Head into any CVS or Walgreens and you should be able to locate the blue hue of a pill organizer that helps you remind yourself of what day and time you need to take any medicine.
But Michael Ramirez and his Greenville, S.C.,-based company, ApotheSource Inc., have introduced Pill Fill, new app that doesn’t just tell you what to take. It tells you why to take it and more, arming a patient with as much medical information as possible.
“A patient can do a lot if they have their information,” says Ramirez, who graduated from NC State in 2005 with a computer science degree.”‘Patient engagement’ is the new buzz word.”
Pill Fill, which went live early in 2014, allows a person to house all of their medication information under one umbrella. After a user downloads the app, he or she enters their pharmacy and insurance information. About 30 seconds later, Ramirez says, the app is able to provide them with a list of all their medications and information about those medications provided by National Institute of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services. A user might get an alert where the prescription might be available at a lower cost and directions to a specific pharmacy.
The point is medication management and empowering a patient with the knowledge about what those medications can do in the context of all the others he or she is taking. Ramirez, whose wife is a pharmacist, adds the information goes beyond that provided by other pharmacy apps that provide general information.
“You’re going to get the doctor who prescribed it and the pharmacy that dispensed it,” he says of Pill Fill’s functions. “But you’re also going to get where they went to medical school and what they’re prescribing to other patients.”
Ramirez, 31, says the app may soon have the capability to reveal a doctor’s procedure cost relative to other providers in your area. Because of all the sensitive information, Ramirez says he spends most of his time focusing on the app’s security model so that a patient’s privacy is protected during every use.
So far, Pill Fill has gained a couple thousand users and has pulled in more than 10,000 prescriptions, despite some push back from chain pharmacies — because the app sometimes recommends community pharmacies. And while Ramirez says other organizations have attempted to compile such information in the past, they’ve done it for hospitals, not individuals.
“There’s nothing like this that has been done before,” he says.
It had been NC State’s football team that, for many years, had donned the colors of red and white on the gridiron.
But it was on this day in 1938 that another integral part of autumn’s Saturday scene earned its stripes, so to speak, as the marching band received new uniforms for its members.
“The newly acquired uniforms follow the color scheme of those worn by members of the State football team,” The Technician reported. “The coats are of a dark red color, trimmed with white, and the trousers are a neutral gray with a red military stripe down the side.”
The State College Redcoat Band, directed by C.D. Kutchinski, unveiled the new uniforms eight days later in Charlotte, where the Wolfpack defeated Davidson College, 19-7.
The Redcoats. Photo from the 1939 Agromeck.
The uniforms, which gave a new identity and flare to a band already known for its sound, were made a reality when the Raleigh Junior Chamber of Commerce raised the money needed for the 45 that were purchased and the 20 more that would eventually be ordered to round out needed total.
“The State Band is noted throughout the State for the colorful performances it has put on during the halves of the home football games,” wrote The Technician. “Spectators will have their first glimpse of both the new uniforms and the rejuvenated band at the opening game in Charlotte.”
Too often, talk around the water cooler on Mondays involves this wronged football fan griping about that blown call by the refs. (Luckily, that’s not the case for NC State fans today, as the Wolfpack rolled South Florida on Saturday, 49-17).
But technology that NC State researchers have introduced may help to mute some of the grumbling and Monday-morning officiating.
David Ricketts, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dan Stancil, department head for NC State’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are part of a team that developed the Magneto-Track System. It’s technology that helps television viewers track the football with their eyes when they’re watching a game.
“It’s not meant to replace the chain, but to enhance the viewing experience,” Ricketts says. “When the quarterback hikes the ball, you don’t see it. The next time you see it, someone’s running it or the quarterback is throwing it.”
The research began at the Disney Research Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, where Ricketts and Stancil taught before coming to NC State. Ricketts says they were trying to do some research with sports visualization, and since Disney owned ESPN, it made sense that the team turned to football.
How Magneto-Track works is pretty easy to understand. There is an antenna inside of the football, wrapped around the belly of the ball. Also enclosed under the pigskin is a transmitter, which can be picked up by various antennae set up around the field.
The exchange is predicated on a magnetic field, not radio waves. “Why that is important is that radio waves, like with cell phones, get blocked by people,” Ricketts says. “But with magnetic fields, it goes right through. We can figure out where the ball is.”
An antenna and a transmitter are placed inside the football under the pigskin, making the tracking possible.
Ricketts believes the technology is ideal for situations where the ball goes missing at the bottom of a pile on a goal-line stand or at the bottom of a rugby scrum. In fact, he adds, one of the leading rugby manufacturers in Europe has expressed interest in adding the technology to their balls.
But as of now, there’s not any discussions between the researchers and the NCAA or the NFL to introduce Magneto-Track to their respective games.
Lobo III may have been the most infamous mascots NC State has ever had. He also may have been one of the Wolfpack’s most popular mascots.
That’s because Lobo III, as it turned out, was not a wolf.
Lobo was believed to be a 4-month-old timber wolf when NC State’s student government purchased him from an animal dealer to commemorate the opening of what is now Carter-Finley Stadium in the 1960s.
Lobo was a hit at football games, in part because he often howled. But then a zoology professor unmasked Lobo, revealing that he was not a timber wolf. Instead, he was a coyote. That was fine with students, though, who simply started referring to NC State’s football team as the “Kool Kyoties.”
But all good things eventually come to an end and, on this day in 1970, the Technician reported that the reign of Lobo III as NC State’s mascot was over. The paper reported that Lobo III was retiring.
“Lobo, the wolf everybody knew was a coyote, was adopted by the Wolfpack several years ago as their official mascot,” the paper reported. “However, the cheerleaders have decided that Lobo is getting too old for the kind of rabble-rousing that goes on at football games and pep rallies, and they are making arrangements for a nice retirement home for the Wolfpack veteran.”
Head cheerleader Tom Dimmock told the paper that Lobo was being kept on a farm with a large wooded area where he could run free. But he also noted that Lobo sometimes had difficulty behaving as the NC State mascot.
“As a coyote, Lobo was not meant to be tame,” Dimmock said. “He was just too hard to handle at games. The squad was afraid to take him out of the cage for fear he would get away and hurt someone.”
When it was later announced that Lobo was going to be put to sleep, a state representative led a campaign to save the coyote. As a result, Lobo III was donated to the N.C. Zoo, which was under construction at the time. But before the zoo was finished, Lobo died of heartworms.
Back on campus, NC State adopted a full-fledged, two-thirds wolf as its new mascot.
Lane Burt grew up in a family of engineers. Burt’s father and grandfather are both engineers, and both graduated from NC State. So it’s only natural that Burt, who graduated from NC State in 2005 with a degree in mechanical engineering, is pursuing a career in engineering.
And in February, part of that career will be spent in Australia collaborating with researchers overseas about the evolution of policies in energy efficiency and climate change.
Burt is the 2014 recipient of the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Climate Change and Clean Energy. The Fulbright program, sponsored by Australian and U.S. governments, provides short-term research grants to professionals in a variety of academic fields to pursue collaborative projects with eligible institutions overseas. Burt will study at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Burt’s passion for energy efficiency research originated from his family’s construction business in Huntersville, N.C., where he worked during summer months in college.
“It’s hard to understand how much energy is actually wasted,” he says. “I’ve always had a conservationist streak, but I really noticed it when I worked in construction. It didn’t seem like a big enough issue for building managers to keep their buildings running properly.”
As a result, Burt later created Ember Strategies, a startup firm that works with clients to help them adapt to energy saving standards and products. Before he founded Ember Strategies in 2013, Burt worked in Washington, D.C., as the policy director for the U.S. Green Building Council and on the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Burt says working in Washington was one of the most valuable experiences he’s had as an engineer. “Policy makers really valued my technical knowledge and experience,” he says. “They don’t hear from engineers a lot.”
One of the biggest challenges Burt says he faces is getting people to recognize the concrete, daily changes they need to make in order to save energy, and, in turn, save money.
“Whether it’s at Ember or not, everyone is for saving money,” he says. “But when you dig deeper, it takes real effort and time.”
– Will Watkins
At the beginning, Eddie and Elizabeth Yountz were simply making plans to attend a family wedding in Los Angeles.
But as long as they were traveling so far west — the Yountz’ live in Lake Lure, N.C., — Eddie wondered if they could include a stop to see the Grand Canyon, a destination he had long wanted to visit.
And then Elizabeth figured, if we’re stopping to see the Grand Canyon, why not squeeze in a few more stops along the way? Maybe, she thought, she could fulfill one of her longtime goals — to visit each of the 50 states.
“The next thing I knew, we had a round-the-country trip planned,” says Eddie, a retired engineer who graduated from NC State in 1975. “She a Type A, so it’s hard to keep her down.”
Indeed, the Yountzes decided to use the family wedding as an occasion to see much of the country, including a stop in each of the seven states that Elizabeth had yet to visit. They planned out a three-week road trip that took them from Lake Lure to Los Angeles and back — with stops at attractions ranging from Mount Rushmore in South Dakota to Graceland in Memphis, Tenn.
They saw the famous Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, the Great Salt Lake in Utah, and the the Hoover Dam on their way to Las Vegas. They rafted the Snake River, visited the mill in Utah where Kevin Bacon filmed a dance scene for Footloose, and took in the acclaimed fountain show at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas strip. They drove down California’s Highway 1 along the coast of the Pacific Ocean and along parts of legendary Route 66 through Arizona. They saw the Hearst Castle in California, Mark Twain’s house in Missouri and visited the Wall Drug Store in South Dakota.
And, yes, they spent a couple of days visiting the Grand Canyon.
“I really enjoyed the Grand Canyon,” Eddie says. “Pictures don’t do it justice. You just don’t realize how beautiful it is until you get there.”
But then Eddie — and Elizabeth — say they enjoyed just about everything about the trip. Sure, they liked some stops more than others (Eddie wasn’t a fan of the traffic in California, and Elizabeth says the Four Corners Monument at the point where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah meet was underwhelming), but the trip was full of highlights for both of them (Eddie enjoyed Monument Valley in Arizona and got a kick out of Cadillac Ranch in Texas, while Elizabeth found South Dakota to be stunningly beautiful, was amazed by Devils Tower in Wyoming and found an “absolutely stunning” wood and glass chapel in Garvan Memorial Gardens in Arkansas).
They had fun watching folks try (and fail) to earn a free meal at The Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo by eating a 72 ounce steak, a shrimp cocktail, a baked potato, salad and roll in one hour. They were not tempted, though, to try it themselves. “No, we’re old folks, we can’t eat like that,” says Elizabeth.
They both gained a greater appreciation for the diversity and scale of the United States.
“I think everybody needs to do this trip,” Eddie says. “You can’t appreciate this country until you do that. It’s just an absolutely beautiful, beautiful country.”
Or, as Elizabeth says, “It floors you, just the expanse of some of these places. In Iowa, you see all the cornfields and windmills. Then you get in the desert — lower Utah is stunning. Just gorgeous.”
The Big Texan Steak Ranch
Eddie and Elizabeth found a unique way to share their trip with others — one that fellow Wolfpack fans should particularly enjoy. You see, Eddie and Elizabeth are season-ticket holders for NC State football games, often traveling to away games as well (even though Elizabeth is a graduate of the University of South Carolina). So being lovers of all things NC State, they decided to bring a bit of the Wolfpack with them on their travels.
They made the trip in red Jeep, with a large block-S on the spare tire cover on the back of the car. And at each significant stop, they found a way to feature their car and its Wolfpack logo in a photo showing their location.
“I said, ‘We ought to take pictures of this thing traveling across the country,’” recalls Eddie. “She said, ‘We ought to take the logo on a vacation.’”
They had a few challenges along the way — it was tough to find a place to park near the Arch in St. Louis and the steady stream of traffic around Graceland made it difficult to hop out and get a photo — but Elizabeth says it usually wasn’t difficult to find a good spot to park the car for most of their photos. They had to drive through several Los Angeles neighborhoods, though, before they found a suitable angle to get a good shot of the car and the Hollywood sign, and an executive with the San Diego Chargers tried to shoo them away as the team (and NC State alum Philip Rivers) was coming in for practice at the team’s facility.
“We had a lot of fun taking the photos of the car,” Elizabeth says. “He would jump out and take the picture. We had to grab our moment.”
(To see all of the photos — and they are worth taking the time to do so — visit our Facebook page to see the gallery from the Yountz’ epic summer road trip.)
By now, you probably suspect that the Yountz’ are seasoned travelers, with Elizabeth having visited all 50 states now. (Eddie still has seven to go to finish his list.) But they say that’s not the case, that they had never taken a trip remotely like this before.
They say that a couple of simple ground rules (and a GPS that told them when and where to turn) were critical to the success of the trip. As they were pulling out of their driveway on July 20 to begin their trip — one that wouldn’t bring them back home until Aug. 13 — they stopped briefly to stress that back-seat driving would not be allowed. They both took turns driving — Elizabeth typically took the morning shift and Eddie drove in the afternoons — and agreed that they would only speak up if the driver was tailgating or the passenger saw a potential disaster unfolding.
“We’ve been married for 34 years,” Elizabeth says. “We weren’t sure how we were going to be able to handle being enclosed together that long. But we came back feeling closer. We had a ball.”
Eddie agrees: “We got along great, the best we’ve gotten along in years. I think everybody needs to do this trip.”
Though it’s not in the ACC, East Carolina has long been considered one of NC State’s chief gridiron rivals. There’s even a victory barrel for the winner of the contest to take home whenever they play.
But on this day 36 years ago, while the the Wolfpack notched a 29-13 win over the Pirates, NC State kicker Nathan Ritter took home a school record.
Yes, it was an important win over East Carolina, the first for the Wolfpack in three years. But it was, as the Technician reported, Ritter’s foot that was the star.
“Showing his stuff more prominently than anyone else was Nathan Ritter, an unheralded High Point sophomore who set a school record by kicking five field goals and accounting for 17 points,” the Technician reported. “The 5-8, 150 pounder demonstrated excellent range and accuracy while booting three-pointers of 48, 29, 46, 34 and 44 yards.
“Before Ritter’s performance, no one in Wolfpack history had kicked more than three field goals or had scored more than 12 points kicking during a game. His only miss was a mere 41 yards, which he pulled left of the upright in the second quarter.”
Ritter’s mark still stands in the Wolfpack record books today.
Life at a student newspaper isn’t that much different than one at a daily metro paper. You’re trying to break news. It’s even better if you can scoop another outlet.
Rarely, though, can you beat another paper to a mailbox in which it physically belongs.
But that’s exactly what happened on this day in 1975, when 20,000 copies of the Technician found their way inside of campus boxes at UNC-Chapel Hill, replacing The Daily Tar Heel on campus for one day.
How the Wolfpack’s newspaper made it over to enemy territory is a story that has more to do with UNC than with NC State. Mike O’Neal, UNC’s student government treasurer that year, had withheld funds for the DTH, citing more than 100 accounting procedure violations. The advertising staff then was not able to generate enough revenue for publication.
So Kevin Fisher, editor of the Technician, authorized the distribution of the papers at UNC, a move that was not popular by some in Raleigh. Some at NC State were not happy that half of the 20,000 had to be paid for out the Technician’s budget.
“In my eyes it didn’t benefit the students here at State,” Ray Braun, a former chairman of NC State’s Publications Authority in 1975, said in a Technician article days after the Publications Authority formally did not endorse Fisher’s actions. “A number of State students, including myself, didn’t get a paper after paying for another 10,000.”
“To be perfectly frank, even if the Pub Board had happened to walk into my office at 6:30 Sunday night and had voted against distributing the paper in Chapel Hill, I would have done it anyway,” Fisher told the Technician, citing the need to get students at Carolina at least some news quickly. “There was no doublt [sic] in my mind that the principle involved meritted [sic] action.”
But UNC’s student government treasurer was no fan of Fisher’s reverence for immediacy.
“O’Neal responded that he felt the editors of the State student newspaper were ‘irresponsible in sending 20,000 copies of the State Newspaper to Carolina,” the Technician reported. “He charged that circulating the Technician on campus was a violation of the solicitation policy because ‘no permit was secured.’”
O’Neal released the funds two days later.
It has taken five years of dealing with government bureaucrats, courtrooms and lawyers, but Ana Leiderman’s spouse may finally be able to do what most adults take for granted — become the legal parent of her children.
Leiderman and her wife, Veronica Botero, won a ruling in Columbia’s Constitutional Court last week that made headlines in the international press as a breakthrough in the fight for civil rights for gays and lesbians in South America. The court ruled that Botero had the right to adopt the biological child of her partner, Leiderman, even though Botero and Leiderman are the same gender.
Raquel, Ana Leiderman, Ari and Veronica Botero
While the ruling narrowly applies to the specific circumstances of Leiderman and Botero, Leiderman says it has the potential to help other gay and lesbian couples in Columbia.
“Yes, it’s history,” says Leiderman, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in textiles from NC State in the 1990s and now lives in Medellín, Columbia. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard it.”
That’s because it has been such a difficult journey for Leiderman, Botero and their family.
The couple were married in Germany in 2005 in what Leiderman said was technically considered a “civil partnership” and then later married in the United States.
The couple initially looked into adoption in Columbia, where Botero is a university professor. But while there were no explicit laws against adoptions by lesbian couples in Columbia, Leiderman says it was understood that adoption agencies would find reasons not to approve adoptions by lesbian or gay couples. So Leiderman underwent artificial insemination, leading to the birth of Raquel.
But Raquel’s birth certificate listed Leiderman as her only parent. So Leiderman and Botero explored ways that Botero could legally adopt their daughter.
“We looked for a way to grant her the legal protection of both of her parents, both of her moms,” says Leiderman. “But it was also to protect my wife, if something happens, to give her custody. We don’t need a paper to have a family. But in case something happened, we definitely needed a piece of paper.”
Leiderman and Botero were rejected by the government agency responsible for adoptions. “They ignored all the rules,” says Leiderman. “They just said, ‘You are not a family.’”
What followed were years of court cases, rulings and appeals that finally culminated in last week’s ruling by the country’s Constitutional Court. Leiderman says she is still struggling to believe it is real. “By December, we should have a piece of paper, if everything goes okay,” she says. “It’s been so long. I will believe it when I get paper that says our kid has two legal moms.”
Leiderman, who has worked in textile quality and development for companies such as adidas and UnderArmour and taught business and financial literacy, says the ruling applies to both of their children — Raquel, who is now six, and Ari, who is four and was born after the court battle began.
It will send a powerful message, Leiderman says, if her family finally receives full legal status.
“We have families that do exist,” she says. “We are here. It’s just that we are often invisible, and invisible people don’t have rights. It’s an opportunity for other people to come out of the closet, to show that we have good, well-adjusted, intelligent kids.”
Bryan Hum got an unexpected treat not long after he sat down to dinner last night at a restaurant in Albany, New York. And it appears he has a fellow NC State alumnus to thank for the pleasant surprise.
Hum, a 2013 NC State graduate who majored in international studies and political science, is in his second year of law school at Albany Law School. After attending a Student Bar Association meeting last night, Hum and a friend walked to a favorite restaurant for dinner. They had just ordered drinks, when a waitress walked up and handed Hum a hand-written note and a $20 bill. She said another diner had noticed Hum’s red NC State t-shirt, and asked her to give him the note and the money.
“Apply this to your bill! God bless!” read the the note. It was signed “Brian,” with no last name, and indicated that “Brian” was a 1996 NC State graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Hum’s initial reaction was confusion. He wondered if it came from someone he knew, particularly since it was signed “Brian,” a different spelling of Hum’s first name. He asked the waitress to point the customer out, but she said that he had given her the note and the money as he was leaving. “He saw your shirt and wanted you to apply this to your bill,” the waitress told Hum.
Hum thought briefly about going outside to try to track down his benefactor, but quickly realized that he appreciated the anonymous nature of the gift from a fellow Wolfpacker.
“I was just astounded by it,” Hum said this morning. “It really touched me. It made me want to pay it forward myself.”
It also reinforced the strong feelings that Hum already had for NC State and its alumni — something that he quickly shared with friends via social media. “We talk about the great alumni we have, and this just proves it,” he said. “We look out for each other. It’s just a great connection we all have.”
Hum says he only spent $15 of the gift on his dinner, and plans to use the remaining $5 to pay it forward – hopefully sometime later today or this weekend.