Diary

Watercooler 9/22/16; NJ College Deems America Offensive; Epipen Recreated For Less Than $30; The Natural Selection Of Bad Science

watercooler

Ramapo College In NJ Decides America Is Too Offensive To Be BBQ Theme

Students at Ramapo College in New Jersey wanted to host a bipartisan BBQ event with a straightforward theme: “America.” It was to be co-hosted by College Democrats and College Republicans.

The event could not proceed as planned, however, after college administrators decided the “America” theme was “offensive.”

Apparently, some of the planned advertisements for the America-themed BBQ incorporated the classic World War II “I Want You” recruitment featuring Uncle Sam. This administration, according to the residence hall adviser, considered the displays to be too “military and recruitment-oriented.”

–Heatstreet

It wasn’t always a bad school, I have met some competent people that are graduates from Ramapo. You have to wonder what went/is going wrong with a school that this could happen ?


Hackers Build Epipencil $30 Version Of The $600 Epipen

Michael Laufer doesn’t have a life-threatening allergy to peanuts or bees. So he doesn’t need to carry an EpiPen, the automatic drug-injecting device that people with severe allergies stick into their thighs after accidental exposures.

But Laufer was still outraged by the recent news that Mylan, the pharmaceutical company that sells the EpiPen, had gradually raised the price of a 2-pen set from US $100 in 2007 to about $600 today. So, for those who do depend on the EpiPen to routinely save their own lives, Laufer and his pharma-hacking confederates at the Four Thieves Vinegar Collective have developed an alternative.

Today they released a video and instructions showing DIYers how to make a generic EpiPen using materials that can be bought online for about $30. They call it the EpiPencil. “It functions just as well as an EpiPen,” Laufer says in the video, after demonstrating the assembly and showing that it works. “With no special training, anybody can use it.”

—-IEEE Spectrum

A little background on this. The Epipen Auto-injector wasn’t invented by Mylan but by Sheldon Kaplan, Survival Technology Inc and the Pentagon. What’s more that patent was issued in 1977, so should have expired no later than 1997.  Epinephrine was synthesized in the lab in 1901. So when you look at the Epipen, you have a product that was developed in part by the government and paid for with tax dollars and should be in the public domain now, the active ingredient is over a century old, yet somehow Mylan is able to hold people hostage for their lives and can exclude any and all competition. Just glad someone hasn’t gotten the FDA to look at the health value of Oxygen yet.


Study warns that science as we know it is evolving into something shoddy and unreliable

There’s no shortage of warnings from the scientific community that science as we know it is being drastically affected by the commercial and institutional pressure to publish papers in high-profile journals – and now a new simulation shows that deteroriation actually happening.

To draw attention to the way good scientists are pressured into publishing bad science (read: sensational and surprising results), researchers in the US developed a computer model to simulate what happens when scientists compete for academic prestige and jobs.

“The result: Over time, effort decreased to its minimum value, and the rate of false discoveries skyrocketed,” lead researcher Paul Smaldino explains in The Conversation.

And what’s more, the model suggests that the ‘bad’ (if you will) scientists who take shortcuts in relation to the incentives on offer will end up passing on their methods to the next generation of scientists who work in their lab, creating in effect an evolutionary conundrum that the study authors call “the natural selection of bad science”.

—Science Alert

This really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Science needs to be treated like anything else, and judged on it’s results, and what it is being used for. When science is being done to support a political or commercial agenda, be it the sugar industry paying for studies to indict fat , or when the people who push Global Warming trying to bury the pause All the reward for the people working on these type of issues comes from influencing the decision. There is virtually no upside for actually getting things right.


Quotes Of The Day

There is no dignity quite so impressive, and no one independence quite so important, as living within your means.
All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.
It is only when men begin to worship that they begin to grow.
— Calvin Coolidge
And a bonus quote especially applicable in this election
You can’t know too much, but you can say too much.
— Calvin Coolidge

Do You Think Like A Millenial ? Take The Quiz

Should be easy to beat my score this week. I got a 49% 7 correct 8 Wrong (wonder how that got computed) Looks like my guesses just were way off target.

Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread