Looking for a tie that's easy to wash, doesn't require ironing, is durable and doesn't stain easily, yet is smart, elegant and a quality product? Try the Evatie.
It uses synthetic rubber as its basic material but seems no different than a conventional tie, according to Professor Mohamad Nasir Zainal Arif. He heads up Malaysia's Universiti Industri Sefangor Material Lab, which produces the tie.
It takes between 100 and 150 grams of synthetic rubber, along with some industrial waste, to produce a piece of sartorial splendor, and he figures with the right technique, about 100 pieces of handmade Evatie can be produced in a day. The volume could triple with machinery.
Safety is an added feature, he indicated in a story that ran in a Malaysian publication: The wearer won't choke if someone pulls the tie because it rebounds.
Eye of the storm
No, he's not snakebit. But it is a little weird that nature seems to have a thing against Jim McGraw, president and CEO of the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers.
When Hurricane Rita slammed into Texas, perhaps it was seeking McGraw. The IISRP is based in Houston, but while his co-workers scrambled for safety as the storm approached, McGraw was safely in Charleston, S.C., participating in a scientific symposium coordinated and co-sponsored by the institute.
The event drew 40 scientists from Europe, Japan and the U.S. discussing the health effects of chloroprene and butadiene. When the 2½-day program was over, so was Rita. McGraw got home in time to help re-assemble the office.
On the road shortly thereafter, McGraw flew to New Delhi, India. He was greeted by an earthquake. ``No major damage there, but the building swayed back and forth,'' he said in an e-mail.
Meteorologists and seismologists are expected to begin tracking McGraw's travel schedule in the future.
Staying lean pays off. It has for Mohsen Sohi, whose emphasis on constantly improving production processes and lean manufacturing has put him in some pretty prestigious company.
The president and CEO of Freudenberg-NOK G.P. recently was inducted into the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing Academy in recognition of his constant pursuit of top-level lean manufacturing practices at the firm.
Since joining Freudenberg in 2003, Sohi has concentrated on strengthening the firm's lean manufacturing program, called Growtth (or Get Rid of Waste Through Team Harmony), throughout the entire company.
Sohi and the Shingo Prize for Excellence fit well together. The academy's philosophy is simple: world-class performance for quality, cost and delivery can be achieved through lean principles and techniques in core manufacturing and business processes.
And that's what Sohi's all about, his presenters-Ross E. Robson and Bruce Hamilton, two Shingo executives-said at his induction to the academy.
A robber wearing yellow rubber gloves-the kind used for cleaning-and wielding a knife, held up a shop in Edinburgh, Scotland, at about 9:30 p.m. one evening and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.
The thief was described as a 6-foot white male, between 25 and 30, with an athletic or muscular build, and short, possibly graying, hair.
He got away-even though he was also wearing a red baseball cap, a gray and blue polo shirt with a black T-shirt underneath, blue jeans and white training shoes. And, of course the yellow rubber gloves.
Normally, that item would mean nothing other than to point out how oddly he dressed and that he got away despite that apparel. But, apparently that yellow-gloved man isn't alone. Sales of giant-sized rubber gloves are soaring in the United Kingdom, according to the ``Daily Record,'' a newspaper in Scotland.
A survey by a manufacturer of rubber goods indicates the demand for the firm's largest size is growing ahead of other sizes, the newspaper said. The company claims it's proof that men are now more prepared to take on kitchen duties. Or, in the Edinburgh crook's case, robbing stores at knifepoint.
Nearly 44 percent of the males surveyed in the United Kingdom said they were cooking and helping out in the kitchen more than they did five years ago.
It's doubtful any said the gloves had been helpful in pulling off store robberies.
Spotlight on SR
Natural rubber latex gloves have taken their share of criticism for the last decade, principally because the handware causes severe allergic reactions in some people.
Now it's synthetic rubber's turn.
Reports out of Brevard County, Fla., say health officials there are blaming synthetic rubber boots for triggering allergic reactions in 16 fourth-grade students and two chaperones during field trips to a lagoon and nearby bodies of water.
The 18 hikers suffered from various health issues, including red, sore and swollen feet, health officials said. They zeroed in on the synthetic rubber boots after ruling out suspicions such as bacteria or sea lice in the water. They are currently debating when to resume the field trip program.
School district officials said several of the students had to be taken to hospitals for treatment. No report on how long it took local lawyers to flock to the hospital.
Compiled and edited by Mike McNulty. Send items to [email protected]