Every company has experienced the dreaded “office cold.” This is the malady that creeps from cubicle to cubicle, spreading germs and illness far and wide, and destroying any semblance of productivity.
When the outbreak initially occurs, coworkers try to limit its spread by keeping hand sanitizer on their desks, covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough, and spraying desktop phones with rubbing alcohol. Some of us become downright anti-social in our efforts to avoid the office plague.
While these are all laudable efforts, they don’t often seem to stop the work killing-illness whatsoever. Which begs the question: What if there was a solution so simple that office workers wouldn’t even have to think about it? Well, as it happens … there is.
Do you remember the last time you were inside a local polling station? Maybe it was a station that had been temporarily erected inside a public school or library, or even a restaurant or a neighbor’s garage.
Perhaps you were there to cast a ballot in a municipal election. Maybe you were voting in a presidential primary election. But whatever the scenario, and wherever the location, it’s unlikely that you spent much time thinking about the intricacies of the polling place’s voting machines. And yet … maybe you should have.
Did you know, for instance, that the very first voting machine to use a lever debuted in 1892? Known as the “Myers Automatic Booth,” it was such a success that mechanical lever machines were still being used as recently as 1996.
But you’re unlikely to ever again see a lever-operated mechanical voting machine, at least outside of an antiques store. We are, after all, solidly in the Age of Electronics. And that at least partially explains why computerized voting machines—many of them complete with electronic touchscreens—have completely replaced the old mechanic models that served the country for more than a century.
If you’re over the age of 18, there’s a decent chance you’ve used a touchscreen-enabled voting machine, which is technically known as a direct-recording electronic (DRE) machine.
Only 7.7 percent of polling stations in the United States were using DRE machines in 1996, when they first came into popular use. By 2004 that number had risen to 28.9 percent. Regardless of the controversy surrounding the machines, which some voters consider highly fallible and relatively easy to hack, electronic voting is now a staple of the voting process not only in the U.S., but worldwide.
Children love to bring things home from school. They are excited to show off good grades, share gossip from the playground, and work on new projects. Unfortunately, among the things they bring home are things we could all do without: germs, microbes, and bacteria.
Kids learn with their hands, and it’s almost impossible to stop them from touching all the exciting things around them, hugging their friends and sharing school supplies. And in today’s world, those supplies include iPads and Chrome Book laptops.
Electronic devices in the classroom such as Smart Boards and Smart Tables have become an integral part of how we educate students. But due to their hands-on nature, they are also germ magnets. They are touched by numerous children throughout the day, and while teachers are diligent about cleaning the surface between classes, it’s not always enough.
A recent study by a consumer watch group found that cell phones and tablets are teaming with Staphylococcus aureus, usually found in the nose, and in skin infections. At the University of Surrey, students imprinted mobile phones in petri dishes and the results were shocking. The mobile devices were swarming with bacteria. Our children, who are encouraged to share toys and interact with their friends are bringing these germs home to share with the rest of the family.