Friday, August 12, 2011

Quotes of the day

You've probably seen the headlines about a new experimental treatment for leukemia. For once, the excitement seems justified - this is a remarkable and very promising result, and it's worth taking a close look at it. ... It's important to note, though, that in one way this experiment did something quite strange: it worked much better than anyone expected. The dose of engineered T cells was much smaller than used in previous trials, and was deliberately chosen to be on the low side because no one was quite sure what to expect. Given the response, that was certainly a good move. I've no idea what would have happened if the therapy had been more aggressive, but it couldn't have been good. I hope, though, that everyone involved is enjoying this as much as possible, because this is a rare event indeed. Having things go suddenly, crazily right in a clinical trial is a once-in-a-career thing, if ever. The field of immunological cancer therapy has been given a huge boost, and now all the other groups working in the area have a huge motivation to spur them on. This is potentially some of the best oncology news in years, so let's hope that it continues to work out.--Derek Lowe

The Fed has picked such a bizarre and convoluted strategy that it is difficult for markets to predict which way the economy will go. Under interest rate pegging, NGDP can either fall or rise at an accelerating rate, depending on tiny differences in initial conditions. (Think about those saddle-point graphs you studied in math.) Fortunately, they only committed to this idiotic policy for two years, and hence it’s unlikely we’ll see explosive moves in either direction. But it would have been much simpler if the Fed has just TOLD US WHERE IT WANTS TO GO.--Scott Sumner

So if you're scoring at home, we just free-falled from Rita Hayworth to Marilyn Monroe to Raquel Welch to Farrah Fawcett to Madonna to Pam Anderson to Britney Spears to Kim Kardashian. And you wonder why our country's credit is dropping.--Bill Simmons

... the architecture of the military has become increasingly computer-based, with online communications, information storage, and other essential components that use cyberspace, or can be disrupted through attacks from cyberspace. Countries at war would gain an enormous military advantage if they could shut down the computer-networks of their adversaries for even a few hours.--Gary Becker

Once upon a time, the evil ogres of the military-industrial complex spawned a mutant flying machine, a freakish helicopter-airplane hybrid so dangerous and costly it deserved to die. Yet tribes of pork-addicted toadies and blind intellectual dwarfs shielded the beast from knights in shining armor who sallied forth tirelessly -- heavily armed with GAO reports -- to slay it. That's the fairy tale the V-22 Osprey's bitterest critics like to believe, but the facts about the tiltrotor transport, which the Marines fought a quarter of a century to get into service, tell a far happier story. This ugly duckling is turning out to be a swan. ... By the time the Marines first put the Osprey into service in Iraq in 2007, though, it had cost more time, money and lives than any other piece of equipment the Corps has ever bought -- 25 years, $22 billion and 30 deaths in crashes during its development. The Osprey was a very ugly duckling. Since then, the saga has taken a very different turn, but many of the Osprey's loudest critics – notable among them the New York Times editorial page – went to sleep in the middle of the story. ... Since Dec. 11, 2000, the Osprey has suffered one fatal accident – one in 11 years.--Richard Whittle

A White House photographer was allowed to take and widely distribute a photo from the ceremony Tuesday for the return of the remains of 30 American troops killed in a weekend helicopter crash in Afghanistan despite the Pentagon's claim that any public depiction of the scene would violate the wishes of bereaved families.--LOLITA C. BALDOR

I never knew an admiral I respected more as a man than a second class petty officer SEAL. I believed that if I had played the game the way it was meant to be played, and caught a few lucky breaks, I might have made flag rank. I know that I do not have now, and never did have, what it takes to be a Navy SEAL. The selection process is rigorous, the training syllabus withering. You may think you have what it makes to be a member of the teams. But if the instructional staff has doubts about your intelligence, your dedication, your ability to work as a member of a team, your physical stamina and endurance, you are done. There is no court of secondary appeal. And when they have decided that you do not have what it takes to make the grade, to fight alongside their beloved brothers in arms, you will leave thinking it was your decision. You will ring the bell and be grateful. For those few who make the cut, those who get to wear the Budweiser, the real challenges are yet to come. The challenge now is not to make the cut, it is not to grasp the intricacies of advanced training. The challenge is to go to places so utterly foreign, and fight foes so thoroughly implacable that to take the mission is to willingly part with all that you have, and all that you love, and place everything in the balance in a desperate gamble.--Neptunus Lex

For those who know, no explanation is necessary. For those who don’t, no explanation is possible.--unnamed TOPGUN instructor
Slide link here.  Photo links here, here and here.

No comments:

Post a Comment