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Finally: a Worthwhile Use for the Salad Spinner

We have a chapter in SuperFreakonomics about how the best solutions to tough problems are often cheap and simple ones. (Among the examples: hand-washing in hospitals; the forceps; and a floating, wave-driven hurricane killer.) If you are a fan of such solutions, then you’ve got to admire Lila Kerr and Lauren Theis, two Rice undergrads who were given an assignment to come up with a way to separate blood and diagnose anemia in places with no electricity. Their solution: a centrifuge made from an ordinary plastic salad spinner. Now they’re taking their centrifuge into the field for testing, in Ecuador and Swaziland. It is good to finally see the salad spinner finally providing some real value in the world.