Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fall 2014


Fall never disappoints. :)


Belief/Doubt & Then Some


This is a pix yours truly took @ the Hirshhorn in DC depicting, in interesting fashion, the tumultuous relationship humanity has with reality, something we all share as living entities on a tiny planet called earth. :)

Ebola is brilliant


This is a truly excellent article about Ebola written by Abby Norman, a FEMA-trained in level 3 hazmat in a hospital setting.

To whit:

Ebola is brilliant.

It is a superior virus that has evolved and fine-tuned its mechanism of transmission to be near-perfect. That's why we're all so terrified. We know we can't destroy it. All we can do is try to divert it, outrun it. 

PPE, or, personal protective equipment, is sort of a catch-all phrase for the suits, booties, gloves, hoods and in many cases respirators worn by individuals who are entering a hot zone. These suits are incredibly difficult to move in. You are wearing several layers of gloves, which limits your dexterity to basically nil, the hoods limit the scope of your vision -- especially your peripheral vision, which all but disappears. The suits are hot -- almost unbearably so. The respirator gives you clean air, but not cool air. These suits are for protection, not comfort. Before you even suit up, your vitals need to be taken. You can't perform in the suit for more than about a half hour at a time -- if you make it that long. Heat stroke is almost a given at that point. You have to be fully hydrated and calm before you even step into the suit. By the time you come out of it, and your vitals are taken again, you're likely to be feeling the impact -- you may not have taken more than a few steps in the suit, but you'll feel like you've run a marathon on a 90-degree day. 

The other consideration is this: The "doffing" procedure, that is, the removal of PPE, is the most crucial part. It is also the point at which the majority of mistakes are made, and my guess is that this is what happened in Dallas.

The PPE, if worn correctly, does an excellent job of protecting you while you are wearing it. But eventually you'll need to take it off. Before you begin, you need to decon the outside of the PPE. That's the first thing. This is often done in the field with hoses or mobile showers/tents. Once this crucial step has occurred, the removal of PPE needs to be done in pairs. You cannot safely remove it by yourself. One reason you are wearing several sets of gloves is so that you have sterile gloves beneath your exterior gloves that will help you to get out of your suit. The procedure for this is taught in FEMA courses, and you run drills with a buddy over and over again until you get it right. You remove the tape and discard it. You throw it away from you. You step out of your boots  --  careful not to let your body touch the sides. Your partner helps you to slither out of the suit, again, not touching the outside of it. This is difficult, and it cannot be rushed. The respirators need to be deconned, batteries changed, filters changed. The hoods, once deconnned, need to be stored properly. If the suits are disposable, they need to be disposed of properly. If not, they need to be thoroughly deconned and stored safely. And they always need to be checked for rips, tears, holes, punctures or any other even tiny, practically invisible openings that could make the suit vulnerable. 


Can anyone tell me if this happened in Dallas?

Any questions?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

99.5


Question - Why was a healthcare professional allowed to fly to Cleveland after being in direct contact with an Ebola patient or better yet, why did said professional decide to fly while possibly being symptomatic with said disease without considering the consequences?!!... Which constitute two "rather" questionable actions on the part of both parties that contribute to the quiet unease of yours truly while watching the CDC continue to stumble while trying to reign in this disease from hell before it's too late. Factoid, read Randomly Scary Stuff to see just how scary Ebola truly is.






As an aside, the excellent Frontline piece, The Trouble with Antibiotics comes to mind when reading about Ebola as this program, in indirect and powerful fashion, shows why this situation is serious to the max.

Read the Washington Post piece to get more info on this most interesting of news tidbit.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Oil Weapon


Most intelligent people know that the Great Game is all about oil, the horrific incursion of ISIS notwithstanding, because in the end, it's all about oil and having access to it in order for the world's fossil fuel addiction to continue without interruption, something the Saudi's are all too eager to supply, providing it hurts Putin and limits Iran's push to becoming the hegemon of the middle east. Seen above is the breakeven oil price chart, courtesy Zero Hedge & the WS Journal, whereby an interesting tail can now be told. 












Somehow I don't think that's going to happen. Also, this brings up the question of the viability of "unlimited" fracking and oil sand supplies in the US because if our reserves are so large, why is this action needed? Food for thought if you ask me.


On a Brighter Note :)





Smartphone picture quality simply astounds yours truly as these untouched "gems" were snaps taken on the fly in NYC & DC. Unreal kinda says it all. Enjoy. :)

"Don't Do Stupid Shit"


"Dont Do Stupid Shit", the quote heard around the world is moot because the US is doing SS every minute it's in the Middle East. We created this mess and we don't have enough brains to get out of it so it's Orwell writ large. Endless war, Oceana against Eurasia and an end game that never ends. 

To whit: 




But there's more with a lesson from the ghost from hell, the secret bombing of Cambodia, courtesy the US of A.



Pol Pot

And this:


And so it goes.

Stupid Shit indeed. 


Friday, September 26, 2014

The 5 Step Program


Yours truly saw Transcendence, a flick that makes one think about AI and the melding of organic intelligence with artificial. Back in 2013, BRT talked about the potential dangers of AI in Start Point for the Terminator as our near future invention's eventual relationship to us is something we haven't a clue about when super AI happens, as it  most certainly will, whether we like it or not. INHO, the beginning of the movie works as the science and tech were properly articulated as to how a mind meld could actually happen while the last part resembled the Middle East fubar, muddled and ridiculous to a fault but that's not the raison d'ete for this blurb but rather about how super intelligence could come to pass as stated in Physorg.

The 5 ways are:
  1. Biological
  2. Mathematical
  3. Brute Force
  4. Plagiarizing Nature &
  5. Competent humans - first phase


Ubiquity looms :)


Graphene, the wonder material, has a new trick up it's sleeve, touchscreens.





Boggles the mind, doesn't it. :)


This is what's coming, courtesy graphene, the business end of pencils us rubes have been using since the 1500s.

The Morality Equation :)


I knew it all along. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

117K


BRT has talked about the disaster known as healthcare in America numerous times as my loyal readers know. From insurance company screwups to gross inefficiencies in the it component of HC, the situation is dire and only getting worse. In Why?, BRT discussed the issue of our medical records and why we don't have them, a situation yours truly finds absolutely unacceptable. Now, in the NY Times article titled After Surgery, Surprise $117,000 Medical Bill From Doctor He Didn’t Know, a guy gets hammered by Dr. Anonymous.




Out of control kind of says it all in this fubar known as healthcare in America. Seen below are some price points for relatively common out of network surgical procedures.

Single payer anyone?


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Splitting H2O


Splitting water, something expensive and difficult at best, just got easier, a development that could change how we power the world.

A cheap, emissions-free device that uses a 1.5-volt AAA battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen by electrolysis has been developed by scientists at Stanford University.

Unlike other water splitters that use precious-metal catalysts, the electrodes in the Stanford device are made of inexpensive, abundant nickel and iron.

“This is the first time anyone has used non-precious metal catalysts to split water at a voltage that low,” said Hongjie Dai, a professor of chemistry at Stanford. “It’s quite remarkable, because normally you need expensive metals, like platinum or iridium, to achieve that voltage.”

Seen below is the proof of concept device, the start point of tech manifesting itself into form factors we cannot yet imagine.  The next step is to scale it to real world levels, something that will definitely happen, thanks to innovative research showing how to split water at a price point society can afford.


Stanford scientists have developed a low-cost device that uses an ordinary AAA battery (or a solar cell) to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas. Gas bubbles are produced by electrodes made of inexpensive nickel and iron. (Credit: Mark Shwartz/Stanford University)

Unit 8200


James Bamford's a guy yours truly respects to the max. He gets tech in a big way, particularly when it comes to the NSA, surveillance and the impact both have had on the behavior of mankind. His extensive interview with Edwin Snowden is the only writing, IMHO, that delves deeply into the raison d'ete as to why Snowden became a whistleblower at the level of a Daniel Ellsberg

To add fuel to the fire, Bamford, via Snowden, reveals just how exclusive the relationship truly is with Israel, a relationship Founding Fathers Jefferson and Washington would have prohibited, without question, back in the day.





" by forming an "American character wholly free of foreign attachments."
George Washington

"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none." 
Thomas Jefferson


Addendum: Check out Bamford's The Secret War, a piece on Keith Alexander, the former head of the NSA. Interesting to say the least.