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August 7, 2006

BehindTheMedspeak: Don't leave your cut open to the air — it slows healing


Who knew?

Not me, certainly, after all those long years of medical training and practice.

I've been telling people to wash their cuts and scrapes with plenty of running water, then leave them open without doing anything else, since, why, since last century.

What a doofus: no wonder I went into anesthesiology instead of derm or family practice.

But I digress.

Anahad O'Connor, in his "Really?" feature in the August 1 New York Times Science section, debunked all the beliefs about cuts that I'd held dearly as true.

Short story shorter: Do keep your cuts moist and covered — not dry and open; Don't apply antibiotic ointments or creams; and by far best of all: Do pick your scabs, as leaving the original one on until it falls off will increase the amount of scarring.

Who knew that that weird girl at summer camp, the one who would daily sit and meticulously pick at her scabs such that her legs were always covered with dripping blood, was in fact preparing for a career in plastic surgery?

Here's the column.

    The Claim: Wounds Heal Better When Exposed to Air

    The Facts: Most parents and school nurses have a time-honored approach to treating a small wound: clean it up, stop the bleeding and then let it get some air.

    The point of this approach, as described in medical texts, is to lower the odds of infection and to speed the healing process. But over the years, researchers have found that what many people know about treating small cuts and scrapes is wrong.

    Exposing a wound to the air so it can breathe is a terrible mistake, experts say, because it creates a dry environment that promotes cell death.

    A handful of studies have found that when wounds are kept moist and covered, blood vessels regenerate faster and the number of cells that cause inflammation drop more rapidly than they do in wounds allowed to air out. It is best to keep a wound moist and covered for at least five days.

    Another common mistake is applying antibiotic ointments, said Dr. Mark D. P. Davis, a professor of dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. These ointments may keep the wound moist, he said, but they can also lead to swelling and an allergic reaction called contact dermatitis. Plain and simple Vaseline, applied twice a day, works fine.

    And as awful as removing scabs may sound, it may actually be a good idea, Dr. Davis said. A small initial scab will help stop the bleeding, but if left for too long it will do more harm than good.

    “You don’t want it to mature too much because it increases scarring,” he said. “That’s the general thinking.”

    The Bottom Line: Exposing a cut so it can breathe slows healing.



What next?


Next thing you know they'll be telling us pink makes you weak.

August 7, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (8) | TrackBack

World's Only Floating Faux Flowers with A.I.


You know, joe, it's not funny anymore, this crazyness and the weird headlines and all.

"Just say what it is and shut up."


From the website:

    Set of 10 Floating LED Lights

    Create a unique party accent.

    Place these faux rose blossoms in a pond, pool, or even a punch bowl and they immediately send out colorful, glowing light!

    Automatically turn off when taken out.

    Each 3" diameter LED light burns for approximately 120–140 hours.


But the pond, pool and punch bowl spaces are just the beginning.

What about your bathtub?

Or the clogged shower?

That'd be fun.

Keep one in the sink to guide you in your nighttime hour of need.

World's kewlest nightlight.

Or put them in little bowls on the table next time you have a dinner party and have people sit by the color they think best suits them.

A set of 10 lights — 1 each in Mauve, Green, Yellow, Pink, Orange, Red, Blue, and 3 White, including batteries — costs $34.99.

August 7, 2006 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Instant Eggs


Real eggs, preserved in soy sauce and vinegar.

Would you eat one?

Amizadai, a resident of Singapore, loves them.

Here's what she wrote about them in her blog on July 21, 2006:

    I've been hit with hunger pangs before lunchtime almost everyday this week.

    I am not big on sweet snacks, so I usually end up buying instant eggs.

    They are meant to go in your instant noodles, but I eat them by themselves.

    For those not familiar with them, they are real eggs, preserved in soy sauce and spices.

    They are fantastic.

    Probably not good for my liver, but fantastic all the same.





[via Happy Finger Puppet of Death]

August 7, 2006 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Coffee Table Desk



From the website:

    Adjustable Height Coffee Table

    Our coffee table with lift top brings the tabletop to you

    Top elevates and locks to the ideal dining or working height.

    Great for snacking, doing the crossword or working on a laptop, it's as easy on the eyes as it is on the back.

    Featuring a classic design that complements any décor, there's also ample storage space inside, with plenty of room to store books, magazines, remote controls and other items you need to get to easily.

    An adjustable inner shelf allows you to configure the space to suit your needs.

    • Lifts in two seconds to two different heights.

    • Made of sturdy wood composite materials with birchwood veneer.

    • Inside storage easily accessed through front and back hinged doors.

    • Includes solid brass and wood knobs in your choice of finish.

    • Table is 38"W x 24"L x 20"H.

    Nothing gives away the secret of the coffee table with a twist.


There's no reason other designers can't use the morphing principle demonstrated here in other, more pared-down designs.

Or you could make you own.




In Mahogany (top), Honey or Black finish.



August 7, 2006 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Google gives a lesson in user-friendly design


Just now I was searching for a particularly clever luggage tag I'd seen in a catalog when something struck me from out of the blue: the power and elegance of Google's site design.

• Easily understood distinction between paid links — up top and to the side — and objective search results

• No animation or movement to annoy or distract from the search

• No Flash — ever — to slow things down

• Easy-to-read typeface

• No pictures

• Speed

Many of the very brightest people on the planet are up at the Googleplex in Mountain View and other locations spanning the globe, laboring long hours seven days a week, to make things as transparent and easy to understand and use as possible.

So simple even a


can do it the first time without reading any instructions.

There can be no higher accolade for any company engaged in creating something that has to do with computers.

August 7, 2006 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

College Slippers


From the website:

Give Your Feet an Education and an Advanced Degree in Comfort

I like to think Rodney Dangerfield would have worn our Old College Try slippers in “Back to School” — if they’d existed then.


In fact, he’d have probably worn them to his first appointment in Dean Martin’s office!

They’re warm, thickly cushioned, and brilliantly hued in your old school’s colors — with officially licensed logos for authenticity.


Slip them on and put a bounce in your step as you recall bright college years and/or undergraduate misadventures.

Perfect for alums, and students who want to pad around the frat house or sorority in style!


We stock slippers for more than 50 major colleges and universities.

I'm shocked, amazed and appalled that they don't have my alma mater's slippers.

Go Bruins!


August 7, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MorphWorld: Terry Goodkind into T. Coraghessan Boyle


Phantom," the new fantasy novel by Terry Goodkind (above), enters the New York Times hardcover fiction list this week at No. 1.


Boyle (below),


meanwhile, continues to produce wonderfully inventive fiction year after year, book after book: his latest novel, "Talk Talk," is a riff on identity theft, through a looking-glass only Boyle's command of language and reality allows us to pass through alongside him.

August 7, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Kimono Cosmetics Bag



Created by Austrian designer Martin Brem from kimonos, cut up and transformed.

From his Sai So (Japanese for "reconstruct") website:

    Kimono Cosmetics Bag

    Very often our clients do not use this bag as a cosmetics bag.

    Too dangerous, they think, for stuff that might leak.

    Actually, we can live with that.

    So this model also serves perfectly well as a super-cute petite handbag.

    The radiant kimono silk is combined with the softest nappa leather there is.

    32cm x 18cm x 8cm (13" x7" x 3").


No two are ever alike.

Nor can they be.

€235 (£159; $303).

Go here, then click on "Online Shop," where it's item #6154.

Should you be fortunate enough to be in London you can find them at Harrods (87-135 Brompton Road, SW1; tel: 020 7730 1234).

[via Lucia van der Post and the Financial Times]

August 7, 2006 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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