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December 11, 2012

Living Billboard — Only Mother Nature knows for sure


[via imgur and Mike Anderson]

December 11, 2012 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wipe Shirt

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From the website:


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The simplicity of a pure cotton white dress shirt meets the gadget-cleansing power of microfiber in the Wipe Shirt — a button-down shirt with built-in microfiber cloth for wiping down glasses or cell phones.

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The designers didn't cut any corners, using pure cotton for the tailored shirt and the finest double thickness microfiber (supplied by technologically advanced fabric maker Unitika).

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Available in two versions, each with a strategically placed microfiber patch for convenient cleaning.

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Depending on whether you tuck your shirt in or not, the patch can be located on the cuff or the shirttail.



December 11, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

BehindTheMedspeak: The anesthesia resident who got down on his knees to pray with his patient


Once upon a time, in an academic anesthesia program far, far away in both time and space where I happened to be a junior faculty member, a sparkling fresh class of incoming residents arrived on July 1 to begin their training.

It was the early 80s in Los Angeles at UCLA Medical Center.

Among the new residents was a really nice red-haired freckle-faced guy whose name I remember but will omit here. 

The intense close mentoring that happens in July in anesthesia residencies — as a rule, one faculty member is assigned to two anesthesia residents for a two week period in the same OR every day, so as to be able to deliver a consistent message and get a feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the newbies — happened, and we moved on to August, when the new residents are gradually worked into the rotation of cases and work with all the members of the teaching faculty.

In July, I tended to go to visit patients preoperatively with my new residents, pretty much just sitting quietly while they did their preop workup and then chatting with them at the nursing station about what things mattered and what didn't in terms of our job: in brief, bringing the patient to the recovery room no worse off than when they entered the OR.

Anesthesiology's a peculiar specialty in that respect: No one expects you to make the patient better — as long as you keep someone in the condition you encounter them in, you're doing your job the way it's supposed to be done.

But I digress.

Come August, the new residents go to to see their preoperative inpatients on their own just like the more experienced ones.

One day, getting organized in the anesthesia prep area along with all the other faculty and residents, someone mentioned that the cheerful red-haired resident had been fired the previous day.

That got our attention.

Long story short: After the resident had performed his pre-op history and physical, the patient, apprehensive and lonely and scared as people tend to be the night before a major surgical procedure, asked the resident if he would pray with him for a good outcome.

The resident said yes, he would, then apparently got down on his knees at the hospital bedside and proceeded to do so.

Remember, this is all hearsay AND it happened 30 or so years ago, so the fine details may not be literally correct, but the gist of the story is true: our chairman called a meeting after that day's cases were over for all residents and faculty and explained what had happened and told us he felt that the resident had behaved outside the boundaries of appropriate physician behavior and that such action could not be considered acceptable in our department.

At the time, I remember thinking a lot of things: First, how weird the whole thing was; second, how it was a shame that that particular guy was the one because he was a nice person and a good resident; finally, that I totally agreed that doing something like praying with a patient at UCLA Medical Center was inappropriate and probably merited dismissal.

Now I'm not so sure.

Anyhow, the story has a nice ending: a couple years later someone brought up the resident's name while we were sitting around talking, and someone said he'd ended up going across town to the University of Southern California School of Medicine's Department of Anesthesiology — which was having all manner of problems, with its chairman under investigation for stealing money and residents fleeing like rats off a sinking ship — which happily took him on, seeing as his negatives were a whole lot less than those of the general run of their residents at the time.

He excelled there and became chief resident in his final year.

I hope he went on to have a fine and fulfilling career and life.

What do you think?

Should we have fired him?

How about today?

You make the call.

December 11, 2012 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (13) | TrackBack

Wireless Mobile Phone Handset

Wireless MH-main

Remember the one that plugged into your phone?

We thought that was pretty cool at the time.

This one puts paid to those and closes out the category forever, thank you very much.

Must. Have.

Can you imagine pulling this out of your bag and handing it to someone, saying "You talk to her, I can't take any more?"


Gonna be there and do that — real soon now.

From the website:


Use this retro wireless handset to talk on your phone or over Internet applications like Skype or Google Talk.

Long lasting rechargeable battery (via USB) : 6 hours talk/75 hours standby.

30-foot talk range via Bluetooth 2.4GHz.

A snap to set up.


$49 (sure, iPhone included: you want white or black? And can they throw in an iPod or two while you're here?).

Fair warning: Once this is out in the open here for the great world to see and marvel at, it might just sell out in a Podunk town yoctosecond.

Then you'll gnash your teeth and say "Jeez, I shoulda bought one when I first saw it on boj instead of saying I'll go back and buy one later."

That's why they call it "Fair warning."


December 11, 2012 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

The Overview Effect

From Devour: "First coined by author Frank White in 1987, The Overview Effect is the term used to describe the cognitive shift in awareness caused by the awe-inspiring experience of viewing the Earth from orbit. To mark the 40th anniversary of the famous 'Blue Marble' photograph, [in this video] five astronauts describe their first-hand experience with the... phenomenon."

[via @chelssmeisterr, whose only negative that I can see is that her Twitter handle is impossible for me to spell right without looking it up each and every time. That's my problem, not hers — but still....]

December 11, 2012 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Quick & Dirty Personal FM Transmitter — "Own the airwaves"


Excerpts from a rave Cool Tools review by Karl Chwe follow.


The C. Crane FM Transmitter II takes a signal from an audio source such as an iPod, CD player, or computer and broadcasts it in FM — where it can be picked up by an FM radio within a range of 100 feet.

That simple description belies its versatility. I use it as a poor man's Sonos: I broadcast music and podcasts from my computer to any radio in the house. I am not limited in the devices I use to hear the broadcast; I use a few Boston Acoustics Solo tabletop radios but any radio would work. Setup is fool-proof: just tune the radio to the proper frequency. Other people can use it to watch movies without disturbing other people in the room. They just use an FM radio like the one in many iPods along with earbuds. Musicians use them for stage performance. Etc.

But there are other FM transmitters. This one stands out in a few ways. It has excellent audio quality, as good as you can get with FM. That is especially apparent in the bass frequencies. The limiting factor for your sound will almost certainly be your receiving radio or earbuds.

You can choose any broadcast frequency from 88.3 to 107.7 MHz, so are nearly guaranteed to find a clear frequency for your location.

It has adjustable gain, so it will amplify even weak signals to the maximum it can handle (an LED indicator tells you when you are overloading it). It runs off AA batteries or its own wall transformer.

It can be very easily modified (by opening the case and turning a little knob) to increase its power dramatically. You can easily find instructions on the web. This is strongly recommended: the only critical reviews are from people who were disappointed with its range out of the box. That is caused by FCC regulations that limit the power allowed in such devices. The modification will violate those regulations, of course, but drastically increase the transmitter's range.

It is cheap. Truly comparable transmitters cost a few hundred dollars. The version II is cheaper and has better audio quality than the original. And C. Crane occasionally has one that has been returned for even less.

There is basically nothing wrong with this device, and there is nothing better for the price.



December 11, 2012 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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