Thursday, August 19, 2010

The 3M Experience - Innovation Tour

What comes into your mind when I say 3M? Depending on what your job is, and how handy you are, different things might come to mind.

Maybe Scotch-brite if you're a housewife.

Post-it's or scotch tapes if you're a student.

Perhaps if you're in the medical field like I am, you'd think of these.

Clearly, in whatever setting you find yourself in, there's a great chance that 3M somewhere somehow has a product there to help you. Hard to believe right? That's what I thought too until I went to the The 3M Experience - Innovation Tour. And wow was I amazed! In fact, while I never really thought about it all that much before, I'm now partial to 3M.

These last few days whenever I had to go get something for some home improvement, I check to see if 3M's made it already. Who among us have not been burned by that cheap hook that either won't attach properly to your wall, or destroys the paint along the way? Or that stupid double sided tape that sticks to the wall only for a couple of days? With 3M, as I found out during the tour, there's a science behind everything they do. Heck, they're the only company I know that allows their scientist to explore whatever project they want for up to 20% of company time. 20 percent! That's like having your Fridays off to play around! And believe me, what they do, is cool. Sure, I might sound a bit nerdy saying this, but science the way they do it, is cool. Fun really!

Take this one for example. Here they demonstrated a tint they developed which not only shields you from glare but decreases the amount of heat that comes in. I'm talking about a decrease from 150BTU to 46BTU (British Thermal Unit)! Yeah, I'm not familiar with BTU either, but apparently, 1 BTU is the amount of energy necessary to heat a pound of water by 1ºF. Anyhow, the important thing is, before they change the glass, it was really warm and blinding, but after that, it felt cool, and it no, it wasn't dark at all.

Remember the only mask that could've protected you from AH1N1? It's called N95 and 3M made it. N95 means it only allows 5percent of particles in. In this particular demonstration, you see how clean the air you breath through these masks are., So what they did was lit a yellow incense and a vacuum device that will simulate sucking air from the inside of the mask. The outer part of the mask turns yellow yet the inside remained white. Cool huh? And in case you're wondering, yes, there's an N100.

Check out this nifty device.It's 3M's Clean-Trace. What it does is measure how dirty (thereby how clean) a surface is. Sure, we've been able to culture samples and determine the amount of bacterial colony before, but it took days to get the result. But suppose you want to know right way? Well, this thing take seconds. And it's simple too! They swabbed the surface, put it in a solution that contains luciferase, an enzyme found in fireflies' bottom that lights up in the presence of ATP. ATP's are essentially the energy source of cells. All bacteria have them. And the amount of luminosity tells us how dirty the surface is.

As they were able to emphasized the whole time, 3M is fundamentlaly a science-based company. They produce thousands of imaginative products and are leaders in many markets--from health care and highway safety to office producs and optial films for LCD displays. People look at 3M, see 6 business seeminly unrelated and think that they're a conglomeration, but they're not. They just happen to apply their technology in multiple ways, mixing and matching in creative ways.

And now they're opening the doors of their Technical Customer Center in Bangkal Makati for an Innovation Experience. The tour features 10 method rooms that showcase 3M's practical and ingenious solutions--at home, in the marketplace, on the go, around the world!

3M Innovation Tour is open to the public upon schedule. Students, special interest groups or businesses will be able to learn about the different applications and products that 3M has through its divisions like Abrasives, Automotive Aftermarket, Commercial Care and Occupational health & Safety (OHES), Commercial Graphics Division, Traffic and Safety Solutions, Industrial Adhesives & Tapes, Renewable Energy, Dental (3M ESPE), Communications Market , Electrical Markets, Electronic Solutions, Electronics Markets and Materials, and Food Safety and Medical.

And please, if and when you get to go, tell me all about it. :)

For more details contact :
Nene Amen
Corporate Marketing & Public Affairs
3M Philippines
9/F Three World Square Building, 22 Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill
Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City 1634
878 3674

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Of death and dying

Angkong2 at his favorite spot in Lido.
Today marks the 49th day1 of my grandfather's passing. 

Never again will I see him sit at his usual place at Lido.Never again will he force me to order something to eat even though I've already said I've just eaten. Never again will he tell me to go and find myself a wife. Never again will those days as child where he'd take me everywhere he goes come back.

Sometimes I think I'd trade another minute in the hospital with him even though I know he's hurting, just to see him again, talk to him, but I know that's a selfish thing to ask for. It's a good these things aren't up to me. I'm sure the rest he find is better than the pain he's had to endure these last months. I'm not bitter and I'm not really complaining. He didn't leave any unfinished business. He's lived a full life at 80. He's had his share of successes and failures, and bounce backs from failures. His family is much much better off now than when he first set foot on the shores of this country that has been so good to him. A country he's learned to love back, never mind that he never did get the hang of Tagalog. 

I realize I'm rambling a bit. When people ask me how I was doing, I'd always said I'm feeling better. Now I realize it's not true. For some reason I kept it all bottled in. I still feel the longing as much as I did when I realize that he was forever gone. I still find it difficult to step in to the restaurant he made successful some 36 years ago--not without wishing he'd ask me if I've eaten . I still can't hold back the tears thinking about the times that are forever gone.

Angkong's birthday celebration some years ago
Short are the lives of men. We were never meant to tarry long in this world. This is but a pit stop for us to the grand adventure that is eternity. A gift of release from the torments of our physical frailty and imperfection. A gift we scorn and fear, but a wonderful gift of  respite nonetheless.

Goodbye angkong... gone you maybe in this world, but never in my heart. Never.

1 49 days is the traditional mourning period in most Filipino-Chinese cultures, at this time, none of the family members may wear red, get a haircut, a shave or cut their nails.
2 Grandfather.