Sunday, October 19, 2014
This is a truly excellent article about Ebola written by Abby Norman, a FEMA-trained in level 3 hazmat in a hospital setting.
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?
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
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.
Just about an hour ago, the CDC's Tom Frieden held a press conference in which he tried to diffuse the CDC's incompetence for a allowing healthcare workers who cared for the now deceased "Index Patient" Thomas Eric Duncan, to board a plane. A worker, who as was reported earlier today, was confirmed sick with the deadly virus. Still, in order to defend his agency from accusations of gross incompetence, of which it clearly is guilty, Frieden said that...
But what is worse, is that as the WaPo reports the nurse had a fever of 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit before boarding a passenger jet on Monday, a day before she reported symptoms of the virus and was tested, according to public health officials. "Even though there appeared to be little risk for the other people on that flight, she should not have traveled that way, Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a news conference Wednesday."
The reason he said that is that since she was clearly symptomatic, she was also contagious. Which explains why the CDC is scrambling to uncover all those passengers who may have flown with her.
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
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.
The full answer comes courtesy of Anadolu Agency, which explains not only the big picture involving Saudi Arabia and its biggest asset, oil, but also the latest fracturing of OPEC at the behest of Saudi Arabia...
... which however is merely using "the oil weapon" to target the old slash new Cold War foe #1: Vladimir Putin.
Saudi Arabia will force the price of oil down, in an effort to put political pressure on Iran and Russia, according to the President of Saudi Arabia Oil Policies and Strategic Expectations Center.
To pressure Iran to limit its nuclear program, and to change Russia's position on Syria, Riyadh will sell oil below the average spot price at $50 to $60 per barrel in the Asian markets and North America, says Rashid Abanmy, President of the Riyadh-based Saudi Arabia Oil Policies and Strategic Expectations Center. The marked decrease in the price of oil in the last three months, to $92 from $115 per barrel, was caused by Saudi Arabia, according to Abanmy.
With oil demand declining, the ostensible reason for the price drop is to attract new clients, Abanmy said, but the real reason is political. Saudi Arabia wants to get Iran to limit its nuclear energy expansion, and to make Russia change its position of support for the Assad Regime in Syria. Both countries depend heavily on petroleum exports for revenue, and a lower oil price means less money coming in, Abanmy pointed out. The Gulf states will be less affected by the price drop, he added.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is the technical arbiter of the price of oil for Saudi Arabia and the 11 other countries that make up the group, won't be able to affect Saudi Arabia's decision, Abanmy maintained.
The organization's decisions are only recommendations and are not binding for the member oil producing countries, he explained.
Today's Brent closing price: $90. Russia's oil price budget for the period 2015-2017? $100. Which means much more "forced Brent liquidation" is in the cards in the coming weeks as America's suddenly once again very strategic ally, Saudi Arabia, does everything in its power to break Putin.
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.
"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.
- “Militants have funneled weapons and fighters through Turkey into Syria. The Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, have networks in Turkey….
- Turkish security and intelligence services may have ties to Islamic State militants. The group released 46 Turkish diplomats it had abducted the day before the United States launched airstrikes against it. Turkey, a NATO member, may have known the airstrikes were about to begin and pressured its contacts in the Islamic State to release its diplomats.
- “This implies Turkey has more influence or stronger ties to ISIS than people would think,” Tanir said.”
But there's more with a lesson from the ghost from hell, the secret bombing of Cambodia, courtesy the US of A.
The Cambodian Civil War lasted five years, from the coup in 1970 to the fall of Phnom Penh to the communists in 1975. During this five-year span, the Cambodians and Americans witnessed the rise to power of one of the most radical and brutal political parties of all time: the Khmer Rouge. Led by Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge exploited the U.S. aerial bombardment as a means of propaganda, which proved extremely crucial for their rapid growth to power.
The Khmer Rouge, previously a marginalized guerrilla group, propagandized the bombing campaign to great effect; by the CIA's own intelligence estimates, the US bombing campaign was a key factor in the increase in popular support for the Khmer Rouge rebels. After their victory in 1975, the Khmer Rouge oversaw a period in which another one-to-two million Cambodians died from execution, hunger and forced labour.
And so it goes.
Stupid Shit indeed.
Friday, September 26, 2014
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:
Graphene, the wonder material, has a new trick up it's sleeve, touchscreens.
New research published today in the journal Advanced Functional Materials suggests that graphene-treated nanowires could soon replace current touchscreen technology, significantly reducing production costs and allowing for more affordable, flexible displays.
The majority of today's touchscreen devices, such as tablets and smartphones are made using indium tin oxide (ITO) which is both expensive and inflexible. Researchers from the University of Surrey and AMBER, the materials science centre based at Trinity College Dublin have now demonstrated how graphene-treated nanowires can be used to produce flexible touchscreens at a fraction of the current cost.
Using a simple, scalable and inexpensive method the researchers produced hybrid electrodes, the building blocks of touchscreen technology, from silver nanowires and graphene.
Dr Alan Dalton from the University of Surrey said, "The growing market in devices such as wearable technology and bendable smart displays poses a challenge to manufacturers. They want to offer consumers flexible, touchscreen technology but at an affordable and realistic price. At the moment, this market is severely limited in the materials to hand, which are both very expensive to make and designed for rigid, flat devices."
Boggles the mind, doesn't it. :)
Sunday, September 21, 2014
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.
Before his three-hour neck surgery for herniated disks in December, Peter Drier, 37, signed a pile of consent forms. A bank technology manager who had researched his insurance coverage, Mr. Drier was prepared when the bills started arriving: $56,000 from Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, $4,300 from the anesthesiologist and even $133,000 from his orthopedist, who he knew would accept a fraction of that fee.
He was blindsided, though, by a bill of about $117,000 from an “assistant surgeon,” a Queens-based neurosurgeon whom Mr. Drier did not recall meeting.
“I thought I understood the risks,” Mr. Drier, who lives in New York City, said later. “But this was just so wrong — I had no choice and no negotiating power.”
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 water, something expensive and difficult at best, just got easier, a development that could change how we power the world.
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)
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.
Among his most shocking discoveries, he told me, was the fact that the N.S.A. was routinely passing along the private communications of Americans to a large and very secretive Israeli military organization known as Unit 8200. This transfer of intercepts, he said, included the contents of the communications as well as metadata such as who was calling whom.
Typically, when such sensitive information is transferred to another country, it would first be “minimized,” meaning that names and other personally identifiable information would be removed. But when sharing with Israel, the N.S.A. evidently did not ensure that the data was modified in this way.
Mr. Snowden stressed that the transfer of intercepts to Israel contained the communications — email as well as phone calls — of countless Arab- and Palestinian-Americans whose relatives in Israel and the Palestinian territories could become targets based on the communications. “I think that’s amazing,” he told me. “It’s one of the biggest abuses we’ve seen.
" by forming an "American character wholly free of foreign attachments."
"Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none."Thomas Jefferson