Closing Thought For A Saturday

Veterans get screwed again!

The VA has been getting some bad press lately and unfortunately it just got worse.

A US Office of Special Counsel report based on complaints from three whistleblowers was sent to President Trump Wednesday, exposing scheduling and staffing issues at the Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis that led to a delay in medical care for veterans. While the center says it has since remedied those issues, one such delay led to a mistake called “unconscionable”: A veteran didn’t receive the at-home care he needed, and ended up losing his leg as a result, per the Indianapolis Star. The report details what happened in June 2017 after the veteran was discharged from the center following treatment for diabetic ketoacidosis and an ulcerated foot abscess. Someone was supposed to come to his home to change his bandages; when that assistance got delayed, his foot became infected, leading to an amputation below the knee.

“It is unconscionable that after serving his country, a veteran lost his limb not on the battlefield, but because of mistakes made by the agency entrusted to take care of him,” special counsel Henry J. Kerner says in his letter. Department of Veterans Affairs investigators found the unnamed chief and assistant chief of social work services at the center had told social workers to stop entering home consults into patient records because they felt it was “outside the social workers’ scope of practice.” In a letter last August sent to Kerner and seen by Task & Purpose, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie agreed with the investigators’ findings, noting the alleged issues led to a “system breakdown.” A rep for the VA center told the Star they’ll address the special counsel’s report in a statement

This goes to Trump? Will he read it? Will he do something to fix the VA? Or will he do what he always does…..NOTHING?

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Random Thoughts For A Saturday

I spend a lot of time reading so I come across articles that make me made, or amaze me or those that make me laugh out loud and since I do not have a subject for today I will give some random thoughts…..

Remember the days when you were smoking weed and when it was really exceptional quality you would say…”this is some good shit”!  Sure you do!

That statement may be more literal than you think……

Cannabis resin sold on the streets of Madrid is contaminated with dangerous levels of faecal matter, a study says.

Traces of E.coli bacteria and the Aspergillus fungus were found by analysts who examined 90 samples bought in and around the Spanish capital.

The samples of hashish were wrapped up in plastic “acorns” were the worst offenders, reportedly because of the way they are smuggled into the country.

Some 40% of these also had the aroma of faeces, the study’s lead author said.

Buying, selling and importing cannabis is against the law in Spain, as is using it in public – although it is technically legal to grow it for personal use, provided it is not publicly visible, and to consume it in private.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47811251

We Americans pride ourselves on our successful revolution for independence from England…..we have our “heroes” but we know very little about our revolting days……we know the general George Washington but can you name another?  How about General Pulaski?

Casimir Pulaski, hero of the Revolutionary War and the pride of the Polish-American community, may need a new pronoun — he may have been a she, or even a they.

Researchers who used DNA to identify Pulaski’s bones are convinced the gallant Pole who died fighting for America’s freedom was either a biological woman who lived as a man, or potentially was intersex, meaning a person whose body doesn’t fit the standard definitions of male or female.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/revolutionary-war-hero-casimir-pulaski-might-have-been-woman-or-n991371

The general was a woman……that ought to get the juices flowing from those misogynists on the Right.

Finally….we have heard about “black holes” for decades but we have not been able to find them….all that changed this week…..

Mankind has now something it has never seen before: an image of “the most mysterious objects in the universe”—the black hole. On Wednesday, six simultaneous press conferences were held around the globe, in Washington, Brussels, Santiago, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo, reports Reuters. There, researchers shared the first result of the Event Horizon Telescope project, which in 2017 swiveled a network of radio telescopes worldwide to focus on the center of the galaxy Messier 87, or M87. “We now have visual evidence for a black hole,” they announced. Per a tweet from the Event Horizon ‘Scope, “The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun.”

  • More numbers: Per a press release, a black hole’s shadow is created by “the gravitational bending and capture of light by the event horizon,” the region around a black hole from which nothing, including light, can escape. “The shadow of a black hole is the closest we can come to an image of the black hole itself, a completely dark object.” In this case, “the black hole’s boundary—the event horizon from which the EHT takes its name—is around 2.5 times smaller than the shadow it casts and measures just under 40 billion km across.”
  • Wild similes: NPR says trying to view it by looking into the night sky from our planet would be like trying to spot a mustard seed in Washington, DC, from Brussels. The AFP likens it to taking a picture of a pebble on the moon from Earth.
  • The observations: The telescope array known as the Event Horizon Telescope saw radio observatories on six mountains across four continents study M87 over a 10-day period in April 2017. The New York Times reports they captured so much data—5,000 trillion bytes, reports CNN—that it couldn’t be sent over the internet and instead had to be transported on disks. Due to weather, the data from Antarctica couldn’t be flown out until December 2017.
  • More on the challenges: The Washington Post reports those hard drives from the South Pole had to be defrosted upon their arrival at MIT. And then there’s this detail: Astronomers “donned oxygen tanks and climbed three-mile-high mountains to escape the interference of Earth’s atmosphere.”
  • About Einstein: A beautiful explainer from the Times: “The image offered a final, ringing affirmation of an idea so disturbing that even Einstein, from whose equations black holes emerged, was loath to accept it. If too much matter is crammed into one place, the cumulative force of gravity becomes overwhelming, and the place becomes an eternal trap, a black hole. Here, according to Einstein’s theory, matter, space, and time come to an end and vanish like a dream.”

That is my round-up for a Saturday…..more to come……have a day……