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Hydrogen Cyanide found in Black market vape cartridges.

Hydrogen Cyanide found in Black market vape cartridges.


Hydrogen Cyanide found in Black market vape cartridges.  When the vaping induced illness and deaths were first reported I told my wife there is more going on than just vitamin E vapors.  Vitamin E cannot cause the effects seen in some people with just one use.  If you have not heard the news the lung damage and deaths are caused by unregulated vape cartridges.  The manufactures of legitimate vape cartridges have everything to lose if their product causes harm.  This is not the case with the illegitimate product coming out of China.  According to NBC News that purchased several types of vape cartridges form marijuana dispensaries and from stores selling other brands of vape cartridges.  The testing NBC News had done at a lab showed the presence of a fungicide that when burned turns into hydrogen cyanide.  Now there is a better understanding of the why so many people have damage to their bodies or unfortunately died.  Hydrogen Cyanide found in Black market vape cartridges.  Please watch the NBC News report.  A link to the NBC report is below.

Tests show bootleg marijuana vapes tainted with hydrogen cyanide

NBC News commissioned laboratory tests of knock-off marijuana vapes that found a pesticide linked to hydrogen cyanide in 10 out 10 products.

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What exactly is IMPEACHMENT?

What exactly is IMPEACHMENT?  It is the removal of a president or vice president from office.  The process that is called impeachment can be explained by using our court system. 

What exactly is IMPEACHMENT?  It is the removal of a president or vice president from office.  The process that is called impeachment can be explained by using our court system.  The House of Representatives (HOR) plays the part of the grand jury.  The facts are presented to the members of the HOR who then votes yea or nay, to approve or disapprove.  If there are enough yeas, then the president is impeached.  This does not mean the president is removed from office. This is when the next step in the process takes place in the senate.

If the HOR is the grand jury, the Senate is the court room where once again the facts are present as articles of impeachment.  The senators are the jury in this court.  Unlike a criminal trial where the entire jury must vote for conviction, only two-thirds of the senate must vote in favor of removing the president from office.  Why is it 2/3 instead of a simple majority?  This is where the writers of the constitution decided to make it hard to remove a sitting president from office.

Think about it like this.  A sitting president’s party loses the majority in the house and senate.  What is to stop the new majority party from removing the president.  Nothing if the bar for removing a president was a simple majority. Imagine the chaos that would cause for the government as well as the country.  The idea of making the process hard and cumbersome is intentional.  Also the president must face an election every four years.  The HOR stands for reelection every two years and the 33 Senators stand fro election every two years.   There is plenty of opportunity to keep a president in check before resorting to impeachment. With all that said, if a president chooses to use the office for personal or political gain or endangers the security of the country as the current president is alleged to have done, there may be no other choice but to remove him or her from office.  What exactly is impeachment? Now you have a better idea.

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Have you secured your internet connected devices?

How does a hacker find your unsecured device?  There are programs available on the dark web that lets a hacker see every device that is connected to the internet.

Have you secured your internet connected devices?  Are you using a Google Nest or a smart tv or a smart refrigerator?  If so, you are at risk of being hacked and losing all of your private information.  Over the past few weeks there have been news reports on tv and in print detailing the dangers of using internet connected devices without changing the password.  In one report a couple was being harassed by a person who through the internet was able to take over the couples baby monitor.  This person threatened the couples and the baby’s safety.  Why is this happening.  How can you prevent yourself from becoming a victim?

Why are people who have internet connected devices being hacked.  The first reason is that many people do not understand these devices are designed around computer chips.  Just as your smartphone, tablet or computer is vulnerable to being hacked, so are the internet connected devices.  The second reason is the manufacturers of smart thermostats, refrigerators and baby monitors and other devices do not understand internet security.  Many of these devices use the same basic passwords that can be found on doing a google search.  Unless you are a savvy computer user you may not be aware of this fact.  All of this still does not explain how a hacker can take over your device.

How does a hacker find your unsecured device?  There are programs available on the dark web that lets a hacker see every device that is connected to the internet.  Are you worried yet?  If not, you should. These programs show whether a device is secured or it is unsecured.  If it is unsecured a hacker can then take over the device. An unsecured device is one that has no password or is using the default password the company programmed prior to shipping.  Hackers know all of the default password for all of these devices. I hope this has your attention.

How do you stop hackers from victimizing your family?  Treat every internet device as if it was your smartphone or tablet. Change the default password.  Make sure your password has letter, numbers and special characters. The longer the password the less likely a hackers password guesser to break into your device.  Your password should be at least 16 characters long.  While you are making these changes to you internet devices check your router if you have purchased your own.  The same rules apply to your router as it does to internet connected devices. Do not assume that any device you buy and connect to the internet is secure.  The security of you and your family is your responsibility.  I ask you once again.  Have you secured your internet connected devices?



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It’s finally under 100 degrees in Phoenix WOOHOO!!!!

It's finally under 100 degrees in Phoenix WOOHOO!!!!

It’s finally under 100 degrees in Phoenix WOOHOO!!!! After 29 days at or above 110 degrees and 108 days over 100 degrees the weather gods have finally relented. 110 degree days 12 News   While the extremely hot days are behind this does not mean we are finished with the 100 degree day.  October 23, 2003 the high in Phoenix hit 105 degrees.  I personally remember that day.  My neighborhood had an afternoon halloween party for the local kids and an adult party that evening.  Everyone at the kid’s party could not believe it was over 100 degrees so late in the year.

While we all complain about the summer heat, how many of us would trade our summers for six months of winter?   In case you forgot what winter is about, let me remind you. First it is cold.  Sometimes bitterly cold that can be life threatening.  We should not forget about the black ice, freezing rain, sleet, slush, snow and blizzards.  Winter also brings shoveling driveways and sidewalks, unplowed roads and damage cars by the salt used on the roads. When we have a bit of perspective about winters our summers do look so bad after all.  After all Arizona winters are the reason we put up with the 100 degree days.  Call up your friends back east and tell them it’s finally under 100 degrees in Phoenix WOOHOO!!!!





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Recycling compared to Reuse

Single use 12x9x12 box

Recycling compared to reuse is something I am asked weekly.  Reusing your cardboard box is always much cheaper than it is to recycle and make a box.  While this may seem counterintuitive, as the cost are analyzed the value of reuse becomes clearer.

We are all aware that recycling helps the environment by keeping items out of the landfills.  Certain manufactured products are better suited to recycling than others.  The first class of materials that benefit from recycling are metals. All metals whether ferrous or non-ferrous are completely recyclable without almost no loss.  The metal recycling is the reason behind there are no more abandoned cars on the side of the road as was common up to the 1970’s.  The one metal that benefits the most form recycling is aluminum. Recycling one pound of aluminum (33 cans) saves about 7 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity. With the energy it takes to make just one new aluminum can from bauxite ore, you can make 20 recycled aluminum cans.

Cardboard and paper are not as easy to recycle as aluminum.  The costs involve several transportation services, sorting contaminated boxes, grinding and finally creating a box.  Paper fiber, unlike aluminum, losses structural integrity as it is processed.  Eventually the fibers become too short so virgin fibers are added to increase strength. All of this cost money which makes recycled boxes more expensive to make and purchase.

Reusing cardboard boxes which is the focus of Boxes Near Me is a more cost effective method of keeping cardboard boxes out of the landfill.  A cardboard box can be reused between three and five times.  This reduces the demand for new boxes . Reducing demand for new boxes lowers energy, transportation  and labor costs associated with  new boxes.  Reusing also conserves water.  It takes 3 gallons of water to make just one sheet of paper. A box is made of multiple sheets of paper. A typical box require as much as 9 to 12 gallon of water or more.

There are of course other cost factors that play into the overall harm to the environment.  These range from transportation cost of raw materials to finished product, the electricity to operate the machinery and the sometimes toxic wastes created by the manufacturing process. Recycling compared to reuse is something we all need to consider when deciding which box to use for personal or business needs.

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It is raining in Phoenix and we are all going to melt!

It is raining in Phoenix and we are all going to melt!

It is raining in Phoenix and we are all going to melt! I wonder how many millennials know which movie made this quote famous.  I remember reading a newspaper article many years ago that brought home how old I am getting.  The article stated that anyone born after 1983 John Lennon and John Belushi have always been dead.  It has now been 39 and 37 years respectively since these two icons of music and comedy died.  I have fond memories of both but alas they only memories.

Growing up I watched all of the old black and white films from the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Having only five television channels, six, sometimes seven if you count the UHF channels, there was a lot of air time and not a lot of content in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  The local independent station ran all of the public domain movies every Saturday and Sunday.  The network affiliates also ran many of the same movies.   From the old musicals to pre-war, post war movies and of course monster movies there was always something to watch.   Unfortunately many of these old movies are now limited to Turner Classic Movies.  The lack of air time for these movies is directly related to the millennials.  Millennials will not watch black and white films.

I think about all of the movies and tv shows that I and most likely  you grew up with that are a part of that have become part of our cultural expressions that no longer resonate with the younger generations.  When you chuckle to yourself when you hear the name Marsha or a boat on a three hour tour or you gonna need a bigger boat think of how much the younger generations have missed in the fractured landscape that is popular media. It is raining in Phoenix and we are all going to melt!


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Another near miss from an asteroid

Another near miss from an asteroid

Another near miss from an asteroid was reported by NASA earlier this week.  A near miss in cosmic terms is 40,000 miles from earth.  There are earth crossing asteroids reported all the time.  As long as the asteroid crosses earth’s path before or after we get to the same place it is nothing to worry about.  NASA is concerned because the asteroid is traveling at 50,000 miles per hour.  An impact at this speed would devastate an area 50 miles wide. If an asteroid like this hit the earth it would destroy any major city in the world. Think about that for a few seconds. By the time you realized that an asteroid hit Phoenix, the shock wave traveling at the speed of up to 1000 miles per hour, would have already killed you.  There is no escape.  If you can see the asteroid strike you are too close to survive.

NASA is worried because they do not have the necessary infrastructure, meaning telescopes and computers, to find all of the earth crossing asteroids. The small asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013 was not detected because it came from the sun side.  If you have ever looked in the direction of the sun and could not see a bird or a plane you now know why it is impossible to find asteroids from earth coming from the sun side, The only way to see all asteroids is to have one or more telescopes in space.

There is about a 1 in 2000 chance that an asteroid will hit the earth every day.  These odds are for asteroids the size of the Chelyabinsk asteroid to the six mile wide asteroid that may have hit earth 65 million years ago.  The earth is hit by much smaller pieces of rock and dust every second of everyday.  The fact that an asteroid is not the existential crisis posed by other natural disasters does not mean it can be ignored.  Another near miss from an asteroid means we were lucky.  Next time our luck may run out.

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All anti-biotic drugs are now made in China

All anti-biotic drugs are now made in China.

All anti-biotic drugs are now made in China.  The NBC national news aired a report on Tuesday evening about how all anti-biotic drugs are now made in China. The pharmaceutical companies moved production to China to reduce cost and reduce prices.  According to the report no anti-biotic drugs are now made in this country.  I know what you are thinking. This is not possible. Yes it is possible.  How do you think Fry’s or Costco or Sam’s Club can offer $4 prescriptions drugs. Once again according to the report it is not possible to make anti-biotic drugs in this country that sell at $4.00.  What does this mean for the country?

People both inside and outside our government worry that this puts our country at a strategic disadvantage.  To me their worry is justified.  It is not hard to imagine China reducing or cutting off our supply of anti-biotic drugs to our military.  Another scenario that is worrisome is a global pandemic.  China’s current population is 1.4 billion people as compared to 330 million in the US.  Would China send us drugs if their population is at higher risk than ours? There is a real possibility China would not or could not send us the drugs if their population is being decimated.

A question we should be asking our elected leaders is why this was allowed to happen. If I let my cynicism come out to play I would guess that the pharmaceutical manufactures gave political contributions to members of congress to let them do this.  Of course this can never happen.  Yeah, right.

This brings up another obvious question.  If the drugs manufacturers are out sourcing to China, why are drugs so expensive.  We are the only country that does not negotiate drugs prices on a national level.  Congress passed a law in 2003 that forbad the government from negotiating lower drug prices.  We are the only country that does not negotiate drugs prices on a national level.   Why is this?  See the previous paragraph.   All anti-biotic drugs are now made in China. I am worried.  A lot of very smart people are worried. You should be worried too.


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Justice For All on sliding scale

Justice for all on a sliding scale

Justice for All on a sliding scale.  Our legal system is supposed to be where everyone is equal under the eyes of the law.  Like everything else is life there are some that are more equal than others. Case in point is the college recruiting scandal versus Purdue Pharma. On the surface a crime is a crime. Bribing college officials versus bribing doctors.  Both of these practices have been going on for decades. Wealthy people would donate money to college or university to build a new wing or create an endowment. The university then gives preferential treatment for the donors family.  Is this a crime? No it is not.  The university has money to build new infrastructure that will serve the student body.  It will also create jobs in the local community.

The problem in the current college scandal is the parents knowingly paid bribes to change test scores or paid bribes to an unscrupulous coach to have their children accepted into college under the false premise of being an athlete. This is a crime. Is it serious? Does it have negative effects on society? Is anyone directly hurt by these actions? That is hard to quantify.  What is not hard to quantify is the damage that Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family has inflicted on the country by promoting what was once an end of life drug Oxycontin.

Purdue Pharma and their CEO admitted under questioning that they purposely promoted the use of oxycontin to doctors knowing full well of its addictive nature.  Purdue Pharma’s sales force compensation increased the more oxycontin they sold.  Some may argue that promoting a highly addictive drug has lead to the current heroin epidemic in Ohio and West Virginia.  Purdue Pharma could not create this crisis alone.  Just like unscrupulous coaches there are unscrupulous doctors.  News report have shown there were doctor(s) prescribing hundreds of thousands of oxycontin tablets.  Much more than what could be expected to be prescribed in a small West Virginia town. Purdue Pharma may have known about these doctor(s) but choose to do nothing about it.  They were making millions or billions of dollars.  There was no incentive to self report abuses to the FDA or the FBI.

Just as no one from Goldman-Sacks went to jail for their role in crating the great recession, unless the FBI or another governmental agency can prove the Sackler family did something knowingly illegal, they are protected by how the government regulates corporations.  Justice for all on sliding scale.

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The Earth after Humans

The earth after humans

The Earth after Humans

I was scrolling through the channel guide last night and ran across a show called “After the Apocalypse.”  I flipped back and forth between the baseball game and this show.  After a few minutes of watching this program I realized I had seen it before.  The original title of the program was called “Life after People.”  The premise of the show was to highlight the transitory nature of building as compared to the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Chinese.

How do we know of these ancient cultures?  First many lived in dry climates.  More importantly all of these cultures built with stone.  There is very little of what we call modern society that will survive in 1000 years.  There will be nothing left on the face of the earth to show humans existed in 20,000 years.

Why is this? The previous 5000 years all of the collected information of scholars and societies are written on velum, papyrus and paper.  Both of these mediums require conservation and transcription to preserve the information. By the time of Alexander the Great, information was being stored on papyrus.  The fire in the great library of Alexandria in Egypt destroyed much of the information from those times.  Present day information is stored electronically.  If there is a worldwide electrical failure how much information is available to restart civilization?

Will there be any record of present day humans living on earth.  If history is any guide it appears to be a long shot at best. The Earth survived long before humans and will survive long after humans are gone.  The Earth after Humans is not very hard to imagine.