Saturday morning coffee [December 21 2013]

“Great people talk about ideas, average people talk about things, and small people talk about wine.” - Fran Lebowitz

So much happens each and every week that it’s hard to keep up sometimes. Here are some of the tabs that are open in my browser this morning along with some random thoughts….


The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was #1 at the box office last weekend, with Frozen coming in a distant second. The second installment of The Hobbit is obviously doing well at the box office, but not as well as the first in the series. I plan to see it over the Christmas break with my girls.

#5facts Every Coffee Drinker Should Know

I am currently reading American Assassin by Vince Flynn. So far it’s been a pretty good read. Kind of along the same lines as a Jack Reacher book. I mean there’s only one Jack Reacher, but the main character in American Assassin, Mitch Rapp, is a badass as well.

What are your favorite Christmas Songs? It’s interesting, but I have several and they span the generations. I really dig “That Spirit of Christmas” by Ray Charles, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee, and “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole. There are others to be certain, but those are the ones that jump out at me.

How about favorite Christmas movie? Two flicks that I have to watch every year around Christmas are Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase and Die Hard. There’s just something about those movies this time of year. Elf is a pretty solid option as well.

Can we please be done with unboxing videos already? Dude, seriously. I love watching video reviews, but does anyone really care that there’s a power cable, a warranty card and some packaging in the box?

Speaking of unboxing videos, here’s the greatest unboxing video ever filmed. I don’t even like this dude, but he sure can do an unboxing.

NCC MERP: “Use of Medication Error Rates to Compare Health Care Organizations is of No Value.” – I think that’s a fair statement. The reasons cited by the NCC MERP were: 1) differences in culture among health care organizations, 2) differences in the definition of a med error, 3) differences in patient populations, and 4) differences in types of reporting and detecting systems.

InformationWeek: “9 Technologies That Matter in 2014”

    1. Google Glass
    2. Wireless charging
    3. Curved smartphones (“expect more curved phones, but don’t ask why, because there isn’t really a good answer”)
    4. Apple iWatch (who cares)
    5. Chrome OS tablet (fingers crossed)
    6. Project Ara (“effort by Motorola Mobility and the Phonebloks community to create a series of smartphone modules that can be snapped together to perform specific, customizable functions”)
    7. Gesture control
    8. Mind-machine interfaces
    9. Personal medical monitoring (didn’t this matter in 2013? Just sayin’).

Daniele Scatizzi vs Enrico Romano at the MMA ImperaFC 2 in Rome December 14, 2013. Filmed by the referee wearing Google Glass. This is an amazing first person look at the fight. I would love to see this perspective during an NFL replay. The fight starts around 3:00.

If you need insurance and haven’t done so you better get on the ball. You have until December 23, 2013 to get on Covered California and get it done. I’ve been picking at it little by little over the past week. There have been some bumps along the way, but I’ll finish up my application sometime this afternoon.

Every month the Section of Pharmacy Informatics and Technology at ASHP does a member spotlight. This month is noteworthy because the December member is none other than Franklin Crownover. Franklin is the pharmacy informatics guru at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. I met Franklin several years ago when my own pharmacy informatics career was in its infancy. He offered a lot of great advice and was always willing to discuss a problem and help me come up with a solution. Congratulations Franklin.

I’ve been playing with Google Wallet quite a bit lately. It’s an interesting concept, but I can’t quite figure out where it fits in the whole scheme of things. I even went as far as to order myself a Google Wallet Card. It’s basically a debit card tied to your Google Wallet account. I used it for the first time today at Best Buy. Worked like a charm and my purchase showed up on my phone in literally a few seconds. There’s a decent introduction to the Google Wallet Card here.

Google Wallet Card

Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty has stirred up quite a controversy this week. A&E went as far as to place Robertson on “indefinite hiatus”. You can get all the information you want on the subject by Googling it, but The Hollywood Reporter does a decent job laying out what’s happened over the past few days. I’ve watched Duck Dynasty and find it quite entertaining. I’ve never met Phil Robertson, but find him to be a very likable character on the show. Seems like the kind of guy you could kick back with and just shoot the breeze. It’s unfortunate that his personal opinions and Christian beliefs were enough to send A&E into an overreaction. Somehow I get the feeling that Phil won’t be bothered too much by all the ruckus.

Jean-Claude Van Damme has nothing on Chuck Norris…

Do you ever wonder where all the extreme Chuck Norris macho stuff originated? I do. I remember watching the guy back in the day. Total stud, but what happened to make him the epitome of toughness?

Pacific Standard Magazine: “A new paper in Nature Scientific Reports looked at a number of publicly available datasets on asymmetrical—David versus Goliath—conflicts, and notes that both their severity and timing followed a similar statistical pattern. The more the researchers looked, adding on studies of similar asymmetrical incidents like sexual assaults on women, online trading attacks on a company’s share price, or cyberhacking into a nation’s infrastructure, the more times they found the equation fit the distribution.” – So it really does all boil down to math. Who knew.

Lifehacker: “Unlike a dry erase board, however, the coating on Wipebook is designed not to smudge or erase too easily (otherwise you’d be regularly headed for disaster). Each one looks like a standard notebook and comes with 25 double-sided pages. When you run out, just wipe a page off and you’re set. If you really need to save any information, you can always take a quick picture with your smartphone and save it in an app like Evernote for archival purposes.” – I like using a whiteboard. I used to carry a small one in my bag with a set of dry erase markers. To this day I believe a whiteboard is the best way to vet a new idea.

Fast Company: “A Boston University lab led by Muhammad Zaman has introduced a solution: PharmaCheck. This apparatus fits in a case the size of a toolbox. To use it, a sample pill is dissolved in a small amount of water and combined with a targeted “fluorescent probe,” a solution that gives off light when it interacts with the active ingredient in a pill. The liquid flows into tiny channels in a silicon-polymer chip, where the light from the reaction is read by a sensor. Within minutes, the person who runs the test will know both how much of the active ingredient is present in the pill, and how fast it is being released–key for the time-release issue.” – That’s some pretty cool stuff right there. You can read more about PharmaCheck at PRWeb.

And now for the worst Christmas parody every thanks to the Family Guy.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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