Saturday, August 5, 2017

So you need to meet Dana Lewis.
Dana Lewis has Type 1 diabetes, which means her pancreas doesn’t work the way it should: It doesn’t make the insulin she needs to survive.
So, she built a new one.
Meet Dana Lewis. Bright girl for sure. You just cannot
imagine how much effort and attention goes into controlling
one's glucose levels while dealing with diabetes. Thank
you, Dana. She has made her efforts
Open Source, so others can do what she did. Image 
swiped from GeekWire and then altered.

This is quite a remarkable story and do not miss it.

But you know Stu, never leaves well enough alone. This is not rocket science. This is sensors and activators and software.

What does this have to do with Texas?

Texas can be a huge player in veering away from virulently reactionary and harmful government. When we turn Texas into a state which elects thoughtful politicians, we turn the entire country. We can break the back of demagoguery and fear and put the reactionaries out of office.

This should have been on the market long ago. The free market ignored it because... other fish to fry. The free market ignores issues not made of money.

One of the reasons it would be ignored is because of the high level of regulation intended to make sure new medical devices are safe. Regulations should be effectively designed to insure safety and be responsive to innovators. There is room for study and innovation on this front.

The nuclear industry is over regulated by outdated concerns for poorly chosen technology. Space for innovation here.

So I am being harpy and we all need a pleasant diversion.
So Dana gets around. Runs marathons. 👍 I swiped this
from her twitter account.

OK, back to the blacksmith's shop for some more hammering.

But the right amount of regulation is important. Airplane parts are quite expensive to track their origins and make sure fake parts don't enter the parts stream. We have fewer commercial planes falling from the sky anymore; and it is through the better adaption of technology, and the scheduling of maintenance, and the careful attention to anomalies, commercial flights are so much safer.

That said, you cannot leave the corporatists and their present Republican lackeys in control of deregulating. We would still have sweat shops  and fire traps killing people, if they had their druthers. Proof you say? They have adamantly stood against protecting downwind citizens from coal emissions. Coal emissions are quite deadly killing thousands in the US yearly. Because, harmful to business. BS. They do not think. They do not care. At least not about the rest of us.

Look at the history of lead poisoning in America. Good for business but harms children.

So why is it so hard to find people to elect that would be thoughtful and innovative, and work for a common good good for inventors and innovators and healthy for people?

It is our fault. It is us who vote morons and reactionaries into office. We listen to their simple but stupid short sighted solutions which are based on falsehoods. We are influenced by their appeals to fear and tribalism.

We need to wake up, slap ourselves and start thinking more. We need to think and elect thinkers. Not xenophobes.  Not zealots. Not science haters. Not demagogues nor racists. They can even be republicans. The criteria required is integrity and the ability to think and empathy for the rest of us.

Feel free to add your 2 cents.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Meet me at the 4th of July Parade and Celebration in Wichita Falls

4th of July Parades are special. They are as old as the United States. The first one being in Philadelphia with the public proclamation that we were separating ourselves from Great Britain back in 1776. Our own Wichita Falls parade has more recent origins.

So here in Wichita Falls we have the Fourth of July Celebration and Most Patriotic Parade which is not only a 4th of July parade but a 4th celebration at the Kell House organized by the Wichita County Heritage society. More on the celebration later.

Let’s talk about the Parade first.

The official parade announcement has all the necessary details. Make sure you check out the exciting details on Facebook. And there is still time to get into the parade. Show up at 8:15 and the parade boss will be happy to fit you in. 
The festivities begin with an open registration for the “Most Patriotic” Parade at 8:15 a.m. at the corner of 9th and Ohio. Entry is FREE and First and Second Place Ribbons will be awarded in each of four categories: Children 0-6, Children 7-12, Antique Car, and Specialty. 
A young Uncle Sam at the The 4th of July Parade  in Wichita falls - 2016. photo  - Durango Jones
Durango did a great story on last year’s
Wichita Falls 4th of July parade
A critical part of any parade is the crowd. It will be a better parade if you and your family are there. It is good for a community to be simpatico around common values, and enjoying a 4th of July parade to celebrate our history and our common values.

So get out and wave flags and participate. It is good for the soul just as it is good for the community.

We need to check out who will be there.

This year’s parade will feature lots of kids- kids on bikes, kids on foot and kids on floats. The West Swim Team always makes a welcome visit.

The parade will also have a variety of antique cars. Antique cars always look like fun, but they couldn't possibly have any air conditioners. I guess that works out because all the windows are down and they are waving to the crowds. Of course, you have to get them back home.

The Patriot Guard will be at the Wichita Falls
4th of July Parade
 The Patriot Guard  will be there. This motorcycle club works to ensure that all fallen active duty military, first responders and honorably discharged veterans are sent to their final resting place with dignity and respect. But the Patriot Guard also show up for 4th of July parades and other events. They will be here for the Most Patriotic parade.

And we have local politicians and celebrities and dignitaries riding around in the Shriner Con-vee group Cadillacs. Always good to see the Shriners.
Shriners always know how to have fun while doing good. 
The Fire and Police Museum  bring antique fire trucks and antique police cars. It depends on which are in best working order.
A Fire truck from the Police and Fire Museum captured in a
4th of July Parade from a different era. Maybe we will see her
next Tuesday this year - 2017.

OBTW, the Kell House is raising funds for rehab. But on
Tuesday it will be all fun and festivities for the 4th of July. 

And then after the parade, make your way to the Kell House. All the exciting details are, again,  on Facebook.
After the parade, the Kell House will host an old-fashioned salute to America, complete with the presentation of award winners, the Pledge of Allegiance, and more. Then let the games begin! A cake walk, face painting, and yard games are just some of the fun to be had from 9:30 to Noon.
So, come on out to a Grand celebration of our Nations birth in Wichita Falls. See you there.