It’s a Grab Bag Blog Today! Something for Everyone

 

Enjoy a Collection of Assorted News, Human Interest, and Other Tidbits. Part of our Hey, Look at That! Series.

Today I am pleased to share an assortment of articles and information that I have come across. I found them fascinating. Sometimes fun, sometimes infuriating, but consistently good to know. This like going through your garage to organize a yard sale. I found some items to share.

I am constantly collecting bits of information and entertainment. Every once in a while, its’ time to share a few. Today is such a day.

Sometimes Modern Medicine Really is Miraculous

 

How We Organize, Pay For, and Integrate Medicine in This Country is a Mess. 

The Actual Practice of Medicine, However, Can Be Pretty Impressive.

This is Not Your Parents Surgery

My wife went through a major surgical procedure replacing a hip a few days ago. We are both fortunate to have good health, so this sojourn into the medical culture is a new experience for us. It has been educational and, in many ways, encouraging. We learned some things that might be of interest to anyone facing major medical engagements.

YOU are in Cybersecurity Danger – From FOUR Directions – Part I

The Risks are Far Worse Than Most of Us Think. But There is Hope

This is the first part of a two-part post. Today’s blog lays out the primary dangers we face individually and as a country. Part II looks at ways out of this mess.

We are all aware that a lot seems to be amiss in the world of cybersecurity. What may have gotten lost for some of us is how deep and wide the threats run. There is an overarching framework that makes this all exceptionally dangerous. The attacks come from four different threats,

Let’s Fire Daylight Savings Time – Forever!

 

Time Measurement Should be Scientific. Instead, it’s a Global Hodge-Podge.

“What time is it?” may turn out to be more of a trick question than one might think.

For quite a while, the world, for the most part,  had a pretty good approach towards time. Ground Zero for time keeping was set up at Greenwich, England. Twenty-four one-hour time bands spread out from there around the world. These matched the 24-hour cycle in the dance between the Earth and the Sun.

Simple, right? But of course, we could not leave well enough alone.

Is My Self-Driving Car Here Yet?

 

I Have Good News and Bad News

Regular readers of this blog know I have an abiding interest in self-driving cars. They have significant potential in many areas beyond convenient transportation. The technology is scalable and adaptable for many applications. I can see revolutions in transportation for the handicapped, elderly, the blind. Public transport could be completely reinvented. Accident rates can be dramatically reduced (but not eliminated. More on that later in this posting).

But all is not perfection around the corner. There are challenging technical issues still to be resolved.

The Relationship Between Science and Science Fiction

An Ideal Partnership That Nourishes Both Partners

 

For as long as I can remember, I have loved science. Not to say I always understand it. A good case in point: a couple of years ago I watched a program about string theory. It looked fascinating. I understood almost 5% of it. Five more repeats of the program and I understood enough to grasp the essentials. By the next day, much of that was gone. But I loved it anyway!

One of the things I really like about science is scientists. As a group,

Making Water from Thin Air and Power from Plants

We are Branching Out into Important Breakthroughs in Clean Water and Power Generation

Part of our Hey! Look at That! Science Series

Science, technology, and innovation seem to follow a recognizable pattern. Someone comes up with an idea that seems impossible, or at least implausible. They stumble for a bit, even fail. The idea seems doomed. Then a second wind comes along, and the idea becomes a reality.

I recently ran across two ideas that had such setbacks in the past. But here they are now on the cusp of breakthroughs in two of the most important things in the world.

Really Interesting Notes from Science

 

There are a Lot of Smart People Working on Clever Ideas  

Part of our Hey! Look at That! Science series

I ran across some interesting tidbits in recent days that I think you might enjoy, too.

Would you like ketchup with that wrapper? First, an article from National Geographic. It is about research on edible packaging and utensils. That’s right – finish your meal, then eat the package and utensils as well.

I have long been a fan of all things National Geographic.

What’s for Dinner? Funny You Should Ask…

 

How We Classify Our Food Is Important – And Getting More Complicated

I bet that a lot of people reading this make many of the same choices to eat better. Me, too. Eating better might involve health, environmental sustainment, morality.

For most on that long march, two guideposts are organic food (when we can find it and afford it) and less meat, if any. I ran across a couple of recent stories that show (A) Some people are working hard and creatively to help us do all that.

Medicine and Society: It’s A Complicated Relationship

Reflections on Modern Medicine, Social Norms, and Unintended Consequences

There May Be a Wonderful New Medicine Out There That Could Save Your Life. You Likely Would Not See it in Time.

The opioid crisis in this country is major. We are overrun by this. It makes most other drug epidemics seem like child’s play. I read last week that a Wake Forest University research team may have developed an opioid substitute. It could be as much as 100 times (!) more effective than opioids and has zero addiction risk. This is big news.