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Comment: Blister packaging (Score 3, Interesting) 498

by swm (#49224437) Attached to: Mental Health Experts Seek To Block the Paths To Suicide

The UK used to sell acetaminophen (AKA Tylenol) in bottles (like in the US).
Some people committed suicide by OD'ing on the pills.
So they changed from bottles to blister packs.
Now if you want to off yourself that way, you have to sit there and pop out ~50 pills, one by one.
It reduced those sucides by something like 30%.

That's a lot of lives saved, with a pretty low barrier.

Comment: Re:just FYI (Score 1) 77

by swm (#49147887) Attached to: Banned Weight-loss Drug Could Combat Liver Disease, Diabetes

Heh...if this is the drug I'm thinking of... ...ATP inhibitor...imbalance in the proton gradient...

What it does is leak protons across the mitochondrial membrane, which is tantamount to creating an internal short circuit in a battery.
You know, like those Lithiuum-ion batteries that sometimes spontaneously combust.

One of the first things the FDA did after it was established was get this stuff off the market.

Comment: My 5-year rule (Score 4, Interesting) 958

by swm (#48965795) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

The first time I had to make real decisions for myself was when I started living on my own in my early twenties.
I was aware that there studies on diet and health, and that there were dietary recommendations based on those studies.
I also knew that those recommendations had change over time.
So I decided that I wasn't going to turn my life upside-down over this stuff until the recommendations stopped changing for at least--I picked a number--five years.
Even at the time, I knew that this was mostly a self-serving rationalization for me to just keep eating the foods I liked.

As the years went by, I watched with growing astonishment as the fads (in science!) came and went; diets swirling around them like groupies, or celebrities.
Nothing has ever stayed settled for more than five years in a row.
I've never been called on my original committment/rationalization.
It's been over 30 years now.

Comment: Job postings are cheap (Score 2) 38

by swm (#48594823) Attached to: Job Postings Offer Clues to Future of Google Fiber

Long ago, I worked for a little company in one state, that bought a big company in another state (don't ask), and the big company had a union shop. At some point they were trying to negotiate something with the union, and they weren't getting what they wanted, so the next week they advertise 300 job openings in the local city paper, like they were going to move the entire shop in-state and just cut the union loose.

Nothing ever came of it.

Comment: How long does a job last? (Score 1) 282

by swm (#47388831) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Often Should You Change Jobs?

I've made my career building out new applications that are enabled by advancing computer technology. These jobs only last for a few years. A basic product development cycle is maybe 2 to 5 years, at which point you've either
- succeeded, and don't need people like me any more
- failed, and definitely don't need people like me any more

When the job goes away, I find a new one. Sometimes I find a new job at the same company, but that is inessential.

The short tenure of these jobs doesn't have much to do with me. It is driven by the staggering speed at which the underlying computer technology is advancing and changing.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito