Amazing solar-powered fridge invented by British student in a potting shed helps poverty-stricken Africans
By Chris Brooke
Last updated at 8:05 PM on 07th January 2009
It's the kind of brilliant yet simple invention that would have the tycoons of the Dragon's Den salivating with excitement.
An eco-friendly fridge, powered by the sun rather than electricity, that can be made out of ordinary household materials for a potentially huge Third World market.
The 'sustainable refrigerator' is the brainchild of 21-year-old university student Emily Cummins and the appliance she invented as a schoolgirl in her grandfather's potting shed is already helping to improve the lives of thousands of poverty-stricken Africans.
Enlarge Emily Cummins
Emily Cummins holds the portable eco-fridge. It can keep perishable goods, such as milk or meat, cool for days at a temperature of around 6C
Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:52 pm EST Stolen Zetterberg Classic stick may be reunited with young fan
By Greg Wyshynski
There's an interesting second chapter being written to that story we posted on Wednesday, in which 14-year-old hockey fan Kalan Plew was given a stick by Detroit Red Wings star Henrik Zetterberg after the Winter Classic before getting snookered out of it by "a man dressed like a security guard" at Wrigley Field.
The bad news is that the human garbage that stole the kid's stick appears to have actually profited off of it. But there is good news, according to a letter forwarded to Puck Daddy and written by a guy who allegedly purchased the stick -- in a Wrigley Field bathroom, no less.
That good news being that the young fan might actually get his game-used Classic stick after all.
Puck Daddy reader Julie has a neighbor who unknowingly made himself a part of this Winter Classic stick-stealing story, which was first written about in the Chicago Tribune's trouble-shooting column this week. She forwarded us a letter to the editor her friend sent to the Chicago Tribune, which explains his role in this tale.
John Hahn of the Red Wings confirmed that the team was forwarded the letter from the paper, and are aware of the story.
(We chatted with Julie this afternoon, and she said that the writer wanted to keep his name and residence anonymous for now; the Wings said the author is from North Carolina).
The letter, warts and all, to John Yates at the Tribune:
I have a Winter Classic story that just might be very interesting to you and your readers.
I live in ******** . And I had the good fortune to go to Wrigley Field and see the Hawks. The plane tickets, hotel room and game tickets cost a fortune, but I grew up just outside Chicago and my wife just outside Detroit . I like all the major sports. My wife, Lori, loves one, hockey and her team is the Detroit Red Wings. It has been a tough pill for me to swallow for eighteen years. I had my [Chicago Blackhawks] jersey on. She had her Wings jersey on. We had the greatest day, the people were all so happy and festive the game was great. I said it, that day was worth it all. Then it happened.
I wanted to stop at the bathroom before we got back on the red line. While I was in the bathroom, I started talking to a security guard, with a blue jacket, and a white hat holding a hockey stick. I said, hey I'll buy that stick from you. (He didn't look much like a hockey fan). He said not this stick, its Henrick Zetterberg's (sic.); I'm selling it on eBay. I said, you won't sell that on eBay. It will end up in your apartment or house collecting dust. That's my wife's favorite player I'll double my offer. And The Stick was Mine.
I rushed out of the mens room, just like I had scored the Hawks first goal with that stick high over my head. My wife was wide eyed as I presented her with the souvenir of all souvenirs. We showed it to everybody inside and outside the stadium. The other fans and I flexed it and shot every piece of liter we could find (carefully of coarse, that was Henrick's game stick) I carried that stick on the train, down Michigan Ave , it's even been in the John Hancock building. I think everybody I know has heard about that stick and half of ***** has seen it. Then my friend from Detroit called tonight and sent me to your Tribune link. This must be that boys souvenir not mine.
I am so proud of Chicago! I wear some sort of Cubs, Bears, or Hawks clothing every single weekend. I love the people and fans of Chicago and I think some of my friends here are even jealous they aren't from there.
The bottom line, however is that Henrick gave that stick to Kalan not me. Maybe he would like to trade his new stick for an Official Game Used Winter Classic Stick. But if not, that's OK!
Jon, would you help me get this stick back to its rightful owner. Hey Kalan, there are bad people, but the United States is filled with far more good ones. Enjoy your stick buddy and keep loving hockey.
Julie offered a quick update on what's happened after her friend's admission. First, she said the Chicago Tribune is expected to follow up with him about this story, so one can assume we'll know his identity when that story is published.
She also thought the Red Wings were going to put the young fan in touch with the author, but the Wings told us it'll be the paper that does it, if it's anyone. The Wings, remember, already sent Kalan Plew a replacement stick from Zetterberg.
Sounds like what was a really rotten tale from the Winter Classic is going to have a very unexpected happy ending.
In Australia and the web site is out of date.
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Ottawa boy's invisible invention warns birds about deadly windows
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | 5:24 PM ET
Charlie Sobcov's window decals are clear and transparent to humans, but not to birds.Charlie Sobcov's window decals are clear and transparent to humans, but not to birds. (Emily Chung/CBC)
Eighth grader Charlie Sobcov wants to stop birds from dying in collisions with windows, but he doesn't want to ruin anybody's view.
For his latest school science fair project he has invented painted, plastic decals that can be placed — discreetly — right in the middle of a window pane.
"This paint is a colour that birds can see but humans can't," he said Wednesday on CBC Radio's All in a Day. "It's like putting a big stop sign in the middle of the window."
The colour is ultraviolet, beyond the range of colours visible to humans. That means the "stop sign" lets birds know the window is solid, but is nearly invisible to humans.
Similar flying falcon-shaped decals already exist on the windows of some buildings, but unlike Sobcov's, they are black and can obstruct part of the window.
Sobcov, who studies at the Turnbull School, a private school in Ottawa, said he first fell in love with birds while on a trip with his parents to Costa Rica four years ago. He learned that bird populations were decreasing around the world, and that many scientists were blaming global warming.
He later read that about 500 million birds a year in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada were dying as a result of crashing into windows. Many deadly bird collision are with the windows of skyscrapers along their migratory paths.
Sobcov resolved to help save the lives of some of those birds.
Paint for cosmic bowling
He started researching bird vision and found out that a bird's eye view includes colours in the ultraviolet range.
After a search, he managed to find a company in Montreal that made fluorescent ultraviolet paint. The paint is used in the entertainment industry for things like "cosmic bowling," to make lanes glow. In normal indoor lighting, the paint is invisible, but when ultraviolet "black lights" shine on it, it emits light of a different colour — within the range that people can see.
So far, Sobcov has tested his flying falcon-shaped decals on the sunroom of a cottage neighbouring his family's cottage.
"Immediately the birds stopped flying into those windows," he said.
Sobcov has since posted a notice in the newspaper asking people to volunteer to help him test the decals, which can be easily peeled off and reused on a different window or a different part of the same window. He said he received responses from about 40 volunteers, including many who asked how they can buy the decals.
Sobcov said he needs to have his experiment completed by early February, but after that he may consider marketing his new invention.
In Australia and the web site is out of date.
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For all the annoying dross that often circulates in alternative meds....once in a while a gem is found.... go figure....
Boy with baffling illness so rare it does not have a name is cured by his PARENTS
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:14 PM on 09th February 2009
The dedicated parents of an eight-year-old boy with a devastating blood disorder have amazed doctors by finding a cure for him after refusing to give up hope.
Reuben Grainger-Mead’s illness, which doctors said was like living with a ‘permanent hangover’, was so rare that it still does not have a name.
But after parents Peter Mead and Michelle Grainger-Mead began a process of painstaking research they found ordinary dietary protein supplements relieved his condition.
Breakthrough: Reuben Grainger-Mead and parents Michell and Peter
And medics now believe the amino acid treatment could also be a breakthrough for sufferers of cancer and other diseases and have launched an official study.
Reuben’s heartening story mirrors that of Lorenzo Odone, who was the inspiration for the film Lorenzo’s Oil, starring Nick Nolte and Susan Sarandon.
Despite being given just two years to live at age six, he survived until he was 30 after his parents Augusto and Michaela discovered a treatment, which took the form of a dietary supplement involving olive oil.
Before being successfully treated Reuben, from Gomersal, West Yorkshire, had required painful monthly transfusions because his red blood cell count was so low.
Doctors believe his condition is unique, but said it is similar to Diamond Blackfan Anaemia (DBA) - but some of his symptoms were very different.
As he was growing up, he had a low immune system so he constantly fell ill and suffered from ailments like eczema and asthma.
He was weak and struggled to speak, his growth was stunted and he was also 18 months behind other children with his all-round development.
His heart had to work much harder, giving him a fast heartbeat - three or four times quicker than normal - leaving him vulnerable to heart attacks.
When Reuben was examined at the age of two, doctors compared his condition to living with a ‘permanent hangover’.
And after countless tests, his parents were given the shattering news that doctors were powerless to help their son.
But Mr Mead, 45, and Mrs Grainger-Mead, 39, scoured the Internet for years looking for alternative therapies, and considered acupuncture and Oriental therapy, before turning to nutritional consultant Diana Wright.
Inspiration: The film Lorenzo's Oil, starring Susan Sarandon and Nick Nolte
Mrs Wright discovered Reuben lacked certain vital amino acids, proteins, in his body, so he was put on a course of dietary supplements which were mixed into his food and drink, with incredible success.
He is now a normal, healthy eight-year-old who loves playing with pals and riding his bike. He is even catching up to his friends in height.
At his last blood count, he had an above average number of red blood cells.
The youngster, who had 25 one-pint blood transfusions while ill, has not needed one for three years thanks to his regime.
Mrs Grainger-Mead, a teacher, said: ‘We are dumbfounded at how successful it has been.
‘We did live in hope but always had the doubt as all the medics were saying there was nothing else we could do.’
Before finding the treatment, Reuben’s parents feared he would die prematurely.
Mr Mead, a supply chain manager, said: ‘The stark reality was that Reuben needed a blood transfusion every month to increase his red blood cell count, which would mean constant care throughout his whole life and so much time spent in hospital.
‘The last resort would then have been a bone marrow transplant, which doctors said he may not have survived because he was so ill.’
The astonishing success of Reuben’s treatment has led to doctors planning a study to see if similar therapy works on other ill children and adults.
It was partly funded with £70,000 raised by his parents.
Dr Jose Delafuente, an eminent haematologist at Imperial College, London, who is running the research, said: ‘Reuben has been given amino acids as part of a diet of supplements and this seems to have a positive effect on him.
‘They seem to be helping his cells grow normally and as a result he is starting to grow properly.
‘There are about 100 children suffering from DBA in the UK, and one of the features of this condition is that they have a great risk of developing cancer, particularly leukaemia and bone cancer but also many other cancers.
‘This is because of a protein defect in the blood.
‘There is early evidence that using amino acids may overcome this problem with the protein, and ultimately we hope the risk of DBA sufferers developing cancer will be abolished.
‘So we may learn lessons from this which help in the fight against cancer.
‘DBA sufferers have a life expectancy of around 40 so this is highly important research.’
Reuben takes a daily cocktail of six protein supplements, involving powder and tablets, with meals and drinks. It costs around £10,000 a year.
Nutritional consultant Mrs Wright, who works at The Orchard Clinic for Complementary Medicine in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, said: ‘In May 2004 we discovered Reuben lacked two amino acids called leucine and isoluceine, so we started him on a series of dietary supplements, checking his blood levels every three months.
‘In other words you are giving the body the tools to fix a problem.’
Mrs Grainger-Smith added: ‘It’s amazing that we have been so successful and we would be so proud we have contributed to this groundbreaking research which could potentially help so many people.’
It worked! Unemployed engineer who resorted to sandwich board advertisement by motorway lands a job
By Andrew Levy
Jason Fruen with sandwich board
An unemployed Briton who resorted to standing at a busy motorway junction advertising for work on a sandwich board has secured a job.
Engineer Jason Fruen, 39, took the drastic action after being made redundant five months ago.
Every day from 5.30am, the father-of-one had been standing for four hours at Junction 9 of the M60 by the huge Trafford Park industrial estate in Manchester, wearing a hoarding advertising his quest.
After his plight was publicised, Mr Fruen received a call inviting him to attend an interview with a firm in Trafford Park. And now his desperate attempts have paid off.
'I've actually had a company offer me a position. I've had to have an interview and they've offered me a position,' Mr Fruen told BBC Radio 5 Live.
After losing his job as a maintenance engineer last September, he spent just one day there with his sandwich board before he was given a temporary job by the boss of a local company.
‘The guy told me frankly that he didn’t actually have a vacant position but that anyone prepared to do what I was doing deserved a chance,’ said Mr Fruen.
‘He was good enough to give me two and a half months work but last week he said he’d have to let me go.’
So, with a seven-year-old daughter, Cleo, who lives with her mother, and a £627-a-month mortgage to pay on his three-bedroom semi in nearby Little Hulton, he picked up his sandwich board again.
Bad old days: A jobseeker adopts the same strategy in New York during the Great Depression
'In September I was made redundant and I got some seasonal work, a company in Manchester... They give me some work to get me through the Christmas period. That finished on last Friday.
'I got that job using this board and I've used it again.'
Mr Fruen will finalise the terms and conditions of his new job on Monday.
'I think we're going to see a lot more people adopting this way of looking for work,' he said.
'I've still got a mortgage to pay, that's why I was out there doing it. I've still got the cost of living and my bills to pay and I needed a job to do it.'
Mr Fruen's reminder of today's recession had echoes of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
His unashamed stunt is similar to the pre-war unemployed who desperately walked the streets of American cities with signs around their necks appealing for work.
Mr Fruen said the weekly visit to the JobCentre would be nowhere near enough to get himself back into work.
Fast approaching the age of 40, he decided that more drastic action was needed – that he would have to hit the road.
‘People have told me what I’m doing goes back to the 1930s but I hadn’t realised,’ he said. ‘My idea was just to advertise myself to as many people as possible. It’s one
of those needs must things.
‘There are jobs out there but the problem is there’s 50 or 60 people going for each one.’
Often seen waving back to motorists who sound their horns in support, Mr Fruen said yesterday: ‘I’m full of beans every morning and there are little things that keep you going.
‘People toot their horns and give me thumbs up signs and someone came over this morning and gave me a pot of tea and a sandwich.’
He added: ‘I’ve never been one to sign on. It’s just a discipline that I’ve got. And anyway Jobseeker’s Allowance of £60 or £70 a week is no good when you’ve got a mortgage.’
Mr Fruen's attitude has struck a chord with British Chambers of Commerce spokesman Sam Turvey.
He said yesterday: ‘British businesses and workers are having to show a real fighting spirit during this recession.’
Mr Fruen left school at 16 and went to work for a recycling firm where he was given one day off a week and studied for a City & Guilds in engineering.
He has subsequently worked for various firms and had a spell self-employed. Over the past seven years he has maintained high-speed packing machinery, earning more than £20,000 a year.
When he was made redundant last year he had two jobs lined up, again looking after packing machinery, but failed the medicals because he is slightly asthmatic and the job involves working with chemicals.
Mike Dello Stritto
MANTECA, Calif. (CBS13) ―
He has been confined to a wheelchair for 20 years. Now a paraplegic man is walking again, and his doctors call it a miracle. CBS13 went to Manteca to find out how a spider bite helped get him back on his feet.
"I closed my eyes and then I was spinning like a flying saucer," explains David Blancarte.
A motorcycle accident almost killed David 21 years ago. At the time he might have wished he was dead.
"I asked my doctor, 'Sir what happened? I can't feel my legs'," said David.
Ever since, David's been relying on his wheelchair to get around. Then the spider bite. A Brown Recluse sent him to the hospital, then to rehab for eight months.
"I'm here for a spider bite. I didn't know I would end up walking," says David.
A nurse noticed David's leg spasm and ran a test on him.
"When they zapped my legs, I felt the current, I was like 'whoa' and I yelled," he says.
He felt the current and the rush of a renewed sense of hope.
"She says,'your nerves are alive. They're just asleep'," explained David.
Five days later David was walking.
"I was walking on the bar back and forth," he said.
Now David is out of the hospital and on his feet and walking.
David basks in his glory and gives a ray of hope to other hoping to walk again. The 48-year-old former boxer and dancer is taking it in stride, knowing his best days are still ahead.
David's dream is to see his 14-year-old twin daughters grow up and get married so he can walk them down the aisle and have that first dance.