« July 5, 2005 | Main | July 7, 2005 »

July 6, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: Zeno™ 'Zit Zapper'


From Houston–based Tyrell Inc. comes Zeno™ (above and below), said to be a significant advance in pimple treatment.

Matt McMillen of the Washington Post wrote about his experience with Zeno™ in yesterday's Health section.

Tyrell says that 90% of Zeno™–treated blemishes fade or disappear within 24 hours.

Zeno™ uses proprietary ClearPoint™ technology in its device.

Translation: the thing heats your pimple up and kills it.

McMillen noted that Zeno™'s tip heats up to 121°: "Think hot bath."

What most interested me was not so much that the device exists but the remarks to McMillen by Chevy Chase, Maryland cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Tina West, who plans to sell the device to her patients.

McMillen wrote, "Instead of requesting an 'emergency treatment' — a cortisone injection — when a nasty pimple appears, as 5 to 10 patients a week do, she said, they can use the Zeno™."

Wait a minute: this doctor treats pimples with cortisone injections?

And considers them "emergencies?"


That's some specialty, is dermatology.

You know how we used to describe dermatology back when I was in med school?

"Wet on the dry, dry on the wet and steroids for everything else."

Looks like not a whole lot has changed.

The Zeno™, about the size of a cellphone, costs $225.

It's a prescription–only device so don't bother trying to buy one from the Tyrell website.


I'm sure Dr. West gets no commission on Zeno™ sales out of her office.

FunFact: The company that made replicants in "Bladerunner" was the Tyrell Corporation.

As Gilda Radner said, "There are no coincidences."

July 6, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

'Visual Glossolalia'


What a wonderful title for an art show.


It's currently up at the Luise Ross Gallery in New York City and will remain there through next week Friday, July 15.


Above and below are works from the show.


Roberta Smith, in her review of the show in last Friday's New York Times, wrote that it is "a seductive buzz of transmuting letters, symbols and equations. It tracks the notion of mediumistic writing or writing in tongues through the work of eight 20th–century and 21st–century mostly American self–thought artists."


Speaking of emergent phenomena: can there be any more spectacular example than the creation of meaning through the arrangement of shapes and colors on paper in the form of language?


The gallery is at 568 Broadway at Prince Street in SoHo; 212-343-2161; free admission.


Get up right now, walk out of your office and make your way to the Luise Ross Gallery and spend a few minutes wandering around; no one will notice your absence and you will be a better person when you return.


Trust me; I'm ....

July 6, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Critical mass is the key to success


My dad said two things, over his entire lifetime, that were of any lasting value to me.

The first was, "A penny saved is better than a penny earned — because you don't have to work to save a penny."


The second: "If you throw enough garbage against the wall some of it will stick."

Actually, he used a four–letter synonym for the word "garbage" but this is Version 2.0 so it is what it is.

Anyway, the second has proved to be a far deeper insight than I had any reason to believe when I first heard it.

Because what I like to call the "critical mass" effect is, I believe, a key component of almost all success in all areas.

If you send enough spam email, even the tiniest number of people buying whatever it's selling multiplies to a huge amount of money.

If you ask enough people to do something almost all will refuse but every now and then, for whatever reason, someone will say yes.

The key is persistence.


You simply have to be willing to spend almost limitless amounts of time and effort ringing up numbers for the denominator: all it takes is one to succeed if you ask the right question.

I'm reminded of Albert Szent–Georgyi's advice to young scientists looking for a research problem: "If you're going to go fishing, use a big hook."

In many cases it takes no more effort to get a big thing right than a little one, so why not think big?

This idea, of endless attempts that end in failure almost universally, is somewhat akin to that of emergent phenomena, the tendency of systems to organize and develop entirely new forms and functions once a certain scale is reached.

Lenin's observation that "Quantity has its own quality" wasn't meant to describe happenings on an atomic or microscopic scale; rather, he was referring to the power that armies afford over individuals.

A cell here and a cell there don't amount to much; put them together in close proximity, though, and you may get life.

So do the scientists of artificial intelligence reason: if enough computing power is brought to bear, many of them believe, consciousness will emerge.


So if life and consciousness are emergent phenomena, is it any surprise that everything that results from them echoes their own origins?

July 6, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Mophie Song Sling™ — 'Pull and play for iPod shuffle'


Last Friday Mophie announced its stylish new Song Sling™ for iPod shuffle.

"Takes the basic lanyard concept and adds the convenience and cool factor of built–in, retractable ear buds."


Color–coordinated silicone case, lanyard and ear buds come in the package.

"Eliminates the dangle and tangle of conventional headphone wires."


The Song Sling comes in grey, blue or pink and ships later this month.

$39.95 here and you get 10% off if you pre–order.


If this accessory doesn't cause fibrillation over at Popgadget then I don't know that posse of waycool girls nearly as well as I think.

July 6, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Foreigners go home'


Which country is the world's least welcoming to foreigners?

By a large margin, it's... Iraq.

The most xenophobic countries in the world, by the per cent of people in each country who say they would not want foreigners as neighbors:

Iraq (Arab)-------90%

Iraq (Kurd)-------51





The most welcoming countries:







Political scientists Ronald F. Inglehart and Mark Tessler of the University of Michigan along with sociologist Mansoor Moaddel of Eastern Michigan University did a study comparing countries throughout the world and their citizens' reaction to the question, "Could you please sort out any that you would not like to have as neighbors?"

Among the options was "immigrants."

More than 80% of the Iraqi public reject foreigners as neighbors.

For reference, surveys in America show that 10%–15% don't want foreigners as neighbors.

The investigators concluded that Iraqi Arabs and their Kurdish countrymen "reject foreigners to a degree that is virtually unknown in other societies, including predominantly Islamic countries."

90% of Iraqis said they would not like to have an American, a Brit or someone from France as a neighbor.

But they were nearly as likely to shun their neighbors.

"Fully 61% of the Iraqi public said that they did not want Turks as neighbors and 55% said they would not want Iranians."

The researchers found that the only foreign nationality not rejected by a majority of the Iraqi public was the Jordanians, who are ethnically similar; nevertheless, "44% of the Iraqi public said they would not want Jordanians as neighbors."


Richard Morin wrote about the findings in his "Unconventional Wisdom" column in this past Sunday's Washington Post.

July 6, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Maxelle Chair


From über–designer Harald Belker comes this very stylish chair.

Made by the Swedish company Lyx, it echoes the iconic Maxell tape ad (below)


of days gone by.

The swoopy–armed chair is made of fiberglass so it's good both indoors and out.

Belker is renowned for such creations as the Batmobile and the futuristic cars of "Minority Report," among many other signature achievements and designs.


The chair comes in six colors; you can buy one for $2,000 at Space Downtown in New York City. (276 W. 25th St.; 212-352-9968)

July 6, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

« July 5, 2005 | Main | July 7, 2005 »