Editorial: Mother's Day.
Travel: The Flying Alchemist.
Technology: Clinicloud.
Stationery: Mother's Day cards.
Gadgets and Gear: Exotac nanoSPARK.
Books and Writing: Poland A History.
Project of the week: Amstaff Wallet S.

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EDITORIAL: Mother's Day

Although Mother's Day is celebrated on different days in different countries, for many places the date falls on a Sunday in May. This celebration is relatively new to the festival calendar, having originated in the United States of America in 1908. It was founded by Anna Jarvis, who wanted to celebrate her mother's work during the American Civil War. Her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, cared for the wounded on both sides of the conflict and created Mother's Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. First proposed in 1905, the year of her mother's death, the holiday was at first rejected by Congress but was later proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. Unfortunately commercialisation of the holiday quickly followed and Anna Jarvis then campaigned against it.

Anna Jarvis

Other countries gave a different meaning to Mother's Day. Nevertheless, mothers should be celebrated. Show your appreciation by a nice letter and by doing something special for her.

TRAVEL: The Flying Alchemist

Although travel is wonderful, allowing us to experience interesting and beautiful things and to open our minds, the reality of the modern world makes it somewhat of a hassle, especially when flying. Packing is particularly problematic, especially when traveling only with carry-on luggage. The restriction on carry-on liquids is particularly problematic.

The folk at The Flying Alchemist are coming up with ingenious ways to legally overcome the limitations imposed on us. With their first product we do not have to compromise on mouth hygiene. It looks like a teabag and contains all-natural ingredients in powder form. Brew in a glass of water and you have instant mouth wash.

TECHNOLOGY: Clinicloud

The future of personal monitoring in health keeps becoming more sophisticated. This allows people to have a better indication of when to consult a physician. Self monitoring is not new, for example people with diabetes have been able to monitor blood glucose levels for many years, and even our grandparents had a thermometer in the house (remember the old glass and mercury ones?).

An old glass and mercury medical thermometer.

However, many tests have been out of reach for home monitoring until now. The Clinicloud home monitoring kit comes with a non-contact thermometer and a stethoscope.

The thermometer uses infrared technology and connects wirelessly to your cell phone. The stethoscope connects via the external headphone jack. You will need to download the Clinicloud App, which is available for Android (4.3+) and iOS. The temperature, and heart and lung sounds are recorded and stored on your cell phone. The units uses common replaceable batteries.

The Clinicloud is beautifully designed, and comes with a travel pouch. The company stands behind its product. If you have any problems you will get a quick response and the company will do software updates to make sure that the product works with most phones.

According to Clinicloud, it has had approval from various authorities, including the FDA, CE, TGA, and Health Canada. It is also ISO13485 certified and CFR 820 compliant, as well as US HIPAA and European Data Privacy regulations.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: PD is writing about this product for general information only and in no way will be held responsible the accuracy or otherwise of the technology and will not be held responsible for an consequences from its use. Self or home monitoring is not a substitute for seeking medical advice and should you have any symptoms or enquiry about any result consult your physician. It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.

STATIONERY: Mother's Day cards

Having read this week's editorial on the history of Mother's Day, why not try to make your own card? You can either become creative and design your own, written in your best hand, or you could get ideas from sites such as Martha Stewart's web page. She has put up instructions for various types of cards, so you should be able to see a design that you like and that your mother will love.

Start on this web page and scroll through until you find the one that you like, and click on the button for detailed instructions:


PD has covered fire lighting before, with the Sparky fire lighter that requires batteries and uses steel wool as tinder. For every day carry however the new Exotac nanoSPARK is more convenient and does not require batteries or fuel. This makes it indispensable in a survival situation.

The nanoSPARK has an inbuilt waterproof tinder storage and the flints are replaceable. It is CNC machined out of aluminium and comes in several colours. PD cannot decide between survival orange and stealth black.


Adam Zamoyski's well written book should be on the reading list of anyone who wants to understand Central Europe. Adam Zamoyski is a historian who was born in New York and educated in England. This enjoyable book takes the reader from the early settlements in the Middle Ages to the creation of a great and powerful commonwealth which was ahead of its time in human rights, culture, scholarship and a unique political system of democratically elected kings. Always under attack from its neighbours, its later history is one of subjugation by new powers and disappearance as a country, to its re-establishment and renewed subjugation in the twentieth century, and its rise again in recent times.

Available from your local bookseller.

For the curious: The picture on the cover of the book is a Hussar, the famous elite winged cavalry formed in 1500, known as "husarskie anioły" (hussar angels).

Aleksander Orłowski: Polish Winged Hussar.


PD has previously written about the trend to minimalist wallets which are little more than a piece of metal or wood with a thick rubber band. It is good to see someone come out with a slim design using stylish traditional materials and styles. The Amstaff Wallet S fits the bill, no pun intended.

There is even the matching Coinstaff for your small items.

It comes in a stylish box. And PD loves the logo!

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Important disclaimer: Remember that crowdfunding sites are not stores. You may decide to back this project and provide funds, however there is no guarantee that any project will be delivered - the rate of failure is about 10%. PD is in no way accountable for the success or otherwise of any project and writes in this column purely for entertainment purposes, and will in no way be held liable for any failure or money lost by anyone. It is a case of "buyer beware". It is a sad reflection on the era we live in that PD must resort to this type of disclaimer.

Note: Photographs and illustrations are from the relevant websites and are the copyright of the respective owners.

© 2017 Prowling Dog