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December 8, 2008

BehindTheMedspeak: What can bees do for you?

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According to Portuguese artist Susana Soares (above), they can help detect disease and monitor fertility cycles.

Who knew?

Here's Kathleen Hom's October 21, 2008 Washington Post Health section story about Soares and her enchanting twin-chambered bee-powered diagnostic instrument (above and below).

    A Crystal Ball for Telling the Present, Not the Future

    Blowing into a glass bubble that holds buzzing bees sounds a little kooky. But according to Portuguese artist Susana Soares, doing so could help detect disease and monitor fertility cycles.

    Soares has some scientific backing for her claims: Certain illnesses — or, more accurately, the chemicals they release — have distinctive odors; and with 170 smell receptors and a 99 percent accuracy rate, Soares says, honeybees could become a promising diagnostic tool. Researchers are already working with cancer-sniffing dogs, and scientists are developing electronic noses to detect viruses.

    Last year, Soares began working with bees trained to detect pheromones and toxins specific to skin and lung cancer, diabetes and tuberculosis. To get the bees to act as a diagnostic tool, she designed glass instruments with two chambers — a large one to house the bees and a smaller chamber into which the patient breathes. The bees smell the patient's breath and fly toward the smaller chamber if they detect a specific pheromone or toxin.

    With this device, Soares says, diseases can be diagnosed earlier and ovulation cycles can be more sophisticatedly pinpointed.

    Plus, there's no harm to the bees, which can be released after the test.

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December 8, 2008 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Dial-A-Slice Apple Divider

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No more having to accept apple slicers that tell you to be happy with your eight slices and be glad you're getting those.

From websites:

    Dial-A-Slice

    Unlike most apple slicers, this tool produces two sizes of sliced apples.

    With a single downward push its stainless-steel blades core an apple and cut it into either 16 uniform thin slices for baking and cooking or eight thick wedges for eating out of hand.

    Just turn the base to the desired measure and lock it in place.

    The soft-grip handles provide a sure grip.

    Polycarbonate with stainless steel blades.

    Includes plastic cover for safe storage.

    A safety cap for storage is included.

    7-1/4"L x 4-1/2"W x 2-1/4H.

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Me, I'd take the "16 uniform thin slices" and eat them out of hand as opposed to the suggested 8 wedges.

I mean, you get twice as many.

Right?

$17.95.

December 8, 2008 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Strangest picture of the year

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It's above.

But I could be wrong.

It might the one below.

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Both were taken yesterday at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., where the Who's living principals, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, were among this year's recipients of awards for lifetime achievement in the performing arts.

Full disclosure: This post was created while listening to their great "Live at Leeds" album — recorded on February 14, 1970 and subsequently digitally remastered — at absolutely wall-shaking volume for about the sixth time (so far) today.

Below, performing their first single,

1965's "I Can't Explain."

December 8, 2008 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Color Changing Baby Bottle — Because it's never too early to FREAK OUT!

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Starts out purple and turns pink as it warms up, then back to purple as it cools.

If I'd had one of these everything would have turned out differently.

No question.

$9.99.

December 8, 2008 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

'Psycho Killer' — Listen to the words for a change

Usually I just keep the song on "Replay 1" blasting at 10/10 for a couple hours, it's such great treadmill marching music.

But just a moment ago for some reason I actually listened to the lyrics (below) and started laughing — they're really great!

    Psycho Killer

    I can't seem to face up to the facts
    I'm tense and nervous and I
    Can't relax
    I can't sleep cause my beds on fire
    Don't touch me I'm a real live wire

    Psycho killer
    Qu'est que c'est
    Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
    Run run run run run run run away
    Psycho killer
    Qu'est que c'est
    Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
    Run run run run run run run away

    You start a conversation you can't even finish it.
    Youre talkin' a lot, but youre not sayin' anything.
    When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed.
    Say something once, why say it again?

    Psycho killer,
    Qu'est que c'est
    Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
    Run run run run run run run away
    Psycho killer
    Qu'est que c'est
    Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
    Run run run run run run run away

    (*spoken interlude in French*)

    Psycho killer,
    Qu'est que c'est
    Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
    Run run run run run run run away
    Psycho killer,
    Qu'est que c'est
    Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far better
    Run run run run run run run away

    Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh....

...................

I recommend watching the video up top while singing along in your very own personal krazed karaoke world.

December 8, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Remote Control Whoopee Cushion

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Welcome to the 21st century, where the technology's better but the stupidity remains the same as it ever was.

From websites:
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    Remote Control Whoopee Cushion

    Whether it's an audible rip or "silent but deadly," everyone has to pass gas sometime.

    We all share this human trait.

    This is without a doubt the funniest gag gift ever made.

    You can embarrass your victims whenever the mood strikes you.

    Just hide the 3"-diameter battery-powered speaker in someone's vicinity, press the remote button (it’s small enough to keep in your pocket), and watch the embarrassment begin.

    Works from up to 100 feet away... and it works through walls, too!

    Produces 15 disgusting sounds that will turn heads.

    The uses are endless and the laughter never stops.

    Add 4 AAA batteries (not included) to the speaker unit and you're ready to rip.

    Remote control includes battery.

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Recommended for ages 10 and under.

$15.95.

December 8, 2008 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

INSOMNIA JEOPARDY — by Roz Chast

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December 8, 2008 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What is it?

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Answer here this time tomorrow.

December 8, 2008 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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