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~NEW SPLICER~ Volume 2.8 October 2011

In this issue

Don’t forget

Topic of the month: Alzheimer’s Who, what, when, where and why? In the end that’s all there is... Forget-me-nots... Coping with memory loss I still can’t find my car keys... The Brain... and much more!

Don’t forget


Foreword “So tell me, do I come here often?”

Before I forget to thank you all I will thank you all... The mind and understanding it has been my passion, my life and my work. Herein, I dabble and play with a few aspects of this life, mind and memory... And a massive thanks will have to go to my friends who have saved my own mind on many an occasion. And all the delusions you will read from here are partly in thanks to them! So a toast to both good and bad memories alike as I remember to forget and smile as I walk on...

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


~~~~~~~~~ToPIC of the Month~~~~~~~~ Who, what, when, where and why... OR The life of a forgetful man. I began the day much as I remember as a boy, small hands climbing across the bed; sometimes my hands were young sometimes they looked old and withered. Today I thought differently or I didn’t think, bounced out of the bed running down to see mum as the floorboards creaked underfoot or was that me. [Delusion hides the pain].

Mum, mum what’s for breakfast? It was Saturday, as she didn’t have a pack lunch ready for me... Poor mum, the years had aged her, grey hair, crooked back, but she still looked good, strangely good... Something came over me, a feeling of non maternal love, oedipal? No, I had always loved my mum as a son should... Yet she seemed familiar and strange at the same time... Bury these thoughts I thought, as I ran to the breakfast table... Eggs and soldiers, yummy this had been my favourite ever since I was young, I mean it’s my favourite now I think, I was not feeling right. But mmmm eggs... I swore mum was watching me a little too closely that morning and I think I must have done something wrong as I was not allowed to play with my friends in the park... Mum, would not let me out of the house. No matter how hard I tried to sneak past her she somehow always figured out my escape route. Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


I sat, an old dusty chair, aged impressions of perhaps my old dad... No longer around, although I could smell him from time to time, he used to smoke... I liked to smoke too, always in my room away from mum; I’m sure she knew but had let me get away with it for some time... She was a good mum... There was some cooking program on; noisy chefs shouting too loud at contestants who everybody knew couldn’t cook already! It was the same as always, a repeat a thousand times old. I was wise for my age; many things like this observation came naturally to me, if only I had a good memory! It was always letting me down; sometimes I would wake in the middle of the night with a nightmare and run to my mum’s bed, but as I lay cuddling and hiding under the sheets I could never recall quite what I was afraid of. Most days I woke in my mum’s bed... Although, again I didn’t always remember the nightmares. But it felt safe and familiar...

I used to cry a lot like my life was passing by with an ever present sadness of something I was not aware... But in time the tears were dry, the sadness a dull ache in the background, constant but almost without reason or substance. I thought too much for a kid sometimes... My friends had long gone somewhere and I missed them, this didn’t explain the sadness. I eventually forgot as I aged... My mum remained the same, like she was trapped with me in the youth of age. She no longer went out, ever since I started getting the black spots in time. Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Middle aged now, I think, friends long forgotten. Poor young old lady that cared for me, I didn’t recognise her sometimes cursed memory. She seemed familiar, like family but I could no longer be sure... I usually woke to eggs and toast in bed, I hate eggs... Like the smell of cigars, this house and room stank of them but there was nothing I could do. I occasionally smiled, this seemed to make the lady happy; but she would always ask too many questions so I stopped smiling. The stillness matched my sadness, fixed like a gaze into the distance with nothing visible on the horizon. It was the closest I knew to peace. I once loved a woman... I no longer remember her name, without it perhaps she never existed; perhaps I have never known love... I’m old now as old as the woman who looks after me, with love in her eyes. She cries now, upon dry eyes, like she has lost a life time... I no longer know how to speak; my eyes simply watch her, the only moving object in the room, on her bed. I think this makes her smile through the tears. She speaks to me but I can’t make out the movements of her lips... Tired and in the delusion of my final moments clarity comes to me... In my eyes I speak to her, in silence, I love you my wife... As my eyes closed and I returned to oblivion... And forgot the world...

Drugs Cause Amnesia And Other Things I Can’t Remember Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


ON AGING Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional. Insanity is my only means of relaxation. My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely. Every time I think about exercise, I lie down till the thought goes away. God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will live forever. I finally got my head together, and my body fell apart. There cannot be a crisis this week; my schedule is already full. The nice part of living in a small town is that when I don’t know what I’m doing, someone else does. As time goes on I think I know what I want until I walk from one end of the house to the other, and can’t remember what I came after. The older you get, the tougher it is to lose weight, because by then your body and your fat are really good friends. Sometimes I think I understand everything, then I regain consciousness. Seen it all, Done it all, Can’t remember most of it.

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


In the end that’s all there is... I once forgot to smile; I once forgot to breathe... Does time heal or memories fade? It doesn’t matter the end result is the same understanding, just what we seek here at New Splicer. I wrote the title “In the end that’s all there is...” both as the literal statement of the end [for the nonbeliever] and as I now believe a hidden sense of growing freedom from the knowledge that the end doesn’t matter. From the end of your day to the end of your life, what matters is living it, owning it, loving it like you don’t believe in endings... Recently, I found myself in a ditch, which is not usually where one finds themselves and it is generally not a time for smiles and happiness, however on this occasion it was exactly that. I should add I was slightly intoxicated but I didn’t fall into the ditch, I was pushed or to be more accurate I was group hugged into a ditch. I didn’t mind, I flew downwards smiling... Although, I did try a few moves to avoid serious damage and crushing the 3 other people below me, my best friends. We were on a quest, we began as a dozen strong group of friends, gained and lost a few along the way but ended the night as something more... Bonded by the experiences of the night, inspired by smiles and silliness in the end it was the journey that mattered. The scars of falling in a ditch I wear as a badge, as I do the wounds of life; and I ware them with a smile while not forgetting to breathe. It comes down to a choice, both simple and impossibly difficult, do I continue or do I stop? To forget and move on? I simple just tried to exist and it seems to be working, it’s worth a try... So what’s at the end? I’ll let you know if I ever get there... Well perhaps not. Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Forget-me-not

Scientific classification Kingdom: (unranked): (unranked): (unranked): Family: Subfamily: Genus:

Plantae Angiosperms Eudicots Asterids Boraginaceae Boraginoideae Myosotis

Myosotis (from the Greek: “mouse’s ear”, after the leaf) is a genus of flowering plants in the family Boraginaceae that are commonly called Forget-me-nots. Its common name was calqued from the French, “ne m’oubliez pas” and first used in English in c. 1532. Similar names and variations are found in many languages.

Mouse ear’s

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


There are approximately fifty species in the genus, with much variation. Most have small (1 cm diameter or less) flat, 5-lobed blue, pink or white flowers with yellow centers, growing on scorpioid cymes. They bloom in spring. Leaves are alternate. Popular in gardens, Forget-me-nots prefer moist habitats and where they are not native, they have escaped to wetlands and riverbanks. They can tolerate partial sun and shade. Forget-me-nots may be annual or perennial plants. Their root systems are generally diffuse. Their seeds are found in small, tulip-shaped pods along the stem to the flower. The pods attach to clothing when brushed against and eventually fall off, leaving the small seed within the pod to germinate elsewhere. Seeds can be collected by putting a piece of paper under the stems and shaking them. The seed pods and some seeds will fall out. They are widely distributed. Most Myosotis species are indigenous to New Zealand, though one or two European species, especially the Wood Forget-me-not,Myosotis sylvatica have been introduced into most of the temperate regions of Europe, Asia and America. Myosotis scorpioides is also known as scorpion grassdue to the spiraling curve of its inflorescence. Myosotis alpestris is the state flower of Alaska. Forget-me-nots are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Setaceous Hebrew Character.

Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of Heaven, Blossom the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels. Evangeline, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


In a German legend, God named all the plants when a tiny unnamed one cried out, “Forget-me-not, O Lord!” God replied, “That shall be your name.” Henry IV adopted the flower as his symbol during his exile in 1398, and retained the symbol upon his return to England the following year. In 15th-century Germany, it was supposed that the wearers of the flower would not be forgotten by their lovers. Legend has it that in medieval times, a knight and his lady were walking along the side of a river. He picked a posy of flowers, but because of the weight of his armour he fell into the river. As he was drowning he threw the posy to his loved one and shouted “Forget-me-not.” It was often worn by ladies as a sign of faithfulness and enduring love.

I intend to live forever - so far so good.

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


THE SENILITY PRAYER God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Coping with memory loss She forgot, I forgot, to forget, she forgot, me... Selective memory is great sometimes, not that I have ever thought about Alzheimer’s, not that I can forget about Alzheimer’s [it’s my day job after all]. My trouble is, apart from the odd bottle of whisky at a good party, I rarely forget anything. Only distraction temporarily can unsettle this... One thing in one thing out, which is more about Random Access Memory rather than storage space up there... As much as I have loved and lost my memories are what I am; I would not want to live without them, good and bad. Hence, why I work on Alzheimer’s and hence why I now write about Alzheimer’s... Losing ones mind, not in the crazy sense, is akin to loosing ones soul... Who we are, I can think of nothing worse... With Alzheimer’s It is generally a slow progression to dementia, which does give us hope for a cure or at the very least it gives us time [I’m working as fast as I can!]. But here are a few steps to combat senility; one I currently employ is to start acting crazy now, that way in the future no one will notice you actually going crazy and therefore by definition of diagnosis you can be crazy if that’s what you are like all the time! Ha! Chess is another way, or pretty much any activity that involves using the brain [like writing a magazine for instance, although New Splicer is probably not a good example of sane writing]. So I play chess, I like to lose, mostly to confuse and I like to win generally to confuse again. I write to amuse or perhaps confuse, I can’t help thinking though I think we are all built that way as children, minds that question and minds that are only shut down by neglect. I believe we are all capable of amazing things but maybe I’m just an optimist who can see the potential in every child and also unfortunately I can see the sparkle slowly fade sometimes... I think that’s why I write to try and kindle and rekindle that flame in souls around the world... Or at the very least not to forget... Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


In August 2007 Terry Pratchett was misdiagnosed as having had a minor stroke in 2004 or 2005 that was believed to have damaged the right side of his brain. While his motor skills had been affected, the observed damage had not impaired his ability to write. On 11 December 2007, Pratchett posted online that he had been newly diagnosed with a very rare form of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which he said “lay behind this year’s phantom ‘stroke’. ” He has a rare form of the disease called posterior cortical atrophy, in which areas at the back of the brain begin to shrink and shrivel. Describing it as an ‘embuggerance’ in a radio interview, Pratchett appealed to people to “keep things cheerful”, and proclaimed that “we are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism.” Leading the way, Pratchett stated that he feels he has time for “at least a few more books yet”.

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...

In March 2008, Pratchett announced he was donating US$1,000,000 (about £494,000 at the time) to the Alzheimer’s Research Trust, saying that he had spoken to at least three brain tumour (cancer) survivors yet he had spoken to no survivors of Alzheimer’s disease, and that he was shocked “to find out that funding for Alzheimer’s research is just 3% of that to find cancer cures.” Of his donation Pratchett said: “I am, along with many others, scrabbling to stay ahead long enough to be there when the Cure comes along.” Pratchett’s donation inspired an internet campaign where fans hope to “Match it for Pratchett”, by raising another $1,000,000.

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Interview with the Dutch Thursday Next: Hello I would like to introduce you all to the Dutch Thursday Next, the translated edition lives. You can find her spinning time with a melodic accent here: Dutch Website: www.thursdaynext.nl/ Thursday Twitter: @_Thursday_Next Next

New Splicer ~NS~ Please take a metaphorical seat... Dutch Thursday Next -DTN- Why literally, thank you... Plock! Plock! ~NS~. Have you ever seen yourself as an old woman? -DTN- Nog niet. Er is maar een boek in het Nederlands vertaald en daar kom ik vandaan. Plock! Plock! ~NS~ When your not reading books, appearing in books, saving the world and reading New Splicer what do you do to relax? -DTN- Pickwich verzorgen, puzzelen ik maak een Thursday Next fansite om Nederlanders kennis te laten maken met de wereld van Jasper Fforde. Plock! Plock! Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


~NS~ This issue is all themed around the pains of age and living with dementia, do you think this is inevitable or can we escape this end? -DTN- Het onderzoek naar dementie een aanverwante ziekten gaat de goede kant op. 100 % genezing zal er denk ik niet komen, wel vermindering van de symptomen, zodat patiënten weer zo normaal mogelijk kunnen leven. Plock! Plock! ~NS~ As your father is part of the Chrono guard is there any insights that you can give us on the future of science and New Splicer itself? -DTN- Mijn vader is voornamelijk bezig in en met het verleden. Ik zie hem niet vaak, maar als hij weer eens langs komt dan vraag ik het hem. New Splicer is een interessant blad dat alleen maar kan groeien . ~NS~ How is your pet dodo? -DTN- Met Pickwick gaat het heel goed. Meestal zit ze plock geluiden te maken. Plock! Plock! ~NS~ What’s next for the Dutch Thursday Next? -DTN- Ik zou het leuk vinden als alle Thursday Next boeken in het Nederlands verkrijgbaar zouden zijn. Ik kan een uitgever gaan benaderen.

One good thing about Alzheimer’s is you get to meet new people every day. Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


~NS~ How do you get on with the English Thursday next, is it true what they say about her? -DTN- We hebben een goede verstandhouding. We doen allebei ons werk, de Originele Thursday Next werkt in de Engelse boekenwereld en woont in Swindon. Ik Werk in de Nederlandse boekenwereld en woon in Kuinre. Ik doe niet aan roddels. Thursday is precies zoals de omschrijving in haar boeken. Plock! Plock! ~NS~ What all the female fans wrote in and wished to ask was, how is Landen? Or in your case, the Dutch Landen? -DTN- Hij is een goede echtgenoot(erg sexy)en vader en schrijft fantastische boeken. Gelukkig is hij niet uit mijn bestaan gewist. Plock! Plock! ~NS~ Thank you’re for your time, if that’s appropriate, Ill leave our audience with one last question which is; In your adventures what has been both your most exciting and most terrifying moments? -DTN- De meest fantastische ervaring is toch wel dat ik Jane Eyre gered heb en haar weer veilig bij Edward Rochester terug gebracht heb. Jane Eyre is altijd al mijn favoriete boek geweest. Door het spannende gevecht met Acheron Hades in Thornfield hall heeft het boek een veel beter einde gekregen. Plock! Plock!

::poof in smoke, none of this already happened:: Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Answering Service At The Mental Institute “Hello, and welcome to the mental health hotline. If you are obsessive-compulsive, press 1 repeatedly. If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2 for you. If you have multiple personalities, press 3,4,5, and 6. If you are paranoid, we know who you are and what you want. Stay on the line so we can trace your call. If you are delusional, press 7 and your call will transferred to the mother ship. If you are schizophrenic, listen carefully and a small voice will tell you which number to press. If you are manic depressive, it doesn’t matter which number you press, no one will answer. If you have a nervous disorder, please fidget with the hash key until someone comes on the line. If you are dyslexic, press 6969696969. If you have amnesia, press 8 and state your name, address, phone number, date of birth, social security number, and your mother’s maiden name. If you have post-traumatic-stress disorder, slowly and carefully press 000. If you have bipolar disorder, please leave a message after the beep, or before the beep, or after the beep. Please wait for the beep. If you have short-term memory loss, press 9. If you have short term memory loss, press 9. If you have short term memory loss, press 9. If you have short term memory loss, press 9. If you have low self esteem, please hang up. All our operators are too busy to talk to you.” Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


I still can’t find my car keys Increasingly my own memory fades, I’m trying to detail and record this down in something like a personal experiment but It’s not so simple when you’re the subject and you are losing your mind.. Never remember where I put that either! It all comes back to control, control of the universe and the world around me... I seem to have escaped this for now, but in order to control this I seem to have developed some sort of OCD to cope/rationalise this issue. Most frustrating is leaving the house in the morning; check the door, locked, check again just in case, still locked. Now this is fine if I am 1. Awake [it is morning after all] 2. I am concentrating on remembering what I am doing [rewind to point 1]. So I walk off in a daze and I’m 5min away, now did I lock that door??? Ahhhh... It’s incredibly frustrating, especially as I feel I am a relatively intellectual man, who should find this behaviour simple [funny yes when I look on the outside, this is however distracting but yes funny]. So how do I cope? The least logical and most satisfying is to return and check the door a 3rd time! I refuse this option 99% of the time just out of frustration at myself, instead I take a very non-controlled approach which is not to care and try to trust that I must have shut the door [why would I leave it otherwise?!]. As I and the bus then pass my house I look back hoping...

Memory is a funny thing, especially fake memories, ones built around recalled events that you could swore happened but they never did... Two options; trust the person that is contradicting your story [perhaps they have irrefutable evidence against you.. buggers] or trust yourself... So what happened when you stop trusting your own mind? Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Well this happened or almost happened to me, brought about by a traumatic event usually; when I began questioning everything I once thought of as solid, through inflection this gave me the error message in my head that 1. The world is wrong or 2. You are wrong... How could I go against the world and how could I go against myself? Perhaps there was a 3rd option [which at least gave me the time to distract myself for a Freudian confrontation with the “real” and have the walls of my reality come crashing down [sometimes a good thing - my belief that this is what fight club was all about, but that’s another issue]]. I think the conclusion or perhaps more accurately the lie that I told myself, and was happy to believe, was that to some degree both were true. I didn’t mind being wrong, I was more afraid of the implications that my thoughts/beliefs were wrong would have on my mind. It was not a fun time, too much thought is sometimes a bad thing; my saviour was hard work. I spent 8 months buried in a lab for 10 hours a day [no thought just robot like automation but also as I was working on hazardous samples I have to remain awake], in the end I produced the first ever human blood test for Mad Cow disease and somehow saved my own mental state/life [with the help of some amazing friends].

On reflection it was numb, although tethered I floated... And how did I escape, time heals all wounds [or at pessimistic worse, dampens there effect]. So now as I am in some recovered state and as inescapably I am a scientist I return to ask the question again, how could I be wrong? My answer- in some circumstances and lives I was actually correct, In my version of events maybe I just got unlucky and life threw me a curveball [a bastard of a curveball :)]. It’s all about how you pick up, or not, the remains of yourself and choose to carry on, to smile, to breath...

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


My view on the world has changed; for neither better or worse, I just feel I am more fluid, flexible to run with the wind... However it blows... Perhaps I am a little more cynical, but this is great for dark humour and cheeky smiles. The illusion of control was revealed to me, in a dream, in a life at sea. Living by its shackles, ill fate set me free... It is, however, possible to live to death in a perfect delusion... I wonder if I had a choice which I would chose...

Where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise. Thomas Gray Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


The Brain I am Jacks brain, thank you for using me... I think, I am all that you are. The seat of your emotions, I created your first tear, I survived just like you. I understood this page; just a few nanoseconds before you but what are a few nanoseconds between friends? I’m New Splicer’s Brain, I attempt to make other brains smile and confused and then smile again, perhaps... Why does my brain write a few of you have asked? Well I’ll let it answer, it is my ego and self all in one, I am merely a part of it as it is of me. Kind of equal in power and control... I’m going off topic, I like to wander around the universe, my mental playground and explore all that is. Everything interests me some more than others, from the mundane silliness of a bad joke to the complex workings of the world its people and each of their minds.

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


I begin everything with a title, currently unlimited in creativity [as there is just too much stuff in the world that lies unexplored, at least by my interpretation, to ever run out of ideas], an example... As I write now, in real time I am not actually writing by typing down present thoughts... Editing as you may have guessed from previous issues is something I rarely do... I mean Issue 2.5 was titled New Spicer... Intentional? So, ok, a title, well Volume 2.9 is likely to be a Christmas issue, cheesy yes but I love Christmas and have always wanted to try and sync an issue with an event! I just missed out on Gregor Mendel’s birthday for the plant/ pea volume 2.5 and this current issue on Alzheimer’s we just missed out on the World Alzheimer’s day on the 21st September... I’ll claim I just forgot that one!

Again running away from point; so as I sit in my favourite coffee house for writing and naturally coffee and I’m simply writing this piece on Wednesday the 16th of November and I have yet to design the front cover or start any of the actual work on the magazine. Currently it is simply a collection of 6 short stories and one interview on my laptop... [Yep I best get to work! I have self imposed deadlines to meet! I have been slightly delayed at work as I may have just discovered something exciting in the non-New Splicer labs - more on that perhaps later. I mean after all this is the “Alzheimer’s” issue.. *wink *wink].

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


I start by thinking about Christmas, how it makes me smile and how I can make you smile from sweetness to silliness .................................................... “Who is Father Christmas?”............ ............................................”Elves are people too”...................”Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells”... “Ho Ho Ho”....................................................... ....................................”I like Snow”..The Melting pot. Ok six ideas! Just as you read well just as I wrote each full stop . is ~one second of real time. The geeks can count how long each title took [52-56-19-3-91+2+ thinking time]. I fluttered around song, things I like and a few potentially darker ideas that I can twist on their head. At present I have no idea what these stories will become, they are simply titles that will inspire me in the future [As well as my environment and the experiences I have in the next few weeks]. Much in the same way as this story was titled “The Brain” and in truth, I imagined that It would be quite a plain scientific walk through the brain and its function, but it has turned out quite different and I guess diagnostic of my writing process.. Which I like, plus to be honest some of the stories I have written have been quite sad and I felt like I needed some lighter smiles... And some of the stories are not even true hehehe perhaps... I am my own brain, just like yours, unique; maybe as sane, perhaps as crazy, but I am... I wonder if Santa should also look like Chuck Norris...

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Next Season And so it comes full circle, New Splicer is almost one year old! So I hope you will raise a merry glass and (slice of) toast to the future and hopefully many more smiles and silliness. This year there is perhaps still time for one more volume and I have themed this issue around Mr Christmas himself – Santa Clause. New Splicer Volume 2.9 should round off 2011 with an explosive sleigh ride through the light and dark of the festive season... I love Christmas and hope you will too... Come and join the ride, tell me your stories of presents, scary Santa parents, stolen cookies and lost childhoods. As we all celebrate a lovely New [Splicer] year... See you in a stocking soon... ~New Splicer~ According to my best recollection, I don’t remember.

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Volume 2.9 December 2011

In this issue Topic of the month:

Who is Farther Christmas?... Elves are people too... Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells... I like Snow The Melting Pot... Ho Ho Ho... and much more! Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile


Toast Mark----eting board

A Job half done is something to forget... There is no such thing as single sided toast! Always cook fully...

Don’t forget to Breathe

Don’t forget to smile

New Splicer Volume 2.8  

The Alzhiemer Issue! Try not to forget! Try to enjoy... Then perhaps forget...

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