Proposal For Phylogenic Classification, Advances Bread Clip Science

A publication in this month’s BMJ Case Reports, a peer-reviewed publication of the British Medical Journal, offers a “proposal for phylogenic plastic bag clip classification”. Contributing authors include John Daniel of the Holotypic Occlupanid Research Group (HORG).

Over 20 cases of accidental ingestion of plastic bag clips have been published. Known complications include small bowel perforation, obstruction, dysphagia, gastrointestinal bleeding and colonic impaction. Preoperative diagnosis of plastic clips lodged in the gastrointestinal tract is frustrated due to radiographic translucency. This occult threat could likely be prevented by the design of gastrointestinally safe, plastic-bag-sealing devices. Presented here is a morphologically based classification of bag clips as a possible guide for determining the most hazardous varieties and to aid further discussions of their impact on health.
[BMJ Case Reports: Lehmer, Ragsdale, Daniel, Hayashi, Kvalstad, 2011]

The full paper is behind the BMJ paywall, but here are some excerpted illustrations:

“Meta Cookie” & The Brave Future of “Cross-Modal Gustatory Display”

I’ve just returned from Siggraph 2010 in Los Angeles, where a poster presented by four researchers from the University of Tokyo breaks new ground in human/computer interaction. While most HCI research and development has been in display devices operating with visual (monitor), auditory (sound card), and less common tactile (braille,haptic) output, “Meta Cookie” describes an innovative “wearable olfactory display” employing “augmented reality technology and olfactory display technology”.

Meta Cookie Meta Cookie

A menu allows the user to select which kind of virtual cookie they’d like to consume while holding a uniquely marked “augmented reality cookie” and wearing a special helmet. Cameras on the helmet track the cookie, with a heads up display overlaying the appearance of the desired cookie. The head/cookie tracking system triangulates the position of the cookie in 3D space, as the helmet’s aroma injectors produce the cookie’s simulated aroma and strength relative to its distance from the user’s nose. The system’s “palette” is capable of “displaying” chocolate, almond, tea, strawberry, orange, maple, lemon, and cheese cookies.

WTF Podcast with Marc Maron

Marc Maron WFT

Marc Maron is a comedian who’s been doing stand-up comedy since the days of Sam Kinison, but I don’t know him from his comedy work. I know him from “WTF“, his biweekly podcast that started in September 2009. It’s a mixture of political rants, personal introspection frequently bordering on TMI therapy, meta-commentary on his attempt to find a sustainable business model in free internet podcasting, and interviews with well known headliner comedians like Ben Stiller, Patton Oswalt, Margaret Cho, or “Metalocalypse” creator Brendon Small.

It’s the interviews where Marc really shines. As a fellow performer and community member with few axes to grind his guests open up to him as a peer and talk shop in a way that’s often surprisingly personal, intimate, and honest. His insider credentials give him the ability to openly discuss sensitive issues like allegations of joke stealing with Carlos Mencia and his former openers, popularity backlash with Dane Cook, substance abuse and divorce with Robin Williams, or the inside story of the collapse of the Tonight Show with Andy Richter. Marc’s attitude toward himself might be full of indecision and self-doubt, but when he interviews very big names he walks a very fine line between asking difficult questions without being provocative or confrontational. “Not looking to indict, but looking to get some sense of truth.”

I probably wouldn’t have come across Marc’s work if it hadn’t been for his podcast, and if I had I might not have enjoyed. Marc’s comedy style is not my style, but as a podcaster he’s a neurotically likable guy doing increasingly good work that’s well worth checking out. New York locals might want to check out Comix NY, where he’ll be recording two live WTF shows on Wednesday, June 21st.

Infrared Cameras at Tokyo’s Narita Airport Are Designed to Spot People With Fevers

At the arrival terminal of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, right before the passport check-in desk, you’ll walk past a small station like this. It’s an infrared camera, a part of Japan’s ongoing war on germs, designed to spot people with fevers.

Narita Infrared Scanner

photo by Laszlo Thoth

Depending on how high your body temperature is they might pull you aside for some questions. Depending on your the answers to those questions the Narita doctors might just give you an aspirin and some pamphlets, or they might send you to the nearest hospital for some tests.

It might seem a little draconian, but the Japanese like having one of the world’s longest life expectancies with the help of one of the highest performing, lowest cost health care systems in the world. A big part of their system is information-gathering and prevention, keeping tabs on small health concerns before they become big concerns.

Burger King’s 1 3/4 lb Windows 7 Whopper

guest post by Laszlo Thoth

A good friend living in Japan recently asked the twitterverse whether American Burger Kings would be selling the Windows 7 Whopper in America. In 140 characters it can be hard to tell whether someone is joking, but this announcement is as serious as a heart attack.

In an unusual cross-marketing campaign, Microsoft and Burger King Japan are offering the Windows 7 Whopper during the week of October 22-28 to celebrate the release of Windows 7. Measuring 13cm (5.1 inches) in diameter, the “Amerikanbanzu” (“supergiant”) Windows 7 Whopper features up to seven 113 gram (¼ pound) beef patties totaling 1.75 pounds. The first 30 customers can purchase a Windows 7 Whopper for the special price of ¥777 ($8.49), regular price ¥1450 ($15.84).

Burger King Windows 7 Whopper ??????? 7 ?????

Japanese fast food restaurants are no strangers to bizarre marketing campaigns. A few years ago McDonalds introduced their similarly outrageous Mega Mac in a hip, elaborately choreographed, and wildly successful guerrilla marketing campaign.

Mission Cubana Sandwich of Doom Featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations

guest post by Laszlo Thoth

Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations

photo via Travel Channel

This week’s episode of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations” brought Anthony Bourdain to San Francisco. We’re used to seeing him paddling a canoe up an Amazon tributary or eating a roast tongue out of an African warthog’s skull so it seemed a little weird to see him in our neighborhood, but a world-class city like San Francisco has a lot to offer including the infamous cubana sandwich.

This $10 monster, “as big as Giada De Laurentiis’ head” serves two people for at least 48 hours. I stopped by the That’s It Market this Saturday afternoon, took one home, and discovered that it is all one could expect and more. Packed with ham, cheese, mayonnaise, chorizo, chicken, pickled peppers, sour cream, fried egg, milanesa, avocado, and garnished with hot dog slices it is a work of art that simultaneously appetizes and horrifies. Here’s a photo of the half that I couldn’t eat and saved for later, with a quarter on the left for scale.

photo by Laszlo Thoth

Consider washing a Cubana down with the Maple Bacon Latte that Antony tried at Pirate Cat Radio. The episode also featured the Tadich Grill, Aub Zam Zam, the House of Prime Rib, the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, taco trucks along Oakland’s International Blvd, Sushi Sebo, R&G Lounge, Incanto, and Red’s Java House.

Here’s video of the San Francisco episode, including the Cubana and Pirate Cat Radio.