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June 15, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: Heart Rate Monitor Glove


Now this is some pretty amazing technology.

I can recall when fingertip pulse oximeters first entered the OR some years ago: the devices gave a readout of heart rate and arterial blood oxygen saturation and cost about $5,000.

The box with all the electronics measured roughly 18" x 15" x 5".

True, this one only gives you your heart rate but it looks a heckuva lot more comfortable and practical than wearing one of those chest bands like people do.

So what if it looks like street wear for the Terminator; it's happening now, not two centuries in the future.

Luminescent backlit display for use in the dark.

Also works as a digital watch and stopwatch.

Uses one CR2032 watch battery (included).


Velcro closure.

$129.95 here.

June 15, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BrightPink — The world's only wine in an aluminum bottle


Or, as the British say, "aluminium."

I always thought that was just Laurel and Hardy being silly until I learned it really is the word in the U.K.

"Aluminium," that is: the bird is the word here in the States. But I digress.

Oh, how I digress.

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes — new BrightPink branded rosé wine from Ehrmanns.

Genevieve Roberts, in a sprightly story that appeared in the June 11 Independent, noted that the aluminum–clad wine cools in one–fifth the time required for a conventional glass bottle.

The BrightPink website notes this fact as well but omits another point made by Roberts: it also loses its chill five times faster than wine in a conventional bottle.

Well, maybe the website just didn't have enough space to put that part in.

Ya think?

The aluminum bottle is also 66% lighter than glass, "creating transport advantages for trade and customer," wrote Roberts.

She continued, "The packaging has been designed for parties, with the word 'Pink' printed with UV ink."

That's good: I just added a UV capability earlier today.


[via AW]

June 15, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Free digital audio books for MP3 players and computers from the New York Public Library


Forget buying books on tape or CD: why would you when you can get the same thing for free, in the convenience of your own home, 24/7/365?

On Monday of this week the New York Public Library began offering a selection of 700 titles in fiction, narrative nonfiction, business, biography, self–help and language instruction.

Available books range from recent bestsellers to classics.

But wait — there's more.

You can listen to the books via desktop or laptop computer; burn them to CD for playing in your car or stereo or discman; or transfer them to a number of portable media devices, including Windows Media–compatible MP3 players.

Looks like Mac fans and iPod users are out of luck, though.

Find out more here.

One catch: you must be a New York Public Library cardholder to use this great resource along with many others offered by the library.

Oh — I suppose I'm expected to tell you how to get a library card.


Long story short: if you live or work or attend school in New York State, you get your card free; everybody else in the world pays $100 annually.

Go here and follow the instructions to get yours.

[via AW]

June 15, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

World's fastest and cheapest (and smallest) multimedia set–up


"Just insert your favorite slide, light the candle and you're set: your table will know the joys of multimedia — unless you decide to stick the whole on the wall using the provided adhesive."

No instruction manual furnished because there's no need for one.

Even I could use this with ease.

Not out of control, either.

Go here, then noodle around until you find the item named "Diapo"; then move your cursor over the red line drawing.

[via AW]

June 15, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: OdorScreen — Code Brown Remedy?


Field Maloney, in the June 6 New Yorker "Talk of the Town" section, wrote about a new product from Patus, an Israeli company, called "OdorScreen."

It's an "olfactory perception–altering" gel compound applied under the nose and it works for up to two hours after application.

One of the company's first clients was Zaka, the Israeli group that recovers bodies and body parts at the sites of bombings.

    From the online product description:

    Patus, Ltd. developed OdorScreen, an Olfactory Perception Altering compound for professionals and private consumers who must operate in environments where offensive odors are present.

    OdorScreen alters the perception of burnt flesh, decomposing flesh, infected wounds, vomitus and other offensive bodily fluids or tissues, at the same time other pleasant or hazardous odors remain perceivable.

    The active ingredients of OdorScreen are effective for 2 hours and it can be reapplied as necessary.

    With no side affects, stainless and disposable, OdorScreen is easy to use and easy to remove.

Maloney let a New York City sanitation worker field test the product; here's the resulting story.

    Road Test: Stinky Town

    Summer, when the city becomes a giant convection oven, is smell season, so its opening day, coming as it did earlier this spring, before the recent cold snap, was something of a surprise

    The mercury shot up above eighty, and all across the city long-dormant stenches began to stir, reminding New Yorkers that it will soon be time to employ their preferred odor-avoidance techniques: nose-holding, mouth-breathing, the strategic sniffing of a packet of mints

    Last year, Patus, an Israeli company, began marketing a clear gel called OdorScreen.

    Ilan Shatz, one of Patus’s founders, had been in New York on business shortly after 9/11, and heard that recovery workers were complaining about the terrible smell at Ground Zero.

    Some workers had taken to spreading Vicks VapoRub under their noses.

    OdorScreen is applied in a similar fashion, but, rather than mask odors, as air fresheners and perfumes do, it temporarily alters the smell receptors in the nose, so the user perceives only the soothing scent of vanilla. (Or, in Asian markets, green tea: Patus is considering culture-specific Odorscreen formulas.)

    One of Patus’s first clients was Zaka, the Israeli group that recovers bodies and body parts at the sites of accidents and bombings.

    This winter, after the tsunami in Asia, Patus distributed OdorScreen packets to relief workers there.

    These are far graver situations, surely, than the olfactory hazards of summer in the city, but Patus envisions consumer applications for OdorScreen, too, and New York is high on the company’s list of stinky target markets.

    Will it make it here?

    On that first smelly day, an independent expert was called in.

    Rich Anderson, a city sanitation worker from Bay Ridge, who spends his days picking up the garbage of Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea, agreed to give Odorscreen a whirl during his off hours.

    The first stop was the Fulton Fish Market.

    "It should be pretty nasty right now," he said as he sat in his car, applying the gel.

    A pine-tree-shaped air freshener dangled from the rearview mirror.

    Anderson, who has a sturdy-looking nose, reviewed his olfactory biography.

    Earliest smell-memory: the bakeries of Bay Ridge on Sunday mornings.

    Pet peeve: freshly applied asphalt. ("Man, that stuff stinks!")

    He stepped outside.

    The market was closed for the day, but a fishiness lingered.

    "They clean this place up and they hose it down, but you can never get that smell out," Anderson said.

    He approached some pallets.

    "All the fish guts soak into the wood," he explained.

    He bent over a pallet and began to sniff.

    A security guard came over.

    "Sanitation. I’m doing a survey," Anderson said with authority, and the guard retreated.

    Anderson bent down again—a few more long sniffs—then said, "This stuff works pretty good."

    Later, after driving through crowded Chinatown streets with his window down ("Smell it! Smell the air!"), Anderson parked near the Manhattan Bridge and made his way on foot to the vaulted areas beneath the overpass.

    "This is where at night everyone—if you’re going to put it in the paper—urinates," he said.

    "Homeless people, people getting out of the bars nearby, people in cars getting onto the main entrance to the bridge... Smell it?"


    "A fishy smell, the smell of Chinese food, garbage, street, stagnant water, urine,” he went on.

    "Everything mixes together. But it’s hard to detect now with this stuff on."

    He stopped to sniff at a dirty section of drainage pipe under the bridge.

    An elderly Chinese couple, seated behind a card table, eyed him with suspicion.

    "I can’t smell anything but vanilla," he said.

    Anderson arrived at the Gansevoort meat market just as a private sanitation truck pulled up.

    Two workers jumped out and began moving red buckets onto a loader.

    Ernest Moore, the driver, a wiry, intense man, wearing yellow rubber gloves and a gold hoop earring, got out.

    "We’re looking for rotting flesh," Anderson informed him.

    Moore grinned fatly.

    "I got some smelly meat," he said, gesturing to the truck behind him.

    "Some days, you look inside those barrels and there’s nothing but white, creeping and crawling."

    He shook his shoulders, in imitation of writhing maggots.

    He took an OdorScreen sample for later use, but he appeared skeptical.

    "The city doesn’t bother me," he said.

    "Same smells, different day, you know what I mean?"

Tell you what: I'm buying this product and keeping it in my fannypack for the inevitable "Code Brown" in the OR that sometimes accompanies anesthesia induction or emergence.

What's a "Code Brown"?

Think about it.

You can find out more here (scroll down to the second last product on the site) or order some by calling 888-737-7978.

June 15, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Electronic Vegetable Peeler



And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Now, to the device (above).

"Peeling vegetables with ordinary peelers can be time consuming, and painful."

The new Euro Cuisine Electronic Vegetable Peeler has "four 2.5–inch cutting blades which rotate to make quick work of carrots, potatoes and zucchini."

A protection shield "helps to keep the peels inside so they don't fly all over your kitchen."

Waterproof, "so you can use it under a running faucet."

I don't know — I mean, you've got four high–speed rotating cutting blades and a protection shield going on... seems a bit intense just to peel a potato, what?

"Easy to clean, rechargeable, comes with an adapter."

10.5" long x 1.25" in diameter.

Like I said at the beginning....

$24.95 here.

June 15, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out — World Premiere!


I have written here before of my great admiration for Petra Haden's a cappella version, on CD, of The Who's landmark 1967 album, "The Who Sell Out."

It's my favorite new CD of 2005 and I play it all the time while I'm doing bookofjoe.

"I can't reach you."

Oh, but I do try nonetheless.

Anyway, I was as excited as a dog with a sudden infestation of fleas by the email I received yesterday from Cindy Bernard and Katie Klapper in LA announcing the upcoming world premiere, in live performance, of this great, great vocal recreation of The Who's album by Petra.

    Here's the email:

    Petra Haden, daughter of legendary jazz bassist Charlie Haden was introduced to a wide variety of musical stimulation at an early age.

    She soon developed her extraordinary ability to vocalize the sounds of the instruments she heard in the jazz and classical music that was now a steady part of her musical appetite.

    Blessed with an uncanny musical ear, she began forming arrangements in her head, translating the works of favorite artists Pat Metheny, Cocteau Twins and minimalist composer Steve Reich into her own unique musical language.

    In the early '90s Petra, her sister Rachel, and friend Anna Waronker formed the Los Angeles-based indie-pop group That Dog, which quickly became a staple of the L.A. club circuit.

    They released a self-titled debut LP in 1994.

    An energetic and quirky punk-pop effort highlighted by sunny harmonies and the intriguing use of violin and cello, the record became a college radio hit.

    The follow-up project, Totally Crushed Out!, was released a year later, and the group's third recording, Retreat From the Sun, appeared in 1997, and the band's breakup was announced that September.

    Petra recorded a solo album Imaginaryland, which was released in 1996.

    In recent years, she has cultivated a number of important musical relationships reflected in her collaborations with Sean Lennon, Yuka Honda and Victoria Williams - the most recent being with the celebrated guitarist and composer Bill Frisell.

    Commenting on Petra Haden Sings 'The Who Sell Out', Petra writes: In 2000, my friend Mike Watt (the bass player for the Minutemen), called me and suggested that I recreate "The Who Sell Out" using just my voice.

    He gave me his 8-track cassette recorder and put the Who on the 8th track.

    I started singing the bass first, then gradually filled up the tracks singing the instruments and the lead vocals.

    It was fun but it took three years.

    I really did it for Mike but when he heard the finished project, he said, "You should put it out Pet!"

    In late 2003, Bar None records got a copy of it and liked it just how it was, recorded on a tape machine.

    Petra Haden Sings The Who Sell Out was released by Bar/None Records on February 22, 2005.

If you're anywhere near LA on Friday, July 1, you should really try to get to this show.

It will take place at the Ford Amphitheatre at 8:30 p.m. (2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East in Hollywood; Grounds open at 6:30 p.m. for picnicking; Tickets cost $16 advance [$12 for students] and $20 at the door, and may be purchased online at the Ford website [www.fordamphitheatre.org] or by calling 323-461-3673)

I'm so jealous already of those of you who are gonna be there.


Pete Townshend, the leader of The Who, said of Petra's accomplishment, "When I heard about this CD I didn't know quite what to expect, but I found listening to it for the first time quite enchanting. Then unnervingly exciting."

I mean, Pete Townshend said that, not me.

So you can imagine how good it must be.

Someone once said that the mark of a work of genius is that it is impossible to understand how it was created.


"Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out" is, to my mind by that criterion, a work of genius.

June 15, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

OXO Spill–Proof Travel Mug


"No more spills!"

So begins the description of OXO's LiquiSeal™ Travel Mug.

Three silicone seals = no spills.

Click to open and click to seal with one simple button.

One–handed activation lets you keep one hand on the wheel while you drink and drive.

Stainless steel double–wall construction keeps liquids hot or cold up to seven hours.

No–drip drinking spout.

14 oz. capacity.

Read the review that appeared Monday in Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools:

    I had been looking for this travel mug for ages.

    I like to be able to toss a mug into the side pocket of my bag, but still easily grab a sip.

    Most travel mugs have openings in the top, making the bag-toss impossible and the bus ride extremely messy.

    Most Thermos-type mugs solve this with an actual closed top, but it's hard to just take a quick sip in class without going through the rigamarole of unscrewing all the parts.

    This mug solves all of those problems.

    It keeps a beverage warm or cold for a decent amount of time, there are no tops to unscrew and drop, and there is no spill.

    I've recommended it to all of my fellow grad students.


$19.95 here.

[via Kevin Kelly's Cool Tools]

June 15, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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