Amputee Peddles Prosthetic Finger Made From Bike Parts

Amputee Peddles Prosthetic Finger Made From Bike Parts - Colin Macduff blew off part of his middle finger in a gun accident. He then made himself a prosthetic finger from bicycle parts.

He is so pleased with his new finger that he is selling them to other finger amputees and is hoping to give one to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is also a middle finger amputee.

“How hysterical would that be to give a politician the finger and get away with it?” Macduff asked

Macduff, 41, from Olympia, Wash., wasn’t laughing when he shot his finger off with a shotgun in 2009.

 Good Morning America/KOMO/ABC News -

When he asked his doctor about prosthetic options, the doctor told him that he would not need a prosthetic and simply needed to get used to it. Unsatisfied, Macduff found a prosthetic company he liked, but they told him he would need to have his finger further amputated to fit the prosthetic’s design.

Macduff, a former welder and bike rider at a bicycle shop with a degree in computer aided drafting and design, refused to become accustomed to life without a finger.

As soon as he was able to, Macduff started cutting into a pair of bicycle handle bars in his garage. Eight hours later, he emerged with the prototype of his bio-mechanical finger prosthetic.


The former Navy man, who did three tours in the Gulf, had been unemployed before his accident. Macduff said his idea of designing the finger was a retraining of his earlier design education, as well as a way of coping with his amputation.

“It was very therapeutic for me,” Macduff said.

The finger has three parts. Using leftover parts from the bicycle shop, Macduff created the ring where the prosthetic sits on the amputation, and the cage which goes over and protects the amputated digit. He used a bike’s rear derailleur hanger for the tip, which simulates a normal finger tip.

Nearly four years later, Macduff’s prosthetic finger design is available for other finger amputees. His former employer saw his design was worth patenting and helped guide him through the process of getting a provisional patent in 2012.

Macduff’s company, RCM Enterprise, makes use of a manufacturer with 3D printing to create full, partial, and thumb prosthetics which evolved from metal bicycle parts to medical grade plastic.

“I’ve got about seven fingers out there,” Macduff said.

The process takes 10 to 12 weeks, beginning with patients placing their hands on a copy machine and sending the scans to Macduff to work with. “Each finger is customized to each amputation,” Macduff said. “Even if they don’t have insurance, we’ll work with them and set up a payment plan.”

The prices range from $5,500 for a partial finger to $9,500 for a thumb.

“When an amputee loses their finger, they’re going through an extreme emotional loss,” Macduff said. “This is giving people hope back, functionality. We’re putting people back to work.”

Macduff is now working on a design that will allow amputees to use his prosthetic on touch screens.

Unemployment is no longer a concern for Macduff who runs his company with his wife.

“I’m hoping this year to get back into riding and have a little more of a life. All the hard work is done,” he said. ( ABC News Blogs )

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5 Fashion Habits that Are Bad for Your Health

5 Fashion Habits that Are Bad for Your Health - Beauty Habits We all know that fashion can be a lot of things: exciting, transformative, communicative, and most importantly: fun. That said, there are some facets of fashion that-over time-could be damaging our bodies and our overall well-being (yeah, we know: not so fun). We're talking about the actual things that we put on our bodies, as well as mind-sets we adopt for the sake of "looking the part," which often means you're not actually channeling legitimate style so much as you're regurgitating what's "now" as dictated by hoards of other people.

To explain what fashion habits-both literal and figurative-that could be doing potential damage, we enlisted Will Torres, a health and fitness expert and owner of Willspace, a private training studio in New York City. Read on to educate yourself!

1. Teetering On High Heels

Probably one of the worst things you can do for your body alignment is wear high heels. According to Torres, walking on the ball of your feet forces your torso to lean forward, simultaneously forcing women to straighten out by leaning back. This puts an incredible amount of stress on the spine and compresses its discs over time. It's really important to remember that injury is cumulative: It generally doesn't happen overnight. It can take weeks, months, or years of altered movement to show up as discomfort which often presents itself as cramping in the toes and calves, and pain in the back and hips.

While there might not be many things that boost a woman's confidence quite like a killer pair of heels, they can be a serious hazard, causing an incredible amount of pain and discomfort. Luckily, however, it seems heel heights have reached an all-time high and are starting to fall, which is good news for shoppers, as lower heels are everywhere this season, and really, really cute.

2. Lugging Around That "It" Bag

The bigger the bag, the more things we find to fill the bag. Torres points out that women typically carry purses on one side, either on the shoulder or perched on their lower arm/crook of their elbow. This uneven weight distribution prompts the body to shift causing muscle imbalances and a slew of alignment issues, such as one shoulder being more developed and sitting higher than other (not a good look).

It can also create pain in the spine because the torso shifts to counterbalance the uneven weight. In addition, heavy bags can lead to neck discomfort and shoulder pain. A solution: Give your body a break and carry a small light bag a few days a week that's free of extraneous objects: We're partial to canvas totes, leather pouches or a paper-thin backpack so long as they're generally un-stuffed.

3. Dieting and Striving for "Fashion Skinny"

Even though Torres admits that Americans might eat too much as a culture, seriously restricting your food intake for the sake of looking "fashion skinny" can actually cause your metabolism to slow down and your body to store more fat.

While young adults who don't eat regularly may see an initial decrease in body size, by the time they hit 30 years old, Torres says that their metabolism will be so slow that even looking at food the wrong way can cause weight gain. Along with a slowdown in metabolism, people who "don't eat" wind up snacking, often taking in excessive sugar which is vile for the body and (ironically!) causes bloating and swelling.

4. Sucking It In

Whether you're trying to look taller or thinner for a photo opp (ahem, street style) or squeezing into a pair of skinny jeans or shapewear, sucking in your stomach robs your body of precious oxygen, which slows your metabolism, affects your focus and performance and deprives your cells of life. According to Torres, the best way to breath is by taking diaphragmatic breaths also known as "belly breathing" (the diaphragm is a muscle that sits between the chest cavity and the stomach cavity). When it's able to contract properly, the lungs fill with oxygen and the belly expands.

However, if you're holding your stomach in or keeping it tense all day to keep your jeans from popping, the diaphragm isn't able to drop and allow room for the lungs to fill with air, causing most people to become "chest breathers." This, according to Torres, causes tension in the body and it's one of the reasons people experience so much shoulder and neck tension-plus it can lead to headaches, stomach discomfort, depression, anxiety and other issues.

To get an idea of your breathing style, put one hand on your chest and the other hand on your belly. Relax your body and take three slow breaths in and out. Which hand moved? For most people, it's the hand that's on the chest.

To become a belly breather, Torres offers this tip: "Sit straight up in a chair and place both hands around your stomach. Relax your body and begin inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. Try filling your belly like a balloon with air. You should see your hands moving away from the body. Put on a great song and try breathing this way for the length of one song. Over time, work up to breathing this way for 2 to 3 songs. Be patient and enjoy the buzz."

5. Adopting a "YOLO" Mentality

This motto-a catchy acronym for "You Only Live Once"- is responsible for tons of impulsive and destructive behaviors, from indulging in highly unhealthy eating habits, to splurging on that designer bag that you've been seeing on every street style blog when your credit card says you shouldn't. While it's true that we only live once and enjoy life, why not live once to its fullest by doing things that benefit our bodies and mind in the long run. Torres recommends living above the fray and not getting sucked into the latest trends and bad habits. ( StyleCaster:com )

READ MORE - 5 Fashion Habits that Are Bad for Your Health

Ways to Beat Bloating

Ways to Beat Bloating - Eat this to help fight the bloat.You went to sleep skinny. So why does it feel like you gained the entire freshman 15 overnight? "Your weight can change anywhere from one to five pounds in a day due to hormone fluctuations, what you eat, and water retention," says Melinda Jampolis, MD, a physician in L.A. If you're bloated all the time and also have stomach pain, see a doctor--it could be a medical issue.

1. Use Instagram

"Pull up a favorite pic of yourself on your phone, and look at it during the day," suggests Ashley Solomon, a psychologist in Chicago. You may feel more preggo than hot chica right now, but the image reminds you how you felt in that moment. Warm fuzzies may ensue.

2. Activate Your Abs

"Rotating your core muscles helps force gas out of your intestines," says Lindsay Hallam, a Pilates instructor at The Studio (MDR), in Marina del Rey, California. Get into side-plank position, and bring your top arm across your abdomen and under your body to twist your torso. Do 5 reps; switch sides.

3. Run an Errand

You may feel like curling up in a fetal position and avoiding all human contact until, say, the week after your period. But getting your body moving helps relieve stomach discomfort, according to a study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. Lace up your sneaks, and walk briskly for 30 minutes.

4. Pamper Yourself

To stop obsessing over your pooch, focus elsewhere-paint your nails with some crackle polish, maybe. And from the so-crazy-it-might-work files: A recent study found people perceived a woman wearing a spicy-floral fragrance as 12 pounds thinner than when she went perfume-free or had on another scent.

5. Eat a Snack

Water-rich fruits and veggies-think grapes, cukes-will help flush out excess fluid, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, an RD in Chicago. Or try pineapple: It's high in bromelain, a digestive enzyme that helps break down food.

6. Try a DIY Massage

Sounds weird, but stay with us: Applying gentle pressure to your belly can push out gas and help get things going if your bloat is caused by constipation. Lie down on your bed, smooth a little oil on your tummy, and slowly rub with both hands counterclockwise. Nice, no?

7. Have a Drink

Water is tops, but drink it 20 minutes before or after your meal, not during. "Otherwise, you may dilute your stomach enzymes, which can disrupt digestion," Blatner says. Skip fizzy drinks, which release carbon-dioxide gas.

8. Hang Up That Muumuu

"For a slimmer silhouette, the key is to wear something that comes in at your waist," says Allison Firestone, a stylist in Los Angeles. Fake a flat belly with these outfit options: a flow-y dress that's belted; an A-line skirt with a tucked-in, billowy top; or skinny jeans with a loose cami and a tailored jacket.

9. Add Heels

They tilt your pelvis and rotate your hips, pulling in your belly. Plus, science proves stilettos are sexy: Men and women rated ladies in heels as substantially more attractive than women in flats, according to new research. Now, go strut your stuff. ( Healthy Living )

READ MORE - Ways to Beat Bloating

This alarm clock app is like no other

This alarm clock app is like no other - If you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning, a new app called Wake N Shake Alarm Clock ($1.99) might just be what the (sleep) doctor ordered.

What makes this app unique -- compared the hundreds of other alarm clocks at the App Store -- begins with how you need to turn off the alarm.

Quite simply, you need to shake the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to turn it off.

If you're a morning person, you might opt for the reasonably short and sweet "Milk Shake" or "PiƱata" shake setting. These only require a half dozen or so shakes for the red bar to rise to the top of the screen and turn off the sound effect or music.

But those who have a hard time lifting their head off the pillow might choose the "Cold Shower" or "Dream Killer" settings that require a lot more shakes to turn off the dreaded alarm. The meanest shake setting, called "Merciless," doesn't even have a snooze option. Ouch.

Along with the ability to select a song from your library, you can also choose a sound effect to wake up to -- including the bomb- and bullet-filled "Private Ryan," the annoying "Squeaky Toy," or the maniacal "Evil Laugh," to name a few.

But Wake N Shake Alarm Clock is also a "gamified" app, as you can earn points for waking up quickly and/or early, unlock achievements (rewards) and compete with friends on Facebook to be the wake-up queen or king of the week (the one with the most shake points wins).

Facebook integration is optional, of course, but the app pairs you up with other Wake N Shake Alarm Clock users. The app developer, Andres Canella, says they do not collect, analyze or share this data.

The app's interface is very intuitive, employing a 4-way swipe mechanic to activate or deactivate an alarm, set a countdown timer for a quick nap or tweak the sound effects, shake duration or music selection.

While the Wake N Shake Alarm Clock rocks -- and a real treat for those who snagged it for free during a temporary promotion in mid-January -- be aware the app has to be running on screen for it to work. This is due to an iOS limitation that affects all third-party alarm clock apps.

For more on this social, shakeable app, with fun sound effects and music support, check out

And here's the official launch video for the app:

READ MORE - This alarm clock app is like no other

Apollo Moon Rocket Engines Raised from Seafloor by Amazon CEO

Apollo Moon Rocket Engines Raised from Seafloor by Amazon CEO - Long thought to be lost forever on the ocean floor, massive engines that launched astronauts to the moon more than 40 years ago have been recovered by a private expedition led by the founder of

"We found so much," said Jeff Bezos, the online retailer's CEO, in an update posted Wednesday (March 20) on the Bezos Expeditions website. "We have seen an underwater wonderland – an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 enginesthat tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program."

When NASA's mighty Saturn V rockets were launched on missions to Earth orbit and the moon in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the five F-1 engines that powered each of the boosters' first stages dropped into the Atlantic Ocean and sank to the seafloor. There they were expected to remain, discarded forever.

Then, almost exactly one year ago, Bezos announced his private — and until then, secret — expedition had located what they believed to be theengines from the 1969 Apollo 11 mission that began the journey to land the first humans on the moon.

In this image provided by Bezos Expeditions, workers inspect a thrust chamber of an Apollo F-1 engine recovered from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean in March 2013. An expedition led by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pulled up two rocket engines, including this one, that helped boost Apollo astronauts to the moon. Bezos and NASA announced the recovery on Wednesday, March 19, 2013. The sunken engines were part of the Saturn V rocket used to bring astronauts to the moon during the 1960s and 1970s. After liftoff, they fell into the ocean as planned. (AP Photo/Bezos Expeditions)

"Nearly one year ago, Jeff Bezos shared with us his plans to recover F-1 engines," said NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a statement that was released Wednesday. "We share the excitement expressed by Jeff and his team in announcing the recovery of two of the powerful Saturn V first-stage engines from the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean."

Poetic echoes of lunar missions

When Bezos first revealed that his team had discovered the engines using state-of-the-art deep-sea sonar, he said he wasn't sure what condition they were in.

"They hit the ocean at high velocity and have been in salt water for more than 40 years. On the other hand, they are made of tough stuff, so we'll see," Bezos wrote in 2012.

What they saw, using Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), was a tangled pile of F-1 engine parts strewn across the ocean floor at a depth of more than 14,000 feet (4,270 meters).

"We photographed many beautiful objects in situ and have now recovered many prime pieces," Bezos wrote in the update Wednesday. "Each piece we bring on deck conjures for me the thousands of engineers who worked together back then to do what for all time had been thought surely impossible."

The scene also evoked the Apollo moon missions themselves.

"We on the team were often struck by poetic echoes of the lunar missions," Bezos wrote. "The buoyancy of the ROVs looks every bit like microgravity. The blackness of the horizon. The gray and colorless ocean floor. Only the occasional deep sea fish broke the illusion."

Bezos and his team are now heading back to port in Cape Canaveral, Fla., after working for three weeks at sea on the Seabed Worker, a multi-purpose support vessel.

Recovery, restoration and display

The Bezos expedition returned enough major components to rebuild two Saturn V F-1 engines — out of the 65 that were launched between 1967 and 1973 — for display. Despite claims last year that the engines were specifically from Apollo 11, Bezos now says the history of the engine parts he recovered may not be known.

Inspecting the raised pieces, Bezos reported that many of the parts' original serial numbers are missing or partially missing, which may make mission identification difficult.

"We might see more during restoration," Bezos wrote.

Once the engine parts are back on land, they will undergo a restoration to stabilize the hardware and prevent further corrosion from their decades-long exposure to the ocean's salt water. But Bezos hinted the restoration may not return the engines to like-new condition.

"We want the hardware to tell its true story, including its 5,000 mile per hour re-entry and subsequent impact with the ocean surface," Bezos stated. "We're excited to get this hardware on display where just maybe it will inspire something amazing."

Where the recovered F-1 engines will go on exhibit is still to be decided. Last year, Bezos expressed a desire that if two or more of the engines were successfully raised, one would go on display at The Museum of Flight in Seattle, near where Amazon and Bezos' commercial spaceflight company, Blue Origin, are headquarted.

NASA, which retains ownership of the engines and all of its parts, said it would likely offer one to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

"We look forward to the restoration of these engines by the Bezos team and applaud Jeff's desire to make these historic artifacts available for public display," Bolden said. ( )

READ MORE - Apollo Moon Rocket Engines Raised from Seafloor by Amazon CEO

The Truth About Eggs and Cholesterol

The Truth About Eggs and Cholesterol - We Asked: Lisa Drayer, M.A., R.D., is a nutritionist and the author of "The Beauty Diet" and "Strong, Slim, and 30!"

The Answer: Eggs have been slammed and praised, and slammed and praised again. But research suggests they won't raise your cholesterol-and in fact, might even boost your health.

A landmark study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that healthy men and women who eat one egg every day are unlikely to have a substantial change in heart disease or stroke risk. Another study showed that when people with metabolic syndrome (a strong predictor of cardiovascular disease) ate three eggs a day as part of a weight-loss diet, their cholesterol levels improved.
The verdict? Eat up!

Cholesterol is found in the membrane of every cell in your body. The waxy, fat-like substance is necessary for the production of hormones and vitamin D, and it is vital for digestion. You often hear about "good cholesterol" and "bad cholesterol," which refer to the lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout the body. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL, bad) cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries. High-density lipoproteins (HDL, good) collect cholesterol around your body and shuttle it to the liver for disposal. Having too much LDL and too little HDL increases heart disease risk.

The vast majority of cholesterol in your body-about 75%-is produced by your own cells. The rest comes from food. It may seem counterintuitive, but the cholesterol in your diet is less likely to impact your LDL/HDL ratio than how much saturated fat you eat. Foods high in saturated fat and trans fats, including processed and fried foods and high-fat meat and dairy, increase LDL. Yes, egg yolks are high in cholesterol-one fried egg has 210 mg, twice as much as a bacon double-cheeseburger at Burger King. But while the burger serves up a whopping 18 grams of saturated fat, the incredible, edible egg only has two. ( )

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In a rarity, a meteor hit and an asteroid near-miss on same day

In a rarity, a meteor hit and an asteroid near-miss on same day - An asteroid half the size of a football field passed closer to Earth than any other known object of its size on Friday, the same day an unrelated and much smaller space rock blazed over central Russia, creating shock waves that shattered windows and injured 1,200 people.

Asteroid 2012 DA14, discovered just last year, passed about 17,200 miles from Earth at 2:25 p.m. EST (1925 GMT), closer than the networks of television and weather satellites that ring the planet.

"It's like a shooting gallery here. We have two rare events of near-Earth objects approaching the Earth on the same day," NASA scientist Paul Chodas said during a webcast showing live images of the asteroid from a telescope in Australia.

Reuters/Reuters - The passage of asteroid 2012 DA14 through the Earth-moon system, is depicted in this handout image from NASA. On February 15, 2013, an asteroid, 150 feet (45 meters) in diameter will pass …


Scientists said the two events, both rare, are not related -the body that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, at 10:20 p.m. EST Thursday (0320 GMT Friday) came from a different direction and different speed than DA14.

"It's simply a coincidence," Chodas said.

NASA has been tasked by the U.S. Congress to find and track all near-Earth objects that are .62 miles in diameter or larger.

The effort is intended to give scientists and engineers as much time as possible to learn if an asteroid or comet is on a collision course with Earth, in hopes of sending up a spacecraft or taking other measures to avert catastrophe.

About 66 million years ago, an object 6 miles in diameter smashed into what is now the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, leading to the demise of the dinosaurs, as well as most plant and animal life on Earth.

Scientists estimate that only about 10 percent of smaller objects, such as DA14, have been found.

"Things that are that tiny are very hard to see. Their orbits are very close to that of the Earth," said Paul Dimotakis, a professor of aeronautics and applied physics at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Asteroid DA14, for example, was discovered last year, and it was found serendipitously by a group of amateur astronomers.

"This is a shot across the bow," Dimotakis said. "It illustrates the challenge of the observation campaign which is now in progress."

The planet is regularly pelted with objects from space, adding up to about 100 tons of material per day, said astronomer Donald Yeomans, with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Rocks the size of basketballs come in every day. Things the size of a small car arrive every couple of weeks. Larger meteors are less common, so the frequency of hits decreases, Yeomans added.


The rock that broke apart over Russia was believed to be a tiny asteroid, estimated to be about 49 feet - more than twice the size of a small car - and traveling at 11 miles per second, NASA said.

"These things are very faint until they get close enough to the Earth to be seen. An asteroid such as this, which approaches the Earth from the daytime sky, is virtually impossible to see ahead of time because telescopes have to look in the night-time sky to discover asteroids," Chodas told reporters on a conference call.

The asteroid weighed about 7,000 tons, and created a fireball trail visible for 30 seconds - in daylight - as it plummeted through the atmosphere.

Shock waves from the blast shattered thousands of windows and damaged buildings. Many of the 1,200 people injured were hit by flying glass, Russia's Interior Ministry said.

"You can see what sort of destruction and shock wave that a smaller asteroid can produce. It's like Mother Nature is showing us what a tiny one can do," Chodas said.

The Russian fireball was the largest space rock to hit Earth's atmosphere since the 1908 Tunguska event when an asteroid or comet exploded over Siberia, leveling 80 million trees over 830 square miles (2,150 sq km), NASA said.

Asteroid DA14 blazed past the planet at about 8 miles per second. At that speed, an object of similar size on a collision course with Earth would strike with the force of about 2.4 million tons of dynamite, the equivalent of hundreds of Hiroshima-type bombs.

"It's a good thing it's not hitting us, because truth be told there's nothing we could do about it except possibly evacuate, which is not going to be easy given the uncertainty about where the impact would take place," Dimotakis said.

"We would essentially take the hit," he added. ( Reuters )

READ MORE - In a rarity, a meteor hit and an asteroid near-miss on same day