Tuesday, 31 January 2017

This Do-Anywhere Grounding Exercise Will Alleviate Anxiety

Image result for Anxiety

Mindfulness and meditation are well-known ways to combat anxiety and stress, but they can be hard to fit into a busy schedule. If you need a quick way to curb a stream of anxiety-inducing thoughts, try this grounding exercise that you can fit in no matter where you are.

Your goal with grounding meditation is to connect with whatever surface your body is touching. Rodale Wellness explains what you should do:
If you are in bed, feel the bed holding you firmly and completely. You are safe and held. If you are sitting, notice your sit bones as they rest against the chair or your seat on the train, bus, or car. Feel your foundation strong and stable. If you are standing, sense your feet in your socks and your socks in your shoes and feel those shoes upon the ground. Imagine the depth of the earth that is supporting you.
By re-focusing on what you’re physically feeling, you divert your mind away from anxious or stressful thoughts and into the moment. You can do this exercise wherever you are and spend as much time as you have on it, even if that’s only a minute. It may take a little practice, but you’ll soon be able to launch into this grounding practice anytime you feel stressed or unfocused and come out ready to tackle the task at hand.

Bra Size Is a Myth

In a world of vanity sizes and mysterious designations like “medium,” you usually have to try clothes on before you have any clue if they fit. Bra sizing would seem to be different, since it involves numbers and math, but I’m here with bad news: There is no such thing as Your One True Bra Size.

Nobody Even Agrees on How to Measure Yourself

Image result for dressmaker measuring tape

It sounds scientific: You just measure your ribcage and your bust, and then use a simple formula to convert those measurements to a bra size consisting of a number and a letter (for example, “34B”). Here’s the typical formula, but as we will see, it varies:
  • Your band size (the number) comes from a measurement of your chest that does not include your breasts. Some instructions have you measure under your breasts; some ask you to measure above, basically right under your armpits.
  • Your cup size (the letter) comes from the difference between the band size and your bust measurement. In some versions of the formula, you simply subtract. In others, you add a few inches (often four) to your band size before comparing the two numbers.
The variations in the formula would all be fine if they worked out to give you about the same size, but they don’t. I did a little experiment to illustrate this.
I took my measurements above, at, and under the bust and plugged them into a variety of calculators. Most instructions ask you to wear a bra that already fits you well, and in fact I have such a bra: a 34D in the Warner’s brand. Let’s see how the various calculators stack up:
Warner’s doesn’t have a calculator, but they do have an instructional video. I followed the instructions, and came up with 33D. Since band sizes only come in even numbers, that sounds like a pretty good endorsement for me taking a 34D in their brand.
The bottom line here: following a brand’s instructions may help you find the right size bra in that brand, but don’t expect that size to help you find the right bra in another brand.

Cup Sizes Mean (Almost) Nothing

It’s tempting to assume that a cup size means the size of the cup. If you’re a D, for example, you might think any bra with a D cup should fit your breasts. But it turns out that a 32D and a 40D, for example, do not have anywhere near the same volume of space in the cup. People who sew bras need to buy the right size underwire for each cup, and this chart comparing underwire size to bra size reveals the relationship. A 32D (in this brand, anyway) uses the same size wire as a 38A.
This quirk is behind what’s known as the sister sizes: bra sizes that have the same fit in the cup but different fit in the band. If you wear a 36C, for example, a 34D is the same cup with a shorter band.
There’s a further confusion in mapping the letter sizes to measurements: once you get beyond a D, everyone seems to have a different idea of what letter comes next. Some brands go right to E, F, G, and so on, while others double up: DD and then DDD before moving on to another letter. HerRoom uses a metric they call Universal Cup Size to reconcile these differences between brands, so that can help if you’d like to try a new brand and want a clue for where to start. But what if the brand you want isn’t on their list, or if you’re at a brick-and-mortar store without a conversion chart?

Your Best Bet: Just Try Them On

You’re never going to get a complete answer about bra sizing just by poring over charts and calculators, in the hope you’ll ever be able to just walk into a store, pick up a bra in X size, and take it home knowing it’ll fit comfortably. At some point you have to actually try the bra on and evaluate how well it fits. Briefly, you’re looking for something where:
  • The band sits horizontal (not pulling up or down at your back).
  • Your breasts fill out the cups without leaving gaps or spilling over.
  • The straps don’t slide off your shoulders, or dig in.
  • The wire (if there is one) doesn’t poke you; that could mean the cup is too small.
Going back to our initial experiment, where you start in a properly fitting bra: it’s not cheating to just look at the tag. If it fits, it fits.
Besides the size of the bra, fit also depends on the shape. For example, some bras are cut for a rounder breast, and others for a more teardrop shaped breast. At the end of the day, bras are like any other clothes: the tag hints at how it will fit, but only trying it on will answer the question for sure.

Monday, 30 January 2017

Best Habit Tracking App for iPhone

Tracking your habits is a great way to keep an eye on your progress for a variety of self-improvement goals, and you have an insane number of apps for doing so on the iPhone. However, when it comes to performance and ease of use, we like Productive, because it blends simplicity with the statistics you want to see.


Platform: iPhone
Price: Free/$3.99
Download Page


  • Tracks up to five habits for free, unlimited for $3.99
  • Habits fit into a number of different schedules, including specific times or days
  • View your stats in a number of different ways, with different data points
  • Easy to add new habits and see your schedule for the day
  • Tracks streaks, but doesn’t make you practice a habit daily to keep a streak
  • Support for reminder with different time options for alarms

Where It Excels

Apps that track your habits are a dime a dozen, so to separate from the pack, an app needs to be easy to use, but still track a lot of data. Productive nails both. You can add a new habit by pulling down on the main screen. You’re then taken to a menu where you can assign that habit a time of day, day of the week, and add a notification. You can set a habit to recur as rarely as once a month, bi-weekly, or on specific days.
Once you set all that up, Productive’s daily dashboard displays the habits you have set for the day and you can swipe to mark them as done. You can tap any habit to see a detailed set of statistics, including your current streak, best streak, and more. You can also check out the Life Log to see how you’re doing in general.
All this means that Productive works for a number of different types of goal setters. If the idea of “don’t break the chain” is appealing to you, Productive supports streaks that form into chains. If it’s less about daily activity and more about slowly building a healthy habit over time, Productive can help there too. Productive appeals to a lot of different types of people with different types of schedules, so it’s a great entry point if you’re not sure which methods work for you.

Where It Falls Short

It’s nice that Productive has a free version so you can check it out without paying anything, but most people will need to pony up the $3.99 for the full version. The free version only allows you to set up five habits and doesn’t give you statistics or notifications for individual habits.
Productive is pretty good about displaying tracked data in a couple different formats, but if you’re a data nerd looking to visualize your habits in a specific way, Productive won’t cut it. Productive is also missing deadlines, which is problematic if you’re tracking something like financial goals. Productive is iOS-only, which means if you switch to Android at some point, or if you want to track habits on your desktop, you’re out of luck.

The Competition

Motivation is a very personal thing, so it’s hard to say that Productive is a “perfect” app. The habit tracking app that works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. Thankfully, you have a lot of different options, and some take a different approach from Productive entirely.
HabitBull (Free), is the closest contender to Productive and is a good option if you don’t like how Productive works. My main issue with HabitBull is how long it takes to add a habit. You have to tap through several different fields of information each time and HabitBull tracks so much data that the interface ends up feeling a bit cluttered. For some people, this is great. You really can visualize your habits in a variety of ways, track streaks, look at a calendar, and even discuss habits with other users. If you have the patience to learn the interface quirks, HabitBull is a great app with a ton of data.
Strides (Free) is another habit tracking app aimed at data geeks. Like HabitBull, you can set goals and targets. You can also set milestones, and Strides allows you to set certain parameters that make it better than HabitBull or Productive to track habits that have more concrete values, like financial goals. If you want a numbers-focused habit tracker, Strides might be the app you’re looking for.
Streaks ($3.99) is probably the best looking habit tracking app out there and it’s absolutely the simplest. While you can track any number of habits, it feels built primarily for health-based goals. Streaks automatically brings in your data from Apple’s Health app, which means it can automatically track any exercise habits you have linked in there. As the name suggests, Streaks is built around trying to keep a habit alive for streaks. You’ll get a calendar view and a graph of your performance, but Streaks doesn’t provide the same number of data viewing options as some of the other apps. Regardless, Streaks is the habit tracking app best suited for tracking exercise habits or for anyone who likes a simpler approach.
Finally, Habitica (Free) is the best app for anyone looking to gamify their habits a bit. Formally known as HabitRPG, Habitica tracks a variety of habits and gives you little in-app rewards that resemble a RPG. You can also compete with friends to keep track of each other’s progress. Habitica isn’t just for habits, it’s also a to-do app, and while its dual nature is great for some people, it also means it’s a little lacking as habit-tracker because it doesn’t allow for much flexibility in goal setting outside of daily tasks. Still, it’s a fantastic app for anyone who loves old school RPGs, and the fun interface and design makes it a joy to use.

How Many People You Need at a Party to Make a Beer Keg Worthwhile

If you’re planing a big party or game day extravaganza, you might ask yourself if it’s more economical to buy a beer keg instead of a few cases. Here’s a simple rule of thumb you can use to find out.
Kegs of beer are appealing because they provide a lot of beer for less, you don’t end up with a bunch of cans and bottles lying around, and you don’t have to make room in your fridge for everybody’s six-pack. Still, you probably don’t need one at your Super Bowl party. As Allison Russo at The Kitchn explains, a standard beer keg in the U.S. comes in at about 15.5 gallons, which is roughly equal to 165 12-ounce bottles of beer. That’s about four beers for 41 people, or eight beers for 20. That’s a lot of beer.
Most parties won’t need that much, but if you’re hosting an all-day gathering for a large group of people it could still be worth it—especially if you get a quarter barrel keg instead. But honestly, if you have less than 35 people coming over, you should probably just pick up a few cases. You’ll get more variety anyway.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

How Jay-Z Actually Woo’d Beyonce

Jay-Z and Beyonce is not only one of the richest couples on the planet, but also one of the most popular. From the very beginning, the power couple has been very secretive when it came to their relationship – managing, for the most part, to keep the intimate aspects of their life out of the public eye. Today, there is a lot of rumours surrounding the couple, and their supposed relationship problems, but much of that remains unsubstantiated. So instead of furthering the rumours and discussing the unknown, let’s take a look at how the power couple actually got hitched.
Although the couple said their vows back in 2008, their relationship history goes way back. The exact date of when they met remains uncertain, but various accounts put that date somewhere between 1997 – 1998. The lovebirds were first acquainted though the music scene when Beyonce was just 18 years old.
The two continued to “hang out” for the next couple of years, while denying all rumours about the relationship. And despite paparazzi shots frequently capturing the couple together at sporting events and tourist hot spots, the two remained hush-hush about until 2005.
While the couple seemed happy in tabloid photos, there was a lot of rough waters for them to navigate. Two years before their wedding, Jay-Z released an album, Kingdom Come, featuring a song titled – “Lost One.” On this track Hov raps: I don’t think it’s meant to be, B / But she loves her work more than she does me / And honestly, at 23 / I would probably love my work more than I did she.” This line fueled a lot of speculation on whether or not the couple was falling apart, and later (in 2010) Jay clarified that, yes, the song was in fact about their rocky relationship. Dating someone just as career focused and ambitious as himself wasn’t easy, he wrote in his 2010 book Decoded.
The couple managed to get over their relationship speed bumps (obviously), and continued to write love songs about one another, while also travelling the globe and performing together. After a couple more years of relationship rumours, the couple finally got hitched on April 4th, 2008.
The ceremony was very small and private (it took place at Jay’s Tribeca apartment), and instead of exchanging rings, the couple got matching IV tattoos on their ring fingers. Number 4 has been a persistently important number in their relationship, so this symbolic gesture meant a lot to the newlyweds.
Three years after the wedding, Bey revealed a baby bump on the red carpet and confirmed her pregnancy. This announcement nearly broke the internet, and secured a world record for “most tweets per second recorded for a single event.” at an impressive 8,868 tweets per second.
The couple continued to gain popularity, and eventually overtook Gisele and Tom Brady as the highest-paid celebrity couple, bringing in a combined total of $78 million every year. Despite their relationship being constantly questioned, the couple managed to stay together for more than 16 years, and it’s unlikely that the two will part ways any time soon.

Kanye West Kardashian's Story: On Kanye and Taylor Swift

Kanye West Kardashian's Story: On Kanye and Taylor Swift

If you’ve been keeping an eye on social media for the last couple of weeks, then you should be aware of the yet another Kanye and Taylor Swift debacle. The two have a long history, which goes all the way back to the MTV Video Music Awards of 2009. Their feud began when Kanye hopped onstage with Taylor still in the middle of her acceptance speech, and interrupted with the now famous words: “Yo, Taylor, I’m really happy for you and I’mma let you finish, but BeyoncĂ© had one of the best videos of all time. One of the best videos of all time!”
Shortly after the incident, Kanye publically admitted to being in the wrong on the Jay Leno Show, and eventually extended an apology to Taylor over Twitter. The two seemingly made up, but their relationship remained rocky to say the least. Over the next couple of years both continued to make music, eventually moving on from the incident and portraying a seemingly friendly relationship on social media.
And just as things were starting to go so well, Kanye released The Life of Pablo – an album that included a track named ‘Famous,’ which had a callout to Taylor Swift. The lyrics included the following: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” Shortly after the release of the song, Taylor displayed her “outrage” over the lyrics that she apparently found demeaning. Kanye came out with a rebuttal, saying that Taylor approved the song long before it was released, claiming that she found it “funny and gave her blessings.”
Not long after Kanye’s statement, Taylor’s camp came to her rescue and publically denied his allegations, claiming that Kanye didn’t call for approval. Now, the beef would likely end here, had it not been for Kanye’s loyal wife, Kim Kardashian, who on a GQ interview echoed her husband claiming that Taylor was made aware and approved the lyrics. “She totally approved that,” Kim said. “She wanted to all of a sudden act like she didn’t. I swear, my husband gets so much shit for things [when] he really was doing proper protocol and even called to get it approved.”
Kim didn’t stop there, and went on to claim that the conversation was secretly recorded on camera. Turns out she wasn’t bluffing either. Just a few days after the claim, Kim released the video recording of Kanye speaking to Taylor about the song on her Snapchat. Despite being publicly exposed as a liar, Taylor continues to hold her ground, gripping at any threads that are left. Shortly after the release of the recording, Taylor modified her story and said that she never specifically approved the line where Kanye called her a ‘bitch.” She went on to explain that “you can’t approve a song that you haven’t heard.”
Maybe true, but you have to hand it to Kim for standing up for her husband. That said, the video posted by Kim is edited. Snapchat doesn’t allow for long videos, so by default the video was chopped up into shorter clips. It’s hard to know with certainty what actually went down, but it’s entirely possible that Kardashian left out parts that were unfavourable to Kanye. It doesn’t appear that anything Taylor said was doctored in anyway, so for now, Kanye’s story seems to check out. Although both sides have been quiet for now, it’s likely that we’re going to hear more about this soon.

Scary Medical Equipment Then and Now

Scary Images of Medical Equipment Then and Now

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” Or does it? While some may recall a time when cure-all tonics solved every ailment, leeches were used to extract blood and doctors made house calls, it’s undeniable that the medical field has seen some of the most fascinating transformations over the last 100 years. After all, does your doctor still make house calls, use snail slime to treat warts or prescribe arsenic to treat fevers or headaches? We certainly hope not!
Much like common “cures” used in early medicine, there were also dozens of strange devices like birth chairs, Civil War bone chain saws and dental screw forceps that, thank goodness, are now considered barbaric and highly unsafe. Whew! But, did you know that aside from these horrific devices, some of the most common medical equipment found in doctors’ offices and at hospitals today have actually been around just as long?
Taking a look back over the last century to see how much the field of medicine has advanced, we couldn’t help but wonder which devices have lasted this long and how much they’ve changed. Aren’t you curious? Join us for a sneak peek at 20 scary images of medical equipment then and now! Will you recognize some of these early contraptions that have transformed into some of the most advanced medical equipment today? Let’s find out!

#20 – Incubator

“Oh baby, baby!” While the majority of babies are born under ideal circumstances that allow them a brief stay at the hospital before going home with their proud parents, some babies require a little more tender, love and care especially if they’re born prematurely. That’s where the neonatal intensive care department and incubators come into play! Invented by Dr. Martin Couney of Germany, incubators were first put to use in 1896 shortly before Couney settled in the United States where he showed off his new invention by putting babies on display in the contraption on the bustling Coney Island boardwalk. No, we aren’t kidding!
Thankfully by the mid-1940s, Couney’s outrageous exhibits were well on their way to becoming another weird footnote in medical history as advances in technology helped modernize his original incubator design. Now widely used today to maintain ideal conditions for newborns, incubators have increased the survival rates of babies across the world thanks to the use of oxygen hoods, ventilators, climate control, nutritional and medication tubes and more! All of this and to think the incubator all started like a circus display on New York’s legendary boardwalk.

#19 – Amputation Knife

One of the most tragic facets of medicine throughout history and even today are amputations, which are performed for a variety of reasons from a diseased limb or gangrene to preventative measures, war injuries, punishment for crimes or even acts of terrorism. Long before anesthesia was invented, amputations were incredibly risky for patients until Dr. Robert Liston of Scotland proved to be a true pioneer of surgery with “the fastest knife in the West End” clocking in with amputations in three minutes or less. As a result of his speed, patients had greater odds of survival and decreased pain. So what was his trick?
Liston attributed his speed and success to his invention of a knife made from high quality metal that featured a blade measuring between six and eight inches long. Quickly becoming known as the Liston Knife and widely used in the American Civil War, it was only a matter of time before Liston’s technique and invention spread around the world. A prized item among collectors today, the original Liston Knife has seen dozens of improvements since its debut and is now transformed into a sleek and unthreatening design that’s far different from those early (and incredibly unsanitary) torturous hooked blades of centuries past.

18 – Holter Monitor

At the heart of the matter! One of the newer medical inventions on our list, the Holter Monitor is also named after its inventor, experimental physicist Norman “Jeff” Holter of Helena, Montana. Inspired by a cardiologist in the 1950s who expressed his need for a wearable heart monitor for his patients, Holter teamed up with Bruce Del Mar to create a portable monitor that could be worn by patients and would allow doctors to see their heart activity over a longer span of time using electrodes attached to a patient’s chest.
As with most inventions, the original Holter Monitor was so large and cumbersome that patients had to remain in their doctor’s care while wearing it since it required nearly 100 pounds of equipment when it first debuted in the 1940s. Finally released for commercial production in 1962, the Holter Monitor has shrunk tremendously and is now approximately the size of an iPhone and allows patients to go about their normal activities and even exercise without being bogged down by tangling cords and the excess weight of a bulky device.

#17 – Dental Chair

“Smile and say ‘Cheese!’” From cavities and fillings to root canals and crowns, getting some people to go to the dentist is like pulling teeth! But, can you imagine going to the dentist’s office before dentistry became mainstream? Believe it or not, one of the biggest changes over the years hasn’t been to the tools themselves but to the actual dental chair. In 1790, American dentist Joseph Flagg actually modified a standard writing chair with a head and arm rest to improve the comfort of his patients and give him more room for his instruments. It would be decades, however, until the dental chair would recline all the way back.
By the early 1800s, a rocker was used for a prototype as dentists started designing their own chairs before manufacturing companies took over and produced a variety of designs utilizing pumps to lower and raise patients for convenience and comfort. As time passed, metal replaced wood in what resembled space-age ergonomic chairs before 1958 when John Naughton invented the plush and reclining dental chair as we know it today. Too bad they haven’t managed to improve those pesky drills that cause so much pain, comfortable chair or not!

#16 – Back Brace

Just put your back into it! Sometimes, our bodies can betray us in unnatural and uncomfortable ways such as the curvature of the spine, which is otherwise known as scoliosis. Affecting people since the beginning of time, scoliosis was first documented as being treated in the fifth century BC in what was known as the Hippocratic technique in which patients were stretched in multiple prolonged sessions with the hopes that the maneuver would eventually straighten their spinal deformities. After nearly a half century without positive results (duh!), the treatment was modified but it wasn’t until the 16th century when back braces debuted.
Back braces from the early 20th century looked horrific and even managed to make early dentist chairs look tame when it came to resembling torture devices. So just how bad were they to actually wear? The early contraptions required people to wear oversized, heavy metal back braces for years at a time while dealing with limited mobility in terms of eating and moving not to mention pain and exhaustion. Though back braces today are finally smaller, functional and more discreet with the option to wear them under clothing, one of the greatest issues doctors continue to face is encouraging patients to consistently wear them.

#15 – Crutches

Much like back braces, crutches have been used for thousands of years and actually date back to ancient Egypt where walking sticks were first used to improve mobility. As to whether or not they were ever used for injuries or simply as a classy instrument, that’s still up for debate! It wasn’t until 1917, however, when the modern version of the crutch began to finally take shape after Emile Schlick patented the design. Years later, A.R. Lofstrand, Jr. improved the invention by adding a height-adjustable feature that transformed them into the customizable crutches we know and use today.
In addition to the standard design, forearm crutches are also widely used thanks to Thomas Fetterman who contracted polio at a young age and was forced to use crutches long before padded or gel tops were invented. By his 40s, Fetterman’s intense shoulder pain and limited mobility inspired him to invent a shock absorbing system for crutches that would help long-term crutch users avoid additional pain and discomfort. Now standard on most brands and styles of crutches as well as canes, Fetterman is an industry leader who has helped drastically change the face of the ancient walking stick!

#14 – Prosthetics

Did you know that a Greek diviner once cut off his foot and replaced it with a wooden one to escape the Spartans? Just as crutches and back braces have Egyptian roots, prosthetics also date back to ancient Egyptian times where a warrior queen named Vishpala actually wore a prosthetic wooden toe (heck, it even looks pretty good considering its age!). Over the years, prosthetics evolved to match the prosperity and culture of the era as they transformed from simple wooden toes to iron fists, bronze arms and copper legs.
It wasn’t until the 20th century when prosthetics actually became functional rather than a fashion statement or sign of prosperity as they were produced from plastics and became readily available to those in need. Today, things have only gotten better in prosthetic technology as some limbs are mechanical and can completely emulate a normal limb, taking an amputee’s mobility to even greater heights. What’s even better is that doctors and scientists have teamed up to make prosthetics appear like normal limbs, which is a long way from Egypt’s first wooden toes!

#13 – Head Mirror

“The Doctor is in!” When you imagine a doctor, chances are you see a physician wearing a white lab coat with a funny-looking mirror on his head—but, do you know what the mirror actually does? First used in 1743 by a French male midwife named Levert who was fascinated by throats, head mirrors rose to popularity in the mid-1800s as doctors discovered they could use them to reflect light from behind the patient’s head for a shadow-free illumination of the inner ear, nose and throat cavities.
Although they’re still used by specialists today, head mirrors have mostly been replaced by pen lights or otoscopes, which are smaller handheld tools that have the same purpose but offer a clearer view without the bulkiness of head gear. Nevertheless, though they might not be seen at the doctor’s office, head mirrors have been associated with doctor’s long enough that they’re a standard at Halloween costume parties when children and adults don scrubs, white lab coats stethoscopes and head mirrors for a night of trick or treating straight from the 18th century!

#12 – Pacemaker

“Straight to the heart and you’re to blame…” When it comes to physical matters of the heart, cardiologists are experts in knowing every ventricle and valve, every artery, beat and vein. But what happens when the heart doesn’t beat as it should? John Alexander MacWilliam asked the same question in 1889 when he debuted his invention—the pacemaker—that regulated the heart’s rhythm between 60 and 70 beats per minute using electrical impulses. Inspiring others around the world to create similar versions, it wasn’t until 30 years later when an implantable version finally became available.
After decades of ongoing study by the likes of American physiologist Albert Hyman, electrical engineers Earl Bakken and John Hopps as well as a number of other innovators, Arne Larson became the first to receive an implantable pacemaker in 1958. He received 26 additional devices up until his death at 86 years old in 2001 and, ironically enough, outlived the pacemaker inventor and his surgeon. As for current pacemakers, they are constantly being improved with the latest devices designed to be the size of a pill and inserted into a patient’s leg without the need for invasive surgery.

#11 – Gurney

If you’ve ever been to the emergency room or ridden in an ambulance, you’ve likely had a seat or taken a ride on a gurney. Known in other parts of the world as a stretcher, litter or pram and often used by emergency, military and rescue personnal, gurneys were derived from a horse-drawn cart that was patented by J. Theodore Gurney in 1883. Because they were made of wood and offered very little support or flexibility, the earliest gurneys were often detrimental to patients with severe neck or back injuries.
Like most other equipment on our list, the gurney has also evolved over the years to add support for patients as well as convenience for first responders. Gurneys today have latches that hook into an ambulance’s interior to keep patients from bouncing or sliding around the cab. They are also adjustable in height so that patients can be rolled on the gurney to prevent further injury for both the patient and medical personnel. There are even a variety of designs and sizes to fit helicopters, boats and other emergency response vehicles!

#10 – Gamma Knife

Have you ever heard of radiosurgery? Used to treat cancer patients with radiation since the late 1940s, Lars Leksell of Elekta AB in Stockholm, Sweden thought to make the process easier and more effective in 1967 with the invention of the Gamma Knife. First used to treat brain tumors using high intensity and heavily concentrated cobalt radiation, the device finally made its way to the United States in 1979 as a gift to Dr. Robert Wheeler Rand of the University of California Los Angeles.
Considered cutting edge in the 1960s, early versions of the Gamma Knife resembled a giant hair dryer from outer space or perhaps a larger version of Darth Vader’s helmet. (May the force be with you!) Still just as effective today in treating brain tumors while offering very few complications, the modern version of the Gamma Knife has obviously improved (sorry Star Wars fans) and looks like a giant pod where patients rest on a motorized table and receive treatment.

#9 – EKG

Having already seen the portable Holter heart monitor, next on our list is a machine that offers an even better and more comprehensive picture of the heart’s activity—the electrocardiogram or EKG. First developed in 1794 as a galvanometer to monitor the heart’s activities using electricity, it wasn’t until the mid-1800s when EKGs used electrodes on the hearts of frogs to measure cardiac activity. By the early 1900s, a huge breakthrough was made when Dutch physician and physiologist Willem Einthoven invented the first practical and working electrocardiogram.
Despite its initial size clocking in at over 600 pounds, the EKG proved to be an incredible invention thanks to its accuracy in measuring human heart activity, which earned Einthoven the 1924 Nobel Prize in Medicine. As with so many other devices on our list, technological advancement has continued over the last century but the greatest improvement to the EKG came in the late 1920s when it was reduced to a 30-pound portable device that allowed doctors to read the results and determine the proper treatment plan with greater efficiency and accuracy, not to mention driving patient satisfaction off the charts (no pun intended!).

#8 – Ventilator

Whether you call it a ventilator or a respirator, these lifesaving devices have the same function of helping patients breath by regularly moving air into and out of the lungs. Commonly seen in home-care or intensive care units as well as in operating rooms, ventilators were first developed in the 20th century when the polio outbreak wreaked havoc and led to the early development of the Iron Lung or negative pressure ventilator. After the invention of the “Drinker Respirator” in 1928, John Haven Emerson made a few improvements and introduced the first modern version of the ventilator in 1931.
Once massive pieces of equipment (though much smaller than EKG machines), ventilators have drastically decreased in size over the last 80 years with the newest models resembling a laptop and weighing 14 pounds, which opens patients up to a world of opportunity in terms of mobility. There’s even a new modular concept that allows hospital departments to customize ventilators to meet the needs of their patients without having to purchase an entire fleet of costly and rarely used equipment. Sounds like a real bang for the hospital’s buck, if you ask us!

#7 – Hospital Bed

A far cry from the hard-backed gurney or stretcher seen in emergency rooms and ambulances, hospital beds may have mattresses and sheets but they’re a far cry from your bed at home. Recognized by their adjustable side rails, the first hospital beds appeared in England in the mid-1800s before an Ohio-based mattress company known as Andrew Wuest and Son patented an elevated hospital bed in 1874. By the early 20th century, Willis Dew Gatch of the Indiana University School of Medicine, transformed the design into a three-segment bed that’s now one of the most common used beds today.
Known to be incredibly uncomfortable in their early development especially for long term patients, hospital beds have come quite a long way since the modern push-button bed was invented in 1945. Today, beds can average an upwards of $1,000 each and feature everything from lockable wheels, adjustable side rails and a variety of elevation options as well as alarms that alert nurses when a patient exits the bed or needs assistance. Heck, most beds even have built in television remotes and speakers that give an entirely new meaning to “surround sound!”

#6 – Oxygen Mask

From jet pilots, scuba divers, mountain climbers and astronauts, oxygen masks are common in a variety of fields especially in medicine. Used long before the first World War in limited applications such as resuscitating patients, oxygen was later used to treat gas inhalation injuries during the war, which led to the development of oxygen masks and tank oxygen for field use. Originally produced in the 1930s in a one-size fits all application featuring a cone shape and hooked to a massive oxygen tank, the use of oxygen exploded after the war as physicians began adopting the practice around the world.
Over the next few decades, oxygen masks transformed to meet the needs of various applications and industries (divers, astronauts, pets, aviators, etc.) to include optional nasal tubes as well as fully adjustable and disposable masks covering both the nose and mouth without the added feeling of claustrophobia. Today, even the massive oxygen tanks have been replaced with lighter and more compact options that give wearers greater mobility and confidence in not having to lug around a massive tank or hide behind the dreaded oxygen cone!

#5 – Endoscope

Yikes! So that’s what an endoscope is for? One of the most dreaded words for any patient to hear, an endoscopy is the process in which a physician uses an endoscope—or imaging device—to see inside body cavities such as internal organs like the throat or esophagus. First developed in the early 1800s by a German physician named Philipp Bozzini, the endoscope was used for the first time (and long before any doctor had access to electricity) by Antonin Desormeaux, a urologist in Paris, to examine the urinary tract and bladder of his patient.
Over the years, the endoscope has drastically advanced with technological improvements that have extended the practice into several different forms and instruments such as the bronchoscopy (bronchus), arthroscopy (joints) and colonoscopy (colon). Additionally, the introduction of fiber optics in the 1950s led to the development of Rod-lens endoscopes which enhanced the technology so much that doctors are now able to take educated guesses at the level of hemoglobin in a patient’s blood.

#4 – MRI Scanner

Quite possibly one of the most impressive forms of modern medical technology the world has ever seen is the MRI Scanner, which is also one of the newer inventions to make our list. Officially known as a Magnetic Resonance Imaging device, the scanner was invented by Paul C. Lauterbur in 1971 whose work was based on the research of physician and scientist Erik Odeblad in the 1950s. By 1972, physician Raymond Damadian of the State University of New York patented the first MRI scanner to detect cancer in patients.
With the help of highly funded research over the last four decades, MRI technology has improved dramatically to the point that it received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2003 for its applicability in the medical field. Averaging anywhere between $500,000 to $1.5 million and now offering an open-ended scanner for claustrophobic patients who often panic in the original tube design, the MRI Scanner has proven to be incredibly versatile and accurate in diagnosing everything from injuries to illnesses.

#3 – Defibrillator

“Charge to 300 and clear!” While the head mirror might be the most common stereotype of doctors in popular culture today, the defibrillator just might come in second. Seen on medical dramas where doctors yell out “Charge to 250, push one of epi and clear!”, defibrillators are paddle-like devices that are used to treat life-threatening cardiac rhythms by shocking the heart muscle directly. So who came up with the invention and how? The first defibrillator was used in 1899 by Jean-Louis Prevost and Frederic Batelli in Switzerland when they discovered that a small shock in dogs could restore the heart to a normal rate.
Four decades later in the 1930s, Dr. Albert Hyman (who also worked on developing the pacemaker) invented a way to use defibrillation technology on humans as an alternative to injecting drugs straight into a patient’s heart. Instead, Hyman injected a hollow steel needle into the heart to deliver an electric shock in what became known as the Hyman Otor method. Over the years, the defibrillation process has obviously been streamlined into various methods with two of the biggest advancements occurring in the late 1950s when portable units were introduced and again in the 1970s when implantable devices gave new life to cardiac patients.

#2 – X-Ray Machines

“Toe bone connected to the foot bone, foot bone connected to the heel bone!” If you’ve ever broken a bone or visited the dentist, there’s a good chance that you’ve had an x-ray. The x-ray was first discovered by English chemist and physicist William Crookes who was testing electrical discharge tubes when he discovered its many uses. He then used x-rays to photograph his wife’s hand only to discover he could see her wedding ring as well as the 27 bones that made up her fingers, hand and wrist.
With his discovery, Crookes saw the use of x-rays travel beyond hospitals and into odd places like shoe stores where people were desperate to find the perfect fitting shoe (sadly, we aren’t kidding!) However, as people finally discovered just how detrimental x-ray exposure could be, the process was restricted to hospital use on an exclusive basis. These days, modern safety measures have made a huge impact on x-ray use in patients leading to a variety of forms such as mammography and orthopantomograms, which is exactly what the dentist does when he takes a “picture” of your teeth from ear to ear!

#1 – Wheelchairs

Can you pop a wheelie? Ending our list with one of the most popular medical devices, the wheelchair is an overly simple invention that has evolved over the years into a high-end means of transportation for many patients with mobility issues. Dating back to the fifth century BC when disabled people used wheeled chairs to get around, the technology was certainly lacking in the early design especially when it came to comfort and convenience. Everything changed, however, in 1933 when mechanical engineers Harry Jennings and Herbert Everest introduced the first collapsible wheelchair.
Offering unique insight into the design because of his own disability after breaking his back in a mining accident, Everest’s collaboration with Jennings was a game changer as their lightweight steel design has stuck around for decades. During the 1940s, the industry saw another change as electrical powered chairs made the rounds among wealthier clients who were the only ones who could afford such high-priced chairs. Now, after years of modifications and refinement, electrical-powered wheelchairs are much more affordable and are seen buzzing around everywhere from neighborhood sidewalks to airports, shopping malls and grocery stores.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Donald Blocks Refugees and Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries

Donald Blocks Refugees and Citizens of 7 Muslim Countries

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Friday closed the nation’s borders to refugees from around the world, ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States, and temporarily suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.
In an executive order that he said was part of an extreme vetting plan to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” Mr. Trump also established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations: He ordered that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims.
“We don’t want them here,” Mr. Trump said of Islamist terrorists during a signing ceremony at the Pentagon. “We want to ensure that we are not admitting into our country the very threats our soldiers are fighting overseas. We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country, and love deeply our people.”
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump explained to an interviewer for the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christians in Syria were “horribly treated” and alleged that under previous administrations, “if you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible.”
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“I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them,” the president said.
In fact, the United States accepts tens of thousands of Christian refugees. According to the Pew Research Center, almost as many Christian refugees (37,521) were admitted as Muslim refugees (38,901) in the 2016 fiscal year.
The executive order suspends the entry of refugees into the United States for 120 days and directs officials to determine additional screening ”to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States.”
The order also stops the admission of refugees from Syria indefinitely, and bars entry into the United States for 90 days from seven predominantly Muslim countries linked to concerns about terrorism. Those countries are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Additionally, Mr. Trump signed a memorandum on Friday directing what he called “a great rebuilding of the armed services,” saying it would call for budget negotiations to acquire new planes, new ships and new resources for the nation’s military.
“Our military strength will be questioned by no one, but neither will our dedication to peace,” Mr. Trump said.
Announcing his “extreme vetting” plan, the president invoked the specter of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Most of the 19 hijackers on the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pa., were from Saudi Arabia. The rest were from the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. None of those countries are on Mr. Trump’s visa ban list.
Human rights activists roundly condemned Mr. Trump’s actions, describing them as officially sanctioned religious persecution dressed up to look like an effort to make the United States safer.
The International Rescue Committee called it “harmful and hasty.” The American Civil Liberties Union described it as a “euphemism for discriminating against Muslims.” Raymond Offensheiser, the president of Oxfam America, said the order would harm families around the world who are threatened by authoritarian governments.
“The refugees impacted by today’s decision are among the world’s most vulnerable people — women, children, and men — who are simply trying to find a safe place to live after fleeing unfathomable violence and loss,” Mr. Offensheiser said.
The president signed the executive order shortly after issuing a statement noting that Friday was International Holocaust Remembrance Day, an irony that many of his critics highlighted on Twitter. The statement did not mention Jews, although it cited the “depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”
Mr. Trump’s actions came during a swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, a former Marine general. Standing in the Hall of Heroes at the Pentagon, Mr. Trump hailed the members of America’s military as “the backbone of this country” and described Mr. Mattis as a “man of action.” The president mistakenly referred to Mr. Mattis as a “soldier,” a term abhorred by Marines.
Mr. Trump has been deferential to Mr. Mattis, who has quickly established himself as a top aide whose advice the president is willing to take. On Friday, Mr. Trump said he would let Mr. Mattis “override” him by banning torture during terror interrogations even though Mr. Trump believes the tactics do work in getting information from suspects.
In a remarkable show of deference to his own subordinate, Mr. Trump said during an earlier news conference Friday morning with Theresa May, the British prime minister, that he would let Mr. Mattis decide about whether to use torture in interrogations. Mr. Mattis has said he does not believe torture is effective.
“I don’t necessarily agree, but I will tell you that he will override because I’m giving him that power,” Mr. Trump said. “I’m going to rely on him. I happen to feel that it does work.”
Mr. Trump appeared to be struggling with the issue even as he spoke, returning several times to his own belief in the effectiveness of torture even as he stated that he would let Mr. Mattis decide.
“But I’m going with our leaders,” he said. “We are going to win, with or without.”
Then he added, “But I do disagree.”
Mr. Mattis spent his first week as defense secretary trying to reassure not only American allies, but also military rank and file, that the United States will not abandon a national security structure that has stood in place since the end of World War II. He has told officials in the Pentagon building that at an uncertain time, he intends, as defense secretary, to provide an even-keeled, measured approach to national security issues.
Before the signing ceremony, Mr. Trump met with Mr. Mattis and his military chiefs for about an hour. The meeting — which took place in a Pentagon secure room known as “the tank” — included introductions for Mr. Trump to his military chiefs of staff. The meeting was attended by Michael Flynn, the national security adviser; Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and the chiefs of the four services and the National Guard.
The men discussed how to accelerate the fight against the Islamic State and North Korea and how to deal with a host of global challenges, said a defense official who was not authorized to talk publicly about the internal talks. The leaders also discussed how to improve military readiness.
The newly sworn-in secretary of defense also gave Mr. Trump a little of what the president has been asking — or tweeting — for. On Thursday, Mr. Mattis ordered a review of the controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, which has been criticized by Mr. Trump for its cost overruns.
Mr. Mattis also ordered that plans for a new Air Force One — another project that has come under fire from Mr. Trump — should be reviewed, “with the specific objective of identifying means to substantially reduce the program’s costs while delivering needed capabilities.”
The F-35 review, Mr. Mattis said in a memo, will also look at how to reduce costs while still meeting requirements set out for the fighter jet program.
During his confirmation hearings this month, Mr. Mattis defended Twitter messages from Mr. Trump criticizing the F-35 program. Mr. Mattis said at the time that Mr. Trump had “in no way shown a lack of support for the program,” adding, “He just wants more bang for the buck.”
The cost of building the F-35 next-generation fighter jet has been an issue at the Pentagon for several years. At an estimated $400 billion over 15 years for 2,443 planes, the fighter jet is the military’s largest weapons project.
Source: New York Time