Tuesday, December 19, 2006


There’s a fascinating profile of Reinhold Messner in the November issue of National Geographic. It's called "Murdering the Impossible," and there's a lengthy excerpt here.

Believe it or not, bandages are now using nanotechnology.
The first clinical trials of a medical bandage that heals wounds faster concludes this month, bringing two University of Akron researchers closer to commercializing a product years in the making.

Professors Daniel Smith and Darrell Reneker used electricity to spin ultrafine polymer fibers while infusing them with chemicals that open a wound to oxygen.

The treated fibers reduce inflammation, kill bacteria and repair slow-healing wounds faster than conventional methods, Smith said.

The ``nanofiber bandage'' is particularly helpful for diabetics because the dressing releases nitric oxide gas, a natural chemical diabetics don't produce enough of, but one that is crucial for body repair.

The full article is here.

There's a very funny article over at the Radar Report titled "Pray for Coal: the 10 most dangerous toys of all time." I never thought I'd hear the word "Jarts" again. Here's an excerpt:
1. Lawn Darts
Removable parts? Suffocation risk? Lead paint? Pussy hazards compared to the granddaddy of them all. Lawn Darts, or "Jarts," as they were marketed, would never fly in our current ultra-paranoid, safety-helmeted, Dr. Phil toy culture. Lawn darts were massive weighted spears. You threw them. They stuck where they landed. If they happened to land in your skull, well, then you should have moved. During their brief (and generally awesome) reign in 1980s suburbia, Jarts racked up 6,700 injuries and four deaths.

The full article is here.

I've linked to this before, but the story just keeps getting better. It's a website devoted to listing all the things that a British fellow and his German girlfriend fight about. His writing style is exceptionally funny and there are some real side-splitters. It's called "Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About," and you can read it here.

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