See you soon

As I am finally able to post these blog posts, I am acutely sitting at home watching the snow fall. I got back recently, and for the first time in half a week can finally connect to the internet with my computer. I find it very odd being back, as I got use to many of the different things in India, for instance food seems so much more expensive now and I’m still wary of drinking tap water. I will admit that this time I was not as sick as the last time I returned home, and it has improved my outlook for going back.  Having been before I can see the changes in the area, both school project wise as well as Hubli itself. The McDonalds wasn’t there last time, In fact a few times when walking we cut thought what is now its foundation. Stores went out of business and new ones popped up, businesses changed, but there was a far larger shift that I noticed. People stared at me less. Weather this is because I was use to and expecting it or simply because I felt less out of place I do not know. Last year when we walked around, we drew far more attention. I’m a six foot tall Irish dude with a red beard, and I don’t think people often see that around the school. A few people asked to take photos with me, but I noticed the environment was different. Somehow less tense then the first time. As I mentioned, this might be because I wasn’t sick or the fact that I knew relatively where I was. I obviously don’t blend in, but the people I interacted with outside of the collage seemed somehow more accepting that a foreigner was in that area then jest a year ago. There’s a good chance they will see me again at some point to. I have made a few friends here, and I intend to visit again, even if not for work. I just have to wait until I forget what paneer tastes like. see you soon Hubli.^B4C62D8CBA709D0292A8F3C22FAE12742AF986E5DF73262DF7^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr20160106_073145


Our team, right before we departed. see ya later guys.we will be back.

forest farm photos

I just wanted to add in a short post about the forest farm. I rather liked that place and I do hope to go back to it someday. I did not get to take the tour, but I would love to see the place in blooming session. I thought that the speakers where very interesting and I hope to run into them again at some point. I’m still convinced that when I was on the microphone it didn’t make ant scents, so hopefully it did. this will be more photos then text.



sorry for the odd collage. formating on this is odd.

clinics and limbs

During our stay in India, my company and our team where doing beta testing for our prosthetic limb. We had been here before, for alpha testing, however this time we were set to work a few more patients then last time. The testing itself went very well, but it was a very different place to work then we are used to. I won’t go into all the details but one of our patients had an infection. I don’t mean a small one either, but a very serious, life threatening infection that has more than likely shortened his life. Without intervention it will probably cost him more of his leg if not out rightly kill him. The clinicians at the first place we worked with yelled at him for not cleaning it properly but never showed him how, nor gave him anything to do it. I was able to, and still find this probably the oddest thing I have ever done, go into the hospital, talk to a doctor, and without a name or age get a prescription for him. Our device will be more sanitary and possibly help him heal and effect his quality of life, but in the end that man is going to die because he couldn’t afford doctoral care when he needed it two or three years ago. I will have to admit that the clinicians did all they could, but the setup is very different then in the US and what both of us could do for this man was limited. That will bother me for a very long time. We are still in contact with him, and hope to convince him to take better care of himself at the same time as helping us test our device.

The first clinic that we worked with was well funded and attached to a medical school. There however is an issue with this. They are well funded, and it became very clear that funding was not concerning when it came to patients devices. They could afford giving out devices, but the patients often received ill-fitting or fragile sockets but have no other choice but to use it because it was given to them. Some did have to buy things but due to being well funded, nothing was optimized when it came to cost. It came from one company with high prices. The technicians there are awesome, and artists at what they do, but like artists are not very good at changing there process. There way of making a socket is not efficient, and often leads to having to do it over again. One of our team is a process engineer, the other a plastics engineer, so we proposed a solution to their process that would help them at least time wise. The turnaround normally is about 3 days, the last being casting where the plastic is heated for 3 hours and flipped every 5 minutes. This means that every 5 min, the oven door is opened, heat is expelled, and the material flipped over. This makes the heating process so much longer and produces a far lower plastic quality. The method we proposed was to not flip it, and not open the door until it needed to be. The plastic melted fully in 25 minutes with correct wall thickness but staff where uncooperative and the test failed to produce a socket. They did not want to be responsible if the test failed. I can’t blame them, as it is the way that they are told to do things, but because of this we wasted a few days and more plastic then needed. The socket they finally got us with there method broke before it got on a patient anyhow.

The other clinic that we worked with was, to put it bluntly, a bit more passionate about there work. They were not as well funded and didn’t have as much high tech equipment, but they were eager to work with us and show what they know. One of the techs that works there is an amputee himself, and about as tall as I am. He spoke English but few of the others did. It was clear when they were talking to patients, even without understanding what was being said, that they really cared about the people they work with. It was like a different world compared to the other clinic, and in truth refreshing to see. This clinic used a different method and plastic, witch was far more efficient and in the end better fitting. Many of the people we worked with in the hospital last time and the start of this visit where somewhat distant with their patients, in a more businesslike manner then physician type of way so it was nice to see the opposite spectrum.

I do hope that when we continue to work in this area that we can continue our relationships with both places, to learn what we can from them and help them in return.

Jackfruit and Lizards

Being on the other side of the globe, India seems very alien at times to me. What I mean by this is the things that grow and live there- plants, animals, and the like. I think one of the oddest plants that I came across was a jackfruit. I have seen them before in Asian food marts, and I think I tasted one (not a fan) but seeing them on trees is very different then in a market. I am a fan of sci-fi so to me, many of the landscapes looked like a different planet at times, and with the red dust my mind wondered to mars often. I also got to see a few different animals, some of which live in the states but are not as common to see on a road. Cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, and cockroaches. The last of which are not too common (well at least where I live. New York is a different story), but the one animal that I was happy to see, and find exciting is lizards. They do not do so well in the colder weather where I live but I’ve always liked them. My teammates are not too fond of them, in fact at 7beans a few of them fall into our seating area and they freeked out. It seems they are considered a pest, but some homes keep them, not exactly as pets but rather tolerate them there because they eat other pests. I also find them rather cute and wish we had them around here.


a box of twitter

One of the things that I find rather funny in India is the absences of copy right. I don’t mean this in an odd way, I mean it in it is acutely rather funny. There are things you can do over there for a business that would have you sued so fast in America. It’s an interesting study to jest walk thought a market and find the things that wouldn’t survive in a copyright compliant nation. One of these examples is in the food court of a mall where there is a store called face food. It uses the font and colors of Facebook. Their food wasn’t bad, but they would not last very long here as there logo would violate a bunch of laws. Walking along the markets I also happen to find a few knock offs. Some of them where functional, some not. It was explained to me that most people are willing to pay for a knock off that somewhat works because it is far less expensive and if it breaks in a year or two it costs so little that they can replace it opposed to the more expensive originals. It makes scents. Knock off medical products scare me, but knock off tablets, whatever. I also found at some point a box with the twitter logo on it. It’s clearly not twitter related, I don’t acutely know what’s in it, but I was able to take a photo. From what I could find, many of the knockoffs don’t get outside of India or Asia, and thus the company is only focused on operating and distributing there. If they ever left the country it would be bogged down in so many court battles before the planes landed that it wouldn’t be worth leaving. It is however an interesting trend, and shows the lack of affordable products for some of these things, along with how ways a product can be substituted even by something meant to be it, if not function but brand alone. ^953B11BCD5703D8482C80921A82B6F7FE664C33A2500715176^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr