Saturday morning coffee [July 26 2014]

“Everything happens for a reason, and sometimes that reason is you’re stupid and make bad choices” – unknown

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 coffee mug below is relatively new. I received it as a gift from my brother Robert and his wife, Kim. Very cool. I’ve had a running joke about monkeys for years. Once upon a time, not too many years ago, an administrator in the pharmacy where I worked told me that a monkey could do my job. Made me pretty angry. Sad part was he was right.


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was #1 at the box office last weekend. I’ve seen it, and thought it was pretty good. ‘Lucy’ and ‘Hercules’ will be competing for your box office dollars this weekend. Expect ‘Lucy’ to come out on top. Neither interests me much, but if I had to pick one I’d throw my hard-earned money at ‘Lucy’.

An average 8-ouce cup of coffee contains between 95 and 200 milligrams of caffeine. That’s quite a range. Regardless, it’s not enough. Just sayin’.

I registered for the unSUMMIT conference this week. For those of you that don’t know, the unSUMMIT is a conference dedicated to the use of bar code scanning technology in healthcare; pharmacy, nursing, lab, etc. It’s a worthwhile conference for many. I’ve been several times. This year I will be participating as more than an attendee. I will be presenting data I’ve collected over the past year on technology-assisted sterile compounding systems. It’s being held in New Orleans. Not my favorite place, but I’m looking forward to it nonetheless.

Android Police: “Amazon Prime Music Adds ‘Hundreds Of Thousands’ Of New Songs To Its Subscription Service, From Elvis To Lil Jon”. I subscribe to Amazon Prime. It’s an absolute bargain for what I get out of it. But honestly Amazon Prime Music isn’t anything to write home about. The headline from Android Police lead me to give Amazon Prime Music another chance. I spent most of the week listening to it. While it has a few nice playlists and features, I still prefer Google Music.

You know wearables are gaining ground when you find a website dedicated to “Werable App Review”.

Speaking of wearables, I am really looking forward to the release of the Moto 360 Smartwatch. It’s the next item on my gadget-must-purchase list. I love the look of the device, especially the round face. Should be available sometime in August. I hope to see the new Moto X+1 smartphone at the same time.


I’m about two weeks into using a Galaxy S5 instead of my trusty Moto X. Impressions so far are generally good. It’s a nice device. I love the camera. It kicks out some amazing photos. The other thing that sets it apart from the other devices I’ve owned is the battery. It lasts forever. I still prefer the design of the Moto X, but the S5 is a suitable replacement.

Speaking of smartphones, I’m really looking forward to the release of the Moto X+1 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Both devices should be spectacular, but will provide a very different experience. The Moto X+1 is rumored to be similar to the original Moto X in size and design, which means the screen will be quite a bit smaller than the Note 4. The Note 4 features an active digitizer and has been rumored to have some pretty amazing features as well. Both will go on my smartphone shortlist.

Rare disease landscape: will the blockbuster model be replaced? Expert Opinion on Orphan Drugs, Aug 2014, Vol. 2. No. 8, Pages 797-806: “Progress in genomics and biomedical science over the past 20 years now means that the molecular basis of diseases is far better known, giving companies a better ‘roadmap’ to develop molecular targeted drugs, which means rare diseases can be addressed much more effectively. Today, the genetic etiology of 4500 diseases is known, compared to 50 such diseases 20 years ago.” – The article is about big pharma and the development of drugs for rare diseases. It’s very interesting, and a bit unsettling as it appears that the rare disease segment may become a more popular research area than “routine” diseases. The article is freely available to read.

Speaking of drug development, does anyone know if Google has partnered with any big drug companies to help search for new drug entities? Drug discovery is all about data and modeling. I assume Google would be pretty great at both. Crud, they do a pretty solid job of predicting what I need based on what I do on a daily basis.

Need a car mount for your smartphone? There’s a nice little summary of the five best options over at Kinja Co-Op. One of the companies I consult with uses the Ram Mount X-Grip. Really neat stuff. The parts are interchangeable, which makes the system very flexible.

9TO5Google: “YouTube has less than 300 million viewing hours per day, up from the 100 million daily hours of watch time when the goal [to hit 1 billion “watch time” hours per day through 2016] was set in fall 2012.”- Don’t think about that number too hard because your brain will explode. I spoke about the incredible number of videos uploaded and viewed on YouTube last year at a healthcare conference. Healthcare is always complaining about how it can’t possibly deal with “all that patient information”. Take a moment and look at services like YouTube and Facebook. Tons and tons of data, users, access modes, etc. Patient data isn’t the problem, the mindset of healthcare is.

Techcrunch: “…[eBay] is rolling out its first effort: a Glass-optimized version of its RedLaser barcode scanning app, where people can search for products online and locally, activated using voice and image recognition.” Pretty slick. Pharmacy could certainly use something like this. You can download the app here.

RedLaser bar code scanning app

There’s an interesting article about gut bacteria at the MIT News website. Your diet may be more important than you thought. “Analysis of this data revealed that dietary changes could produce daily variations in the populations of different strains of bacteria. For example, an increase in fiber correlated with a boost in the populations of Bifidobacteria, Roseburia, and Eubacterium rectale. Four strains — including Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, which has been implicated in protecting against inflammatory bowel disease — were correlated with eating citrus.” What’s it all mean? No one is certain, but it’s pretty interesting stuff.

The last few weeks have been terrible for sports. It’s basically dead with nothing more than baseball being played. Baseball sucks. But that’s all changing as NFL teams have started reporting to camps. I’m beside myself with anticipation. I can’t wait for college and pro football to start. My daughter will once again be a cheerleader at UCLA, so expect me in the stands at the Rose Bowl for several Bruin home games. It’s going to be a great year.

There’s a new law in California that takes aim at high school football collisions. SFGate: “The law limits full-contact practices to two 90-minute sessions per week during the season and preseason, and prohibits full-contact practices during the offseason.” I understand what everyone is trying to accomplish with laws like this, but it’s not the answer. Full-contact practices are absolutely necessary in high school football. Contrary to popular belief, full-contact practices prevent injuries by preparing your body for game time collisions. These are not professional athletes. These are kids that need to get their bodies used to the physical nature of the game. I used to hate non-contact practices in high school and college. I always felt it was necessary to get the pads on and start hitting. It typically took me a week or two of full contact to get adjusted to each new season. I really think it makes more sense to limit the time high school athletes spend at practice. For example: no more than five 90 minute practice sessions a week for football players. Short, intense practices are beneficial. Long, plodding practices are not. Injuries tend to happen when practices drone on and the kids aren’t giving 100%. Also, limit the amount of off season participation that’s required by high school athletes. It’s getting a little ridiculous. Practice for fall high school sports typically begins the day after school ends for the summer. It did for my daughter anyway. She plays varsity volleyball. The season begins in September, but they started practicing four days a week in mid-June with mock games every Thursday for 3 hours. Too much.

Have a great weekend everyone.

1 thought on “Saturday morning coffee [July 26 2014]”

  1. hello saturday morning cupojoe guy! like the mug. interesting, i happen to really like monkeys. one of my favorite aminals. actually my favorite. baseball rocks by the way! good luck with the moto X….cool device. samsung and iphone peeps are drones…..jus sayin’. get u some,…..13! gearz that is. later!!

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