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A View From the Edge

Good news in innovation

A View From the Edge

Sometimes, good inventions come in simple packages. And sometimes good people redefine their life’s goals to change the lives of many.

Jose Gomez-Marquez at Massachusetts Institute of Technology was frustrated at the lack of money for expensive medical equipment in developing nations. People were dying because, for example, IV drip machinery could cost $5,000. For some hospitals that is the budget for the entire emergency room.

Good news in worldwide innovation

A View From The Edge

Sometimes, good inventions come in simple packages. And sometimes good people redefine their life’s goals to change the lives of many.

Jose Gomez-Marquez at Massachusetts Institute of Technology was frustrated at the lack of money for expensive medical equipment in developing nations. People were dying because, for example, IV drip machinery could cost $5,000. For some hospitals that is the budget for the entire emergency room.

Giants control Congress

A View From the Edge

Over the last year, AT&T (amongst others) spent a small fortune lobbying congressional members (and that includes their underpaid staff, who are easy pickings) to ensure that the FCC does not force cell phone (3G and 4G) Internet access to be free nor even regulate it.

Cyberbullies young and old

A View From the Edge

We have all been to PTA groups and school board meetings (and some sports days) when parents shout out their worries and become belligerent. And we’ve all read news reports of parents sometimes becoming violent, fueled by the passion they have for their kids or against those looking after their kids.

And, to be honest, I have passionately bearded a principal or two in my time; a local mom and I once went ballistic over an inappropriate sex education book given to my 12-year-old.… But that is another story.

The American war debt

A View From the Edge

Income tax in America was first tried during the Revolutionary period and then again after the Civil War broke out — well, they had to pay the troops somehow. That taxation did not last long and was quickly repealed.

Congress was mostly an exclusive club for wealthy landowners, and you don’t have to wonder why Congress gentlemen of the time repealed income tax so quickly.

Excessive reactions on rape and child abuse?

A View From the Edge

Father Ciro Benedettini, the Vatican press office vice director (and remember anything coming from that office is carefully vetted beforehand) issued a press statement recently about the friction between Ireland and the Vatican over the sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests for decades.

His written press statement concluded with these words:  “…some degree of surprise and disappointment at certain excessive reactions.”

Avoid silly baby names

A View From the Edge

OK, I guess I am officially what a friend calls a “wrinkly.” But I am always finding mental cracks in people’s thinking — especially when it comes to their children.

I do not know what is wrong with some parents, but they seem determined to punish their kids ahead of time, all the while they think they are doing good. So, here is a list of my least favorite baby names currently in the news.

Sin tax revenues

A View From the Edge

Avoiding abuse of addictive liquids and other such things has always been the reasoning behind licensing for taxation. The argument goes like this: “If we tax the product to the hilt, it’ll wean the people off.”

OK, that is partly true. I know many smokers who have cut down because, as they put it, “these darned things are just too darned expensive.” (I edited the expletives they really used).

Be fair to the chickens

A View From the Edge

OK, you probably do not spend a lot of time thinking about chickens, the egg you eat at breakfast, the types of chickens and the color of the eggs. For a long time, brown eggs were believed healthier. Then there is the American world-beater Rhode Island red, now the global No. 1 preferred breed (for eggs and meat). And so on … chickens and eggs are a big part of our lives.

Atomic energy, yes or no: It’s your call

A View From the Edge

Part of the problem with evaluating atomic energy as part of our daily lives is that most people are too poorly educated (not stupid, just ignorant) on the science involved to really understand how it all works. Because they don’t get the science, they are left listening to politicians (themselves pretty ignorant) who are pushing an agenda often without any long-term scientific assessment or, worse, dependent on lobbyists who have told them what to think.