June 24, 2006

Saturday Lightning

Filed under: General — Tom @ 6:30 pm


Weekend Question 2: Has Anyone Caught These Polling Numbers?

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:05 pm

(The first picture is through June 3; the second is as of June 23.)

Rasm060306     Rasm062306

From a low of 36% on May 18, there has been a gradual climb to 44%. This is nothing to brag about, but the “low poll numbers” meme hasn’t subsided much, nor has there been much mention of the improvement.

Weekend Question 1: Have You Noticed the Long-Term Improvement in Vehicle Quality?

Filed under: Business Moves,Marvels,TWUQs — Tom @ 10:02 am

Maybe you haven’t, but here is the overall trend in initial quality in the past nine surveys done by J.D. Power:


That’s a 38% reduction in reported initial quality problems in eight years (improvement of 67 divided by 176). It’s nowhere near perfect, but considering all the issues involved in engineering, model changeovers, etc. for the industry as a whole to be essentially at the point of one initial quality problem per vehicle has to be considered impressive.

Positivity: 11 cousins give up stomachs

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:02 am

What a newbie — I didn’t even know it was possible to live without a stomach. When genetic testing indicated a high chance of cancer, all eleven chose to have theirs removed:

June 19, 2006

LOS ANGELES – Mike Slabaugh doesn’t have a stomach. Neither do his 10 cousins.

Growing up, they watched helplessly as a rare hereditary stomach cancer killed their grandmother and some of their parents, aunts and uncles.

Determined to outsmart the cancer, they turned to genetic testing. Upon learning they had inherited Grandmother Golda Bradfield’s flawed gene, these were their options:

Risk the odds that they might not develop cancer, with a 70 percent chance they would; or have their stomachs removed. The latter would mean a challenging life of eating very little, very often.

All the cousins chose the life-changing operation. Doctors say they’re the largest family to have preventive surgery to protect themselves from hereditary stomach cancer.

“We’re not only surviving, we’re thriving,” said Slabaugh 16 months after his operation at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto.

Advances in genetic testing are increasingly giving families with bad genes a chance to see the future, sometimes with the hope of pre-emptive action. People have had stomachs, breasts, ovaries, colons or thyroid glands removed when genetic tests showed they carried a defective gene that gave them a high risk of cancer.