Monthly Archives: June 2016

Pharmaceutical Manufacturing

Finally, pharmaceuticals are moving toward continuous rather than batch processes.  This is a huge leap, because it will impact not only the quality and purity of drugs produced, but also many other factors to the producers and consumers.

MIT is working with Novartis, and they have a prototype machine.  See this from NPR.  They also have a spinoff company.

Siemens is working on it from the manufacturing side.  See this article.

The FDA also has issued formal opinion and guidance.


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US Homegrown Terrorism

Very sensible commentary by George Friedman, via John Mauldin.  First he gives detailed explanations for why neither banning guns nor Muslims can work as a strategy to defeat terrorism in the US, then gives us this opinion:

I would propose that the US can prevent terrorist attacks by crushing radical Islamist organizations and intimidating others who might follow. However, the cost in lives, wealth, and time would be staggering.

There are 1.7 billion Muslims. Islam’s jihadist strand is organized into groups like the Islamic State. These groups are capable and sophisticated in both the covert arts and more conventional warfare. They are ruthlessly pursuing their goals. IS is not being defeated, as the White House has claimed. The head of the CIA conceded this last week.

The jihadists are fanatical in their commitment and, therefore, can be defeated only by measures such as those that broke the Germans and the Japanese fanatics. That means accepting a massive increase in American force and possibly even a draft. It also requires the acceptance of many innocent civilian deaths. Believing it can be otherwise is, in my opinion, wishful thinking.

Banning guns and blocking borders is psychologically satisfying but an illusion—a victory of the imagination, not reality. Defeating Islamist terrorism involves defeating the organizations that encourage and enable it.

That will require a mammoth effort. If we are not prepared to make the effort, we must consider leaving the region and perhaps accepting the idea of the caliphate.

We are now in, what is most charitably described as, a “holding action.” One we cannot win. At best, we can maintain a stalemate until we tire… and then we’ll be defeated.

We can commit to all-out war or abandon the field.

I’m not sure I agree with this conclusion, but he is right that the proposed bans would be neither enforceable nor effective.


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Harambe and Parenting

Apparently now, the Cincinnati police are going to actually investigate the “family” of the boy involved.  By “family,” of course, they mean “mother.”  Every bad thing every kid does is always mom’s fault.  Directly or indirectly.

This is beyond infuriating.  Did the police investigate mothers of the miners who died in a 2010 mine explosion, or just tell them, well, you went in there, dummies?  No, they put the CEO of the company that purposely did not provide safe working conditions in jail.

There are a couple of issues here.

One is the American fallback position of blame the mom.   I’ve actually had to sit and listen to the mom of two very meek children explain how her outstanding parenting resulted in their unwaveringly compliant behavior.  All I can say about that is, well, bless your heart.

The other issue, and this is the real problem to be solved, is how did this happen?  How many close calls have their been?  I don’t believe for a minute that no other kid has ever gotten inside the barrier.  Anyone who has worked in any kind of safety capacity, even just being on a safety team, knows that usually close calls happen a bunch of times before a tragic “accident.”  And how the hell could it be so quick and easy for a 4 year old to do that?  The mom was right there, not 2 exhibits away.  He didn’t have half an hour to do it, he did it in seconds to a minute or two, by all reported accounts.

People should and do have some expectation of safety standards when they go to a zoo with active young children.  By its nature, a zoo is a place you take small children to observe large, unusual, and frequently dangerous animals.  The zoo has to be able to withstand the most bright and active kids’ attempts to break into the exhibits.  This is not like having every plastic bag marked “not a toy.”  This incident shows why.

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