A random quote to start with:

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Why Kentucky and technology don't mix, in seven paragraphs

Warning - this is a rant!
Just when you thought the state of Kentucky may be coming out of the dark ages when it comes to economic development, it does something to firmly reentrench itself again. To me, this seven paragraph story says it all:
From 14WFIE.com - Fletcher Cuts $370 Million From Budget

Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher's pen got a workout Monday, when he cut $370 million in construction projects from the state budget.
That includes more than $18 million in western Kentucky projects.
One of the casualties is a $14 million appropriation for the second phase of the Tech Center in Owensboro. The funding would have allowed construction of the facility to be completed including classrooms, business incubators and an expansion of Western Kentucky University.

The story goes on to state that. . .
And on Tuesday, he'll make a stop in Muhlenberg County, where Greenville officials announced a new industry. Gourmet Express LLC will invest more than $7 million in the Commonwealth to move its manufacturing operation from Gridley, Illinois. It will mean 200 new jobs within two years.

sigh. . . I understand that Kentucky is having some budget issues, a state having budget issues is not something new. And OK, one of those cuts was $14 milliion for a technology center in Owensboro. A center with plans to have programs to educate students and workers for the technology industry. A center with plans to serve as a business incubator for startup tech companies. Hey, these are tough times, maybe we'll get that money next budget.

What sets me off is the last part of the story (and thanks to the writer, I don't know if she meant to or not but she really gave me a good set-up). The story goes on to state the the Governor will be coming to Muhlenberg county to welcome Gourmet Express LLC's manufacturing operations. For those of you not familiar with Kentucky, Muhlenberg county is a pretty poor county. Now I'm not trying to knock Gourmet Express but the last thing Western Kentucky needs is another 200 low paying jobs (somehow, I don't think a job packaging frozen vegetables is going to pay that much). For some reason, the governments (state, local, etc. . .) of Kentucky seem to think that quantity is better over quality. All communities need a couple of large employers to help drive the economy. But thousands of low paying jobs don't put you at the forefront of economic development. When moms and dads work all their lives in these low paying jobs and scrabble enough money to send their sons and daughters to college to get a better education where the heck are these kids supposed to go? Back to digging coal or welding car frames?
So I've ranted. Taken separately I could probably handle these two pieces of information. But putting them in the same story just shows how screwed up Kentucky can sometimes be. We had to cut several million in projects from the budget including some economic development projects because our economy is cold but hey! we recruited another low paying employer to the region (sorry Gourmet Express LLC, I'm sure you are a fine company to work for that will pay lots to the state in taxes, didn't mean to just single you out). If Kentucky wants to see what happens when you rely to heavily on manufacturing and jobs that don't require a professional workforce, just look at what is happening in Michigan now that the auto industry is in a funk. Oh well. . .


Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Wha, where am I, oh yeah. . . its my blog

Man, its been awhile. Guess I've been neglecting this blog. AgMoment.com has been taking most of my computer time. The PMP section is actually building quite a nice following (for PMPs I guess). By the way, if you are thinking about starting a blog, use Wordpress, there are just so many more things you can do with it. Maybe sometime, I'll get around to moving this blog over to wordpress on some server space I have. So whats new?

Ice Fishing I had the chance a few weeks ago to do a little ice fishing for smelt. It was cold but fun. Didn't catch a darn thing, not even a bite, but oh well.

Music If you are ever in the mood for some Newfoundland folk music, check out Great Big Sea. It is definitely a different style of music. Got to say, you don't get alot of celtic whaling songs in Kentucky, much less songs about horses falling through ice.

BANJO The ole 1985 Goldstar GF-200W is out of its case, restrung and getting used to regular use again. I can't believe I've neglected my banjo for so long. I forgot how enjoyable a little pickin' and grinnin' can be.

How about something Biochem/PMP related? Neah. . . no really, I don't have anything to say right now. . .ok maybe a little. If you want some PMP news, check out the PMP site of Ag Moment. It is spring, which means PMP news should be sprouting like the corn is in Kentucky (it's still a little too cold up here in Michigan for planting corn, but the farmers are getting itchy, and the beets are in the ground). It will be an interesting year for PMPs, what with the LSBC bankruptcy and the sparkle kind of wearing off the whole plant-made pharmaceutical industry. I think we will hear more from the plant cell culture guys (Dow Agrosciece for one). Dow seems to be investing a good bit of money lately. The Duckweed (Biolex) approach seems to be doing alright. The whole plant guys (if you want to call them that) need to find their niche, the inexpensive production platform is showing quite a few holes, I think you will be hearing more about products that can be made in plants that can not be made in other systems (e.g. whole antibodies). I would say VCs will be pretty tight with their money this year, we will see.

The job front No job yet. No comment on prospects right now, but I'm working on a pretty good deal (darn PMP industry, it just keeps sucking me back in). Let's just say that there would be many more banjo pickers where I would have to relocate for this job, maybe thats why I'm brushing up on the 5 string.

Alright, enough for now. Thanks to all for stopping by every so often. I'm going to try to post at least weekly from now on.


Thursday, January 19, 2006


Loading. . . .

So by now, if you haven't noticed, I've done some major renovations to Ag Moment. I am now hosting the blog using a Yahoo Small Business webhosting account. I did this so I could use Wordpress to build my blog (wordpress has alot of features that blogger.com doesn't) I'm beginning to wonder, though, if I didn't make a huge mistake.

So far, building and editing my blog has been a nightmare. When I go to write a new post or do anything to edit my site, it takes forever. For instance, when I want to write a post, I click on the "write a new post" link (sorry if you are not familiar with wordpress, just bear with me), it takes a couple of minutes for the posting page to come up. After I finish writing my post and click save or publish, once again, it takes forever for the page to save, sometimes to the point that my browser times out. On average, it will take me about five minutes just to get one post up. On rare occasions, I can edit and post just fine, so it is not a constant problem. When this is occurring, I can surf other websites just fine so it is not my connection. This has not just been a one day problem. Actually, it has been like this since I started using their service about a week and a half ago.

I called up Yahoo's small business web hosting customer service and asked them WTF. They said my site was loading fine on their computers, it may be that my ISP is the problem (other pages were loading faster becuase they were cached by the ISP). Whatever. I have tried from several different ISPs (ameritech, a merit connection via MSU, comcast) and it is the same every time. This has to be a problem on the Yahoo webhosting end. The problem is, it is too hard to find someone that can get me information. I think I know what I'm doing, and I haven't messed with any of the wordpress code installed on my site so I don't think I've messed up my Wordpress code. I have installed five or so different blogs on my account and each one does the same thing. Am I making any sense to anyone out there. If by any chance you have come across this same problem and stumbled upon my blog, please leave me a comment. If anyone else has any suggestions (besides moving to another host), please drop me a line.
In addition, when I went to first create an RSS feed for my new site, I ran into troubles. After a little digging in the Wordpress forums, I found out that I had to manually remove four blank lines at the end of the "ysbcwhmast.php" file in the plugins folder. Creating an RSS feed is a pretty common thing, I would have thought that this bug would have been worked out.
Alright, I've vented, now back to posting, maybe.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006


PMPs are a movin' on up . . .

The recent expansion of Ag Moment is going to mean a few changes for this site too. Thanks to all my visitors who have visited looking for news on plant-made pharmaceuticals. From now on, all my plant-made pharmaceutcial news can be found at pmp.agmoment.com. I'll be moving some of my older material from this site over when I get the chance. Hey, now you don't have to wade through all my thoughts on new cell phones and dumpsters to find news on things like the Large Scale Biology Bankruptcy. For those of you who have enjoyed my quips on subjects other than PMPs, well, more is to come. I'm also going to focus on a more wider range of scientific subjects here. So I encourage you to kick the tires on the new site, and don't forget to keep visiting this site. Don't worry if you don't see much yet, more is to come.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


A new Ag Moment

My other blog, Ag Moment, has been growing pretty rapidly in visitor counts lately even though I haven't been promoting it too much. Because of this, I decided to put a little more effort into it. The result, a brand new, expanded, Ag Moment. I have also switched hosts from Blogger.com to Yahoo Small Business and have a new web address - www.agmoment.com. I have also switched to using Wordpress. I will also be promoting the blog more as it expands. Plans also call for sub-blogs related to specific topics within the Ag industry, all I need is a little time to get them up. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Goin' back in time

Due to circumstances that were within my control but I choose not to control (i.e. I didn't back up when I should have) I lost my current blog template. However, I was able to find a cached version of it using Google Desktop. Thank you Google! The template I was able to find was about two months old so I lost a few links. I think I can find a better backup to work from but its late and I'm working on something else. If I lost a link to your page, I'll try to get it back soon. 1/11/06 Update - Looks like I have the template fixed, but some of my posts are messed up. I'm kind of concentrating on something else right now, and I will get those posts fixed when I can.


Ventria could still relocate to Missouri, maybe, possibly, kindasorta. . .

File this one under Missouri realllllllllly wants another plant biotech company: From STLtoday.com - Ventria drops plans for Northwest Missouri State
Ventria Bioscience, a California company in the cutting-edge field of producing pharmaceuticals in plants, has scrapped plans to relocate to Northwest Missouri State University. But it is considering other options in the state, officials said Thursday. "St. Louis is on the table. We're wide open at this point," said Mike Mills, deputy director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development. "We intend to give Ventria many options in Missouri, as far as locations as well as facilities - and they will make the decision as to what corporate operations they want to bring to Missouri."
Sigma Aldrich is mentioned as a potential partner in this story. Sigma seems to be actively getting into the PMP area with announced partnerships with LSBC (now defunct) and Chlorogen. The Sigma angle seems to be a likely story, we'll see what happens.


Fighting Bird-Flu with plants

From Indystar.com via Plantpharma.org - Dow AgroSciences researches bird flu
Indianapolis-based Dow AgroSciences announced today that it will collaborate with an Australian university to develop a plant-made production systems for a bird flu vaccine. A grant from the Australian Research Council will support collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Dow AgroSciences Australia Inc. as well as researchers at the Macfarlane Burnet Institute and Monash University.
Looks like Dow Agrisciences is starting to use some of that technology they have been researching and acquiring.

Monday, January 09, 2006


More on the LSBC shutdown

The New York Times recently published a piece on LSBC concerning their closing and the general funk the PMP industry is currently in. Fellow bloggers Matt Mullen and Lene Johansen had some pretty interesting comments regarding the piece and LSBC's demise. They are definitely worth the read.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


Two week review of my T-Moblie RAZR

So after two weeks using my new phone and calling plan, I thought I'd give an update just in case there are anymore biochemists out there who are looking for a prepaid cell-phone service. So lets begin: RAZR phone: Battery life - decent, I can get 3 or 4 days without a recharge. The camera drains the battery life quickly. Coverage - I don't know if this is the phones fault or the fault of T-Mobile but I have found that may signal reception has been poor to fair at best. I had much better coverage with Cingular. Coverage has been fair in town and around the campus, also it was acceptable along the interstates I used to travel home for Christmas. It seems that once you hit the edge of town, your reception is gone. T-Mobile service: When I changed plans, I wanted to keep my old number. No problem they said, it will take about 24 hours. If not, call this number. Of course, Cingular wanted more information before they would release my number to T-Mobile, so I had to call the number provided to see why the switchover hadn't taken place. After waiting on the line for 45, yes 45 minutes, I finally got to talk to a human. I provided the info needed and in a few hours I had my old number again. Thank goodness I wasn't using my cell phone to make that call. I guess that's one way T-Mobile can make a buck on their prepay service. My plan does not include internet access on the phone but I can get T-Mobile's T-Zones, which includes stories from CNN, ABC, ESPN, etc. If this was the only way to get your news, you would be in trouble but if you have time to kill, this is a good way to kill it. My biggest peeve is that Google SMS (if you don't know what Google SMS is I suggest you check it out, it is really nifty) is blocked. The only reason I can see for this is that T-Zones has a 411 service that charges $1.25 per use. From what I understand, you can get a lot more information from Google SMS than T-Zone's 411. I am really dissapointed that they have blocked this service. All-in-all, being a prepay customer anywhere is like being a second-class citizen. I think the cell phone companies think the only way they can retain customers and make money is by locking them in a contract. Oh well, for the price, T-Mobile is acceptable for now.


USDA needs to improve GE crop oversight

According to the Office of Inspector General for the USDA, the deparment needs to improve its regulation of genetically engineered crops. Auditors found that biotechnology regulators did not always notice violations of their own rules, did not inspect planting sites when they should have and did not assure that the genetically engineered crops were destroyed when the field trial was done. Articles in the New York Times and UPI give some details to the story. What does this mean, how should I feel about this story? Well I'll tell you how you should feel - just kidding but here is my opinion: It looks like the USDA has some room to improve in their oversight of genetically engineered crops. Has a lack of oversight caused genetic pollution in the environment? No. Genetically engineered crops have been released in the environment for over 15 years and I have not seen evidence of long term genetic pollution due to these releases. Yes, in the Prodigene case, there was contamination of the following year's soybean crop due to volunteer corn, but this contamination was found and remedied. However, I know of no documented cases that provide reproducible evidence that a transgene has escaped into the wild. If I'm wrong, please let me know. I think the companies out there working with GMOs realize the potential public backlash that could be felt if they allow a transgene to escape into the wild and are very competent in regulating themselves.

Monday, January 02, 2006


I'm back from a long holiday

Well, I decided to take an extended holiday this year but its back to the grindstone. Of course, the nephew inoculated me with the latest strain of funk that he was carrying. I think he should be receiving a NyQuil endorsement or something. All-in-all, it was a good trip back to Kentucky. I did get some time to do a little light reading. This time it was "The Thread That Runs So True" by Jesse Stuart.
This book is a great read. Jesse Stuart grew up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky and writes about his experiences as a teacher and administrator of several schools in the area (He gains respect at his first school he taught at by beating-up a 17 year- old-plus first-grader). The educational system in Kentucky during Stuart's time was terrible, unfortunately, 80 some odd years has not changed anything. The book also paints a pretty good picture of Kentucky politics during that time. Once again, not much has changed. If you get a chance, take a few hours to read this one. Also to be filed in the slack-off category. I helped a friend and fellow graduate student set up his own blog "Enough Chicken Soup", which by his own explanation is "A year inside the head of an agriculture student in Michigan. Humorous and very random contemplation regarding random observations." File this one under "Man I live in the Bible Belt". Somehow, this sign just doesn't seem right. This is a sign on a trash toter at my parents house. Yes, the first line says "Jesus Changes Things" (a quote from Second Corinthians in the Bible), followed by "Why Pay More?" Many of the residents of Sorgho use Dumpster Dan Sanitation. Apparently, Dumpster Dan is cheap and does a pretty good job.


Ventria's move to Missouri is off

First off welcome back from the holidays, but more on that later. It appears I jumped the gun a little when I posted that a scaled-down deal between Ventria and Northwest Missouri State had been reached. According to AP reports, Ventria has pulled out of their move to NW Missouri State. According to the report, Ventria's demand for product had grown so fast, that the production needs had outgrown what was being offered by the Missouri center. Let's see, I think I know of a building that is available that may fit their needs. Of course, that is pure speculation on my part. In related news - Ventria applied for release permits on 12/2/05 to for rice to be grown in Missouri and North Carolina. The Ventria move to Missouri has been a roller coaster so far, somehow, I don't think it is over. Watch here for more details.

Thursday, December 22, 2005


An early Christmas present for the employees at LSBC: no job

LSBC announced today that it will be ceasing operations. Employees will not be paid for work performed in December. Apparently, a few attempts at a white knight rescue or selling the company failed. As you may recall, I worked about 3 years for LSBC before heading for greener pastures. To give them credit, the company lasted longer than I thought it would. There should be a few interested parties kicking the tires on the manufacturing plant in Owensboro, we will see how that pans out. Good luck to all former employees and I wish you the best. For all of you out having withdrawals from the old Yahoo finance LSBC stock board, please feel free leave comments here. As for me, I'm off to visit the family for a few days, no blogging for awhile. Merry Christmas to all.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


An early Christmas present to me

I ran some numbers last night and I finally convinced myself that it was time to get a new cell phone. I had been using AT&T's Go Phone service (to heck with you Cingular, you treated your AT&T customers like seconhand citizens if they didn't switch to a Cingular plan). I was buying a monthly package and it suited what I needed. However, I was using on old Nokia phone and the techie in me wanted a phone with a few more bells and whistles, like a camera and such. If I wanted to buy a new phone, Cingular was going to force me to sign on to one of "their" Go Phone packages. Basically, I would be forced to pay more for less minutes. So I got to looking around and after running some numbers, I decided that I could save about $5 a week based on my use if I used T-Mobile's pay as you go service. And if I was saving that much, I could justify really splurging on a new phone and T-Mobile offered the Motorola Razor.
Needless to say, I am now talking in style with a new Razor phone. So far, T-Mobile's coverage has been decent and I am happy with the phone. Expect a few more pictures on the ole' blog too. I splurged even more and bought (yes bought, I didn't hack this one) the software so that I can download pictures from my phone to my PC. My first offering is a one of the frozen Red Cedar River I took this morning on my way in to the lab. Yes, it is as cold and as miserable as this picture makes the weather out to be.

Monday, December 19, 2005


A few constructive criticisms

I think its great that interest in plant-made pharmaceuticals is growing, especially in the academic community. I try to stay on top of all things PMP, and this means reading most of the literature coming out of academia on this subject. I have to admit, though, I am kind of frustrated with the research currently being published. Industry, you've published a few dogs too, but all-in-all you guys seem to be at least a neck or two in front of academia towards understanding how to reach commercialization successfully. This is not the reaction to a single paper or presentation, but from a culmination of events. I offer my comments below. I guess you could call them my recommendations if you want to successfully commercialize your protein. Take them as they are: First and foremost (maybe because I am a biochemist) - purification. Please don't suggest that your enzyme of interest can be easily purified using only one or two purification steps. That may be the case if you harvest a couple of choice leaves, grind them in liquid nitrogen, perform an ammonium sulfate cut, and then purify using an affinity column. This method does not scale to the kilogram levels. When you start throwing in stems and bio-mass that may not have high expression levels, not to mention having to deal with all those oxidative phenolics and tons of cell-wall material clogging filters and membranes, it starts to get complicated. Ammonium sulfate is not the greatest material to deal with in large quantities, and your not going to be doing your initial grinding step using liquid nitrogen and a mortar and pestle. If you are lucky enough that your product makes it to the point of scale-up, you are dead in the water if you haven't planned ahead and developed an expression system/protein that is amenable to purification at large scale. Affinity tags - Use them to easily purify initial quantities for initial kinetics, etc, but get rid of them quick. The FDA isn't going to allow them as part of the final product (possible antigenic properties). Don't imply simple purification of your product if you use an affinity tag as part of your proposed purification scheme. Expression levels - That one plant that you babied all its life in a growth chamber gave really high expression levels. Put it out in a hot field with the sun beating down on it and watch the expression levels plummet. It is going to be extremely tough to replicate growing conditions from batch to batch no matter how you grow your crop. Even growth chambers can give produce differences. The questions that has to be answered before that initial tranformation attempt is where will this plant be grown? You then have to go back to your purification notes and factor in expression levels and their fluctuations from batch to batch. Inflating expression levels leads to problems during scale-up. Expression levels should be based on true minimum levels observed. Overall - I guess the point that I am getting too is that you can't just blindly transform a chunk of DNA into your favorite plant and expect to be shipping little vials of drugs in five years. I really think some homework has to be done before-hand. From my perspective, you have to start with that little vial full of protein and work backwards. For instance: Which enzyme/antibody do I want to make? How much protein do I need to make? Which plant am I going to use? What expression technology am I going to use (I think it is very important that several plant/expression technologies should be tested, and no affinity tags)? How is it most cost effective to grow (field, growth chamber, greenhouse)? What are my large-scale purification challenges (i.e phenolics, cell walls, etc. . .)? Is it still feasible to make this in a plant? Begin transformations Perform enzyme kinetics etc . . . Academia (and industry too sometimes), I realize that this is bench scale work and is years from being commercialized. I just don't think that work is going to be successful if you aren't thinking about how the work can be commercialized from day one. To be safe, these comments don't apply to all academia or industry. I just am trying to put forth a little constructive criticism to progress this body of work. I think these comments tie in pretty well with my comments from several months ago. Anyways, what do you think? Any comments? Am I wrong, right, leave anything out, put too much in?


Sembiosys private placement increased by 50%

SemBioSys announced last Thursday that their previously announced private placement of stock had been increased by approximately 50% to $15.5 million.
SemBioSys Genetics Inc. (TSX:SBS), a biotechnology company developing a broad pipeline of protein-based pharmaceutical product candidates and non-pharmaceutical products, announced today that it has been advised by Orion Securities Inc., the lead underwriter of its previously-announced private placement, that the underwriters intend to exercise their option in full. As a result, SemBioSys will issue a total of 3,864,000 units at a price of $4.00 per unit, for total proceeds of $15,456,000. This total includes the underwriters' option of 1,288,000 additional units, which represents a 50% increase over the 2,576,000 units initially offered.


Thursday, December 15, 2005


Sembiosys places $10.3 million in private deal

SemBioSys Genetics Inc. (TSX:SBS), a biotechnology company developing a broad pipeline of protein-based pharmaceutical product candidates and non-pharmaceutical products, announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Orion Securities Inc., as lead underwriter, for an underwritten private placement of 2,576,000 units of the Company at a price of $4.00 per unit, for gross proceeds to SemBioSys of approximately $10.3 million.
Sembiosys has been one heck of a capital campaign lately, announcing $2.5 million in debt financing back in November. What is not know to me is how much of this placement will be used to repay this debt financing. Either way, it looks like the company has a product that they want to invest in.


4 1/2 hours of meetings = 0

I've just realized I only have only posted five times this month. Man, I have been slacking. In reality, some other projects have been keeping me busy. The job search is back into full swing, the Save Farmhouse campaign that I'm helping in has been getting alot of press, Ag Moment is growing organically (I'm not promoting the site too much but the visitors are coming), and oh yeah, by the way, I'm still a grad student. So I think we have finally made the planning commision realize that their vision for a new "East Village" in East Lansing is not what the community wants and that the fraternities located in the area really want to be part of the community and not outcasts. The State News had a very good article covering the East Village debate. Of course, several of us had to sit through four and a half hours of a planning commission meeting last night for, well, once again the state news covers it well.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Scaled down deal between NW Missouri State-Ventria reached

Almost a month after the state of Missouri retracted its pledge of $10 million for the creation of a biopharming center at Northwest Missouri State and put Ventria's move to Missouri on hold, a compromise has been reached. According to the Kansas City Star: Northwest Missouri State announced scaled-down biopharming plan
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State University plans to reduce the size of a proposed biologics center on its campus, after the original idea ran into some resistance in the state Legislature. The university's Board of Regents on Thursday approved a plan to build a $12.35 million business incubator on campus that would serve clients specializing in biotechnology.
This new plan includes the original business incubator, but plans for an academic center has been put on hold. Ventria will be a tenet in the business incubator In my opinion, this was a good save by Northwest Missouri State. Keep your ears perked for further developments.

Monday, December 12, 2005


And on the education note - a new blog!

And what a great segway from the last post to this post. I just received an e-mail from Dr. David Tribe from University of Melbourne alerting me to his newly created blog, the GMO Pundit. Dr. Tribe has put together a really well written (I wish I could write as well) blog that, even though in its infancy, contains a wealth of information pertaining to genetically modified organisms. Welcome to our little community of online advocates for GMOs!


Apparently, it is OK in France to destroy GM crops

I can't really say that I agree with this one: From Yahoo News - Activists' destruction of GM crops was justified: French court
ORLEANS, France (AFP) - In a judgement expected to send a chill through companies growing genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe and embolden their opponents, a French court acquitted 49 activists who destroyed GM plants after ruling their actions were justified. The court in the central city of Orleans dismissed the criminal charges of organised vandalism against the 49, who had uprooted GM maize in the region planted by the US biotechnology group Monsanto in two incidents, one last year and the other in 2005.
To catch you up, here is a little background to this story. According to the courts, the activists were in the right to use vandalism to stop the unbridled distribution of modified genes that constitutes a clear and present danger for the well-being of others, in the sense that it could be the source of contamination and unwanted pollution. You know, I sure would like to see the courts evidence that these crops presented a "clear and present danger" for the well-being of others. Where is the evidence that these crops have contaminated the natural gene pool? Where is the evidence of this genetic "pollution"? Once again, more education of the public (and governments) is needed. . .and soon.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


The saddle fell off

First, I was back in the saddle, then I wasn't quite. Well, the saddle has officially fallen off. I received notification today that the job that I had accepted had officially been taken off the table. Its not the companies fault and I have no hard feelings for them. Its those darned venture capitalists that keep fouling things up. Oh well, on to the next step. If anyone out there needs someone who can take green-juice and turn it into drugs, get in touch with me. You know, now would be the perfect time for a career change. Maybe I will move to Reno and become a blackjack dealer or maybe I'll just brush up on my banjo playing and join a bluegrass band. By the way, I think I back to feeling human again after about a week and a half of being under the weather. Maybe I can get a few things done now. So, how many of you out there can say you were laid off from a job before you ever actually started?

Thursday, December 01, 2005


No words of wisdom today: well . . .

I've been fighting some sort of cold or funk most of this week. Thanks to my little germ-factory of a nephew for the inoculum. Usually, a good dose of NyQuil, some Aleve, and plenty of rest is enough to pull me through. However, it looks like NyQuil just may not be the cure it used to be. Rob Stevens over at the Fortress of Solitude has the full story on this. Seems like NyQuil is now being made without pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient used in the making of methamphetamine. After discovering this I looked at my little green bottle of restful sleep and sure enough, it proclaimed "now pseudoephedrine free!" as if this was some great revelation in funk fighting. Of course, I probably wouldn't be writing about this unless I had a problem with this and I do so here we go: #1) NyQuil (a drug) was reformulated. There was no change in the name to signal this, there was a small message in one corner of the bottle proclaiming it to be pseudophedrine-free, but I didn't notice this until it was pointed out in a blog. Does this mean that Aleve could reformulate itself to be "naproxen-free", slap a small banner on their bottle to proclaim this, and start selling sugar pills? #2) From what I understand this reformulation was performed because pseudoephedrine is used in the manufacturing of illegal methamphetamines. So you are telling me that I can't get my cold relief because some slime-ball wants to blow up his house trailer and kill himself making homemade poison? This just seems asinine to me. Alright, enough ranting, time for some medications and rest.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Coffee is good for you?

Maybe so. According to this story found on Biospace.com, caffeine (found in coffee, cokes, etc . . .) may actually improve short term memory. Now where did I put my coffee mug . . .I forgot.

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