Mar 30, 2012

Happy Friday

An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his mind and his eyes.

My mind is open, my eyes are open, and my mouth is ready to declare a Happy Friday!

Robots in Healthcare

Toyota has developed robots for care support, in response to society's aging demographics. These robots have been co-developed with Fujita Health University. They utilize advanced technologies from Toyota, including motor control technology developed for automobiles, as well as walking control and sensor technology used in bipedal robots.

"The first feature I'd like to show you is the independent walking assistance. Even people with one leg paralyzed, due to a stroke or the like, retain the use of their groin muscles. So they can swing the leg forward. The amount of swinging motion depends on the wearer's intention. If the person wants to walk quickly, there's a lot of swinging, and if they want to walk slowly, there's less. And this is detected by a sensor on the thigh. There's also a load sensor on the sole of the foot, to detect when it touches the ground. The wearer's intention can be detected using just these two sensors."

The brace and backpack each weigh 3.5kg, with the backpack containing a battery and controller. When a commercial version is released, the weight of the backpack will be halved, so this part will fit into a waist pouch.

The automatic walking assist robot has also been used in tests to help with walking practice. By changing the support force as the patient recovers, this system can help people to practice walking naturally from the start.

In addition, Toyota is developing a balance training assist robot using its Winglet technology for personal mobility, and a robot that helps move people out of a bed and into a wheelchair.

"Moving someone onto the toilet used to require two people, but it can now be done by one person. We think this could reduce the burden on caregivers' backs, and also help patients feel more at ease."

Toyota aims to release all these robots from 2013 onward.

National Doctor's Day

March 30, 2012  is National Doctor's Day. The first observance of Doctor’s Day was in 1933 observed in Winder, Georgia on the 91st anniversary of the first administration of anesthesia by Dr. Crawford W. Long in 1842. It was proclaimed a national day of celebration beginning in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush.

This first observance included the mailing greeting cards and placing flowers on graves of deceased doctors. The red carnation is commonly used as the symbolic flower for National Doctor's Day.

Dr. Crawford W. Long performed the first operation while a patient was anesthetized by ether in 1842 as he removed a tumor from the neck of a boy.

This event has been celebrated as Doctors’ Day since this day in 1933. The idea of setting aside a day to honor physicians was conceived by Eudora Brown Almond, wife of Dr. Charles B. Almond. Doctors throughout the United States celebrate in Dr. Crawford W. Long’s honor and, in honor of ether as an anesthetic.

Johnny Carson

Millions were entertained for decades by the late night TV host of the Tonight Show. Here are a number of YouTube videos of some great moments for your viewing pleasure. LINK Save it for when you have a bunch of free time.

Old Movies Online

If you are interested in old movies from the thirties and forties, including the famous Reefer Madness, Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Lamont Cranston, Inner Sanctum, etc., this is the site to watch.

All the movies are in the public domain and free to watch. It also has current news programs from around the world and comedy, sports etc. Not much in the way of details, but the titles and descriptions provide some info. LINK.

Bacon Candy Necklace

Here is a smokin’ accessory to help you increase your popularity, the Bacon Candy Necklace. 

Comes complete with a gorgeous edible bacon medallion. Mmmm!

Mar 27, 2012

Hoisted by His Own Petard

Many have heard this statement. Here is the background. Shakespeare, specifically Hamlet, act III, scene 4, lines 206 and 207: "For 'tis sport to have the engineer/ Hoist with his own petar …"

The Melancholy Dane is chuckling over the fate he has in store for his childhood comrades, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who are plotting to have him killed. Deferring his existential crisis for a moment, Hamlet turns the plot on the plotters, substituting their names for his in the death warrant they carry from King Claudius.

He continues: "But I will delve one yard below their mines/ And blow them at the moon." The key word is "mines," as in "land mines," for that's what a petard is (or "petar," as Shakespeare wrote. A small explosive device designed to blow open barricaded doors and gates, the petard was a favorite weapon in Elizabethan times.

Hamlet was saying, figuratively, that he would bury his bomb beneath Rosencrantz and Guildenstern's and "hoist" them, i.e., "blow them at the moon."

The word "petard," comes from the Middle French peter, which derives in turn from the Latin peditum, to break wind. So, a small explosion.

Mealtime Definitions

Dinner is usually the name of the main meal of the day. Depending upon culture, dinner may be the second, third, or fourth meal of the day. It is still occasionally used for a noontime meal, if it is a large or main meal.

Dinner was the first meal of a two-meal day with the dinner heavy meal at noontime. The word is from the Old French disner, meaning "breakfast."

More meals were added and the morning meal became breakfast, because we 'break the fast' of not eating since the day before. Eventually, dinner shifted to referring to the heavy main meal of the day, even if it had been preceded by a breakfast meal. The (lighter) meal following dinner has traditionally been referred to as supper

Luncheon, commonly abbreviated to lunch, is a midday meal, and is generally smaller than dinner, which is the main meal of the day whenever dinner is eaten. The origin of the words lunch and luncheon relate to a small meal originally eaten at any time of the day or night, but during the 20th century gradually focused toward a small meal eaten at midday.

So, there it is - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner for some. Others say it is Breakfast, Dinner, Supper. Still others say Breakfast, Lunch, Supper. None of these are to be confused with Brunch, which is a combo of the words breakfast and lunch. Snacks are not meals, so they contain no calories.

Hard Drive Capacity

Seagate has demonstrated hard drive technology that squeezes a trillion bits into a single square inch, claiming it’s the first hard drive manufacturer to do so.

During the next 10 years, the company says, this will lead to standard 3.5-inch drives that can store 60 terabytes of information. Today’s 3.5-inch drives (like the one in your current PC) give you three terabytes of storage, stuffing about 620 billion bits into each square inch.

To give you an idea of how much that is, the hard disk contains more bits in a single square inch than the Milky Way has stars.