Simplest blood monitoring yet for diabetics: People with diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels regularly to prevent or delay the onset of major complications that include blindness and kidney failure. To help them, engineers at Lifescan, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson based in Milpitas, Calif., developed the FastTake Meter. It takes just 15 sec and a small blood sample — the smallest of any meter available — to determine blood glucose levels. Other features include a 150test memory with date and time to make record keeping easy, automatic 14-day averaging to help spot trends, a test strip that can be touched anywhere for easy handling, and the ability to download memory contents to a PC for detailed analysis.

30 YEARS AGO — July 20, 1978

Thor makes 500th flight: Thor, the enduring rocket designed over 22 years ago as a stopgap ballistic missile, made its 500th flight June 16 to put a new environmentalmonitoring satellite into orbit. Its launch record is unchallenged by any free-world space vehicle. Thor-500, as first stage of a McDonnell Douglas Delta launch vehicle, boosted the GOES-3 (Geodetic operational environmental satellite). The 1,400-lb spacecraft was injected on a path toward an Earth-synchronous orbit 22,300 miles high.

50 YEA RS AGO — July 24, 1958

Eucnik is the designation given to this hybrid Euclid dump truck redesigned to increase its capacity from 49 to 121 tons. Engine, cab, and frame of the smaller model were revamped to form the tractor portion of the new vehicle. A pair of 300-hp Cummins diesel engines were fitted with turbosuperchargers to increase rpm and step power up to 375 hp each. Conceived by Western Contracting Corp., Sioux City, Iowa, the 78-ton vehicle was built especially for closure of a huge earthern dam at Oahe, S.D. The truck is designed for long-haul service over good roads and has a top speed of 35 mph.

Simplest blood

Thor makes 500th flight: