Posts tagged ‘hand’

Use Your Watch as a Compass

I remember in third grade science class, my teacher asked for a helper who had a watch with a second hand. I volunteered because my watch had two hands, the first one and the second one. I was really embarrassed when she explained that the second hand was actually a third hand that measured seconds.

Watches are more jewelry than necessity these days. Many young people don’t wear watches because their cell phone keeps the time. But, if you do have an analog watch, you can use it as a compass. If you don’t have an analog watch, you can draw one in the dirt or picture it in your mind.

Let’s say you’re lost in the woods, or maybe you’re just lost on Wood street in Chicago. You know it’s getting close to dinner time and you were going to meet your friend by the lake for dinner. You know the lake is East, but you don’t know which way that is. So, you think back to this post on (more…)

April 22, 2010 at 12:12 am 5 comments

Listerine Was Once Sold as Floor Cleaner

By Chad Upton | Editor

If you haven’t noticed, the popularity of hand sanitizer has exploded. It’s in our desks, cars, purses and homes. I have seen dispensers at subway stops, hospitals, airports and restaurants. We are obviously obsessed with killing germs and fighting viruses.

With H1N1, Mad Cow, SARS and others, you can’t blame us for being careful. It seems like hand sanitizer came out of nowhere, but it’s not new, and neither is the principle.

The first time I saw hand sanitizer was in 1995. I worked at a restaurant and we were told to use it hourly. At the time, it seemed like a magical potion. I thought the concept was weird: I wasn’t washing anything off my hands, I was rubbing it in.

The truth is, hand sanitizer is more effective at killing bacteria than soap and water. That said, soap and water is far more effective at removing visible dirt.

For the most part, hand sanitizers use a variety of alcohols as their active ingredient. To be effective at reducing bacteria, they should contain at least 60% alcohol, and most contain 60% to 85%.  A few brands (worth avoiding) contain as little as 40% alcohol and some hospital solutions have as much as 95%.

So, where did this idea start?

It began in 1867 with a British surgeon, Joseph Lister. He published a series of articles in the British Medical Journal stating that surgery patients had less tissue infection if the incisions and surgical instruments were treated with carbolic acid prior to surgery.

At the time, they didn’t wash their hands or anything else before surgery. They thought gangrene wounds were caused by stinky air. Seriously. The same stinky air they blamed for cholera, black death and bubonic plague. They later realized the stinky air was actually the result of rotting wounds, not the cause.

His work lead to the germ theory of disease. It was the equivalent of suggesting the Earth was round, when everyone else thought it was flat. Fortunately, it was very easy to demonstrate the success of his theory and it became widely accepted.

In 1879, Listerine was named after him. It was originally developed as a surgical antiseptic, but that’s a pretty small market. To increase sales, they began marketing it as a floor cleaner and a cure for gonorrhea. That brought company revenues to about $115k, but marketers had another idea in the 1920s.

In this era of patent medicines, there were products to cure every known illness. The Listerine folks weren’t going to let this bandwagon pass by. All they needed was the perfect illness, something that everyone had and Listerine could cure; so, they made up the term, “chronic halitosis” (bad breath).

You see, bad breath hadn’t been invented yet. At that time, bad breath was just known as “breath.” Their best effort was an ad campaign that suggested young people would never find marriage with a condition such as bad breath. Over 7 years, revenues skyrocketed to $8 million.

Listerine is still sold as an antiseptic today, and primarily marketed for oral health. Depending on the flavor, it contains 21.6% to 26.9% alcohol.

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Sources: WP Hand Sanitizer, WP Lister, WP Listerine

January 15, 2010 at 12:56 am 4 comments

How Mechanics Keep Their Hands Clean

It’s pretty simple, they don’t get them dirty in the first place.

Imagine how dirty our feet would be if we walked around in bare feet. Socks and shoes keep our feet clean. Professionals who work with their hands wear gloves for the same reason. At the end of the day, take off the gloves and your hands are clean.

Work gloves in most homes consist of gardening and rubber cleaning gloves. But why stop there? Pickup a box of latex gloves, they’re great for all kinds of dirty jobs such as:

  • Painting
  • Automotive repairs
  • Cleaning the garage
  • Organizing the attic
  • Caulking and other home maintenance

Latex gloves are extremely cheap, they’re disposable and they don’t reduce dexterity like thick rubber gloves.

If you’ve ever seen a race-car garage, they’re usually immaculate. So are the mechanic’s hands.

There are even specialized gloves for mechanics. Frankly, if you’ve been paying attention at your local hardware store, work gloves have become very advanced and extremely specialized. I’ve made a short list of some specific types of job specific gloves that are available, along with an amazon link if you want to check them out:

Some of the electrician’s gloves are made from Kevlar to prevent cuts from sharp wires.  The carpenter’s gloves reduce splinters and vibration when hammering.

I have a good pair of work gloves and a box of latex gloves. I wear the work gloves when I’m working in my garage. They keep my hands clean and free of cuts when I’m doing manly stuff. I find the latex gloves really great for spray painting outdoor furniture and other items, since I always get spray paint on my index finger, which usually lasts for at least a week.

Depending on your needs, many of these gloves are even available in insulted, wind proof and water proof versions.

December 18, 2009 at 12:20 am 4 comments

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