Friday Four

Friday, April 08, 2016

1. Nearing five, my daughter told me to "Shut up," one morning while I was explaining the how the day would unfold. In a hurry and not at my best, I said something like, "You don't tell me to shut up."

"But you tell me to," she replied astutely.

"That's when you're screaming, saying the same thing over and over again, or being rude or annoying," I replied.

"You're annoying me," she replied.

Chuckles aside, I feel the need to raise my game after that exchange, not that such a feeling is an unfamiliar one...

2. On the heels of learning that the pharmaceutical industry may give up on a once-promising cardiovascular drug target, I ran into the following headline in the popular media: "Sweet Drug Clears Cholesterol, Reverses Heart Disease -- and Was Found by Parents."

Two parents' quest to save their twin daughters' lives from a rare, degenerative genetic disorder may end up saving and improving the lives of millions.

After digging through medical literature and fitting pieces of data together, the non-medically trained couple contacted German researchers and suggested that a chemical called cyclodextrin may be able to treat atherosclerosis -- the hardening of arteries with cholesterol-rich plaques, which is a precursor to heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases.
The chemical is already known to be safe in humans, so we may know relatively soon whether the idea will work.

3. Some of the measures on this international hotel safety checklist by a former CIA operative might seem over-the-top, but I still think it's worth a look.

4. If you live in New York City or plan to visit, you may want to see why, between seven a.m. and seven p.m., you should wait no longer than 11 minutes for a train.
The interesting conclusion is that after about five minutes, the longer you wait, the longer you will have to wait. If you waited for 15 min, the median additional waiting time is another 8 minutes. But 8 minutes later if the train still hasn't come, the median additional waiting time is now another 12 minutes. [some format edits]
The next paragraph explains where the eleven minute figure comes from. The analysis, by a man fascinated with subways, was made possible by the system's having a real-time API.

-- CAV

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