October 23, 2015

Positivity: College Students Create Nail Polish That Changes Colors When Exposed To Date Rape Drugs

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From North Carolina State University — wish it wasn’t necessary, but because it is, this is neat. Also, it’s been a years, and I don’t think the word has spread very widely:

Aug 25, 2014 • 10:18am

Four male students at North Carolina State University are attempting to put an end to date rape with their own hands. More accurately, they’re ending it with the hands of their friends, girlfriends and female supporters.

The guys — Ankesh Madan, Stephen Gray, Tyler Confrey-Maloney and Tasso Von Windheim — have invented a nail polish called Undercover Colors that changes shades when touched by date rape drugs.

They aim to protect their loved ones and women who may not have anyone present to watch out for them, according to Undercover Colors’ Facebook page. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 20, 2015

Positivity: Woman gives back to people who saved her life

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Tampa Palms, Florida:

Published: October 7, 2015

Growing up, Carmen Malouf Florek was the epitome of someone who, by all accounts, appeared to be in excellent health.

Raised in a household with three brothers, she played and excelled in a variety of sports and even earned the distinction of being the first female in her home state of Mississippi to join a traditionally all-male baseball team.

“Carmen was very intelligent and very much of a tomboy,” said her mother, Salwa Malouf. “In her senior year in high school, she won the Bruin Award for being the smartest and most athletic person in her class.”

Florek went on to attend the University of South Florida, where she played on the women’s soccer team, performed on the track and field team and in 2000 earned a degree in mass communications.

Nothing could have prepared her for what occurred while back in her hometown of Jackson to attend a family wedding shortly after her graduation.

Before the ceremony, Florek went for a run in one of the city’s parks when suddenly she felt nauseous and subsequently fainted. The following day a doctor at a nearby walk-in clinic surmised she was asthmatic.

But when she returned to Tampa and sought the medical advice of other physicians, including USF Health cardiologists, she received an entirely different diagnosis.

At age 23, Florek learned she has a genetic arrhythmic disorder, a condition in which her heart beats irregularly.

She immediately underwent surgery in which she which received an implantable cardioverter defibrillator able to monitor and detect an abnormal heartbeat and, if necessary, deliver an electric shock to restore it to normalcy.

Thanks to medication and her ICD manufactured by Medtronic — a major producer of medical devices with operational headquarters in Fridley, a suburb of Minneapolis — Florek is back to living an active life.

Florek’s youngest brother, Matthew Malouf, who was in Tampa before her surgery and accompanied his sister on many of her doctors’ visits, describes her as a person who is always game for trying new things and is also good at everything she does.

“She’s always doing something, and I often tell her to slow down,” he said.

Two years ago, the now 39-year-old Carmen married Brian Florek, and they are expecting their first child.

She continues to work out, teach a Pilates class and travel with few limitations.

In fact, Carmen and Brian just returned from Minneapolis-St. Paul, where she joined 24 others from throughout the world who earlier this year were named 2015 Medtronic Global Heroes.

She and the others — both men and women who all have implanted Medtronic devices — were invited to participate in the 2015 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and/or the Medtronic TC 10-mile walk.

Florek opted to only take part in the latter event.

But her main focus was on the following day’s opportunity to tell her story during a Medtronic cardiac division symposium.

“They are the people who are creating the equipment that saved me,” said Carmen, who about two years ago contacted the company and volunteered to be a spokesperson for the four Medtronic ICDs she’s had placed in her chest since her diagnosis. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

October 14, 2015

Positivity: Jaxon Taylor Injury — Toddler’s Head Reattached After Internal Decapitation (‘It’s a Miracle’)

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From New South Wales, Australia (video at link; reproduced in full due to relative brevity; HT to Julie Prince at PJ Media):

A toddler in Australia is smiling and learning to walk again after surgeons reattached his spine to his head following a high-speed car accident.

The 16-month-old boy, Jaxon Taylor, was riding in a car with his mother and 9-year-old sister last month when they collided head-on with another car at about 70 mph in northern New South Wales. The force of the impact tore apart Jaxon’s upper vertebrae, leaving his head internally severed.

“The second I pulled him out, I knew that he — I knew that his neck was broken,” Jaxon Taylor’s mother, Rylea Taylor, told 7 News Melbourne.

Jaxon was airlifted to a hospital in Brisbane, and ended up in the care of spinal surgeon Geoff Askin.

“A lot of children wouldn’t survive that injury in the first place,” Askin said. “And if they did and they were resuscitated they may never move or breathe again.”

In a six-hour operation, surgeons used a fragment of one of Jaxon’s ribs to graft the severed vertebrae together, 7 News Melbourne reported.

He will have to wear a neck brace for a couple months to allow the tissues and nerves connecting his head to his spine to heal, according to the channel.

But the boy seems to be making a remarkable recovery, kicking a balloon, laughing and hugging his parents.

“It is a miracle,” Rylea Taylor said.

September 27, 2015

Positivity: The Martian — How a self-published e-book became a Hollywood blockbuster

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

The UK Telegraph has a long and entertaining article about self-published author Andy Weir (HT Daryn Kagan).

Go there. It’s worth every minute.

August 31, 2015

Positivity: Siri ‘butt dial’ to 911 brings rescuers to trapped victim

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Murfreesboro and Nashville, Tennessee (HT Daryn Kagan):

Friday, Aug. 14, 2015, 10:40 AM

A Vanderbilt patient who survived the unthinkable has brought a whole new meaning to the term “butt dialing” and believes that prayer, along with a little help from Siri, saved his life.

Sam Ray, 18, was never a fan of Siri, the hands-free virtual assistant on Apple iPhones, until he found himself pinned under his truck with Siri as his only way to call for help.

On July 2, the recent high school graduate was working under his truck, which was lifted up on a jack in the driveway of his family’s Murfreesboro, Tennessee, home. Needing a little advice, he called his father, who encouraged him to stop what he was doing until they could look at the truck together. Sam put his phone in his back pocket and proceeded to slide out from under the truck when the jack gave way, causing the nearly 5,000-pound vehicle to fall on him.

“I just kept praying out loud, ‘Lord, get me out of this,’” Sam said. “I kept reciting Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’”

He yelled for help, but no one could hear him. Helpless and alone, he suddenly heard the familiar sound of Siri activating in his back pocket and realized that this iPhone feature could possibly allow him to call for help.

His arms were trapped, making it impossible to access his phone, but he was able to push up on his hip to activate Siri in his pocket and request that his phone call 911. After several attempts, he heard a voice on the line and realized he had gotten through.

“When I heard a woman talking from inside my pocket, I just started shouting,” Sam said. “I didn’t know if she could hear me or not, but I heard her say that help was just around the corner.”

Responders with Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services, the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department, the Rutherford County Fire Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol responded to Sam’s call. They were able to move him out from under the vehicle and then transported him to the Vanderbilt LifeFlight base in Murfreesboro, where he was then flown to Vanderbilt.

“We’re always concerned with crush injuries, and the longer a patient is trapped, the more problems they can have,” said Kirk Krokosky, one of Sam’s flight nurses. “He could have been there for hours, but as fate would have it, Siri was sort of his guardian angel.”

During the estimated 40 minutes that Sam was under his truck, he sustained three broken ribs, a bruised kidney, a cut on the forehead, and second- and third-degree burns to one arm that was under the exhaust pipe.

However, an accident like this could have easily had a very different outcome, said his doctor, Richard Miller, M.D., Chief of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care and professor of Surgery at Vanderbilt.

“A tool like Siri is a modern-day rescue item that we didn’t have in the past and potentially saved him from more serious or long-term complications from his crush injury.”“He’s very lucky. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

July 1, 2015


Filed under: Business Moves,Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

This is from October of last year. I became aware of it by reading Michelle Malkin’s June 24 column:


State-of-the-art heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system highlighted at Vatican Museums cultural heritage event

Carrier announced Wednesday the completed installation of an innovative heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) solution for the Sistine Chapel, developed to help preserve Michelangelo’s masterpieces against deterioration caused by increasing numbers of visitors.

The new Carrier HVAC system design will be presented over the next two days to an international audience specializing in cultural heritage preservation at a Vatican Museums event, “The Sistine Chapel 20 Years Later: New Breath, New Light,” in Rome. Carrier, the world’s leader in high-technology heating, ventilating and air-conditioning solutions, is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX).

The new system uses two Carrier AquaForce® 30XWV water-cooled chillers with Greenspeed® intelligence, each with 580 kilowatts of capacity. It leverages specially designed software and components, as well as patented, energy-saving technologies to maintain optimal climate conditions for the protection of the paintings within the chapel. An intelligent system of controls, linked with an advanced video application from UTC Building & Industrial Systems, enables the HVAC system to anticipate visitor levels and adjust its performance intuitively. The new system delivers twice the efficiency and three times the capacity of the former system, which was built and installed by Carrier in the early 1990s. To ensure the smooth operation of the new system, the Vatican has chosen to enter into a five-year maintenance contract with Carrier Distribution Italy SpA.

“Our aim now is not restoration, but conservation. This is why we have chosen Carrier, because a masterpiece like the Sistine Chapel needs a comparable masterpiece of technology,” said Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums.

The company’s expert global team of AdvanTE3C engineers developed the solution, working in close collaboration with the Vatican’s technical teams and using leading-edge computer modeling and simulation techniques. The engineering team overcame several challenges to meet the chapel’s unique requirements. The system carefully manages the flow, humidity, quality and temperature of the air; maintains sound at “church-quiet” levels; is virtually invisible to visitors; and uses pre-existing duct openings in a protected, historic landmark setting. It was also designed to be adaptable to future needs.

“Supporting the Vatican with our advanced technologies to preserve the extraordinary heritage of the Sistine Chapel was a remarkable opportunity,” said Geraud Darnis, President and CEO, UTC Building & Industrial Systems. “We put our world-class engineering and design resources into this project and are exceptionally proud of the outcome.”

In 1993, Carrier designed and installed the Sistine Chapel’s first air-conditioning system to accommodate a maximum load of 700 simultaneous visitors. Today, with daily visitor traffic of approximately 20,000 people, the new system is designed to accommodate up to 2,000 visitors at one time in nearly any weather condition. …

Go here for the rest of the company’s press release.

July 30, 2014

Positivity: Ring of Fire, A Capella

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

The musicianship here is special (HT The Blaze):

But I like the passion (restrained, but there) in the Johnny Cash version a bit more:

May 12, 2014

Positivity: Aaliyah Rose’s Performance at Radio Disney Music Awards

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Watch — wow:

Let It Go – Aaliyah Rose Performance – RDMAs 2014 on Disney Video

May 1, 2014

Positivity: Breathtaking Picture of 21-Week Unborn Baby

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Here it is:


Here’s the story (paragraph breaks added by me):

(The) following picture began circulating in November. It should be “The Picture of the Year,” or perhaps, “Picture of the Decade.”

It won’t be. In fact, unless you obtained a copy of the U.S. paper w hich published it, you probably would never have seen it. The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother’s womb.

Little Samuel’s mother, Julie Armas, is an obstetrics nurse in Atlanta. She knew of Dr. Bruner’s remarkable surgical procedure. Practicing at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, he performs these special operations while the baby is still in the womb.

During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon’s finger. Dr. Bruner was reported as saying that when his finger was grasped, it was the most emotional moment of his life, and that for an instant during the procedure he was just frozen, totally immobile.

The photograph captures this amazing event with perfect clarity. The editors titled the picture, “Hand of Hope.

Little Samuel’s mother said they “wept for days” when they saw the picture. She said, “The photo reminds us pregnancy isn’t about disability or an illness, it’s about a little person” Samuel was born in perfect health, the operation 100 percent successful.

Now see the actual picture, and it is awesome…incredible….and hey, pass it on! The world needs to see this one!

April 28, 2014

Positivity: Speed Reading — The Next Frontier in Email

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Mailbird, the company I first mentioned in early February (HT TechCrunch):

From TechCrunch’s coverage:

Mailbird Brings Speed Reading Technology To Email

Mailbird, a PC email client bearing resemblance to popular Mac app (and Google acquisition) Sparrow, is introducing an interesting feature in the hopes of helping users save time when reading long emails. The company has now added a “speed reader” option, which, when clicked, lets you read emails in a similar way to reading other text in other speed reading apps, like those powered by technology from Spritz, Spreeder, Velocity and others.

In case you’re unfamiliar with this trend, a number of apps have emerged recently, allowing users to read everything from books to news articles more quickly, using a technique that flashes words one at a time on the screen. This lets you to consume text faster than if you were reading by moving your eyes across the page. Speed reading startup Spritz is one of the more high-profile players in this space, having developed its own technology in stealth since 2011, and last month closing on $3.5 million in seed funding.

Now that same type of technology is available for reading emails. …

… Mailbird’s speed reading option is different from those designed for book-reading or news-reading, the company also notes. Many emails have headlined sections in the body of the message, for example, and its technology adjusts the speed when it encounters this type of text, allowing you to read the headline or section break for a slightly longer period of time than the rest of the message.

Mailbird CEO Andrea Loubier says she hopes the introduction of the speed reading technology into the software will increase its potential with those in the SMB/small teams space. Currently, the company has over 10,500 users for its email software, and is growing its paid user base at 50% month-over-month, with free to paid conversions at 25%.

… Mailbird is a bootstrapped team of 8, based in Indonesia. The company is now raising a small, $800,000 seed round.

More on Mailbird is here.

This is the first time in 29 years as a Mac user that I ever recall being jealous of something Windows users can have that Mac users can’t.

April 26, 2014

Positivity: Little Boy Shocks a Guitar Store Owner with his Incredible Voice

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:01 am

A video from two years ago — Watch (HT David Jeffers):

The singer, Brendan McFarlane, has a web site here.

April 25, 2014

Positivity: Spectacular Salsa – 80 Year-old Paddy & Nico – Britain’s Got Talent

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Watch (HT Daryn Kagan):

April 23, 2014

Positivity: Meb Wins Boston Marathon, Honors Those Who Died Last Year

Filed under: General,Marvels,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

Way to go!


Understandably lost in the coverage of Meb’s remembrance of those who died last year is the fact that, at age 38, he is the oldest Boston winner since 1930. A marathoner winning any of the major world marathons at that age is a phenomenal achievement.

On a more nationalistic tone, Meb is the first U.S. winner since 1983.


ALSO: The best revenge

Why Nike dropped me: Boston Marathon winner

Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi says he lost his running shoe deal with Nike three years ago because of his age.

The 38-year-old distance runner signed a new shoe deal three years ago with Skechers, a footwear company more known for casual “lifestyle” shoes than hard-core running gear, after Nike dropped Keflezighi from its endorsement roster.

During an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Keflezighi said his deal with Skechers has boosted his career and helped his running mechanics.

“I’m almost 39 years old and Nike thought I was probably too old,” Keflezighi said on “Squawk on the Street.” “And with the Skechers partnership, things have been going really well.”

April 8, 2014

Positivity: US Navy ‘game-changer’ — converting seawater into fuel

Filed under: Marvels,Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

The US Navy believes it has finally worked out the solution to a problem that has intrigued scientists for decades: how to take seawater and use it as fuel.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel is being hailed as “a game-changer” because it would signficantly shorten the supply chain, a weak link that makes any force easier to attack.

The US has a fleet of 15 military oil tankers, and only aircraft carriers and some submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion.

All other vessels must frequently abandon their mission for a few hours to navigate in parallel with the tanker, a delicate operation, especially in bad weather.

The ultimate goal is to eventually get away from the dependence on oil altogether, which would also mean the navy is no longer hostage to potential shortages of oil or fluctuations in its cost.

Vice Admiral Philip Cullom declared: “It’s a huge milestone for us.”

View galleryDr. Heather Willauer explains how scientists at the …
Dr. Heather Willauer explains how scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC can …
“We are in very challenging times where we really do have to think in pretty innovative ways to look at how we create energy, how we value energy and how we consume it.

“We need to challenge the results of the assumptions that are the result of the last six decades of constant access to cheap, unlimited amounts of fuel,” added Cullom.

“Basically, we’ve treated energy like air, something that’s always there and that we don’t worry about too much. But the reality is that we do have to worry about it.”

US experts have found out how to extract carbon dioxide and hydrogen gas from seawater.

Then, using a catalytic converter, they transformed them into a fuel by a gas-to-liquids process. They hope the fuel will not only be able to power ships, but also planes.

View galleryThis April 2, 2014 US Navy handout image shows a beaker …
This April 2, 2014 US Navy handout image shows a beaker of fuel(right) made from seawater by scienti …
That means instead of relying on tankers, ships will be able to produce fuel at sea.

- ‘Game-changing’ technology -

The predicted cost of jet fuel using the technology is in the range of three to six dollars per gallon, say experts at the US Naval Research Laboratory, who have already flown a model airplane with fuel produced from seawater. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

March 11, 2014

Feb. Employment Report’s Raw Numbers Were Miserable; As Usual, Press Ignored

Filed under: Business Moves,Lucid Links,Marvels,Stock Schlock — Tom @ 9:33 pm

On Friday, the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy created 175,000 seasonally adjusted jobs in February, with 162,000 of the additions occurring in the private sector.

That result exceeded expectations of roughly 150,000, and caused the business press to sing odes of high praise to an economy that was amazingly overcoming this year’s difficult winter weather. Unfortunately, as readers will see after the jump, February’s raw results demonstrate that it was all an illusion.