Wizards of Oz

"Life is fraughtless ... when you're thoughtless."


NECSI launches Healthcare app for iPhone/iPad

The New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) has launched an app for the iPhone and iPad focused on the rising costs of healthcare.

This free app, available at the iPhone App Store as "Healthcare 101" or via this link, provides via regular updates NECSI's eight scientifically-based steps for reducing costs and improving quality. NECSI President Yaneer Bar-Yam is a world leader in complexity science, and is especially gifted in making complex issues understandable and soluble.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, check it out.

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My 50th State

Last night, at approximately 8:00pm CDT, I entered the only state of the union I had yet to set foot in: North Dakota. We were on the first leg of our OldSkool 2010 summer road trip, and I unilaterally decided to add 80+ miles (and approximately two hours) to our 1,000-mile journey to log this state for me and the kids. Now Shelby (age 13) is at 48, Jarrett (age 10) is at 47, and by the end of this trip Sophie (age 22 months) will have visited 33 states. 34 if we make it into North Carolina during our visit to the Hampton Roads next week .... Renee, however, remains logjammed at 49 -- and is a bit irritated that I logged my 50th before she got to Maine!

Using the Dan of TDAXP, Ph.D. measure of "Electoral Votes", I now hold a unanimous 538 votes:

Now to tackle the Protectorates and Territories!

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"Handbook of 5GW" released for Kindle!

This compendium, written by some of the brightest stars in the blogosphere and edited by my friend Dr. Dan Abbott, is now available for the Amazon Kindle.

Based on the "xGW" framework of conflict, these writings ponder the evolution of warfare from "State-on-State" to "Insurgency-v.-Counterinsurgency (COIN)" to what lies ahead. As Niccolo Machiavelli wrote in The Prince:

"A prince should therefore have no other aim or thought, nor take up any other thing for his study but war and its organization and discipline, for that is the only art that is necessary to one who commands."
This book is essential for anyone who wishes to understand the full breadth of conflict. I'm honored to be a contributor.

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Day of Trinity

Today is the 65th anniversary of the first man-made nuclear detonation. A prototype of the "Fat Man" Pu-239 implosion-type bomb, fueled by Plutonium enriched at the Hanford site's "B Reactor" in eastern Washington, was detonated in the New Mexico desert near Alamagordo. Hanford, site of today's Pacific Northwest National Lab, is the site of a scaled-up, 250 MWatt breeder reactor based on the Graphic Reactor developed by Enrico Fermi at X-10 (today's Oak Ridge National Lab) in Bethel Valley near Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

This test was the final developmental milestone of the MANHATTAN PROJECT. Exactly three weeks later ENOLA GAY dropped the single "Little Boy" bomb on Hiroshima. 'Single' because the Y-12 site in Bear Creek Valley in Oak Ridge, had produced only enough Highly Enriched Uranium-235 for a single 'gun-type' (vice 'implosion-type') bomb with Cal physics professor E.O. Lawrence's "California University Cyclotrons" (or 'Calutrons').

Three days later, BOCK'S CAR dropped a second "Fat Man" bomb on Nagasaki. Within days Emperor Hirohito capitulated to the unconditional surrender of the Empire of Japan to the Allied Powers - and spared the world the millions of casualties from an invasion of the Japanese home islands.

My grandfather would have undoubtedly been pulled back into the Fleet Marine Force (despite the malaria he contracted on Guadalcanal), and I very likely would not be here today.

So regardless of your thoughts on the 'necessity' of a city attack vice a benign "demonstration" of the capability, it is worthwile to note that the motto of Oak Ridge, Tennessee (where I called home from 2006-2009) is "Born of War, Living for Peace, Growing through Science". And in Oak Ridge's A.K. Bissell Park at the city's center is a friendship bell from the city of Hiroshima.

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