Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for September 21st, 2016

The EpiPen Outrage Continues

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Good editorial in the NY Times.

And see this report in the Washington Post.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 8:43 pm

If It Needs a Sign, It’s Probably Bad Design

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From Lena Groeger’s on-going series in ProPublica:

The EpiPen, the potentially life-saving device that delivers a dose of medicine to people having a severe allergic reaction, has been all over the news for its outrageous price spike. Going up 500 percent in just under a decade is upsetting. But even as the company and regulators are dealing with its price, going unaddressed is the product’s significant design flaw.

Despite having pen in its name, the EpiPen isn’t really designed like a pen at all. A pen usually has a cap that covers the pen tip. But the cap of the EpiPen is on the opposite end as the needle tip. Joyce Lee, a pediatrician and University of Michigan professor who also studies patient-centered design, points out that this broken metaphor causes confusion over which end is which – and has led to people accidentally pushing their fingers into the needle. Between 1994 and 2007 there were over 15,000 unintentional injections from EpiPens, including many cases of trained healthcare professionals who accidentally gave themselves a dose of epinephrine in the thumb or finger while trying to deliver the life-saving medicine to someone else.

The owner of the EpiPen, Mylan, told ProPublica that “Since acquiring the EpiPen Auto-Injector, Mylan has made significant improvements to the design of the medical device portion of the product” and that the design changes were “aimed at making EpiPen Auto-Injectors easier to safely carry, hold, and administer and reduce the risk to users from the device’s needle, which is extremely important to our patients.” The company “encourage[s] all patients and caregivers to receive training on proper administration.”See Mylan’s full response here.

But while in 2009 Mylan redesigned the device, they didn’t change the orientation of the cap and needle. Instead, they colored one end bright orange and gave it the label “Needle End.” No doubt the design tweak helped a little: according to one study, the new EpiPen has a success rate of 67 percent (the old pen had a success rate of 43 percent). But that same study compared the EpiPen to another epinephrine auto-injector, the Auvi-Q, which was recently taken off the market after being recalled for dosage problems. The Auvi-Q is designed with the cap and needle on the same end – and had a success rate of over 90 percent. . .

Continue reading.

More at the link, including photos. Do read the whole thing.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 4:06 pm

Good news but need more: 27 U.S. Senators Rebel Against Arming Saudi Arabia

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An important step in the right direction, reported by Alex Emmons in The Intercept.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 2:39 pm

A sign of something very bad: Indian woman stabbed more than 20 times in broad daylight. Video shows passersby doing nothing.

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What’s worse, he had already attacked her previously, and she and her family filed a police complaint—but at the request of the perp’s parents, the complaint was withdrawn. They promised that he would stop stalking (and attacking) the woman.

Here’s the report.

That seems like a warning indicator of cultural movement in a bad direction, and that is not the only indicator of things gone wrong: look at the US criminal justice system. Instances can be found across the globe, in all cultures—look at the Sunnis and the Shiites, for example. It’s as though some unease were rippling though all cultures.

UPDATE: Police killings are a problem, and not just in the US: look at the Philippines or at Brazil or …. it’s a long list. So Alice Speri’s article on 8 policies that can prevent police killings is of more than passing interest.

UPDATE: Another example. Also, those posts earlier today about Wells Fargo and the breakdown of responsibility: regulators not doing their job, manager who ran the con retiring with multi-million-dollar reward.

In a nutshell, our institutions (across all countries and cultures) are failing at their assigned tasks, and it’s global. I’d say that was a crisis. In the US, look at: Congress, enforcement of law (and Constitutional rights), … again, it’s a long list. Maybe we’ve simply reached the limit of what human culture can do in terms of its organizations. And I doubt that AI will rescue us.

UPDATE: Read this Trump Time Capsule entry from today by James Fallows.

UPDATE: And don’t forget the new business model of profits above all—cf. the Epipen gouge. (Link is to hearings held today.)

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 12:40 pm

Posted in Daily life

Modern Technology Unlocks Secrets of a Damaged Biblical Scroll

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Fascinating discovery in our (human) cultural history. A NY Times Report by Nicholas Wade is worth reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 12:17 pm

Posted in Memes, Religion, Science, Technology

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Gillette flat-bottom Tech goes to auction

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Flat tech side

This flat-bottom Tech has a full-size fat handle. It is more efficient, it seems to me, than a regular Tech, and seems also more solidly built. It’s listed here on eBay.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 11:25 am

Posted in Shaving

Who Do Republicans Listen To?

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Kevin Drum has a brief post worth reading. In it, he comments on this graph:


I find it odd that as Republicans become more able to help others (as their income increases) they become less inclined to help others. I wonder if it is simply that wealth undermines one’s morality and compassion. (Certainly Jesus seemed to think so—but what does he know?)

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 10:29 am

Posted in Daily life, Democrats, GOP

Interview with the CEO of OneBlade

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Interesting read. The OneBlade is quite good, but I find I prefer the DE format: less rinsing required.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 10:17 am

Posted in Business, Shaving

Sen. Elizabeth Warrens tears into Wells Fargo chairman

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This is worth watching:

It’s worth noting that the Wells Fargo manager directly responsible for the scam “left the bank earlier this summer with a $124.6 million payday.”

Wells Fargo is a criminal enterprise, but that seems to be true for quite a few banks. See, for example, “Fed Monetary Policy Is Being Held Hostage by Wall Street Banks.”

On this page you can contribute to keep Elizabeth Warren (aka “Pocahontas”) in the Senate. We really need her there, so do contribute.

Note also “Regulators danced with Wells Fargo for years before penalties.” It seems that our agencies to regulate banks are actually run by banks—for example, President Obama appointed Mary Jo White, a defense lawyer for large banks, to head the SEC. Naturally enough, she does everything she can to protect her past and future clients, resisting any efforts to rein in or punish banks. The report at the link is by Kevin Hall and appears in McClatchy. It begins:

Federal regulators were aware of wrongdoing at banking giant Wells Fargo & Co. as early as March 2012 and issued a string of supervisory letters ordering changes over the next three years, holding off on penalties while the creation of phony bank accounts and falsely issued credit cards to pad employee bonuses continued.

That timeline emerged Tuesday at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on allegedly illegal sales practices at Wells Fargo. Despite the supervisory letters, a scathing investigative reportby the Los Angeles Times and this month’s $185 million settlement with California and federal regulators, CEO John Stumpf argued that the scandal did not point to larger risks.

The Wells CEO also told Congress he did not err in signing off on quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that said the company’s internal controls were strong, maintaining that the problems did not reflect a material event warranting a notice to investors.

“It was not a material event,” Stumpf told the Senate Banking Committee in sometimes testy testimony.

It’s an important statement because there is now pressure on the SEC to investigate why Wells Fargo, the nation’s third-largest bank by size of assets, did not disclose to investors the potential risks to share prices associated with the ongoing probe by bank regulators.

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 9:27 am

The Wee Scot and Asses’ Milk shaving soap, with the iKon H2O and Grog aftershave

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SOTD 2016-09-21

A very nice shave indeed. You may have noticed that I am liking my Wee Scot a lot these days. I have no idea how it has fared under Vulfix ownership, but mine was purchased a decade ago, while Simpson was still independent, and it’s a wonderful little brush. It easily worked up an excellent lather from the Asses’ Milk shaving soap shown, and lathering with it put me in a good mood for the shave.

The iKon H2O is a two-piece razor like the Pils, in which the handle is attached to the baseplate with a roller bearing so the handle can turn while the baseplate remains fixed (and vice versa, of course), so tightening the razor feels exactly like tightening a three-piece razor. This is an asymmetric model—comb guard on one side, bar guard on the other—but the sides are well matched for comfort and efficiency, so I use it like a regular razor.

Three passes, BBS with no problems, and then a good splash of Tallow + Steel’s Grog aftershave.

A great way to start the day, this shaving thing.

Written by LeisureGuy

21 September 2016 at 7:47 am

Posted in Shaving

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