He’s back!!! With CBD Jelly Beans

It’s been nearly 40 years since Jelly Belly creator David Klein sold his stake in the world-famous company, but once a jelly bean maker, always a jelly bean maker.

USA Today reports that the man who first thought to put natural fruit flavor into jelly beans is now infusing the candy with CBD, just in time for the 20th of April, as it’s called.

Demand for the jelly beans has already overwhelmed Klein’s company, Spectrum Confections, so all ordering is now being conducted by email and phone. Not too bad for a comeback.

I don’t approve of a sugar rush. But, still…helluva idea.

When the marketing department makes safety decisions


Click to enlargeMichael Tewelde/AFP

The Boeing 737 and the Airbus 320 types are single aisle planes with some 150 seats. Both are bread and butter planes sold by the hundreds with a good profit. In 2010 Airbus decided to offer its A-320 with a New Engine Option (NEO) which uses less fuel. To counter the Airbus move Boeing had to follow up. The 737 would also get new engines for a more efficient flight and longer range. The new engines on the 737 MAX are bigger and needed to be placed a bit different than on the older version. That again changed the flight characteristics of the plane by giving it a nose up attitude.

The new flight characteristic of the 737 MAX would have require a retraining of the pilots. But Boeing’s marketing people had told their customers all along that the 737 MAX would not require extensive new training. Instead of expensive simulator training for the new type experienced 737 pilots would only have to read some documentation about the changes between the old and the new versions.

That was a really sensible way to save on training costs, eh?

Thanks, Tom

Volkswagen CEO expects software to be 90 percent of innovation in new cars


REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

❝ Volkswagen will ramp up its hiring of software experts to ensure that the car and truck maker stays at the forefront of innovation in an industry geared toward refining mechanical, rather than software components…

Demand for software functions has risen exponentially as customers increasingly expect advanced driver assistance systems, smartphone connectivity and self-driving functions.

❝ “Today our 20,000 developers are 90 percent hardware-oriented. That will change radically by 2030. Software will account for half of our development costs,” Herbert Diess said.

Compared to a smartphone, a car has ten times as many lines of software code, and a self-driving car will have a thousand times that amount, Diess explained.

The carmaker needs more software engineers to program the various sensors and actuators within a vehicle, so that a self-driving car can develop the right reflexes to navigate traffic situations and avoid accidents.

When you can offer several completely different-purposed vehicles from the same essential skateboard platform, making software and top-of-the-skateboard functions do the work…you can roll out new products a lot faster and more cheaply than existing tech. Once you get up to economies of scale. Simplified platforms made possible by electrification need a few hundred parts to roll out – instead of the thousands needed in internal combustion vehicles. Simple works.

Whale oil was “indispensable”, too…


Whale oil lampsG.Paul Burnett/NY Times

Is the oil business the new whaling business? And, if so, is that a good sign or a troubling one?

Bear with us. Whaling, after all, was one of the world’s first great multinational businesses, a global enterprise of audacious reach and import. From the 1700s through the mid-1800s, oil extracted from the blubber of whales and boiled in giant pots gave light to America and much of the Western world. The United States whaling fleet peaked in 1846 with 735 ships out of 900 in the world. Whaling was the fifth-largest industry in the United States; in 1853 alone, 8,000 whales were slaughtered for whale oil shipped to light lamps around the world, plus sundry other parts used in hoop skirts, perfume, lubricants and candles.

❝ But, in fact, whaling was already just about done, said Eric Jay Dolin, who wrote some of the text for the exhibit and is the author of “Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America.” Whales near North America were becoming scarce, and the birth of the American petroleum industry in 1859 in Titusville, Pa., allowed kerosene to supplant whale oil before the electric light replaced both of them and oil found other uses.

❝ Eric Jay Dolin…the author of “Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America.”…(says) the message for today was that one era’s irreplaceable energy source could be the next one’s relic. Like whaling, he said, big oil is ripe to be replaced by something newer, cleaner, more appropriate for its moment.

“What you think you can’t live with today, tomorrow can become just a memory,” he said. “That’s what happened with whale oil, and eventually it’s going to happen to oil, but you don’t just turn off one switch and flip on a new one. It’s the product of a long, wrenching process that I hope leads us to a more sustainable path than the one we’re on now.”

RTFA to view a more complete picture of the parallels. The article was published in 2008, BTW.

Trump belief in failed economic analyses results in more failure


Click to enlarge

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the United States last year posted an $891.2 billion trade deficit in merchandise, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies.

The results were a sobering reminder that the laws of economics still apply to a president who had promised to supercharge economic growth while simultaneously shrinking the chronic U.S. trade deficit.

Those twin promises proved incompatible, as economists had predicted…

“Macroeconomics end up ruling. You can’t wish it away. You can’t tariff it away,” said William Reinsch, a former Commerce Department official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The same supply-side foolishness Republicans seem to love were trotted out by Trump advisors like Navarro and Kudlow offering up the same economic bible that failed – most recently – Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. There are masochistic terms for fools who continue to repeat useless acts in hope of a different result. They describe politicians who really don’t give a damn about decent jobs, good wages, good education and good health for the working families of this nation..

“…Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go.”


Rupert and his wife and TrumpoDaily Mail, UK

❝ An editor at Fox News killed a report prior to the 2016 presidential election revealing that President Trump engaged in an affair with adult-film actress Stormy Daniels years ago, The New Yorker reported on Monday.

According to the magazine, former FoxNews.com reporter Diana Falzone “had obtained proof” of the affair and confirmed it with several key sources, including Daniels and her ex-husband.

Falzone had also reportedly obtained emails between Daniels’s attorney and Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen that showed that Cohen had proposed to pay cash to Daniels in exchange for a nondisclosure agreement.

❝ …former Fox News executive Ken LaCorte ultimately told Falzone to “let it go.”

“Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert [Murdoch] wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go,” LaCorte reportedly said.

If you’re surprised to learn this, I know folks with a couple of bridges in NYC ready to sell them to you.

MSCI to Quadruple Weight of Mainland China Stocks in their Indexes

❝ Index provider MSCI Inc. said it would quadruple the contribution of mainland Chinese companies’ to its benchmarks, a move that makes shares in Shanghai SHCOMP, +1.80% and Shenzhen 399106, +1.20% all but unignorable for many international investors…

The decision is likely to pull tens of billions of dollars into China. The world’s second-largest economy is also set to enter a world bond index in April and a rival global stock index in June.

❝ Trump and his Chump Army will crap their USA/USA-drawers when they comprehend this is the barest beginning of a couple of decades of qualitative growth. Not just measured in plain dollars and cents. In influence, leadership, on a global economic scale.

ADD: Bloomberg has even a better, more detailed note on this.

Big Pharma offers ideas to lower drug costs – except cutting prices

❝ Executives from seven drugmakers laid out their ideas for lowering drug prices to the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. One idea was noticeably absent: lowering drug prices.

❝ The companies — AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi — threw their support behind a number of Trump administration proposals and pitched some of their own ideas in written testimony submitted ahead of the hearing. Executives championed the investments their companies make and the lives they save, while acknowledging patients cannot benefit if they can’t afford medication…

❝ But none of the seven drugmakers committed to, or even suggested, lowering the price of their drugs…

RTFA if you feel the need to read the sort of specious rationales you would expect from corporate royalty. You might wish to send a message to your Congress-critter to take the side of working families, ordinary Americans, instead of these high-priced pimps.