Saturday, 21 February 2009

Paper trail

Yesterday we gave a shout-out to enterprising monks in Thailand. Today we pay tribute to the late Willem Kolff. The inventor of the dialysis machine, he just passed away at the age of 97. This is from his obituary in today's Finacial Times:
"It was 1941. Willem Kolff, a young doctor, had watched in horror as the Nazis invaded his native Netherlands yet he refused to let the occupation stop his pioneering work on a new medical invention.

In a cramped hospital room he was building the world’s first kidney dialysis machine and he was doing it with the most extraordinary collection of materials foraged from a war-torn countryside. There were parts from a downed Luftwaffe fighter aircraft and from the radiator of an abandoned Ford car. There were orange juice tins, an enamel bathtub, a wooden drum and thin, artificial sausage skins."

Desperate times lead to desperate measures, and that could be the silver lining to the Western world's current economic crisis. In that vein, I loved this quote from Elle magazine editor Lorraine Candy in today's Times magazine:
"It's a credit crunch, not a creative crunch. Punk was born out of recession, and creativity comes to the fore when designers are not thinking about creating an It bag."
The moral of today's newspapers? More innovative use of orange juice tins please, and fewer It bags.

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