Saturday morning coffee [August 9 2014]

“If you think a weakness can be turned into a strength, I hate to tell you this, but that’s another weakness.” -Jack Handey

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. It’s one of two that I picked up in Las Vegas at M&M World during one of my daughter’s volleyball tournaments earlier this year.

Orange M&M's Coffee Mug

Guardians of the Galaxy was #1 at the box office last weekend pulling in a cool $94 million. My family and I went to see it on Saturday. It was very good. Was it great? Hard to say. It’s on the fence in my mind. I’d see it again. Will Guardians keep the #1 spot this weekend? That all depends on how well Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles does. I don’t expect it to make anywhere near a $100 million, but it should do well. If Guardians can keep more than 50% of its opening weekend box office, then I think it’ll hang onto the #1 spot.

Speaking of Guardians, who would have thought that Vin Diesel’s biggest movie role would consist of only a few words and no screen time. I can’t believe they actually gave him credit for the part.

If you drink coffee the chances are very high it is either Arabica or Robusta. There are over 20 different coffee plants in the world, but these two are the most common commercially purchased. [Rogers Family Company]

Vox: “Guardians bucked a trend…Drax, Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Star-Lord didn’t have the mass appeal of their Marvel colleagues. The Guardians were a completely different group of heroes back in 1969, when Marvel first came up with the concept. And the Guardians we know today were actually brought together in 2008 (though the characters existed independently before that), an off-shoot of a Marvel crossover event called Annihilation: Conquest…The Avengers, Superman, and Batman taught us that comics dictate what movies you make. Guardians showed us that isn’t the case, and that Marvel has the ability to dictate which comic books you buy, based on the movies it makes.” – Don’t read too much into it. Marvel is immensely popular right now. They could do a movie about rabbit turds and people would go see it. It just so happens that we’re in the middle of the comic book movie era. Love it while you can because nothing lasts forever.

Here’s a great video of top 10 Android Only apps. The video was put up in January, but still holds. There are some truly great apps in here.

Wbur’s CommonHealth: “New research written up in a National Bureau of Economic Research paper finds that “cowboy” doctors — who deviate from professional guidelines, often providing more aggressive care than is recommended — are responsible for a surprisingly big portion of America’s skyrocketing health costs. The paper concludes that “36 percent of end-of-life spending, and 17 percent of U.S. health care spending, are associated with physician beliefs unsupported by clinical evidence.”” – Yep, about sums it up. I’ve seen this behavior time and time again. Guidelines are there to help, and physicians thumb their noses at them all the time. For some reason many physicians think they know better than the top 100 experts in their field.

Science Spot: “Krishna Kumar and G. Geethakumari of the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, at BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad Campus, in Andhra Pradesh, India, explain how we are increasingly reliant on information we obtain from online sources. However, our implicit faith in the validity of that information can be counterproductive and can make some people and organizations vulnerable to exploitation, perhaps by those spreading the misinformation and others. The team refers to this as a “semantic attack” and regards it as the “soft underbelly of the internet”.” – The growth of the internet has been both a blessing and a curse. Unprecedented access to information, but not necessarily reliable information.

It looks like Samsung is getting ready to bring another new smartphone to the market. It’s being referred to as the Samsung Alpha, and you can read all about the rumors at International Business Times. Say what you will about Samsung, but they’ve kicked out some pretty nice devices over the past couple of years. Their turnaround time for new phones and tablets is amazing, as is their propensity for trying new things. I only wish they would have stuck with their Windows 8 tablet line. I have an ATIV 500 series tablet PC from a couple years ago. It’s a great little machine, and remains quite functional. I also had an ATIV 700 series tablet PC for a short time. Great tablet PC, but the battery life was pretty bad. Given the new line of Intel processors – i.e. much better battery life – Samsung could have built a legitimate Surface Pro 3 contender. I love their line of Android tablets, but they simply can’t replace the functionality of a Windows 8 tablet PC.

Even though Samsung is doing great things in the smartphone space, it appears that the LG G3 is the new king of the hill for Android smartphones. People seem to be impressed with the device, and it has received some very positive reviews. Congratulations to LG. I hope it’s enough to keep them in the game.

The Moto 360 just keeps getting better. The latest rumor has the yet to be released smartwatch using a really awesome looking wireless charger. Like I’ve already said, the Moto 360 is my next gadget purchase. I hope it’s released soon. I wonder if I can use it to control my presentation slides. Hmm.. [Image credit: Mister Gadget]

Leaked Moto 360 Wireless Charger

Business Insider: “Superstar venture capitalist Peter Thiel has strong opinions about the tech business and fashion. In Thiel’s new book, “Zero To One,” he reveals his venture fund’s policy on suits, to never invest in a tech CEO who wears one, The Economist reports.” – Amen, brother.

I’m a big fan of Microsoft OneNote. It’s arguably the best piece of productivity software Microsoft ever developed. If you’ve never used OneNote I highly recommend you give it a try. While you’re at it download Go Paperless by Using OneNote 2013. It’s free and informative for any beginner.

Unlike many, I enjoy Windows 8.1. It’s certainly better than Windows Version 1.01, which was released to manufacturing in November 20, 1985. Beauty, eh?


Pharmacy Times: “The unit used by the parent was significantly associated with medication errors. Compared with parents who only used milliliters to measure the medication, those who used the teaspoon or tablespoon measure were twice as likely to make an error in the amount of medication they intended to give their child, and the amount indicated by the prescription.” – Milliliter (mL) is clearly the better way to measure liquid doses in pediatrics. With that said, I believe best practice should be to unit dose pediatric doses whenever possible. For example, a dose – 5mL (250mg) – of amoxicillin should be unit dosed in 5mL syringes for the parents. Therefore a 10 day course given every 8 hours should be dispensed as 30 5mL unit-dose syringes. Just stating the obvious.

Ebola has been in the news lately. Terrible disease. Don’t get your information from the rumor mill. Go straight to the CDC if you’re really interested in learning more about Ebola.

Drug Store News: “Community pharmacists can dramatically help their patients stick to their prescription regimens, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. The findings, reported Monday in Health Affairs, also suggest that greater adherence to medications can lead to a reduction in emergency room visits and hospital admissions, thereby lowering healthcare costs for a variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes and asthma.” – Makes sense to me. And now that we know how to reduce healthcare costs we should be all over it, right? No, not really. This type of thing pops up all the time in the pharmacy world. The profession has done many, many studies like this, but has never done anything with the information besides publish it.

There’s an interesting little tid-bit in the July issue of Pharmacy & Therapeutics on social media and healthcare professionals: “Health care professionals can use a variety of social media tools to improve or enhance networking, education, and other activities. However, these tools also present some potential risks, such as unreliable information and violations of patients’ privacy rights.” – Read the entire article. There’s some interesting data in there about pharmacist’s adoption of social media, or lack thereof.

I love watching NHRA Drag Racing in person. My favorites? Top Fuel Funny Cars and Pro Stock Bikes. I used to go to at least one major event a year to get my fix, but I haven’t been in a few years. It’s impossible to describe what it feels like to be within spitting distance of a Top Fuel Funny Car. They’re especially exciting to watch at night. …… Yikes, watch closely at the 0:10 mark. Ouch!

Can you feel it? The NFL seasons approaches. Unfortunately we have to muddle through the preseason first, which is like watching paint dry. Ugh.

Have a great weekend everyone.

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