« February 16, 2010 | Main | February 18, 2010 »

February 17, 2010

Bath & Beyond Chair


"A readymade bath chair, cut, bent and steel legs added – with a surprisingly comfortable result."


70cm L X 58cm W X 70cm H.

Created by Reddish.

[via b.r.r.dee.]

February 17, 2010 at 05:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Empty beer bottles make better weapons


That's the headline of Pat Walters' New York Times Magazine article about research conducted by Stephan Bolliger, one of Switzerland's leading forensic pathologists, after being stumped by a question, to wit: can a beer bottle, when used as a weapon, put a crack in a human skull?

Here's Walters' piece.


Empty Beer Bottles Make Better Weapons

Stephan Bolliger is one of Switzerland's leading forensic pathologists, and he often appears in court to testify as an expert witness. He isn't stumped very often by the questions he is asked, but it happened last year, with this one: can a beer bottle, when used as a weapon, put a crack in the human skull? To find out, Bolliger set up an experiment, the results of which were published in The Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine in April.

Other scientists had already calculated how much energy it takes to crack the human skull — between 14 and 70 joules, depending on the location — so all Bolliger needed to do was to take the same measurements on a beer bottle. "If the bottle is more sturdy than the skull," he says, "then the bottle will win, and the skull will break." Simple as that.

Bolliger, who is head of forensic pathology at the University of Bern, went to the store and picked up 10 half-liter bottles of Feldschlösschen Original — his nation's most popular brew. He emptied six of them, left four full and, using a precisely calibrated energy-measuring device, started dropping a steel ball on the bottles from various heights. Bolliger's conclusion: Full bottles shatter at 30 joules, empties at 40, meaning both are capable of cracking open your skull. But empties are a third sturdier.

Why the difference? The beer inside a bottle is carbonated, which means it exerts pressure on the glass, making it more likely to shatter when hitting something. Its propensity to shatter makes it less sturdy — and thus a poorer weapon — than an empty one. As for the ubiquitous half-full bottle, if you hold it like a club, Bolliger says, "it tends to become an empty bottle very rapidly."

Now that we have scientific proof of the skull-crushing potential of glass beer bottles, should breweries switch to softer materials, like aluminum or plastic? Bolliger says he hopes not. "Beer," he says, "just tastes better out of glass.


Here's the abstract of Bolliger's paper.


Are full or empty beer bottles sturdier and does their fracture-threshold suffice to break the human skull?

Beer bottles are often used in physical disputes. If the bottles break, they may give rise to sharp trauma. However, if the bottles remain intact, they may cause blunt injuries. In order to investigate whether full or empty standard half-litre beer bottles are sturdier and if the necessary breaking energy surpasses the minimum fracture-threshold of the human skull, we tested the fracture properties of such beer bottles in a drop-tower.

Full bottles broke at 30 J impact energy, empty bottles at 40 J. These breaking energies surpass the minimum fracture-threshold of the human neurocranium. Beer bottles may therefore fracture the human skull and therefore serve as dangerous instruments in a physical dispute.

February 17, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Crybaby Measuring Cup — Think outside the kitchen space


"100% food-safe high-grade silicone; bendable arms and legs; suction cup feet stick to counter top; dishwasher-safe."


February 17, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'How did this video get 4 1/2 stars?'

Last evening the following comment on one of my YouTube videos came across the transom.

Screen shot 20jkuy10-02-16 at 7.19.19 PM

It's my favorite so far this year.

"How did this video get 4 1/2 stars?"





"Mumbling & wrapper noises...?"

I'm laughing really hard as "look at them yo-yo's, that's the way you do it" suddenly flits across my mind's ear.

"You can hardly see anything he's doing (not exciting anyway)."

I couldn't agree more.

The whole point of making that video and its companion Part 2 was to shine a light on the routine and drudgery that forms by far the greater part of the art, science and practice of anesthesiology.

If you don't like doing things exactly the same way every day of your working life, then anesthesiology's not for you.

"And why is he preparing in an office?? Doesn't he give anesthesia... in an OR?? Weird."

Actually, not: anyone familiar with the field will know that daily morning preparation for anesthesia takes place NOT in the OR but, rather, in an anesthesia workroom, where stores of equipment and supplies of drugs are kept for stocking one's anesthesia cart for the day.

In the case of my little hospital, the workroom shares a 10-foot x 25-foot space with a desk, chair, bulletin board and computer, and thus is also my office.

Another nice thing about preparing in the workroom/office as opposed to inside the OR is that no mask is required, making set-up much more comfortable for me — and enabling me to narrate the video with more clarity (mumbling & wrapper noises notwithstanding...).

Indeed, no anesthesia happens in that little office: it all goes down — as it were — in the OR.

Trust me....

February 17, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

When Doves Fly T-Shirt



February 17, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

On your speed dial in Churchill, Manitoba: 675-2327 (BEAR) to report a polar bear encounter




February 17, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Fitness TravelHoop


Hoop assembles/dissassembles quickly.


Blue/Silver or Pink/Gold.



February 17, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Silence speaks volumes


That's how I'm choosing to interpret the fact that not one single person of the more than six billion on planet Earth has remarked on how much more pleasant it is to look at individual/permalinked posts here since last Friday night, when I removed the "Tired of yellow teeth?" and "Secrets of a flat belly" ads and their ilk from my pages.

You're welcome.

February 17, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack

« February 16, 2010 | Main | February 18, 2010 »