Aug 17, 2018

Happy Friday

A great smile is hidden in every person; some just never look for it.

I find smiles everywhere, especially on a Happy Friday!

Coated PIlls

Some good news about pills for a change. For our safety, drug companies coat some pills with an emetic coating, so that if a patient, accidentally or otherwise overdoses, the coating will induce vomiting before the overdose can take effect and potentially kill the patient.

Another coating is also used for some chemotherapy medications that will have the opposite effect and prohibit nausea and vomiting induced by cytotoxic chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In addition, an injection of Ondansetron Hydrochloride is sometimes given for the prevention of post-operative nausea and vomiting.

Salt Reduction Redux

You may have noticed some foods are a bit more bland than they used to be. Food companies have been voluntarily reducing sodium (salt) in foods for at least the past seven years. The reduced salt content does not show up on the label as 'low sodium' does not sell well, except in specific cases. Foods that have been altered include: ketchup, pizza, bacon, Subway sandwiches, flavored rice, many restaurant meals, and more.
Salt contains minerals necessary for proper body function. The sodium in salt is an electrolyte, and the balance of the electrolytes in our bodies is essential for our cells and organs to work normally. Sodium regulates water in the body, and sodium's movement through cells in the body is critical. Salt for food is used to control microbial growth, which can cause food to spoil and to cause illness. Sodium also is used for taste, texture, leavening, and fermentation.
Even though it has been medically proven that increased salt intake does not increase blood pressure or lead to heart attacks and strokes, old myths live on. As recently as 2016, the FDA was still pushing its agenda to reduce salt. However, the president of the Salt Institute said the initiative was "not based on sound science." She added, "The Italians eat about 40 percent more sodium than Americans, yet they have better cardiovascular health than Americans." Many studies show a correlation, but do not show a cause from salt intake.
Some scientists say data has emerged showing that dropping below a certain level is actually dangerous, and raises the risk of heart attacks and other bad health outcomes. A 2013 report from the Institute of Medicine concluded that cutting too much sodium could be harmful. Evidence from these studies does not support reduction in sodium intake to below 2,300 mg per day, says the IOM. “As you go below the 2,300 mark, there is an absence of data in terms of benefit and there begin to be suggestions in subgroup populations about potential harms.”

As my mother used to say, "All things in moderation is the best way."

Fries Compared

Jim Croce

Who knew he was so prescient about Chicago way back in 1974. Here is an oldie musical interlude, Leroy Brown. LINK

Facebook Wants More Data

Yikes, Facebook recently reached out to major banks including JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup Inc., and U.S. Bancorp to pitch “potential offerings it could host for bank customers on Facebook Messenger.” In exchange for potential features including fraud alerts and checking-account balance checks, Facebook is asking for some of its users’ most sensitive financial information, such as account balances and where they use debit and credit cards. Luckily some banks are reluctant, especially after the recent data breach by Facebook.

Not too long since the data breach by Facebook that found 87 million Facebook users around the world whose details were shared with Cambridge Analytica caused one of the largest data breaches. The majority of those whose information was shared, about 70 million, are in the US.

No wonder that Facebook lost millions of members during 2017 and estimates losses of more millions during 2018. Caveat Emptor!

Dinner vs. Supper

Dinner and supper really do mean different things, or at least they used to. During the 1800s and perhaps even earlier, Americans in some rural regions started calling their midday meal dinner, while supper was reserved for the evening meal.

Historically, the word dinner was associated with the largest meal of the day, regardless of whether it was served in the morning, afternoon, or evening. Supper, on the other hand, is more time-specific. It stems from the Old French word souper, meaning an evening meal, and it was generally lighter than other meals served throughout the day.

Supper and dinner have more to do with the quantity of food that is served than the time of day that you eat. Supper is seldom used anymore and dinner is by far the more popular term in the US.

Robots Rise

International Federation of Robotics (IFR) President Junji Tsuda previewed the statistics that will appear in the IFR Industrial Robots Annual Report covering 2017 sales data. He reported that 2017 turnover was about $50 billion, that 381,000 robots were sold, a 29% increase over 2016 and a 29 percent increase over the 294,300 units sold in 2016, and China was the main driver of 2017’s growth with a 58% increase over 2016 (the US rose only 6% by comparison). In addition, 2016 was 27% over 2015
China installed around 138,000 industrial robots in 2017, followed by South Korea with 40,000 units, and Japan with 38,000 units. In the Americas, the USA is the largest single market with 33,000 industrial robots sold, and in Europe it is Germany with around 22,000 units sold.
The automotive industry continues to lead global demand for industrial robot sales, according to the IFR. In 2017, around 125,200 units were sold in this segment for 21 percent growth. Other strongest growth sectors in 2017 were the metal industry (54 percent), the electrical/electronics industry (27 percent) and the food industry (19 percent).

Kuka’s CEO said we would see a big move toward mobile manipulators doing multiple tasks. ABB’s Sr. VP said that programming robots would become as easy and intuitive as using today’s iPhones. Fanuc’s ED said that future mobile robots would become more flexible. DHL’s VP forecast that perception would have access to more physics and reality than today.

Wordology, Vexillology

The study of flags is vexillology and a vexillologist is a person who studies flags.

Impact of Junk Mail

Junk mail in the US destroys 100 million trees a year. The equivalent of deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months.
Hundreds of millions of pieces of junk mail (also called “direct,” “bulk,” or “standard” mail) are sent through the US Postal Service annually, none of them solicited or requested by the recipient, and most of them entirely unwanted.
That mountain of credit card offers, insurance offers, catalogs, flyers, coupons, phone books, and anything else you did not specifically ask for, are all vying for your attention and causing the eradication of our forests. These companies apparently get enough responses to justify their excessive mailings, but that does not mean you have to like it.
Here are some facts from New York University School of Law about junk mail and sustainability:

  • 5.6 million tons of catalogs and other direct mail advertisements end up in US landfills annually.
  • 44 percent of junk mail is thrown away unopened, but only 22 percent is recycled.
  • The average mailbox receives 848 pieces of junk mail per household, equal to 1.5 trees every year and that equals more than 100 million trees for all US households combined.
  • Largely due to deforestation, junk mail manufacturing creates as much greenhouse gas emissions annually as 3.7 million cars.
  • Americans pay $370 million annually to dispose of junk mail that does not get recycled.

Older Adulthood

Modern humans have added a whole new era to life, with many people continuing to thrive into their 80s and 90s. We have increased the lifespan about two and a half years each decade over the last century. With longer life comes a further decline in rapid recall, but other aspects of cognition are at their strongest as we move into older adulthood.

Crystallized intelligence, for example, which refers to a person’s amassed knowledge such as vocabulary and cultural references, continues to improve with age. The crystallized intelligence or wisdom of aging comes from your synthesis of experience, knowledge, maturity, and judgment, which all improve.

Ray Kroc

Ray Kroc refused to hire any person who had an MBA degree. He believed that college degrees did not teach proper competitive spirit and those who attended university were missing a certain marketing finesse.
Kroc was the person who set in place strict codes of conduct for work ethic by introducing standardization and discipline to McDonald's and was the first person to introduce large-scale mass production to the service industry.
The original Ronald McDonald premiered in 1963, but as Kroc and the corporation expanded the branding of their clown mascot across the country, they thought it would be too difficult to find other actors with the same stocky build of the original actor, weatherman Willard Scott. So, Scott ended up losing the job and McDonald’s established the slimmer Ronald that we see today.

Ray set up the “Hamburger University” for future franchisees of McDonald’s. Before one could purchase a franchise, an owner had to attend and get a degree “hamburgerology with a minor in French fries.” Hamburger University continues and there are now seven locations spread throughout four continents around the world. Over 275,000 people have graduated from the school since it opened during 1961. The Shanghai campus accepts less than 1% of applicants, making it more difficult to get into than any Ivy League school.

Aug 10, 2018

Happy Friday

Happiness is nature's proof that life is good.

It is easy to prove, especially on a Happy Friday!

What's in a Name, Vicodin

Vicodin's name is based on it being approximately six (VI is 6 in roman numerals) times stronger than codeine.