Livingston Reporting - page 2

Computer Hand Gesture Recognition Improved

Researchers have been endlessly searching for ways to use computers beyond the typical mouse, keyboard, remote control, or touch screen. Much of their effort is geared toward unlocking more natural forms of communication. For example, voice commands have been a prominent feature in many smartphones and virtual assistants.

Hand gestures are another form of human communication that can be utilized to maneuver computer interactions. Camera systems, image analysis, and machine learning have made strides in optical-based gesture recognition; however, they are hindered by computational complexity, low speed, poor accuracy, or a small number of recognizable gestures.

A team at Sun Yat-sen University in China is set on improving hand gesture recognition and has created a new algorithm that seems promising so far. According to their research, the team integrated innovative strategies to overcome known challenges in consumer devices. By identifying different hand types, palm width, length, and finger length, the hand gesture recognition process is more refined. 

The researchers said, “Traditional simple algorithms tend to suffer from low recognition rates because they cannot cope with different hand types. By first classifying the input gesture by hand type and then using simple libraries that match this type, we can improve the overall recognition rate with almost negligible resource consumption.”

There is also a pre-recognition step in the algorithm, which calculates a ratio of the hand area to determine the three most likely gestures out of the possible nine.

According to researchers, “The gesture pre-recognition step not only reduces the number of calculations and hardware resources required but also improves recognition speed without compromising accuracy.”

Tested in a real-life situation, the algorithm showed more than 93 percent accuracy. Hand gestures were rotated, translated, and scaled in the process. The team will focus on improving the algorithm in situations with poor lighting and increase the number of possible gestures overall.

Founded in 1994, Creative Programs and Systems provides professional results for all computer needs. We design, create, and code an array of custom software programs and websites; offer top-notch digital marketing services including enhanced Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid advertising; repair and provide support for computers of both residential and professional nature; build custom systems and servers, and offer secure data backups. Need assistance or want to learn more? Call us at 810-224-5252 or e-mail info@cpsmi.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Henry Ford Health System Implants Novel Therapy for Brain Tumors

Surgeons at Michigan’s Henry Ford Health System successfully treated a patient who suffers from a recurrent brain tumor by delivering a dose of radiation therapy directly on the tumor. This new approach could revolutionize treatment by delaying or preventing future tumor cells from regrowing. Called GammaTile Therapy, the surgically targeted radiation therapy was the first of its kind performed in Michigan; the patient was a 41-year-old male.

Adam Robin, M.D., a neurosurgeon at the Hermelin Brain Tumor Center at Henry Ford, said, “The current standard of care for brain tumors is tumor resection, often followed by radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of both. Approximately half of patients treated for brain tumors experience tumor recurrence within a year. In his most recent surgery, the patient was treated with a form of surgically targeted radiation therapy, which targets residual tumor cells with radiation before they can significantly replicate. Our hope is this therapy will delay or prevent the tumor cells from replicating and forming a recurrent tumor.”

GammaTile Therapy is cleared by the FDA and designed to delay tumor regrowth while protecting healthy brain tissue in patients who suffer from recurring tumors.

Mira M. Shah, M.D., a radiation oncologist at Henry Ford, external beam radiation therapy is usually delivered no sooner than two- to three weeks after surgery to let the incision heal. With GammaTile, the radiation is focused on specific areas of the brain using a type of brachytherapy (internal radiation) which delivers a therapeutic dose to the tumor during surgery.

Leaving the healthy tissue unharmed, GammaTile maximizes the amount of radiation aimed at the tumor and is critical for those patients who have received external beam radiation therapy, which exposes healthy tissue to radiation.

A bioresorbable, conformable 3D-collaten tile uses uniformly spaced radiation sources to target the tumor cavity after the tumor is removed. In just 33 days, 90 percent of the radiation dose is delivered, and after 100 days, the GammaTiles are considered free from radiation. The placement of GammaTile takes approximately five minutes.

Acceletronics is an industry leader in delivering the best equipment performance and service reliability from CT Scanners and Linear Accelerators across all major brands and models. Call 610-524-3300 or visit our website: https://www.acceletronics.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Winter Survival Skills All Children Should Have

For kids, winter usually means sliding down hills in sleds, building snowmen, bright pink cheeks, and wiping cold snot from their noses – all the usual cold-weather fun! However, when disaster strikes, what skills should children possess to ensure their survival?

Children should know how to adequately layer up in cold weather, what to do if they are lost or in danger, and how to find food, shelter, water, and warmth. While these might sound like basic skills, many kids do not have this knowledge in their repertoire.

Basic winter survival kits can be helpful for children who get lost or isolated outdoors. Make sure kids know what to do with each item if they ever find themselves in an emergency. Here’s what to put inside the kits for youth:

Survival is, overall, based on making good choices. When trying to explain survival situations to children, it’s best to communicate it through a story or an example they can relate to.

Looking for survival gear for children? Check out our store for the supplies you need!

Wolf Survival Gear is a hub for all your prepping and survival needs. We are a trusted resource for concerned families, avid hunters, or serious preppers. Make us your one-stop-shop and prepare now, before you’ll need it later. Visit our website or e-mail us today for more information.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Difference Between Rock Salt and Ice Melt

Winter is here, and with that comes snow and ice removal. Both rock salt and ice melt are made and sold as bagged pellets which come with a few distinctions. Many of us have heard of using “salt” to de-ice or remove snow from sidewalks, driveways, and other areas, but do you know the difference between these bagged pellets? Read on to discover the variations.

Rock Salt
Also known as halite, these pellets have naturally-occurring chunks of pure sodium chloride, also known as salt. Rock salt prevents ice from forming in temperatures above 5°F.

Ice Melt
In addition to sodium chloride (salt), these pellets contain chemicals such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, which melt ice in temperatures as low as -10°F. The exact proportions vary by brand.

Which melts faster? Ice melt typically melts more quickly and is effective at lower temperatures.

Which is the least expensive? Rock salt is generally less costly than ice melt; however, the crystalline pellets can damage concrete, decks, and patios.

Does one corrode more? Both ice melt and rock salt cause corrosion to concrete and metal surfaces. Apply both sparingly or mix with sand for extra traction.

Are they safe for pets? Neither rock salt nor ice melt is safe for pets. Thoroughly wash pets’ paws after being outside. While some ice melt products claim they are “pet friendly,” this claim only applies to the individual pellets, not the residue left after the product is applied.

T&T Property Maintenance has been visualizing, creating, and maintaining commercial properties since 1997. We offer a vast number of services for our clients, including lawn and landscape maintenance, irrigation set up and repair, fertilization, weed and pest control, snow plowing and salting, and tree trimming and stump grinding. We are licensed with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, so you can rest assured we will do the job right – every time. We work with commercial businesses of any size and offer our services in seasonal or yearly packages, and a la carte. For over 20 years, we believe a satisfied customer is the only kind of customer. Check out our website, call, or e-mail us today to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

New Coalition Encourages EV Infrastructure

The Edison Electric Institute (EEI) recently released a press statement announcing the formation of the  National Electric Highway Coalition (NEHC). This new coalition merges the Electric Highway Coalition with the Midwest Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Collaboration and combines contributing electrical companies throughout the United States. The Tennessee Valley Authority, one electric cooperative, and 51 investor-owned electric companies make up the NEHC

The NEHC is an effort between electrical companies to provide Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations off of major United States freeways by the end of 2023.

According to the website, “The NEHC is the largest such alliance of electric companies that have organized around the common goal of deploying EV fast-charging infrastructure to support the growing number of EVs and to help ensure that the transition to EVs is seamless for drivers.”

Tom Kuhn, EEI president, said, “EEI and our member companies are leading the clean energy transformation, and electric transportation is key to reducing carbon emissions across our economy. With the formation of the National Electric Highway Coalition, we are committed to investing in and providing the charging infrastructure necessary to facilitate electric vehicle growth and to helping alleviate any remaining customer range anxiety.”

So far, over $3 billion has been invested in implementing EV charging infrastructure transportation, thanks to the EEI’s member companies. The NEHC approximates that over 100,000 EV fast-charging ports will be needed by 2030 to strengthen the 22 million EVs projected on roads comprehensively.

Kuhn said, “By merging and expanding the existing efforts underway to build fast-charging infrastructure along major travel corridors, we are building a foundational EV charging network that will help to encourage more customers to purchase an electric vehicle. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the electric companies that created so much momentum at the regional level, paving the way for us to expand this effort nationally.”

State Electric Company is a leader in the electrification of the nation. Our highly educated and experienced team of professionals uses industry-leading software technology and has partnered with manufacturers to deliver affordable solutions for all your electrical needs. State Electric Co. is also an exclusive distributor for Enel X JuiceBox EV chargers for residential and commercial use. We are fully licensed, insured, and bonded to install charging stations for homes, offices, hotels, and more. With our extensive knowledge in renewable energy, our team provides customers – large or small – with efficient electrical solutions. Contact us today to learn how we can safely and affordably meet your energy needs.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Blurry Vision after Eating

If you have ever stood up after eating and realized your vision is slightly blurry, you might have experienced a brief blood sugar level spike. If this happens to you more often than not, you may want to schedule a visit with your eye care professional to see whether you have an underlying condition (such as diabetes), which causes these spikes.

Excessively high blood sugar levels generally cause people to be diagnosed with diabetes. When food is digested more rapidly, blood sugar levels can spike. Fluid can build up in the eyes, resulting in blurry vision.

In the eye, the cornea and natural crystalline lens work together to focus light into the retina, resulting in clear vision. To accommodate focusing on objects near or far, the lens changes its shape. In some instances, high blood sugar can cause the eye to swell and cause the focus to be off.

Some foods high in sugar and likely to spike blood sugar include white rice, pasta, cereals, potatoes, pop, fruit juices, candy, and baked goods.

Blurry vision doesn’t always signify diabetes. Other conditions include:

  • Carotid stenosis
  • Migraines
  • Medications
  • Eyestrain
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)
  • Keratitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration

Symptoms other than blurry vision typically accompany these conditions.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Drinking Water Shouldn’t Reek of Chlorine

When appropriately applied, chlorine added to drinking water should not result in any type of odor reminiscent of a pool party. When chlorine can be smelled in water, there are exceedingly high levels of toxic chemical compounds reacting together.

Typically, drinking water comes from natural sources such as lakes, rivers, and streams. It can also be recycled in water treatment plants throughout cities to remove leaves, dirt, fish, and other organic waste.

One of the primary treatment methods used to remove the organic matter is chlorine, which is super-effective at killing harmful organisms (bacteria, parasites, viruses, etc.) Cholera, dysentery, and chronic diarrhea outbreaks were common before water chlorination treatment. Unfortunately, using chlorine to disinfect water isn’t foolproof.

The amount of chlorine needed for water disinfection varies and teeters on a thin line between too much and not enough. If the water smells like chlorine, the water utility in charge of disinfecting might be trying to meet the EPA’s standards by creating “chlorine burnout,” to flush the system. When chlorine levels are high, chloroform can result, which causes chemically-induced asthma and pneumonia.

Chloramine is another chemical treatment companies use to disinfect water, mixed with ammonia. Studies show that more than one in five Americans ingest chloramine in drinking water. While chlorine evaporates quickly, chloramine is more stable and will last longer in the water. Chloramine also causes deterioration of municipal infrastructure because of water chemistry. With lead pipe water systems, the reaction between lead and chloramine can leak lead into the drinking water, faucets, and showerheads.

If you smell chlorine in your drinking water, contact the purification experts at Reynolds Water today.

Reynolds Water Conditioning was established in 1931 and is Michigan’s oldest water conditioning treatment company. Still owned and operated by the Reynolds family, we take pride in providing the highest quality products at a cost-effective price. If your tap water lacks the quality you deserve, contact us today at www.reynoldswater.com or call 800-572-9575.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

All About Thumb Joint Replacement Surgery

Did you know the thumb joint is the most mobile in the hand? It can move up and down, in and out, and rotate; our thumbs move hundreds of times daily. When we use a hammer or hold a glass, the thumb joint helps grip the object and stabilize the other fingers while writing or counting money.

Because our thumbs are used so much, the joint can deteriorate over time, causing arthritis in some individuals. Osteoarthritis can cause the smooth cartilage to become rough, resulting in pain, swelling, limited motion, and a grinding or popping sensation.

After a physician diagnoses arthritis and joint deterioration, non-surgical treatments will be recommended, including pain relief through medications, cortisone injections, and rest through splinting. Unfortunately, arthritis is a degenerative disease that progresses in time for some individuals. After non-surgical methods are exhausted, a joint reconstructive surgery called Arthroplasty is recommended.

Arthroplasty can be done as an outpatient procedure or require an overnight stay. There are several different ways surgeons can replace the thumb joint. Once the surgery is complete, a splint is applied to the thumb to promote healing and rest. Discomfort and swelling are normal; pain medication will be prescribed to alleviate them.

It generally takes roughly six weeks for patients to recover from Arthroplasty completely. After immobilization is deemed sufficient by the surgeon, physical therapy is recommended.

Risks associated with thumb joint replacement surgery include tendon injury, vascular injury, and possible infection, though extremely rare.

Do you have arthritis in your thumb? Contact the experts at MI Hand & Wrist to experience relief today!

Michigan Hand & Wrist was founded in 2001 with the mission to provide the highest-quality care for patients seeking surgical or non-surgical hand or upper extremity relief. Our goal is to exhaust all non-operative measures before discussing or moving on to surgical interventions. We offer on-site physical therapy from therapists committed to improving your quality of life. Our individualized treatments are modern, progressive, and exceptional. Contact us today at www.michiganhandandwrist.com or call 248-596-0412.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

The Ten Most Popular Kitchen Designs and Features of 2021

Throughout 2021, most homeowners resonated with natural materials, outdoor space connections, wood beams, kitchen islands, soft blues, gorgeous greens, and more. Read on to countdown some of the hottest trends of 2021.

10) Sage Is the Rage: Sage accents were everywhere during 2021. From drawers and cabinets to backsplashes, this soothing color created a peaceful environment for kitchens everywhere.

9) Neat Nook: Breakfast nooks took center stage and served as an informal version of a conventional kitchen table. Sophisticated and no-nonsense, nooks were adorned with brass finishes and backsplash tile in 2021.

8) Island Blue: Kitchen islands were a perfect way for owners to showcase a splash of color different from the rest of the cabinets. Blue seemed to be a popular choice, as it provided a striking contrast to white and grey.

7) Rustic Wood: X-shape beams in coffered ceilings were a big trend, as the wooden material added warmth and texture to the room. Wood accents also made rooms feel more extensive and open.

6) Herb Garden: Whether it was cabinet colors, pendant lighting, custom vent hoods, or quartz counters, shades of green were seen splashed throughout kitchens in 2021.

5) Window Haven: Impressive window banks were installed throughout kitchens in 2021, showcasing the natural outdoors and letting the seasonal changes influence the overall color scheme.

4) Kitchen Hub: Islands in the kitchen can include sinks, dishwashers, trash containers, recycling pullouts, seating, storage, cabinets, and much more. Family members and guests can hang out in the kitchen while seated at islands without getting in the cook’s way.

3) White + Wood: Rich colors in wood tones such as hickory, pine, and oak were seen contrasting with white cabinets, backsplashes, or marble countertops. Kitchens also took on an industrial look with bright lighting, black fixtures, and stainless steel appliances.  

2) Mix or Match: While many kitchens in 2021 were focused on clean, streamlined looks, some utilized the playful alternative by featuring bold accent colors throughout.

1) Gathered Assembly: The most popular trend in 2021 creates a style that is unique to each homeowner. Whether it was glass-front cabinets mixed with raw wood ceilings or blue cabinets and white countertops, kitchens saw a pop of color and life rather than being too sterile.

JFC Remodeling is committed to providing top-quality home reconstruction services to clients throughout Livingston County. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, our licensed contractors create unique, individualized, and polished renovations. Whether the site requires an improvement, repair, or is a new construction, you can trust our experts to deliver remarkable results. Call: 810-923-1123, e-mail: jfcllc@comcast.net, or visit us at: www.jfcremodeling.com today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

Utility Transformers Strained by EV Growth

Electric Vehicle (EV) sales are growing. As an increasing number of people implement charging stations in their homes or businesses, nearby transformers are becoming affected. Overloads to the power supply, premature aging, and potential failures are all culprits for transformer damage.

Thankfully, an alternative exists: BESS, or Battery Energy Storage Systems. These devices can be especially beneficial when paired with photovoltaic (PV) panels.

A study conducted in 2020 by Milad Soleimani and Mladen Kezunovic titled, “Economic Evaluation of Transformer Loss of Life Mitigation by Energy Storage and PV Generation,” showed that using BESS and PV was economically more effective and mitigated transformer distribution due to decreasing prices.

Soleimani released a second study titled, “PV Generation, EV and Stationary Battery Optimal Control and Management in Distribution Grids,” which evaluated tactics to alleviate the loss of life on the transformer due to high voltage caused by EVs. It also investigated how transformers become overloaded from EVs. Because of potential failures, utilities and consumers typically experience excess expenses.

The study found that in areas with a large number of EVs, the use of BESS devices (with or without PV panels) decreased the risk of transformers becoming faulty. PV installations were also negligible in certain instances.

Since PV panels are more costly, combining solar power with BESS might not be practical without subsidies.

Soleimani suggests, “Utilities should be investors,” which can be accomplished by, “Developing and providing rebates and other incentive programs to motivate consumers to deploy these resources.” When the technology provides an ample return, utilities will benefit as well.

J&P Electrical is a full-service electrical equipment company. At J&P, we supply contractors, end-users, and supply houses with new surplus, quality reconditioned, and obsolete electrical equipment. We also purchase a wide range of electrical equipment such as bus plugs, ducts, panel switches, substations, and transformers. Call us at 877-844-5514 or visit us at https://www.jpelectricalcompany.com.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.