If you wind me up, I will go on and on and on about modern medicine and unnecessary, expensive and invasive therapies wrought on the elderly in a vain attempt to make them live forever. In the US, 25% of your lifetime medical expenses are incurred in your last year of life when it should be 1/80th. The implication is that drugs and surgery don't really work to extend life if you are on your terminal illness. The likelihood that this illness is the terminal one, and so shouldn't really be treated, increases [exponentially?] as we get older. In my book, if there is a bottleneck in Intensive Care, then we should privilege young wage-earners with dependents: if they can be pulled through it will have beneficial utilitarian consequences. Me, I'm genetically dead, my kids have left home, and I've nothing new to say, so I should find me a nice ice-flow to die on rather than blocking some young chap's ICU bed. But some medical devices are so damned elegant, you have to tip hats to the engineers and doctors who thought them up and then designed them.
It is a peculiarity of evolution that we re-use and re-purpose bits and bobs which exist for one function, so that they are used for something else. There are two useful sets of plumbing which serve a number of purposes. The first is the urino-genital tract which is a long old tube that leaks urine from the bladder and also takes cocktail of ingredients (stirred not shaken) of semen from the testes+seminal vesicles+prostate+Cowper's glands and delivers that to the outside as required. Silly to have two parallel pipes. Another example of this is the common duct that connects two tubes, the bile-duct from the gall-bladder and one from the pancreas, which allows these two digestive glands to dump their product at the very top of the small intestine. If you have a blockage in this common bile-duct you feel crook and your skin turns yellow because the pigmented bile is not leaking away into the gut.
colour of a sou'wester.
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