Cool RFID Toy

I am not really sure what this thing does but it sounds very cool.

Fun Mirror

Here is the product description:

Mir:ror is a simple and elegant device that connects to a computer. It recognizes the things you show it and performs the tasks you’ve assigned to them. Simply affix RFID Ztamps to your objects and they become interactive, content rich items. Examples of use are limitless: show your umbrella to a Mir:ror and it will give you weather forecasts; wave your keys on top of Mir:ror and it will send an email to your loved ones saying that you are back home safe; put your pill box on Mir:ror and it will recall you when you last took your medicine!

RFID technology is getting hotter everyday. Mir:ror is the first mass market RFID reader with a rich set of applications and services. It is designed to be so simple that a two year old child can use it. With this empowering, intuitive and revolutionary device, Violet is once more expanding “the Internet of Things”, bringing the magic and the power of content, personalization and interactivity to the thousands of inanimate objects that populate our lives and homes.

Take a whiz with that prosthetic penis

Here is a new twist on an old appendage!  wo men whose company sold a device known as the Whizzinator that helped men cheat on drug tests have pleaded guilty in federal court in Pittsburgh.

George Wills and Robert Catalano each pleaded guilty Monday to two conspiracy counts.

They owned the California-based Internet company Puck Technology.

The Whizzinator is a prosthetic penis that comes with a heating element and fake urine.

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan’s office says the goal of it and another device called Number 1 was to help people pass drug tests.  The devices were sold from 2005 to 2008.

The California men are scheduled to be sentenced in February and face up to eight years in prison, a half-million-dollar fine or both.  I would rename this product as the pee-pee machine.

Hey that is not a tumor!

Doctors in Arizona got a big surprise when looking into a womans brain for a tumor.

Rosemary Alvarez started experiencing numbness in her arm and blurred vision. She went to the emergency room twice and had a cat scan, but everything came up clear, MyFOXPhoenix.com reported.

It wasn’t until doctors took a closer look at an MRI that they discovered something very disturbing.

“Once we saw the MRI we realized this is something not good,” neurosurgeon, Dr. Peter Nakaji told the news station. “It’s something down in her brain stem which is as deep in the brain as you can be.”

Alvarez was wheeled into surgery where Nakaji and his colleagues were expecting to remove a tumor, but they uncovered a worm instead.

On a video of the surgery, Nakaji can be heard chuckling after he made the discovery.  All I can say is yuk!  That is totally gross.

Ice Cream from Human Breast Milk?

PETA wants world-famous Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream to tap nursing moms, rather than cows, for the milk used in its ice cream. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking the ice cream maker to begin using breast milk in its products instead of cow’s milk, saying it would reduce the suffering of cows and calves and give ice cream lovers a healthier product.

The idea is getting a cool reception from Ben & Jerry’s officials, the company’s customers and even La Leche League International, the world’s oldest breastfeeding support organization, which promotes the practice – for babies, anyway. PETA wrote a letter to company founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield on Tuesday, telling them cow’s milk is hazardous and that milking them is cruel.

A spokeswoman for the animal rights advocacy group says dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies and obesity. “If Ben and Jerry’s replaced the cow’s milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers – and cows – would reap the benefits,” wrote Tracy Reiman, the group’s executive vice-president.

Ashley Byrne, a campaign co-ordinator for PETA, acknowledged the implausibility of substituting breast milk for cow’s milk, but said it’s no stranger than humans consuming the milk of another species. “We’re aware this idea is somewhat absurd, and that putting it into practice is a stretch. At the time same, it’s pretty absurd for us to be drinking the milk of cows,” she said.

Ben & Jerry’s, which gets its milk exclusively from Vermont cows, won’t say how much milk it uses or how much ice cream it sells. As a standardized product under federal regulations, ice cream must be made with milk from healthy cows. Ice cream made from goat’s milk, for example, would have to be labelled as such.

“We applaud PETA’s novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother’s milk is best used for her child,” spokesman Sean Greenwood said in an email. He didn’t respond to requests for an interview. Leon Berthiaume, general manager of the St. Albans Co-operative Creamery, which provides milk products to Ben & Jerry’s, called the dairy products “among the safest in the world.”

“Milk from cows has long-term health benefits and has been proven to be safe and healthy and an important part of the American diet for generations,” he said. “I’m not ready to make that change.”

Cow’s milk and mother’s milk aren’t interchangeable, according to La Leche spokeswoman Jane Crouse, who says breast milk is a dynamic substance that’s different with each woman and each child and might have difficulty being processed into ice cream. Then there’s the question of who would provide the milk, and whether they’d be paid.

“Some women feel compelled to donate milk to a milk bank for adopted babies, or for someone who’s ill or unable to breast feed. There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence about sisters who nurse each others’ babies. There’s a population of women very willing to share their milk. Whether there’s enough to do it for a commercial entity, who can say?” she said.

At the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, consumers gave a collective “Ewww” to the idea Thursday.

“It’s kind of creepy,” said Jeff Waugh, 42, of Dayton, Ohio.

“I think it’s a little nutty,” said Rev. Roger Wooton, 83, of Malden, Mass., finishing up a cup of Heath Bar Crunch.

“How would they get all that milk?” said his wife, Jane Wooton, 77.

Jen Wahlbrink, 34, of Phoenix, who breastfed her 11-month-old son, Cameron, said she wouldn’t touch ice cream made from mother’s milk. She remembers her nursing days – and not that fondly.

“The (breast) pumps just weren’t that much fun. You really do feel like a cow,” she said, cradling her son in her hands. I just don’t think this will ever catch on.

Raft of Junk Lands

Raft of Junk
Darkly tanned, more than a little dirty and hungry, two men who spent three months crossing the Pacific on a raft made of plastic bottles and an abandon airplane fuslage (seen in image) to raise awareness of ocean debris finally stepped onto dry land. “We made it,” hollered Marcus Eriksen to a crowd of about two dozen gathered at Ala Wai Harbor on Wednesday. “Where’s the food?” Friends greeted Eriksen and fellow eco-mariner Joel Paschal with lei, fresh food and beer to celebrate the end of their nearly 4,200-kilometre voyage on what they call the JUNK raft. “We got used to eating fish and peanut butter,” said Eriksen, who celebrated his 41st birthday at sea.

The pair left Long Beach, Calif., on June 1. Their nine-metre vessel had a deck of salvaged sailboat masts, six pontoons filled with 15,000 plastic bottles and a cabin made from the fuselage of a Cessna airplane. While at sea they realized they were traveling less than a kilometre per hour and it would take them much longer to reach Hawaii than the previously anticipated six weeks. “We had to go to half rations for awhile,” said Paschal, 32.

Without a backup plan, the two used a satellite phone to get in touch with Roz Savage, who was crossing the Pacific solo in a rowboat and happened to be in the same area at the time.

Savage, who was heading from San Francisco to Hawaii, was in dire need of water after both her potable water makers broke. When the three met up, Savage got onboard the raft, Paschal speared a mahimahi and the three dined together. Before parting, the men gave Savage a water maker and she gave them some of her extra food. “We exchanged the necessities of life,” Eriksen said. “And that kept us going.”

Food wasn’t the only problem the men encountered on their trip. The raft, which can only sail down wind, had a hard time leaving the Long Beach area. The raft encountered storms that tore it apart during the first two weeks. Some of the bottles that were supposed to help the raft stay afloat started to sink. Eriksen and Paschal had to anchor the raft 160 kilometres off shore and rebuild it before setting sail again.

The voyage was part of Algalita Marine Research Foundation’s project called, “JUNK.” The third person of the group, who didn’t make the trip, was Anna Cummins, Eriksen’s fiancee. Cummins took care of land support, blogs and fundraising. She said the goal of the trip was to creatively raise awareness about plastic debris and pollution in the ocean, the same goal Savage pursued in her trek across the Pacific.

The three want “single-use plastics” to be banned, saying they’re wasteful and usually end up in the ocean. “Recycling is one solution, but it’s just a small part of the puzzle,” Paschal said. Each day the men posted online videos and blogs of their trip and kept in touch with Cummins. They also spent two to three hours a day maintaining and repairing the raft.

The men said a variety of marine life gathered under the raft throughout the trip. One day, said Paschal, they caught a fish after watching it grow for five weeks. They were going to eat it, but when they cut it open they found its stomach was full of plastic confetti. The team hopes to visit schools around Oahu and share their experiences, and is working on a documentary film about the voyage to raise public awareness of the danger of plastics. Sounds like a very interesting adventure.

Flint is looking for a hand-out

Michael Moore would have a field-day with this one. In the city of Flint, Michigan, they are looking for sponsors to cover the $400,000+ cost of adding surveillance cameras to monitor high-crime areas. At the present time there is only just one camera.

The city and a private security firm, Asset Protection Specialist, are looking for businesses and individuals willing to pay $30,000 to have their names or corporate logos placed on one of the pole-mounted boxes, which also feature a police shield and a flashing blue light.

I am guessing the first sponsor will be some sort of home security alarm firm or maybe the local fast-food joint?