccine makes subsequent infection far worse. I have no idea whether this has been solved, nor if it ever can be.

Today I received more information by eMail and obviously I’m not going to say who sent it. So there is more information available now.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA in little blobs of fat. They’ll get into your cells because your cell membranes are made of fat and the little blobs will merge with them. The mRNA will cause your body cells to produce the spike protein, your immune system will recognise it as ‘wrong’ and kill the cells expressing it. This has never been tried in humans before and it does risk setting up an autoimmune disease, but it will not change your DNA. It will also not infect you with Covid, there are no intact viral particles in there.

A couple of points – mRNA is ‘messenger RNA’. In normal cells, DNA is never used directly to make proteins. DNA is the master copy of the plan. mRNA is a photocopy of DNA that’s used to make proteins. It wears out so you don’t keep making the same proteins over and over. If you need more of that protein, another photocopy is made of the original plan and sent to the ribosomes (the things that read mRNA and build proteins). This process does not go in reverse. mRNA is not turned into DNA. An extra mRNA can cause problems but it is not getting inserted into DNA. That doesn’t happen.

The mRNA also should not be able to replicate itself unless if contains the genes to do it – I don’t know which genes are included in these vaccine mRNAs so can’t comment on that.

The second point concerns an enzyme called ‘reverse transcriptase’ which does indeed make a DNA copy of RNA. It is only found in retroviruses. These viruses contain RNA and the reverse transcriptase enzyme. They get into your cells and make a DNA copy of their RNA, which your cell’s ‘photocopier’ then uses to make many mRNA copies which are sent out to make many copies of the virus. It’s much more efficient than just having the one bit of mRNA in the cell. HIV is one such virus. And yes, HIV does insert itself into your own DNA where it can lie dormant for many years.

The Oxford vaccine has used reverse transcriptase to make a DNA copy of the viral RNA. It does not have reverse transcriptase in the vaccine, no need, the adenovirus is already carrying DNA. They will have done this because DNA is much more stable than RNA so it doesn’t have to be deep frozen. I had the impression they had engineered an adenovirus to express coronavirus spike protein itself, but this seems to be not the case. Instead it does the same thing as the mRNA versions, except it inserts DNA rather than RNA.

Well, while the mRNA will gradually break down so the dose you get is all you get, the DNA version will produce multiple copies of mRNA within the cell. What matters here is what happens to that DNA. Does it eventually fall apart or not?

If not, you’ll have cells producing spike proteins continuously until the T cells take them out.

Will it get inserted into host DNA? That’s a long shot but it’s much more possible than with the mRNA versions. Absolute worst case scenario – it inserts into the genome and goes dormant. So it replicates when the cell replicates, like HIV. Some years down the line, something, perhaps an infection, triggers it and now you have quite a mass of cells producing spike protein. You’re going to get very sick indeed.

I must stress that this is an absolute worst case scenario and there is absolutely no evidence that it will happen. However, it is a long term issue and since all these vaccines are new, experimental and released under emergency licences, there is no evidence for or against long term effects for any of them. The NHS is putting out adverts saying that the vaccines have undergone stringent safety tests. This is not true. None of them have completed the full range of tests, they are all under emergency licence. Long term effects? Nobody has a clue. This is the experiment.

My biggest concern remains the antibody-dependent enhancement that every single previous coronavirus vaccine has caused. This makes subsequent infection with the virus very much worse. I don’t see anything that gives me any confidence that this issue has even been addressed, much less solved, by any of the vaccine producers.

So I’m not going to take it. Whether you do is up to you.

Monsters from the Id

Well, everything is running slow here. We had a heating boiler failure while the temperature dropped to -10C, now it’s fixed and the temperature barely gets below 5C. Still, it was good exercise for the wood burning stove. That’s now back in ‘supplemental’ mode but at least it’s been properly tested. The landlord has also provided a log-basket fireplace for the utility room (which has no heating of any kind) so that 18th century fireplace with the iron swing-arm pot holder should soon be back in use. It’s actually at least 100 years younger than the one in the living room…

We could indeed use it, and the living room wood burner, for cooking if it came down to it. Yes, we can party like it’s 1699. With rabbit, partridge, pheasant and possibly venison. The guy who runs the local deer cull is known to us – and before you start shedding Bambi tears, have you ever turned a corner in the road and faced a deer staring at you? If you hit one at speed it will die and there’s a very good chance you will too. Since there are no longer wolves in Scotland, the only predators deer get are ticks and the population can quickly get out of control. I’ve had quite a few near misses since they seem to find it funny to jump out in front of cars.

It could well become neccessary. There is currently a massive push to get us to live on locusts, mealworms and/or vegetables. You know, that green shit that grows in the dirt and the nasty crawly things that live in it. No meat. Not for us plebs anyway. Although if a few of the New Stasi go missing, who’d notice?

Anyway, we’re being pushed into a Brave New World. Aldous Huxley took the title from a line in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’, you know, a line spoken by the deformed maniac Caliban. The title of this post comes from ‘Forbidden Planet’, a film based upon the same play. Sometimes the connections are obscure but I think this one was too easy for a competition.

The Monsters from the Id (subconscious) are all around us now, dragged from the shadows by the manipulations surrounding Covid. Manipulations that lead to a new world indeed, a world of misery and despair in which we will own nothing and be happy. Or dead. The Righteous Ones are fine with either outcome.

I recall when butter was demonised to make way for the New Spreadable Plastic Crap In A Tub, culminating in ‘I can’t believe anyone is daft enough to think this is butter’. Lard, too, was replaced by the various cooking oils. The old ways were deemed Bad even though obesity and other ailments were far less prevalent in those days. It was always about money of course. You can’t sell something new when a perfectly good alternative already exists so you have to make the alternative bad.

So it is today. Massive investment into edible insects means meat must be demonised. Nobody is going to swap a bacon sandwich for bread with wrigglies in it willingly. They have to be convinced that the meat is going to kill them. Incidentally, proper bread recipes include a bit of lard…

Well, the whole ‘cows cause climate change’ thing hasn’t worked, so cows have not yet been rendered extinct. We can still get a burger. Now of course you can get a burger made of massively processed plant material instead of actual meat. Well, not for me, thanks all the same.

So what’s next on the ‘meat is deadly’ agenda? Simple. Recycle something we’ve known about for many years as a new and terrifying development.

When I was at university, 1978-1981 for my first degree, we examined plasmid transfer in a practical class. I have since run such classes myself. Bacterial genomes are not like plant or animal genomes. They are made of the same stuff – DNA – but they are not organised into chromosomes. There’s no structure. A bacterium does not have a nucleus, its DNA is one long circle that just floats about in the cell.

It can also have little circles of DNA separate from its main DNA. These are plasmids and they can be transferred between bacteria. They send a copy of themselves along a tube called a pilus when two bacteria connect and if you break the connection at set times, you can work out the order of genes on the plasmid. But I don’t want to get into full lecture mode. Suffice to say, this is nothing new.

The non-structured circular DNA of a bacterium has another feature. Unlike the rigid-ish structure of plant or animal chromosomal DNA, it is very, very easy to insert an extra bit into the main DNA in a bacterium. They can pick up fragments from the environment, they might insert them, they might not. The scale of numbers we are talking about with bacteria means that the chance of a few insertions is actually pretty high.

There are viruses that infect bacteria. These are bacteriophages, and they only infect bacteria. Just like the ones we get, they are fussy about which bacteria they infect so one that bursts from an infected E. coli is hoping to find another E. coli nearby.

I’ve previously explained how viruses are mindless and inefficient copying machines. These are no different. The bacteriophage particles, when assembling inside the cell, don’t all get loaded with bacteriophage DNA. Sometimes they get loaded with bits of host DNA instead and when they ‘infect’ another cell, instead of making viruses they ‘gift’ the cell with some DNA from another cell. As a bonus, when one bacteriophage enters a cell it blocks all others from entering. So if it injects bacterial DNA, that bacterium is now immune to any real viruses.

As with DNA picked up from the environment, sometimes the bacterium inserts it into its own genome, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the new DNA forms a plasmid. Since we are always talking in billions with bacteria, it doesn’t have to happen very often to produce something new.

None of this entails new discoveries. We’ve known about all of it for a very long time. Sure, you can be scared of it if you want but it’s going to happen anyway. It’s been happening since long, long before we even knew DNA existed and there is nothing we can do about it.

Well, there is one thing. If meat is cleanly slaughtered it should not be coated with gut contents. Even if it is, cooking it thoroughly will kill any bacteria that might be on it. Chicken is a special case – nothing to do with gene transfer, it’s because Campylobacter can get into the muscle tissues. So chicken realy does need to be cooked through. You can get away with a rare steak, but rare chicken is taking a huge risk. Again, this is not one of my lectures (well, maybe a bit, old habits die hard).

I wonder if this is part of the Internet effect. When I did my first and second degree, the internet didn’t exist and computers were only just getting into homes. And I’m talking about Sinclair ZX-81’s and BBC’s for those who could afford them. A BBC computer with Cub monitor and Cumana disk drives was quite an outlay in those days. Some years later I bought three of them for a fiver each – they’re fun but the internet is way beyond them. But I digress.

When I did my degrees we had to go to the library to look things up, and often that involved going into The Stacks, in the basement, where the old stuff was stored. Once the internet took off, that changed rapidly. Now you can sit at your desk and search PubMed and other science databases – but certainly at first (and probably even now) the internet didn’t go very far back.

I started seeing papers published that made me look twice. Some Lactobacilli can grow in air? I had a reference to that from the early 1970s, it was not a new discovery in 1990. There were a lot more like this and I realised that the internet was only documenting research from around 1985. Earlier stuff was still on paper, in The Stacks, and nobody went there any more. If it wasn’t on the desktop and accessible online, it didn’t exist.

I have seen so much more of this since. An entirely unrelated one – when firing a bow, you don’t grip the bow because that will make your wrist twist when you fire and you’ll be off target. I’ve watched people fire bows and then slowly dip and raise them deliberately with a firm grip throughout. It’s wrong. It’s what it must look like in action but the ‘dip’ is because you weren’t holding the bow too tight. Not some little theatrical thing. It comes from an internet that doesn’t go back very far.

If I’m feeling generous I could accept that these researchers have only looked online for the past research and think they are onto something new. In fact this stuff stopped being publish-worthy a very, very long time ago. So it’s not in their searches because nobody has scanned those papers into the net yet. Or maybe they have, as PDFs, which won’t listen to a keyword search.

If I’m feeling cynical, as I usually am these days, I can see it as a deliberate attempt to scare people away from meats, by pretending we’ve only just found out how gut bacteria change while, naturally, ignoring one small detail.

Insects have gut bacteria too.

Keeping it Real

About thirty years ago, I developed gut problems. I mean real blaster ones, it was like a damn fire hose at times. You could get a Covid anal swab by taping it to a broom and holding it ten metres behind me. I could have developed a career as a one man slurry spreader. So, being a microbiologist dealing mainly with gut issues I set about trying to work out what caused it. No, it did not occur to me to ask a medic. That rarely occurs to me. The rare interactions I’ve had with them suggest they aren’t really taught much any more.

I cut out lactose. Lactose intolerance seems common. You’d be surprised how hard it is to avoid that. You know those ready-roasted and lovely browned chicken pieces and ready roasted chickens? They are coated in lactose. Caramelised lactose gives them the brown colour without the sweetness you’d get from sucrose or glucose. Anyway, I managed to cut out lactose. It made no difference at all, so I don’t have lactose intolerance.

I’ve tried cutting out wheat many times. Again,it didn’t help much, but it did help a bit. I have concluded that I do not have wheat allergy but might not do well with wheat overload. Pizza with garlic bread is just too much wheat. It won’t kill me but it’s pretty uncomfortable. But that still wasn’t it. Incidentally, you can now get gluten free garlic bread that’s really good. Ordinary gluten free bread was awful, it fell to bits when you tried to butter it but the garlic bread version is good.

I went entirely caffeine-free for a few years. Made no difference, but when I went back to caffeine it hit like cocaine! I’m now fully caffeinated again. There were other experiments but none of them made a difference.

The big clue came when I tried cutting out sugar. That made it a hell of a lot worse. I could see nothing protective in sugar so what was it? Lack of sugar? Some kind of bizarre anti-diabetes? Ah, of course. What was I replacing sugar with? Artificial sweeteners, at that time it was mostly aspartame.

So I went back to real sugar and avoided all artificial sweteners. That helped a lot. This led me to the idea that the artificial sweeteners were not the benign replacements we were told. Subsequent experiments (on me, of course) showed that aspartame, particularly, caused the high pressure blowouts. I have avoided all artificial sweeteners but especially aspartame since then.

Now, we are talking about the 1990s. You could not convince anyone that artificial sweeteners were anything but a Good Thing. They had been safety tested, right? Gut bacteria ignored them, right? They provided sweetness without calories and did nothing else at all. I could not convince anyone that I had vastly improved my dodgy guts by simply avoiding artificial sweeteners.

So, against that background, I could not interest any funding body in paying me to research this. There seemed no problem to research. One man’s experience is not going to cut it as a fund-worthy hypothesis and yeah, that’s true. I was, after all, asking for a lot of money to research something that as far as I could prove, only applied to me.

I was also working with pigs at the time. A very expensive animal for food research but one which has an omnivore diet and a gut very close to humans. We actually produced research that proved that frozen chips are a better dietary option than fresh ones. Yes, we proved that chips are good for you!

So it would have been a good case. Is it ethical to feed artificial sweeteners to animals? Well they are approved to be fed to humans so there’s no ethical case to answer there. The experiment would have been massively expensive though. I could have done the gut microbiology but I’d have needed a lot of veterinary time for blood sample taking and also had to pay blood testing labs. Perhaps if I had thought of doing it in mice I might have had more luck. But then I have never worked with mice other than poisoning the little hairy bastards when they get into the house every winter.

The experiment never happened. I consoled myself with the knowledge that my gut issues were mainly down to aspartame, possibly to a lesser extent other artificial sweeteners, and maybe an overload of wheat gluten intake. I can control those things so I am able to fix myself. Which, if I am honest, was my original motivation.

Now it seems the issue is finally being taken seriously. A study has demonstrated a very significant effect on gut bacteria caused by artificial sweeteners. I don’t know if I would call the changes dangerous, but they are certainly unpleasant. They don’t seem likely to kill you but you’d really rather not have them.

You are far better off limiting your sugar intake than replacing it with synthetics. Too much sugar is bad for you, that’s true. Replacing it with synthetics is likely to be worse.

It’s nice to see, after all this time, I was right. Even if I never did get to do the research myself.

Double masks?

The lunacy around Covid is getting worse. You’d think the vaccine rollout would have calmed the rhetoric but no, it’s becoming even more insane.

The people who told us masks don’t work are now recommending we wear two. I guess they have to clear their stocks before the game is over. I’ve never bought the disposable surgical masks. You know, the ones that state on the box that they offer no protection at all from this specific virus. I have some fun ones to wear on my rare visits to local shop but they are wash and re-use ones (minimum 40oC, preferably 60 if they can take it, but as far as the virus is concerned it’s the soap that kills it not the temperature). I know they don’t do a damn thing but they give me an excuse to look scary while shopping. I’m actually going to miss the zipper mouth one and the Grinch.

If they want me masked up more I have a sugar skull, Bane, plague doctor and the little trike-riding puppet from Saw. As well as a few army surplus gas masks. Although the shop staff have trouble hearing me through the cloth masks as it is so I’d have to write down everything if I wear the gas masks.

Hmm. What if they insist I remove the plague doctor mask because it’s too scary, and I have the sugar skull on underneath? Look, the situation is ridiculous, I might as well have some fun with it.

Then there are the N95 masks. They won’t stop the virus either but they are better protection than the surgical or cloth masks. However, hospitals and other sites using these masks have technical staff to train people how to use them properly. You don’t just bung them on. They have to fit properly.

One of my nieces is a nurse. The shape of her face does not accommodate an N95. She cannot wear them effectively. Can you? How will you know? There is a way to test it, do you know what it is? Have any of those selling the masks mentioned it?

N95 masks are not re-useable. You can wear a properly fitted one for about two hours and then it’s done. Into the contaminated waste bin it goes and you can’t just put another one on right away. They really do restrict your breathing. Did the mask sellers tell you this? Did anyone tell you that used masks should be treated as contaminated material and not just put in a bin or worse – dumped in the street? It’s not just the virus. It’s been collecting bacteria and fungi while you’ve been breathing through it. It is now contaminated material.

Everything that left my lab went through an autoclave. Basically, a massive pressure cooker that uses high pressure steam to raise the temperature inside to 121oC for fifteen minutes. Nothing survives that. It’s then safe to put it in the trash. Not just bacterial cultures – absolutely anything that had the slightest risk of being contaminated, which was… everything. One accidental aerosol, without even realising it, could have contaminated everything. I took no chances.

Yet people are being sold these disposable masks which they wear, contaminate and throw away in the street. You can call them idiots but they aren’t. They simply haven’t been trained in the use of these things. They don’t know. Nobody is telling them. At the least, put them in boiling water for a minimum of ten minutes before putting them in the bin. That should kill everything apart from some bacterial spores. Oh, and don’t use that pot for anything else. Pick an old one.

Look. You are doing all this for a virus with a well over 99% survival rate and which is killed by soap. Its outer coat is made of fat with attachment proteins floating in it. Soap makes it fall apart. It really is that easy to kill. And now you have all these experimental vaccines and masks and anal swabs for a respiratory virus… you never had any of this for flu, and it’s killed many more than Covid. Although this year it seems to have disappeared. I”m sure you have your own theories as to why so I won’t bore you with mine.

Well, it seems the end of lockdown may be in sight, but it’s been in sight many times this year only to be snatched away again. It’s not going to end. We might get a couple of weeks in summer but it’ll be back next flu season, and those couple of weeks in summer will be blamed. It will have popular support too. All those selfish people who went so far out in the countryside the police had to send a drone to find them were spreading it through infected butterflies or something. It doesn’t matter how bizarre the reasoning is now. People will believe anything.

I’ve already seen Twitter folk saying that the proposed (but conspiracy theory even though the government has firms working on it) Covid passport should be used internally in shops and pubs. So far it’s only being discussed for foreign travel and the government denies it exists at all.

Anyway. What pubs? They’re doomed. There are stories that they will be allowed to open in April as long as they don’t sell alcohol. Now, maybe restaurants could survive this. Their primary business is food. They could allow customers to bring their own wine and charge corkage. Their profits will be hit hard but it’s possible they could struggle along.

Pubs though? Food is secondary and not all pubs are equipped for it. Their primary business is alcohol sales and if they can’t do that, there’s no point opening. Besides, what’s beer going to be like when filtered through two masks?

Sure, pubs could charge corkage but how well will that work? When you visit a restaurant you are mainly there for the food. If you have to pay a small fee to bring your own bottle of wine, no big deal. If you go to a pub you are mainly there for the beer. You have to bring your own, and you have to pay more to drink it. It’s in cans or bottles, no draught, so why would you do that? You can drink the supermarket cans at home.

Well, taxes are going to rise to pay for all this crap. Yes, we’ve been locked in under house arrest for a year and now we’re going to pay for it. Boris is also considering taxes on meat and cheese to atone for our sins against the Green God. We’re going to be taxed harder and food is about to be taxed too. Taxes on certain foods are the same as one compulsory vaccination. It’s a foot in the door. You accept one and there is no limit. Don’t believe me? ‘One nonsmoking area in restaurants, that’s all we want’. Remember that?

Note that the Covid passports are actually called vaccine passports. It is not ending with one. It is not ending at all.

It has occurred to me that I have already written most of this. In Panoptica, physical contact simply doesn’t happen. It’s not even a conscious choice, nobody even tries. In 23-David and 81-Mohammed, set before Panoptica, 23-David considers a handshake as an assault. Back in Panoptica, 10538’s home and everything in it is reallocated when he is arrested. He owned nothing. Medication is centralised and not optional. 10538 has no personal agency, it does not even occur to him to not do as he is told.

Now I have to write a way out of all this. First though, I have to defeat lockdown ennui and get some editing finished…

New kids in the needle

Last Friday was my father’s birthday. He would have been 83. It’s the first one he wasn’t there for and I suppose that’s the hardest one to get through so it’s been rather a gloomy weekend. I’m sure many of you have experienced the gloom this brings and if you haven’t yet… well it’s not going to be fun. He died on Valentine’s Day last year and I don’t think it’ll ever mean the same to me as it does to everyone else, ever again. But then my uncle, his brother, died on Christmas Eve so that’s screwed too. I wait with trepidation for Easter…

Anyway. These vaccines.

Decades of research have not come up with a single effective coronoavirus vaccine. Every one that has tried has hit ADE. Antibody dependent enhancement. It makes subsequent infection far worse. You can try searching for it but it’s been well buried now.

Within a year, we suddenly have a mass of profitable vaccines. And a game of supply that is designed to make you think there’s a shortage so you will demand one. The toilet paper thing was an effective proof of concept. If you think it’s going to run out you want it more. Even if you’d never even thought about it before. This is why SAGE is full of behavioural psychologists.

Another thing. I come up against people on Twitter convinced that all the vaccines are DNA-changers and all contain aborted foetus cells. I no longer engage. They will believe what they want to believe and I’m not wasting time arguing with them. They clearly are better versed in microbiology than a lifelong microbiologist so hey, I’m not getting involved.

None of the vaccines are DNA changers. That would require insertion of an enzyme called reverse transcriptase which is only found in retroviruses. Coronavirus is not one. So far I have not found any vaccine that uses attentuated coronaviruses, so nobody is getting injected with Covid as far as I can see. It’s either mRNA to make your cells produce spike protein, or another virus adapted to produce the spike protein, or just the spike protein in a fat ball. Not one of them injects Covid virus in any intact form.

As for the ‘aborted foetus cells’, well there might be some fragments in there. The only way to grow a virus for a vaccine is to grow it on human cells in cell culture. It will not – cannot – reproduce by itself. There are several ‘immortal’ human cell lines, mostly derived from cancers, that are used for this. It’s not Frankenstein science, it’s really the only way to grow a virus.

So. What do we have out there? The ones I really don’t like are the mRNA vaccines. This is entirely new and experimental technology and given that no successful coronavirus vaccine has ever happened, this is very dangerous meddling in my view. The only ones using this are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. I don’t like either but I think I’d trust Pfizer over Moderna. Only because the latter is in the hands of the Billy Gates Gruff and I don’t trust that smug bastard any further than I could comfortably spit a rat.

AstraZeneca/Oxford. Yes, people have told me it’s a DNA changer but that’s bollocks. I no longer bother to correct them. This one uses an adenovirus (common cold) adapted to express the Covid spike protein. It does not make your body cells produce the protein, it already carries it. Your immune system will act on it directly. It cannot change your DNA. Really. It can’t.

The same is true of the new Novavax vaccine. They have used the unfortunate term ‘nanotechnology’ in their releases. They think it makes them sound very clever and don’t realise that everyone outside science thinks that ‘nanotechnology’ means tiny robots. They’ve had a diet of Star Trek Borg and/or Red Dwarf. They don’t realise it just means technology that’s working with sub-microscopic things.

The nanotechnology in the Novavax vaccine involves making really, really tiny fat globules with the Covid spike protein around them. So it looks just like the virus but there’s nothing inside. It isn’t going to infect anything. Is it safe? No idea. Time will tell and well, I won’t be indulging just yet. Still, it will not change your DNA and it will not take over your brain with little robots. Really. We do not yet have the technology to make the little robots. We really don’t. When we do, then things will get really scary. The way things are progressing, most people will demand to be assimilated first anyway.

Another one is made by Valneva and one more from Johnson and Johnson. My father once worked for the latter, making J-cloths. He borrowed my rubber joke hand and sent it through the rollers. It resulted in one of his co-workers having to go for a little lie down.He wasn’t fired for it, we had jokes in the old days. But I digress. As usual.

I have not yet found anything on the Valneva or Johnson vaccines. I don’t know how they are intended to work. Without that knowledge I won’t touch them. I suspect they are not mRNA vaccines but don’t know for sure yet.

Merck, one of the biggest players in the vaccination game, has given up on this one. They had two candidate vaccines but weren’t happy with the results. They’ve actually said the best protection is to suffer the virus and develop your own antibodies. That’s what used to happen with things like measles, mumps and chicken pox when I was a kid. Catch it, go through a few unpleasant weeks and then you have immunity. It was risky, measles especially can kill, but most of us got through it okay.

This won’t work for everyone. It really only works when you’re young and healthy and have no other conditions. For the elderly, or those with other illnesses already, it’s a very big risk indeed. However, if enough people develop immunity, the virus can’t spread any more so the vulnerable are protected. This is what’s called ‘herd immunity’ and no, it does not require a vaccine. If you have an effective vaccine you can get there faster but if you don’t then you need to keep away from the vulnerable ones until there’s enough immunity in the population to stop the spread.

It is now coming to light that hydroxychloroquine/zinc and ivermectin are indeed effective treatments for those who are in the early stages of infection, and are good as prophylactics too. Most of us knew this from the outset and have been daily dosing with vit C and D, zinc and quercetin (easier to get than hydroxychloroquine, not quite as good but it works) since the whole shitshow hit the road. Some are saying these treatments were quashed because Trump mentioned them (I don’t recall him mentioning ivermectin) but I think it was because of the vaccines. If you have a cheap and effective treatment for a disease then you don’t need a vaccine. And there is an awful lot of money involved here.

When you get this level of lunacy it’s either about money or ideology. This time it’s more lunatic than usual because it’s both. And more.

The vaccine makers make money. Can’t be surprised at that, the Pharmers are businesses. It’s their primary objective. Then we have the ideologies – more than one at work here. The Klaus Schwab great reset to take total control of everyone, the Church of Climatology who want us all in mud huts burning cow shit for heat and eating turnips, The Tiny Blur project for world domination, the One World Government… heck, add your own. So many of them are delighting in the sheeple’s easy subjugation. None of these are conspiracy theories any more. They are all quite open about it.

And then… the experiments. The mRNA vaccines are an experiment. Any Coronavirus vaccine is an experiment. They have never worked before. More than that, the behavioural experiment. How far are you willing to be controlled? Will you accept the lunacy of wearing two masks? If you do, it’ll soon be three. Are you willing to have a Q-tip shoved up your arse to see if your lungs are infected? Get an anatomy book and see how long that Q-tip is going to have to be. How far can the insanity go before you say ‘Hey – hang on a minute’?

Quite a lot further, I suspect. I mean, I speak as the guy who convinced an antismoker that all grey dust was cigarette ash. We’ve had smoking in the UK for 400 years and ASH has said that the residue never degrades so… that was easy.

It *is* easy. Very easy to scare people. Idiots in government and ‘public health’ make it easier still. I do it for fun but so many do it for pure profit. The mask industry has boomed, it’ll boom even more if you wear two at a time. Especially if they are single use. Believe me, the mask makers are having a great time now. They don’t want this to end.

So now you cannot leave the country without a valid reason. ‘Just because I want to’ only works if you’re rich. You are a prisoner of the nation state. The solution you will be offered is the abolition of the nation state. No more borders. Enough of these restrictions and you’ll vote for it.

No borders mean no need for passports. So… how will they keep track of where you’re going? Well, you know the ‘conspiracy theory’ Covid passports that are now in production? That’s just the beginning. Once mandated medication is accepted for one thing it won’t stop there, or ever. You will need to prove vaccination when you travel.

If you are not up to date with the mandated medications, you’re going nowhere.

Mr. Locky Downy

If you are not a fan of the Oogie Boogie song from ‘A Nightmare before Christmas’ then there is probably something wrong with you. It’s the best Christmas song ever.

So, here it is suitably corrupted for the modern age.

Mr Locky Downy

Well well well. What have we here?
Coronavirus huh? Ooo, I’m really scared.
So you’re the bug everybody’s talking about.

You’re joking. You’re joking.
I can’t believe my eyes.
Ninety nine percent survival rate?
This thing’s not even trying
It’s useless, it’s silly,
But I can make it worse
I’ll ramp up all the fear till
No-one will leave the house

When Mr. Locky Downy says infection’s close at hand
You’d better pay attention now ‘cos I’m the lockdown man
And if you aren’t in double masks you’ll get a hefty fine
And when I watch you trembling then you can watch me smile

(everyone) Release us now or you must face the dire consequences
The children aren’t infecting us, oh please come to your senses

You’re joking, you’re joking,
I can’t believe my ears
I’ll have to shut the sceptics up
They’re breaking through the fears
It’s funny, I’m laughing,
It never seems too much
And now, if you’ll excuse me,
I’m about to do my stuff

(everyone) What are you going to do?

I’m going to do the worst I can.

Well, the wheezing of the masked to me is music in the air
‘Cos I’m a cruel lockdown man, for health I just don’t care.
It’s much more fun, I must confess, when profit’s on the line
Not yours of course but mine dear boy well that’ll be just fine.

(everyone) Release us fast or you will have to
Answer for this heinous act.

Oh brother, you’re something, you put me in a spin
You aren’t comprehending the position that you’re in
It’s hopeless, you’re finished, you haven’t got a prayer
‘Cos I’m Mr. Locky Downy
And you
Ain’t going

Cue Sage laughing like a Morecambe and Wise audience….

A quiet coercion

I’m editing Mark Ellott’s next book, ‘Reiver’, which I expect to have available by the end of the month. There are two other books in the queue but since Mark has already had a few people check it over, there’s little to edit, and he has his own cover already. So this one will be quick.

I have noticed a little ‘lockdown ennui’ creeping in. Every day is the same so it’s hard to keep track of the passage of time. When I wrote this I didn’t realise we were going through a practice run for it.

Okay, it’s north Scotland and it’s always pretty miserable at this time of year but the absolute lack of going anywhere at all just knocks your body clock sideways. It’s hard to believe it’s nearly February. But that’s my problem, and I know for sure a lot of people have it much worse than me. At least I have a pension coming in.

The weather has been… Scottish. Some days are okay, some days the entire area is covered in black ice so you’re on your arse before you know it. Sometimes it snows a bit, sometimes it rains, but no major snow here so far. I once had to take a garden trailer down to the road to get a food delivery because the van couldn’t get up the farm road. Give me snow over ice every time.

But I digress. As usual.

Trump hasn’t gone away. The Democrats won’t let him. They are determined to impeach him even though he’s no longer president. Well, this is a terrible idea for any democrat out there for two reasons. One, it would make him a political martyr and that is something the Democrats would really regret doing. Two, and perhaps worse, it would set a precedent where former presidents can be impeached and you just know where Trump is going with that. In the end it seems the Constitution does not allow it anyway, but who cares, right?

Meanwhile, California, Michigan and Chicago have suddenly decided to end all Covid restrictions. Just like that. Was it all politics? Of course it was. Your pleb lives mean nothing to these people. You are just bargaining chips to get what they want. It’s like the chess player willing to lose pawns to get the queen through. The little guy doesn’t matter.

In the UK and Europe, we are now hearing about vitamin D, hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin as effective treatments. Most of which we knew a year ago. Well, they’re making money from the vaccines and that will continue so they don’t need to let you all die any more.

So, can you just refuse the vaccine now? I mean, the objective is secured. Trump is gone, cases are dropping like a stone, restrictions are ending…

Well, yes you can refuse it. But you will not be allowed to work or travel or go to shops. Because the vaccine does not stop you catching or spreading the virus therefore you are only safe in public if you have it. Yeah. Pick the fucking logic out of that one.

Come on. It’s money now. It’s now about vaccine profit. So you have to stay scared. And… you will. I found out very early on in my horror writings that it is extraordinarily easy to scare people. It’s much more difficult to convince them that the scare is just a story.

Lockdowns have no end point. Mad Hancock made that clear when he said that one of the conditions was ‘no new variants’. New variants turn up at a rate of at least two every month and always will. You are not getting out of this until you die.

In the end you might decide, as many unfortunately have already, that it’s the easy way out. Take the hard way. It involves more effort but it’s so much more interesting.

The catchphrase for this lunacy is ‘stay safe’. I think I have a better one.

Stay sane. If you can.