Mail 727 Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Subj: Video: Richard Feynman explains the PDSA cycle, aka the Scientific Method
Feynman was a highly esteemed lecturer. Alas, he didn’t record that many of them. I used to have lunch with him, McCarthy, and Minsky at periodic intervals when they were in LA. Most impressive lunches I have ever had.
Time for Footfall 2.0?
That might be fun, but we have something else to finish first…
Evil Corn Syrup Power
"High Fructose Corn Syrup is a highly processed product that appears to lack the ability of cane and beet sugar to "turn off" the body’s hunger signals."
How fortunate that humans are equipped with a highly specialized and extremely versatile organ called the "brain" that enables them to make their own decisions about hunger signals.
Mike T. Powers
Indeed, but then the notion of freedom seems to be a sometimes thing…
Re: drug shortages
Emailer Joshua Jordan writes: "We have enough money to bomb other countries and grope our citizens, but we don’t have drugs in our hospitals."
What’s happened here is that the FDA decided that it wanted to ensure that drugs were made with what it considered proper quality control, inventory tracking, procedural adherence to avoid lot variation, and so on. The companies that made the drugs insisted that doing this was totally impossible, unworkable, put-them-out-of-business expensive; so the FDA gave them waivers with the intention that the companies work toward compliance at their own speed while under the waivers. And then it came time for the waivers to be reviewed, and the FDA said "so you’ve been working towards compliance then?" and the companies said "well you never actually SAID that we HAD TO, so…" and now the waivers are gone, and the companies can’t sell their drugs anymore because they don’t meet the not-new-but-now-being-enforced standards.
I’m not really sure who to blame here. On the one hand, the companies kind of have a point that they were approved under the old standards and that didn’t seem to bother anyone until just recently. On the other hand, it’s not actually a bad thing to request best-practice processes be used to create drugs.
But on the gripping hand, it’s not like the new standards actually needed to be implemented–we weren’t experiencing wave after wave of people dead and maimed by ten percent variations in the potency of injectable medications–so maybe it’s the FDA’s fault after all, trying to fix what isn’t broken because otherwise they’d have no excuse for insisting that manufacturers of *new* drugs toe the line.
Mike T. Powers
I have yet to find the part of the Constitution that makes any of this the business of the federal government, but then I am a very old school constitutionalist. The federal government can do as it wills with the District of Columbia and can try to persuade the states to copy its policies by showing how well they work. Such as with the DC schools which Congress is certainly responsible for…
My kind of girl – How an immigrant improved morale
Maj. Gen. James M. Gavin, who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division, had a fling with the actress Marlene Dietrich in 1944-1945. This was a departure for Dietrich, as she usually favored frontline enlisted men as lovers. In fact, she once remarked that she had never slept with Eisenhower because he had never been at the Front.
Proof that there is no intelligent life at NBC.
They’ve cast Jerry O’Connell (“Sliders”) to play Herman Munster in a series remake of “The Munsters”.
They’re doing the new show as a one-hour drama (!) series.
This has the potential to have bomb megatonnage in the “Turn-On” range. (Cancelled after one (1) episode aired.)
what the shuttle booster saw
video footage from the boosters
More kindle koments
Jerry, really liked your daughters Outies, she sounds like an accomplished, intelligent, articulate lady- is she single?
I’m really liking my droidpad-after ‘Outies’ had to get ‘Mote’ and ‘Gripping Hand’; These, ‘West of honor’ as well as a few Scalazi and Vinge shorts and the ‘Galaxy Project’ by Mr. Heinlein should get me through my upcoming Seattle trip,although I have 2 Vinge print books just in case. Of course after reading ‘Secret of Blackship Island’ I’m wanting to read the Avalon books and some Heinlein sounds good as well- but I ramble.
Oh, I was pleased to see the correction Larry made to my hardcover copy of ‘Mote’ you guys autographed had made it to the kindle version !
Hope all is well,
Thanks. Of course it’s hard to autograph eBooks…
Just got to see Prophets of Science Fiction episode 7 featuring Robert A. Heinlein. Given a forty minute length there is not much, which can be comprehensively conveyed about a man’s life and work, especially with the breadth and depth of Robert A. Heinlein’s contributions. Thank you for being part of the show, I imagine there was probably extensive questions you answered for the interview, which are far more interesting and informative than what was included in the show.
Take Care and all my Best
£30bn bill to purify water system after toxic impact of contraceptive pill
While I’m not surprised that pharmaceuticals and other chemicals in human urine have been evaluated to be a risk for fish populations, It seem like it would be more cost effective to ban or restrict use of any pharmaceuticals that were shown to have such effects that treating waste water to remove or neutralize it.
It is a non-trivial problem, and I am unsure as to what should be done. There are some environmental matters that need to be considered. This is one of them.
After seeing the link to the television set made with transparent LEDs–when off, it’s basically a window, I realized that, given the amount of storage possible these days, Sturgeon’s "slow glass" is now possible. Just put a high-res camera (well, a bunch of them so that random bird do-do won’t spoil the effect) at a scenic location, record 24/7 for however many days you want, then send the recording to someone with one of those transparent-screen televisions. Or make the television big enough to fill, say, a picture window. Honking big files, depending upon duration of the recording, but we can now do this. Record for 10 years and the effect will be glass 10 light years thick. (Stories were "Light of Other Days" and, if I recall correctly, "Slow Sculpture".)
I don’t see any way to make money from this deal, but I don’t doubt someone will.
It is slow glass, isn’t it! Interesting observation.