The webcomics blog about webcomics

Bunch O’ Stuff Today

That's the whole story right there.

There will be another post up later today (or possibly tomorrow), an interview with Chris Yates on the very exciting news that he’s sharing today. For now, there’s a couple of stories that deserve some examination and not to be put off any longer.

  • First of all, man nerds work fast when they put their minds to it. The XKCD Laotian school fundraising project resulted in success and a pretty damn inspiring dedication plaque from Randall Munroe:

    “Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” – Plato.

    This school is a gift from the readers of XKCD, an internet comic strip. The world is full of exciting things to discover. We hope you find some of them.

    That news is about a month old, and it should have been brought up before now; I couldn’t let it go any further in good conscience. Judging from the progress photos at the link, the school is likely done by now. Finished. Built. Ready to educate. Well done, all involved.

  • Second thing, and this deserves to be a much bigger story, in that it could literally save a life. Back in the Spring, Snowflakes launched, and it’s been a delight. Back on Monday, a flashback storyline began and it filled in a lot of color on one of the characters who’d been a little in the background since launch. But more important was the newsbox item on that day:

    For the next few months, we’re running a separate storyline for the American Heart Association, based on their “Be The Beat” program to promote heart health.

    You’ll still get Snowflakes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but two of those updates per week will be AHA strips.

    Let’s be perfectly clear, here: we are getting a tutorial on CPR in a webcomic and it’s fitting into the storyline.

    Allow me to share some things about CPR from the perspective of a guy who’s had occasion to use it. Disclaimer: This blog post is not an accredited AHA instruction and you need to go to class, okay? Okay. First off: When the heart goes kablooey, there’s no guarantee that it’s ever going to start up again. CPR by itself almost never results in a revival, and what’s important is getting a defibrillator to shock the heart back into proper working order. But even then, only about 70% of kablooies are shockable, and not all those that are will convert back to a non-kablooey rhythm, and every minute that goes by from onset to shock decreases the chances of success by about 10%.

    What CPR does is buy you time to get a defibrillator hooked up. And it’s easy. Easy enough that in a bad situation, a 911 dispatcher can coach you through it. But that takes time, and your form won’t be good, and you’ll tire too easily and then that time you’re buying starts to slip away again, so let’s take the time to learn it now. You’re all going to sign up for a class, but on the off chance you see somebody clutch their chest and slump to the ground on your way to the classroom, here’s what you do:

    Call 911. Make sure there’s no pulse — two fingers lightly against the outside of the Adam’s apple, and wait for a good 8 – 10 seconds. Got nothing? Open the patient’s shirt and make a fist. Place the heel of the fist on the breastbone, between the nipples, then wrap your other hand over the fist. Lock your elbows, and start pushing hard and fast.

    “Hard” means you’re pushing down about 1/3 of the body’s thickness. “Fast” means 100 compressions a minute; hum Stayin’ Alive or Another One Bites The Dust to get the rhythm right. If you haven’t had a class and don’t know how or when to breathe for your patient, don’t bother — just keep compressing (it’s likely in next year’s revisions of the CPR protocols, the whole rescue breathing thing will be dropped in favor of pure compressions anyway). Count out loud on each compression, so the rescuers who you called know how long you’ve been working.

    That’s it. Hard and fast. The class that you’re all signed up for now teaches you confidence (so you don’t hesitate), and how to use an automated external defibrillator, and different protocols for adults, children, infants, and newborns. It’ll teach you correct form so that your compressions are more effective (hell, I’ve held CPR certs since I was 20, and I didn’t know that my form was good until one day in the ER when a critical care tech told me that I was providing a strong femoral pulse from my compressions, while simultaneously not breaking any of the guy’s ribs) (don’t you worry about breaking ribs; if you hear popping sounds, keep compressing hard and fast).

    Neither this discussion, the calm voice on the other end of a panicked call to 911, nor Snowflakes is going to substitute for what you’ll get from class, but in a pinch any one of the three will be a damn sight better than nothing. Say it with me: Hard and fast. Hard and fast. Hard and fast.

    Now go sign up for that class (especially you parents out there — kids don’t have heart attacks, but there’s a bundle of nerves in the chest that if it gets smacked, there’s a one-in-a-zillion that it basically acts like the POWER OFF switch for the heart … it’s why you see Little League batters with big chest pads these days), and everybody thank the AHA and Snowflakes creators James Ashby, Chris Jones, and Zach Weiner for the Be The Beat miniseries.

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by alexis ohanian, Nina Lords. Nina Lords said: There will be another post up later today (or possibly tomorrow), an interview with Chris Yates on the very excitin… […]

So, I guess Snowflakes can now claim its “as funny as a heart attack” and have it not be an insult, huh?

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