Friday Four

Friday, November 13, 2015

1. Yesterday morning, Little Man excitedly said, "C'mon," and tugged at my hand. When I obliged, he lead me to the living room, where I saw that he and his older sister had built their first "fort" together, using moving materials and some storage tubs we'd recently purchased. It has mostly been a penance trying to move in with them underfoot, but it has had its moments.

2. Alan Carver, a sea captain, has invented a simple anti-choking device:

... When Carver asked his instructor what the next step would be if the Heimlich failed and he was 100 miles out to sea, the instructor told him frankly that the victim would die.

Carver decided that was unacceptable.

He researched the subject thoroughly and found that there was absolutely no other solution to choking besides the Heimlich maneuver. So he spent the past five years developing new technology to solve this problem.

The Dechoker is a device that essentially sucks an obstruction out of your throat. Christopher Kellogg, president of the company, said it's so easy to use, a child could save the life of an adult, and a person living alone could save his own life by using it on himself.

There are a lot of people for whom the Heimlich maneuver is either impossible or dangerous...
The device sells for $149.

3. I was aware of, but had never actually used the custom maps functionality of Google Maps. Needing to set up daycare for the kids and confronted with ten choices from my wife's research, I needed some way to weigh convenience of their locations when deciding which to start visiting. So, using this slightly outdated guide, I set up a local map with "pins" for home, our nearest commuter rail station, and the schools. Problem solved.

Oh, and it looks like Google has finally solved the problem of limited or spotty connectivity by introducing a way to save maps for offline use.

4. Nick Szabo writes of the hour glass, a very under-rated invention:
The sandglass was more portable than a water clock. Since its rate of flow is independent of the depth of the upper reservoir, it was also more accurate. And, important in northern Europe, it didn't freeze in winter.
Until I'd read this, I had no idea that this invention was both contemporary with and complementary in function to the mechanical clock. And read more to see how the device helped Europeans explore the rest of the world.

-- CAV

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