Yuppies, Buppies and Guppies

April 1, 2008

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HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson announced his resignation today. His tenure is marred by a national housing crisis, allegations of political favoritism and a criminal investigation. But I would like you to remember the Bush crony differently. As the Alphonso Jackson I know and love:

Asked about the problems with subprime mortgages last June, Jackson insisted that many such [high-risk, high-cost] borrowers were not unsophisticated, low-income people but what he called “Yuppies, Buppies and Guppies” – well-educated, young, black and gay upwardly mobile achievers – with expensive cars who bought $400,000 homes with little or no money down.

Thats right, Alphonso Jackson, the ambitious upwardly mobile groups are to blame, not the shady loan companies, shaky economy, or present administration.

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Really Odd Jobs

March 6, 2008

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Came across a cute little article on CNN.com this morning. It is a list of odd jobs, some are weird, some are gross, and some you can’t believe people can’t paid to do. I thought I would share a few, but check it out here.

1. Breath odor evaluator

4. Ocularist (paint artifical eyes)

5. Flatulence smell-reduction underwear maker

10. Tampon tester

12. Dog sniffer

15. Barbie dress designer


Cloverfield Attacks Again

February 4, 2008

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Cloverfield, the much hyped monster movie, might be coming back. After a killer first weekend (followed by a big drop off) the creators of the film are looking to further cash in on the movie by making a sequel. REALLY? I mean I thought it was okay, as a one time thing. If the monster survived the end of this movie, how exactly would anyone even try to kill it next movie.

You can read my early review of Cloverfield here.


Badass Computer or Overpriced Toy?

January 16, 2008

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Here’s some of what USA Today had to say about the sleek laptop:

… on first impressions, there’s no denying that Apple has designed another gorgeous machine. Apple has managed to cram in a full-size keyboard, 13.3-inch backlit widescreen display, iSight video camera, 2 gigabytes of RAM, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi and an 80-GB hard drive. The whole package weighs three pounds and ranges from 0.16 to 0.76 inches thick. You don’t realize just how thin that is until you see Jobs pull the machine out of one of those yellow interoffice envelopes.

Pint-size laptop computers always exact compromises. Perhaps the most glaring in Air’s case is the lack of a replaceable battery. Much as the iPod, the Air’s battery and other components are sealed inside and are not easily removed.

What’s more, Apple dispenses with a drive for loading CDs or DVDs. But the need for such a drive is somewhat diminished in the age of digital downloads, such as the iTunes movie rentals Jobs announced Tuesday.

I think the MacBook Air is a stunning testament to product development. They knew the public wanted a lighter, sleeker laptop and Mac did what it does, it delivered. It delivered an incredible, although minimalist, laptop at a reasonable price (~$1800) My problem is when reviewing the tech specs on the Apple website, the $1800 MacBook Air really is nothing more than a small laptop. To get the small laptop at the quality I expect (and deserve) hits closer to the $3000 range.

Want the 1.8 GHz Processor? Add $300.

Want the 64GB Solid State Hard Drive? Add $999

Want the ability to play and burn CDs and DVDs? Add $99

Want an Ethernet port and a modem port? Add $79

Want the Apple Remote? Add $19

Admittedly, I would still love a MacBook Air to appear in my living room. But in reality I think ‘ll wait for more reviews to come in and the price to go down. Still nice to see a company innovating when so other computer companies stagnate.

PS. Props to Apple for integrating the multi touch gestures from the iPod and iPhone, those are awesome.


Automated Pharmacy

November 13, 2007

This article/press release is somewhat positively biased, but it does shed some light on Medco’s plan for pharmacy. It is interesting to consider the prospect of automated dispensing and how it will affect the jobs of pharmacists. I was asked in my interview for the University of Pittsburgh, “If I were to tell you that in ten years dispensing was completely eliminated by the use of machines, would you still want to be a pharmacist, what would you expect to do, and why?”


INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels joined executives from Medco Health Solutions, Inc. today to announce the company’s plans to build the world’s largest and most advanced automated pharmacy in Central Indiana, filling a growing nationwide demand for lower-cost medicines. The new 318,000-square-foot pharmacy, slated to open early in 2009, will cover an area equivalent to six and a half football fields — bringing approximately 1,300 jobs to the state by its anticipated peak operation in 2012.

“Medco has pioneered the use of computers, robotics, optical scanners and other technologies to create drug dispensing systems which are virtually error-free,” said Kenneth O. Klepper, Medco President and Chief Operating Officer.

The state’s business-friendly environment, modern transportation infrastructure, skilled labor pool and proximity to several schools of pharmacy including Butler University and Purdue University were other notable factors in the site selection process. Medco intends to provide competitive salaries and a comprehensive employee benefit package for a wide range of positions, including electrical and mechanical technicians, managers, warehouse specialists and more than 100 pharmacists, among other types of jobs. Hiring is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2008, with the majority of the hiring expected in 2010 and 2011.

Medco is leading the charge on transforming pharmacy care from a “generalist” practice to a “specialist” practice. “With advancements in science and technology blazing a path of personalized medicine, we can no longer take a shot gun approach to pharmacy,” Klepper said. “To that end, Medco has created condition-specific resource centers staffed with hundreds of pharmacists who receive specialized training in specific chronic conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and asthma. This focus on one chronic disease state enables these specialist pharmacists to better help patients optimize their health.”

Coupled with its unparalleled dispensing pharmacy practice, Medco has created an industry leading end-to-end specialized pharmacy practice model.

Medco’s mail-order pharmacy business received an additional boost when the Federal Employee Program(TM) (FEP) awarded a contract for its mail-service and specialty prescription drug program for 4 million federal employees, retirees and their families, effective Jan. 1, 2008.

Medco’s two existing automated dispensing pharmacies in Willingboro, N.J. and Las Vegas dispensed 90 percent of the company’s mail-order prescriptions in 2006. Medco’s automated pharmacies currently have the capacity to fill more than 2 million prescriptions per week. Medco opened the world’s first fully automated pharmacy in Las Vegas in October 1996 and the world’s then- largest pharmacy at 280,000 square feet in Willingboro in 2001.

Full Article


Boxing is NOT for wimps

November 8, 2007

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I like to pretend I’m a tough guy, but I found out recently that I am indeed a big wimp.  The true tough guys are the athletes that can slug it out for 12 rounds.   I sustained two boxing injuries this week and I am almost ready to hang up my gloves.

The first incident was Monday night.  My dad and I were watching the Kessler v. Calzaghe super middleweight fight (pictured above) while making dinner.  It was an intensely good fight, that had heart, power, speed, bravado, and endurance.  Both men held the 12 rounds without slowing and were true entertainers.  The fight was so engaging that we proceeded to burn the pot we were cooking dinner in and had to put it outside to get the smell out of the house.  Calzaghe was just better, Kessler fought well but he just wasn’t as good of a fighter.  Both were previously undefeated.  If you are wondering how I got hurt watching tv, let me explain.  When a fight is good, my dad and I usually jump around imitating the boxers and swing around wildly.  We were boxing around during the breaks between rounds and one of his punches slide up my hand cutting my finger.  Now that stung a little at the time, but was no big deal.  Until a few hours later when it was clearly already infected.  I must have got some super fast bacteria in it.  It felt like it was on fire and ached to touch it, but a couple days of cleaning and neosporin and it is all good now (except a red badge of courage where the cut is).

The second incident was last night.  I was walking down the hallway with my mom, and made fun of her not being able to catch me (she was yelling about killing me or something).  Then I turned and was organizing my school papers that were on the couch.  I didn’t know she was doing anything in particular, and she thought I was going to run away.  So she turns and swings full out thinking I will be out of reach or something.  Instead she decks me in the face.  At first the impact was so intense I thought I would fall, but I was able to catch myself.  I was relieved that I hadn’t fallen.  Then I opened my eyes and was so dizzy I fell.   So my 60 year old my was able to knock my ass down with one punch.  Then once I got up and still had all my teeth, my mom laughed for the next hour and told me it was my fault.


Shake that money-maker

October 28, 2007

facebook.jpg The New York Times has an interesting article on the business side of facebook. While I am compulsively checking people’s statuses, noting who is and isn’t dating who, oogling hot drunk chicks photos, and deeply contemplating where I should add that new badass app, people are making money. Lots of it.

The originally small scale networking site for Harvard students is expected to reach 60 million member by the end of this year. But you ask how could a free site be worth any money? While there are small features that cost money the more serious cash flow is advertising and corporate sponsorship. While the founder wants to keep it independent and is as such unlikely to sell it completely Microsoft recently bought a share in it. Microsoft shelled out something like 240 million dollars for less than 2 % share. Yeah Facebook is worth approximately 15 billion dollars.

The article goes into the future possibilities for the company, the inevitable google comparisons, and how they think facebook can benefit and be hurt by the microsoft purchase.

Check out the Article.