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Savings / Safety Tips for February 2018 from All Safety Products, Inc.

Virtual reality enters the critical safety training areas!

Safety training is no game, but game technology is the future in safety. Instead of watching a safety film, trainees will soon be part of the film, in Virtual Reality experiences.

These new VR technologies are now being applied in highly dangerous scenarios, such as nuclear and crime settings, where one mistake is catastrophic. VR technology is also being used in training for many safety-critical jobs.     

The idea is to create a situation where trainees learn by doing, but where mistakes have no impact. Imagine how useful that would be to teach a trainee how to diffuse a bomb.

Google experimented with VR training by having two groups learn to make a cup of espresso. One group learned by VR. The second group learned by videos. According to CLO Media, neither group ended up making a great cup of coffee, but the VR group made fewer mistakes. That's the sort of result one hopes for in bomb diffusing.

At the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology, VR experiences will help new miners with mining techniques, simulating the environment and the experience of cutting rock.     

In construction,VR is  already being employed at Gammon Construction Ltd and Bechtel, according to Iron workers, whose job entails working at tremendous heights, can first be immersed in a VR scene that gives them a chance to become accustomed to working on beams.

In August 2017, UPS began training student delivery drivers to spot and identify road hazards through VR headsets.  VR safety has the advantage over movies and presentations in that trainees are likely to be more engaged in the fun and novelty of the experience.       

But, the key to adoption of VR training across the spectrum is software development cost, which is expected to drop as more applications are  developed.

In the meantime, Augmented Reality, like the technology used in games such as Pokemon Go, will take up some slack. Trainees could use AR, a much less expensive virtual technology, to identify slip and fall scenarios, for example.     

Current VR technology has limitations, of course. Among them are the safety considerations of VR itself. Since participants are immersed in the VR environment, they tend to forget the hazards around them. Even in gaming, special rooms are set up so that VR gamers can play without tripping over furniture and humans monitor their physical presence. VR is even coming to medicine.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center has invested $119 million on a VR training facility for students. It is expected to open in the fall of 2018.

Superbugs have a natural enemy!

The looming scourge of the superbug -- bacteria that antibiotics can't kill -- threatens to bring back the era of death by infection. But there is hope on the horizon. Superbugs will be responsible for over 10 million
deaths per year globally by the year 2050, according to the BBC. Even as recently as 2014, around 700,000 deaths can be blamed on infections that couldn't be cured with modern antibiotics.

The World Health Organization classifies these bugs as an imminent threat to human health. According to a Time Magazine special report, one treatment currently being researched attacks these superbugs from a completely different angle. This method requires using bacteriophages, or phages, to destroy the bacteria.  Phages are nature's bacteria fighter, and there are estimated to be around 10 million trillion different
phages throughout the world. Phages work by injecting their DNA into a bacterial cell, where it replicates until the bacteria bursts open and dies. Phages are unique in that each strain seems only to attack a particular type of bacteria.

This means that treatment with phages will leave the beneficial bacteria intact within the body and just single out the dangerous kind.     Using phages to attack bacteria is not a new idea. They have been used to treat infections throughout the world for nearly a century, but it has had a reputation as an unsafe and clunky treatment.

New advances in medical knowledge and technology, however, have shown that this therapy can be a useful cure for cases in which antibiotics have failed, and it remains a promising solution to the impending superbug threat because there is a nearly limitless supply of different phages to use against the bacteria.

Secret Sauce: Sriracha spices up Steak and Peppers

The wildly popular Sriracha hot sauce will put some spice into your Valentine dinner. Sriracha is the 80-year-old invention of a Thai cook, Thanom Chakkapak, who limited the secret sauce to family and friends until her friends demanded more. She then manufactured the sauce, quickly making it the most popular sauce in Thailand.     According to Community Table, the sauce was unknown in the West until a Vietnamese immigrant marketed his own version of the sauce through Huy Fong Foods with the famous rooster logo.     

Today, its fame is widespread and you can find it on the shelves of nearly any grocery store.   Its name is pronounced See-rah-jah, as if the syllables were separate words.   This recipe for flank steak and peppers from showcases the flavors of Sriracha. Experiment with the sauce, since it is spicy.  

Sriracha Steak and Peppers  


1/2 pound flank steak
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 red bell pepper (or any color), thinly sliced
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1-1/2 teaspoons Sriracha hot sauce
1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch  

Thinly slice beef across the grain; sprinkle with pepper.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large wok or nonstick skillet over high heat.
Add beef to pan, and cook 3 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in same skillet over medium-high heat.
Add bell pepper, green onions and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until tender.
Whisk together soy sauce, water, Sriracha and cornstarch in a small bowl until blended.
Add beef and sauce mixture to pan.
Bring to a boil and cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, or until sauce is thickened.

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