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April 20, 2008

BehindTheMedspeak: Simroid feels your pain

Kathleen Hom's April 15, 2008 Washington Post Health section article described this new dental robot (above) as follows.

    She'll Tell You If It Hurts

    The figure in the dentist's chair can say "ouch" and her eyes may flash in pain but, trust us, she's not feeling a thing: She's an animated robot with a high-tech set of pearly whites. Students and resident doctors are currently testing the robot, dubbed Simroid, at Tokyo's Nippon Dental University.

    University professor Naotake Shibui and Japanese robotics firm Kokoro spent more than two years developing Simroid. The robot moves realistically and has lifelike silicon skin and teeth equipped with sensors that can detect mistakes that might cause a real patient pain.

    Until recently "dental education put emphasis on the technique of a dentist, like how well can he carve and drill," Shibui said during an interview in Japanese that was later translated. "But we have to think about the feelings of the patients.... Simroid allows you to train to do that."

    Shibui expects the price tag for Simroid to be 10 million yen (roughly $98,000).

April 20, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

April 20, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

The Big Word Project — 'Find the word that defines your website'


I got all excited when I read about this clever concept in the new (May, 2008) issue of Wired magazine.

Mathew Honan wrote, "When you buy a word on thebigwordproject.com, you can link that term from the dictionary-like site to any other site, when then becomes the word's new 'definition.'"

So cool!

I woke my crack research team from its collective stupor and told them to purchase joe instanter.

Alas, joe's taken.

You could look it up.

I then thought, why not buy blog — but guess what, that one's taken too.

Then I thought maybe I'd purchase anesthesiologist but right when I was about to pay $16 for naming rights (it's a buck a letter), I thought to myself, who in their right mind is gonna go to thebigwordproject.com website and click on anesthesiologist?

So I didn't.

Doesn't mean you can't, though: be my guest.

April 20, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Automatic Needle Threader


From the website:

    Automatic Needle Threader

    This little device has to be used to be believed.

    You put a needle in one of the little funnels (eye down), drop the thread over the slot next to the funnel, and press a button.

    The thread is pushed through the eye of the needle and it comes out the other side of the funnel.

    With two sizes of funnels, it will thread everything from fine quilting needles to large darning needles.

    It even has an exterior gripper for oversize needles.

    A great gift for anyone who sews.

    Made in Italy.



Detailed illustrated and annotated instructions here.


April 20, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Best email of the day so far — Honey the cat v. Hudson View Gardens


It came in at 9:10 a.m. this morning and follows.

Not one word has been omitted.

    Hi Ms. Tarnofsky,

    Ellen here with just a question...?

    We spoke on Friday re: Honey v. Hudson View Gardens.

    I wanted to emphasize that I believe there are two issues here. The cat going out and the cat door itself. The latter which is what feels most pressing.

    Now I know you have not yet agreed to take my case, however in lieu of an agreement I fear if we need go with an injunction to stop them before Wednesday, meeting late on Tuesday may not give us enough time. I understand Injunctions are labor-intensive not to mention expensive, but I fear without one and if a strong letter doesn't stop them, then getting a door put back will be a problem since the Board reserves the right to O.K. every project.

    The other reason I wish the door to remain is that this door is within the old casement windows of my bedroom. As it happens the window in the bedroom is also out to a fire escape. These are large 4-feet x 5-feet windows that open inward, and lock when they are closed. Because I am in a ground floor apartment for safety issues, it has been nice to be able to open the cat door to get some fresh air in at night. Because it is a fire escape I cannot bar the window. The other windows in the apartment open outward and can be braced to only open a few inches. Yet here while I am on the first or ground floor, the windows are high enough up that the cat can jump out but not back in.

    So, without further complaint, my question is, could we meet sooner, so if we decide that an injunction is our best plan, we/you actually have time to execute one?

    Thank You and Sincerely,

    New York, New York


Aren't you glad you don't live in New York City?

I know I am.

Where's Flautist when we really need her, anyway?

April 20, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Microwaveable Ceramic Travel Mug


Wouldn't it be nice to drink from a real mug while you're driving, instead of plastic or metal?

Way overdue.

From the website:

    Microwaveable Ceramic Travel Mug — Perfect for the car

    Get the benefits of a travel mug without the sacrifices of stainless steel.

    Our heavy duty Ceramic Travel Mug is microwaveable and dishwasher safe.

    Also feels warm and substantial in your hand and does not give your java a metallic taste.

    A tight-fitting drink-thru lid keeps the coffee and warmth inside.

    Sized to fit virtually all cup holders.

    Holds 12 oz. and stands 6" tall.


Blue, White or Black.


April 20, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: Doctors on a Plane, Episode 2 — 'Need a doctor in the air? Fly with one'


Michelle Higgins's above-headlined "Practical Traveler" column in the March 16, 2008 New York Times Travel section was chock full of juicy tidbits, such as:

• 17,084 in-flight calls for medical emergencies were received last year by MedAire, a Phoenix company that provides cabin crews with real-time medical advice.

• "... 649 planes were diverted for medical reasons and 97 people died onboard"... (my italics).

• "... flight crews aren't required to know much more than where the medical equipment is kept."

• "In the event that a medical crisis strikes miles up in the sky, passengers are generally at the mercy of who happens to be onboard."

• "Last year, a first-class passenger on a British Airways flight from New Delhi to London woke up to find himself sitting near a corpse. The airline later said that an elderly woman from the economy section had died after takeoff, and the body was moved to first class, where there was more space for family members of the deceased to grieve with more privacy."

• "... at least one airline — Singapore — actually has a makeshift morgue on its Airbus 340-500s, which fly its longest routes.... Each aircraft has a compartment where a corpse could be stored, if necessary."

Episode 1, which appeared on April 9, 2008, may be found right here.

April 20, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tool-free picture hanger


From the website:

    Push & Hang™ — Hang a Picture or Mirror in Seconds

    You’ll never use a hammer again!

    Just push into the wall and hang your picture.

    Each Push & Hang is easily removable and reusable.

    No drilling, finding studs or dealing with anchors needed.

    You get 10 hangers that hold up to 60 lbs. each and 20 hangers that hold up to 10 lbs. each.



30 hangers cost $19.95.

April 20, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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