Saturday morning coffee [July 24 2015]

By | July 25, 2015

To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.” – Buddha

So much happens each and every week, and 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 mug below comes straight from the Hula Daddy Coffee Plantation in Kona, HI. My family and I recently spent a week in Kona on vacation. The island isn’t what I expected, but we had a great time. There are so many interesting things to do, and the differences in landscape and climate are crazy in such a small area.

MUG_HulaDaddy

Ant Man was #1 at the box office last weekend, but that’s not saying much. The movie did a respectable $57 million. That’s not going to impress anyone that’s been following the Marvel freight train. I’ve heard good things about Ant Man, but just can’t garner enough interest to go see it. I’m sure I’ll catch it when it hits DVD, but I’ll save my movie theater dollars for something else.

I learned quite a bit about coffee while on Kona. Did you know that there are several grades of Kona coffee? I had no idea, but I do now. It turns out that it makes quite a difference. Below is a photo of the various different beans that I took while on a tour at Hula Daddy Coffee. I tried them all, and there’s nothing better than the Peaberry. It’s strong and incredibly flavorful, but not bitter. I enjoyed it very much. With that said, I drink entirely too much coffee to go with Peaberry on a daily basis. At more than $60 per pound, it’s something to enjoy while composing Saturday Morning Coffee.

CoffeeBeans

My trusty Canon 30D died while on vacation. On day six of the trip it started to overexpose images, then the shutter finally jammed. Fortunately my entire family has smartphones, which we used to document every second of the trip. I took my 30D into our local camera shop when we returned. Apparently it cost more to repair than it’s worth. I’m a bit sad. It was a great camera. I’ve had it since 2007, along with a host of lenses, attachments, etc. It’s performed admirably, and has given me more than 40,000 shots over the years, including family vacations and outings, birthdays, weddings, graduations, multiple sports competitions, and so on. It will be missed. I’m in the process of evaluating replacements. Since I no longer need the big lenses for sporting events, I’m going with something more compact. I’ve narrowed it down to the Sony A6000 and the Sony A7.

Just an observation – phone cameras are getting better and better, but they still can’t compete with a digital SLR. My wife and eldest daughter are rocking the LG G4, while my youngest is currently using the Samsung S6. Both have great cameras. While the images were comparable to my eight-year old 30D, the 30D still took better images in most situations. I noticed the biggest difference on distance shots when I needed to zoom, and when taking photos of people with expansive backgrounds behind them.

Yesterday on a typical outing to the grocery store I picked up Jif peanut butter by mistake, instead of our usual Skippy. I have to say, I’m quite pleased with my mistake. I think I’m officially a convert.

Idle Words: “Consider how fundamentally undemocratic this vision of the Web is. Because the Web started as a technical achievement, technical people are the ones who get to call the shots. We decide how to change the world, and the rest of you have to adapt.” – This is one of the most interesting articles I’ve read in quite some time. It’s a bit long, but it’s thoughtful and worth a few minutes of your time.

A group of more than 100 physicians got a lot of attention this week when they composed a letter to the federal government urging them to do something about soaring drug prices. The physicians provided seven potential solutions to the problem:

  1. Create an independent agency that reviews drugs after they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration and proposes a fair price.
  2. Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.
  3. Allow the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, create by ObamaCare, to evaluate the benefits new treatments provide for the money.
  4. Allow people to import cheaper drugs from Canada for personal use.
  5. Pass new laws to make it difficult for drug companies to make deals with generic firms to extend a drug’s patent monopoly.
  6. Make it more difficult for drug companies to prolong the patent lives of drugs.
  7. Encourage organizations like the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Cancer Society to protest high drug prices.

As a pharmacist I understand the impact of medication cost. I also understand that drug companies are out to make money just like all other makers of goods and services. How can you tell someone what they can or can’t charge for a product they make? Can you imagine a similar situation with smartphones. Sorry Samsung, but $700 is entirely too much for a Galaxy S6, so we’re going to form an independent agency to review the smartphone market and propose fair pricing. Hmm, can’t imagine that working. Yes, medication is important, but drug companies are still private entities. Slippery slope. It’ll interesting to see how this all turns out. (source: Forbes)

Scenario Magazine: “According to Friis, the internet of the future will be proactive and predicting. We will surround ourselves with technology that can see and think for us, analyse our behaviour and help us make decisions. It’s an extension of the already existing digital marketing strategies that we know from online stores such as Amazon or Ebay that give us suggestions for future purchases based on our behaviour; the products we have clicked on or showed interest in.” – If you’ve ever used a vendor like Amazon to purchase soothing, you know the truth in the statement above. It’s both exciting and frightening to think of the internet of the future. I’m not sure I’m fully prepared to have the internet read my mind.

Have you ever used a GoPro camera? They’re one of the neatest little gadgets I’ve ever owned. They’re a joy to tinker with. My family and I took a GoPro HERO4 SILVER on our trip to Hawaii. We took it to the beach, used it to film turtles and dolphins under water while snorkeling, filmed our hiking excursion to Kilauea, and ran it during our zipline tour in Kohala. It performed admirably. The camera itself has a dizzying array of features, including a GoPro application for Android. That’s right, you can download an application that allows you alter settings, control the camera, view images and video, share content, and even locate the GoPro straight from your smartphone. It’s really cool. The family is heading to Magic Mountain on Monday. We’re taking the GoPro.

A friend of mine sent me the video below of the Duxford Air Show. He’s an ex-Navy guy, as well as a pilot himself. It’s neat watching these vintage war planes fly. I’m adding the Duxford Air Show to my bucket list.

The Loop: “I had high hopes for Apple Music. I really wanted it to work and become my default music streaming service, but after the problems I’ve experienced over the last couple of weeks, I’m disabling it altogether…adding music to my library is nothing short of a mind-blowing exercise in frustration. I started to notice that whenever I added an album to my library, not all of the songs would get added.” – The author goes on to describe how Apple Music ruined his music collection. People are a mystery to me. Apple products are basically today’s version of The Emperor’s New Clothes. For whatever reason people believe if they see the products for what they are and say something, somehow they’re an idiot. Would that be considered pluralistic ignorance? It’s pretty clear to me, the Emperor got duped.

Pharmacy Purchasing & Products: “Admixing takes place in the cleanroom, and syringes are drawn back to indicate the volume of each ingredient added. The finished product and materials are sent to the pharmacist for a final check and labeling…The well-known challenge to this process is truly validating CSP accuracy. To address this, many facilities have eliminated the syringe drawback method of checking for some high-risk products. Nonetheless, pharmacists checking the final product often do not have all of the information necessary to confirm that every step in the process was completed fully and accurately.” – This basically sums up the problem in most i.v. rooms today, and is the reason I’m so keen on using automation and technology to help make CSPs.

BBC: “A study into the safety of surgical robots has linked the machines’ use to at least 144 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries over a 14-year period in the US.” – This sounds pretty scary on the surface, but one has to wonder what that number would look like compared to human physicians. According to the article, the robot performed more than 1.7 million procedures over that 14 year period. Still, you never want your robot servant to cause harm. This is one reason why I’m not high on the idea of compounding robots in the i.v. room. They still have a ways to go.

U.S. News and World Report recently released their list of top hospitals for 2015-2016. I’m happy to report that three California hospitals made the list: Stanford in Palo Alto at #15, UCSF Medical Center at #8, and UCLA at #3. Other facilities on the list include Duke, Northwestern, Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, and the Mayo Clinic. Top honors went to Massachusetts General Hospital. I will be submitting my CV to all these facilities on Monday. Wish me luck.

A report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) – based on an analysis of the findings of nearly 80 randomized trials that included about 6,500 participants – found only moderate-quality evidence to support the use of cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic pain. Even worse, they found lower-quality evidence for the treatment of nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, sleep disorders, and Tourette syndrome. Overall, the study found that while most studies suggested that cannabinoids were associated with improvements in symptoms, those associations didn’t always reach statistical significance. On the flip side, cannabinoids increased risks of short-term—sometimes serious—AEs, including dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, fatigue, somnolence, euphoria, vomiting, disorientation, drowsiness, confusion, loss of balance, and hallucination.

Can you smell that? That’s the smell of the NFL opening day approaching.

Have a great weekend everyone.

One thought on “Saturday morning coffee [July 24 2015]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *