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August 21, 2019

Average TSA wait times in the 25 busiest U.S. airports in 2018

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Five best:

1) Salt Lake City (SLC)

2) Washington Dulles (IAD)

3) Boston Logan (BOS)

4) Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)

5) Charlotte Douglas (CLT)/Detroit Metropolitan (DTW) — tie

Five worst:

1) Newark Liberty (EWR)

2) George Bush [Houston] (IAH)

3) Miami (MIA)

4) Baltimore-Washington (BWI)

5) McCarran [Las Vegas] (LAS)

[via UpgradedPoints and the Washington Post]

August 21, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

World's oldest webcam shutting down — after a quarter of a century

Screen Shot 2019-08-21 at 11.57.30 AM

FogCam goes dark at the end of this month.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

[via the Verge]

August 21, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Takata Airbags — Part 2


Yesterday at this time I laid out the multi-year saga of my possibly defective, potentially life-threatening Takata airbags.

The post began:

About five or so years ago Mercedes-Benz identified the Takata airbags in my 2010 vehicle as among those that needed to be replaced because there had been reports of the airbags spontaneously exploding and maiming or killing front seat occupants.

Scott, a longtime close reader, commented:

Except that they're not spontaneously being triggered at all, they're only defective in a collision, and lethally so. The defect is that they act as a shrapnel cannon rather than a cushion in a collision — firing metal bits into the driver. So, don't hit anything and they'll be fine forever (though I'd get them changed before you sell it, just as an added incentive for the next customer).

Ms. Radoo added:

As long as you don't offer anyone else a ride, cuz Scott is right.

From the U.S. Department of Transportation website:

Tens of millions of vehicles with Takata airbags are under recall. Long-term exposure to high heat and humidity can cause these air bags to explode when deployed. Such explosions have caused injuries and deaths. 

Scott is correct: the airbags don't spontaneously explode.

Flautist commented, "... they might be lying in wait like a snake, just biding their time, looking for the perfect opportunity to strike, but I wouldn't be thinking about that, much."

I blame my Crack Research Team®© for the inaccurate description in yesterday's post.

But I digress.

The fact that the airbags only kill when the vehicle is involved in a collision — and not always, or even most of the time — rather than doing so out of the blue doesn't change my course of action: I will continue to drive with these TEDs (Takata Explosive Devices) poised and ready for a collision.

What say you now?



Ms. Radoo?


August 21, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)

BehindTheMedspeak: Why you should insist your surgery is the first scheduled case of the day

Predicted prob AE

From the Duke University Department of Anesthesiology came a study confirming what's been been pretty obvious to me since I entered my third year of med school and my clinical rotations and really clear once I began my anesthesia residency and ever since: as the day wears on, problems multiply.


By the time the bumped cases and add-ons get going in the late afternoon, you're not getting maximum capability and attention from your doctors.

We get tired.

It's a long day when you get up at five a.m.

So try to make sure yours is the first scheduled case and things will have a better chance of going the way they should.

Start time

Wrote James Hamblin in the Atlantic, "In a study of surgeries at Duke, the likelihood of problems related to anesthesia increased from a low of 1% during surgeries starting at 9 a.m. to a high of 4.2% for those starting at 4 p.m., possibly because practitioners grew tired over the course of the day."

Here's the abstract of the 2006 paper.


Time of day effects on the incidence of anesthetic adverse events

Background: We hypothesized that time of day of surgery would influence the incidence of anesthetic adverse events (AEs).

Methods: Clinical observations reported in a quality improvement database were categorized into different AEs that reflected (1) error, (2) harm, and (3) other AEs (error or harm could not be determined) and were analyzed for effects related to start hour of care.

Results: As expected, there were differences in the rate of AEs depending on start hour of care. Compared with a reference start hour of 7 am, other AEs were more frequent for cases starting during the 3 pm and 4 pm hours (p < 0.0001). Post hoc inspection of data revealed that the predicted probability increased from a low of 1.0% at 9 am to a high of 4.2% at 4 pm. The two most common event types (pain management and postoperative nausea and vomiting) may be primary determinants of these effects.

Conclusions: Our results indicate that clinical outcomes may be different for patients anesthetized at the end of the work day compared with the beginning of the day. Although this may result from patient related factors, medical care delivery factors such as case load, fatigue, and care transitions may also be influencing the rate of anesthetic AEs for cases that start in the late afternoon.


Related: last week I explained here why surgery on weekends is not in your best interest.

August 21, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

What is it?

NOT Mt. Fuji

Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: no moving parts

A third: aluminum.

August 21, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

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