Magic Cream

Wow, this was incredible for my kids to find in the store…

Magic Skin Cream


My dad of blessed memory, when he was alive created a cream called, “Magic Cream.”


And it really was magic–he would put it on regularly to heal virtually any routine skin ailment. 


It used all natural ingredients and he carefully protected the secret formula.


To now see the magic cream in a major retail store left me really surprised. 


I wish that he had been able to bring his magic cream to market and that it would have been a huge success. 


IMHO, my dad deserved this achievement–he was brilliant and hardworking and most importantly, a super good person with tremendous faith in G-d and real integrity.  


I miss him dearly. 😉


(Credit Photo: My daughter Rebecca)

Walking Tall Again

CNN has a video out today on this amazing new technology for paraplegics.

It is a miraculous robotic exoskeleton called the ReWalk by Argo Medical Technologies in Israel.

The inventor, Dr. Amit Goffer, is himself quadriplegic and asked a simple question, “Why is a wheelchair the only answer for those with spinal injuries?”

He challenged the status quo and now there is a way for paralyzed people to stand and walk again.

I choose this video for the blog, because I found it so immensely inspiring to see someone previously wheelchair-bound participating in a marathon in Tel Aviv this year.

The ReWalk is strapped on and has motorized joints and sensors and a battery pack.

When combined with some braces, a person has mobility again on their feet!

I cried when I saw the patient, Radi Kaiuf go over the finish line after walking 10 kilometers with the ReWalk and everyone, including the children on the sidelines, cheering for him.

Congratulation to all the researchers from the Technion University who helped make this a reality–hopefully people around the world, who are in are in need, will be able to benefit in the future and walk again.

Truly, mobility is life! 😉

Restoring Hearing Using Bionics

Restoring Hearing Using Bionics

A mother wrote in the Wall Street Journal yesterday about the miracle of Cochlear Implants.

Lydia Denworth described when her 2-year old son, who is deaf, got these implants and how now he is now able to attend 5th grade in a “mainstream school” and is “nearly indistinguishable from the other children.”

These implants allow her son, Alex, to have a conversation with another child about the hearing device that “can open up the world of sound and spoken language.”

Denworth states at the end of the editorial, “Moments like that make me deeply grateful for the technology.”

For me, reading this was an opportunity to go learn about the amazing bionics that has already restored hearing to 320,000 people!

While hearing aids amplify sounds and make them louder, they don’t resolve permanent damage to the inner ear.

A cochlear implant bypasses the damage by receiving sounds in a microphone, digitizing them, and converting them to electrical impulses that are sent directly via implant to the auditory nerves– bypassing damaged or missing sensory cells in the ear–in a way that the brain can understand.

I am in awe of the inventors–Graeme Clark, Ingeborg Hochmair, and Blake Wilson–who are being recognized for their pioneering research leading to the development of Cochlear Implants.

Hopefully, soon we can do for sight, smell, taste, and touch what we can do for hearing and restore the impaired to fully functioning again.

We are living in a time of great miracles–thank you G-d!

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Bjorn Knetsch)

Hyperloop Takes Us Supersonic

Hyperloop Takes Us Supersonic

Elon Musk in a genius — from SpaceX to Tesla to Paypal — he has us inventing like almost no one else can.

Now his concept of the Hyperloop is once again breaking all preconceptions of travel on Earth.

Forget planes, trains, automobiles, and boats–Musk’s promised open source plans would take us from New York to Los Angeles in under 45 minutes!

The system would be built based on the following premises:

– Safer in that it never crashe and is immune to weather

– Faster than any Earth transportation available today

– Cheaper than air travel

– Better using self-powered solar panels and energy storage

In business school, we were taught to think in terms of better, faster, cheaper–what’s amazing about Musk is he has a track record of not just thinking it, but making it so.

While the Hyperloop doesn’t exist today, I find it awfully exciting to think that one day, it will.

On the plus side, Elon Musk makes George Jetson our reality; on the minus side, now we have no reason not to visit the in-laws. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to booknews)

When Incremental Improvement isn’t Enough

When Incremental Improvement isn't Enough

One of the things that I love about the Intelligence Community (IC) is that they think future and they think big.

Noah Schactman in Wired Magazine (12 December 12–great date!), gave a snapshot view of 2030 as provided by the National Intelligence Council (NIC).

Some of the predictions (or aspirations) include:

– Bioprinting such as creating 3-D printed organs (how’s that for your orchestrating your own organ transplant?)

– Retinal implants for night vision thermal imaging, seeing the distance without binoculars, or even one-upping Google Glass by providing augmented reality in your eye instead of over it

– Brain chips for superhuman thought and recall (those without remain doomed to brain farts, in comparison)

– Bioweapons where DNA is used to target and take out people by genetically engineering viruses to attack them, specifically, without leaving any markers

– People embedded in machines–reminiscent of when Ripley in the movie Alien enters in an exoskelton robotic suit to kick some Alien butt!

Other predictions include: megacities, climate change, big data clouds, aging populations, and more drones.

While some of these advances are incremental in nature–for example genetic engineering and bioweapons are incremental steps from DNA sequencing of humans.

However, other leaps are more dramatic.

An article by Stephen Levy in Wired (17 January 2013) discusses how Larry Page (one of the Google founders) strives for inventions that are magnitudes of “10x” (often actually 100x) better than the status quo, rather than just 10% improvements.

Google has many examples of leaping ahead of the competition: from its transformative search engine which has become synonymous with search itself to Gmail which came out with 100x the storage of its competitors, Translations for the entire web from/to any language, Google Fiber with broadband at 100x faster than industry speeds prototyped in Kansas City, Google Books providing a scanned and searchable archive of our global collection of books and magazines, Google+ for social media (this one, I see as just a Facebook copycat–to get on Facebook’s nerves!), Google Maps for getting around, Android their open platform operating system for mobile devices, and even self-driving cars–many of these are developed by Google X–their secret skunk work lab.

I really like Google’s concept of going for the “moon shot” rather than just tweaking technology to try and stay ahead of the competition, temporarily.

And as in space, there is so much territory to explore, Google believes it is attacking just .1% of the opportunities out there, and that the tech industry as a whole is attacking maybe 1% in aggregate–that leaves 99% or plenty of opportunity for all innovators and inventors out there.

To get to 2030 and beyond–we’re just at the tip of the innovation iceberg! 😉

Still An Innovation Nation

Car_versus_horse

Yesterday, according to the Mayan calendar, we were to have seen the end of the world. Today professors like Robert J. Gordon in The Wall Street Journal (22-23 December 2012) unfortunately continue to spread doom and gloom.

According to Gordon, “for more than a century, the U.S. economy grew robustly thanks to big inventions; those days are gone.”

Gordon seems to think predominantly from 20/20 hindsight, seeing the innovations of the past — such as the electric light bulb, running water and the jet airplane — as the last major vestiges possible of human advancement.

As Gordon states: “Only once would transport speeds be increased from the horse (6 miles per hour) to the Boeing 707 (550 mph).  Only once could our houses be replaced by running water and indoor plumbing. Only once could indoor temperatures, thanks to central heating and air conditioning, be converted from cold in winter and hot in summer to a uniform year-round climate of 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.”

Gordon’s pessimism is bad enough (“The future of American economic growth is dismal”) but his arrogance is even worse.

How sad that he cannot see past our momentary troubles and imagine better, greater things to come.

– Is 707 miles per hour really the fastest that humans can travel? I guess Gordon hasn’t been following the land speed record in Scientific American (5 November 2012) that has an English project pushing the 1,000 mph barrier and already projecting hitting 1,600 mph or Virgin Galactic (just the beginning of our space journeys) reaching more than 4 times the speed of sound (>3,000 mph!).

– Is indoor plumbing really the last great innovation when it comes to water? Please don’t tell that to almost a billion people worldwide who live without potable water. However, thanks to innovators such as Vestergaard-Frandsen, whose Lifestraw water purification tools “removes 99.9999% of bacteria through a superfine filtration process” for only about $6 each (Mashable), many others may soon have access to safe drinking water.

– Is central air is the end of the temperature innovation cycle?–You’ve got to be kidding me. In the context of global warming and the resulting “storms and other (weather) extremes,” there are considerable challenges ahead of us to be met. Someone ought to tell Mr. Gordon that sustainable energies are coming online (solar, wind, wave, and geothermal) that can help stem global greenhouse gases thought to be a major cause. In fact, whole new “green” high-tech cities like Masdar City are being developed to operate with low environmental footprints.

Gordon may think all major innovations have arrived, and probably thought the same before the Internet and smartphone were created.

In his op-ed, Gordon calls on skeptics to “rebut” his innovative idea that robust innovation is over. But perhaps he is actually asking them for help. Because such pessimism and small thinking are a prison of his own making. Unfortunately, he is professionally considered an “educator.” But it’s lessons like this that our young people – facing one of the most economically challenging times in modern history – can do without. 😉

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Paul Townsend)

Armored Skin

Bodyguard
(Source Photo: CrunchGear)
Not just for super heroes in comic books anymore, ArmStar has invented a new non-lethal weapon called the BodyGuard.  
It was invented by David Brown, a cameraman, editor, and producer, and supposed friend of Kevin Costner.
The idea of the encased ballistic nylon arm glove is that if you are wearing the weapon, you won’t drop it or easily be disarmed by your opponent. 
According to CrunchGear (31 May 2011), “The BodyGuard is an armored gauntlet with a 500,000-volt stunner protruding from the back of the hand, with room for any number of other weapons of self defense.”
Aside from the stun gun, current prototypes come equipped with video camera, laser pointer, and flashlight; and future versions are envisioned to have chemical sensors, GPS, biometric readers, translators, and more. 
I would imagine, you could also install things like mace or smoke that can be dispensed into action at the push of a button (with safety). 
This is why the BodyGuard is seen not only as a weapon, but also as a weapons platform, with an actuator pressure pad in the palm of the hand controlling the release of the weapons. 
The menacing display of voltage between the electrodes on the wrist, the green laser target on one’s chest, as well as knowing that you may be videotaped (along with the possibility of other embedded weapons) can make the BodyGuard a useful tool for law enforcement to help prevent and defuse confrontations, deter criminals, and save lives.  
The BodyGuard won a Popular Science 2011 Invention Award and according to their magazine “the first demo unit will be released to the Los Angeles sheriff’s department later this year.”
While I think the non-lethal version is promising for law enforcement, a lethal version for our military seems like a another market and next step in delivering ergonomic and flexible battle gear to our war fighters. 
I think there is also potential here for non-weaponized versions, for commercial and personal use–where ever and whenever body protection and quick access to tools and gadgets are needed–construction, manufacturing, even mountain climbing!
Finally, while having this is nice on one arm, I think this could be expanded for modules for both arms, legs, and so forth. 
This has a lot of potential, and I wish I had one of these when riding the IRT subway late in the evenings in NYC as a kid…it would have been nice to hit the pressure button and watch the volts arc and the bad guys just run the other way.