Archives for July 2013

BBC News – India: Army ‘mistook planets for spy drones’

That will happen.

India’s army reportedly spent six months watching "Chinese spy drones" violating its air space, only to find out they were actually Jupiter and Venus.

via BBC News – India: Army 'mistook planets for spy drones'.

What doctors should look for in job seekers’ social media presence –

Don’t make yourself unhireable.

As the medical director of a health services group that serves racially diverse patients in some of Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods, Ravi Grivois-Shah, MD, always conducts a quick search of physicians he’s interested in hiring on various social media sites and blogs to see if anything worrisome surfaces before offering them a position.

via What doctors should look for in job seekers’ social media presence –

SoMe is entertaining, but here’s the equation we should all keep in mind: Job >>>>>> SoMe.

You’re welcome.

Professor accused of poisoning wife with cyanide to face extradition –

I do not understand killing a spouse. Divorce I get, but not this. (FTR, I’m not saying this individual is guilty, it’s just another in a string of spouses/lovers killing one another; more human behavior that’s a total mystery to me).

A University of Pittsburgh research professor faces an extradition hearing in West Virginia on Monday as authorities seek his return to Pennsylvania, where he’s accused of killing his wife with a lethal dose of cyanide.

via Professor accused of poisoning wife with cyanide to face extradition –

Is Obamacare too much work for the Obama administration?

I particularly like the graphic…

By the end of this week, states must decide whether they will build a health-insurance exchange or leave the task to the federal government. The question is, with as many as 17 states expected to leave it to the feds, can the Obama administration handle the workload.

“These are systems that typically take two or three years to build,” says Kevin Walsh, managing director of insurance exchange services at Xerox. “The last time I looked at the calendar, that’s not what we’re working with.”

via Is Obamacare too much work for the Obama administration?.

Frankly, it’s too much work for any administration. Absurd to think it’s workable given any timeframe.

Sikorsky prize won: human powered helicopter successful!

Never bet against the humans.

Terrific article about this and the prize at PopMech. ht Instapundit.

Heroic State Attorneys General band together to force lawful commerce to stop, because they don’t like it.

This is the sort of thing that makes my teeth ache, and is why I’m on blood pressure medication.

So, 22 State Attorneys General sent a letter to Urban Outfitters demanding they stop selling gag merchandise described as their ‘Prescription line’, which includes the terrifically dangerous items of

glasses, coasters, mugs, drink holders and related products that mimic prescription pill bottles and prescription pads.

Wow, they must be a public health hazard! They must be made of uranium or Chinese drywall! Oh, no:

As you may be aware, there is a national health crisis related to the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. As Attorneys General, we have prosecuted and engaged in outreach to stop this epidemic. We are actively engaged in a campaign of environmental change to educate the public that abuse of prescription drugs is not safe simply because the medication originated from a doctor. By putting these highly recognizable labels on your products you are undermining our efforts.

They committed the sin of not getting their product in line with the ‘environmental modification’ these Defenders of Democracy intend.

It gets worse:

These products demean the thousands of deaths that occur each month in the United States from accidental overdoses.

What? A mug that looks like this

banned, demeaning coffee cup

banned, demeaning coffee cup

demeans the death of people who overdose on prescription drugs? Explain that one to me, I’m missing a step here.

Also, these 22 Stalwarts of Freedom get to pass judgement on what’s funny:

These products are not in any way fun or humorous but make light of this rampant problem.

So, if they’d been funny to these idiots these products would have been okay? It’s only because this particular juxtaposition of the daily normal as the absurd didn’t tickle their collective giggle-triggers that they have to be banned?

And the coercive power of The State that Knows What’s Good For You:

We invite you to pull these products from your shelves and join with us to fight prescription drug abuse.

Get it? Not only must they stop selling harmless nick-nacks, they are invited to join in this latest temperance movement.

I’m absolutely against prescription drug abuse, and agree that because it’s prescription does not equal safety (and quite often the opposite), but the straw man in the argument that selling prescription themed coasters is contributing to the problem is absurd. Doctors and patients are the root of the problem, not vendors of inanities.

I’m unsurprised Urban Outfitters quickly pulled this line of products, and it has nothing to do with agreeing with these 22 Bastions of Enlightenment but the reality that businesses are there to make money, not waves. Businesses seldom do the right thing constitutionally if that would cause them one iota of a problem, and I get that.

Good thing all the real problems have been sorted out.

An image of the letter,

Heroic Correspondence of 22 Thought Leaders in Law

Heroic Correspondence of 22 Thought Leaders in Law

and a link to the full .pdf.

Links and story via CNN and Ace of Spades HQ

Fuel Fix » Texas pumping more oil than some OPEC countries

Fracking isn’t just for natural gas.

We all know oil production in Texas has soared in recent years. But putting the rise in graphic form shows just how phenomenal the energy turnaround has been: The surge looks exponential.


via Fuel Fix » Texas pumping more oil than some OPEC countries.

Out where I grew up they’re redrilling a lot of the original straight-down oil wells, doing the horzontal drilling with it then fracking. Played-out ares are now big producers.

The Truth About SwedenCare – Klaus Bernpaintner – Mises Daily

Required reading.

As a Swede currently living in the United States, with actual experience of Swedencare, I must reply to the delusions propagated by professor Robert H. Frank in his June 15 article in the New York Times, titled “What Sweden Can Teach Us About Obamacare.”

It is surprising to read something so out of line with basic economic theory from an economics professor. But theory aside, it would have sufficed for professor Frank to have taken a field trip down to the nearest public emergency room to have his illusions irreparably shattered. The reality is that Swedish healthcare is the perfect illustration of the tragedy of central planning. It is expensive and — even worse — it kills innocent people.

There is nothing economically mysterious about health care — it is just another service. Like any other it can be plentifully provided on a free market at affordable prices and constantly improving quality. But like everything else, it breaks down when the central planners get their hands on it, which they now have. To claim that the problems are due to a “market failure” in health care is like saying that there was a market failure in Soviet bread production.

via The Truth About SwedenCare – Klaus Bernpaintner – Mises Daily.

Others have been down this path, do we have to do it in the typically American governmental (expensive, borderline incompetent) version? Can’t we just jump to the free market?

West Nile virus 2013 as of July 2nd

Last year was a big year for us in Texas with West Nile, an in conversation with colleagues the other day we noted we hadn’t seen any yet.

So, to the CDC Map of cases:
Wow, Texas is dark green as are several other states! Must be an epidemic, right?

Not so much:
Two cases made Texas look like ground zero. (This isn’t to make light of the CDC, it’s to point out that maps by state aren’t necessarily as descriptive as they look).

And, I and mine got ambushed by mosquitoes today, so wear the right clothing/DEET, etc. Or the map you change might represent you!

Source: CDC West Nile virus