UPDATE: Now the FDA is investigating whether melamine may have gotten into … wait for it … baby food.
It started out as a pet food contamination crisis – dozens of dog and cat food brands associated with Menu Foods were recalled because pets were dying. An investigation was launched, and as these things so often go, it just keeps getting bigger and bigger and scarier and scarier. The latest bit – has melamine entered the human food chain? (Hint – that was a rhetorical question.) What the hell is going on, and by the way, can we trust our regulators? Continue reading
Nanotechnology is a major buzzword in the media these days. There are people who swear up and down that it can enable a revolution in nearly every aspect of society, and others who scream that it’s the metaphorical sky falling down upon our heads. In some respects its both, but I believe that the revolutionary aspects of nanotech with respect to health care, materials, and electronics alone are such that we’d be fools not to conduct the basic research.
Nanotechwire.com reported an amazing nanotech breakthrough by Dr. Samuel I. Stupp, director of the Institute of BioNanotechnology in Medicine at Northwestern University. Dr. Stupp experimented using specially designed nanotech fibers on mice with spinal cord injuries and discovered that they regained the ability to use their hind legs 6 weeks after the injections. Researchers at other universities associated with Dr. Stupp’s team are finding that similarly-designed nanotech help repair heart attack damage and the brain damage caused by Parkinson’s Disease. Continue reading
Paul McCartney has a new single out called “My Ever Present Past.” (Scroll down the page to download the song.) Not only is it sonically a nice synthesis of a lot of the music he’s heard over the last, oh, forty plus years or so, the lyric explores his failed marriage, his still burning desire to make music, and the albatross around his neck that being Paul McCartney can be.
Bob Lefsetz has a note from a radio guy who pointed out that he couldn’t play the new McCartney single because there’s no market research for a song by Paul McCartney.
Let’s think about what that means for a moment. Continue reading
When Richard Branson or Oprah Winfrey arrive in South Africa to distribute largess you are left in no doubt that these are television stunts designed to maximise their brands. Too much showmanship in front, and little thinking behind. Itâ€™s rich folk lording it over poor folk.
One South African businessman can teach Bono, Branson, Gates and their peers how it is done. That person is Raymond Ackerman, creator of Pick â€˜n Pay.
Yesterday I was at the announcement of their financial results. Ackerman, now 76, is chairman of the board, with Nick Badminton his CEO. For the first time I got to see, in action, the problems that professional CEOs have taking over from the patriarch of a large firm. Right through the presentation â€“ where Pick â€˜n Pay announced 18% growth (not bad for a major retailer) â€“ Ackerman would leap to his feet to interrupt his CEO.