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November 29, 2005

BehindTheMedspeak: 'Some CPR is better than no CPR'

Ever so slowly, the American Heart Association (AHA) is coming around to what medical professionals have known for years: no one can perform rescue breathing.

That's a fact but the AHA, one of the more slowly reacting medical organizations in the U.S., is only beginning to come around now.

The organization's new CPR guidelines, unveiled this past Monday, are dramatically different from those that have prevailed for many years.

Most important is the recognition that mouth–to–mouth breathing is now optional.

Hey — I noted that this was the state–of–the–art in a BehindTheMedspeak piece on , and got tons of hostile email from both professionals and laypeople alike saying I was flat–out wrong.

Guess not.

Dr. Robert O'Connor of Christiana Care Health System in Newark, New Jersey, one of the authors of the new AHA guidelines, told Robert Davis of USA Today in Tuesday's front–page story, "Some CPR is better than no CPR."

O'Connor went on to note that "until emergency medical responders arrive, chest compressions alone can often be just as effective in saving a life."

Note: proper chest compressions — strong and powerful, at a rate of 100/minute — cannot be continued for more than a minute or two by a single individual without some loss of effectiveness.

Good CPR will make you sweat and tire you out after that amount of time — trust me, I've been there and done that many, many times.

In the meantime, while you're resting and taking a break, increase venous return — and the likelihood of CPR being successful — by simply picking up the unconscious person's feet and holding them about two or three feet above the ground.

This will provide an autotransfusion of about two units of blood to the central circulation and heart, increasing perfusion and the likelihood of recovery without permanent brain damage.

No, it may not help — but it will not hurt.

Primum non nocere, remember, is what we're all about here.

November 29, 2005 at 10:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Got hair? The sensational photography of J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere

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Blake Gopnik, art critic for the Washington Post, wrote in yesterday's front–page Style section story about the signature photography of J.D. 'Okhai Ojeikere, who since 1968 has documented Nigerian culture in a series of photographs now numbering in the thousands.

Gopnik was mesmerized by Ojeikere's pictures of "the amazing sculptural hairstyles worn by women in his native Nigeria," which he found the most interesting of all the works in the new show, "African Art Now: Masterpieces From the Jean Pigozzi Collection," which opened last week at the National Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C.

The "Hairstyles" series, consisting of nearly 1,000 images, is the largest segment of Ojeikere's body of work.

Said Ojeikere in a biography on the museum's website, "All these hairstyles are ephemeral. I want my photographs to be noteworthy traces of them. I always wanted to record moments of beauty, moments of knowledge."

Above, his "Onile gogoro," taken in 1975.

The show features about 100 objects of the 6,000 in Pigozzi's collection.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art is on the south side of the Mall at 10th Street NW. 202-633-4600. www.nmafa.si.edu. The show remains up through February 26, 2006.

November 29, 2005 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Google Space — Google gets real

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Quietly opened last week in London's Heathrow Airport was a new Google venture: Google Space.

It's in Terminal One, and consists of 10 white Samsung laptops, called Google Pods, connected to the web.

You can get online, check your email, and send and receive pictures there.

But that's not the best part, in my opinion.

Not even close.

No, the juice here is that the booth is staffed by Google employees.

What a wonderful chance to meet up and chat with the best of the best, for free, on their time instead of yours.

It would appear Google has the same idea: Lorraine Twohill, Google's European marketing director, told Danielle George of All Headline News, "For many of our users, we have always been something in their computers and they have never actually met us."

Priceless.

For everything else?

There's Google — MasterCard is so over.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot — using Google Space is free.

What were you thinking?

This is Google.

The company sees the booth as a kind of focus group and might open more such booths in airports around the world.

The experiment runs through mid–December.

Tell you what: the companies running those internet connection businesses in airports and charging you a pretty penny for the privilege of getting online are not at all happy about this news.

Because Google believes, as do I, that high–speed internet access — anywhere, anytime, on any device — is a right, not a privilege.

As always with Google and new ventures, there was no announcement by the company, no fanfare: Google Space just appeared one day at Heathrow.

That's precisely how joeTV is going to happen — no advance notice whatsover.

One day you'll notice a new link or icon on bookofjoe and when you click on it there it will be, at long last.

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Real soon now.

As I look at the goofy guy above with his sign, I'm thinking maybe I'll just use him as my joeTV icon/link.

Seems pretty much in tune with what'll be coming your way.

November 29, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The 'scientific visualizations' of Alexander Tsiaras

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Too bad USA Today's website doesn't have the photos that accompanied the hard copy version of yesterday's story about Alexander Tsiaras' new book, "InVision Guide to a Healthy Heart."

It sounds like the title of the sort of booklet you'd find on the table in your doctor's waiting room but that's not at all the case.

Tsiaras is a pioneer in the field of medical imaging: he's an artist, photographer and computer–imaging expert who's combined the three disciplines to produce amazing photographic depictions of the human body and its component parts, allowing you to see yourself in an entirely new light.

That's the understatement of the day.

Tsiaras calls the images "scientific visualizations."

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"They're built by taking images from CT scans, MRIs and other medical techniques, digitally dissecting them and then marrying them to produce hearts, blood vessels and tissues that have depth, heft and the appearance of vitality," wrote Steve Sternberg in his USA Today story.

Heart surgeon Mehmet Oz of New York Presbyterian–Columbia University told Sternberg that he himself is able, "... after years immersed in the anatomy of the human heart, to mentally transform 2-D scans into 3-D pictures."

You and I need help.

Full disclosure: there's a ton of sensational imaging on the book's website so do not visit it if you plan to get anything else done in the next few moments — or hours.

Here's a link to the website of Anatomical Travelogue, Tsiaras' company.

If you go here you'll be able to watch six videos that demonstrate the scope and power of the company's work and capabilities.

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You can buy the book (above; list price $19.95) for $11.07 here.

Cheap at many times the price.

November 29, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Hefty Serve 'n Store Tableware with Interlocking Rims — 'Every plate is a lid and every lid is a plate'

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Nicely done.

In Everyday (above) and Party (below) versions.

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Note that the red "Party" style can't be nuked; the white "Everyday" line can.

Be safe and get the white ones to avert dismay on the part of unwitting microwavers the morning after.

The Washington Post featured this new disposable tableware last week.

"No more need to scrounge around for sealable containers or depend on aluminum foil to prevent spills when sending holiday guests home with leftovers," read the Post's copy.

"We tested the seal and not a drop leaked out," the paper added.

Here's another product review.

About $2.69 for a pack of 15 to 24 pieces at Giant, Safeway, Shoppers Food and Pharmacy, Wegmans and Wal-Mart, among other stores.

[via the Washington Post]

November 29, 2005 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hot Tub Zamboni

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There is exactly one such beast in the world and it resides in London, Ontario, Canada.

Brent Noels, co–owner of London Hot Tub Rentals, bought the 1971 Zamboni and spent over a year retrofitting it (above).

It still looks like a Zamboni, with the original driver's seat and dashboard in place, though the engine was removed about three years ago to make room for the fiberglass hot tub, which holds up to 15 people.

The Hot Tub Zamboni is very popular in the London area.

I imagine — especially at this time of year — there's nothing quite like it.

Want to rent it?

No problema: call 519-438-5321.

Ask for Brent and tell him I sent you.

November 29, 2005 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Hands–Free Hair Dryer Holder

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What took them so long?

From the website:

    Our Hair Dryer Holder is Perfect for Styling with Both Hands

    Ensure a perfect hair day everyday with the Hair Dryer Holder!

    Featuring a flexible stand for hands–free styling and suitable for use with all blow dryers, you can use both hands to style your hair and achieve a professional look in your own home.

It's said to be especially helpful for those with long hair.

The website goes on to note that it will quickly dry your nails and come in handy for grooming your pets.

19" high.

$39.95 here. (Hair dryer not included.)

November 29, 2005 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: The more you forget, the better your memory

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Seems a contradiction, doesn't it?

How can forgetting stuff lead to better recall?

Edward Vogel, who heads the Visual Working Memory and Attention Lab at the University of Oregon Department of Psychology, in work published in the November 24 issue of Nature, demonstrated that awareness — "visual working memory" — depends on your ability to filter out irrelevant information.

Said Vogel, in a press release about the paper, "Until now, it's been assumed that people with high capacity visual working memory had greater storage but actually, it's about the bouncer — a neural mechanism that controls what information gets into awareness."

In other words, it's not your memory capacity that makes your recall good or bad, it's how good you are at disregarding the irrelevant.

Their experiments used arrays of colored shapes and showed that individuals with high memory capacity were able to selectively ignore certain colors at will; those with less capable memories held all the shapes in mind simultaneously.

Vogel noted, however, that the latter propensity might not be entirely a bad thing: "Being a bit scattered tends to be a trait of highly imaginative people," he said.

So the next time you can't remember your name or who it is that just said hello to you, instead of beating on yourself and wishing you had a better memory, just chalk it up to your wildly imaginative self.

The graphic at the top of this post, summarizing the study results, shows the correlation between a person's memory capacity and how effective they are at keeping irrelevant items out.

Here's a link to the editor's summary of the Nature publication.

November 29, 2005 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Warped Space Pocket Watch — Einstein would be amused

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I wonder if designer Karim Rashid consciously appropriated the current view of how mass and gravity warp space when he designed this pocket watch.

Its description says, "The dark face of this quartz watch... is stretched in a fascinating web design."

That doesn't give much of a clue.

But the previous sentence on the product's website might be a playful nod in that direction: "Add some style to your pocket with this old–fashioned watch that will keep track of the time without demanding space on your wrist."

Huh.

Warped

$130 here.

But perhaps now you've started pondering the mysteries of the universe.

Who better to spend a little time with on the subject than Albert Einstein himself?

In 1926 the Encyclopedia Britannica, for its Thirteenth Edition, asked Einstein (below)

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to introduce a brand–new topic: "Space–Time."

Here's a link to that article, as absorbing and instructive today as it was 79 years ago when the master wrote it.

Hey — no one said it would be easy.

But it's wonderful to spend time with this great mind, even if only at a distance — in both space and time.

November 29, 2005 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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