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Comment Re:Elementary education (Score 1) 263

This. There are open source textbook projects that float around somewhere, but the one I've seen seem to focus on collegiate level general education texts. Writing for younger learners isn't as simple as putting the information together. There's a big component in using information from studies of childhood development and learning theory that shapes the presentation in quality elementary school texts. This is something that takes resources, but if a group can be found it would probably be one of the causes with the potential to have a broad impact.

Comment Re:What's the point? (Score 2) 221

They kind of do. There is this powerful tool known as the Orange book with all approved medications including generics listed with separate entries for each dosage. There is a lot of information out there. Even if you just count the free stuff. The thing is a good portion of it is only really accessible in a useful way to professionals, because the body is a complex system. You pharmacist, the guy who checks your prescriptions for dangers and counsels you on proper drug therapy has at least four years of professional education. Saying any given normal adult should have to accept all of the responsibility for themselves is opening the door for abuse.

Look at statins. There are dangers popping up now that didn't appear in a statistically significant way during the original trials that only had thousands of participants. Now, with post market surveillance more of them can be identified. On the flip side, there are benefits of statins being explored that weren't conceivable during per-approval trials.

Comment Re:vaporware (Score 1) 286

I had a second generation Acer Aspire One and moved to a Lenovo X120e. The SSD I was using in the Acer survived the move and is still stable. If I'd ever moved my video collection from DVDs and streaming I'd run into space trouble, but I can live within the 128 gigs the SSD leaves me with plenty of comfort.

My three big concerns are battery life, time to wake, and time to launch new applications. I spend a lot of time moving around campus and every second faster the laptop wakes up is more time I have before I have to get my A game on. The biggest speed difference I've noticed with the SSD is using Adobe Lightroom, but its still nice to bring up Firefox, Word, and Power Point faster.

The thing I love about the E-350 is how well it sleeps. I don't hibernate or use virtual memory due to the write cycle lifespan limit on SSDs, but damn AMD fusion sleeps well. Being a graduate student I've seen my current setup against student's, classmate's, and faculty's setups (overwhelmingly MacBook Airs and iPads this year). It is competitive against anything anyone else in the classroom uses. When the warranty on the SSD quits I might be scared, but right now I am enjoying it.

Right now I feel more limited by the E-350's ability to only use single channel DDR3. My documents are backed up on a form of media and my documents live somewhere in the cloud. It feels like I have the best of the mobile and desktop worlds for the tasks I need the notebook for. This would change though if I needed to edit video or compile code on the mobile.

Comment Re:Ah, central planning. (Score 1) 611

The Department of Defense has believed in the tremendous margin of safety not having that additional methyl group confers. Chemically that extra methyl group confers a greater stuctural similarity to epinephrine upon methamphetamine, while not having that extra methyl group makes plain old amphetamine and dexamphetamine more similar to dopamine and norepinephrine. The way the rest of the molecule is shaped, that extra methyl group being in that location is a big difference. It's the difference between Paul Erdos and Faces of Meth. Between your stealth bomber crew flying 36 hours uninterrupted or the 2 billion dollar plane crashing halfway because the flight crew killed each other in a Lord of the Flies reenactment.

Comment Re:You'd think, but... (Score 1) 611

Methotrexate has been around since the 1950's and was one of the first generally safe chemotherapy medications.

It works and isn't hindered by intellectual property laws. Methotrexate is something you want to regulate the safety of. Methotrexate is one drug you really want to contain exactly the dose printed on the label. The methotrexate shortage is pretty much all on manufacturers.

Adderall though is probably a mix between Shire and the DEA. Shire wants people on Vyvanse because they make more per pill on it while the DEA likes that Vyvanse can't be abused (or used) IV. Are they colluding, probably not. Is there an incentive for either to try to fix the problem, not really. Patient and insurers who need to care about what this does to healthcare costs really don't have the clout to break this.

Comment Re:You'd think, but... (Score 2) 611

Exactly, methotrexate is not a controlled substance like the amphetamine salts prescribed for ADHD. Methotrexate is an anti-folate used for serious illnesses. Methotrexate has a pretty intense side effect profile, and the last thing any manufacturer would want is liability for injuries caused by a tainted or defective version of a drug that already has a narrow therapeutic window.

This methotrexate shortage in the news getting the most attention is for the intrathecal preparation for administration directly into the cerebro-spinal fluid on the brain side of the blood brain barrier. Intrethecal drugs normally have to be preservative free and any chemicals in it have to be controlled for because the blood brain barrier keeps a lot of chemicals and pathogens on the blood side. If something dangerous gets in it may not be getting back out. Preparing a drug for market like this isn't something that can be half-assed unless you think Russian Roulette is too safe.

Comment Re:Already been done without any hacking (Score 3, Insightful) 162

Bachmann and Santorum were probably resigned to that when they entered, but Perry entered with the expectation of winning. Perry actually started the flavor of the month trend by knocking off Bachmann. For Perry the culture war isn't his message so much as the thing he was pushed into resorting to as his last agonal breaths before quitting after the South Carolina primary in a dignified manner. Entering the campaign Perry's message was simply "Texas, Fuck Yeah". Seeing 2000 and 2004 along with Texas's attempts to brand itself as America Plus, it wasn't and unrealistic expectation or strategy. It was just a dumb one.

Comment Re:Already been done without any hacking (Score 1) 162

If I recall correctly a brokered convention wasn't necessary for Obama to trump Hilary as the Democrats used proportional representation in 2008.

In a brokered convention the most Ron Paul would be able to do is pledge his committed delegates to another candidate, provided the pledged delegates agree. Perry will probably be in a similar situation. What those delegates would probably do is support the not-Paul and not-Romney candidate. Huntsman will probably run on the Americans elect ticket turning the Charm up to 11 while being so economically conservative Paul would look like Kim Jung Il, Gary Johnson will run on the libertarian ticket as the marijuana candidate, the greens will put up a nobody, and Obama wins on the democratic ticket.

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