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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 10:11 PM
Number of posts: 40,421

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The elites; the administrators, the managers, the big wheels completely blew it in Dallas

And the grunts performed valiantly while hampered and hindered by decision makers that push the envelope of outright malevolence.

Think about that, the elites, the coaches had months to plan for this and then they fumbled the ball and Ebola picked it up and ran for fifty yards, a first down and a couple of injuries to the defense. Because the coaches did not prepare their players mentally or physically, something they are paid a great deal of money to do.

If a workplace is screwed up it's not the fault of the workers, it's management, they are the one with the authority and they are the ones with the responsibility for how things are accomplished. They sure as hell take the credit if things go well so they get the blame too.

The management structure of the American health care industry has shown itself to be incompetent, I don't for one moment think it's in any way special these days.

By Darwin's Bushy Beard it's the Peter Principle all the way down!

Ebola: At this point I would trust the nurses union before the 'authorities"

Of everything I've read about this Ebola epidemic in the American media what the nurses union said sounded the most clear, forthright and no nonsense to me.

The authorities on the other hand have been vacillating and prone to ridiculously bad judgement, the CDC has been bad enough, getting driven by politics rather than medicine but the hospital management is off the charts bad judgement and it was driven by one word, greed.

Kicking down and kissing up: Signs of a classic authoritarian

There is a common misconception about authoritarians, they want to rule everyone. In fact a classic authoritarian is obsequious and servile to those perceived to be of a higher social status or possible utility while at the same time being extremely harsh and strict with anyone they judge to be their social inferior and of no utility to them.

Watching the reactions in the M$M to this Ebola story has been interesting, every time there has been a screwup their first reaction is to blame the lowest status person they can find (unless they can somehow make it Obama's fault, they do have another agenda).

First it was the triage nurse did not pass on that Mr Duncan had been in Liberia, it took a couple of days for that to be shot down. But notice that the fact the doctor who signed him out missed it too has been entirely dropped like it never happened. Notice also that the the fact the doctor treated what he diagnosed as a viral condition with antibiotics has been dropped from the conversation.

Next it was nurse Pham, she had "breached protocols", again it took a few days for them to get slammed upside the head with the fact that for all practical purposes there were no protocols for some time after Mr Duncan was returned to the hospital. They implicitly believed the management story and did not bother to do any investigation with lower level employees.

Now it's nurse Vinson, the authoritarians exploded with rage at nurse Vinson for traveling but when it is revealed later the same day that the CDC was consulted and assented to the travel their rage was instantly muted rather than directed at the perceived social superior.

Watch for this reaction, if someone's first instinct is to believe that some little person screwed up hugely and the institution is blameless there's a decent chance you are witnessing an authoritarian in action.

Appreciation thread for the health care workers who are on the front lines

There's been a lot of bashing of health care workers in general and nurses in particular in the last few days, much of it based on erroneous reporting blaming nurses for mistakes made by executives in charge.

Anyone who will take care of an Ebola patient deserves our gratitude and appreciation, I don't think all of us would or could do that.

Here's to nurses, doctors and all the others who actually take care of us when we are sick.

Posted without comment


It's been a long time and I had forgotten why I stopped doing it

Arguing with conservatives I mean...

So against my sober better judgment I went over to Discussionist and made myself a screen name and plunged in, started arguing with the other side.

It's too easy, if you're reasonably good at this stuff and have your facts, rhetoric and snark down pretty well after a while the replies start slowing down and eventually they come to nearly a complete halt.

That's the way it used to play out back in the day when I could find a conservative site that didn't automatically ban liberals. Currentevents was one of my hangouts for while and it got to the point I could post almost anything no matter how inflammatory and not get replies from conservatives. I posted for a while at Reihlworldview too and basically the same thing happened there, conservatives just stop replying to you if you're not nasty and stick to facts, logic and maybe a little snark to lighten things up. There were more sites I went to but those are the two I can remember for sure the names of.

It's kind of fun for a while but it's a bit like pulling the wings off flies, it feels a bit cruel to taunt people who can't really fight back. I guess that attitude is why I'm a liberal and not a conservative, they'd never say something like that.

Detect known exoplanet with a DSLR and telephoto lens

Here's some science you can try at home, kids!

It's amazing what you can do with enough raw computer power and extremely modest instruments.


My target was HD189733b, which seems to be one of the easier transits to capture. It is also right next to M27, making it easy to find. I used the ETD (exoplanet transit database) site to determine transit times for my location. For my location, WV, there was a transit starting at 3:45am local time, ending at 5:35am local time on May 13th.

I used an unmodified Canon t3i and a Nikkor 300mm f/4.5 telephoto lens stepped with a 72-52 step down ring to about f/5.7. I took 15 second exposures every 30 seconds at iso200.

I then loaded 272 canon raw files into iris to register and align the images, and then used the automatic photometry tool in iris to generate the raw data. I used 4 reference stars on plus the HD189733 target star. I then ran 5 reference stars for a baseline. Here are the resulting light curve plots.

Meteorite trail photos

I've been going through my sky shots that I took for my contest entry and so far I've found two meteorite trails out of maybe five percent of the total shots I've looked at so far..

Nothing spectacular but they are kind of hard to get...

On The Beach

NASA-funded study: industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?


A new study sponsored by Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.

Noting that warnings of 'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of compelling historical data showing that "the process of rise-and-collapse is actually a recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to "precipitous collapse - often lasting centuries - have been quite common."

The research project is based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharri of the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal, Ecological Economics.

It finds that according to the historical record even advanced, complex civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:

"The fall of the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced, sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."

Read the rest of the article at the link.
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