Thursday, October 3, 2019

How Did the Intelligence of the Artificial Kind Have the Audacity to Exploit the Bottom Line


Coffee Cup with inscription “ONLY TWO’ to die for you Jesus Christ and the American Veteran

A new blog for all the caffeine crazy people in your world. Please let your friends know or I will personally tell them you knew this AND didn’t tell them:
  1. Jack Daniels is now making whiskey-infused coffee. You have to be 21 to access this website.


2. There is now a line of quality coffee and tea products that come in compostable pods and packaging with plant-based ink.
While that isn’t news this IS: Brewbudz comes with edible cannabis. And pods fit in your Keurig! Same here: you have to be 21 to enter this website. Sorry, Skeeter.

white mug of brewbudz marijuana infused coffee and tea

3. According to GomerBlog, coffee is now OK to keep at nurses’ stations in hospitals. Yes, the Joint Commission, the people that approve the rules hospitals have to live by, found that heavy fines levied against hospitals that allowed caffeinated beverages at nurses’ stations finally had the desired effect. All hospitals banned coffee from nurses’ stations.
However, their statisticians found increase sloppiness, more errors on reports and an increase of residents yawning in patients’ faces. After years of fighting the good fight they finally relented, and the deans of medical education are happy to announce that nurses and residents are now working better together.
4. Of course, #3 is satire for those residents versed in the arts.
I worked in the coffee industry in a roasting plant for fifteen years and I can assure you that there are many healthful benefits to coffee.

My coffee cup
Rather than take my word for it, I did a diligent search for empirical data to bolster my claim.

The Andressen family of ARCO coffee
The Andressen Family of ARCO coffee

I found several source documents, but I will start with the big guns.
I do not see which types of coffee they are recommending, (here is a list, along with 6 fine articles to whet your whistle.) HOWEVER, I did not see the Greek coffee listed. It is a strong black coffee ground exceedingly fine-like flour.) The article also doesn’t list how strong they brewed it, how long it has been standing (old coffee? YUICK!), and so on. Then we get into the algorithm thing needed to calculate all the variables.
Well, I am here to assure you that your United States Army has an app for that Yes Sir!

Civil War Soldier pouring out of a coffee pot.

It takes into account your innate sensitivity to the brew and determines how much, and WHEN to consume caffeine to maximize benefits and keep those pesky jitters at bay.
The app will be available via smartphone that will enable you to “predict current and future alertness and cognitive performance based on a series of psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) tests, your sleep, and caffeine intake data.”
Now doesn’t that just sound like the U.S. Army? I know you will ask the most obvious question — how many men and women serve in the military?
On January 23, 2019, there were close to 1.4 million people serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. That means that 0.4 percent of the American population is active military personnel.

Military Veterans

As of 2014, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) estimates to there were 22 million military veterans in the U.S. population. If you add to the active personnel 7.3% of all living Americans have served at one point.
An interesting tidbit: at the height of the Vietnam War over 500,000 personnel served in-country. I have indicated a link to a previous post on the Vietnam War.
A tidbit: more than half of all veterans are over 60 now.
But we were talking about coffee.
Dr. James Reifman, at the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, said that alertness can be improved by 64%!
He also noted that when you drink coffee plays as much a role as the amount.
This link will get you to the tool — sort of. The address for the 2B-Alert Web app is but you will need to put in your username and password, pesky regs.
But the tool is still being developed. It doesn’t say what kind of coffee has the most caffeine either.
But I knew you would ask so I put a link HERE for the amount of caffeine, not only in coffee but soda, tea, etc.
Thanks for joining me.
Craig Martineau

The Expansion - Book Review

The Monumental Job of Expanding the Panama Canal

Book Title:  The Expansion

Author: Christoph Martin (Zollinger)
Publication Date: 2017
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publish Date: 2017
Editor:  Libby O’Loghlin

Main Characters:

Husband: Ed Burns
Wife: Helen Burns
Son: Alan
Son: Max
Max’s School Buddy: Godfredo
Max’s Fiancee: Sarah Beauvois
Paco (Fransisco) Roco
Godfredo Roco

Prologue I

Location: Surrey England 1993

The Events of one evening which include a nighttime escape - by a helicopter piloted by Ed Burns.

They bring their son Alan up in conversation and there are indications that he may be handicapped.

Prologue II

Location: Zuoz Swiss Alps

We meet Max and his friend Godfredo while they are on the slope skiing near their boarding school.


How would you react?

This book draws you in quickly with a nighttime helicopter escape.

Leaving their large group of dinner guests behind in what must be an enormous estate Ed and Helen Burns have a disjointed conversation while Ed pilots the helicopter.

The helicopter and the dialog relating to Helen’s diamond necklace shows they must be wealthy.

The author does not dwell on events that are not central to the story-line. He does not waste our time.

The editing is superb. Tight dialog, tight scenes, short chapters to keep the steady drumbeat of the plot.

Chapter Two is a scene at Professor Moyle's apartment.

Here we meet Alex (Alexandra Wong) and Gian Taricco, both engineers that graduate from college with Dr. Max Burns. All three have worked on projects together throughout their college years.

The crux of the tension is presented in the conversations.

The Panama Canal is being expanded. Professor Moyle would like his star pupils to attend to this grand once-in-a-lifetime project. He is pushing them to accept the challenge and submit a proposal for the project within the six-month time frame.

Max is a geomatics engineer.

This type of engineer is involved in everything involving spatial considerations such as utilities, land, communications. Almost everything an engineer would find in building an expansion to the Panama Canal. Max is a Doctor of Science and just finished his last lecture as the book opens.

How the locks work

In Chapter One we are introduced to Sarah, Max’s fiancee and the daughter of Max’s soon to be employer. They have spent eight years together preparing for marriage and for Max to work for her father.

The gathering at Professor Moyle’s displays the quandary Max is in. He has promised to marry Sarah and to work for her father, the head of Beauvoir Construction at the end of the month.
How is that going to work if he follows his classmates and flies to Panama for the six months to research and present a proposal to expand the Miraflores Locks and Miraflores Lake.

An expansion of the locks did begin in 2007 and was completed in 2016. While this is not a tale of the actual expansion it serves as the backdrop to our story.

The story shifts to Paco and Godfredo. Paco heads CISCO Construction company that has built many of the major bridges in Europe.

Paco is a bully and treats his son as a lackey. He may project a smooth sophisticated demeanor to outsiders but we know, from incidents at a boarding school that Paco is a brutal overlord with his son.

Paco entices Godfredo to hire his old school mate as the chief engineer and Alex and Gian as two of Max’s assistants.

There is a six-month period when all the research has to be completed and the proposals submitted to the Panama Canal Authority.

The author spent a decade working in Panama so he expertly develops the layout of Panama for us. 

From the old town of Casco Viejo to the harbor where the massive super ships transport containers all over the world, he gives us the ‘real’ Panama. When he describes the heat and humidity you also start sweating thru your shirt.

With a project as immense as the expansion of the Miraflores Locks you would expect plots and plots within plots. You will not be disappointed. While these side-trips add to the interest of the main plot they do not overshadow or slow the pace.

The editor keeps the plot and character development moving along at a good pace. Not galloping but fast enough that boredom does not have a chance to rest on the shoulders of the reader.

You would expect the United States to be involved in the expansion and so they are.  The U.S. took over the construction of the Panama Canal from France. In 1977 President Jimmy Carter signed the custodianship of the locks over to the government of Panama with the proviso that the U.S. would still control the defense of the canal.

In the book, you would also expect the Germans and Chinese to be involved in the expansion. The Chinese start the work of building a competing canal throughout Nicaragua.

Oh yes, you would expect CIA involvement also, right? Well, you are correct again!

I am afraid to say more or I will give away plot lines and the more interesting of character traits.

I hope you find this book and spend a few hours to read thru it.

It has all the makings of a good suspense novel written by an expert hand and guided by an excellent editor.

One of the best novels I have read. I will be re-reading it again in a few years.

The Panama Canal is one of the wonders of the world. While not as big as the Suez Canal it is mammoth in size and tonnage. You can read all of the fascinating technical and historical data here.

Word count 935
Read Time 3 min 40 sec

Craig Martineau