Earl Bakken: The Man Who Changed Our Hearts

Earl Bakken passed away last week at the age of 94. Not many people have heard of Bakken, but he saved millions of lives all around the world. In 1949, Bakken founded Medtronic, a garage-based medical equipment repair shop that made $8 in its first month of operation. In 1957, an infant with a heart condition died after a blackout disabled her plug-in pacemaker. At her surgeon’s request, Bakken invented the world’s first portable model, powered by an external battery taped to the chest. A few years later, he and his partners licensed designs for the first implantable pacemaker....

OleHenriksen Cured My Acne…And I Have No Idea How

When I was in high school, there was a commercial – for Olay, I think – in which the actress complained about having acne and wrinkles at the same time. I remember watching it with one of my Sisters of the Traveling Chocolate and laughing, because like that would ever happen. Not so funny when you’re 40 and it’s true! I don’t mind the wrinkles so much. I figure I’ve earned those, especially the one on my forehead that’s from decades of raising my eyebrows at people. But oil and breakouts are things we’re told we’ll grow out of,...

Today I Am Thankful for Science

Happy Thanksgiving, fellow Canadians! You know that thing on sitcoms where everyone sits in a circle and awkwardly says what they are thankful for? Let’s do that thing. Today I am thankful for science: for Banting and Best, Canadian researchers who discovered the insulin that allows my Grandpa, and millions of other people with diabetes, to enjoy a little pumpkin pie today. for the portable oxygen tanks that let my Grandma leave her nursing home long enough to enjoy picnics in the Rocky Mountains. for joint replacement technology, without which my Dad would be in a wheelchair. (And for...