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April 18, 2019

The best things in life are free: The wisdom of Garfield


April 18, 2019 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

BehindTheMedspeak: Two spoonfuls of honey may limit damage from button batteries

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That's news to me: since button battery swallowing by little kids became a thing, all I've ever seen have been stories about life-threatening complications and deaths from their ingestion.

From the New York Times:


There has been a dramatic rise in the number of young children ingesting coins, toys and other foreign objects, including potentially fatal button batteries, a new study has found.

According to the report, which was published last week in the journal Pediatrics, the rate of foreign-body ingestions among children under the age of 6 in the United States nearly doubled between 1995 and 2015, rising by about 92% during the 21-year study period — and increasing by about 4% annually.

"It is a very upward trajectory," said Dr. Danielle Orsagh-Yentis, the lead author of the study and a pediatric gastroenterology motility fellow at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, calling the trend "jarring."The researchers analyzed nearly 30,000 cases where children under 6 had ingested foreign objects.

They then estimated that more than 759,000 children had been evaluated in United States emergency departments for such ingestions during the two decades studied, and the number of estimated cases grew from more than 22,000 in 1995 to nearly 43,000 in 2015.

It was unclear how much of the increase could be attributed to improvements in case reporting over the years.

But Dr. Orsagh-Yentis said she thought the rise was partly because of the proliferation of electronics with button batteries, which are found in a multitude of household items including thermometers, remote control, and toys.


As a whole, battery ingestions increased 150-fold during the study period, the researchers reported.

Button batteries, which can be fatal if ingested, were found to be the most common type of battery that young children swallowed.

"They're in everyone's house, whether they realize it or not," Dr. Orsagh-Yentis said.

When a battery is swallowed, it can trigger a series of chemical reactions that could result in burns, causing "significant tissue injury even within two hours," according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and potentially lead to perforation or hemorrhage.

The A.A.P. suggests giving two teaspoons of honey to children older than 1 year who have recently swallowed button batteries.

Researchers have found that it can help protect the tissue near the battery and reduce injuries. 

But doctors warn not to delay medical treatment."It's definitely something you don't wait on. It should be a trip to the emergency room," said Dr. Aldo Londino, a pediatric ear, nose and throat surgeon at The Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. "Early detection is the key to effective treatment."

Foreign-body ingestions are common "in a general sense" among children under 6, Dr. Orsagh-Yentis said.

In 2017, these ingestions were the fourth most common reason for calls to poison control centers in the United States for children in this age group, according to the National Poison Data System, and accounted for nearly 64,000 reports.

At Mount Sinai, Dr. Londino said he had noticed a trend where he and other doctors were "getting called more and more for foreign body removal."

In the last six months, he said, he has removed a marble; the bottom half of a Lego man, "which was a challenge because of the shape"; and a coin — each from the esophagus.

Getting to the doctor quickly is critical for safe and successful extraction, he added, especially given how dangerous some objects can be.

According to the study, the most commonly ingested items were coins, most often pennies.

In 2015, coins accounted for more than 58% of ingestions, and of all of the patients hospitalized during the two decades studied, nearly 80% had ingested coins.

Other types of objects ingested included toys, jewelry, nails, screws, hair products, magnets, and Christmas decorations.

Most of the ingestions occurred among children ages 1 to 3, the study said.

Jewelry and hair products were disproportionately ingested by girls, whereas boys were more likely to ingest screws and nails.

The researchers used data obtained from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which reports on product-related injuries treated in emergency departments in about 100 hospitals in the United States.

The study said that because the data did not include children who were cared for by their primary care providers (nor those who made calls to poison-control centers or who didn’t seek medical treatment at all) the actual number of children who swallowed such objects may be larger. 

Dr. Orsagh-Yentis said the study underscores the need for more vigilance and to keep unsafe products as safely stored as possible.

"That means keeping them at elevated locations so the children can't get to them as easily, keeping them in secure locations and, particularly, keeping them out of children's sight so they're not even thinking about them," she said.

If parents believe that a child might have swallowed something dangerous, Dr. Orsagh-Yentis recommended bringing the physician an example of the object or the packaging it came in if there is time to do so.

Taking a picture of the type of object swallowed can also be "immeasurably helpful" to a doctor, she added.

April 18, 2019 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Circumventing Paywalls

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[Robert Cottrell is the editor of The Browser]

April 18, 2019 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Christo to wrap Arc de Triomphe in Paris


From Dezeen:


Artist Christo will finally realize plans to envelop Paris' Arc de Triomphe in 25,000 square meters of silvery recyclable fabric and 7,000 meters of red rope.

L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped was first conceived by Christo and Jeanne Claude, his late art partner and wife, in 1962.


Now, after nearly 60 years, the architectural artwork will be realised in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou.

It will be on view to the public for two weeks — April 6-19, 2020.


The project will see the iconic 49.5 meter-tall monument on the Champs-Élysées sheathed in a silvery blue fabric made from recyclable polypropylene, secured with 7,000 metres of red rope.

It will be run in collaboration with the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and the Centre Pompidou — the latter of which will also be dedicating an exhibition to Christo and Jeanne-Claude starting March 18, 2020.


Christo has illustrated the anticipated result in a series of drawings and photographs overlaid with pencil, wax crayon, and enamel paint.

The spaces beneath the famous arch, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, will be maintained and accessible throughout the period when the artwork is in situ.


L'Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped will be the first Wrapped piece realised since Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009.

It comes 35 years after the duo wrapped the Pont-Neuf, the oldest bridge in Paris.

The temporary artwork will be entirely funded by Christo through the sale of his preparatory studies, drawings, and collages of the project, as well as scale models, works from the 1950s and 1960s, and original lithographs.

Independently funding their own public and free-to-view work was always central to the mission of the art duo.

"I won't give a millimeter of my freedom [away] and damage my art," Christo told Dezeen in a 2018 interview.

The Centre Pompidou exhibition, which will run until June 15, 2020, will explore the historical context of the period during which Christo and Jeanne-Claude lived and worked in Paris from 1958 to 1964, as well the story of the Pont-Neuf Wrapped project from 1975 to 1985.

In 1995 the Wrapped project saw the artists cover the German Reichstag in Berlin with 100,000 square metres of silver fabric and blue rope in 1995 for two weeks.

Christo's latest realised project was The London Mastaba — a 20-meter-high stack of brightly coloured barrels floating on the Serpentine Lake in London's Hyde Park, which the artist installed last summer as his first large-scale sculpture in the UK.

The artist told his life story and discussed some of his best-known works in an exclusive two-part video filmed with Dezeen last year.

"Many people have difficulty reading our projects," he said. "They're not normal sculptures, they're not normal paintings. They're many things."

April 18, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wearable Futon — "Sleeping gear coat, bed for office"



From the website:



Whether you just want a way to get some sleep whenever the need takes you, or you want a way to sleep which means you are always ready to get up and go whatever emergency arises, the Wearable Futon Air Mat Set is the most convenient and smartly designed item you could imagine for the task.

Ideal for having in the office when you are pulling an all-nighter, it fits into a compact folder to be pulled out and worn just like a kind of coat.

The coat-like wearable futon can be fastened at the neck and the bottoms of the legs folded up to adjust for different heights or to make it snugger in colder seasons.

The pack includes an air mat so you have a full blanket and futon set that is comfortable and quick to prepare (there's even an air pump included to help).

The wearable futon can be rolled up into a sack like a sleeping bag while the air bed-like mat flattens, making it super easy to store in the A4 file-sized pack.


Features and Details:

• Air mat (in use): 113" x 28"

• Air mat maximum load: 441 lbs.

• Wearable futon (in use): 63" x 24"

• Wearable futon coat weight: 1.5 lbs. 

• Materials: nylon, polyethylene, polyester

• Instructions: Japanese (but easy to understand)

• Includes air pump, sack/bag for futon, box for storage



April 18, 2019 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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