Empyting out the mailbag and clearing the history #7

Posted on June 26, 2015

(Last Updated On: May 19, 2017)

Other mailbags can be found hereKeep in mind a lot of this is email conversations, comment replies, or some random interesting things I’ve found. By their nature they are not as thorough or complete as a post on one topic.

Here’s what’s covered in this installment (click to be taken to the section):

Some good imaging learning sources

I came across this video and thought it was a nice introduction to looking at a knee MRI:

In the video www.XRayHead.com is referenced. That’s another solid source. Different way of learning, or refreshing on, some anatomy.

Different take on a smart watch

Due to the hype for fitness application, I’ve been paying close attention to the Apple Watch, and looking at other smart watches as well. I went and tried on an Apple Watch and was impressed by the look and feel. But then I’ve seen a few people wearing it, and the aesthetics really leave something desired in my mind.

I love the look of a mechanical watch. With the Apple Watch, all you see on someone’s wrist is this blank black screen.

Apple watch black screen 2

Apple watch black screen 1

It flattens the look of it so much. Apple did a lot to market how you can change the time pieces.

apple watch faces

But does that matter when no one can see the time piece? And you can’t leave the screen on, because that’ll drain the battery.

I was walking through the mall and checked out one of my favorite watch makers, MontBlanc. They came out with this early June:
montblanc smartwatch

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 10.18.59 AM

I immediately saw this and thought, “Now that I might get on board with.” The screen display is somewhat crude, but that seems to be intentional. Like a Kindle which is only for reading, the display is only meant for quick updates. You’re not typing on it. Calendar reminder? Check. Want to see how many steps you’ve hit today? Done. Want to know where your phone is? It can even tell you that. It can sync to your smartphone and all that too. Furthermore, much like a simple e-reader, the battery lasts. About five days.

This may end up being a really nice compromise between the mechanical watch and digital display worlds.  Something like a FitBit inside a nice band, but still with a mechanical timepiece. I didn’t realize someone else was already working on this too. Kairos Watches:

kairos band watch

kairos 2By the way, that’s a touch screen in the band. Black and white look:

kairos black and white

Kairos is actually working on a mechanical timepiece whose display can turn into a smart display.

1) The versions with the digital band can be utilized with different time pieces. You may have a time piece you already like, but want to make it more smart watch oriented. You can do that (as long as the fit is right).

2) When it comes to watches, buying a new band at around $300 isn’t that big a deal, but having to buy a new time piece isn’t ideal. It looks like for at least another decade, every 18 months – 2 years your tech will feel like it needs to be upgraded. (Like your phone.) Watches are one of those things that can be around decades. Tech is not. An Apple Watch will need to be continually upgraded. With the Kairos, you can update the band, but keep the timepiece.

3) There is resale value here you don’t get with the Apple Watch. This seems big in the watch world.

4) Kairos is waterproof. Big perk fitness wise e.g. watches are huge with triathletes. This is a market Apple can’t hit right now. Because the data you’d be looking at is on the side of the wrist (location of smart screen), not the top, you don’t have to turn your wrist as much either, while say, in the middle of a run.

5) When you look at someone’s wrist, mechanical vs digital display, I don’t think there is a comparison as to what looks better. Your Apple Watch battery dies, and your watch is useless. Considering the primary purpose of a watch for most nowadays is fashion, this sucks. (Wrote about tech’s difficulty helping health here.) Your Kairos T-Band dies? You still have a Japanese or Swiss (can choose) timepiece working no problem.

Kairos is a start-up, so we’ll have to see if they can get the manufacturing side of this down, something so many start-ups seem inadequate at. Something they do seem to be grinding through right now. (I’ve been following their updates.) Something Apple has down probably as well as anyone in the world. Kairos recently started shipping some hybrids, and are working to ship other models. So, to some degree, this is still conceptual.

Whether them or someone else though, if they can get the manufacturing side down, I think this could be something Apple looks back at and goes, “Crap.”

Random tangent: Can Apple and Jony Ive, Mr. Creativity, make something that doesn’t look like a beveled rectangle with rounded corners? Can you not, Think Different? 

How much meat?

“There is this general belief that because we have growing populations we have to increase food production. But the reality is that most of the people on this planet, actually about 87% or so, are reasonably well-fed, and that most of the people do not need more food.”

I hit on some of this recently regarding water, but wanted to reiterate a separate point.

I wrote how we have more than enough food a few years ago (How to feed the world), albeit from a slightly different angle. Not only are many people reasonably well-fed, a huge amount of people are too fed. Take what they eat, give it to those who aren’t well-fed, and we’re looking pretty good.

Why do knuckles crack?

knuckle crack GIF

What you’re seeing above is someone getting their finger pulled in order to crack their knuckle. You can see a bubble appear then disappear, and that coincides with the cracking. The appearing goes with the sound; not the disappearance. This is a key point in the new paper on this topic.

The bubble forms apparently due to a rapid decrease in pressure in the joint space. In case you don’t know what a decrease in pressure means, or why it happens-

P = F / A

-> P = Pressure

-> F= Force

-> A = Area

Pressure is inversely proportional to area. When you pull your finger you increase the space between the joint, subsequently decreasing the pressure of the gas in there. (The gas has more room to move around.)

“Sounds emitted from human synovial joints vary in their origin. Joint sounds that occur repeatedly with ongoing joint motion arise typically when anatomic structures rub past one another. In contrast, “cracking” sounds require time to pass before they can be repeated despite ongoing joint motion.”

I thought this was a nice distinction between joint sounds. It reminded me of my post on this topic, which was much more about the repeated sounds.

You can read the full text of the paper here. It’s a fun paper to read.

“A virus in your mouth helps fight the flu”

From here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2015/04/01/396397189/a-virus-in-your-mouth-helps-fight-the-flu .

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