ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc
A Certified Woman Owned Business Enterprise (WBE)

Issue 36

Publisher:  Jack Burlin                                Editor:  Lori Schriver

June 3, 2008

Your success story            Monthly featured product            Kevinisms            Trivia         

Articles of Interest:  Computer Equipment Could Help MRSA Spread                      No, not hot!!

Back to ISC Main Page

ISC has moved!  Our new address is:

2384 Highway 287 N.
Suite 208
Mansfield, TX 76063-9207

Toll Free:  800-458-6255       Phone:  817-842-9090     Fax:  682-410-0353


Your Success Story

    These are photos of a training room in a new Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) facility.  A supporting agency purchased the training tables, with pop-up power and data modules, plus pre-wired power poles that run from floor to ceiling at the end of each row.  There were 80 tables in the order.  The facility was just occupied in March, so the training room should be in full operation.

     Photos supplied by Special Agent in Charge

Monthly Featured Product


    Virtually Indestructible Keyboard


               Various colors and
            languages are available


     MED-1000 Keyboard with integral pointing device



Information Support Concepts (ISC) has discontinued the monthly product special.   You can click on this link to see the current weekly product special! 

In direct relation to this month's feature article, we discuss the various flexible keyboards available from ISC.  There are two standard versions shown online.  These are the FLX-2000 and the FLX-500U.  Both are silicone based material and are "virtually indestructible."  In fact, the only thing we have found that affects these keyboards is hydraulic oil.  These keyboards can be disinfected or placed in an autoclave and sterilized.  This makes them especially well suited for use in medical or veterinary applications. month we discuss one of the product lines not shown online.

Keyboards are available in various colors, and the MED-1000 has an integral pointing device built-in so you don't need a separate mouse.

As always, ISC personnel are ready to answer your questions, and can confirm what product will work for your specific application. If you have a question, just call us at 800-458-6255.


Computer Equipment Could Help MRSA Spread


Keyboards and computer equipment installed in hospitals may aid the spread of 'superbug' bacteria such as MRSA, a study in a Chicago hospital has revealed.

Just touching a keyboard is enough to pick up the bacteria and potentially pass it on to a patient, according to the results of the study. Furthermore, cleaning the equipment with soap and water, according to the manufacturer's instructions, may not remove the infection.

Dr Gary Noskin, medical director of healthcare epidemiology
at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, who
carried out the study, told Reuters that the only solution was frequent hand-washing. "Hands are washed before treating a patient, but hand washing prior to computer use is superfluous. Most hospitals are not aware of this."

Dr Noskin's team contaminated three computer keyboards
with common bacteria found in hospitals, namely Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus faecium (VRE) and Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), as well as non-drug resistant Pseudomonas Aeruginosa.

While the bacteria that were not resistant to any drugs dissipated after an hour, the two drug-resistant bugs, VRE
and MRSA, remained on the keyboard for twenty-four hours. 
          typical computer keyboard (plastic and metal)

VRE and MRSA were picked up from the keyboard on the users' fingers even if they were wearing gloves. The only way the bacterial infections were removed were through sluicing the keyboard with antiseptic; however, this may in the long-term end up damaging the computer equipment.

"The emerging trend in hospitals is to have electronic health records," noted Dr Noskin. "Some hospitals are putting computers in every patient room." He suggested the best way of minimizing the risk was for clinicians wash their hands after each time they use a computer before touching a patient.

A spokesperson for the NHS Connecting for Health, the agency responsible for the National Programme for IT in the NHS, told E-Health Insider they were aware of the study, and were working closely with the National Patient Safety Agency in their 'cleanyourhands' campaign.

"Clearly patient safety is a top priority for NHS Connecting for Health," said a spokesperson. "We are working with industry leaders in the field, as well as hospital trusts and academia,
to ascertain the risks associated with the implementation of IT hardware within the clinical environment.

"Together these parties are working with hardware vendors to specify and deliver innovative and effective solutions to
reduce these risks. Early discussions are still in commercial confidence and so we are unable to disclose more detail at this time. "

Dr Noskin presented his findings to a meeting Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, the US agency responsible for infection control and prevention.




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A Kevinism is a funny or intriguing statement or idea from our Vice President of Sales, Kevin Hunt.  Kevin is a big fan of Sandra Bullock, Pizza Inn black olive pizza, The Washington Redskins, and Dr. Pepper (not necessarily in that order).  He is not a big fan of Chinese food, seafood, or other types of "dead" stuff.

This is our first month in our new offices in Mansfield, TX.  We should have some photos for next month's newsletter.  The last couple of months have been very interesting, with numerous "road trips" to the new office to check progress and to scope out where we will be eating lunch from now on.

Being Springtime in Texas, and being on the road more frequently than usual, it gives Kevin an opportunity to talk about his "weather honor."  This is similar to earning a merit badge on meteorology with the Boy Scouts.  Kevin was in a similar program as a teen.

Kevin frequently says things like, "I predict it will rain between now and the weekend."  He cites his weather honor skills as the source of his ability to predict the weather.  Unfortunately, Kevin will only say things like this when it is either already raining, or if he has seen the local weather forecast in advance.

Kevin was recently expounding on his knowledge and said that clouds with rain in them where called Rhombus clouds.  Knowing this to be incorrect I suggested it should in fact be Nimbus clouds.  Here are the definitions of the words:



1.  an oblique-angled equilateral parallelogram.
2.  an equilateral parallelogram, including the square as a special case.



1.  Classical Mythology. a shining cloud sometimes surrounding a deity when on earth.  a halo.
2.  a cloud, aura, atmosphere, etc., surrounding a person or thing.
3.  the type of dense clouds or cloud mass with ragged edges, that yields rain or snow; a rain cloud.

Since Kevin can never admit to having confused the two words, he sends me "proof" by doing a google search on "rhombus cloud."  When he finds any entry online that contains both terms, no matter how many words or thoughts might separate the two, he considers it vindication.  The idea that you can do this with any two unrelated terms and get the same results does not sway him the least. 


Trivia Question

Q:  Where is this statue and what is it called?


All correct answers will be placed into a pool for a random drawing at the end of the month.  The winner will receive a free 25' roll of velcro, plus free ground shipping. Send your answers to: Jack Burlin

See next month's newsletter for the winner and the correct answer.

Answer from May's Newsletter.

Q:  Where is this statue and what is it called?


A:  This is the famous Merlion statue in Singapore harbor.  The city got its name (which means lion city) when a local prince claimed to have seen a creature that was half lion, half mermaid.

The winner was Brian West.  Congratulations!




No, not hot!!


In 1985 I was working for Lear Seigler International and was on a business trip to Singapore (see the trivia question above).  We where working with the Army and MMD (Ministry of Defense) to install and test our Vehicle Navigation Aids System (VNAS) product.  For more information on my Singapore experience, you can read the story about the Hill Myna Bird in the November 2007 newsletter (click here).

Singapore is a wonderful place.  Even if you just stay in the city there are a lot of things to do.  For us, our days were divided between work at an Army base on the Northwest coast of the island, and driving a course all around the island to test the performance of the VNAS.

Working at the Army base was great because we got to eat lunch at the Officers’ Club.  Now the Singapore Officers’ Club was a bit different from the US Air Force or other branch’s club, in that it was not like a restaurant.  You could not order off a menu.  Instead, whatever was being made that day is what you got to eat.  Fortunately, they had some excellent cooks there, and even on the days when all they had was fried rice, it was still a great meal.  The fried rice these cooks made was full of shrimp and beef and was really tasty.  So most of the time we ate great when we were at the Army base.

There were certain days when the cooks were off that the Officers’ Club did not serve lunch.  The only alternative was the “hawker stands" run by local vendors.  These vendors paid a fee to the base to be allowed to operate their stands, and anyone on the base that chose to could purchase lunch from them.  The officers ate there when the club was closed and the enlisted men had the choice to eat there and pay for their meals, or they could eat at the mess hall for free.  The fare at the mess hall must not have been that good (what with the more highly skilled chefs being at the Officers’ Club) since there were quite a few enlisted men willing to spend their money rather than eat there.

One Saturday we were out at the base and had to eat lunch at the hawker stands.  There were only two vendors to choose from.  One made Chinese food and the other made Malaysian food.  I had always heard the Malaysian food was too hot and spicy, so I always ate Chinese.  On this particular day, I had gotten tired of Chinese and wanted to try the Malaysian offering.  I went up to the proprietor and asked about what he had available.  He told me he had some lovely curried rice with chicken.  It looked and sounded OK, so I asked him if it was particularly hot.  He said, “No, not hot."  So I ordered some.

When it was ready (served in a Styrofoam box), I took it over to my table, sat down, opened it up and got ready for my first bite.  I had already had one bad experience with curry in Italy, but I knew there were a lot of different curries, and I had been assured this one was not hot.  So what could go wrong?

When I took the first bite of curried rice with chicken, it was so hot the entire inside of my mouth felt like it had been burned.  My forehead instantly broke out in a sweat, and my sunglasses literally fogged up so that I could not see.  I groped around for my drink and finally got a few quick swallows down to ease the burning sensation in my mouth, tongue, and throat.

It took me a few minutes to recover.  My mouth was still burning and I could not taste anything.  I then had to face a dilemma.  I was still hungry and needed to finish lunch pretty quickly.  Should I go order some Chinese, or should I finish the curried rice and chicken?

Since the inside of my mouth was already burned, I elected to finish the Malaysian meal.  I could not taste it, and I already was scalded so I did not expect to incur any more damage, and I was right.  The meal went down effortlessly after that.

That was the only time I ever ate Malaysian food, and the last time I have ever tried anything with curry in it.

 Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter. 
Please direct your comments to Jack Burlin.



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ISC   Information Support Concepts, Inc