Saturday, March 31, 2012

Let me follow you OT regarding the potassium. The solution of our blood might be seen as the re-creation of an ancient ocean, an ocean which contains potassium. Our bodies live in this ocean and our cells contain it as do the cells of any other living thing. There are foods that are high in potassium, orange juice or bananas, and if someone is in or near renal failure where potassium excretion is compromised... also perhaps they were taking a potassium sparing diuretic so should avoid potassium pills and they might, out of excessive caution, avoid those and similar fruits.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Trayvon Martin

"776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force."

Mr. Zimmerman took it upon himself, in a self styled manner of police, to initially provoke the use of force against himself, the use of defensive force, by Trayvon Martin so should not be exculpated from charge or prosecution by the castle law based on my understanding of the facts.

Monday, March 19, 2012

R. J. Simon and Romney derangement syndrome. Steve Smith has a great link to Peter Suderman.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pot black

Charles Murray recently published a book on the cultural divide in America, a two Americas divided by out of wedlock births, stability in marriage and employment. This divide, which is also associated with income, seems relatively new in its percentages in the population. Part of what contributes is the decoupling of sexual relations with birth due to the technical advance of the birth control pill. A signal of the appropriateness of decoupling of sexual relations with marriage would be societal mandated 'free birth control pills.' It is for this reason that the University of Notre Dame health insurance, for instance, does not cover birth control pills except for gynecological reasons. Mr. Rush knows nothing of the sexual history of Miss Fluke nor cares to. She looks like a prim young lady who is capable of delayed gratification but I believe that her academic position encouraged what he viewed as, in the language he learned in junior high, slut like behavior which he thought should be drawn exception to.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Beneficial Effects of Radiation

In the early 1980s, a Taiwan steel company accidentally mixed some highly radioactive cobalt-60 into a batch of steel rebar. The radioactive rods were then used in the construction of 1,700 apartments. As a result, people living in these buildings were subject to radiation up to 30 times the normal amount received from the natural background.
When dismayed officials discovered this enormous error 15 years later, they surveyed past and present apartment dwellers expecting to find an epidemic of cancer. Normal incidence would have predicted 160 cancers among the 10,000 residents. To their astonishment, the researchers discovered only five cases of cancer—97% lower than the anticipated amount. Birth defects were also 94% below the anticipated rate. These findings were published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons in 2004. As one researcher phrased it, exposure to high levels of background radiation had apparently bestowed upon residents "an effective immunity from cancer."

The residents of the Taiwan apartments experienced 10 times the level of radiation as is prevalent in the evacuation zone around Fukishima. The etiology of radiation-related disease is well-known. Radiation can cause DNA damage but the body has repair mechanisms to deal with it. Last December scientists at Berkeley made microscopic videotapes of these cellular repair sites in action. "Our data show that at lower doses of ionizing radiation, DNA repair mechanisms work much better than at higher doses," wrote Mina Bissell, a world-renowned breast cancer researcher who co-authored the report. "This non-linear DNA damage response casts doubt on the general assumption that any amount of ionizing radiation is harmful and additive." Other researchers speculate that low radiation doses may immunize the body against cancer and birth defects by stimulating these repair mechanisms into greater responsiveness, just as vaccines stimulate the immune system. That would explain the low cancer rates in Taiwan.

The Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2012, link

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Went to the Democratic Dallas Bar Senate Public Forum this evening. The best line was from Adelle A. who announced that 'her constituents were comfortable with keeping the retirement age 65' in response to McKenzie's question on 'saving Social Security.' Paul Sadler who wrote the education laws for Texas in the 90s from the Texas House thought direct government negotiation with pharma and price controls were the solutions to expanding Medicare costs. A bright guy, he expects to win the nomination on the Democrat side and bank on a favorable Democratic wind in November; he isn't taking any political chances it seems.

Inspired by Derek Lowe*

As I understand it, the elder Koch came up with a cracking process that yielded more gasoline out of a barrel of oil. This is an improvement in efficiency similar to what you were indicating would be an economic technical advance. As Paul Harvey used to say 'And now (in an amazing set of events) you have the rest of the story.

This 'rest of the story' might be of interest on several levels. It casts a hypothetical light on Stalin who, though he 'wanted to be a good Marxist' as he told his daughter to be, also considered the economic cost of inputs, i.e. in some sense was a capitalist. That may have been a reason for his success. Also in this discussion, as you point out, the implied assumption is 'big financial commitment' or commitment to a pyramid. What the president of the Pharma firm said was he wanted science but he wanted to change the cost of his inputs. When I went to the University of Texas tuition was essentially free. Is that the same as spending $17,000 a year on tuition?

The comment