Category Archives: General

Rule of three

A random but notable finding on codinghorror. There are two “rules of three” in software reuse:

  • It is three times as difficult to build reusable components as single use components, and
  • a reusable component should be tried out in three different applications before it will be sufficiently general to accept into a reuse library.

That kind of wisdom actually comes from this book.

Also, I want this: Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture :-)

“Apparatus and method for improving the air” …

… is the poised and funny title of US patent 2147435, issued by Ernst Gehrcke in 1935:

US patent 2147435 heading

US patent 2147435 heading

Ernst Gehrcke was an experimental physicist (see Wikipedia entry). Despite his last name, I do not think that we have a lot in common, except for being physicists. Regarding named patent, the main idea sounds hilarious in modern days:

This invention relates to a new apparatus and a method for improving the air, i. e. to produce an artificial climate. It consists in admixing a powdery preparation in a finely divided state with air. When breathing air pretreated in such a manner, a very agreeable and refreshing sensation is caused.

There also is a beautiful drawing:

US patent 2147435 Figures 1 & 2.

US patent 2147435 Figures 1 & 2.

Claim 15 of the patent is a good summary of the entire idea:

An apparatus for improving the air comprising a container, a powdered material having the property of stimulating respiration therein, means for retaining the heavier particles of said powder in said container, an opening for allowing the escape of the lighter particles, means for moving the entire container to agitate the mass of material, whereby said lighter particles rise in and pass out of said container, and means for causing a current of air to flow in proximity to said lighter particles, said flow being outside of said container, to transport the same to an individual to be treated.

By the way, according to this article, in the United States “the text and drawings of a patent are typically not subject to copyright restrictions.”

NDR interview with Edward Snowden

Do not only listen to what people are saying about him. Get to know him a bit.

NDR journalist Hubert Seipel interviews Edward Snowden in Moscow (~30 minutes):

Original source:
If this video is blocked for you or has been deleted, you might want to try

The intravenous use of coconut water

The intravenous use of coconut water. Campbell-Falck D et al. ( Am J Emerg Med 18 (1): 108–11, 2000).

The intravenous use of coconut water. Campbell-Falck D et al. (Am J Emerg Med 18 (1): 108–11, 2000).

Abstract of The intravenous use of coconut water:

“Medical resources routinely used for intravenous hydration and resuscitation of critically ill patients may be limited in remote regions of the world. When faced with these shortages, physicians have had to improvise with the available resources, or simply do without. We report the successful use of coconut water as a short-term intravenous hydration fluid for a Solomon Island patient, a laboratory analysis of the local coconuts, and a review of previously documented intravenous coconut use.”

The authors conclude with:

“In conclusion, we report a case in which coconut water was administered intravenously in a Solomon Island patient without adverse effects. Coconut fluid has been shown to be an effective form of intravenous hydration solution in small volumes over short periods of time, and can be considered a temporizing alternative to standard intravenous fluids in remote areas where supplies are scarce and coconuts, abundant and inexpensive. Additionally, it is a good source of potassium, chloride, and calcium and its use could be further indicated in situations in which these specific electrolytes need to be urgently increased”

Source: Campbell-Falck D et al., Am J Emerg Med 18 (1): 108–11, 2000