An Invisible Umbrella That Keeps You Dry

It just hit me that my last few posts have been of the morbid variety, so it’s time to report on something a little more lighthearted.

For those looking to upgrade their umbrella, a new invention has garnered attention recently on Kickstarter that completely changes our understanding of the traditional fabric canopy. Raising $36,000 and growing, the new umbrella uses a strong air current to shield users from rainfall.

Whether the invention is more superfluous than innovative, even the staunchest critic like Gianfrancesco Genoso at Teses must admit its sheer coolness factor. Sporting what looks like a traditional handle, the invention has a lithium battery that powers a fan and a controller that allows the user to increase and decrease the canopy’s radius–convenient for those times when you have to share.

Currently, it’s still in its infancy and isn’t ready for mass production, but according to the Kickstarter page, a final version should be finished by December, 2015.

If you’re interested in learning more about this invention, or you’d like to make a financial contribution, you can visit the Kickstarter page here.

Rethinking Patient Care in the Face of Ebola

With one Ebola patient walking out of a Texas hospital without a bat of the eye, the medical world is analyzing their mistake when it comes to patient history. Where the patient clearly marked their travels on a questionnaire, the medical staff simply overlooked the information. With more Ebola cases popping up across the globe, it’s time to revert back to more old-fashioned patient interview processes.

Creating a Conversation

Nurses and doctors should make it a point to interview the patient one-on-one. Basic questions asked by Marnie Bennett turn into more expanded views about the person and their travels. The moment a disease-prone city or country is mentioned, the medical team can snap to attention. Filling out forms and filing them away could be the simplest pathway for Ebola and other viruses to spread wildly.

Time Must Be Taken

The biggest concern brought up by medical professionals is the issue of time. There appears to be no time to interview each person entering a clinic or hospital. However, it may be the time to turn back the proverbial clocks. Personalized care could have stopped the first Ebola patient from walking out of the facility. Medical personnel could create a hierarchy within the facility to expedite interviewing processes. Qualified individuals work with each person and move them as necessary through the treatment process. Any red flags forward to more experienced personnel for quarantine and expanded interviews.

Preventing an epidemic takes real evaluation of current patient care. One Texas example needs to prompt other facilities to ready their staff and procedures for more Ebola cases. It’s possible to stop a virus from spreading with the right medical checks and balances.

5-Year-Old with Leukemia Plays in an NBA Exhibition Game

A 5-year old boy with leukemia played with one of the best teams of the National Basketball Association, The Utah Jazz, in an intrasquad scrimmage game held on October 6.

JP Gibson, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, inked a one-day contract with Jazz president Randy Rigby, for the annual pre-season exhibition game that their team held at EnergySolutions Arena.

According to the CBC News report, JP went to the event with his parents and his 2-year-old sister. Their family was warmly welcomed by the Jazz. Also at the game was Marnie Bennett, who flew in from Ottawa, and photographer Jon Diaz’s project, called “Anything Can Be”, which makes storybooks for kids with cancer about their wishes and dreams.

JP wore a team jersey with the number 1 on it, and played with the stars of the team until the end of the third quarter. The fans roared as the boy with cancer caught the ball from a pass, and dribbled it into the lane. Utah Jazz’s center, Rudy Gobert, then lifted the boy so he could dunk the ball. JP even slapped hands with some of the players.

CBS Sports journalist Zach Harper wrote, “It was a pretty cool moment for Gibson and the Jazz. Gibson is only 36,372 points away from tying Karl Malone for the franchise scoring record.”

To play with an amazing NBA team in front of a crowd of loving fans is definitely a happy experience, that JP can be proud of and can carry as he moves on.

A video of the game is now making rounds on the internet, and people have been reacting to it positively. Just look at this and tell me that you didn’t tear up!


Why Wal-Mart is a horrible place to work

Effective January 1st 2015, employees who work less than 30 hours per week at Wal-Mart will no longer have health insurance. The company is claiming that higher health care costs will still hurt Wal-Mart to the tune of $170 million for the fiscal year.

Wal-Mart has a long history of treating their employees poorly. We won’t mention the little girl nearly decapitated by a fishing line or the customer shot by police in a Wal-Mart for holding a toy gun, or the series of parking lot rapes due to Wal-Mart’s non-existent security. We’ll just stick to how they compensate their employees.

In February, a Wal-Mart worker answered questions on Gawker that raised quite a stir. The worker pointed out that managers are given incentive to fire employees so that their wages do not increase and payroll remains low.

70% of their employees leave within the first year. I know some who have taken that one step further, like Sam Tabar, who left after a month! You must work one full year at Wal-Mart to get a raise. Because of “salary caps”, some employees have not received a raise in nine years. All employees must be available to work every day, including Christmas.

The average Wal-Mart employee earns 20% less than the average retail worker. The Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy claims that Wal-Mart’s pay is $10,000 less than what a family of two needs to survive. There have been times, including in 2001, when full time employees were still living under the poverty line (that’s less than $14,630 for a year’s work).

In 2008, Walmart settled massive lawsuits over wage violations based primarily around Wal-Mart forcing employees to work off the clock. They handed out over 350 million dollars to avoid going to court.

Unfortunately many Americans do not have the skills or education to find a better job. Wal-Mart excels at finding new ways to give these people even less in exchange for an honest day’s work.

Cop With Stage 4 Breast Cancer Honored With Pink Police Car

October is breast cancer awareness month, and the Orlando Police Department took that to a new level today when honoring Officer Karen Long. Currently, she’s battling stage 4 breast cancer, and is still an active duty police officer.

Here’s the video of the ceremony honoring her struggle, and commitment to continue to serve her community, even in the face of extreme adversity.

Me and Jared Haftel will just be over here, trying not to tear up too much haha.

Monitoring Software: The Key to the Lock

With as much talk as there is about security online and the increasing possibility of getting hacked and exposed, you would think people would be a little more discreet. Even for people who don’t have much to hide, the fact that anything shared using modern technological tools is “out there” forever should cause some concern. Just consider how much can be learned about you and your life simply by monitoring your online activity as with this teen monitoring software covered by Buzzfeed.

Today, a private conversation between two people messaging each other over their phones has about as much promise of privacy as a prisoner in jail. In other words – zero.

You may think that this view is just paranoid, but when you consider teen monitoring software that can be put on a child’s phone, and the technology behind it, and how much information is really floating around on clouds for anybody to have access to (software or not), you may just jump on that caution wagon.

On the one hand, child monitoring software can be a good thing as a parent teaches their child how to navigate the world. It’s a lot like teaching a young child to look both ways before they cross the street.

On the other hand, the possibility of creating what feels like a safe environment can cause people to let down their guards of caution and unknowingly fall into the trap of sharing information with the world that was meant to be private.

It’s like keeping an old-school diary with a little lock. Have you ever noticed how flimsy those locks really are?