Colin Ramsey: ‘Dude! To whom do we write?! Whom do we call!? We MUST not allow this research to be scuttled!’

☞ Happily, sanity seems to have prevailed . . .

David Plumb: ‘See this February 15 press release – good news.’

The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) — part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — has concluded that Michigan hospitals can continue implementing a checklist to reduce the rate of catheter-related infections in intensive care unit settings (ICUs) without falling under regulations governing human subjects research.

☞ Good news indeed.

Peter Kaczowka: ‘Re David Walker’s comment yesterday on the similarities between us and Rome: All Americans should read Wealth and Democracy by Kevin Phillips, then the rest of his books. From this review:

The tilting of the US economy from production to finance as a source of wealth will spell the end of our economic dominance — just as it spelled the end of the Spanish (1530-1588), Dutch (1600-1702), and British (1815-1914) economic dominance.

Phillips supports his thesis that in the modern U.S., laissez-faire “is a pretense. Government power and preferment have been used by the rich, not shunned. As wealth concentration grows, especially near the crest of a drawn-out boom, so has upper-bracket control of politics and its ability to shape its own preferment.”

Wealth and Democracy is not a Socialist critique of Capitalism, but rather a Capitalist critique of excess. Phillips seems more in love with democracy than he is in awe of the invisible hand of the marketplace.

☞ Yes! . . . and yet never count America out. Innovation and technology (married to the responsible tax policy and regulation that a Democratic Administration and Congress might give us) could still ride to the rescue. To wit:


Not even for a femtosecond.

James Musters: This will not make you smarter, or help you live a greener life, at least not for now. But WOW.’

☞ Wow, indeed:

If you could hold a giant magnifying glass in space and focus all the sunlight shining toward Earth onto one grain of sand, that concentrated ray would approach the intensity of a new laser beam made in a University of Michigan laboratory.

. . . The pulsed laser beam lasts just 30 femtoseconds. A femtosecond is a millionth of a billionth of a second. . . .

Such intense beams could help scientists develop better proton and electron beams for radiation treatment of cancer, among other applications.

The record-setting beam measures 20 billion trillion watts per square centimeter. It contains 300 terawatts of power. That’s 300 times the capacity of the entire U.S. electricity grid. The laser beam’s power is concentrated to a 1.3-micron speck about 100th the diameter of a human hair. . .


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