Unhappy Anniversary: Vegas’s Towering Inferno

November 21, 1980, the MGM Grand Hotel (now Bally’s) had a deadly fire:

The official report on the fire is available in PDF form via the Fire Department. The event caused 85 deaths, a huge change of attitude, a massive renovation of Nevada’s building codes related to fire safety, and changes to Clark County Fire Department.

The lessons learned in Las Vegas may even have made your town’s tall buildings safer.

Seeing Red… Cups

Somebody decided that the fact that Starbucks is using plain red holiday cups this year is part of some War on Christmas. Never mind the fact that the “holiday” images of years past — “Vintage ornaments and hand-drawn reindeer have appeared in past years” — are no more religious than Black Friday Sales. It’s ridiculous.

I wish I had time to make up stuff to be upset about.

Listen: If you want to “put Christ back into Christmas,” start with acts of kindness towards your fellow man and stop looking towards a coffee shop for advice.

Meanwhile, in Arizona

Long time readers know that in the past, I have been critical of the Sheriff of Arizona’s Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio. Nor am I alone. And yet even Arpaio seems to think this guy is an idiot:

An Arizona grandfather has been arrested and accused of leaving his five-year-old granddaughter alone in the desert with a loaded and cocked .45-caliber handgun and the instruction to “shoot any bad guys,” authorities said on Monday.

[snip!]

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told Reuters by telephone… “I don’t know how a five-year-old can tell a good guy from a bad guy, but that’s what she said she was told.”

Here’s some other coverage of this fine, upstanding grandfather.

In Closing: Presidential candidates on money; Tokyo color.

Things I Learned This Semester: Summer Nursing School

Another semester has ended, and that means it’s time for another set of interesting things I learned.

On Google Maps: When you notice Google suggesting a “short” route to an off-campus event that cuts through an historically bad neighborhood, it’s a good idea to assume that some of your classmates aren’t aware of that.

On Psych: I learned something important about myself: I am not cut out to work on a psych ward. However, mental health nursing does teach important skills that are needed in any nursing practice. There will always be patients and/or family members experiencing anxiety, grief, depression, or using ineffective coping mechanisms such as denial.

On Suicide Watch: Someone will tell the nurse almost anything if they think it will get them out of the legal hold. Oh, and these guys do important work.

On Assigned Groups: This semester I had the opportunity to work with people I would not have chosen. It was a good experience. You don’t get to pick your co-workers either.

On Florence Nightingale: Your brain is the most important tool you can bring onto your shift. Don’t forget to not only do your job, but leave the next nurse with the information she needs to do hers (please forgive my pronouns; most Med-Surg* nurses are still women).

On Alert: It is mentally exhausting to be paying close attention for long periods of time, even if you are mostly observing.

On Social Media: we say so much we shouldn’t online, that the Department of Health and Human Services can use Twitter to track potential emerging outbreaks.

On Nursing Specialties: Most people know there are jobs for nurses on hospital floors (Med-Surg = Medical-Surgical) and doctors offices. There are also nurses who provide home health, nurses who try to figure out how to reduce infections and other complications, nurses who work with the IT guys to make more effective hospital computing systems, and of course nurses who work in specialized areas of the hospital such as the emergency department, the operating room, or the catheterization lab.

More another day!

 

Uber Continues to Not Care What the Law Is

Nope, they wouldn’t even tell the county if they plan to maybe follow the law.

Meanwhile, they went live the same day. The “independent contractors” don’t seem to know (or honestly, care) whether they need a state and county (or city, if they live in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, or Henderson) business license. If they are like any other independent contractor in the whole damn county, then yes they do. And yes, if Uber wants to do business in Clark County, they need a business license.

But any attempt to make these people follow the law is derided as being a pawn of Big Taxi Companies. That’s great spin, but I hope the rule of law catches up with them.

And all the promises of being cost effective are nothing more than more spin. If you come to Vegas, remember that we have plenty of inexpensive and unambiguously legal ways to get around town.

 

An interesting question

A couple of weeks ago, I happened to be working in a facility where, as a matter of patient safety, there were no liners or trash bags in the garbage cans. I think everybody knows that garbage bags can be used to suffocate someone. Granted, the ones I use at home are probably not strong enough to hang a person.

So, knowing that trash bags can be used as weapons either against one’s self or others, why was there a trash bag in a jail cell? MSNBC would like to know, too.

Yes, there’s a lot of questions about what happened to Sandra Bland. And no, I don’t think it’s appropriate for an officer to threaten to “light you up” under most circumstances. But seriously, trash bags?

In Closing: Renegade DQ; intellectual honesty; and why exactly is the car’s computer accessible remotely at all??; raid; common sense; protein; bananas; Mammoth Cave.

Oddly Appropriate

So it seems that the $10 bill is about to get a makeover, and a woman’s face will grace the note. She will replace Alexander Hamilton.

Hamilton was a known, uh, “man about town”. He has the honor of being at the center of America’s first political sex scandal.  In fact, Hamilton “got around” so much, that Martha Washington named a particularly randy tomcat after him.

So yeah, this move is oddly appropriate.

 

Old news….

So I just came across this little gem from December:

Finally, Christian Bale recently said he felt jealous to see Ben Affleck wearing the cape and cowl – do you ever get that?

No. Do you know why? Because I’m Batman. I’m very secure in that.

You know, I wasn’t sure he was Batman 25 years ago, but I’m pretty sure he is now. And now, what I’d love to see happen is a Batman Beyond live action film featuring Michael Keaton as old Bruce Wayne.

In Closing:freetrade deal my fanny; keep playing those spy gaaaames, forever; belated tax day thoughts; here kitty kitty; I don’t understand why they aren’t already pushing for this; no kidding, Sherlock; interesting; Buddha cats; and now you can fit this computing power in your pocket, many times over.