I am a student of the arts, which for me include: Human Behavior, Emerging Technologies, and Traditional Art.
You can reach me at christopher dot chan at towerswatson dot com
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Gamifying Hand Washing for Kids
TipTapTop tells children how to wash their hands and helps reduce water waste. It’s designed by Théo Sauzon, a student of Mechanical engineering at the University Claude Bernard in France.
3D printed, you attach it to your faucet to control the flow of water — when water flows throught, it enters a pressurized container which generates energy via a turbine. This energy is stored in a 9-volt rechargeable battery that powers an infrared sensor and a sound card — basically, it has a hydroelectric generator so it can power itself.
The infrared sensor detects your movements and water is released in stages with music and friendly guided narration, like “I’m here to show you how to wash your hands to get rid of bad microbes!” and “Remember the palms, back of hands, between fingers and wrists!”
When you’ve finished, it even says “see you soon!” and helps save water by automatically turning off water when your hands move away.
Good for the environment, for kids and runs itself — would you buy this for your kids?
Following successful trial runs near Sydney, the McDonald’s Corporation and Australian food delivery site Menulog have partnered to test McDelivery in Hervey Bay, located in the northeast corner of the state of Queensland. While not yet available in most of the Western world, McDelivery has been enjoying success in a number of Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American countries since 1993.
Interestingly, in the area, one out of four children and two out of three adults in the Hervey Bay area are overweight or obese, while the combined overweight or obesity rate in current Queensland service areas is 60%. This isn’t going to help the issue! And, the minimum-order requirement of AU$25 on Menulog will likely encourage larger orders.
What do you think? Would you like McDonald’s delivery in your area?
The classic Creamsicle flavor combination is orange and vanilla, although many other types are available today. It is made by freezing flavored liquid (such as fruit juice) and ice cream around a stick. Often, the juice is colored artificially. Once the liquid freezes solid, the stick can be used as a handle to hold the ice pop.
The first recorded ice pop was created in 1905 by 11-year-old Frank Epperson of Oakland, CA, who left a glass of soda water powder and water outside in his back porch with a wooden mixing stick in it. That night the temperature dropped below freezing, and when Epperson returned to the drink the next morning, he found that the soda water had frozen inside the glass, and that by running it under hot water, he was able to remove (and eat) the frozen soda water chunk using the stick as a handle.
You can easily make your own at home. Mix together fruit juice and vanilla ice cream in a large bowl. Then, gradually add milk and continue to mix. Finally, pour the mixture into small paper cups and place them in the freezer. Once they are partially frozen, insert popsicle sticks into them and place them back inside the freezer. When they are frozen solid, peel off the paper cups and enjoy the creamsicle!
Are you going to celebrate with a creamsicle today?
August 13 is designated International Lefthanders Day by Lefthanders International. It was first observed on the 13th of August, 1976. As the name suggests, it is meant to promote awareness of the inconveniences facing left-handers in a predominantly right-handed world.
- Left-handers make up 7 - 10% of the world’s population.
- Left-handers are far more likely to develop schizophrenia than right-handers, for reasons not well understood. In one study of patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, 40 percent were left-handed, well above average (SAGE).
- Scientists have also found an increased risk for dyslexia, ADHD, and certain mood disorders in left-handed people (Pediatrics).
- A survey of more than 1.4 million participants found that left-handers had lower rates of arthritis and ulcers (Laterality).
- Lefties hear speeches differently. The left and right hemispheres of the brain specialize in different kinds of sounds — the left hemisphere, which controls the right hand, likes rapidly changing sounds like consonants, while the right hemisphere, which controls the left hand, likes slowly changing sounds, like syllables or intonation (Georgetown University Medical Center).
- They’re better at divergent thinking, a method of idea generation that explores many possible solutions. This may lead them to careers in the arts, music, sports, and information technology fields (American Journal of Psychology)
- Left-handers’ salaries are 10 percent lower on average than right-handers (Wall Street Journal); related to the careers they choose?
- Four of the last seven commanders in chief — President Obama, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Gerald Ford!
- People who use their left hands tend to be more affected by fear than people who use their right hands (British Psychology Society).
- Lefties are more prone to having negative emotions and seem to have a more difficult time processing their feelings (The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease).
- Lefties tend to feel more inhibited, shy, and embarrassed than their right-handed counterparts (Abertay University, Scotland).
- While lefties are not more prone to alcoholism, they do drink more often (British Journal of Health Psychology).
Out from Costa Rica, Fabio Obando has created a series of drunk-driving ads for automobile brand Volkswagen.
The set is titled “Drunk Superheros” and features invincible characters like The Hulk, Superman and Wolverine. Despite their superpowers, they’re each portrayed as badly injured or dead after getting into an accident.
(I wonder what permissions were necessary/obtained from DC and Marvel)
The tagline for the ads reads, “Don’t let your ego drive you. If you drink don’t drive.”
Well, not exactly…Taco Bell Corp. is launching a new fast-casual taco concept designed to entice diners who are not likely to step foot in a Taco Bell.
The new restaurant is called U.S. Taco Co. and Urban Taproom, and scheduled to open today in Huntington Beach, California.
The menu features things like “Winner Winner,” which includes Southern-style fried chicken breast with “SOB,” or “South of the Border” gravy, roasted corn pico de gallo with fresh jalapenos and fresh cilantro in a flour tortilla.
Or try the $10 “One Percenter”, which features fresh lobster in garlic butter with red cabbage slaw and pico de gallo on crispy fry bread.
The “Brotherly Love,” is a play off of the Philly Cheesesteak, with carne asada steak, grilled peppers and onions, roasted poblano queso, cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro in a flour tortilla.
U.S. Taco Co. represents yet-another fast-food chain attempting to go more upscale with offshoot brands. Panda Express recently debuted its Innovation Kitchen,; Yum! Brands, has already spun-off KFC into a fast-casual concept called KFC eleven, and a yet-to-be-launched Super Chix. And Round Table pizza has a pizza and salad joint called Fresh Pixx.
High-Tech Shirt Detects Seizures and Calls Your Doctor
WEMU is a high-tech shirt that keeps track of epilepsy signs and alerts doctors of seizures.
The shirt is created by Bioserenity and uses biometric sensors to track heart activity and muscle contraction. Doctors and patients can track their vital signs, get alerts when a seizure takes place, immediately contact emergency services and family or friends
WEMU enables continuous, home-based monitoring to provide doctors with more information to determine risks and the best treatment options.
Early-bird kits are available for $700. What do you think about healthcare integrating with your clothes and overall lifestyle?
The French are well known for their love of wine, and health complications don’t necessarily mean that patients have to give it up. Located in the palliative care unit of the Puy-de-Dôme facility, The bar will be open to both patients and visitors, with a planned September opening.
Consumption of alcohol will be medically supervised and the service is designed to help patients to enjoy a glass or two with their loved ones. The goal is to ‘re-humanize’ patients by improving the quality of their day-to-day life.
What do you think about this creative idea for hospitals to improve the quality of life of its patients?
According to a study that will be published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, employees with windows in their workplace report better health and sleep 46 minutes more a night, on average.
The researchers conducted a small study comparing people exposed to natural light at their jobs with those who aren’t.
The study found that 27 workers who sat in windowless offices (or so far from a window as to get no natural light) scored worse than 22 workers who did get daylight. Participants were evaluated on the eight dimensions of a health survey known as the Short Form 36.
The eight sections are:
general health perceptions
physical role functioning
emotional role functioning
social role functioning
The windowless group fared particularly worse on two particular areas, including “vitality.” Workers without daylight exposure also showed worse overall sleep quality on a well-established self-report sleep index.
How about you? Do you have windows in your office? Do you think it affects your quality of sleep?
TouchPico is a device that can wirelessly project an 80″ display from Android smartphones, with a touch interface. It’s currently seeking funding on Indiegogo.
The device is a highly-portable projector and about the same size as the Samsung Galaxy S4. It connects to an Android phone over wifi, and will project an image up to 80 inches. Using the included TouchPico stylus, users can interact with the projected display.
It’s only 80 lumens, but that’s part of the deal for something so portable.
Might this be a creative way to create interactive projections, for either business or fun?
LifeTip is a sensor tag that can be attached to bras in order to detect heart attacks and immediately alert emergency services.
The device is a small triangular ECG sensor that comes with a clip for attaching to the front of a bra, resting on top of the heart. It monitors wearers’ heart rate and detects irregular rhythms. It can also sense body temperature, posture, exercise and even emotional state. Really? Emotional state?
If a heart attack occurs, the device uses the owners’ smartphone to instantly contact emergency services for help. The device can be purchased for $59 through Indiegogo until 13 August.
Do you think people would wear something like this?
Negative Public Reaction to Plastic Surgery Advertisement
The ad belongs to a Jackson, Michigan plastic surgery office. It received significant negative public reaction and not surprisingly, was vandalized this past weekend.
In response, the plastic surgery group removed three anti-muffin top advertisements from the area .
The billboard originally displayed the slogan, “friends don’t let friends muffin top”, which was spray painted to include “You’re beautiful!” and the two muffins shown atop a pair of jeans were also given smiley faces.
What do you think about the ads? Were they offensive?
Vibrating Shoes Provide Directions to the Visually Impaired
Indian-based Lechal has created some wearable tech that can provide guidance to the visually impaired through gentle vibrations.helping them to better navigate their environment with an intuitive and discrete wearable.
Typical assistive devices communicate with the user through audio feedback. Instead of using audio, LECHAL footwear interacts with users through haptics, a type of technology that recreates the sensation of touch. Wearers don’t need to listen to a spoken guide, as they can “feel” the directions through the shoes’ vibrations.
The footwear connects to your smartphone for programming destinations and the phone’s GPS tracks the users’ movements. When it is time to change direction, the shoe that vibrates (left or right) indicates the way to go.
Users can also use the shoes to share their route with friends, set fitness milestones and track their daily activity. While the device can be used by anyone, there are some neat features designed for those visually impaired: using the app and charging device can be controlled without sight. The charger responds with audio feedback if you just snap your fingers and even indicates with beeps the progress of the charging process.
The footwear can be pre-ordered at www.lechal.com with shipping planned for October.
What other tech have you seen to help those that are disabled?