Monday, December 24, 2007

TRaining for IM in 2008

I'm already a paid-up entrant in IMCanada Aug, 24th 2008 but the GF wants to go to Thailand in February for her holidays. I said I'll get the money together for that if we can fit in a triathlon in Langkawi.
Now I have to get myself fit enough to run the race on Feb 24th in 62 days!
Am I crazy or what?
I've been commuting by bike 2.5 hours a day until two weeks ago when the snow made the roads ridiculous for bike travel, but if it drops below zero again and dries up a bit I could ride throughout January - on the MTB of course.

Running is more of a challenge, because it is slippery out there on runners. Again if it dries up enough that I can see the sidewalk I'll do it. If not it's the treadmill for six weeks.

all for a silly t-shirt.

Bander, a.k.a.,

Monday, December 10, 2007

AIDS crisis in Africa - drugs the wrong approach

Of course, sick & dying people should receive medical aid from those rich nations who can give it.

However no cure as yet exists.

Those people in Africa who are now suffering from AIDS (30 million) are goners.

More than 50% of the 900 million population are under 25 years old, i.e. in their prime child-bearing years. To think that they will not have sex is ridiculous. They are mostly poor and cannot afford - contraception and their poverty means that they have STDs and no medical treatment available to remedy it. Therefore they will have more babies, more disease and because STDs make even consensual vaginal intercourse a high-risk sexual activity (which for healthy couples is not high risk) - they will have increasing HIV infection. - 3 problems at once.

- Merely shipping vast quantities of birth control pills would reduce the birth rate, but not reduce HIV-infection.

- Treating AIDs sufferers won't solve these problems at all.
- Treating STDs alone won't solve the population explosion.

What the West should be doing is shipping billions of condoms to every nation in Africa.

But the logistics of such a program is overwhelming.
If every act was to be condom-protected, and we assume that even half the current population has sex daily that would require nearly half a billion condoms DAILY.

Production of such a volume is probably impossible, the cost would be unsustainable for any Western nation, shipping and distribution seems like a task beyond even Hercules, but more significantly I cannot imagine the governments of African nations being politically willing to accept such aid - surely they would regard it as racist, paternalistic, insulting (when Western nations aren't doing it themselves) and given the corruption surrounding food aid, and medical aid in the past, it has no chance of succeeding.

In summary. I think the 30M now suffering from AIDs will soon die, that even more millions will contract HIV and die in coming decades.

However, the lesson of evolution has taught us that there will emerge in Africa huge numbers of people who are resistant to HIV. The weak shall die off and those remaining alive will be resistant and they will pass on that resistance genetically to their descendants while we in the developed nations will not have this resistance.

I can only imagine the consequences.

What goes around comes around.

Right now, former colonies who have become independent nations, are voicing demands that the developed nations - whose industrialization has caused the climate change - compensate them for this disaster, to the tune of 50 billion dollars a year! "You in the First World have created this mess," they are saying, "now you must compensate us for the damage you have done to our environment."

What goes around comes around, and so it will be with AIDs.