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I have had back problems for about a decade, and a while back I finally needed back surgery. My usual doctor referred me to a surgeon who was a bit messy and had a ratty carpet and tacky artwork in his office. When I asked his office assitants who in their office was a perfectionist, they said, “all of our doctors are perfectionists.” Right. Then this non-perfectionist surgeon told me he’d have to cut away part of my spine to then cut off a small part of a spinal disc. Time for a second opinion.
After stumbling around the internet, I found a “doctor finder” website that listed the number of medical whitepapers a doctor had published. “Ahah!”, I thought. “I’ll just look for the doc with the most scholarly papers published to his name!” And that turned out to be one Timothy Kuklo, with 67 whitepapers published.
I went to see him. Dr. Kuklo’s office was immaculate, his staff exceedingly professional. He had a not a single hair out of place. In short, he looked like the kind of doctor you wanted operating on your back. And when he told me he didn’t have to cut off any bone to reach the disc, that the incision would be at most two centimeters, and the recovery easy, I was sold.
Indeed the surgery was successful, and my recovery ridiculously short and easy. I never even used a single one of my Oxycodone pills (eat your heart out Mr. Limbaugh). All was well! For a while . . . sadly, eight months later I suffered a sports injury. My primary care physician again recommended surgery and (again) referred me to the non-perfectionist surgeon. Right. “Hah!” I said to myself. “I’ll just schedule a consultation with Dr. Timothy Kuklo again!”
So I called up his doctor’s group and they said he was no longer with them and they didn’t know where he’d gone. No problem. I’ll just Google him. I did so, and what did I find, but a New York Times story on a$800,000 case of fraud and scholarly dishonesty involving one Dr. Timothy Kuklo being paid to falsify the results of a whitepaper whilst forging the signatures of four other doctors! Wait, this couldn’t be MY Dr. Kuklo, right?! Alas, he was the very same man.
Now the fraud was so ineptly carried out that I think Dr. Kuklo was probably a fairly honest man prior to this indiscretion. No, lifelong scoundrels are sure to “misremember” things or fudge the facts, depending on what your definition of the word “is” is. No I think Dr. Kuklo probably was what he seemed to be at first: an excellent surgeon. I think he just went off the deep end when he thought of all that money offered him. Sad really.
This all brought one memory screaming back to me: When I first met Dr. Kuklo, I explained how I’d chosen him because of his 67 published white papers. He chuckled and responded, “Well . . . that’s not always a good way to choose a doctor.” I guess he was right.
Now, my back had indeed healed well, so I wasn’t really worried about the quality of work he’d previously performed for me. However, one doesn’t want a man guilty of lying in exchange for $800,000 from a pharmaceutical company to cut on oneself a second time. I need a perfectionist who is also a decent guy.
I think my next surgeon should have a fancy car AND homely wife. I’ll let you know how well that turns out.
Recently, I discovered a way to make my toothbrush last several times longer than usual. I think the recommended retirement age for a toothbrush is 3 months, but my current brush is going on 4 months and looks almost new. Yes, the end is nowhere in sight for this toothbrush!
I’ve found two things that help achieve a longevous toothbrush:
1) Rinse your toothbrush thoroughly (for about ten seconds) after brushing.
2) Hold your toothbrush with only two fingers in a light grip.
I discovered these longevity techniques by accident about seven months ago. That’s when I decided I didn’t like the natural buildup of tooth-pasty residue on my toothbrush handles. To combat that, I started rinsing it much longer after brushing. This not only kept the residue away, but I noticed the bristles stayed together (meaning they didn’t splay outwards) for much, much longer! Then I discoverd the second important aspect of toothbrush longevity: light pressure. After my wife borrowed my toothbrush for a week and scrubbed the enamel off her teeth, my toothbrush looked completely worn out. I hadn’t realized pressure was important before, because I was already brushing lightly (after an oral hygenist chastised me for brushing too hard, resulting in my early onset receding gumlines). So brush lightly!
(“Bravia” commercial clip Copyright SONY.)
Temporal Median Filters work like magic for removing small unwanted objects from video . . . like hairs and dust. I’ve often wished I had a Temporal Median Filter to remove unwanted noise from my videos. I always figured that Shake was flexible enough to do the job with just the available nodes, but I couldn’t figure out how to do the job until recently. I’ve made a macro out of my work which you can download here. Technical details follow.
I tried and failed with the LayerX node because it can’t do pixel-wise comparisons, and the TimeX node can only work with one FileIn node. But the ColorX node can do the job . . . if you can feed it the right information. Here’s what you do:
1) Create 3 FileIn nodes all with the same video source.
2) Edit the Timing>Timeshift parameters of one FileIn node -1, and another to 1.
3) Reorder the three video sources so that each only has the red channel. For video source 2, the red channel is reordered to the green channel, and for source 3, the red channel is reorder to the blue channel.
4) Combine all three video streams with a couple of IAdd nodes.
5) Add a ColorX node with this formula in the Red channel:
6) Repeat steps 3-5 for the green and blue channels.
7) Layer all the data together with some reorder and add nodes.
And if you don’t care to do all that, here’s a picture of the simple tree you’ll need to make after using my macro:
You can download the complete MedianTime macro here: MedianTime Filter at Creative Crash
Rondofo wrote about his efforts to make himself unrecognizeable to infrared (IR) security cameras with bright IR LEDs sewn into his hoodie. That project failed miserably. But it got me thinking . . . it occurred to me that makeup absorbent of IR would appear black to IR cameras. It could be makeup, facepaint, lotion, or even some kind of bug spray that just happens to be IR absorbent. It would be even better if the facepaint or whatever were transparent or skin colored in normal light. Just as long as the your features are obscured enough to make you unrecognizeable to night security cameras. Now to find such an IR absorbant substance. There is some IR facepaint available to the military and law enforcement. But I think if we dig around enough we could find some other product that just happens to have IR characteristics.
What to do:
1. Get an IR filter for your digital camera, or remove one that is already present on most digital cameras and get a visible light filter.
2. Go to the store and film the various makeups, lotions, bug sprays, etc. to see which (if any) are black to IR.
Research natural chemicals that are absorptive of near IR.
3. Obtain makeup, natural substances, or other chemicals you’ve researched.
4. Apply substance to your face.
5. Test with IR filtered camera.
Email me pics if you try this!
P.S. It occurred to me that you wouldn’t have to paint your entire face to obscure your features; you could make patterns if you like! So I made a few “artist’s renderings” in Photoshop.
Last year I was introduced to “The Immortal Molded Gourds of Mr. Zhang Cairi” and was amazed. This man has single-handedly revived a centuries old art form that was outlawed for decades. My clumsy words do his artwork injustice. Seriously, check him out! He inspired me to think I could mold any relative of the gourd into any shape I wanted. I was already trying my hand at watermelons, but they would be so expensive that only a few people would buy them after coming to gawk. What I needed was a plant that was a smaller, cheaper alternative to watermelons that could be an impulse buy. After a bit of search I decided on Zucchini. They grow fast, take little maintenance, and what I learned with them could be applied to my more labor intensive watermelon efforts. For molds I decided on used plastic soda and water bottles from work. (now THAT’S recycling!) Zucchini in a bottle!
My first problem was finding a Zucchini small enough to stuff in the bottle. Either they were too small, with the flower still firmly attached, or they were far too big to fit down a 20 oz. neck. I tried squeezing in a zucchini that was a just little too large, but I damaged the tender skin, and it stopped growing. I had to check the Zucchini plants every day, or they would quickly get too large. For airflow, I poked holes in the bottle sides and bottoms with a thumbtack. Eventually, this became tiresome, so I tried using a few bottles without air holes. After baking in the sun for a week, all that was left of those doomed zukes was a smelly, liquid mush. So, the zucchini need airholes. When it rained, I had to check the plants morning and night to catch my window of opportunity. So I had several zucchini growing in bottles. All good. How long should I let them grow in the bottles? AND THE ANSWER IS . . . until the zucchini neck starts expanding wider than the bottleneck. If there is a little unfilled air space left near the bottom or the top of the bottle, that’s ok. Only the rare zucchini will completely fill the bottle. Pull them from the stalk to harvest, but fight the temptation to cut them flush with the bottle opening. They’ll keep longer if they stay intact; cut they’ll last at least week in the fridge. One thing that shocked me was how hard it was to peel the bottles off the zucchini. The next time I grow them, I plan to pre-cut the bottles to make removal easier. So my plan was to call these novelties ‘Cchini in a Bottle and hope that people would pay $2-$5 for each bottle. One last note, Zucchini will never grow to fill a 2-liter bottle. They’ll get as long as a club, but never thicken enough. My Amish neighbors down the road discovered that.
Japan is crazy, man! I stumbled onto a video of Japanese grown square watermelons a year or so ago; it was so cool, I gave it a try. I thought if it worked, I would sell my square watermelons at the local fall festival. From studying the videos, and pictures of polycarbonate boxes sold online for this purpose, I figured I would need a transparent, sturdy box. Sounded like plexiglass to me. But it would take a sheet thicker than dragon skin to withstand the Xtreme pressure of growing melons. Thicker means costlier. I poured out my woes to my landlord, and he told me of a super cheap plastic supply warehouse that catered to farmers. I was there the next day. They cut enough dragon skin plexiglass scraps for three boxes. If I used expensive metal hinges and screws to fabricate the boxes, they would surely be sturdy, but I wouldn’t be able to sell the watermelons for a profit. So instead I wrapped the boxes with packing tape and wire and hoped they would stay together. Each box cost about $8 to make, and held about 3 gallons–plenty of room for growth. I gently enclosed my baby watermelons in them and waited. Week after week, the watermelons grew, and I watched with excited eyes. But as harvest time drew closer, their growth stunted. I watered them. They rolled over and laughed. I cajoled them. They turned a deaf leaf to me. By the end of the summer, they didn’t come close to filling out the boxes. Only flat on two sides, they looked like a Surrealist painting. What had gone wrong? Looking back, I suppose that making a box big enough to park a car in was a mistake. And possibly growing “Mighty Midget” Moon and Stars heirloom watermelons. Next time, I’m growing those Supa-giant, crush-your-kid-if-you-drop-it-on-them striped watermelons you can buy at the grocery store. And those boxes WILL be filled to the brim with watermelon. I hope.
I needed a gel pack a while back and was offended at the high price for them at the store. I thought there had to be a cheaper way – it was just some plastic and a chemical, right? But which chemical? And how could I get it cheaply? That had me stuck for a while. Until we went swimming as a family. At the time, we had a toddler still in diapers, and when she got out of the pool I noticed her hugely swollen diaper. It’s easy to forget just how much water those things hold! And it hit me. After it absorbed water, the chemical in the diaper was like jelly. Could it work for a gel pack? Well, when I got home, I tried it out. I wet a clean diaper, sealed it in a gallon zip lock, and stuck it in the freezer. Several hours later it was cold yet malleable! I posted my results as an instructable. But the next morning I found a problem. After leaving the diaper gel pack in the freezer overnight, it was no longer squishy, squishy. Yep, hard as a rock. I was disappointed and embarrassed that I had not solved the problem after all. And that’s when I was saved by kindred spirits. The other intructablers commented that one part water to one part alcohol would make a nice gel pack. Well, I modified that to only one cup alcohol and posted my newer, improved results. So check it out, step by step, or take the summary below:
1. Add one part rubbing alcohol to one part water and pour over a disposable diaper.
2. Seal the diaper in a gallon zip-lock bag and place in the freezer.
3. Use for your aching elbow and reuse on your knee.
Four score months ago, plus several years, when the web was new, GoodCleanCrazy had it’s first baby in the form of a lousy web page devoted to me (myself). It was perhaps a (tragic) noble venture, but I got bored of reading about myself, and created this blog. On it you shall find some unique ideas, nifty things I found on the web, and some hashed, boring ideas you’ve already seen, but they will be the best I can come up with, so be nice. And maybe I’ll add few opinion polls to keep the Gallup man away. Just remember, without change on the web, we can’t change the things we can’t change, unless, we . . . inspire others. Eh. (Well, really this page is a gas money earner, and a distribution of Good, Clean, Crazy ideas from yours truly and kindred spirits. I hope you enjoy it.)