March 11, 2012
LEGO Anesthesia Machine
The LEGO machine is to the left above, a real anesthesia machine on the right.
I've been building LEGO models professionally now for almost 12 years. When people find out that I do this, they almost always ask, "what are you working on right now?"
I'm sure they are hoping to hear an answer like "a giant dragon," "spaceship," or a replica of some famous skyline.
The last thing they would probably ever expect to hear is: "I'm building a full-sized anesthesia machine."
And yet, that's what I found myself doing during the summer of 2011.
I had to be talked into it. GE Healthcare had approached me in March of the year and started asking how much such a model would cost. I don't give out specific numbers on my website, but suffice it to say that my initial quote was a lot. I have not focused on building 3-D sculptures for sometime now, and building a giant hospital contraption did not really pique my interest enough to change my mind.
But, as is often the case, negotiations continued, and eventually we came to agreeable terms. Once I realized this project was going to happen, then more mundane issues presented themselves. First, I told them, if they really wanted an accurate clone of this machine, I would need more than a few promotional pictures. I would need an actual anesthesia machine at my studio (that is, my house). Much to my surprise, they said, "Okay, what's your address?" A few weeks later I had a legitimate anesthesia machine sitting in my living room (below).
We got insurance issues settled, and I made sure they wouldn't mind if my cat decided to climb around on this thing. And that is how by late May of 2011 I began building the "LEGO machine," as I called it.
Most of the time was actually spent waiting for pieces to arrive (since I keep very little in inventory these days). I ordered a lot (A LOT) of white bricks. In the end the model used over 30,000 pieces.
Below, another view of the machines side-by-side, the LEGO iteration to the left.
Below, the LEGO machine at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists in October of last year.
At the bottom of his page Harshbarger has "a list of links to pictures that show some of the progression of the build."
There goes the day.
You'll be OK as long as you don't inhale.
Wait a minute....
[via Technabob, Geekologie, and most important, readers Thomas Kvamme and Sheila Mazur, who sent me links to this wonderful creation within three hours of each other Friday night. Clearly, great minds not only think alike but also do so at pretty much the same time.]
"No blind spot" rear view mirror
I had one of these a long time ago and forget why I stopped using it.
Maybe someone will remind me.
From the website:
This is the rear view mirror used by police officers and professional race car drivers to eliminate blind spots.
The patented, seamless mirror has a 180° field of view (standard mirrors offer only 52°) that provides a distortion-free reflection of rear traffic across an entire five-lane highway, and it allows continuous monitoring of adjacent vehicles from the moment they begin to pass until they are visible in your peripheral vision.
The mirror automatically reduces the headlight glare of trailing vehicles by 50% and clamps to your existing rear view mirror without requiring the use of tools or adhesives.
15.75"W x 2.75"H x 0.75"D.
Apple's still got me hopping
I thought yesterday's long accounting of stuff involving Apple since Wednesday's product releases and iOS update pretty much wrapped it up but no — today brings even more to do.
In the morning's email box was the Shipment Notification up top for my new iPad, due to arrive here in my Podunk town next Friday, March 16.
You can bet your bottom renminbi that after yesterday's completely unexpected surprise four-days-earlier-than-stated delivery of my 2nd generation Smart Cover — with, as remarked, color on both sides as opposed to the original's dull gray underside — my sign-in-advance/leave-it-on-the-doorstep form is taped to my front door as your read these words.
But wait, there's more.
I neglected to mention, in all the excitement yesterday, that Apple's iOS 5.1 update also required me to change my password from my longtime favorite to a harder one that includes both a capital letter and a numeral.
I did so grudgingly — as I remarked yesterday, once you've started drinking the Kool-Aid it's hard to stop — only to find that I had to reenter my new hardened password what seemed like a million times to get back into the Apple Store, iTunes, iCloud, and all the rest.
But it's done.
Rain Cloud Salt & Pepper Shakers
It's been a while.
One Time Secret — "Keep sensitive info out of your email & chat logs
"Who's There?" Chair
Wrote Ballou, "In the movies, jamming a chair under the doorknob can keep a threat away. That idea seldom works in reality. This chair plays on that Hollywood icon of defense, while making it functional. The back structure is steel and has leveling feet (like an extension ladder). A notch in the backrest is at the perfect height to interface with a doorknob, and rubber grips on the feet keep it in place."
The chair is part of the show "Threat: Objects for Defense and Protection."
The exhibition opened Friday at Present Company in Brooklyn and closed yesterday; starting today (Sunday, March 11) and through the show's close next Thursday (March 15), viewing is by appointment only.
Bacon Pancakes — They're what's for breakfast
What took so long?
Here are the directions from the recipe card in the picture up top:
Rath Bacon Strip Pancakes are the tender little hot cakes you make by pouring Aunt Jemima Pancake batter over cooked-crisp slices of our flavory Iowa bacon. Then bake as usual.
Complete recipe is in every Rath Black Hawk Bacon package.
Maze Dog Bowl — "Slows rapid eating"
Something diabolical and sad about this even if it's for Fido's own good.
From The Green Head: "Does your dog voraciously gulp down his food in record time? When dogs eat rapidly, it can lead to bloating and other digestive 'issues,' so the solution is simply to slow them down. The cool new Maze Dog Food Bowl has an innovative labyrinth of channels designed to reduce a dog's eating speed while improving their problem-solving skills as well."
From the product website:
It's no surprise we use "wolf" to describe eating quickly. At the rate dogs eat, it's a surprise they don’t get friction burns on their uvulae. Well, we've found a nifty way to slow them down a bit and make mealtime fun.
The Maze Dog Bowl makes playing with your dinner a spectator sport. Simply drop Fido's favourite treats into this simple labyrinth of channels and watch as they slowly work them out with their freakishly long tongues. It's fun for you, fun for them, boosts their problem-solving skills and slows down their food intake. There's even a grippy base in case they try to flip the whole thing over. Now if only they made one of these for kids....
Black, Beige, or Grey.