Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sally Centrifuge-The salad spinner that saves lives!

A couple months ago a good friend introduced me to a life changing kitchen tool gadget!{when I hear the word tool I think of my husband, I mean I think of something my husband would have in his garage.}  Oops love you honey!  Have you ever heard of this thingamajiggiy called a salad spinner?  I like to refer to it as the Gravitron.  What?  Tell me you've been on the Gravitron!   The amuzement park ride that looks like a space ship and spins nonstop until you hurl your cotton candy and raspberry snowcone.  Just speaking from experience.  Fine, I'll show you a pic so that you know what the heck I'm talking about!  

Ok, now that we have a visual of what a salad spinner looks like, I can move forwad with the actual point of this post.  Like I was saying, my friend introduced me to the gadget that makes your greens dizzy!  I think she purchased her salad spinner at Costco for $19.99.  Actually, I think I just made that price up in my head.  I have no idea what she paid for it.  I must be having adult ADD today because I can't seem to stay on topic.
After I had used my salad spinner a few times, I honestly couldn't bare the thought of living another day without it.{slight exaggeration}  Maybe I'm lacking in  the entertainment department lately but I really do think it's a lot more fun to spin my lettuce dry.  Yesterday, I actually said to Sapphire, "When I was your age we had to towel dry our lettuce.  It didn't come from a bag either.  It came from the ground.  Consider yourself privileged to have a salad spinner." 
Did you know that once you stop hand cranking the salad spinner it continues to revolve six more times?  I made that up too but I bet 20 bucks, actually $19.99, the next time you use your salad spinner you're going to check to see how many times it revolves after you stop hand cranking it!  Mark my word!

Ok Crystal, what is the point to this post?

Well, did you know that a salad spinner can save lives?  I didn't know that either until I came across {this} article that highlights two Rice University undergrads who turned a salad spinner into a rudimentary cetrifuge that separates blood.  This may not be intriguing to everyone but as a Nurse I find this fascinating.
You see, when a lab collects your blood into vials they put it into a crazy expensive machine and basically spin it so that the different parts of the blood separate into heavier red blood cells and lighter plasma.  The hematocrit, or ratio of red blood cells to the total volume can tell clinicians if a patient is anemic.
In many parts of the world these expensive machines just don't exist.
To quote the article, "The spinner has been turned, so to speak, into a rudimentary centrifuge that medical clinics in developing countries can use to separate blood without electricity. " This revolutionized salad spinner, named Sally Centrifuge, will be travelling to Ecuador and Swaziland this May/June.  The two students will be putting their invention to good use when they participate in the Beyond Traditional Borders health initiative. If underdeveloped countries have access to inexpensive tools (word of the day) that detect anemia, this will make a huge differnce in diagnosing malnutrition, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria.

I'd like to hear what you think of this story on Sally Centriufge.  Do you own a salad spinner and what do you think of it?  Do you use it or is it just another gadget taking up space in your cupboards?