Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Night Links

Already posted to my Twitter account over the last few days:

1.  Dutch company uses 3D printing technology and sells iPhone and Blackberry cases customized with your name for $40. Expect more of this customized 3D printing.

2.  "Rare," "Staggering," and "Speechless," is how they're describing the Bakken-based hotel boom in Minot ND, where hotel rooms will double from 1,600 several years ago to 3,000 this year. 

3.  In the wake of the shooting when an unarmed driver delivered a pizza by himself, a Jets Pizza franchise in Dearborn, MI announced that it will no longer deliver pizzas to Detroit after dark. Before the shooting, the pizza stores sent two drivers to every nighttime Detroit delivery, one of whom was armed. 

4. Replacing oil with natural gas for electricity generation in Hawaii could cut power bills "for years to come."

5. More government overreach: Philadelphia woman faces charges of $600 per day for distributing free food to poor children from her garage?

6.  From Reason.tv: 10 Years to Life for Medical Marijuana? The Trial of Aaron Sandusky.

7. Ten craziest items you CAN'T sell on eBay: Prison uniforms, eyeglasses, prayers, lockpicks, psychic readings, and more.

8. More from Reason.tv on Lemonade and Raw Milk Freedom Day (I was there yesterday and took the photo below after I made an illegal purchase of a pint of raw milk for $1.00 - it was illegal because the milk was from a farm in Pennsylvania and was brought across states lines, which is a federal crime).
  

35 Comments:

At 8/19/2012 4:31 PM, Blogger Terry Westley said...

3D printing: CNET's Sharon Vaknin shows how 3D printing works: http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-57482660-285/diy-3d-printing-a-custom-iphone-case/.

Pizza delivery: Science fiction as prophecy: http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Crash-Bantam-Spectra-Book/dp/0553380958

 
At 8/19/2012 4:53 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I know this is your blog and everything, but you probably should not admit to a federal crime in such a fashion.

 
At 8/19/2012 6:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I know this is your blog and everything, but you probably should not admit to a federal crime in such a fashion."

Jon, while it's illegal to sell raw milk that has been carried across state lines (the horror of it!)It doesn't appear that the federal statute applies to buying such a product.

I periodically buy raw milk as an act of protest. It's easier and safer than blocking access to a government building somewhere. :)

 
At 8/19/2012 6:22 PM, Blogger hancke said...

I carried raw milk across state lines once, I smuggled it inside a cow.

 
At 8/20/2012 12:40 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

The raw milk thing annoys me to no end. I used to drink it straight moments after it left the cow as a kid at our dacha. In the U.S. a friend of mine grew up on a dairy farm and he never had pasteurized milk until he went away to college.

A government that forces people to drive less safe cars and either be x-rayed or sexually assaulted in order to get on an airplane is the last entity to lecture us on the dangers of drinking raw milk. It's actually quite tasty if the cows were grass fed.

 
At 8/20/2012 6:24 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

You guys really don't understand the reason why government requires pasteurization? Or for that matter, why there are zoning laws?



 
At 8/20/2012 6:29 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Zachriel: "You guys really don't understand the reason why government requires pasteurization? Or for that matter, why there are zoning laws?"

No, I'm pretty sure it's you that doesn't understand.

 
At 8/20/2012 6:48 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

You guys really don't understand the reason why government requires pasteurization?

No, we understand it. We just think it's stupid.

 
At 8/20/2012 6:53 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I mean, you got to admit Zachriel, the requirement for pasteurization (which eliminates most of the health benefits of milk) is that somebody somewhere might get sick. That is pretty weak. it might have made sense 70 years ago when we didn't have the transportation technology we have now. But it's 2012. There are those of us who like raw milk despite the "health risks". Who is some group of people to tell us we can't enjoy that?

 
At 8/20/2012 7:13 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jon Murphy: That is pretty weak. it might have made sense 70 years ago when we didn't have the transportation technology we have now. But it's 2012.

Seventy years ago, milk was delivered by rail within a few hours to major cities. It left in the wee hours, and was there for breakfast.

In any case, the U.S. CDC has documented that nonpasteurized dairy products cause ≈150× related illnesses per product consumed.

Langer et al., Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006, 2012.
http://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/rawmilk/nonpasteurized-outbreaks.html

 
At 8/20/2012 7:44 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

In any case, the U.S. CDC has documented that nonpasteurized dairy products cause ≈150× related illnesses per product consumed.

So? Those of us who choose to consume raw milk know the risks. It is a risk we are willing to accept.

 
At 8/20/2012 7:48 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Just like those of us who enjoy their steak cooked rare know the risks. Or those who smoke know the risks. Or those who drink know the risks. Or those who eat eggs. Or those who play sports.

These are intelligent choices made by intelligent people.

If the government wants to fund a study and release its findings to the general public to enhance knowledge, that's fine. I have no issue with the government doing that. But to then make the leap from "someone somewhere might get sick" to "we must ban this outright" is...well...foolish.

 
At 8/20/2012 7:51 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Let me ask it this way:

Why does your (or the government's) perception of the risks supersede my own? Given that this action affects me and me alone, shouldn't my judgement be given a stronger weight? If not, why?

 
At 8/20/2012 8:26 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

4. Replacing oil with natural gas for electricity generation in Hawaii could cut power bills "for years to come."

The logic is not very sound. The assumption in the 'study' is that producers can continue to sell gas for less than half of the production cost and not go out of business.

 
At 8/20/2012 10:46 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

All I know is raw milk is, by far, the most delicious thing I have ever tasted.

 
At 8/20/2012 10:57 AM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

I drank a whole pint on Saturday, and I'm not even sick... yet. Or dead.

 
At 8/20/2012 11:15 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I drank a whole pint on Saturday, and I'm not even sick... yet. Or dead

I drink a gallon a week. Have been for the past year. Got salmonella last fall, but I think that was more due to an under-cooked hamburger I ate.

 
At 8/20/2012 11:50 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8/20/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "You guys really don't understand the reason why government requires pasteurization? Or for that matter, why there are zoning laws? "

In case It isn't clear to you by now, it's about *choice*. A concept you've struggled with in the past.

 
At 8/20/2012 12:32 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yes but, Mark, if you did get sick and you went to the doctor, the doc would happily blame it on the milk you drank. It's really hard to figure out what exactly made you sick, but raw milk will be a handy scapegoat.

 
At 8/20/2012 12:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Langer et al., Nonpasteurized Dairy Products, Disease Outbreaks, and State Laws—United States, 1993–2006, 2012. "

Thanks for the informative reference. While it's seems clear that nonpasteurized dairy products pose a greater risk to health than pasteurized products, the conclusion that requiring pasteurization of all dairy products would reduce those risks seems inadequate.

If dairy products are in fact a source of food borne illness, then perhaps outlawing dairy products completely would serve to reduce those risks even further.

 
At 8/20/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Dr. Perry, if you die, can I take over the blog?

 
At 8/20/2012 4:09 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jon Murphy: Why does your (or the government's) perception of the risks supersede my own?

Because infectious diseases affect the public, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which was commonly found in milk before pasteurization.

 
At 8/20/2012 5:24 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Because infectious diseases affect the public, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which was commonly found in milk before pasteurization.

95% of M. tuberculosis infections do not cause TB. Besides, most children in the developed world are vaccinated against TB from an early age.

Again, so maybe 70 years ago that made sense but not any more.

So, why does the government's opinion supersede my own?

 
At 8/20/2012 5:35 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jon Murphy: 95% of M. tuberculosis infections do not cause TB. Besides, most children in the developed world are vaccinated against TB from an early age.

The vaccine does not provide consistent resistance, and there are periodic outbreaks due to diary products.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/16/nyregion/16milk.html?_r=1

There are many other diseases that can be spread by contaminated milk. Sure, there may be ways to reduce contamination, but you can't minimize the public interest in limiting the spread of infectious diseases by claiming your personal risk assessment is sufficient.

 
At 8/20/2012 6:48 PM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

Nor can you revoke my personal freedom based on some hypothetical possible problem.

Even in the example you cited: 1 infant dead and a dozen people sick over a four year period.

If that is the best you can do, than it is pathetic. More people die from colds, which are far more infective. Your "public health concern" simply does not hold water. The government ability to supersede the individual should only be used when a clear and present danger poses a threat to the entire community. 12 cases in four years is not a pandemic. It's not even noteworthy.

 
At 8/20/2012 7:08 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

From the CDC:

More deaths are caused each year by tobacco use than by all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.

Cigarette smoking causes about 1 of every 5 deaths in the United States each year.

Cigarette smoking is estimated to cause 443,000 deaths annually (including 49,400 deaths per year from secondhand smoke exposure).

And cigarettes are legal and widely available and no health benefits, while buying and selling raw milk is illegal, even though it has documented health benefits?

 
At 8/20/2012 7:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "The vaccine does not provide consistent resistance, and there are periodic outbreaks due to diary products.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/16/nyregion/16milk.html?_r=1
"

All the more reason to ban all dairy products, or require that all milk and other dairy products be produced only at home, and not allowed to cross personal property lines, even to immediate neighbors. Large outbreaks could be drastically reduced in scope if such restrictions were in place. It is the massive scale of production and distribution of farm products that allow disease causing organisms to spread so widely.

In addition to pasteurizing milk, all meat and vegetables should be thoroughly cooked where they are produced to minimize the spread of disease.

 
At 8/20/2012 7:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z:

Your CDC reference states that of 73 outbreaks associated with nonpasteurized dairy products between 1993 and 2006, the pathogen involved was identified in all cases. In none of the cases was M. bovis implicated.

Your NYT reference claims that 35 cases of TB were associated with eating cheese made from nonpasteurized milk between 2001 and 2004, so there seems to be some confusion.

In addition, all the cases in New York were caused by cheese made in Mexico, and all adults infected were born in Mexico.

It's not clear what point you are trying to make regarding raw milk produced in the US, as based on the Mexican origin of both the offending products and the consumers of those products, it seems there is little for US authorities to be involved in. Do you recommend that FDA authority be expanded to cover production of cheese in Mexico, or that Mexican nationals entering the US be inspected by TSA airport screeners to ensure they are cheese-free?

 
At 8/20/2012 7:29 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Jon Murphy: Nor can you revoke my personal freedom based on some hypothetical possible problem.

It is more than hypothetical. A 150x increase in the rate of disease outbreaks is significant.

Jon Murphy: Even in the example you cited: 1 infant dead and a dozen people sick over a four year period.

Well, yeah. Nearly all dairy products are pasteurized in the U.S. The outbreak was due to imports. And there are many other pathogens involved.

CDC: Because consumption of nonpasteurized dairy products is uncommon in the United States, the high incidence of outbreaks and outbreak-associated illness involving nonpasteurized dairy products is remarkable and greatly disproportionate to the incidence involving dairy products that were marketed, labeled, or otherwise presented as pasteurized.

 
At 8/20/2012 7:53 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

It is more than hypothetical. A 150x increase in the rate of disease outbreaks is significant.

A.) If the people drinking the milk wish to take that risk, it's none of the CDC's business ASSUMING that the CDC has accurately identified the source of the illness. The CDC is clearly not objective.

B.) If preventing people damaging themselves is the number one objective of government, then it should outlaw rock climbing, motorcycles, cheer leading, and driving cars among many other things.

 
At 8/20/2012 10:24 PM, Blogger hancke said...

Digging a little deeper on this I find that raw milk can be sold in CA., if you get licensed. There are only 2 licensed dairies in CA. People have started herdshares to get around the licensing, inspection and production requirements.

 
At 8/20/2012 10:29 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "It is more than hypothetical. A 150x increase in the rate of disease outbreaks is significant."

That's funny. To arrive at that number CDC only guessed at how much milk was produced during the period covered and relied on phone surveys to determine how many people "usually" drank raw milk, whatever that means, and how many had drunk raw milk in the last 7 days. From those numbers they calculated the 150X you are waving about with alarm. Another view of the CDC data is that there was only one illness per 370 million servings of nonpasteurized milk.

How scared should we be?

 
At 8/21/2012 10:14 AM, Blogger John smith said...

(you know the tune ! )
And across the state line, when the night was dark
Drove a dairy cow, in a black Buick Skylark
Cows smuggle drums.
And across the night sky swooped the Moolenium Falcon,
In it's secret compartments........sweet jersey cream.
Chewie drinks jugs.....
Delivering their goodness to the kids of America...
in all weathers we drive , nothing's gonna stop us.....
80's songs we love.....

 
At 8/21/2012 11:20 AM, Blogger Jon Murphy said...

I do realize the importance of the CDC. I've seen a lot of zombie flicks and we all know that the CDC steps in to quarantine the town before the zombie virus spreads.

Ok, joking aside, I do realize the importance of the CDC.

But they do tend to cry wolf. A lot.

I mean, just in the past few years, we've had CDC panics about swine flu, avian flu, SARS, salmonella, and mad-cow disease. What is the combined death toll from all of these "public health concerns"? By nature, they are jumpy. But their information just isn't reliable. If the government is to supersede an individual's right to choose, it had better be for a damn good reason. This is not it.

 

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