Remainders - Things We Didn't Post

...Nintendo DS Gets a Glucose Meter...a Cargo Ship Gets Solar Atari Cartridge Gets a New Lease On Life...and Lance Armstrong Gets a Chalkbot???

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Healthcare apparatuses don't normally attract our attention, so we were understandably on the fence about this Didget glucose meter that docks with the Nintendo DS. Another thing is that as a useful tool that helps kids learn to monitor their own diabetes, and will probably save many lives, it's damn hard to make fun of in any way. But it occurs to me that if one of these came out for the iPhone, we'd be all over it (and we were, even in concept form), so I figure this is worth at least a wink from Captain Remainder. [Bayer HealthCare via BoingBoing]

Illustration for article titled Remainders - Things We Didn't Post

A oil tanker cargo ship owned by the NYK shipping line has been outfitted by Toyota to become a solar/diesel hybrid. Ten percent of the ships electrical demands will be run by solar power derived from the 328 cells on the ship's deck. This may be hot stuff in the shipping news, but for us, it's a bit of a letdown: It's just a proof-of-concept, meant to bring awareness to the need for alternative fuels (like we weren't aware of this). Besides, look how much of the deck isn't covered with solar cells. Chop chop, Toyota! I can see your other 90% right there. [Inhabitat]

Illustration for article titled Remainders - Things We Didn't Post

Remember Atari cartridges? (I'll give you a minute. OK, got it? Good.) Yes, those beloved old ugly black things. Guess what!!!! You can now have one that's a USB drive. Why would you want one? That's a marvelous question!!!! So marvelous, I have no answer for it. If you ever buy one of these, be sure to drop me a line explaining why. [UberGizmo]

Illustration for article titled Remainders - Things We Didn't Post

Nike and Lance Armstrong's Livestrong organization teamed with some nerdier entities to build Chalkbot, a device that will be towed by a truck following the cyclists at the Tour de France, schpritzing messages of hope or mourning into the sidewalk for potentially millions to see. Anyone can do it—just visit the Nike link below. It's definitely a great way to inspire people, and bring awareness to the cause of Livestrong. But when I see "Chalkbot," I want something big, that propels itself on its own wheels or spindly spider-like legs, that's holding two really big pieces of chalk in its shiny metallic hands, making crazy shrieky noises as it flops around, jaggily scratching messages into the sidewalk in the old-school way. Or is that just the plot of my recurring nightmare? [Nike/Livestrong via CrunchGear]



The Werewolf

Here.. let me be the one to provide a counterview on the glucose meter thing.

I just went through the entire process of being evaluated and trained on the entire type-2 diabetes process. The first thing I noticed was... blood glucose meters are being marketed as *fashion* accessories. I also noticed that the British Columbia Medical Association had taken the definition of 'normal' from 3.8 - 7.0 mmol/l to 4.0 - 7.0, then 4.0 - 6.0 and just recently to 4.0 to 5.5. To put that in perspective the 'normal' range has HALVED.

The meter I was given - oh - and let's talk about that for a second. The blood glucose metering game makes barbie dolls and cigarettes makers look like amateurs. See, the meter itself is cheap - the STRIPS and LANCETs are expensive. This is why the hospital can give you a free one during the training sessions - and the pharmacy can hand you one EVERY TIME you get a renewal.

But back to the meter I was given - see, they're supposed to be accurate to within 15%. BUT.. actually, they're not. It's more like 25%. And remember the range of 'normal'? 25% error means a HUGE swing. I kept getting insane numbers that were very scary - then we tested it against a calibrated lab model - the first test on my meter - 7.8. The second: 6.4. The lab? 5.8.

The majority of tests were too high - on repeated tests (each one requiring another stab - and don't let them kid you - it hurts), the numbers swung all over the place. I had one that ranged from 4.8 to 11 over three tries.

But the real eyeopener was listening to the nurses. To them, it's simple. If you have any symptom of diabetes... you not only have it - you will have it for life - your feet and hands WILL fall off - you will go blind - and there's really nothing you can do about it. Even if you keep your blood sugar down - you'll still suffer.

I had to stop them at that point and cite the British and Mayo Clinic study that showed that patients with gastric banding showed a complete remission of diabetes within a week of the banding. I also had to point out that there's been a lot of solid work on correcting type 2 diabetes. Things simply aren't that hopeless.

Making kiddie-meters isn't, in my opinion, a good way to deal with this. Getting kids off sugar - getting them out there exercising and losing weight - learning how to eat healthy food - and understanding that 'fat free' doesn't mean 'healthy' when you're talking about a bottle of pop and a snicker's bar - that no - 16 lbs of food is NOT a normal meal. These are how you deal with diabetes.

Not blood glucose meters - unless your insulin response or production system is actually seriously compromised.

Yeah, sorry - it's been a rough two months.