Cat Immersion Project — One of the most heart-wrenching situations that anyone may see is to watch a child endure the treatment of cancer. In addition to the direct side effects, cancer treatments often create a weakened immune system. These kids usually spend extended periods away from the things they love. Take for instance the recent story of 16-year-old Maga Barzalla Sockemtickem. Maga spent more than seven months at Seattle Children’s Hospital waiting for a bone marrow donor, eventually receiving the transplant. During the post-transplant treatment, she was isolated to her room and cut off from one of her most beloved companions, her cat Merry.
Her caregivers hit the internet in an effort to help Maga. Via Facebook, they asked the world to send in their favorite cat pictures. The world responded with 3,000 pictures, which the hospital compiled into what they called the Cat Immersion Project. After some creative engineering, Maga viewed the compilation on bedsheets formed into a tent above her bed.
“You guys remind me that there is so much good in the world, and its just makes me feel so much better, and connected,” Maga said in response to the outpouring of support. “I can’t tell you how it feels sometimes, feeling disconnected and cut off from the world, and then with something like cat pictures bringing me back. Thank you all for your kind words, and well wishing. It means more then you can ever know. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you…”
Check out the video on You Tube; search “Cat Immersion Project” or go to http://bit.ly/PmcpFq.
Die, Printer, Die! — From my observations of computer users, tech support and business managers, I have arrived at the conclusion that the single most despised piece of IT equipment is the printer. Simply put, no matter what you seem to do, printers remain a pain in the butt. Nothing ever prints correctly the first time, ink is incredibly expensive and everything that is successfully printed is tossed within five minutes after use. Unfortunately, the innumerable attempts at a paperless office or online photo albums have not been able to provide the utility of a simple piece of hardcopy.
Good news may be on the way, however. A recent research note by Deutsche Bank analyst Chris Whitmore titled “Dead-tree format is dying” illustrates that a slow and steady demise of the printer has been transpiring for a while. According to his statistics, combined printer supplies and hardware demand declined by 6 percent per year over the last 10 quarters. In addition, paper demand peaked in 2006 and has declined each year since. Paper demand is currently about 20 percent below the 2006 peak.
Most of the decline is attributed to tablets and smartphone use (duh). I just call it progress.
Back to Mars — While all the kids in town are getting ready to head back to school, the rocket scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory are headed back to Mars. Last Sunday night, the NASA Curiosity rover landed, starting one of the most ambitious Mars missions to date. The one-ton rover is about the size of a compact car and is the heaviest payload ever landed on Mars. Expect a steady release of high-resolution pictures over the next couple of weeks as the rover goes through its checkout sequence. After the sequence is complete, off to Mt. Sharp where scientist hope to find evidence of microbial life.
For more information on the Curiousity rover, go the the NASA-JPL site, http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/. The site is really outstanding and kid friendly. The landing sequence for this rover is insane (even by rocket scientist standards), and the JPL site has a great web animation of the sequence. (Note to aspiring web designers… you need to figure out how to do this!)
Until next week, I’m off the grid. @gregory_a_bakerYou Might Also Like: