Filed under: Cool Site of the Day, Energy, Entertainment, Freedom, Heartwarming, Pop Culture | Tags: Improv Everywhere, New York City, Thanks to Target
A mysterious light switch allows unsuspecting New Yorkers to turn on over 50,000 Christmas lights. From Improv Everywhere:
For our latest mission, we placed a 7-foot-tall light switch in New York City’s Father Demo Square. When a random New Yorker flipped the switch, the entire square lit up with Christmas lights. In addition to lights on the trees, benches, and fences around the park, a mob of performers wearing lights wrapped around their clothes lit up as well. The performers were instructed to turn on their lights and freeze in place when the switch was flipped on.
Filed under: Cool Site of the Day, Free Markets, Health Care, History, Military, Science/Technology, United Kingdom | Tags: Advances in Medicine, Professor Toby Jenkins, University of Bristol
From the MIT Technology Review: A smart bandage signals infection by turning a fluorescent color. Researchers have developed a new kind of wound dressing that could serve as an early-detection system for infections. This could not only save lives, but reduce the need for antibiotics.
Bacterial infection is a fairly common and potentially dangerous complication of wound healing, but a new “intelligent” dressing that turns fluorescent green to signal the onset of an infection could provide physicians a valuable early-detection system.
Researchers in the United Kingdom recently unveiled a prototype of the color-changing bandage, which contains a gel-like material infused with tiny capsules that release nontoxic fluorescent dye in response to contact with populations of bacteria that commonly cause wound infections.
Led by Toby Jenkins, a professor of biophysical chemistry at the University of Bath, the inventors of the new bandage, which has not yet been tested in humans, say it could be used to alert health-care professionals to an infection early enough to prevent the patient from getting sick. In some cases it may even be able help avoid the need for antibiotics, says Jenkins.
Battlefield wounds are often dirty, infection, gangrene all too often led to amputation or death. I’m re-reading my way through the Patrick O’Brien Aubrey/ Maturin series of 18th Century sea stories, and there are plenty of shipboard wounds, and amputations, usually successful because Stephen Maturin was an excellent 18the century physician. But in the real world, it is a real problem. Our current military provides wonderful care, compared to their forebears. My family lost a young uncle on each side of the civil war to a battlefield wound and sepsis.
The article reminds us that caring for infected wounds costs billions of dollars annually. This is early on, but very promising.
Filed under: Canada, Capitalism, Cool Site of the Day, Domestic Policy, Environment, Free Markets, Freedom, Intelligence | Tags: Careful Craftsmansjp, Smoke and Flame, The Artisansal Touch
This is That profiles Smoke & Flame, a Vancouver artisanal firewood company that is selling bundles of kindling for $1,000 a bundle. For more, visit http://www.cbc.ca/thisisthat Craftsmanship!
Filed under: Blogging, Cool Site of the Day, Election 2008, Election 2016, Humor, Politics | Tags: Good Humor, John Flowers, McSweeney's
Through the Ages
By Jonathan Flowers
The ancestry of Donald Trump stretches back to the Ancient World. Listen, as several of Trump’s forebears recount some of the most famous moments in history.
The Death of Julius Caesar
So this is, maybe, a week after the Ides of March. I’m in Rome. I got a new coliseum there. Great coliseum. I build a lot them. Make a lot of money. Very successful.
So I’m in Rome. And Brutus and his cabal ask me to say a few words about Caesar. Really, begging me to say something about him. And Brutus is an honorable guy. So, I’m like, “Sure. Whatever.”
But then right before my speech, Brutus comes up to me — he’s real nervous, Brutus — and he says, “Whatever you do in your speech, don’t blame me for Caesar’s death.”
The whole thing is here, and Funny! He captures “the Donald” to perfection.
(h/t: Powerline, and thanks)
Filed under: Capitalism, Cool Site of the Day, Economy, Freedom, Politics, The United States | Tags: Apple, Economist Mark J. Perry, WalMart
Economist Mark J. Perry, wrote at the American Enterprise Institute:
Why do progressives hate Walmart for low prices and its 3% profit margin but love high-priced Apple and its 24% profit margin?
Evil Walmart makes a lot of money, right? We hear that all the time even though the retail giant’s profit margin was only 3.12% in the most recent quarter. Interestingly, we never seem to hear as much about the much higher profit margin of Apple, the “darling of the progressives.” In the most recent quarter, the computer behemoth with a market capitalization ($725 billion) that exceeds the value of the entire stock markets of Mexico, Thailand and Russia, had a whopping profit margin of 24.2%. No wonder its market cap is so astronomical.
Here’s one way to put Walmart’s 3.12% profit margin in perspective. Over a typical 31-day period like the month of March for example, Walmart generates about $40.5 billion in sales revenue (roughly $1.3 billion per day). To generate that amount of sales, it costs Walmart about $39.3 billion every 31 days to pay for all of its expenses: merchandise to stock its stores, shipping expenses, the cost of labor including fringe benefits, utilities, corporate income taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, interest expenses, advertising, etc. After incurring all of those costs to provide the merchandise for consumers over a 31-day period, there’s about $1.26 billion left over for profits, which is also 3.12% of the $40.5 billion in sales revenue.
In contrast, Apple’s whopping 24.2% profit margin means that the company can typically cover its costs to operate for 31 days in a little more than three weeks (23.5 days) and it then usually has 7.5 “profit days” every 31 days. That is, for more than an entire week every month, all of the sales revenue collected by Apple during those 7.5 days turns into profits for Apple’s shareholders.
Do read the whole thing. There’s lots more, and a good lesson in both politics and economics. And Progressivism as well.
Filed under: Cool Site of the Day, Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Iraq, Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Four Pillars of Belief, Makes Sense to His Mind, President Obama's Strategy
Michael Doran, Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington D.C. He specializes in Middle East security issues. “I Don’t Bluff..”
President Obama has repeatedly promised to do whatever it takes to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb. If there is no other choice, he says, he will resort to force. In a March 2012 interview with Jeffrey Goldberg, the president famously rejected the alternative policy, namely, allowing Iran to go nuclear and then trying to contain it. He emphasized the point dramatically: “[A]s president of the United States,” he said, “I don’t bluff.”
Really? Suppose this statement was just a show of toughness, timed to keep supporters of Israel on his side during the 2012 campaign season. Suppose that, when it came to Iran, in his heart of hearts, the president actually preferred a strategy of containment to a strategy of prevention. Suppose that was actually his policy aim from the outset—but, for obvious reasons, he couldn’t say so. How would he proceed?
He would proceed exactly as he has been proceeding—trumpeting his intention to roll back the Iranian nuclear program while actually avoiding confrontation at all costs.
Read the whole thing:
Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution: “What are the Metaphysics of Islamic Denial?”
After six years, it is no surprise that the Obama administration does not see the Taliban as “terrorists” or that it will not associate “violent extremism” with radical Islam or just Islam.
After all, when Maj. Hasan murdered U.S. soldiers it was nothing more than “workplace violence,” as if he were a disgruntled post office employee of the 1970s. Our two top intelligence chiefs assured us that the Muslim Brotherhood was “largely secular” and that jihad “was a legitimate tenet of Islam.” Add in “workplace violence” and the old “overseas contingency operations.” Do we remember that Ms. Napolitano’s Department of Homeland Security warned us about right-wing returning veterans as the most likely to terrorize us? When someone blows up people at the Boston Marathon, beheads a woman in Oklahoma, or puts a hatchet in a NYPD officer’s head, he is not a terrorist or proselytizer fueled by Islamic hatred of non-Muslims as much as mentally confused. (I suppose in a way that a Hitler or Stalin was not.) Read the whole thing:
Again, Victor Davis Hanson, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution: “Obama Does Have a Strategy”
The Wise People of American foreign policy — Madeleine Albright, General Jack Keane, Henry Kissinger, General James Mattis, George Shultz, and others — recently testified before Congress. Their candid and insightful collective message dovetailed with the worries of many former Obama-administration officials, such as one-time defense secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta, as well as a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Lieutenant General Michael Flynn. Their consensus is that the U.S. is drifting, and with it the world at large: The Obama administration has not formulated a consistent strategy to cope with the advance of second-generation Islamic terrorism. It is confused by the state upheavals in the Middle East. It is surprised by the aggression of Putin’s Russia and the ascendance of an autocratic China. Our allies in Europe, much of democratic Asia, and Israel all worry that the U.S. is rudderless, as it slashes its military budget and withdraws from prior commitments.
While I think the symptomology of an ailing, herky-jerky United States is correct, the cause of such malaise is left unspoken. The Obama team — with its foreign policy formulated by President Obama himself, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, White House consigliere Valerie Jarrett, Vice President Joe Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and present Secretary of State John Kerry — is not in fact befuddled by the existing world. Instead, it is intent on changing it into something quite different from what it is.
So far from being chaotic, current U.S. foreign policy is consistent, logical, and based on four pillars of belief.
Read the Whole Thing
Filed under: Cool Site of the Day, Democrat Corruption, Humor, Immigration, National Security, The United States | Tags: Looking for the Text, Obama's Big Amnesty Speech, whitehouse.gov
Bwa ha ha ha. I just started to go to whitehouse.gov to get the text of the speech, entered the website, and this is what I got: