Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Take a Break: Unique Ideas for Father’s Day/Phineas Gage

With Father’s Day just four days away, below are some fun things to do and make to remember these special guys. These aren’t your normal father’s day ideas, as there are lots of sites where you can print out cute gift tags and Daddyland Coupon Books. The goal was to come up with a variety of unique but D.I.Y. gifts. Check out the following:

Alien AbductionLamp: Just too funny not to consider

Card Holders made from paint chips 

Coasters made from six-packbeer holders: This project would work using other artwork, such as the cardboard box his favorite tool came in.

Cufflinks: You can make these from bottle caps, Legos, marbles, guitar picks, computer keys, or just about anything you can glue a blank cufflink back to. You can check your local craft store for blanks or order from a number of on-line sites.

Paracord Bracelet Because paracord can withstand 550 pounds of pressure but is extremely lightweight, there are many uses for it-from tying things to the roof to being a very useful survival tool. The bracelet allows the wearer to carry several feet of extra cord, making this the perfect gift for the outdoorsmen. You can purchase paracord at your local sporting goods store or on-line. Since this is basically macramé, use a clamp or clip board to hold the bracelet while making the knots (basic macramé). Because paracord can easily unravel, you will need to burn the ends. Try and use the blue part of the flame, since this is less likely to leave a scorch mark. Below are two instructional videos that provide easy to follow:

Don’t feel like making something today? Learn about Phineas Gage. Because of my job with our local historical society, I spend a lot of time researching and talking about him.

Don’t know about Phineas? On Sept ember 13, 1848 Phineas Gage, a foreman, was working with his crew excavating rocks in preparing the bed for the Rutland and Burlington Railroad in Cavendish. An accidental explosion of a charge he had set blew his tamping iron through his head. It entered under the left cheekbone and exited through the top of the head. The rod, covered with brains and blood, was found approximately 30 yards from the site of the accident.

Sitting on the back of an ox cart, Gage was brought to the boarding house where he was staying on Main Street in Cavendish. Dr. John Harlow treated his wounds, along with Dr. Edward H. Williams. The large wound at the top of his head was closed with adhesive straps and a wet compress covered the opening. No surgery was involved.

Within days of the accident, an infection developed and Gage lapsed into a semi comatose state. Fearing that he was about to die, a local carpenter prepared a coffin for him. Two weeks after the accident, Harlow released 8 fluid ounces of pus from an abscess under Gage’s scalp. By January 1, 1849 (approximately 4 months) Gage was functional.

It is remarkable that Gage survived this accident, let alone lived for 11 more years. Fortunately Dr. Harlow and Dr. Henry J. Bigelow, a professor of surgery at Harvard University, tracked Gage as much possible, thereby documenting one of the first cases of traumatic brain injury in medical science. It was also the first understanding that different parts of the brain have different functions. With this knowledge, the first brain tumor removal operation became possible in 1885.

Watch a 15 minute video about the accident and how it impacted his brain  and check out the newly started Facebook page.

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