Friday, November 23, 2018

Ignoring mental health crisis leads to tragedy — Guest blog

This guest blog is a Letter to the Editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune, published November 19 (on page B5 in the print edition). This letter, along with the earlier Letters to the Editor, were prompted by a mass shooting in Thousand Oaks, California on November 7, leaving 13 people dead.

Re “Another mass shooting has readers looking for answers” (Nov. 8): This California tragedy is another sad example of what can happen when parents, who know their son and can see he needs medication or treatment, call the police for help to get their child taken to a hospital on a 5150 evaluation hold and are subsequently told by the police crisis team that he doesn’t meet the criteria of “a threat to himself or others” or is “gravely disabled.”

When will our country change the laws and definitions of when persons with a neurological disorder can be involuntarily medicated and treated until they are returned to rational thought? This untreated state, coupled with our weak gun ownership laws, is the crux of why these shootings are occurring.

A doctor on NPR responded to a reporter’s question, “What we can do to stop this from happening?” His response: “If you see something, say something.” Exactly what his parents did.

Linda Mimms, Poway

Linda shared this Letter to the Editor on Facebook on November 19 with this comment:

When will our society's inhumane laws change in the treatment of neurological brain disorders? When the efforts of thousands of advocates for change—including families, doctors, legislators, and anyone who cares about improving the broken system now in place—force the issue and produce positive results.

Linda Mimms lives in Poway, California.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

When are people going to think about risks?

Houses in Paradise, California are not designed to resist forest fires.

Houses in Oklahoma are not designed to resist tornadoes.

Houses in the Florida panhandle are not designed to resist hurricanes.

Houses in Memphis, Tennessee are not designed to resist earthquakes.

In most of the country, power, phone and cable wires are placed on poles, which are subject to all of these Disasters, except for earthquakes

These are areas known for natural risks. Why do so many people die and so many others have their lives ruined due to society ignoring these risks?

Edited November 23 to fix errors and add labels.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Mining Bitcoins takes four times the energy of mining gold

I knew that "mining" Bitcoins took a lot of energy, increasing global warming and climate change. In fact, it takes so much energy that it is unsustainable as a currency.

According to this analysis, the energy cost of "mining" $1 worth of Bitcoin is 19 Mega Joules, which is almost four times the energy cost of $1 of gold, 5 Mega Joules.

Other metals, such as platinum and copper, have similar energy requirements to gold, but aluminum does stand out with the requirement of 122 Mega Joules per $1 of aluminum produced. Of course, that is why aluminum recycling is so common.


I am an annual subscriber to The Guardian to support its journalism. Although based in England, it does a great job covering stories in the United States that other media sometimes miss. If you wish to support it, start by downloading their app to your cell phone or tablet.

Lindsay Olives: Thinner steel in your cans?

Message to Lindsay Olives (Bell-Carter Foods, Inc.) today:


When I've eaten your olives (Lindsay Naturals Large Black Ripe Pitted Olives; UPC Code 0-53800-95000-6), I recycle the cans. To keep the lids from cutting anyone at the recycling plant, I crush the can so that the lid doesn't fall out.

In crushing the cans, I have noticed that the steel in your cans is considerably thicker than the steel in other food cans, say Kroger Tomato Sauce. If you can reduce the thickness of the steel, you can save on the cost of the cans plus the cost of shipping without compromising food quality or the risk of damage.

By the way, I love the "brown" (natural) olives over the "black" olives (due to the added ferrous gluconate). I wish restaurants would switch.

Let me know what you think.

Bruce Hobbs

I'll update this post when I get feedback.

Updated November 11 with email received November 6:

Dear Mr. Hobbs,

Thanks for your thoughts – we’re always delighted to hear from olive lovers! We are delighted that you enjoy our Lindsay Naturals Black Ripe Olives.

We appreciate your taking the time to share your suggestions with us. They have been shared with our Quality Assurance and Marketing departments. Our customer’s opinions are very important to us! At Lindsay, we constantly strive for perfection and honest feedback from people like yourself helps us monitor our products and continually improve our processes.

Thank you for your feedback. If you would like to provide your mailing address, we would love to send you coupons to enjoy towards your next can or jar of Lindsay Olives as a gesture of our appreciation for your support.


Saturday, November 3, 2018

Facebook: You need more servers!

Is it just me, or has Facebook been having server problems since Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed? Comments are slow to load; I have posts in my News Feed with no story, just comments; and I’m missing stories from friends marked “See First.” C’mon, Facebook, let’s get it together! Brett’s confirmation has invigorated your user!

(This was originally posted on Facebook on November 1. There was no response.)

Guns: One area where the U.S. is different

A note about mass shootings. My son noticed one thing different between the U.S. and other countries with strict gun laws: In the U.S., when there is a shooting, there is an immediate, overwhelming response by trained and armed police officers. In Cincinnati, the September 6 mass shooting on Fountain Square is a perfect example.

By the way, until there’s an official determination, my opinion is that the Fountain Square shooting was a suicide-by-cop situation. It’s sad that innocent bystanders also died.

Click here for stories about the Fountain Square shooting.