Something Just Phor Phun and Let You All Sort It Out or Scratch Your Heads…

You can all label me as certifiable now if you want…

Two years ago, over at, my friend Canadian climatologist Rodney Chilton posted an article on the Younger Dryas and the Thermohaline Conveyor shutdown that is supposed to have happened.  I was one of the people who vetted and edited Rodney’s paper, so it is something I had a little hand in. Rodney duly gave me credit in the Acknowledgements, even. I was quite pleased to see how many commenters at WUWT had positive comments.

Especially this one:

Mike M. says:

thank you very much for posting. i have a scientifically minded teen and have used this article to demonstrate “the way science is done”.

I am not going to comment directly on either of the topics, but will instead disuss a comment by a guy named commieBob, which was replied to by a handful of people, with a couple of them actually not having any idea what they were talking about or what science’s take was on the point of commieBob’s comment.

commieBob says:

Ice age – What ice age?

Here’s a link to a really skeptical article: There is ‘evidence’ that the ice ages, as we understand them, did not happen.

The first thing that attracted my attention when I found the above link was the name Blavatsky. “Verrry interesting” The new age movement might be termed “Blavatsky for dummies”. In other words, although I do not personally have the knowledge and skill to refute the information and conclusions in the above linked article, I’m darn sure it’s garbage. It is, isn’t it? Help …

I did myself read the linked article, which had some valid points and some mish-mash in it.  I will pass on the mish-mash and address what I think are valid points.

To this, one comment was the following. I will comment here on the bolded parts of davidmhoffer’s comment:


I’m darn sure it’s garbage.

It is worse than garbage. The article rests upon this argument:

[Quoted improperly from the article:]

“A first and perhaps prime fact you need to know is that ice does not go uphill. Water doesn’t and ice doesn’t and glaciers don’t. Even over level ground ice doesn’t go very far. Specifically it goes up to 7 miles on level ground. Ice just can’t push ice further than that. If pressure is applied to push more than 7 miles worth of ice then it gets crushed or melts instead.

A look at the map shows that the ice would have to be pushed much farther than 7 miles.
With just this info you can see, the ice-age didn’t happen!”

An “ice age” happens when the total amount of snow that falls in winter exceeds the amount that melts in summer.

If that happens over a large area, you get a large ice sheet, it doesn’t have to “travel” to get anywhere. As for the 7 mile limitation, it all depends on speed. If the ice only moves a small amount year over year, then no crushing or melting occurrs [sic]. FAIL on the first two points of the article, no further reading required to conclude that it is drivel.

So what am I going to write about this?….

Hoffer cheated a bit on his quote of the article, by leaving out the middle paragraph of what he pasted in.  Here it is:

“If a solid be so heavy and so big that it requires more than a certain force to move it, it will crush rather than move, that is to say, the whole thrust will be dissipated by the object being reduced to pulp, or even liquid, which will flow away rather than move en masse.” [ Howorth, H.H. 1905 Ice or Water? vol 1, p383]

Now, Howorth had his physics and materials science right.  He evidently was one of the last battlers against the ice age theory, a bit over 100 years ago. A very young Louis Agassiz started it in 1840, as the article correctly states.  He sold Charles Lyell on it, and Lyell, THE big name in geology at the time, needed it as the last piece of his Uniformitarian puzzle.  Agassiz, happy to have the great Lyell on his side, let Lyell even talk him out of multiple ice ages, which is what Agassiz saw.  Lyell insisted on only one, proving that he wasn’t interested in facts that confused the issue.  Of course, later evidence showed that there was more than one “advance” of the ice – according to Agassiz’ interpretation and later ones who pick up on his work.  Darwin’s/Wallace’s natural selection/evolution came along a few decades and added to the Uniformitarian-Gradualist theme.

Now, let’s go back to the bold portions…

It is interesting that Hoffer starts with “I’m darn sure…” because that phrase means that he is NOT sure at all.

An “ice age” happens when the total amount of snow that falls in winter exceeds the amount that melts in summer.” With this Hoffer shows that he does not know that the start of ice ages has actually been discussed on WUWT several times.  The main misunderstanding that most people have about ice ages is that they think ice ages start and build up via cold weather and that the cold weather brings more snow.  As Rodney points out in his article, this is not true.  Extended cold weather actually brings a drought situation, because in order for it to snow, WARMER weather is needed in the high latitudes.  Water does not evaporate at cold temps, and colder air holds sufficient humidity to create large snowfalls.  Antarctica, for example, is a desert.  Look it up!

If that happens over a large area, you get a large ice sheet, it doesn’t have to “travel” to get anywhere.  With this, Hoffer shows that he is not conversant with the prevailing academic mentality about the N American ice sheets.  Nearly ever paper discusses the “advance” of the ice – especially in the Great Lakes region.  It is talked about as moving down about 22,000 years ago to what is called the last Glacial Maximum.  Hoffer also seems to not understand a thing about the thinking on moraines.  Let’s see how Wikipedia summarizes moraines and how they form:

moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris (soil and rock) that occurs in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or may have fallen off the valley walls as a result of frost wedging or landslide. Moraines may be composed of debris ranging in size from silt-sized glacial flour to large boulders. The debris is typically sub-angular to rounded in shape.

The very existence of lateral and end moraines tells us that rocks were moved and piled up at the end of the movement.

Now let’s look at Howorth’s statement (see above).  A basic mechanical principle is that every object that has any force applied to it depends on its internal strength to RESIST the applied force, which is called the Reaction Force.  It is basic physics and not subject to interpretation.  It is the way things are in the physical word/reality. There are two forces involved – the APPLIED force and the REACTION force.

An example is a building’s steel structure.  The building weighs a certain amount, and that weight is composed of a DEAD LOAD – the supporting steel itself  – and the LIVE LOAD – the things IN the building that are not part of supporting it (desks, wallboard, toilets, ceiling materials, doors, humans, etc.). Obviously, near the top of the building the dead+live loads on the structure up there is smaller than down below.  And each level down needs a little more strength.  Steel DOES fail, if over loaded.

More applicable to Howorth’s point – and that Hoffer misses – is the strength of the soil beneath the foundation.  Many of us are familiar with houses “settling”. What – in the engineering sense – is actually going on with settling?  Settling comes from an inadequate UNIT STRENGTH (pounds per square foot) in the soil.  That is why for big buildings and even some homes soil tests are required. Why?  To find out how string the soil is.  If it is not strong enough, the weight of the building will slowly CRUSH the soil.  The house compresses it more than the soil is capable of RESISTING, so the soil gets compacted – pushed downward and squeezed downward.  All soils are not equally strong – and NONE are infinitely strong.  So tests tell what ability the soil has to resist the weight it will be asked to support.  If it is inadequate, measures need to be taken to ensure that the soil strength is bolstered or NOT EXCEEDED.  That is the engineering that goes into foundation design.  This is all REAL, not imaginary.  Materials have limits, and those limits need to be known and accounted for.

Essentially, this same principle is what Howarth wrote about in 1905.  As soils are not infinitely strong, neither is ice in ice sheets or glaciers.  Howarth saying that the lateral forces necessary to overcome flat ground or bumpy ground friction is not a joke.  Howarth saying that the ice internal strength is limited is not a joke.  Howarth saying that the lateral forces needed to move ice may be so high that the internal strength of the ice – like soil under a building – may be too weak.  Howarth says that the forces needed ARE too high – that the ice is too weak.

This may, indeed, be true.  The lateral forces needed to push ice laterally over rough ground may truly be more than ice can resist.  And what would happen in that case?  Howarth says the ice would crush.  ANY material – steel, aluminum, wood, ice, plastic, ceramics – has a known strength.  Different alloys of metals have different strengths.  Different ice conditions will make ice stronger or weaker.  Increasing cold makes ice stronger.  Increasing warmth makes ice weaker.  Other conditions that exist – some during the freezing cycle and some later (pressure, for one) – can make ice stronger or weaker.  At no time does ice have infinite strength internally with which to resist an applied force. (Neither do steels of other materials.)

So, at SOME point – SOME applied force – ice will fail.  Howarth calls it “crushing,” and that is as good a word as any.  What happens is that the ice crystals have weak planes between crystals, and these will fail first.  In mechanical engineering – which is applied physics – this failure is called “shearing.”  The crystals shear along the weak planes between crystals.  NONE OF THIS IS MADE UP; IT IS REAL WORLD SCIENCE.  If a material is too weak, it fails.  Collectively, when ice shears it is seen as cracks.  When a load is applied over a large face and the face fails, the ice crumbles – it is crushed. Howarth is not wrong on that principle.  Are his numbers right? They may well be.  What does that mean?

It DOES take a minimum total force to move ice horizontally over flat or rough flat ground.  The more ice that needs to be moved, both thickness-wise and length-wise, obviously the more force has to be applied to the back end of the ice.

Now it is necessary to discuss the differences between glaciers and ice sheets. Glaciers exist in mountain valleys.  Glaciers are rivers of ice.  Like rivers, glaciers can only exist at the bottom of valleys.  Like a river, a glacier fills up its valley to a certain extent.  Like a river, gravity makes a glacier flow.  The slope/angle of the valley floor (top to bottom) determines how much lateral force pushes the glacier down along the valley floor.  Gravity, as we all know, is vertical.  So the lower the slope/angle, the less of the force of gravity is available to push down the slope.  At a high slope, the push down the slope is higher.  At a lower slope the push down the slope is less.  What happens when the slope is flat?  There will be no gravity force to push the ice sideways.  What happens with a very low slope? Very little gravity slope is available to push the ice down the slope.  There is nothing rocket science about this – it is simple trigonometry.  Ice sheets as depicted in North America – in Canada and the northern tier of states in the USA – are essentially on flat ground.

Comparing Slopes

So, what does all that mean?  Let’s see how much slope there is in a typical Alpine glacier and compare it to eastern Canada and Michigan, where the LGM – last glacial maximum – existed, according to current thinking.  Let’s select the Mer de Glace in Switzerland, and then Eastern Canada down to Michigan.  The Mer de Glace is about 1045 km long from the rock just above the top of the glacier, down to the moraine at the bottom.  In that length the glacier drops from 3255 meters to 1490 meters – a drop of 1755 meters.  The slope comes out to be 16.89%.

I can tell you that THAT is STEEP.  I live in a town with steep streets.  My own is 21%.  Another steep one here is about 16%.  You should see the river torrents when it rains, coming down these slopes.  Gravity at work!

Now, how about Eastern Canada down to Michigan.  The centroid of the last glacial maximum was east of Hudson Bay, with a thickness there of about 2 km, which was THE thickest point in the ice sheet.  The elevation varies, but is about 170 meters to about 400 meters, for an average of about 300 meters. Michigan has an elevation of about – guess what?  Right about 250 to 400 meters – almost the same as that area east of Hudson Bay.  What does that mean?  It means that the land is flat for about the entire 1700 km – with some ups and some downs.  And Lake Huron and Lake Superior are in between, too. Ouch!  So, with a basically dead flat terrain for those 1700 km, what is the trig value for the lateral forces?  Would you guess ZERO?  If you did, you guessed right.  The weight of the ice east of Hudson Bay basically does nothing but push the ice sheet straight down onto the ground.  And SITS.

Now, does that even SOUND right?  You should actually be asking that.

An Experiment to Try

As a small experiment, in the winter and it is below freezing, go out on a flat asphalt pavement, which is relatively smooth.  Find a place where water will not run off – but find a place where it is NOT going to puddle before freezing.  Then pour water SLOWLY on that spot and let it freeze.  Pour more water SLOWLY, and let THAT freeze, too, and keep doing it SLOWLY until the ice is THICK.  If you pour it fast, it will not simulate the slow build-up of ice sheet in Canada.

I am predicting that the water will run over the top of the ice and some will run off, adding to its area.  It will spread out, – more or less what Hoffer argued.  But remember that Hoffer talked about SNOW, not water.  A few inches per minute of water flow over that ice puddle would represent ice flowing at many miles per hour from Hudson Bay.  That is why you want to pour very slowly.  No ice sheet moves at many miles per hour.  Even glaciers don’t when they are flowing down Alpine valleys.

An even simpler experiment is to just put ice cubes on the flat ground and watch them.  Watch them not move.  Then put them on different slopes and watch them.  With enough tilt, they will move.  Without enough, they won’t.  It is REALLY complicated. NOT.

So, one of the things we are finding out is that the ice did NOT have any lateral vectors deriving from the gravity.  Not to speak of, anyway.  Zero elevation difference in 1700 km does NOT equate to a lateral force.  EVEN IF we take the drop in elevation as the full 2 km height of the ice sheet, what do we get for a slope?  We should do that, right?  What do we get?  A slope of 0.117%.  For every kilogram pushing downward, the lateral force would be only 0.0014 kg.  Is that sufficient?  No.  That won’t overcome the friction of the ground, much less push the ice.

Glaciers Are Not Ice Sheets – and Vice Versa

We are finding that Alpine glaciers have a VERY steep slope to them, which means what?  HIGH lateral vectors deriving from gravity.  Vectors equal force.  SO when someone talks about glaciers and ice sheets (at least in N America), be fully aware that the two are completely different animals.  One is flowing down steep valleys, and the other is SITTING on flat ground.  One moves easily enough by gravity (though it still has to overcome a great deal of friction).  The other cannot move.  Ergo, no “advancing ice sheet” no matter how many times it is asserted.  Physics is physics.

So, where does that leave the ice age theory?  What DID happen if ice sheets didn’t advance?  How did the ice get so far south?  That is for another time, another post…


A Change of Pace – 3D Body Parts

Move over Captain Kirk!  Or take a bow, Gene Roddenberry!  Your Replicators are developing almost as fast as they are printing out “stuff.”


You knew this was coming:  3d printed body parts.  Main blood vessels would seem to be made to order for 3D printers.  They don’t have permeable walls – all they are is tubes to move the blood from one part of the body to another.  As long as the material is not rejected by the body and does not break down, it would seem that aortas would be a perfect application of 3D printing.  And if they can make it out of our own cells, the rejection problem should be completely eliminated – and breakdown should pretty much gone, as well: The 3D printed one should last as long as the original, perhaps the rest of our lives.

Will they be able to make new livers and kidneys and pancreases, complex organic factories?  Certainly not at this stage, but given time, it seems possible, if not altogether doable.


About 15 years ago or so, I first heard of 3D printers, and the first thought in my mind was Star Trek transporters.  Don’t laugh!  We are well on our way!

To transport, the Star Trek idea was to disassemble an object or organism by full body scanning and disassembling the body molecule by molecule, and then transmitting the pattern to another location and re-assembling it.  It was similar to replicating, but had the extra steps at the transmitting end of identifying every molecule in the body and, one-by-one, removing them from the object or organism.  From that point on, the two are pretty identical. (Except for how to deal with the consciousness/personality/memories.)

But ten years ago, where was the scanner?

Aha! THAT, dear reader, had been invented LONG before – around 1980-ish – with NMR, nuclear magnetic resonance.  NMR is now usually called MRIs. MRIs display IN 3D and only display (usually).

Enter CNCs for a moment, just for illustrative purposes:

Computer Numerically Controlled machining centers are the current way that metal parts are made these days. A CNC takes a computer generated “model” of a part – that is EXACTLY the same size and shape as the finished part needs to be.  That model LOOKS like the real 3-dimensional part – with holes and notches and chamfers and shoulders and hubs and bosses and all sorts of shapes.  There was a transition period for CNC machines, when a person would have to take a 2-dimenional drawing and, using proper commands, create the 3D model for the machinist.  But at this point in tech history the 2D drawing is done away with.  The designer now creates the object’s shape in 3D exactly as he wants it.  That is the “model” – the cyber-equivalent to the real thing.  There is no extra step anymore – software now directly takes that cyber model and from it generates all the steps needed by the machining center (the CNC).  And the parts come out super accurate.

THAT tech has been with us now for a long time.  CNC tech, like all machining, is basically a SUBTRACTIVE process – you start with a chunk of metal slightly too big, and then you start removing metal until the shape is 100% correct. 100% of the unneeded material is taken away, leaving only what you want, in the shape you want.  What is NEW is that the 3D printer is not subtractive but is instead ADDITIVE.  And THAT is pretty cool.  You start with nothing, and then keep adding the material layer by layer until you’ve got the finished part.

And that is EXACTLY what a replicator or a transporter needs to do at the “building” end – keep putting more material in until the thing is 100% built – 100% of the needed material has been ADDED.

It is, I found, very apropos to call it “printing,” by the way.  Watching a 3D printer is like watching now-obsolete large format ink printers for technical drawings.  But it is also like watching the really old teletype type printers from the 1950s.  And it right now is just about that slow, at least for some of the current printers.  It is also a bit like watching fax machines print out.  But as teletypes and faxes got faster and faster, and as new innards are developed, the 3D printers of 10 years from now will probably be 10 times faster.  Perhaps 100 or 1,000 times faster.


The Star Trek shows usually used the term “Pattern Buffer.”  Basically, and perhaps literally, that is the same thing as saying a “3D computer model.”  Once the model is created, it is stored in a computer file, and many copies of the object can be made from that one cyber model.  Making copies does not degrade the file in any way – it is just a template.  Template, model, pattern buffer – same thing.

So now, we have had the two main rudimentary elements of Star Trek transporters around for over 10 years.  The early “builder” elements, however were only capable of dealing with one material at a time – the early 3D printers. (It was called stereolithography then.)   I could see that at the time, and that that would change.  I figured that in time people would ask if a second and third material could be added.  After all, how many different elements are in a human body?  How many different molecule types?  I guessed that someone was already thinking about those other materials and how to incorporate them into the 3D printers.

It turns out that I was right to expect that.  I see these articles now, and I smile. We are on our way, Captain Kirk!

As far as body parts go, we may be able to – SHOULD be able to – repair many or most or maybe someday ALL of our organs this way. We may be able to pre-print them and keep them in cry-stasis, waiting for the day when we need them.  Just thinking about what all this might do for human longevity makes my head spin.  We may be close to 200-year-old people – perhaps 1,000 year old people.

We may not be able to transport ourselves, though.  Doing that will mean transferring the consciousness to the new body location.  Can we do that? That will have to be proven before I will believe it.  But it MIGHT HAPPEN!  I honestly do not know. But at the same time, just replacing body PARTS is something FAR beyond what Mary Shelley could have envisioned in “Frankenstein.”  Is it better to re-animate dead tissue or to keep the tissue alive in the first place?

What do you think?

More on that Clovis-Mammoth Discussion

In my previous post, Mapping Clovis Man vs Mammoths – Just Asking, I’d asked about the apparent blind spot in Clovis-Mammoth studies.  The maps there showed Clovis artifacts VERY predominantly in the Eastern USA, yet amazingly, the only “Clovis sites” chosen for study in Waguespack & Surovell 2003 were sites specifically showing mammoth kills.

Later, in Surovell & Waguespack 2007, the authors say

Using the most lenient and problematic standard of Proboscidean use, simple presence in zooarcheological assemblages, we previously estimated that at least 91 individual mammoths and mastodons are known from a total of 26 Clovis sites (Waguespack and Surovell, 2003, Table 2). Based on available data, no other taxon is present in as many sites or is represented by as many individuals.

My initial problem here has to be their amazing definition of a “Clovis site.” Here, is a different map of artifacts in the USA:


Now, when we read about the Leakeys finding pre-human artifacts in the Olduvai Gorge, the places they are found are normally called “sites” or “digs”. Now maybe Surovell defines sites as some activity, not just a Clovis point.  I would heartily disagree.  But let’s not quibble too much, because we don’t have to.  Look at the map of Clovis artifacts here.  Let’s also assume that the website’s authors weren’t stupid enough to just make that map up out of their imaginations.  If we go with Surovell’s idea of a “site”, then a stray Clovis point may have been dropped somewhere along a trail, not at a campsite.  Still, in a world where all travel is on foot, that dropped point is not going to be more than 20 miles from whatever campsites might be used.  By point population alone, it is clear from the map that the careless Clovis hunters were hunting in the regions shown – in both the East and the West. Continue reading

Mapping Clovis Man vs Mammoths – Just Asking

I’ve been reading a paper, Wagespack and Surovell 2003, as a starting point to see what Surovell’s other papers are about.  His paper attempting to shoot down the Younger Dryas Impact hypothesis was pretty bad science, since he was incapable of following test protocols, so when I got a line on some of his other papers, I decided to see what kind of work he normally does.

In this paper I am seeing that he makes an awful lot of assumptions, ones he thinks are reasonable.  But his selection of data is dumbfounding.  He seems to just make shit up, too, such as a table on what the average density of mammals large and small over the whole of the USA.  With the vast array of ecosystems slash environments in the USA, it is unfathomable that anyone would make up ONE table and give ONE average density and think it could or would apply to the entire country.  One of the oddest things about it is that it includes both Asian elephants and African elephants – but does NOT include mammoths – the subject of his paper.

To cut to the chase, let’s show some maps…

PIDBA Figure 01

I LOVE this map! Except for a few regions (which may be a long term sampling problem) you might match this up quite well with maps of population density in North America in modern times. Does this mean, I wonder, if Paleo-Indians were as bright as we are in terms of livable land? Also, note the quite dense artifact density in the Southeastern and Appalachian regions.  (source:


Note here, in particular, the lack of mammoths and mastodons in the SE USA and Tennessee valley and southern Mississippi valley. Basically next to no mastodons and mammoths. (source:

Clovis sites used in Waguespack & Surovell 2003

And here, Surovell’s/Waguespack’s map, discussing the hunting preferences of Clovis Man, which purportedly is discussing how Clovis Man might have hunted other game than mammoths and mastodons. Note that ewre the most PEOPLE (artifacts) are found, Surovell and Waguespack don’t show ANY sites studied. They ONLY show them in the regions where mammoth bones and mastodon bones have been found.

Continue reading

Quotes That Say Something to Me

This is intended to be an ongoing blog post and will be updated and re-posted to bring near the top from time to time.  If possible comments will be brought forward, too.  If I could “Sticky Post” it at the top, I might try that and see how it works out.  Some of the quotes are my own.

The list is necessarily short at first.  I did not scheme and plan to do this list.  It is an inspiration of the moment.

John Steinbeck: “I believe one thing powerfully—that the only creative thing our species has is the individual, lonely mind…. The group ungoverned by individual thinking is a horrible destructive principle.”

J Robert Oppenheimer:  “We do not believe any group of men adequate enough or wise enough to operate without scrutiny or without criticism. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it, that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. We know that in secrecy error undetected will flourish and subvert”.

Steve Garcia:  “All institutions are destructive of the individual.”


“Committees achieve things, now and again

And groups of three, discuss now and then,

But most things are done, by committees of one.”

The Future Is Not Here Yet, But It Is Coming

Thanks. Maybe one thing I am saying is that we ALL have some blessings on ourselves. Ones we have in increasingly larger quantity. Lives in Vietnam, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Italy, England, places all over the world, are so much more lives of ease than when I first traveled overseas 42 years ago. Nations in every corner of the world are more prosperous and are catching up and passing the U.S.

And time is the area of prosperity that is the biggest blessing. It is the most fundamental thing, I think, that we are living longer. Second is that we are having far less babies. Third would be that infant mortality is down – and that is to a large part responsible for longer life expectancy.

DO go see Hans Rosling’s TED Talks videos on YouTube. They are terrific. Continue reading

The Future of Futurism…

Hahahaha -

I was talking with a friend on Skype and marveling at the world having videophones after all this time.  (Anybody remember 2001 A Space Oddysey back in 1967?) That conversation got into talking about how COOL it is to live in these times.  And then it got into how things might change in the future.

If any of this is too off the wall or too nauseating for the tree huggers out there, tough luck!  I am going to talk about it anyway.  :-)

My friend is more than 40 years younger than I am, and he just got married, and is going to see as many changes in his time as I’ve seen in mine.  It is AMAZING how much technology brings into our lives over a span of 70 or 80 years.  It used to be 60.  Hell, it used to be 49!  In 1900 the average life expectancy in the USA was all of 49 years.  Now – as of about 10 years ago – it is 79 years.  So in about 100 years the life expectancy went up 30 years.  30 in 100. WOW! !

So right there we have one way technology has improved life – it has made it longer.  It is laughable when I tell this to people, because t really IS an improvement.  But would you like to know what the most common reaction I get from people?  “Well, extra years don’t mean anything if you are sick.”  They just don’t get it.

What don’t they get?  That 100 years ago at age 19 people only had 30 years more to live.  That NOW we are FORTY NINE when we have 30 years to live – at somewhat the same health level.  REALLY.  So, at the age when people used to die off – on average – we all still have 30 years to live.  So when someone tells you that 50 is the new 30, they are kind of right – but not right ENOUGH.  The average person at 49 now is not looking at spending the next 30 years as a medical invalid.  They are looking at about 20 more years of good living. Continue reading