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November 7, 2008

Non-Euclidean Web Browser

Created by Ron Brinkmann.


[via 秋元@赤仮面シャア (akimoto.jp/blog to you)]

November 7, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

November 7, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: X marks the spot — 'Surgeons could keep a Sharpie marker with them and use it on all of their patients until the ink runs out'


That's the bottom line (as it were) of the results of a study performed by scientists at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Here's Michael Smith's October 23, 2008 MedPage Today report.

    Re-Using Sharpie Pens as Surgical Marker in OR Gets Clean Bill

    When X marks the spot on the skin for surgery, is there a risk that a re-used Sharpie pen could transfer pathogens?

    The answer is no, according to Catherine Burton, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

    In fact, commercially available Sharpie pens almost never harbor enough bacteria to show up in a culture because their ink is alcohol-based, Dr. Burton and colleagues said.

    Their Sharpie data are in a study that is to be presented next week at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, held here jointly with the Infectious Diseases Society of America meeting.

    On the other hand, pens specifically designed for surgical use — and meant to be used only once — harbored a range of pathogens for several hours, they said.

    The study began when the researchers saw that surgeons at the university hospital were using Sharpie pens to mark patients for surgery — then throwing the pens out after one use for fear of infection.

    At about a dollar a pen, the practice was costly, so the researchers decided to see whether there was any practical danger.

    They took 128 Sharpie-brand markers, with alcohol-based ink, and the same number of Securline brand surgical skin markers, with gentian violet ink.

    The markers were swiped across blood agar plates contaminated with one of four pathogens — methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecalis, or Pseudomonas aeruginosa — and then recapped.

    Markers swiped across sterile plates served as controls.

    At eight time points after contamination — zero, five, 15, 30 and 60 minutes, four and 24 hours, and one week — the survival of the organisms was assessed by swiping the markers across clean agar plates, incubating them for 24 hours, and quantifying bacterial growth, the researchers said.

    The researchers found:

    • All the markers produced bacterial growth when they were swiped immediately after contamination.

    • One Sharpie produced vancomycin-resistant E. faecalis 24 hours after contamination, but no other Sharpie produced bacterial growth at any time point.

    • Securline markers produced growth of all organisms up to four hours and growth of P. aeruginosa and E. coli up to 24 hours, but no organism growth at a week.

    The findings imply that surgeons "could keep a Sharpie marker with them and use it on all of their patients until the ink runs out," Dr. Burton said.

    The risk is probably even lower than the findings imply, because the experimental bacterial load was extremely high, said co-author Sarah Forgie, M.D., also of the University of Alberta.

    "We went much further than what would happen in real life," she said.


An abstract of the study, entitled "Can Skin Marker Pens, Used Pre-Operatively to Mark Surgical Sites, Transfer Bacteria?", was presented last week at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Washington, D.C.

More press coverage here, here and here.

November 7, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Blavod Black Vodka


That's different.

From a website: "Blavod Black Vodka gets its unique color from black catechu — the resin of the heartwood of the Acacia catechu, a tree indigenous to India and Burma. For centuries, black catechu has been used for a natural dye as well as an ingredient in herbal medicines. The amount used to give Blavod its trademark color remains true to vodka's foundation of being both odorless and tasteless and clean on the palate."

750 ml, 80 Proof: $26.99.

[via Social Cider]

November 7, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Phonevite — 'Like Evite but with voice'


Check it out here.

[via Milena]

November 7, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



From websites:


The do-it-yourself place setting.

A huge advance from soggy paper plates and so much easier than schlepping china in your picnic basket.

Perfect for barbecues, clambakes, picnics, dinners on the beach, or just to add a clever twist to any party.


Each set includes everything you need to set the table: plate, fork, knife, spoon, napkin ring, name plate... even chopsticks and a toothpick.

Set before snapping apart measures 18” x 10”.

Reuseable plastic.

Set of 4 in Ivory, Blue or Pink: $11.99.


In Green: $14.

November 7, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Happy Birthday, Joni Mitchell

The chanteuse turns 65 today.

Above, "For Free," shown live on the BBC and recorded on October 9, 1970 when she was 26.

November 7, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Lanyard Level


Think of all the fun you'll have straightening people's pictures and whatnot.

Why, you could even start your own business and call it "On The Level."

Maybe not.

From the website:

Lanyard Level

This level is perfect for keeping in a desk, kitchen drawer or household tool set for all those little jobs, from installing shelving and small cabinets to leveling picture frames, mirrors, and furniture.

At only 3-3/8" x 1-5/8" x 5/8" thick, it contains plumb and level vials, as well as a bullseye level for checking all horizontal axes at once.


Integral magnets along the V-grooved edge securely fasten it to any flat or curved ferrous surface.

Made in Japan, it has a tough ABS case, comes with a detachable neck lanyard and is accurate to ±2.50mm/m (about 1/10" over 40").



November 7, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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